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what was your first hugest inspiration, a middle-of-your-art-career hugest inspiration, and current hugest inspiration?
This is a really difficult question, I can’t point to any one thing at any point that my artistic progress singularly hinged on. This stuff was kind of glossed over in that Influence Map I did a few months back, so I’ll try to talk about different things.
When I was young, I was really into dragons, period. It was all I drew for years, until I got into pokémon. Then all I drew was dragons and pokémon. Then I figured I should learn how to draw other things and taught myself how to draw Anime People by pausing VHS tapes of Gundam Wing and trying to copy the faces. Once I started my Old Terrible Comic That I Don’t Talk About, my biggest influence was probably Jen Wang, who also did a webcomic and had a really strong visual style. (Tangentially, she actually just recently released a book through First Second, called Koko Be Good.)
I don’t really have a “middle of my art career,” since I barely have a beginning of an art career, haha. So here, I’ll talk about college. In college, I got super into Bleach. More than anything, it got me really into fashion. Which, oh gosh, I needed. Up until then, I didn’t know the first thing about dressing myself, let alone dressing a character. Also I got really into Bryan Lee O’Malley and and Kiyohiko Azuma and Jamie Hewlett.
Maaannn, I don’t know who influences me the most now. I’m always obsessed with world mythology and biology, and everything I write/draw/design seems to have a heavy basis in one or both of them. Posy Simmonds has creeped into my style in a big way in the past year or so. So has Peachifruit, whose real name I don’t know, but I’ve been subconsciously emulating her to the point that I feel kind of like a poser. If you try and judge my influences based on my current sketchbook, it seems to go as follows: fashion pinups, D&D characters, heraldic imagery, monsters, Alphonse Mucha, clothing design for improbable beasts, logo design, Mass Effect, more monsters, curvy ladies, figure drawing.
In conclusion: anime, anime, anime, I’m a nerd.
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