Yo! I don't mind it when people use my art to help their own, though it's always safer to ask beforehand. When people notice similarities, you could then quickly shut down any suspicions by letting them know you have gotten my permission. But also, when people ask me, I usually try to mention that I would prefer it if I was being given credit for it if it's going to be posted online :0 Just a small "referenced off of Remarin" or smth would be enough. Credit can lead to new people seeing my art yes sure,, but it also mainly helps avoid situations like these. Because folks will quickly jump to "worst-case-scenario" conclusions when they recognize someone's art being referenced without any mention of the original,, and will presume that that artist is trying to profit off of someone else's work in more ways than just artistic growth and intentionally hide it.
All in all, as long as you don't trace the artwork line for line and don't use it for monetary gains, then you'd be safe in my books