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Influence Map by comic-chic Influence Map by comic-chic
This meme has been going around DeviantART, so I decided to jump on the bandwagon. It was really fun to look back and see the things that have shaped me as an artist. Even though there might not be obvious correlations between a lot of these things and my current work, I can see how they've influenced and inspired me. Maybe you can too.

From Left to Right:

Michelangelo: By the end of high school I realized that I wasn't going to become a better artist by drawing comic book characters all day. I knew that the guys I admired had studied real anatomy before they started comics. So I began copying Michelangelo's sculptures. The anatomy is exaggerated making it easy to see and understand. And his sculptures are just so fluid and beautiful...

Gilmore Girls: Gilmore Girls is a show that is smart enough to be funny--comedy that isn't dumbed down for the masses. You get the joke or you don't, but either way the show keeps on moving. The amazing character ensemble makes this show infinitely re-watchable. And they wrote Rory like a real teenager, not the glossy hollywood version, which makes her coming of age story so relatable.

Norman Rockwell: Enough said. And this is my favorite piece, "Voyeur." No one else captures the preciousness or the fleetingness of everyday life like Rockwell.

Gerhard Richter: German artist who greatly influenced my painting. I had the pleasure of finally seeing an entire gallery of his works at the Art Institute of Chicago this spring. They're even more fantastic in person than in print.

Christian Bolstanski: Studying the Holocaust in general has greatly impacted the kinds of stories I want to tell. War has always fascinated me, but it hasn't enamored me. (I hope that comes through in The Dreamer.) Christian Bolstanski's work is hauntingly powerful and accessible to the non-art elite, I think. I can only hope to make work that moves people like he does.

Spiderman Loves Mary Jane: Finally a "superhero book" for girls! I read boy comic books to get to the character parts, forget the monsters, robots and space aliens. SLMJ is written entirely for the character moments with superhero stuff in the background. These never get old. And the art style is adorable.

Glen Keane: The Little Mermaid forever changed my life. I wanted to be a paleontologist until the third grade, but after watching this movie I knew I had to be an artist. I had never seen animation like this--it gave me a deep emotional response to a cartoon character. Even as a little kid, I realized the power of that. I determined to spend my life bringing drawings to life. I really could have put any movie that Glen Keane worked on here, especially Aladdin.

Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles: I went through a phase in high school where I fell in love with the darkness and Anne Rice and her sexy vampires are to blame. My BFF and I used to keep count of how many times we watched Interview with the Vampire (she made it well past a hundred). I memorized those books. I wrote the only fan fiction of my life back then, a seventy page novella about my BFF & I being turned into vampires by Lestat and Louis called "The Music is Good." There was also a comic book adaption in the works, but I didn't finish it before art school and the project was shelfed in lieu of homework.

The Bible: (What an interesting juxtaposition: Lestat and the Bible!) Every artist is affected by their worldview, it's inevitable. We only get one set of eyes to see the world with. We can try to understand each other, and really make an attempt to listen and learn, but we still interpret everything through our own lens. My lens has been more influenced by my faith than any other single thing. This happened mid-college, though. Poor Lestat, I broke up with him for Jesus. (Eventually Anne Rice did too, lol.)

90's X-Men Comics: I discovered comic books and their magic in the 90's. My favorites were the X-Men titles. It was an era when the mantra "X-Men don't kill" still meant something. There was such a thing as true love, but it was challenged. I loved the balance of it--these heroes battled their inner demons, but good still triumphed. There's something in modern Marvel comics that has lost that balance. And without good guys being good guys, even if it's a struggle, the idea of The Hero is diminished. A lot of great art happened at this time: Jim Lee, Andy & Adam Kubert, Joe Quesada, Chris Bachelo.

The Thin Red Line: ...is the most perfect piece of cinema ever created. I went through a phase where I wanted to direct movies; then I went to see the Thin Red Line. I left that theater convinced that I didn't need to be a film director: if I was going to make a movie, this would be it, and someone already made it. I get choked up thinking about this film. It's art, pure and simple.

J. Scott Campbell: Gen 13 came out when I was a teenager. I was that target audience they were after and boy oh boy did I take the bait! I carried my beat up Gen 13 graphic novel with me in my book bag all the time. These characters were hip, funny, edgy and I wanted their life. I devoured Campbell's artwork. I basked in the bright polished colors. And I counted the days between over-due issues like I was waiting for a kidney transplant.

