My Artistic “Influence Map”

There’s a new meme for artists floating around the internet called an “Influence Map”. It was started by Boston artist Matt Laskowski over on Here’s how it works: you download a template that contains a grid of white squares. Then you paste in samples of artwork from other artists who have inspired and influenced you over the years. The bigger the influence the more squares his or her sample takes up on the grid.

Here’s my Influence Map (click to view larger):

It was really difficult to decide who to include, or more accurately who to leave out. There are *so* many great artists out there whose work I have studied and learned from over the years, and the list continues to grow.

To make things a little easier on myself I left out some mind-blowing artists whom I have only recently been exposed to (Nico Marlet pops immediately to mind). Though their work inspires and challenges me, I haven’t really followed them long enough to say that I’ve really absorbed what I can from studying them.

The artists I did include are (from left to right, starting in the upper left): Glen Keane, Mort Drucker, Jack Davis, Norman Rockwell, John Nevarez, Stephen Silver, Milt Kahl (he represents all of Disney’s Nine Old Men), Dennis Jones, John Byrne, Heinrich Kley, E.C. Segar, Carter Goodrich, and Rik Maki.

Like any artist my style is still evolving and (I hope) improving. As I continue to learn and grow I’m sure my list of artistic influences will ebb and flow as well. This is just a snapshot of where I’m at today.

What are you waiting for? Zip on over to Matt Laskowski’s DeviantArt page and make your own Influence Map. [EDIT: Feel free to post a link to your Influence Map in the comments section below, as well as over on Matt’s Deviant Art page.]

Artists On YouTube

Here’s a few YouTube videos I’ve stumbled upon recently from some artists whose work I admire:

Dennis Jones is a phenominal illustrator. He draws very fun, entertaining cartoon characters and then paints them with a master’s eye for color and shading. Here’s a quick demo of him painting in Photoshop. View Dennis’ YouTube channel for more videos:

Here the very talented Denis Goulet posted a link he found to a quick tip about how to get more out of your Faber-Castell PITT brush pens:

Caricaturist Joe Bluhm discusses his process while painting Bill Murray:

Finally, Stephen Silver demonstrates a “memory sketch”. Memory sketching is a challenging exercise where the artist stares at a subject for a few moments (no drawing, just observing) and then later sketches the pereson from memory:

Stephen teaches a terrific class on character design over at I took the class myself and I learned a great deal. Highly recommended!

Do you have any favorite YouTube artist videos that you’ve found educational or inspiring? If so, please post a link in the comments section.