What influences your art?

This is an interesting question. More and more I've been drawing for a purpose rather than for fun. What influences the purpose can be many things like projects, style, medium choice, etc. I prefer to paint in an impressionistic style when I use a canvas and paint. When I draw with pencil I am focused on what I am drawing, the values, and the lighting. When I draw in pen, each time it reminds me of the animated version of 101 Dalmatians or manga art because that is what I know.

The first memory I have of drawing was of a tiny bird on the wall in pencil where it was too tiny for my parents to see when I was three years old. I don't remember much before that. That tiny bird had no influence and I don't know where I learned to draw it.

Early on, I profusely admired Lisa Frank in the 1990's and from there was Disney, but for some reason— I actually never tried to draw any Disney characters. My first 'How to Draw' book was Pokemon and I could draw them easily. I just haven't. When I was around 9 or 10 I drew a lot of lizards. I drew nothing but lizards. I don't have too many of those drawings now, but that's all I drew. I called them my "lizard dragon things" because they didn't really look like dragons, but they did look like lizards that could fly. I have drawn a few since then.

My current favorite artists (alive or dead) are Vincent Van Gogh, Leonardo Da Vinci, Tim Burton, James Gurney, Hayao Miyazaki, Glen Keane, Rumiko Takahashi, Lisa Frank (I still think the colors and stickers are adorable), and Daniel Conway. I'm probably leaving out a few... or a lot more than a few. There are just so many great artists!

As far as style goes, I don't like hyper realism. I live for fantasy. I don't like horror. I avoid watching scary movies as my dreams are still too vivid. I love watching Disney films and love the nuance of 'happily ever after', but as an adult I had to recognize that is a broken dream that needed to die, so I try to write stories of hope or stories of lessons. There can be dark elements, but the overall story can't just be dark. There has to be something positive and uplifting. I don't like writing too much depressing stuff, but I can get dark with some of my stories. Not as dark as Saikano or quite a few shows or movies that exist out there, but dark enough with an undertone that is uplifting— movies like Raya: The Last Dragon or How to Train your Dragon 3 versus The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina or Game of Thrones. I am not a fan of the end of the last two and the whole of the last two were a little too much for me. My art may gear more toward Maleficent, but I prefer the whole of the movie Sleeping Beauty.