The Catcher in the Rye: I would have married Holden Caulfield if I could have. Lucky for my parents he was a literary character. Salinger captured perfectly that precipice between childhood and adulthood--that rude awakening that we try to deny and yet yearn for all at once. No one knew what it felt like to be me, until I met Holden. My achey adolescent self had found a soul mate.

The Mysterious Cities of Gold: I would say this was the first hardcore fandom that I indulged in. My sisters and I watched this show on Nickelodeon everyday while we ate our lunch on a tray. Then we'd go outside for hours and pretend that were the three best friends Esteban, Zea, and Tao, searching for the Mysterious Cities of Gold. We had a stuffed parrot we named Cocopetal, and we wore medallion necklaces handmade out of gold craft paper every day. Oh, youth! If only we had more of you...

New Orleans: Whether it was Gambit, Lestat or Trent Reznor, everyone cool seemed to live in New Orleans. When I went there the first time (pre-Katrina) I was struck by the bizarre dichotomies in the city: black and white, poor and wealthy, touristy and dangerous, preserved historic areas and dilapidated crime infested ghettos. I loved it and it devistated me all at once. Everyone is right: there is a magic in New Orleans that few cities can claim. There was also a deep tragicness even before the storm. After the storm we lived there for awhile and worked on staff at a relief organization. That summer changed my life.


(Original Meme Here: [link] )
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:iconvisualspice:
visualspice Featured By Owner Dec 12, 2012  Professional Artisan Crafter
Haha, what a fun read :D Thanks for posting your inspiration and where you got/get your muses from :)
Reply
:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Dec 14, 2012  Professional
No prob! Glad you enjoyed it.

In retrospect, I left a few big ones off the list but... I guess that's inevitable.
Reply
:iconnicofopolous:
nicofopolous Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010  Professional Writer
Wow, I'd almost forgotten The Mysterious Cities of Gold, but now that theme song is stuck in my head.
Thanks!
and
Thanks?!?
Reply
:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010  Professional
It's funny how that theme song still can get stuck in there 20 years later... lol!
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:iconnicofopolous:
nicofopolous Featured By Owner Sep 17, 2010  Professional Writer
I honestly had forgotten about it and this cartoon... Now I want to revisit it.
Reply
:icondrbonescomics:
drbonescomics Featured By Owner Sep 15, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
I don't know why I never thought of drawing statues to study anatomy before! Thank you so much for putting Michelangelo on the influence map, because I probably would never have thought of looking at his things for inspiration otherwise (yeah, I know I don't have much common sense).

I also would like to thank you for keeping Christianity and God in your art. You rock :)
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010  Professional
I hope you have fun learning to draw from Michelangelo... and just about anything else you can get your hands on! :)
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:iconsquoish:
squoish Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
All such good choices and great influences! I <3 Marvel, and Gambit and Rogue best couple ever! It is encouraging to so see the Bible on your list. I often feel a bit suffocated by secularism in art. I'm glad fellow christian artists aren't as few as it sometimes seems. It is so great to see that you are letting Christ effect even your art. :) My respect for you just went up about 100%!

And Gilmore girls! They just don't make shows as good anymore...:-/
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 3, 2010  Professional
I know so many artists who love Jesus. I just think you don't have to make work that is Christian themed to reflect your world view. So we go under the radar a bit. I just... don't like Christian music, or Christian books, or Christian movies. I know they mean well, but from an artistic point of view, most of them are horrible. (Amazing Grace and the Nooma Video series notwithstanding.) :D
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:iconsquoish:
squoish Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010
I agree about most of the Christian movies and music. However I have found a few good books. "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers is amazing. But you are right most of them are mediocre at best. I did like Amazing grace! I think the experienced actors really helped. :)
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 27, 2010  Professional
I put this book on reserve when you recommended it to me and it just came in. After reading the description on the back, I realized that a cousin was just telling me about this book! I'm excited to read it. Thanks for the rec! :D
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:iconsquoish:
squoish Featured By Owner Oct 1, 2010
You're welcome! I'd love to hear your thoughts on it. :)
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 10, 2010  Professional
I loved everything about Amazing Grace. One of the most powerful movies I've ever seen! Everything was top notch--the actors yes!, but also the script--no cheesy dialogue, beautiful costumes and sets, great direction, music, everything.

