I always try and look back on artists that inspired me when I first started into design/illustration. I try and recollect what exactly attracted me to this industry/culture/lifestyle.
I went back through an old archive of artists and found some classic artists that have been in the game just as long if not longer than I, artists that truly inspired me to travel down this path.
Marius Bauer despite being quite younger than I, has been creating digital artwork for much longer, in fact he is one of the artists I first looked up to when getting into desktop customization, namely desktop wallpapers. I first found him through Customize.org. I was always attracted to his minimal style, but despite being so minimal he made it his own, really made it stand out from anything else that was currently being produced. I’ve gotten to know Marius over the last few year and this has spawned a friendship and a load of collaborations. Even though our styles vary massively, we still manage to make things “click”.
James Wignall is another artist I met through Customize.org. I loved his character style, choice of colour and overall aesthetic appeal. He could always make the flattest shapes look so interesting. He used various simple effects to create elaborate scenes. He was one of my top inspirations years ago, and even to this day I can look back and still enjoy Jame’s work.
Tab Turnmire was yet another Customize.org regular. Although our styles are completely different, Tab was always so professional in how he dealt with the community and his fan base as a whole. His level of talent was always something I had striven for. He still to this day is one of my favorite 3D artists. We’ve collaborated in the past, and although I didn’t do his work justice, I thoroughly enjoyed working with such great art work. Although I haven’t seen anything new from Tab in awhile, I’m sure he still has that touch.
Ok that’s it for Customize artists.
Demo was a source of great inspiration about 2-3 years into my career as a designer. I’d been getting fed up with traditional styles, drawing girls in curious poses, forest animals, and cleverly placed logo-esque filler.
He had a good, very simple and minimal character style similar to that of many character artists from the 50s-70s. He spawned my whole experimentation with vintage characters and colours. This trend of mine lasted for a few years and still carries through to some of my current work.
Superdeux hasn’t been known to me until about 3 years ago, but I really respected their simple straightforward approach to character design. Using the multitude of colours they do is tough to mix, but they do it quite well. I was never overly comfortable using colours my first few years in the industry, I find it’s something you need a lot of practice at. Colours can make or break an artwork, and I found more often than not, they broke mine.
Superdeux always seemed like they were doing something fun and exciting, and although I don’t know them personally, I do appreciate the artwork.
123Klan, everyone has heard of and they are probably on any artist’s Top 10 Inspirational list, but I’ve grown fond of their work over the years. I actually got a chance to meet Scien & Klor last year in their new home Montreal, Quebec, and I thoroughly enjoyed my time with them. Our styles aren’t that similar, but I’ve found we have similar approaches to the industry and their consistent output and quality of their work has always been an inspiration. “Making artwork for yourself” is always something I’ve tried to live by, and 123klan seem to be the embodiment of that. Plus, their work has a timeless style that has carried them through the years.
The list goes on and on. I’ve grabbed inspiration from so many sources along the way it’s hard to pinpoint exactly who or what has guided me in this direction (whether it be good or bad is still yet to be determined).
There is a continuous flow of inspirational artists these days, some are well known and some are just starting out, I suggest going to online portals to these artists such as Behance, BloodSweatVector and even DeviantArt ( I hate to say it but it’s where I got started all those years ago. I have a hate/hate relationship with DA, but that’s a whole other story. )
Who inspires you?