I sometimes get lost... scratch that, I'm ALWAYS getting lost. I know these went around months/years (?) ago but I love the idea, and I'm glad I did this.
This is a collage of not only schools of art, but also significant art "Experiences" I've had over the years. I plan to keep editing these comments with more and more thoughts. But for now I'll just list em.
Secret of Mana Cover Art - This is all about the awe of
existence and it's infinite wonder. At the heart of my work I
want an unquenchable zest for life, and along with a resilient
peace of mind and acceptance of death.
Degas' Dancers - This is really a two for one special. See, growing up my sister did ballet, and ever since ballet has held an important place in my heart. It was one of the original activities I was cut-off from, which made it not only taboo but endlessly fascinating. The best way to make someone want something is to tell them they can't have it, after all. But after the initial fascination with the decorum (and satin), there developed a respect for the romanticism for the art. This didn't really hit full swing until my early college years when I learned all the stories (and especially after watching Princess Tutu). I have a great respect for ballet because, while other aspects of feminity are hard to discern between fetish and fashion, this aspect is obviously (to me) a celebration of the beauty and grace of the female form and archetype, rooted in history and tradition, and evoking a sense of magic.
Degas was the first "Real Artist" I learned about in college that had as much fixation on ballet as I do. On top of a post-impressionist dive into female beauty, he played with themes of the male gaze and the objectification of women in the same vein as Manet, but in a less jarring fashion. As much as Degas seems to challenge this objectification, you can almost feel his fluctuation back and forth between condemning the male gaze, and celebrating its subject matter. I feel this same struggle in my own work, as I flit from hating damsel art as masturbation fodder, and inextricably drawn to that same sexual appeal.
Lunar SSSC (Wind Nocturne) - Lunar was the first RPG I played with voice acting, and boy did they sell it to me! Voice acting gave the characters another, more direct way, to express their emotions, and that's (partially) why the character of Luna so connected and resonated with me. From the very start she has misgivings about the future, a sense of dread, and a desire to understand herself. She has attributes that not only frighten and amaze others, but frighten and amaze herself! Luna's journey is one that, at the time, was exactly what I needed and I still carry it with me to this day.
Mucha's Decorative Panels
Calvin and Hobbes - Two reasons C n H changed my life:
1.) The art was not just lively and expressive, but complimented with experimentation. One strip might have highly rendered dinosaurs while another takes on a 1950s serial drama look. I'm fascinated by the range and variety that can all work in a single storyline.
2.) The writing and themes. Calvin and Hobbes was the first strip I came across that could have the protag flying off a cliff in a tobbagon with his best friend, jumping in mud, and questioning the nature of existence all together and feel not only natural, but brilliant.
3.) The Writing and themes pt 2. Konnidor made a great comment that made me realize that not only the nature of the writing, but the content is super important. What am I talking about? I'm talking about magical realism and ambiguity yo! Inanimate objects coming to life? Uncertainty about the reality of the story (Ribbon?)? Look no further than Mr. Watterson.
Final Fantasy VI's Celes Chere - I've often wondered why Celes was so cool to me, while Terra was more of a blip on the radar. After all, Terra had the double life she had to live and the pursuit of a life worth living. And yet, Terra felt more like a victim character while Celes was strong and actively engaged in the world she lived in. Celes really hit home with me due to the back and forth of her power play. We start out and she's a general. Then she's about to be executed, and is rescued (damsel). Later she takes part as bate but turns it on its ear when she tricks the gambling man and gets the upper hand. Her arch goes so wide that she attempts suicide after the world plummets into ruin and her father figure dies, but pulls through to be THE major character in the world of Ruin.
Celes was, to me, a great character exemplifying a great life, in which she is thrown into challenging situations but actively meets and overcomes those obstacles. But also honestly, in a real way: sometimes despair does overtake her. Sometimes she IS arrogant. She feels real and robust.
Pulp Art - I've read some pretty cool articles about Pulp Art, but what I like best about it is how it taps into the dark and explicit side of our collective psyche. Rather than censor, it glories in icons and imagery of actions and ideas that are socially unacceptable or taboo.
No one will ever admit to connecting with a serial killer or rapist, but that doesn't mean those gut instincts aren't there. I found this medium a great (and relatively benign) way to explore these aspects of ourselves.
Don't we all have a little wretchedness inside us?
Vettriano's Sensual Paintings
Theatrical Damsels (Sat AM Cartoons and Serial Comics)
Oh My Goddess! (Manga)
Scooby Doo - I've had at least one commentator question this, and I think that's a good question. Why Scooby Doo? Well, there are a few reasons. First, those lush moody painterly backgrounds, I loved the atmosphere of this show. Second, the mystery! I love a good mystery, and not saying that Scooby Doo WAS a fantastic mystery show it certainly was to me when I first watched it growing up. While Secret of Mana had awe and the sublime, Scooby Doo delved into the mysterious and the mundane.
Beyond Mystery and Atmosphere, there's three other elements that influenced me from this show:
1.) Archetypal cast of characters
2.) Supernatural always having real explanations
3.) An opportunity to see damsels in distress live on the tv.
This last one really applies to all Sat AM cartoons and afterschool specials, but I found Scooby Doo was (for me) the closest to the source.
V-Game Booklet Art
I'll elaborate later