I'll have to check out "Redeeming Love." Thanks for the rec! :) I also truly love a band called Waterdeep. Some of the most profound lyrics. Heard of them?
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:iconsquoish:
squoish Featured By Owner Sep 16, 2010
You're right, the script and costumes and pretty much everything was very professional in Amazing Grace.

Waterdeep...sounds slightly familiar, I'll have to look them up!No problem, thank you for the rec as well. :)
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:iconmista-heesh:
Mista-Heesh Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Hobbyist General Artist
Awesome meme! I loved all your influences!
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010  Professional
Thanks! I love them too! :D
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:iconsaknika:
Saknika Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Professional Photographer
OMG DISNEY!!! So awesome. Catcher in the Rye is a bit disturbing to me, but that's because I read his daughter's book, Dreamcatcher, and it kind of illuminates some things about Salinger that just make it so you can't look at him the same way again. D:

Still, lots of awesome influences!!!
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional
Everyone is disturbing at our most honest levels. None of us look very good if you could see everything... Some worse than others but I hope no one ever writes a tell all book about me.

And yes, Disney!!!
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:iconconcentriccookies:
concentriccookies Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Professional General Artist
GILMOREGIRLS I am addicted right now and I wanted to hate the show, just so I wouldnt waste my summer watching it. then Lorelai came on. The rest is history, and the time spent watching? defiantly not wasted.
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Professional
Def not wasted! Did you get to the Cat Kirk/Human Kirk episode yet??
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:iconconcentriccookies:
concentriccookies Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010  Professional General Artist
lol yup! He is such a character~~ haha ooooh Kirk.
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional
Babette Ate Oatmeal.
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:iconconcentriccookies:
concentriccookies Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional General Artist
Oi with the Poodles already!
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:icontheladybarbossa:
theLadyBarbossa Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
::::Singing:::: Ahhhhhhhhhhhh.... someday we will find the Cities of Gooooooooold! :)
LOVED that show! Watched it religiously! Taped some of the episodes, did about the same as what you did with your siblings. Planning on obtaining the DVD set when I can spare the coinage. :) A fantastic show! Lots and lots of fans of the show and people don't seem to realize it!


~Lady B
~Lady B
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Professional
There have got to be a lot of fans, they played it *every* day on Nickelodeon. I have a copy of the series from years ago before the DVDs came out. Have NO idea how my sister got them, but they only play on Windows Machines. *headdesk* The only time I wish I had a PC and not a Mac!
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:icontheladybarbossa:
theLadyBarbossa Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2010
Most likely from Tim Skutt of some form or manner. He's been the figurehead to get the series out on DVD officially in English. Took 10 years to finally get it out! :)
I've all 39 episodes on swapped VHS tapes - where fans taped off episodes for other fans in return for episodes they didn't have or episodes in French or Japanese. Poor tapes are worn out. But glad that the series is out on DVD. :)
The story was incredibly fantastic with a historical aspect to it yes some element of fantasy, but better yet, a linear timeline! The characters were great and so many of them, too! And the art... fantastic! That is the only closest to japanimation I will EVER get. But then again, Cities of Gold was French influenced so I cannot complain. ;)

~Lady B
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional
That's awesome. We just watched reruns and mourned when it went off the air. We had a few favorite episodes taped but that was it. :(
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:icontheladybarbossa:
theLadyBarbossa Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Well, hopefully you can ask for it for Christmas. :) It's on a DVD set all 39 episodes digitally remasted, etc. ;) It was the best cartoon I ever watched as a kid! Better than Smurfs, better than he-man or Bravestarr, better than Jem, better than Transformers... better than any other because of the fantastic story behind it and the animation art was just phenominal! There was no comparison. Music was fantastic, too. I love listening to the music.

