A great meme has been going around the Internets for the past couple of months and I thought it would be a great exercise: figuring out my biggest influences in the visual arts. The Influence Map meme comes from fox-orian at deviantART and it basically involves filling out this template with your artistic influences. Naturally, bigger influences take up more squares, etc.
I’ve filled out my influence map above (click to embiggen), and below I’ll write a little blurb of each:
- Lord Frederick Leighton: Ponce, Puerto Rico is my hometown and the Ponce Museum of Art has had the incomparable Flaming June on display for as long as I can remember. I ogled this painting so much throughout my life that I’m sure it seeped into my psyche.
- Jon Foster: An amazing painter that is just as comfortable doing features for National Geographic as he is for creating online-only images for Tor.com. The dynamism in his compositions is stunning.
- James Gurney: I read Mr. Gurney’s blog religiously and I have a few of his books at home. He may not have a direct influence on how my pieces look, but I know that he has influenced how I think when I’m creating them.
- Francisco Rodón: A Puerto Rican painter that had a brief exhibit of his Portraits series at the Ponce Museum of Art. His huge canvases and fractured figures had a huge influence on my ideas of beauty.
- J. Scott Campbell: I read Gen13 for a while when I was a kid and I remember copying Campbell’s artwork to make posters and covers for my notebooks.
- Chuck Jones: I can recite The Bugs Bunny / Road Runner Movie from memory. ‘Nuff said.
- Lorenzo Homar: A graphic artist that brought Puerto Rican poster art to the forefront of the artistic world. A master calligrapher and a genius with colors, his stylistic lines and indefatigable craftsmanship are awe-inspiring.
- Chris Bachalo: I was reading Uncanny X-Men while Bachalo was the penciller. His boxy stylization of the figure is immediately recognizable, and sometimes I see hints of it in my work.
- Andrew Wyeth: Even though his daddy, N.C. Wyeth, is more famous in the illustration world, the richness of detail in Andrew’s paintings has captivated me since I was a child.
- David Hockney: Mostly remembered for his Pop art paintings in the 60′s, Mr. Hockney’s influence on me is actually through his photographic collage works. His exploration of Cubism through photographs was a revelation.
- Ashley Wood: I used to pick up comics by Mr. Wood without even stopping to look at the title. I didn’t care about reading them, I just needed to absorb his amazing energy and freedom.
- Rama Hughes: I sent him an email once to say that I admired his work and wanted to know more about his process and he sent his reply on a postcard through the mail. How do you not love a guy like that?
- Egon Schiele: This guy lived, along with Gustav Klimt, in the sweet spot between Art Nouveau and Expressionism. Super ballsy work.
- Dan Jurgens: I remember him as “the better Superman artist.” I read Superman during the time of The Death of Superman saga and I copied his work incessantly.
- Goñi Montes: How can you live and work with a man for years and not be influenced by his work? Goñi makes his subjects glow (literally and figuratively) and the results are stunning.
What do you think? Do you see the influence of someone else in my work that I didn’t list here? Let me know in the comments.