So I thought I would finally get around to creating an Influence Map, just for a bit of fun and to show people what things inspire me in particular.
Panels are from top left to right:
My absolute BIGGEST influence ever since I heard about it 1999 when Red and Blue was released in the UK, and when I received my first handheld console (GameBoy Color) and Pokemon Yellow version on my birthday in 2000. Since then I have at some point owned/played all the main versions of the games and a couple of the spin-off series such as Trading Card Game, Pokemon Snap, and Mystery Dungeon.
As I’ve grown with the franchise I have discovered news ways the game can be played such as Nuzlockes, become more understanding of competitive play with raising pokemon to their full potential and all around been more involved in the community with other pokemon fans all around the world. I still have a collection of shiny cards in a folder, a few figures I received recently and even have some of the soundtracks on my music playlist
I have always had a fascination with weird and wonderful creatures, and this franchise is my definitive passion for interesting design concepts. I loved to draw the artwork from copying pictures from magazines, and I still love to draw and create personal concepts to this day. I have my favourite designs of course (Charizard, Aerodactyl), some I absolutely loath (Mr.Mime, Kling Klang) and some I have grown to like through using in Nuzlocke runs (Trubbish, Floatzel).
I could go on and on about my passion for pokemon – but overall I consider myself to be very lucky to have had this franchise as part of my childhood, and I hope to keep the love with me forever and always.
Around the similar time I had access to the Pokemon games and there were episodes being aired on Saturday morning TV, there was something of a similar nature being aired on childrens TV on school evenings – Digimon. A lot of people were speculative of it, claiming it was a simple rip-off of pokemon and how the designs were uninspired. To an extent I can see where they’re coming from, but to me it was another awesome monster franchise I really got into. I saw all of the first season, and loved how they tied it with the second one of which I have seen the majority. I have only seen a few of the third series and I’m not quite sure how far it’s gone since then....
I would spend hours drawing and colouring in bits of paper from any references I could (having to rely on books and magazines for the most part, the internet was still new) but it allowed me to express my passion for the franchise and also develop my love of drawing with pencil and paper methods (some examples can be seen in my gallery)
Naturally I would try to obtain any games I had access to, namely Digimon World on PS1 which I found was much more challenging than the Pokemon series. I did almost complete the game at one time, but sadly no longer have the memory card (and I never did get MetalGreymon...) and yet I couldn’t resist buying the game again from eBay at a reasonable price. I also re-bought Digimon World 2003 which when I originally had it was a great source of entertainment with me and my friends. But I was always annoyed Digimon World 2 wasn’t available outside of Japan/US....
Interesting characters, strong storylines and a whole load of cool looking monster designs inspired me greatly, and made me want to combine the two franchises together (as per example here: 0parkp.deviantart.com/art/Digi…
Of all the comic book superheroes out there, Spider-Man was always my favourite. I would say this is due to exposure from Saturday morning cartoons and looking around toy shops at the figures that made him seem really cool, and was able to reach out to a younger audience with a young character who is discovering himself. He also had a whole host of awesome villains like the Lizard, Doctor Octopus, Mysterio and of course Venom. I still love Spider-Man to this day, having read some of the comic books and playing some of the games available on Xbox.
I LOVE dinosaurs- most notably Jurassic Park in particular, which for a long time as a child watched the film nearly every weekend. I have always been fascinated by these prehistoric creatures as I’m sure most kids have, and still are one of the coolest things you can love even as an adult. When I was young I really wanted to be a Palaeontologist, but with Science not being my strong suit I stuck with drawing them, and still do to this day. I am always fascinated to learn about new discoveries and how it its plausible that all dinosaurs actually had feathers – if I could go back in time, it would be to see how they lived and what really killed them off.
Jim Henson’s Creature Shop has brought us many weird and wonderful creations that have appeared in films such as Labyrinth and the Never-ending Story. The Dark Crystal is a particular favourite fantasy film of mine introduced to me by my mother, and I owe it to her for introducing me to it. The Muppets are his most recognised creation and I enjoy all the fun colourful characters the films and TV series have brought us over the years – I could almost envision there being Pokemon versions of the muppets too
Her music makes me happy, makes me teary at times and opened my eyes to the genre of Folk music during my years at University. She has such a beautiful singing voice, and resides in the Yorkshire area which makes me quite proud to live here. My favourite tracks from my favourite album “The Girl Who Couldn’t Fly” are ‘The Lark’ and ‘Moon Shadow’ .The album artwork itself is designed by Graham Coxon of Blur...which I would be very tempted to have as a tattoo one day....
