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CREATIVE INSPIRATIONS
#1
Who are the artists that make you who you are?
Who's work speaks to you most?
If you could list the absolutely top-tier arts-related influences in your lifetime, who might they be? 

Still-Working Creative Artists Who's Work Keeps Me Going:
DAVID LYNCH
HARUKI MURAKAMI
HENRY ROLLINS
MARTIN SCORSESE
JOHN WILLIAMS
DAVID MAMET
THE COEN BROTHERS
NICOLAS CAGE
JOHN LURIE
HAL HARTLEY
HUEY LEWIS
BILL MURRAY
WES ANDERSON
DON HERTZFELDT
ERIC CLAPTON
DREW STRUZAN
STEVEN SPIELBERG
TOM WAITS
RED LETTER MEDIA

No Longer With Us:
AKIRA KUROSAWA
CHARLES SCHULZ
JOHN LEE HOOKER
HUMPHREY BOGART
DEXTER GORDON
ELMORE LEONARD
SYD MEAD
STANLEY KUBRICK
B.B. KING
BUD ABBOTT and LOU COSTELLO
MILES DAVIS
HUNTER S. THOMPSON

The trouble with a post like this is that I'll probably end up adding twenty more names before the day is over.
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#2
To keep this as exclusive and meaningful as possible, I'm only going to contribute my Big Three. These are the artists whose work has most inspired me, personally, and who I feel an incredible amount of admiration for:

- Steven Spielberg, for his remarkable gift for popular storytelling that still fires my imagination.

- Alfred Hitchcock, for his unmatched technical mastery.

- Walt Disney, for his uncanny creative instincts, visionary ideas, and constant willingness to risk gigantic failure in the hopes of finding that next big, revolutionary thing.
If we can dream it, then we can do it.
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#3
Keeping the list limited was so difficult for me.
If I had to stick to only three and "in-the-right-now" choices (rather than "over-my-entire-lifetime" ones), I think I'd have to go with LYNCH, SCORSESE and KUROSAWA

Though, I doremain tempted to put JACK KEROUAC and CHARLES BUKOWSKI up there.
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#4
There are plenty who bring me joy and float my boat and blow my mind, but keeping it as focused and meaningful as possible, Belloq-style:
  • I started playing gat and writing songs when I was 17 because I heard Nevermind and then read Kurt Cobain saying, "All you need is power chords," and from there dived into a world of punk rock and underground music that was more adventurous and wild and socially liberal than the more mainstream fare I'd experienced until then.
  • I lived and worked for months on an island in the Amazon without another soul who spoke anything other than Portuguese for company because Lucas and Spielberg and Ford had brought punk rock archaeologist Indiana Jones into my world and reinforced that having a proper adventurous and curious and courageous spirit makes for a fully-lived life.
  • Punk rock martial artist Bruce Lee is the reason my first style was kung fu, and also the reason I didn't stick to only that one art. At a time when traditional schools would frown upon their students mixing styles, he espoused the simple and pragmatic but against-the-grain and wild and adventurous and punk rock notion that one should be curious about and embracing of the potential of all styles of self defense.
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#5
I'll go ten, cross-spectrum:

James Cameron
Steven Spielberg
Michael Mann
Terrence Malick
(Steven Spielberg)
Glen Keane
Prince
Nine Inch Nails
Arthur Adams
Richard Wagner
James Horner

Weird list.

Edit: copy and pasted Senor Spielbergo an additional time. I’ll leave it so people don’t think I’m trying to jam arjen. So I added Glen on there.
I'm not Avery.
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#6
Spielberg twice, no less!

Yeah, Spielberg and Lucas were the first two that really grabbed me by collar and showed me I loved movies and storytelling. Spielberg in particular was a major hero of my childhood. I was a real Dawson's Creek. I still love him, and find things to appreciate in even his least regarded entries. I rather liked The BFG, for example.

Authors too. Tolkein was an immediately important figure, as was Roald Dahl (speaking of BFGs), but when I finally convinced my parents to let me read Stephen King (in a curated roll out, holding all the scariest titles for later), that kind of changed everything. I read and reread his entire catalogue, and became a real hardcore dork for horror fiction along the way. Started with Dean Koontz, as he was always right next to King at the Waldenbooks (I wonder how many millions of copies Koontz sold simply because his last name starts with K), and then moving on to King's suggestions - Ramsey Campbell, Shirley Jackson, Harlan Ellison and of course Lovecraft.

And then there's Bill Murray, the actor I most gravitated towards. Because of Ghostbusters, and then all the other stuff I watched because of it. Pete Venkman was the person I decided I wanted to be, which made me a pretty insufferable kid, I'm sure. That sort of detachment and irony is an odd affect for a child, especially when he's trying at it very hard, which kind of defeats the whole effect.

Now, as an adult who fancies himself something of a writer, I can point to some very direct inspirations, authors whose voices speak to me the most, and whose work I most aspire to. The top of the list is Martin McDonagh, whose written some very good movies, but is even more tremendous as a playwright. He's got an incredible facility to write things that are both terrifying and hilarious, which is a great place to be, and what I tend to aim for.
Brigadier Cousins on PSN
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#7
Steven Spielberg
J.R.R. Tolkien
Douglas Adams
Monty Python

That'd be my Rushmore right there.
My karmic debt must be huge.

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My blog: An Embarrassment of Rich's
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