Friday, 1 April 2011


It's reached the point where I have to expound my art, film, literature, drug and pet influences.

Film and literature has more often than not played a huge role in the way I approach my animation and art.

Videodrome, Blade Runner, Alien, Dune and Jason & The Argonauts were the films that snared my interest in special effects, movies and animations when I was 6/7 years old.

The imagination, style and sheer inimitable charm of Harryhausen's stop motion in J&TA was so enchanting and creative. So much so that I used to cry when Talos' Achilles heal was breached. What made them so appealing was not just the wild, spectacular design of the mythological creatures such as the Harpies, Medusa et al, but the way he managed to effortlessly flesh out the characters' personalities, traits and mannerisms by using such an eclectic & exaggerated selection of animations; from the rickety, sneaky skeletons to the erratically violent flapping and diving of the Harpies.

The work of David Cronenberg (who my dissertation is partly focused on) inspired me from such a young age. His films always fascinated me more than any others. Perhaps it was because his work was so self aware that no matter how absurd the plot of Rabid may be or the ending to Scanners, he manages to convince you and make it unsettling (and with his use of really dark comedic undertones and social commentaries). With the ambiguity in his films steeped in Surrealism and Burroughs, and the duplicity of Film Noir, Cronenberg's work was even more cerebral than it was visceral. The Mcluhan inspired theme in his older work of the effect of technology on organic life still tickles my brain to this day; and with the intense rise in technology of recent times, Cronenberg's work is timeless.

Bladerunner introduced me to Philip K Dick. His novels are still (if not MORE) frighteningly relevant today. My 3rd Year project was inspired by 'The 3 Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch'.

Ridley Scott's concept art and final environment designs are revolutionary and were heavily inspired by genius French artist Jean Giraud (aka Moebius) who incidentally helped with design in Dune and worked with Giger on Alien. Both of these artists' work (especially Giger) play on the Cronenbergian theme of the effect of technology on organic life but with sometimes more extreme religious connotations and symbolism - very unsettling by making the familiar unfamiliar.

Other influences of mine are Henry Fuseli, Bosch, Yoshitaka Amano. 3 incredible painters. Swiss born Romantic painter Fuseli's dark satirical paintings have long been a source of inspiration. His love for painting fabulously exaggerated scenes from Greek mythology and famous literature is what attracted me to his work. One could argue that his style gave birth to stylised character design - exaggerated muscles, block shading and angular lines. This may also have been a clever social commentary, as the end of the 18th century saw the beginning of the rise in consumerism; with men spending more time and money on clothes, make up, frivolous belongings and materialistic possessions.

I was introduced to Amano's slick, dark work in the anime adaption of the Vampire Hunter D manga. His Klimt esque style fused with gothic and Japanese culture has seen him collaborate with Neil Gaiman, SNK and Square.

Others more than worthy of a mention are illustrators James Jean, Dave Cooper & Erica Eyres. Also, The Chapman Brothers and the late, great Henry Darger.
They're just a few of the incredible people who inspire me. I constantly look for new music, art, animation and literature to hopefully find new ideas or old ideals re-invented.


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