PURSUIT

EPIC STORYTELLING

INFLUENCES

“They who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night."

—Edgar Allan Poe

 

I have an enduring passion for visual storytelling. My illustrative style is an amalgamation of many influences, including fine art, comics, film, music, video games, and literature, and I am in constant pursuit of the release of that passion through the filter of all the marvelous art I have absorbed. This vision is equaled only by a perseverance to achieve and share, simultaneously fulfilling my personal goals and (hopefully) reaching out to others the way the art influencing me reached out, changing me, and charging me with the task of leaving the world a better place than when I found it. Quite simply, I enjoy drawing more than most anything.

 

I am enamored of fantasy illustration more than the "real" world because it comes from a place unique to oneself; the idea may come from a book you're reading or a song or a film or artwork somewhere, but the image itself doesn't exist anywhere but your own mind until it makes it to the page. There is a thrill of creating something, however small or insignificant-looking, or grandiose or obscene, that is yours and yours alone.  For this reason, my work is often unfinished--a basic sketch, enough to get the "spirit" of the moment or character down on paper, is often enough for me--with the exceptions consisting of visions or projects which were particularly strong or persistent.

 

My work is frequently violent or otherwise graphic. This is a result of several things: a need to create unique and individualistic images that are arresting and occasionally shocking; a healthy diet of action movies, comics, video games, gangsta rap, heavy metal (and Heavy Metal) etc; and most importantly, a catharsis from the frustrations life can bring through the portrayal of absurd brutality. It is a way to channel those frustrations into a genre that welcomes it openly because its limits are boundless and its worst horrors are literally unimaginable.

To me, epic storytelling is the pinnacle of the artistic medium. It is so very rewarding to be transported to a place or time so vastly different than here that the only anchor points are the human characters sharing feelings and faults and traits with the audience. To that end, I have found enormous inspiration in, and owe a considerable creative debt to, the following epic stories and their creators:

 

  • Dune 1-6 by Frank Herbert
  • The Silmarillion and The Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien
  • A Song of Ice and Fire by George RR Martin
  • The Wheel Of Time by Robert Jordan and Brandon Sanderson
  • Dragonlance: Legends by Margaret Weis and Tracy Hickman
  • The Count of Monte Cristo, unabridged, by Alexandre Dumas
  • Lonesome Dove by Larry McMurtry
  • The Dark Knight Returns by Frank Miller
  • Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen by Alan Moore and Kevin O'Neill
  • Lone Wolf and Cub by Kazuo Koike and Goseki Kojima
  • Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross
  • Weapon X by Barry Winsor-Smith
  • Slaine by Pat Mills and Simon Bisley
  • Hellboy by Mike Mignola
  • The Incal by Alejandro Jodorowsky and Jean "Moebius" Giraud
  • Les Miserables, unabridged, by Victor Hugo

Though impossible to list all the influences in my life (visual art only, music would fill up several pages) I'm going to give it a shot:  Frank Frazetta, Alan Moore, Mike Mignola, Frank Miller, Simon Bisley, Jean "Moebius" Giraud, Charles Vess, MW Kaluta, Alex Niño, Bill Watterson, Berkely Breathed, Mercer Mayer, Victor Ambrose, Julek Heller, Iain Miller,  Mike Zeck, Jim Lee, John Buscema, John Romita Jr, Geoff Darrow, Kevin O'Neill, Fernando de Felipe, Enrico Marini, Fabrice Lamy, Frank Quitely, Gerald Brom, Joe Madureira, Norman Rockwell, NC Wyeth, Alphonse Mucha, Peter Paul Rubens, Michaelangelo Caravaggio, JW Waterhouse, Walt Disney studios, Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli, Jim Henson, Peter Chung, Rankin/Bass studios, the Cohen Brothers,Terry Gilliam, Stanley Kubrick, Akira Kurosawa, Sergio Leone, John Boorman, Jean-Pierre Jeunet, Takashi Miike, Tsui Hark, Wong Jing, Yuen Wo Ping