I’ll admit, my influence map is a little all over the place, and there’s a lot that I actually don’t have on here- I wanted to really work my brain for the themes and artists that recur or that I constantly refer back to, so that meant not just reaching for a bunch of Disney or anime from my childhood and calling it done (Not that there is anything wrong with that).
JC Leyendecker: (Top left) One my my current inspirations and has been for quite some years now. I learned about him and the way that he made art. He led quite the fascinating life. Some of my favorites of his are on that map, I love his finished advertisements and works for the Saturday Evening Post just as much as the quick studies he did. There is something timeless about his art that I love that I find to be the opposite of Rockwell’s, which tends to lean very ‘Americana’ and ‘Of That Time’.
A lot of the visual cues I try to implement from him are the sculptural brush strokes, as well as the very confident air about the characters he draws. There is something very statuesque about his work, and yet it isn’t stiff or lifeless. He has a unique design sensibility that I really like. A lot of his work is quite like Art Deco, which I love in architecture.
John William Waterhouse: (Top Middle) I absolutely love his color mixing and his theming of powerful women and scenes from mythology. His work is looser and more ethereal than Leyendecker’s. I find the running theme to be strong silhouettes and good contrasting and saturated colors. There isn’t much else I actually have to say about him, except that I like to do master studies of his work every so often.
Frederic Leighton: (Lower Left) If you hadn’t noticed, I love painters who create within the themes of classical art or mythology (more on that later). But Frederic here is actually one of my favorites specifically because of that. his colors and light are masterful, and I’d love to create powerful scenes like the one on the map of Hermes returning Persephone to Demeter.
I don’t want to spend too much time here, because there’s more modern media than I have room to cover. Needless to say, I grew up with toonami and Super Nintendo. So I chose some games and an anime that best suited what I feel represents a good deal of my influence from those things. Notable mentions are
Yu Yu Hakusho, a shounen anime you should watch if you haven’t already, and definitely an influence on the way I approach characterization. If I had to tell you an example of what my favorite style is for 90s anime, I’d point you here, or to Cowboy Bebop.
Chrono Trigger is definitely a part of my formative years as a baby gamer. I took pretty well to fighting games, and I could sit here all day and talk to you about how much I love King of Fighters, but Chrono Trigger sums up what the vibes are when it comes to non-linear narrative, which is definitely what my comic is shooting for, but not in a time travel way directly. This game makes you think about the consequences of actions you can and cannot control in the flow of history.
And the music slaps.
Seiken Densetsu 3– Oh, I’m Sorry, Trials of Mana, was a game I played many times on an SNES emulator, fan translated. The characters and the various adventures you went on really inspired me! The colors in this game are so rich and I liked all the different locations and monsters. It makes me want to expand on the lore of the world in which Royal Nightshade exists. King has played this one too and he thoroughly enjoyed it!
My favorite characters are Kevin, (but then again I love werewolves) and Angela (because she shares my name and has cool magic, sort of a brat though). Please play it! The remake is not bad, but the original is great. Music also slaps, but not as hard as Chrono Trigger to be Honest.
And finally, I’m sure you’ve noticed peppered throughout the map is Hermes, who is honestly The Best. God of commerce, travel, boundaries and communication. I love him so much. Here at Royal Nightshade we stan a busy god.
In general, you’ll see themes of mythology (Greek in particular although I love all sorts), as well as liminal spaces, fantasy and alchemy; the latter one is a big influence to me, given that the main character of my comic is an alchemist. I don’t know. I love the symbolism, the theories, the philosophy, it’s so easy and fun to make up themes within the umbrella of alchemy because it was so based in belief and what many early practitioners thought was the way to back up their theories.
I love mixing fantasy into reality in those ways and playing at the boundaries of science and magic. King tells me I’m really into ‘science fantasy’ themes, and I guess it hadn’t occurred to me until he mentioned it.
This was a great exercise in exploring what I’ll be bringing to the table here at Royal Nightshade! You can expect a little bit of everything from those inspirations.