Patterns & Influence

A while back I watched a great video essay called Everything is a Remix (35 min) by Kirby Ferguson. In it he describes the way we are influenced by prior work, how we start learning by copying, then we can create something new. It’s actually a really good thoughtful piece that I recommend you watch.

Click to watch on Vimeo

Today I wanted to share with you my art influencers. It begins with cartoons; as a kid I would draw over and over the cartoons that I loved to watch; Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Inspector Gadget, Looney Toons, Disney Movies, The Simpsons. My favorite cartoon director was Chuck Jones. He would always have great background pieces in his animations designed by the artist Maurice Noble (1911-2001). Here are examples of his work:

Maurice Noble

These were the images that raced thru my mind when I think about well designed cartoons. These angular worlds that one could get lost in.

In college I took Art History classes and was introduced to some amazing artists. Everything from Michelangelo to Piet Mondrian (1872-1944), Frederic Remington to N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish to Norman Rockwell.

The simplification of design is what fills my mind:

Piet Mondrian

These designs had an order to them that really spoke to me. The math and proportions involved and how they relate to each other is something that I always think about when creating my work.

Thru high school and into college I really got into comics, artists like Will Eisner, Charles M. Schultz, Bill Watterson, Todd McFarlane, J. Scott Campbell, Joe Quesada, Joe Madureira, Mike Mignola (1960- ), Joshua Middleton.

But again I was most influenced by simple shapes and the way they still manage to convey so much with a limited amount of lines:

Mike Mignola

The Everything is a Remix video really opened my eyes. Looking back on my influencers I can really see how my work derives from them. I spent years copying them, transforming the work, and now I’m at the verge of creating something new. There’s a ton of great info on Kirby Ferguson’s website if you want to learn more about Remixing.

What do you say: Do you see the influence of these artists in my work?

Send me your answer –

carlos Written by:

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