Who do you believe to be the three major artists and designers who are shaping the discipline you are interested in pursuing or who have influenced you?
I believe the first artist that had the most influence over me had to be my Dad. As a kid, I never visited him at the office or saw him “in action” doing what he did best in his profession. From what he told me he was an Engineer. But despite his claims, I did know that he played the guitar an awful lot when I was a kid.
When I say an “awful lot”, I mean that from the moment my father would get home and change into his “house clothes” to the moment we went to bed – throughout the night, he would play his guitar. He would strum melodies sitting on his swivel chair- sometimes rock, sometimes ballads, occasionally classical. Whatever the genre, he was always strumming something! He would be so into his music that you had to literally shake him to break his concentration. Music was altogether his “second profession.”
Occasionally, when he wasn’t so ingrained in his tunes, he would draw pictures of Superman for me. I loved Superman! I thought that the ability to draw was the coolest thing my dad ever did when I was a kid. And not only draw, but to draw Superman! I wanted to be able to draw every day. If only I could…
A second influence for me would have to be Joey Quarles, my Art Director at Inkworks Design and Press. He was first mentor who fostered my creativity as a young designer. He not only taught me the process of creating good design, but also showed me how to enhance its “magic”. He was an English major in college, so his skill in creating verbal sell points was uncanny and marvelous. He showed me how far I could broaden the appeal of a design with good copy, and good copy writing.
A third influence would have to be Mikio Osaki, my instructor at Art Center at Night. At first I didn’t know much about this “thing” called Advertising except that it paid my bills by buying space in my magazine, there were these “things” called commercials that ran on TV that were funny sometimes but mostly interrupted my shows, billboards, bus stops, and billboards on buses that lined highways and streets, and banners that popped up everywhere on the net especially when it involved “nekkid chi-chis”. After taking Mikio’s class I saw Advertising a little differently. I picked up a little more about Advertising’s history and evolution, the business of the industry itself, new applications in ad execution, and that there was actually a “point” to advertising – “The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing.”
I can also say that the Taco Bell dog or the sexy girl from the Doritos commercial may have influenced me to shape the disciple of pursuing advertising as a major. Or perhaps I realized how strong a message can be delivered in the media with the news and television. I know that whatever influences that happened to turn my life in this direction, it was for the best- in my own, little pursuit of happiness.