There's nothing anyone creates that isn't shaped by everything they've been exposed to all their lives. Sometimes it's conscious, sometimes unconscious. Here's a great example:
Description: side-by-side freeze-frames of two movie characters, both pale-skinned women with brown hair in bouffant styles, both wearing pale pink sweaters and maroon skirts or dresses, both in offices with multiple pictures hung on the walls.
On the left, "Miss Hattie", a character from the movie "Despicable Me" who runs a children's home and exploits her charges as unpaid labor in a shady cookie-selling empire, while maintaining a facade of loving care. On the right, "Dolores Umbridge", a character from the movie version of "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" (and subsequent installments), who takes over the running of Hogwarts Academy and abuses the children in her care "for their own good", while maintaining a facade of loving care.
While "Despicable Me" didn't come out in theaters until 2010, I'd be willing to bet the character design of Miss Hattie was well underway before "Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix" was out in 2007. And yet, these characters who have similarly nasty temperaments and similarly odious relationships to children, look strikingly visually similar as well. Could it be that, because of shared cultural referents, people working in separate environments came up with very similar ways of representing an idea? Yeah, it could.
(Do I have a whole folder full of bookmarks from TotallyLooksLike.com? Yeah, I do.)