Partly because I thought it might be interesting, partly for self-therapeutic reasons I created an “influence-map”. These artists did and continue to influence my own artistic development.

While doing this overview I realized that none of the cool artists had any lasting impact on me. I have some collections from that time, but I never turn to them when I need to rekindle my interest in art. Similarly, I appreciate a lot of traditional artists like Menzel, Sorolla, Sargent’s Watercolors, Repin, Alma-Tadema, Waterhouse, etc. but it’s “just” appreciation.  
On the other hand, less surprising is that artists like Henrik Fetz, Torsten Wolber, Igino and Roberto Freire who’ve helped me learn and grow in many ways continue to inspire me not only with the works that I got saved on my hard drive but with their current work as well.

It also shows that I don’t look at concept art (for movies or games) to be inspired, I prefer illustration. I appreciate the craftsmanship and the thinking behind concept art, but when I look to be motivated, I turn to interesting compositions, color-choices, interpretation, reduction & abstraction, storytelling.

Finally, even this condensed influence-map (my initial set was double what I collected here) shows that the stylistic inconsistency in my personal sketches comes from the variety of artists that inspire me.

This was an interesting exercise and while it left me with a few questions to work through in my head, it also helped me feel something positive about art again and motivated me to do art.