Friday, October 01, 2010

Influence Map

Well there's a whole heap of artists doing these. It's just a collection of what influences you as an artist

This is only a small portion of my influences but definitely some of the important ones.

Richard Scary
When I think back to who inspired me as a kid, it has to be this guy. Even now looking at his stuff it still inspires me. I always loved the big pages of detail, but simple detail. I loved seeing what all the different animals were doing. Take this image for example, that x-ray view into the house, sooo good! The cats were my favourites.

Earthworm Jim, Doug Tennaple
This is what made me start drawing and love drawing. I used to read a lot of comics but this was what made me want to draw. It just looked so much fun to do. All of Doug's following works were just as good such as "The Neverhood" and "Gear". I may not subscribe to his world views, but I cannot deny this is the guy that started it all for me.

I dunno where to even begin with this film. To me it's just perfection that has never been topped for me. Craft at every level.

Chris Bachalo
Joe Mad may have been winning all the Wizard comic artists of the month, but Bachalo was where it was at. I have loved everything that this guy has drawn and for me, the Steampunk series was one of the best comics ever made. When that series was cancelled, I just stopped collecting comics for about 3 years. Nothing held my interest as much as that series. I find it hard to enjoy his work back at Marvel with him rarely doing a whole story arc. Still how he captures movement and action in a comic book, I dunno who compares.

Masaaki Yuasa, Cat Soup
I saw a few pictures of this film and I managed to track it down and was blown away by the imagination and the accessible surrealism. Since then I've tried to find everything that he has done and each new project I've heard he has been involved in just amazes me and makes me love animation. Here's a few things "Legend of the dog Warriors", "Mind Game", and "Kaiba"

Neon Genesis Evangelion
This series made me really think. Not only about the themes and characters being portrayed but also about how to make a movie. I know most of us laugh about how either the director went crazy or that they ran out of money at the end but what came out of that was something more satisfying and rewarding and like I said it made me think about it more.

Cowboy bebop
As soon as this series starts with the opening song "Tank" you know you're in for a hell of a ride. This series felt grownup, which was a breath of fresh air from all the other series and shows that were out there. It was both something new and something quite classic.

Wong Kar Wai
Back when I was studying film a friend was watching fallen angels on one a tiny little editing tv. Despite the tv being small the neon visuals attracted me like a moth to a ...well a neon light. "In the mood for Love" is probably my favourite film, but all of his films are pure magic. Fantastic characters, costumes, art direction and heart wrenching stories.

What I love about this film is how everything weaves so great together, how every character is important and could almost have a film of their own. The story and the setting, it's all just perfect. This to me is what I want to aim for as a film maker.

The Big Lebowski, Coen Brothers
Ok what really influences me are characters. I can watch terrible films (which isnt this) as long as there is one great character in it. This is probably the best collection of odd characters ever assembled in a film. The story is hilarious as well. All of the Coen Brothers films have great characters but this is probably my all time favourite.

Jim Mahfood
FUN DRAWING! There are other artist that fit this, Jamie Hewlett and Robert Valley and they should be on this map but I ran out of space. That Generation X underground comic he did made the characters seem fun and full of life, which was quite the achievement because these were Bachalo characters and to deliver more than Bachalo that's a heck of an achievement. One great thing about Mahfood was he really introduced music and pop culture in a friend giving you a mixtape sort of way. There's quite a bit of music that I was introduced to by this comic. One really important moment I had with a Mahfood comic was the comic he did in 9-11: Artists respond. In this comic he gave sense and reason to the events unfolding and I also found out his father was an Arab and that gave a voice to what was missing from the media. It's hard to explain that well but after reading that comic I felt less angry and more hopeful, that not everyone in the world is crazy.

90s Xmen comics
These are what I grew up reading, that and spiderman comics (expecially Romita Jr stuff. At this time there were many great artists drawing the comics with a real craft behind their work. There wasnt that much money in what they were doing and they all seemed to be doing it for the love. You had Joe Mad doing the Uncanny Xmen, Andy Kubert doing Xmen or Wolverine, Bachalo doing Generation X, Jeff Matsuda doing X-Factor and Adam Pollina doing X-force. With Joe Mad leading the pack (with fans) with his Japanese inspired style, the other artists started pushing their creative skills and trying new techniques. Looking back at the comics now, there was some great stuff going on then and it felt more creative than now which feels more writer driven than artist driven.

The Maxx
The art style just flaws me. It finds that nice balance of a cartoon stylised reality. It dealt with quite heavy and dark issues with a sympathy for the devil sort of way. The comic was really the perfect balancing act, it would make you laugh out loud when the Maxx talked out loud, it would scare you when characters were trapped and tortured and the visual would astound you when the dream world and the real world would cross. Sam Keith (the creator) put everything he had into this comic and it shows.

Scud: The Disposable Assassin
Mannnn when I first got a copy of this it blew my mind. Before Scud all I knew were superhero comics and Mad Magazine comics. This guy, Rob Schrab, knew what fun drawing was and he really took it to the next level. Super strong and funny poses, epic monster and villain designs and no holds bared, unforgiving violence pure pulp MAGIC! Still too this day there will always be some sort of scud reference and drawing in everything I do. After reading Scud  who wouldn't hold a gun with their pinky finger extended. I assume that's how they teach the CIA to do it.

Nightmare before Christmas
The influence of this film was so strong that I had to fight not to be taken over by it. From the amazing visuals, characters and story to the technique of stop motion. All I wanted to do was make Nightmare before Christmas films for the rest of my life. The film is just so dam good!

Ninja Turtles
This is something I never want to go back and watch because I know its going to be awful. There's just a magic something about the whole concept. I swear the live action film I've memorised word for word even the music. All the turtles have strong individual personalities and individual fighting skills/styles. It's very clever yet dumb and funny as well.

Ok well that's my list with some really glaring omissions. I just ran out of space. Some of the missing ones are:
Chuck Jones
Jim Henson
Satatoshi Kon
Koji Morrimoto
Jamie Hewlett
Robert Valley
Peter Chung
Star Blazers
Yoshitaka Amano
Akihiko Yoshida (Vagrant story)
Scott C
Graham Annable
Kate Beaton
Takeshi Koike
Hiroyuki Imaishi
Secret of Mana
Another World
Super Probotector

I could write even more but I should sleep for the 24 hour comic challenge tomorrow. I'm terrified of it but it should be a lot of fun.

You can find the template and make your own influence map here

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