Where does your creative influence stem from?
This post started with an over-a-latte conversation with the girlfriends this afternoon, where one of them asked me to list five books, movies, or artists that have helped shape me as a creative type. I came up with way more than five for each category, and thought I'd share 'em here and invite you to do the same. :D
1) Influential book: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst. This is a wonderfully written novel set in 1980s London about a young gay man finding himself in society. That may sound a little cliche, but Hollinghurst captures the essence of human need and conflict in his characters, and his writing is, well, beautiful. If you haven't read this book yet, I can't recommend it highly enough.
2) Influential movie: Jurassic Park rocked my world as a child, and I'm listing it here even though I know it's going to draw a lot of groans. The fact is the dinosaur and set designs were/are fantastic, and the movie successfully created a world where creatures extinct for millions of years live again--its the movie that seemed to make my childhood dream come true, and it made me realize consciously for the first time that movies can do that.
3) Influential artist: This is the hardest one for me since there are so many artists out there who have helped shaped my work through their influence. In fact, one of the requirements most professors have you do in art school is make clipping collections of screen shots or photos of work from artists you admire or films you find striking. "Appropriation" isn't a dirty word in art. But if I had to narrow it down to just that one guy, I would have to say Drew Struzan. He's an illustrator god, a master of his medium and a hero at interpretation. He's painted covers and posters for movies, books, advertisements and more, always technically precise and eloquent in his expression. One day I will meet him, and after my intial blubbery durrrr moment I will say, "Thank you for helping me want to be an artist through your beautiful work, and thank you for being among the few and proud who dance on the line between illustration and fine art."