Considering how everything we create is inspired by our life experiences, including exposure to previous art, it wouldn't be surprising that anything we design reminds others "somehow" of something else.
Maybe the tail reminds them of character X, while the outfit is kind of a cross between chars Y and Z, whereas the haircut was totally taken from A. And so on and so forth... If they can't quite put their finger on it, chances are it is original enough (or, as the case may be, a chimera complex enough to avoid being called one).
That's a way better explanation than what I had. XD Haha!
I don't really mind if there are similarities between them and something else because I know, no matter what, someone will always find that. Nothing is ever 100% original. You are totally right that our creations are inspired by our life experiences. But I do know that these two had a ton of work put into their creation (with more to come I'm sure) and that they came from my own mind. So I can be proud of that.
In the immortal words of Paul Gauguin, "All art is either plagiarism or revolution." I guess your characters remind me of something, I'm just not sure of what and was wondering if maybe there was anything specific that inspired either of them.
If you ever find what it is let me know. I'm so curious!
Nimue (bottom) was inspired by a friend of mine. Her comic Moonfire is really cool and her dragons inspired me to make Nimue. If you want you can check out Moonfire here: [link] and her profile is here: [link] It isn't very far along yet but usually when the fans ask for a new page she will update it.
Makeena (top) was also intended to be a character for another friend's comic but I pulled her out because I became very attached to her. I do know that when I was creating her I had phoenix on the brain and total badass chick. Haha! I do know part of the influence in her hair is a little cybergoth.