~Lady B
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010  Professional
I couldn't agree more. It's going at the top of my Christmas list!!
Reply
:icontheladybarbossa:
theLadyBarbossa Featured By Owner Aug 27, 2010
:) hehehe, same here. Of course, was on my Bday list for the past two years. Hopefully you will get it! :)
Oh, now I've had some retro memories of other 80s shows like Kidd Video! LOL, Oh, God help us 80s kids! :)


~Lady B
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 28, 2010  Professional
KIDD VIDEO. OMG, forgot that one!!!
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(1 Reply)
:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
Wow...you like Mysterious Cities of Gold, too? This was the show that I saw bits of when I was a kid and yearned for. That is so awesome. Seeing people who like this show really warms my heart, because I always thought no one ever heard of this show. =D
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Professional
Yeah, it sort of evaporated for a long time. No way to get the VHS and Nickelodeon stopped playing. But yay to the era of the Internet! Everything obscure and forgotten can come back.
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:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
Which makes the internet awesome.

It's kind of sad that such a quality show got lost in the sands of time. I watched the French version a few months ago and it's amazing how well that cartoon holds up. I still enjoyed it wholeheartedly without cringing at overly cheesy or dumbed down story, clearly the people who made this story love it.

Also, they've come out with a DVD version of it (dunno if you're aware of it: [link]), which I'm waiting to get enough money to buy, but unfortunately they neglected to include the French version or the Japanese version as well, which would be fun to see (I've seen the French version thanks to the internet).
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional
Wow, had no idea it was out on DVD! I totally need that!!

French versions would do me no good. I only speak one language. (Typical American.)
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:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Aug 31, 2010
I know, I totally need it too. It's waiting in line to be purchased on my list of things I want. =/

I'm glad to be of service! I love sharing info about that series (they're also planning a sequel to it as well, which I hope will be as good as the original).
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 1, 2010  Professional
I think I heard about that but didn't dare to believe it. If you think about it... there is a bit of Avatar-ness to the series. Three kids fly around, trying to save the world on an epic adventure against the adults.... and weird Omec aliens. :O
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:iconlennan:
lennan Featured By Owner Sep 6, 2010
I wonder if Mike and Bryan were fans. XD
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Sep 7, 2010  Professional
ha ha, good question! Do they have a forumspring? :XD:
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(1 Reply)
:iconsnitter:
Snitter Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Professional Writer
This was so fun to read! I adored hearing about all of your influences!

And wow...I just realized this is a meme I could do!

Also, so glad you were able to see so much Richter stuff at the Art Institute!!
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Professional
I'm so glad you took me there!!!
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:iconshannbelieve:
shannbelieve Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010
I absolutely love Norman Rockwell. Last week I went to an exhibit of his work at the American Museum of Art in D.C. Every piece in there is from the personal collections of George Lucas and Steven Speilberg. "Voyeur" is one of my favorites.
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Professional
I'd love to see a whole show of his work! :heart: I went to the Norman Rockwell museum in Philly, but it was mostly prints and magazines. I think they only had one original in the entire piece!!

The Columbus museum of art has two of them, but they rotate in and out of being on display. I always love it when they're up!
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:iconshannbelieve:
shannbelieve Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010
It was really interesting to see the pencil drawings next to the finished products. It was also pretty funny that one of the pictures would be from George Lucas' collection and the other from Steven Spielberg's, ie Lucas had the pencil drawing, Spielberg had the painting. So neat.
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010  Professional
I love looking at sketches. I'll be that was an amazing show. I saw a Rembrant exhibit in Dayton a few years ago and as amazing as his paintings are, all his little quick sketches stole the show.
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:iconshannbelieve:
shannbelieve Featured By Owner Aug 26, 2010
Oh yeah it's usually the sketches I see on here that make me wish I could draw.
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:iconbrightswordsman:
brightswordsman Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
The Thin Red Line has got to be my favorite movie. Its so freaking poetic in a simplistic way.
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Professional
I have all sorts of rules when watching it... and thus... uh, no one wants to watch it with me anymore. ^^; 1.) No talking until the credits roll! 2.) No eating! 3.) No loud movements 4.) No bathroom breaks! 5.) We do not pause the film. 5.) No lights on while we watch the film. 6.) We can only watch it after it's dark.

That's not too much to ask, right...? :XD:
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:iconbrightswordsman:
brightswordsman Featured By Owner Aug 23, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I think not. How else are you going to enjoy an awesome movie???
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:iconcomic-chic:
comic-chic Featured By Owner Aug 24, 2010  Professional
:D
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