Every "new" creation is a result of any number of influences & factors coming together for one fleeting moment in a person's head. Now, I don't know about you, but I seem to get dozens of these moments a day and am hard put to get 'em scribbled down before they're off on their merry way back into the ether. A sketchbook is VERY handy for the compulsively creative, but can be cumbersome, so diner napkins, the backs of electric bills, business cards and the occasional blank margins of a purloined Watchtower tend to suffice. Just like in that song by the Artsluts about the 10 Steps to Becoming an Artist (just after "buy a beret") I write down EVERYTHING I see & hear that can be construed as funny or inspiring to be carted back to my lair for condensing & transmogrifying later.
I admit it: I'm a media sponge. I read ANYTHING, from Time to Discover to National Geographic to Blue Blood to Architectural Journal. My head is swimming with the works of such writers as Heinlein, Ellison, Cherryh, Howard, Burroughs, Lovecraft and, you guessed it, Tolkien.
The shelves next to my drawing desk are stuffed with art books from the likes of Breugal, Frazetta, Whelan, Rembrandt & Kaluta, as well as graphic novel works like the Sandman & The Adventures of Guiseppe Bergman. Ron Cobb, Sir Lawrence Alma Tadema, Maxfield Parrish and Michelangelo are my heroes. Mad Magazine & Heavy Metal were my guides through a land of teenage angst. On any given day, you can hear Aaron Copeland, White Zombie, Tori Amos or Squirrel Nut Zippers wafting out of my shoppe stereo at some dizzying volume. The list of movies I have seen & studied beggars description, for which I can partly thank 4 years of Film School.
I pour over the local newspapers, wander around museums, gaze transfixed at the History Channel & PBS & (Crom help me) even the WB.
For me, an evening at Barnes & Noble followed by a sub-titled foreign film is a hot date. Look, you get the picture I'm trying to scrawl here; No artist can create in a vacuum (with the possible exception of Jeff Koons if you call what he does "creating") and inspiration can ride on the shoulders of some pretty strange muses.
Take a walk through our virtual tour, which goes through the process by which we make all of our goodies, doodads, and knicknacks. It's even got some neat-o pictures!