A Day To Remember
Since discovering them in University, they have had a big influence on me – my first taste of the genre Metalcore was quite an exciting experience. The picture used in the map is one of my favourite album covers, and I love the t-shirt design concepts that they come up with. From their music I even created scenarios in my head based off Gen 5 pokemon from the album “What Separates Me From You” (only I could really understand what I mean by this, but I could try explain).
One of my favourite horror films of all time has to be The Shining, and from my Film Studies lessons at school having A Clockwork Orange as a case study, The Thieving Magpie became one of my favourite classical pieces because of it. All of his films that I have seen (aside from Barry Lyndon) have taken my interest in the way he works with many different genres, and makes him quite possibly my favourite director of all time.
Myth & Legend
The stories of heroes and their trials that we learned about in school fascinated me thoroughly, and of course there were the creatures they battled such as the minotaur, chimera and hydra that really interested me. In art projects and my University work I liked to research based on this subject and always enjoyed doing so. The image here portrays one particular story of Perseus, who is flying on Pegasus with the head of Medusa he has slain to defeat the Kraken and save Andromeda. On a side note, I would like to say RIP Ray Harryhausen, I always loved your work based on myth and legend.
Cyanide & Happiness
I really enjoy their daily comic strips, with simple character designs and requiring no complex background artwork, they have jokes that have genuinely made me laugh out loud on numerous occasions. They can sometimes push the boundaries with their sick sense of humour, but that is the kind of humour I most prefer.
The biggest appeal of Slipknot to me? Definitely the masks! Over the years their masks have evolved along with their music, and their music is brutal! They have been one of the most exciting metal artists I’ve discovered from my late teens and I will continue to enjoy their music even as they take a less heavy approach to it. The music even inspired me to create a crossover with Pokemon:
As I child I never fully appreciated the scores that appeared in the films I watched, or adverts on TV. But as I got older, I found a passion that had laid dormant over the years and now you would find a great deal of classical music and soundtrack scores in my iTunes library. I particularly have a fondness for string instruments, and violin concertos are usually my favourite compositions. But no matter what, they always stir some form of emotion within me and fuel my creative fire. Even in this modern age, classical reigns supreme, as Lindsey Stirling will vouch for with her own interpretation: (video link)
Animals and Nature
There is so much beauty in the world, and I love to take photographs when I get the opportunity, such as landscapes on a sunny day or interesting flowers and markings on trees. I particularly like wildlife photography which comes from watching the David Attenborough documentaries growing up, and I try to capture the beauty and tranquillity of animals in their natural habitat, or the very least a suburban environment. Check out my gallery for examples of my photography.
Admittedly I saw the American Godzilla film way before I saw the original 50’s version, but even as a child I knew that Godzilla was meant to be a gamma breathing behemoth rather than a humongous dinosaur. I have also seen some of the cheesy Japanese releases that my friend owned, and some of the rival monsters I grew to love as well such as Ghidora and Gigan. I loved to play the beat-em-up games that were available on PS2 and was heavily into the merchandise of the ’98 Godzilla admittedly, as it fuelled my fascination for dinosaurs and kaiju (and still does today). Now with the 2014 release I feel like they finally did him justice, and I really enjoyed the movie despite his limited appearances. I cannot wait to see the next instalment!
I love to scare myself, and not surprisingly the horror genre relates very well to my love of monsters.
R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series of books were my humble beginning of horror, whereas I have now turned my attention to the medium of film and video games to accumulate my scares. Admittedly there are some horror films that are just garbage and purely there for exploitation, but I am always on the lookout for films that get it right and provide genuine fear for me.
A much more recent influence, I would say this is one of the best animated comedy series in a long time. Clever dialogue that has provided me with genuine laughs, engaging characters that all seem to be crazy one way or another, and an aesthetically pleasing mix of 2D and 3D make this show top notch in my opinion. This inspires me to someday work on a project or a series as awesome as this!
My second animated sitcom love, South Park has been around for years and has definitely grown in terms of its content as I have grown. Poking fun at current affairs in the world is what they like to do, which may date it a little is also a good way of reaching out to the target audience. In terms of the humourous content and ingenious animation style, its a show I’ve always aspired to.
