Last week I saw something really nice on Forbidden Planet's weblog. An artist had made his Inspiration Map, in which he showed the artists that had had influence on his work. It inspired me to make mine.
For me it all started when I studied at the Academy of Arts in Rotterdam in the 80's. A fellow student made me discover artists like Joost Swarte (1) and Ever Meulen (2). Exponents of the underground comics in the Lowlands at that time. I was really impressed by both their 'Klare Lijn' style. After that I discovered more and more artists I started to admire. Especially 'Atomic style' artists like Daniël Torres (4), Floc'h,(5), Serge Clerc (6) and Yves Chaland (3). When I saw his work, something started to grow inside of me: one day I wanted to make my own comics, preferably in a style like Chaland. He still is my greatest example with his elegant and flowing style. I still find it a great loss that he lost his life at the 'periferique' of Paris at the 18th of july, 1990.
In the nineties I got to know artists like Seth (7), Chris Ware (8), Michel Rabagliati (9) and Adrian Tomine (10).All with their own characteristics and qualities. I admire the atmoshere and refinement of Seths work, the innovative and detailed style of Ware, the very acessible and sympathetic artwork of Michel Rabagliati and the strong stories and drawings of Adrian Tomine.
All named artists named inspired and influenced me in a way. It started in the Lowlands, moved more to the south (France and Spain) and then ended on the other side of the ocean (Unites States and Canada). Of course I'm also inspired by other work, but for me these ten comic artists are the most important inspirators that made and make me do what I do now. Hopefully one day I will come a little bit closer to their level.