What Inspires You?

That’s a question often asked right?  What is your inspiration?  Inspiration can emerge from many places.  For the sake of keeping this blog to typical length, I’m only going to write about what, when and who inspires me artistically.

As a child, MAD magazine shaped the way I thought about humor, drawing style and technique.  When I draw comical figures today they still resemble the style of Sergio Aragones and Don Martin (very generic versions of course).  Cracked magazine and not so well known CARtoons magazine rounded out my typical bookstore purchases to hone my professional doodling credentials. 

As middle class suburban rebellion (puberty) set in I found myself redrawing album artwork (fittingly ICE-T, Home Invasion), Guns N’ Roses - pieces from AFD and the Illusions records.  Skateboarding culture was still strong as well.  I obsessed over deck art – Hosoi, Roskopp, Caballero, Guerrero and Schmitt Stix decks, etc.  I obsessed over skate culture art in general.  Vans, Vision Street Wear, Airwalk….all of these brands were hitting the perfect chord of cool.  I imagine as a Midwesterner we were dressing how we thought the Bones Brigade were, but we were probably months behind at all times…or however old the pics in whatever the most recent issue of Thrasher magazine were.

Entering college I decided to get a ‘real career’ and become an engineer.  My time and effort for art ended for a period in the late 90’s, early 2000’s.  I learned how to 3D model in CAD, which has become an important artistic outlet and tool, but this was a ‘lost period’ of time that I would love to have back.

The engineering career started but there was no homework at night.  Art was beginning to populate the internet.  Alt art magazines began catching my eye – Juxtapoz, High Fructose.  I started looking back at inspirations from the past.  They were just images then.  I had never studied the totality of the artists work, or in some cases who they even were.  With these new outlets I discovered their names: Derek Hess, Chris Cooper (Coop), Josh Keyes, Robert Williams….and this is where I’m at now. 

Art has never been more accessible.  There have never been more outlets to be creative.  Some call it the age of self-importance…of egocentricity.  This may be so on some level, but I think this can and may already be the golden age of personal expression through art via traditional and digital methods.

What has inspired your art?