Influence Map Meme Picture

Everyone seems to be doing this, so I thought I'd take a break from the illustration I'm working on and jump on the bandwagon. ^^ It was certainly an interesting exercise to think about what specifically has influenced and now influences my art. For actual artists, I tried to stick to those who I feel have left a tangible mark on my art. If I listed everyone I'm inspired by, I could go on all day. Explanations follow:

Jo Chen: Her main influence is actually clearly visible in my art. ^^ I remember reading a comment from her before about how red she painted her noses, and I guess that made me sort of think about facial coloration. I definitely apply red to noses and cheeks, thanks to her. ^^

Mythology: I love the symbolism that incorporating mythology can provide. If you do something indirectly related, it helps you say more without doing very much, and if it's something based on a myth, the established story provides a wonderful backdrop to the work.

Real Life: I am constantly getting ideas from the real world around me, be it people, events, issues, etc.

Nomura Tetsuya/Final Fantasy: Nomura-sensei's art is amazing; particularly the character concept portraits for FFVIII and FFX really wowed me with their style, and I've been adapting it ever since. I do think this one affected my art a lot. Also, Final Fantasy's aesthetics in general appeal to me in every way, from character design to the environments to the stories.

Asian Culture: Even though I was born in the U.S., my parents are both Chinese immigrants, so I was always surrounded by Chinese sensibilities growing up. Although I definitely consider myself American, there's a good dose of Chinese culture thrown in as well. And then my interest in anime starting in high school added Japanese culture to the mix.

Matsushita Youko: I loved her art from the beginning of Yami no Matsuei and it kept getting better (although towards the end of the run, it started going in a direction I didn't like as much). She ended up influencing how I draw hair, especially in my manga style, and to some extent noses. The backgrounds in her manga are incredible as well and illustrate amazing use of pen without screentone.

Minekura Kazuya: This is a really recent influence, like just in the past several weeks. In her case, it's not so much her art that's affected me. Rather, I can thank watching her Saiyuki for inspiring me to try manga again! I don't know exactly what it was about it, but watching it just made me want to develop my own story and characters. Also, I think she's able to create very compelling characters, something I admire and hope to be able to imitate. ^^

Fantasy/A Song of Ice and Fire/Michael Komarck: I picked this image as representation for three reasons. 1) The realm of fantasy is my favorite storytelling genre, and my ideas always have some element of the fantastic. 2) Among fantasy stories, George R.R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire is the best, IMO. He has created a world that's full and complex so it feels very real and the characters have been created with that same care. Thus, like in the real world, there are no real "good guys" or "bad guys" (at least among the humans ^^); they are just people living in their world. 3) I am continually amazed by Michael Komarck's art, although he hasn't really influenced my own. But what's inspiring to me personally about him is that he is a self-taught artist, like me...so you could say he's living proof that it can be done! ^^

Hyung-Tae Kim: HTK's designs are always so unique and recognizeable, as is his style. I often think of him when I'm concepting characters myself.

Gothic Architecture: I love love love gothic architecture! The sweep of the buttresses, the exaggeration of the cavernous interiors, the incredible details of the stonework...every bit of it inspires awe in me and makes me want to recreate that grace in my art, regardless of the subject matter.

Kamijo/Visual Kei: Most of the music I follow is Visual Kei, and I love the imagery the genre provides both in the songs and in the bands' costumes. I single out Kamijo in particular because 1) I've been his fan the longest, over ten years now, 2) his elegant, princely image is exactly the sort of thing that I love, and 3) he indirectly gave me the courage to decline medical school in order to devote myself to my art career.

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