Thursday, April 12, 2012

Influence Map

These influence maps have really become popular, just Google it to see what I mean...

I wanted to make an influence map because I'm often asked who are my favorite artists. I have a lot of favorites, but they don't all influence me. When an artist influences me, that typically means I look to their work for inspiration on how to problem-solve, how to paint, how to tell a story.

 I love the artists above for their sense of color, design, and conceptual narrative. Subject matter is also key - I love all things adventurous, emotional, uplifting, and fantastical. If an artist is crazy-talented but their subject matter is very dark, I typically won't be inspired to go paint like them. The message and the technique have to vibe with my soul in order to inspire me. When I discover an artistic soulmate, their work typically makes me want to race home and bust out my paintbox to create something beautiful.

So, I'll briefly cover why each of these artists has made it to my shortlist:

1. Jacob van Ruisdael - I discovered this Flemish northern renaissance painter while studying abroad in Holland. I fell in love with his depiction of clouds and landscape.

2. N.C. Wyeth - what can I say besides "hail to the master!" I really love his technique and use of color. Subject matter is also inspiring.

3. Justin Gerard - Subject matter is so epic! I study his compositions and color choices.

4. Jeff Soto - Jeff is from my hometown and has made it so big that I can't help admire him for an uber-successful career. His work is meaningful, bold, well-crafted, and very creative. Plus, he's a really humble, hard-working fellow which greatly inspires me.

5. Jon Foster - amazing compositions and color schemes. Plus, the subject matter is always intriguing. Sometimes it branches out into Sci-Fi which I'm not that into, but I still admire each piece created by this man.

6. Robert Mackenzie - emotion, technical sensitivity, character-cuteness factor, subdued color palette, has an old-world appeal.

7. Joe Sorren -  bizarre, very creative, bold and painterly use of color, very juicy oil paintings (must see originals to appreciate the glorious oil technique!!) emotional, makes you want to empathize with the characters.

8. Vladimir Kush - conceptual and brilliant at combining disparate subjects into a new idea. His paintings are very colorful and refined. I'm always in awe of how he blends oil paint.

9. Mary Blair - Color!! Design!! Fantasy!! Disney, Golden Books, her career was incredible.

10. Chris Buzelli - very generous in answering questions and talking about his process. I love how he stylizes people and animals, his color palette, and editorial concepts.

11. Peter de Seve - Brilliant character designer, which is what I look to him for the most. I also love his painting technique.


j. kendall said...

i'd never heard of an influence map until i read this post... that's really cool.

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