Monday, December 10, 2012

Influences

I've had this in mind for ages but I've always been way too confused to be able to gather up the artists and specific things that has influenced my own style of art. It's still incredibly difficult, not because I don't know what has influenced be, but because I have such a huuuuuuuge list of influences and sources of inspiration. I chose to include those who I remember as real "eye-openers" that really made me change and adapt my own style, eventually making it look like it does today. I'm trying to make a difference between influences and sources of inspiration, since I can find inspiration in anything really. People I see on the street, a specific scene in a movie, the shade of a concrete wall I pass by. It would be impossible to gather my inspiration like that.

So these are a few choice picks out of the huge pile of artists and works of art that has truly been influences style-wise. The ones I feel have made the biggest impact are Jamie Hewlett, artist of Tank Girl and Gorillaz and also Barabucci and Canepa who has made the graphic novel Sky Doll. Also the animated sequence from Kill Bill made me gasp the first time I saw it and I studied it frame-by frame to be able to replicate the exact way of drawing faces the way O-Ren was depicted. Back then I didn't even come close, but looking at the scene today and comparing what I can do I'm pretty satisfied!

Like I said, these are only a fraction. I have to mention a bunch of other artists that I love and often go back to in case I need more inspiration or help along the way to improve. I'll just namedrop...

Arthur Rackham, Brian Froud, Paul Bonner, Jon Foster, Justin Sweet, Phil Hale, Amano, Studio Ghibli, Mucha, Waterhouse, Android Jones, Michael Shapcott, Skin Graft clothing brand, the webpage lookbook.nu, Blade of the Immortal and then of course all of the random amazing art and photography I find around the web.

The reason I wanted to do this little summary of my influences is because when people comment on my art they often compare it with various artists and ask me what my inspiration is. The answer is always so tricky since sometimes I make a picture heavily influenced by a particular artists style, and another time I have no specific influence at all but rather a combination of all of the above. A lot of people also seem to struggle with "finding their own style" and this always confuses me a bit. An artists style doesn't have to be fixed. It just grows from all of the influences you gather. Every little piece of art you consume and aspire to will be entwined into your style. I've learned all I can about art through endless copying and replicating. That's pretty frowned upon for obvious reasons, but it's needed in the beginning or while trying to learn something new. For example I tried for ages to get the dynamic lineart skills and quirky anatomy from Sky Doll to work in my art. I made fan art of Noodle from Gorillaz to really try that style to it's edge. Now I don't even think about it but parts of those artists show through my style that has now become mine. A fusion of lots of reeeeeally cool things that has become something of it's own. The enmi-style! Everyone has their own.

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