While at first this section may seem slightly over the top and just a tad narcissistic, it’s been created as a response to the overwhelming question that I often receive via email which is, ‘What inspires you the most and why?’. And in truth, it takes me an age to reply to this as I just have so many things that I look to for inspiration. So I thought what better than to create a detailed section of the site that is dedicated to that very question.
As I started collating all my material for this section, I soon realised that, at the same time as answering that question, it would also give me a great place in the virtual world to detail, thank, list and pass on all my favourite people and companies. So I have to admit that I really, really enjoyed putting this together. I hope you find it interesting and useful.
Illustration & Fantasy Art
I really do love Fantasy Art, always have, and most likely, always will. There are too many contemporary fantasy and concept artists to list here, as over the past decade, movies and games have moved on in their cinematic visions and effects, and this art style has seen a prolific boom and the quality of art around now is phenomenal.
What I love most about Fantasy Art is it ability to take you to a new place, full of atmosphere, creatures and people you would have never imagined before.
One of the biggest things I gain from this art is the use of tone. So many fantasy and concept artists can create beautifully atmospheric scenes that are tied together with succinct tonal palettes, something I love to emulate with both my illustration and also design!
My two all time favourite Fantasy Artists are:
Video games are quite possibly my biggest source of inspiration! This industry is a hive of creativity and imagination. As far back as I can remember I have always been inspired by video games in one way or another, even copying Sonic the Hedgehog off the cover of Mean Machines Magazine back in my school years and rejoicing when I got something close.
The cover art of video games was my first big inspiration, as these were magical, and to a degree still are. Things like Golden Axe, Sonic and Ghouls n Ghosts, just left me gazing in the hope of one day being that good.
These days my main inspiration comes from the cinematic sequences and concept art in today's video games; these alone have inspired me through the majority of the past 5 years. Most designers sit back and stare at the FWA, while I've bizarrely always preferred to see what's happening on CG Channel and watch the latest 3D animation from an upcoming game. I'm strange I know.
Film & Motion Graphics
If ever I'm not at my desk creating something, or stood at my arcade machine playing something, then wander down to the cinema as, chances are, that's where I'll be! I love the world of motion pictures so much. There are few things in life that can sweep you up, take you away to different place and submerge you into a whole other world full of inspiration for a few hours.
I love movies that creatively inspire me, movies that play around with lighting and camera effects to create new worlds and emotions. It's fairly common place now, but back when the Matrix first appeared and movies started to get colour themes, and tinting, that just blew my mind.
I have a pretty ugly list of favorite films, so maybe I'll save those for another day...All I'll say is Conan the Barbarian is up there :)
Cartoons & Comics
Ooooh cartoons and comics, gotta love cartoons and comics! Awesome!
As a cartoon illustrator these sources just FILL me with ideas and inspiration, from character styling, to animation and scenery, everything!
I think here I'll just list a bunch of my all time faves!
Photography and cinematography are a huge inspiration to me in so many ways. Photography manages to capture that one split-second of beauty that the eye just cannot hold onto. It has an ability to capture detail that the eye would never see and the ability to hold in time, something that our feeble memories would eventually lose.
People like Ansel Adams have always filled me with awe, in their ability to capture a moment in nature that may otherwise pass you by.
In the world of cinematography, who else but the legendary Sir Alfred Hitchcock!!!
I find nothing quite as breathtaking as the feeling of cool, fresh country air in my lungs, while wandering through a quiet forest, or over open moorland. The movement of wind in the trees, water running along a stream or long grass being moulded in sweeping passes of wind is just a joy to behold.
In my humble opinion, man will never be able to create something that can be as awe inspiring as Mother Nature. I don't think I could ever tire of watching the sun go down, or looking out over a beautiful rolling landscape, or gazing in amazement as the light from a dying sun casts rich, orange tints over all it touches.
I quite often refer to beautiful photos of nature when searching for a colour palette, as where better to look than the natural source!
Ok so that's all getting rather carried away, but man, I love nature!
This project was part of a 6 month contract where I acted as a concept artist for a number of different game's that were being prototyped. Way, way, too much fun!
Epic doesn't really cover this project, in fact it doesn't even come close. Trenches 2 is little short of gargantuan...in every way.