From a very early age, I was fascinated by art. Looking at picture books-- like Richard Scarry's Busytown series featuring Bug Dozer and the Golden Nature Books filled with full color-renderings of mammals, insects and reptiles-- captivated me for hours on end. I would often try my hand at recreating those wonderful images. Dinosaurs were my favorite thing to draw, though. Thank you, Land of the Lost!
My mother believed that it was better to give me blank paper and crayons instead of coloring books; this gave me the opportunity to be creative instead of just following the "rules" of coloring within the lines. That was a huge boon for me, as it forced me to rely on my own imagination. The significance of her choice to foster my creativity in that way cannot be overstated.
A few years later, my Saturday mornings would be filled with cartoons such as Looney Tunes, Spiderman and His Amazing Friends, Space Ghost, The Herculoids, and Jonny Quest. And then there were the after-school cartoons like Star Blazers, Tom & Jerry, and Mighty Mouse. All of these examples of art and creativity inspired me to allow my own ideas to spill out of me... and onto the paper.
In my early teens, I became interested in Mad magazine, comic books, and Dungeons & Dragons, as well as movies like Star Wars, The Black Hole, and Conan the Barbarian. I couldn't get enough! I would sit for hours, drawing scenes of knights fighting all manner of beasts or spaceships cruising through space.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Nowadays I am still drawing some of those same things that inspired me back then, along with single-frame cartoons that allow me to distill an entire concept down to a single frame. I love attempting to capture that moment. Sometimes something more poignant or thought-provoking-- or even shocking-- strikes me, and I am compelled to make an attempt at rendering it. Given that such a wide variety of things can inspire me, it certainly makes for an extremely eclectic body of work!
My influences continue to expand nearly every day, and I believe they always will. Stay tuned for more blog entries coming soon, each devoted to one of the artists that I feel has had the most influence on what I do, including greats like Bill Watterson, Gary Larsen, and more.
Stay creative, my friends!