A few days ago, I finally got a chance to do my influence map. It's a really cool excercise that makes you think alot about what it is that excites you about being creative. After I finished I just stepped back for a minute and surveyed my life. I have been drawing and creating stuff since I was 3 years old. Then I was a kid whose primary influence was a dynamic family, television and encyclopedias. Man how I loved Ultraman, Giant Robot ( Giant Robo) Godzilla and encyclopedias. I only had a cursory knowledge of comicbooks back then. My uncle Greg, himeself a talented artist , used to draw characters from the comics and since Greg and my youngest uncle Aaron (AD r.i.p) where more like big brothers than uncles, I wanted to do everything they did lol.
Even at that age, I knew good stuff when I saw it. So I remember at about age 7 seeing the animation "Battle of the Planets"(Gatchman). It was different from most of the animation out there. I had superhero type characters and it took place in space, that was a wrap for me. I had no idea that I was watching the first of many early imported Japanese ANIME at that point. Sorry, I failed to mention that at that age I wanted to be an astronaut lol. So when I also use to watch stuff like Shazam and Isis, Jason of Star Command and movies like Logan's Run I would imagine myself and my friends in those movies, not as the main characters but having our own adventures in that world. I would ultimately draw some of these adventures. Its funny to remember that back then it seemed like myself and my friends, no matter what the backdrop in terms of sci fi tech in these worlds, always dressed in Chinese "Bruce Lee" Suits and or Karate Gi's and we always carried the latest laser guns. We also traveled in one ever the most spectacular, tank tracked, vehicle most popular in sci fi that day LOL. Even back then I was quite creative. Oh, also in my imagination, we never got a spec of dust on our uniforms and we always had perfectly picked Afros picked to the back lol.
Then it happened. Star Wars and it's television sister Battlestar Galactica, I had no IDEA what the hell I was seeing. NOBODY DID. It is also the first movie that I remember VIVIDLY because it changed my perspective. Then to get that level of special effects on TV in the form of Galactica. I was in HEAVEN at this age. Coolness without end. Still, though my cousin Chris in Akron would let me read his comics when I went to visit my Aunt Della with my Grandparents during our annual trip down south, they still didn't figure prominently into my creative process. That still was all TV and Movies. Then in 1979 another lightening bolt hit, a film by Ridley Scott called Alien. Yeah it scared me to death as it was REAL SCI FI HORROR. The likes of which we haven't seen since, and the Tech was cool.
I plan to continue this diatribe over the next few days, as I want to talk a bit more about what makes a guy like me and how that has prepared me for working with Imaginos Workshop.