Regularly encountering other artists is very good for me. I think this is in part because it always reminds me that anything is possible in the art world. Any creation is legitimate, any method is ok to use, there are as many ways to approach an art career as there are artists. I think being reminded of these things helps me get unstuck from shoulds that creep into my thinking now and again. I should do this with my art, I should make things like that, it should look this way, should be displayed here and not there, etc. Those kind of thoughts are unnecessary and a waste of creative potential.
The other night, I was inspired by an artist who found me on the "arts map" (a site for artists to connect with one another around the globe) and contacted me. She happens to live close by and sent me her website. She creates collages too, and also does mail art. People send her various pieces of mail that they have turned into art (letters, postcards, etc.) and she creates a response and mails it back. I thought this was a really creative way to engage with other artists. And it was another one of those little reminders for me to keep an open mind when creating. It is easy to think this way frequently when first starting out. But the farther along you go, the easier it is to let your creativity be hampered by external forces. I think creative success in any form can sometimes feed a subconscious belief that if you start to veer from your chosen path/expression, all the progress you've made will go out the window.