Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Influence Mapping

So there's this meme that's been going around the interweb in recent months, started by fox-orian on DeviantArt. I'm pretty late to the party, but it looked interesting to me, and I enjoy looking at art. Ha-ha-ha! I tried to stick to sizes as far as how big an impact these guys have had on me, but... honestly, there's only so much space, and it's hard to quantify that sort of thing.

So, here we go!
1. Arthur Adams: I have a giant-size issue of "The New Mutants", where the kids go to Asgard, and have some adventures. Wow. This guy is just awesome, I remember reading that issue over and over again, and copying the drawings out of it when I was a kid. His linework, and just sheer ability to put so much TEXTURE into his drawings has always just floored me.

2. Scott Fischer: I found Scott a couple of years ago on I love his realistic-cartoon style. I think about his drawings a lot when I'm drawing cars especially.

3. Mobius: There was a time when I tried sooooo hard to draw like Mobius. The perfect balance of detail and simplicity. Noise and quiet. and his linework is beautiful. He is probably the single biggest influence on my drawing style.

4. Alan Lee: When I was a kid, this painting creeped me out. I checked out the fairies book by Lee and Froud from the library, and could hardly look at it, because I didn't want to see this painting of the pooka. Alan Lee's watercolor and pencil drawings are just beautiful, and they helped awaken a love of fantasy in my young mind.

5. Todd McFarlane: Todd seems to get a lot of crap these days from comic fans. One of the things that I learned from him is that comics are both about graphic design and drawing.

6. Lynn Johnston: One of the greatest cartoons still working... maybe the best. If there's only one cartoon that I read in the paper anymore, its "For Better Or For Worse". Fantastic design, compelling stories that we can relate to, and really excellent drawing. Wow.

7. Bernie Wrightson: When I was a kid, my parents got me the book "Dream Makers" which featured (among others) Bernie Wrightson, and Michael Kaluta. Seeing their work, and reading what they had to say about being professional artists is I think one of the big things that galvanized my career path.

8. Jamie Hewlett: I have loved Jamie's artwork since his work on "Tank Girl". Expressive, and not afraid to "go there"... He cracks me up. Also, I'm a big fan of the details he puts into his drawings, and how well the CHARACTERS show through the designs.

9. Katsuhiro Otomo: Akira was the first Japanimation movie I ever saw. It was in Japanese. Without subtitles. Not being able to understand the words didn't matter though. The pictures just reached out and grabbed me. I was hooked. In hindsight, it's good that I started out at the top, because that's a pretty high standard to hold everything else up to... there's a lot of junk out there too. Ha-ha-ha!

10. Brian Froud: "The Dark Crystal" and "Labyrinth" are two of my favorite movies. Brian Froud did most (if not all) of the concept design on them. Again, spending hours drawing goblins and fairies, and watercoloring them.

11. Michael Kaluta: One of the things I remember about Michael Kaluta is that he was talking about a painting he had done, and mentioned that the color on one part of it was actually tea. The idea that you didn't have to use just PAINT to color things was new to me at the time. Of course, tea isn't exactly archival, but when you illustrate for print, the longevity of the original isn't necessarily the primary concern.

When I think about all of these fantastic artists separately, they seem very different. Looking at them all arranged on the map though, I think they hang together nicely. Thanks for spending a few minutes walking down memory lane with me. Ha-ha-ha! Until next time, take care and be good!

Your friend,


Mary said...

#6-I can totally see this influence in your work...and to be honest, before I knew what I was looking at, I really thought that was a little sketch of yours. Also that comic captures a lot of "Daily Life" as well. :)

Mary said...

#3-this reminds me of your little man with the star on his hat :)

Keith said...

With you on Mobius. The minimal brilliance of his drawings. I love that hint of texture he uses that gives them an ethereal solidity.

Joshua LH Burnett said...

I will definitely have to try out this meme... Phil Foglio, Norm Breyfogle, Tony DiTerlizzi...

Red Herring Jeff said...

@Mary - yeah, those two are probably the biggest influence stylistically. When we were in college, a lot of my work was busy synthesizing Moebius.

@Keith - I know, right?

@Josh - There are so many that I wanted to put in, but just didn't have the room for. Tony DiTerlizzi was one, and Bill Watterson... even Rob Leifield should be in there, much as I hate to admit it. Ha-ha-ha!

Nance said...

#'s 2,4, 6, are compelling for me. #6, of course, feels like home after all these years; you mean these people aren't real?!

Red Herring Jeff said...

@Nance: It is pretty amazing that they aren't real, isn't it? They've been a part of my life for so long that they do feel that way, anyway. Ha-ha-ha!