Influence Meme Picture

Hopping on the bandwagon with this meme.

You're supposed to fill it out with things that inspire you, or have inspired you, to draw. Larger boxes mean bigger influences. I think mine pretty much says that cartoons and fantasy worlds have been a huge influence for me. I basically included every cartoon, character, or concept I can ever remember driving me to draw fanart or draw differently based on its style. These are in no particular order, but here's a brief explanation that goes roughly in order of the images:

Jen "Spunky" Seng (*spunkywulf)
I discovered her website when I was a young teenager, and her site was a Guile fansite. Since then she has been my favorite "web" artist of all time. I was drawn in by her art for its colorful, silly, and energetic characters, and to this day a quick browse through her gallery makes me want to start drawing. I got to meet her briefly a couple of times at Anthrocon - I've never been so star-struck before.

Star Wars
Particulary Han Solo... and the picture is, particularly, the cover of the first book of the Han Solo trilogy. I used to read every book about that arrogant smuggler I could get my hands on, as a kid. I was always more interested in the technology and lives of "normal" non-Jedi folk in the Star Wars universe. I never drew much from Star Wars, since drawing humans wasn't much fun to me, but I drew a lot of inspiration from its anthro characters and technology.

He and Gambit were my two favorite X-Men, as a kid. I think between them and Han Solo, I had an early love for scruffy, swashbuckling, confident and rebellious male characters... Nightcrawler, especially, was fun to try and draw, with his fuzzy blue elf look and his prehensile tail.

Sonic the Hedgehog
I played the second game when I was in second grade and I've been hooked ever since. I drew Sonic and Tails a lot through elementary school, made up my own fan characters, the works...

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
My "first love" cartoon. When I was very small, I was ALL about these guys. I loved them, I loved drawing them, I loved the cartoons and the toys and the games... it lasted up until about second grade, but I recall being VERY young and claiming, as I was drawing Donatello, that "it took GREAT talent to be able to draw like this."

In fourth grade, I saw a boy in my class reading Martin the Warrior. I was in LOVE with mice at the time (see below) and asked him about it, only to be told "this book is probably too hard for you." At the next book fair, I grabbed a copy, and proved him wrong... launching a huge interest in the Redwall series as a whole. I'd been drawing and loving mice (particularly "realistic" ones, I hated overly-cartoony ones like Jerry and Danger Mouse) already, and the books somehow "validated" my characters, in my mind. I felt less "different" for liking my heroic, awesome mouse characters.

Another junior high love, and BOY was I obsessed. My friends and all had Pokemon nicknames (I was Raichu) and we made up a bunch of our own Pokemon designs (that all looked like variations on Pikachu, really). These days I don't draw Pokemon as much, but I collect them and still enjoy them.

King's Quest
I MISS ADVENTURE GAMING. I played the first King's Quest game back when I could barely reach a keyboard. King's Quest VI was by far my favorite. Storytelling in games has gotten much more complex since then, which is good, but I confess that sometimes I miss a good "save the Princess" story...

I first saw Vampire Savior in the arcade, gasped that Felicia was "naked" and it was allowed in public... then spent a few quarters, tried it, looked it up, learned to love the character, and started drawing her. At first I was too shy to draw her without obscuring her chest, but I loosened up eventually. I largely blame Felicia for my love of "sexy" female characters.

A lot of art I make is a simple desire to try out new and cool materials. It's the reason I do so many different kinds of craft projects - I see stuff and go "I want to try that!"

I LOVED mice, gerbils, gerboas... rodents in general, when I was in elementary school and up through junior high or so. I drew all kinds of mouse characters, read mouse stories... something about them was so appealing to me. I moved on to leopards as my preferred persona, later, but mice are still among my top favorite animals.

Sailor Moon
Pretty soldiers in sailor suits... ahh. This one started in elementary school, but really took off in junior high, when I learned about the internet and found out more about the series than I ever could from the dubbed version they played on American TV. I STILL love drawing the occasional Sailor Scout for nostalgia's sake.

Littlest Pet Shop Toys
When I was very small, I almost always had a "companion" toy. Something that came along with me, that I named, talked to, and loved. I particularly loved miniature toys, and the original Littlest Pet Shop toys were tiny and very versatile for "playing pretend." I had a weird preference, as a kid, for a certain degree of "realism" in my favorite animal characters - TOO cartoony looked stupid, to me. The Littlest Pet Shop gave me tiny, tangible toys in my preferred style to play with and make up pretend adventures with.

Snake Rattle N' Roll
This is probably one of THE biggest influences on my elementary school art. This was an old NES game, and for some reason, I just LOVED drawing the two main characters, Rattle and Roll. They were very basic chains of circles, with the "head" being the largest circle with simple smiley faces and fangs. I drew pages and pages and PAGES of comics starring Rattle and Roll. It died down as I learned to draw more complex characters, but for a LONG time these snakes were all over my notebooks...

I'm not going to claim I loved dragons for some spiritual reasons or that I knew a lot about their mythology and had a deep appreciation for their legends... I liked dragons because dragons were cool. Less so, these days, but they are still fun.

A lot of Dreamcast games influenced the stuff I'd draw. I used to not consider myself a "fan" of any game until I'd drawn fanart of it. Through junior high I drew characters from lots of Dreamcast games, as I collected and played through them.

Magic Knights Rayearth
It's girly, it's silly, it's got WAY too many scenes that amount to "we are such great friends and our friendship gives us strength and with friendship we can do anything", but MKR was one of my first favorite anime, and one of my first favorite "superhero" stories...

Come on, what young cartoon artist doesn't like Disney? In particular, their mouse characters from The Rescuers Down Under (Jake) really appealed to me. It was thanks to Jake that I first learned how to draw hats.

Soul Calibur
The games that dictated my game system purchases for a number of years. Another early love, that I first played as "Soul Edge" in the arcade and fell in love with. The character designs and storyline were more complex and intriguing than any others I'd played at the time, so it drew me in and I fell in love with the characters and their interactions with each other. I did an awful lot of Sophitia, Taki, Kilik and Xianghua fanart...
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