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HeartGear's Influence Map by HeartGear HeartGear's Influence Map by HeartGear
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

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m0n0cr0me Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
Scooby doo!?
supersmylyZ Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Your opinion on Calvin and Hobbes is a lot like mine. While Calvin and Hobbes is hilarious, it also has deeper meanings that the art styles help compliment. So you have good taste for pointing that out.
Konnidor Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
Secret of Mana had probably the best cover art of any game thing ever. It used so few elements to convey such a sense of adventure and wonder. You get the feeling that you're about to embark into a world that is infinitely grander than yourself, and it's exciting in a way that I don't have the words to describe.
HeartGear Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I feel exactly the same way! And the way the tiny red elements are overshadowed by the immense, and immensely detailed, green elements... like there's so much to discover!
Konnidor Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012
I prefer it to the actual full-sized poster because of that sense of endlessness given to you by not even being able to see the top of the tree. I also thought the dragon in the full image was out of place in the benign yet intimidating tone of the thing. The half-image you have in the map is perfect, as it pushes the character a bit more into the corner, and centers on the tree and the herons. I need to find a way to make that a wall decoration.
HeartGear Featured By Owner Jul 30, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Oh my gosh I so agree with you! When I found the full poster at first I was super excited, but yeah in showing the whole image it takes away from that overwhelming sense of awe you get from the cropped in image. Also, the cropped in image has (pretty much) all real things that really exist in nature.

Good luck making it into a wall decoration! It really would make a lovely piece. ^^
Konnidor Featured By Owner Jul 31, 2012
(Non-Sequitur to follow, please stay tuned)

I'm kind of surprised that you didn't make Calvin and Hobbes a larger part of your grid. One of the first things I noticed about Material Girl was the similarity not only in visual style, but in the ambiguity of the "realness" of the more unusual elements.
jimmyinwhite Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
jinkies that's quite a list.
TGTony Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Degas + Secret of Mana =)
Ani-Eimi Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
:dummy: This is a very neat idea!
I may have to try it in the future.
skunktoy Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Which one is the art deco print?
HeartGear Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Art Deco...? You mean art nouveau?
The Mucha piece is the panel illustration of Gismonda on the far right.
skunktoy Featured By Owner Aug 2, 2012
Doh, yes... my bad.
MidnightMinion Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
I like how it's this mix of very different styles, from the highly detailed to the fairly abstracted.
Daphnesecretgarden Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Hmmm ... very neat selection. I wonder how many other crossdressers love pulp art and our beloved damsels in distress, cartoon and otherwise? :love:

The only things missing are the Disney princesses and Maxfield Parrish ... oh, and Barbie. And comic book super heroines ... and David Hamilton ... and ... and ... and ... :slow:

Great discussion! Can't wait to see more from you! :heart:
Duoae Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
Secret of Mana......... one of the best games ever!
I knew I recognized the Vampire Game pics.
HeartGear Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
Vampire Game...?
Never mind. I don't remember. I posted the comment a few hours ago and I'm too tired to recall what I was talking about at the time.
Alyssasidhe Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
So many things I see up there are things I love. Others are things that I don't love, but I know of and have never been able to set aside time to get into (particularly Oh My Goddess!). This is awesome. Maybe I'll do one. ^_^
Matoacan Featured By Owner Jul 29, 2012
I like the diversity here. And when I stop and think about them, I can see how each of these might be reflected in your own work. There really isn't enough discussion on how what we see anywhere and everywhere really influences us and our work. I certainly can't wait to read over your elaboration - the inside of your head is fascinating, so thanks for sharing so much of your process and opinions with us.
HeartGear Featured By Owner Aug 1, 2012  Professional Digital Artist
I've elaborated... or pontificated? quite a bit since my initial post, and would love to get some your thoughts. I'll continue to add over the next couple of days.
Matoacan Featured By Owner Aug 25, 2012
Sorry it's been weeks. I recently got a job that worked me 10-14 hours a day, every day (I mean EVERY). It was not a pleasant experience. Thank God I'm done with that.

I have ALWAYS loved the classic Scooby artwork. While the animation has mostly improved, the newer shows' art really does feel bland and lifeless. The old Scooby-Doo deserves way more credit than it gets.

Like Konnidor, I have noticed the similarities to Calvin & Hobbes and was surprised to see it so small. But with that massive inspiration from Secret of Mana, there's only so much room left. When I saw that, I imagined it inspired your attention to detail and cinematic viewpoints, but the whole life and death bit surprised me. Even for something as complex and emotional as art, that's really deep to come from a video game.

I think I understand the booklet art. A lot of old VG booklets provided context, showed a slice of life, and gave all sorts of small but potent details. Video game booklets were once art unto themselves. The Zelda booklets from the NES and SNES have massive impact on my own work to this day (which I hope to start sharing here rather soon). I'm sure they mean something radically different to you than they do to me, but I understand at least HOW strong they might have affected you (even if it was simply the quirkiness of those classic characters).
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July 29, 2012
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