I get a lot of inspirations from many of the books/shows/movies/games/etc. I’m into (and also do a lot of fanart as a result, but I think fanart has a lot of value, which I’ll talk about in another post sometime). Here’s some of the things along those lines that are inspiring me right now.

The work of Joss Whedon:


More specifically, “Buffy the Vampire Slayer/Angel,” “Firefly” and “Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog.”

I’ve been into Joss’s work since high school, and honestly, never get tired of it. His characters, sense of human nature (like how he pays attention to how people’s clothing changes depending on their mood), and stories are really really awesome most of the time. He has had some hiccups, like the “Serenity” movie, but in general his writing is something I strive to live up to when I create things with plot.

Of what I mentioned, if you haven’t checked out any of it yet, I recommend “Firefly” and “Dr. Horrible” first. Love BTVS and Angel too, but the others are more my style right now. After all, “Firefly” is just a hip-bump away from Steampunk. Which is something else I’m really into right now.

Steampunk:

(for reference pictures, I suggest you see this group)

On that note, even though its a genre and not a fandom, I’ve been crazy about Steampunk style for the past 6 months to a year (don’t really know when exactly I got into it). Victorian culture in itself is catching my interest too, specifically in fashion and manners and the idea of “courtly love.” Steampunk adds this earthy, problematic-real-life aspect to all of that. Plus, goggles are awesome.

(Incidentally, my upcoming webcomic is about half Steampunk themed….but that’s another thing I’ll talk about later.)

Francesca Lia Block:

Her books have been among my favorites for many, many years. She writes mostly young adult stuff, so it reads really fast, and deals with modern Los Angeles (and sometimes other parts of the real modern world) with magic and fantasy woven right in as if its been there all along.

My favorites are “Echo,” which is a coming-of-age story of a girl who meets all sorts of odd things, and “Ruby,” which is about a girl overcoming her dark past and reaching the true love she knows she was meant to find (double plus bonus – with Paganism and Witchcraft! I will eventually write a post about how my Pagan spirituality affects my work as an artist too). Her writing style is also very “flowy,” which is beautiful to take in, as it makes the magic seem even more a part of everything. I also recommend her book of retold fairy tales, “The Rose and the Beast.” She puts them in a modern setting, with little twists on each familiar story.

Fairy Tales:


(Above images by Marion Scoular, Trina Scharthyman, and Warwick Goble, respectively)

I raised myself on fairy tales and such, from the time I was a small child. At that point, they were mostly of the Disney variety. That really messed up my perception of a) what a woman should be and b) what romantic love should be, but my love of fairy tales stuck anyway. As an adult, I work with more of them, reading books full of more obscure ones that feature women being strong instead of helpless damsels, and re-imagining the less positive ones from my youth. Here are two of my favorites:

“Fearless Girls, Wise Women & Beloved Sisters” retold by Kathleen Ragan

“Wise Women”  retold by Suzanne Barchers

The work of Megan Rose Gedris:


Speaking of fairy-tales, Gedris’s “YU+ME: Dream,” while not a fairy tale exactly, is something I love for similar reasons. At first, its a typical high school lesbian romance/coming out story. But then, in the middle, everything changes, and it gets even BETTER. I can’t say anything else or it’ll spoil it, but I highly recommend everyone check it out. She also works in a variety of styles (there is a reason for that story-wise too), which is very cool.

Her other comic, “I was Kidnapped by Lesbian Pirates from Outer Space,” is also great! Its a parody of cult comics from the 50’s, and done in that style, with lots of camp and other hilarity thrown in. Much more light-hearted than “YU+ME,” and awesome in contrast too. Definitely worth a read.

Both of these are ongoing, by the way, though “YU+ME”  will be ending very soon.

Pin-Up art:

(Images by Gil Elvgren, Duane Bryers, and Gil Elvgren again)

I’ve had a “dabbling” kind of interest in pin-up art, as in that of the 40’s and 50’s, for a while now. I’ve recently joined a group of that theme over on DeviantART. I think women are gorgeous (as you might have noticed), and pin-up art is all about that. Some of it I don’t quite get, like the ones that are paired with animals or very random objects…like pilgrim hats….but the style and posing and such is just so much fun! Also, as an artist who strives to show the beauty in fat women’s bodies, I’d like to someday do a book of size-positive or BBW pin-ups (which is why I featured one of Duane Bryers’ pieces above – he did a whole series of that curvy redhead there). More news on that will come if/when I get to making that happen.

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