Sunday, 20 March 2011

Inspirations and Influences

I would say my artistic influences are pretty widespread. It started with comics and graphic novels when I was young, but I never really started drawing until I started reading "Calvin and Hobbes" by Bill Waterstone. The character design, and the stories told in each strip really inspired me to start thinking about my own characters and ideas.
I loved the way the strips would show parts from calvins imagination of him as a spaceman (Spaceman Spiff), a private eye (Tracer Bullet) or as a huge dinosaur while people in the real world struggled to understand his behaviour. I always wanted to capture the attitude and character in my drawings, that Bill Waterstone put into his. 

   I always really liked the style that Calvin and Hobbes was drawn in, a thick black line bordering blocks of colour. I started rendering things with marker pens to achieve the same kind of result.

Another big drawing influence for me is Gary Larson. His single panel jokes more often than not had me crying with laughter. I thought the craziness of the concepts behind each joke was brilliant and I loved the way he could take something regular and un-interesting, and turn it into a hilarious comic panel. The way Gray Larson draws everything was also very appealing, highly detailed but simplistic at the same time, the character apparent in everything is very well done.
He also seems to be able to find the humour in anything and has such variety in his panels that the reader is interested for hours (in my case anyway).

My influences in the animation world are pretty classic, "Looney Tunes" and "Tom and Jerry" would have to be the main reasons for my interest. I thought the slapstick madness in these two cartoons was genius and could happily sit and watch episode after episode for hours. To this day, both can still reduce me to tears and laughing pains. Definately my ultimate goal in animation would be to work on something that has that same effect on people. The intricacy of the drawing and detail of the environments, especially in Tom and Jerry, is really inspirational to me, and always makes me want to push to achieve the best result I can with whatever Im working on.  

More recently James cameron`s "Avatar" had a huge impact on the direction I was thinking in animation. The immense amount of highly detailed 3D models and the amazing quality of the film really inspired me to improve my 3D modelling / texturing and rigging skills. I thought Avatar was mindblowing, the story, effects, characters and depth of the world really sucked me in and made me really want to be involved in that area of the industry.  I want to be able to produce a working 3D model that can be mistaken for a real world entity. In Avatar all of the machinery, creatures and environments were so unbelieably realistic it was hard to convince yourself they werent real. I definately want to raise my game to get to that level of expertise.