Before those two previous shows however, I found Futurama to be an excellent animated comedy show that I found to be a lot more ‘grown up’ than the Simpsons, although it heavily influenced me watching the show as it was by the same creator. I love the array of characters that appear throughout and the futuristic setting allows for some crazy and amusing scenarios. This show was a big influence in making me want to understand their process of animation in more depth, and their merchandise is awesome!
Tattoos have always interested me as an art form and I see it as a way to express yourself as an individual, usually with some sort of significant meaning. They can be simplistic imagery or all out complex masterpieces but I always admire it as a creative medium. I currently have one at the moment (shown in the example here) which I designed myself for my love of dragons/serpents as well as going for a tribal symbol approach, and I plan to design more for myself in the future.
Like most kids from the mid ‘90s I loved Toy Story growing up, and as fan of animation I really grew to love the work that this studio created as the years went on, developing their technology to create realistic textures and beautiful scenery for the colourful characters to thrive in. My top 3 favourites are Monsters Inc , Wall-E and The Incredibles – but all their films have their merits and I will continue to enjoy watching them... being a 2D animator myself I will leave the 3D stuff to them
In my very early years of my childhood I was brought up on this franchise more than Disney, which is where I believe my sense of humour comes from. The slapstick nature of the characters and variety of characters they had in their shorts was always more entertaining to me than sing-songs and happy ever after storylines, with Animaniacs and other Warner Bros. Cartoons also peaking my interest. I adored Space Jam naturally, and it really made me want to play basketball (although sadly never followed through with that desire). This is definitely one of by strongest influences towards animation and character design.
The man who created the Alien concept – this artist was a genius for creating one of my favourite creature designs ever! I remember I used his organic-machine fused work as reference in one of my art projects at school, though sadly most of my sketchbook work was forever lost...I was a bit upset to hear of his passing, but he is most definitely one of my favourite artists who could create such beautiful yet disturbing imagery - there will be no other like him.
This is a very broad subject matter, and therefore it would be too difficult to sum up what it is exactly I love about this subject matter so much....But superheroes, spaceships, robots, anime, aliens and monsters, combined with films such as Star Wars and games such as Mass Effect all play their part towards my passion for it, and all the sub genres that come with it such as the supernatural and fantasy.
Where do I begin with this final HUGE influence....well, the 4 squares I have occupied attempt to some up my love for dragons...
1. People have used murals, paintings and even digital software to create dragons, and fantasy artwork of these magnificent beasts has always inspired me to create amazing artwork. I admire all the people who create such ferocity and majestic splendour within their interpretations, and I hope one day to become talented enough with shading and lighting to make my own fantasy scene.
2. I have a small collection of dragon figurines in my room as decoration, and this is one of my particular favourites. The craftsmanship of creating the dragons in powerful poses in all sorts of different colours and materials made me want to collect them in the first place, and I really admire the detail and effort that is put into them.
3. Dragons in video games truly bring the creatures to life, and in games such a Skyrim you can interact with them in ways you couldn’t possibly in reality, making it a great escapism. Naturally for me in the Pokemon games I favour the dragon types most of all, which all have excellent designs.
4. There have been many dragons featured in films and television, but my most prominent favourite creature feature is How To Train Your Dragon. If there was ever a film I wish I had been a part of, it would be this delightful animated classic,that shows not all dragons have to be scary to be cool.
So there you have it, hope you have enjoyed reading my ramblings and I hope that maybe I have inspired you to create your own influence map too!
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One character: 1
Two or more characters: 5
One character: 10
Two or more characters: 20
Color with no background:
One character: 30
Two or more characters: 40
Color with background:
One character: 50
Two or more characters: 60
One character: 70
Two or more characters: 80
I will do my best - please note me with your requests. Thanks
My name is Paul Parkes - quiet, imaginative and a big fan of Pokemon! (I also like Pringles and Frijj Milkshake)|
Currently I am a Freelance Animator/Illustrator so if you like my style, send some work my way and I will be happy to work on it! I graduated from the University of Huddersfield with a 2.1. studying Virtual Reality Design with Animation in 2010.
I love watching movies, and I'll explore any genre of film. I also like to play on my xbox and PS3, and my DS for Pokemon games.
I am really into Heavy metal music with bands such as System of a Down, Korn and Lamb of God. But I also enjoy all genres of music - from classical to drum & bass.
Check out my blog for all other projects I have been working on at paulparkes.typepad.com/blog/
Favourite genre of music: Heavy Metal
Favourite style of art: Cartoon/Fantasy
Operating System: Windows
MP3 player of choice: iPod
Favourite cartoon character: Stewie Griffin