Influence Map 2013 Picture

About a month or so ago, I had to do a presentation for one of my uni classes about what/who we draw inspiration from, as part of development for that class's assignment this semester. A coursemate brought up a blank influence map meme as a means for us to get started, out of courtesy and trying to motivate us to get going!

I did one 3 years ago:…
But it's nice to see how things change as I go along and how I've decided to mix things up a little/look a little closer!

So here we go!

Mythology, folklore and fairy tales
By far the biggest contribution so far. I absolutely love cultural stories and just the fact that we've 'glamourised' fairy tales over the years. I'm all for the original bloodfests from the Grimm Brothers, as well as weird and wonderful creatures in cultural folklore. I have not stopped tapping into myths to find inspiration and more content to explore.

Anime (Pictured: Inga and Shinjurou from UN-GO)
Add manga to that too. The anime I've been getting into as of late haven't been the usual mainstream ones that dominated a few years back, but now I'm more into the shorter 'hipster' ones per se. The stylistic approach to quite a few of these plus the beautiful animation has always excited me!

Various short-running cartoons (Pictured: Chuck and Mike from Motorcity)
Unfortunately a lot of the short-lived shows also were incredibly beautiful and very stylo, so much so that I still gripe about cancellations whenever anyone mentions a new season of something (yes I harp on about cancellations heaps and ack sorry guys!). Among my favourites include Motorcity and Sym-bionic Titan. I'd also sort of count American Dragon because sheesh second season style killed it for me
The art direction for many short-run shows was stunning, and they didn't skimp out with bad quality stuff - these were pretty decently written and well executed animations!

Personifications (Pictured: Death from Sandman, Neil Gaiman)
Not really an influence? But I put it down anyway. I absolutely love personifications, whether it be a force of the world (The Endless), objects (I Am A Piano - Nakamura Asamiko), nature, or even existing things like pokemon gijinka and social media network-tans. There's so much one can do with the same source material and we get so many variations on one thing. It's also a pretty fun challenge to even personify something. I personify things of nature when I write, so perhaps that might be why I do it visually too.

Alphonse Mucha
The Art Noveau guy from the 1920s. His illustrations are absolutely gorgeous, and I love his linework style. I've been compared to him twice now when I was still doing regular art classes - something about my work being rather linear and line-based reminded my teachers of his stuff. I like his pattern overloads and shape embellishments. I wouldn't say I use a lot of that yet, but the sort of whirly quality and block-like lineart is something I do incorporate into my work sometimes.

Hoshino Katsura (Pictured: Allen Walker from D.Gray-Man)
I can never forget Hoshino - she taught me how to draw, after all! I still adore her character designs and personalities, and on top of that her gorgeous style (mainly the one from 06~07). Her work has a tinge of realism that makes it look very believable and not strictly 'anime'. It still has the general aesthetic of mainstream anime but like works like Kuroshitsuji and Avatar: The Last Airbender/Legend of Korra, Hoshino managed to take out all the harsh pointy qualities of 'anime style' and really made it soft and easier to look at. I love her use of negative space in her illustrations and also her use of colours and coloured lighting is amazing.

American McGee/Spicy Horse
I can't split these two, because I love American's ideas and his team of artists at Spicy Horse. I love how he brings horror to the fairytale genre and does it in a unique and quirky way. He has an art direction and vision over his work that I just can't understand because it's too awesome. This man's got some weird ideas but they come out on top! His art team at Spicy Horse really do the trick though, they execute his ideas so well and twisting it in their own way! Thanks to him, I've finally come to terms with the fact that I really don't mind Surrealism at all and that adorable destructive blood-covered characters are really, really appealing.

Real life
Not just events in real life, but things like biology and the way the world works. God has a wonderful world out there and gave me the privilege to study His world through biology and psychology, and I have a big fascination for how beautifully designed it is. I also say that RL covers things in real life, like nature and colours found in it. I love observing the little things, like a butterfly along the sidewalk or how the wind blows up leaves as it runs past. Yes, although at the heart of it I do draw to escape reality, the real world is delightful.

Mainly for my 'simple style' with very geometric based characters with giant black eyes and minimalistic faces. That style of mine is still in progress to refinement, but a great deal of it was inspired by the graphical nature of Katamari, as well as perhaps the artist behind the popular Dark Woods Circus MV. Also, Katamari music is just simply the best ok it's so motivating

Various gaming franchises (Pictured: Professor Layton, Luke, Maya and Phoenix Wright, PL vs AA)
Professor Layton inspires part of my 'simpler style' just because of its graphical, minimalistic art and capabilities for caricatures (not to mention their badass orchestra with an ACCORDIAN). It's also a lovely soft kind of style which I would eventually like to be able to produce. Ace Attorney/Ghost Trick are both here mainly for their plotlines and how they've been conceived so delicately and they work so well. Plot twists and how they are written to manipulate your reactions sometimes is really fascinating.
I still use a lot of MMO and RPG tropes when I design characters, and I absolutely love online gaming art directions/clothes. It's a blend of fantasy usually, that's hard to find elsewhere.

Studio Ghibli (Pictured: Chihiro and Haku from Spirited Away)
I've had a friend once say that my work has that sort of whimsical 'floating' quality akin to Ghibli, which made me very happy! It's something I do strive towards, not necessarily elegant work but something that bursts forth with direction and energy. Ghibli is also responsible for making the surreal fantasy worlds I've come to love and strive to make myself, most notably Spirited Away and Howl's Moving Castle. The way that Miyazaki's true intentions with the stories (I've only read some theories, but it's enough to convince me) actually are only visible with some deconstruction really showed me that this guy was serious about his films, that it was not just a thing for kids, it was a work of art. Miyazaki, thank you for inspiring me to write stories and become an animator. We'll really miss you in the industry! Have a happy retirement
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