So here's an updated influence map from me. A few things have changed over the last 3 years since the last time I uploaded this, and some of them are different just because the original map I had listed some interests at the time rather than true influences. (Sometimes that can be hard to distinguish.) Over the last few years, I've come to realize more of my true prior influences, as I'm always falling back on them to do what I keep doing.
So, quick explanation going top down, left to right:
1. Studio 4C: Ever since I was in high school and early college, countless 4C productions have stuck with me in ways I constantly refer back to. TEKKONKINKREET and "Beyond" two particular works.
2. Scott Wills: I always liked the aesthetic of his work from several shows he did work for when I was a kid, such as Samurai Jack and Dexter's Laboratory. Many years ago I found out who he was, and got to see the wider breadth of his work to absorb. To this day Wills continues to be an influence on my work in terms of color palette, use of light, and scene construction.
3. MegaMan: Some of the best early gaming experiences I ever had. From MegaMan 1-6, and X-X3, I found the creativity of the worlds present in these games fun to try to draw my own when I was a kid. My school notebooks were full of drawings of MegMan, enemies, and robot masters. Unlike the Mario games, MegaMan games were some of the first I felt had true theme and purpose to them.
4. Swiss Graphic Design: I've always been minimalistic at heart, and love flat graphic shapes. When I learned that most of the world's modern design languages came from Switzerland, Sweden, and Germany, I've always looked at what's come out of those countries for inspiration on typography, layout, and color aesthetic in not only my graphic designs when I do them, but even my illustrations. For that reason it gets a bigger spot on my map.
5. Gainax: When I was a kid, (around 12-13 years old,) I watched this weird new thing called Evangelion with some friends. We got a copy of the whole series that was burned to a CD. It ran at 320x240, terribly compressed, with little yellow subtitles. Still, I got really into it. Back when I didn't even know what I was watching was called Anime and it was "a thing." I got into it not because it was from Japan, just because it was unlike anything I saw before on my TV. FLCL came shortly after, and seeing more of what Gainax was capable of blew my little mind. The characters, the interactions, the art design, it gave me a high that always made me giddy and say "I WANT TO MAKE THINGS LIKE THIS" in my head. I mean, obviously not make things LIKE Eva or FLCL, but rather things that replicate the feeling they give me. On some level, Gainax penetrates EVERYTHING I DO whether I'm aware of it or not.
6. The City of Boston: I've lived in Boston for the past 7 or so years. I've explored just about every inch of it and it's had a large impact on me, living in a major urban center, yet one that's so small and varied. Most of my illustrations bear resemblance to parts of Boston I've seen and hung out around. Boston is home to many different architectural styles, including most notably: Brutalism. My love of Brutalist structures and concrete as a construction material comes from Boston. I'll have to leave Boston someday, and its influence will likely remain for a long time after.
7. Packing up & Moving: Oddly enough, I've never lived (outside of my childhood) in the same place for more than 2 years. I'm always on the move. Some of the reasons are family related and personal, but usually it's just because of the nature of how I live in the city. I've had 6 different addresses in Boston. When I move into an apartment, I don't see it as a home, it's just a place to work, eat, and sleep, until it comes time to move to the next place. This has a profound effect on how I feel as an artist, and how I connect to the images I create. I'm waiting for the day I move into a place that feels like a home.
8. Mirror's Edge: In 2008/2009, Mirror's Edge opened my eyes to seeing light, shadow, and color in ways I'd never considered before. It was responsible for a kind of "reinvention" of myself as an artist, propelling me to replicate what I saw in the game, learn from it, and become a better artist to a professional level.
9. Boards of Canada: To this day continues to be the most influential music to my work. All of my artworks have a corresponding BoC track that inspired its feel in some form.
10. Kiyohiko Azuma: Back around the same time I discovered FLCL, the work of Azuma found its way to me and I became interested in "slice of life" story telling, (the notion that stories DON'T have to be all about epicness and saving the world, etc, it can be interesting in its complete everyday normalcy,) On top of this, Azuma's own illustration work resonates with me for his deep understanding of composition, perspective, and again, overall feel. Azuma got me to realize how to make images feel more "familiar," and easy to connect with to a viewer.
11. Alessandro Barbucci: He's been an influence of mine for years, and something of a personal goal. I look up to his work as an artist and storyteller. To roughly as good as him is where I'd like to be headed.