I think today I'll give you a glimpse into the kind of art which inspires me, along with links to the artists themselves so you can learn more. Whether or not you can see their influence in my art is debatable, but it all makes me want to be a better artist.
Mick McMahon - One of the most celebrated artists of 2000AD's Judge Dredd, his style has evolved over the years but has never been pedestrian. His use of abstraction, playing with form and structure, has always appealed to my eye. Particularly, his work on The Last American from Epic Comics stuck with me as an example of a comic book artist at the top of his game.
Jon Burgerman - One of the artists you can blame for changing my mind over my preferred career. Before I came across Burgerman's work, I was only into comic art, really. When I realised it was possible to draw like this and be successful, I immediately saw it as a more appealing field. Burgerman manages to infuse innocence and cheeky attitude into all of his characters, but more than that, has a very distinctive and unmistakable style which works best, for me, when he goes all-out and uses converging lines, overlaps and more design elements in his compositions. The results are somewhere between kids' cartoons and the kind of highbrow modern art you'd see in MOMA or Tate Modern.
TADO - The most lively, cute, colourful and marketable artwork I think I've ever seen. There are, to be honest, a lot of illustrators who try for this style, with varying results (the number of graphic design and illustration magazines who use them on a monthly basis bears this out) but TADO are the absolute masters of their world. You want to know why I choose to work with vectors? Granted, I took it in a very different direction, but that's because I can't compete with this! I could look at these pieces for ages. It's like ODing on gummi bears.
Olly Moss - If you've heard of me but haven't heard of Olly Moss, there's something seriously wrong with you. Or you've known me for a few years. Moss has become a kinda cult figure in the illustration, design and pop culture worlds and rightly so. His invention is astounding. Mostly, I'm a fan of his retro movie poster work, a regular feature in Empire movie magazine, which distills iconic films into their most recognisable elements and somehow manages to always incorporate that into the layout and composition of the final piece. If you are an artist in my position, you have two choices when faced with a new Olly Moss piece: give up and become a farmer, or use it as a kick in the arse. I choose the latter, thankfully.
Bill Sienkiewicz - I've posted a video rather than an image here because, although I've always enjoyed Bill's comic work on books like Stray Toasters, Elektra: Assassin and others, it wasn't until I saw this example of his technique that he really became an influence, more through attitude than anything else. Sienkiewicz's section starts at 4m 20s, but for contrast, it's worth watching the whole video. The first artist is John Buscema, who is a comic book legend. His section is good enough (actually, the Captain America on the video link is his, FYI), but when Sienkiewicz gets going, he is just fearless. Look at the experimentation; the tools he uses.Whether the results are your cup of tea or not, just you try mistaking it for the work of another artist.
So there you go. As far as inspiration goes, that's what floats my boat. There are (many) more of course, but off the top of my head, these are the biggies at the moment.