The Influence of Inspiration


This past weekend I had the pleasure of discovering three new things. The first of which was, famed Final Fantasy illustrator and Japanese artist Yoshitaka Amano. The second was watercolor panel. The third, an idea. I came to the conclusion that;

Every artist is influenced by something.
Or someone.

Yes, yes there are original thoughts, works and ideas. But we cannot avoid being influenced. We live in a subjective world, after all. Even if you choose to hide under a rock for the rest of your life, the rock will influence you. 

A good artist will recognize that which they are influenced by the most. A great artist will use these influences as inspiration. 

But what's the difference?

Influence comes from a subconscious place, just below the surface — inspiration is conscious and deliberate. Artists are aware of what inspire them — but not always what influences them, or to what degree.

So naturally, when I was introduced to the works of Yoshitaka Amano, I was surprised at how much he inspired me. I recognized his experience. Some of his influences were obvious — Japanese wood blocks, anime, Art Noveau — while others, such as William Blake, were not as obvious to me.

Hiten , by Yoshitaka Amano.

Hiten, by Yoshitaka Amano.

From  The Virgin , by Yoshitaka Amano.

From The Virgin, by Yoshitaka Amano.

Perhaps what stood out most from his works was how easily they came to life. The personality of his characters are so easily conjured. 

That takes A LOT of talent!

Never has an artist so instantaneously sparked a drive in me to paint. Never has an artist given me so many ideas from one image.

Perhaps that's my fault. I need to be more imaginative.

Regardless, I was inspired and used the muse that was upon me to test out my new watercolor panel. Which I LOVE! It allows for more saturation of the ink, and it's easier to judge how wet the canvas is (when it's white or using lighter pigments.

Downside: it takes forever to dry. But it's definitely worth the wait!

I will definitely use it more frequently in the future. The paint dries in a manner which accentuates the artist's brush strokes.

Must. Buy More. Panels!