Artist Inspirations

There are some artists whose styles stand out to you. Whether it is through realism, abstract art, pixelated, or cartoony and zany. Everyone has a style or styles that they prefer. So who are my artist inspirations? My top two artists are Akira Toriyama, behind the hit series Dragonball; and Tyson Hesse, known for his whimsical style of Sonic the Hedgehog.

Akira Toriyama

This legendary artist has made a number of well-regarded series for the past couple of decades. Some which have been Dragonball, Dragon Quest, Chrono Trigger, and Dr.Slump. While his artstyle can feel ‘samey’, especially around facial features, he is still able to make each series feel unique to each other.

A whole collection of his works can be seen on Character Design References which highlight the range of his skill to draw fantasy to sci-fi. Overall, Akira Toriyama knows how to draw flexibly in order to showcase cute and charming characters or serious ones.

Tyson Hesse

Meanwhile on the other side of the globe, Tyson Hesse has made a name for himself for a variety of different series:

  • Director for Sonic Mania Adventures
  • Creator of Diesel from Boom comics
  • Storyboard Artist for Invader Zim 2019
  • Lead Sonic Designer for the latest Sonic the Hedgehog movie and its sequel
  • Etc.

It is interesting to see the thought process behind his comic, Diesel. Due to the book having to be done every month, he had no time to draw out clean lines and refined colors. His overall style is very sketchy and messy, which fits with the themes he has set for his story. Since everything was unrefined, the way he draws his scenes allows for actions to feel loose and have a wide range of expressions.

This style also persists in many of his other works, which can be viewed on his Tumblr.

If I were to describe both artists’ styles in one word, it would be ‘whimsical’. Both know how to evoke the right emotions by drawing either simple or complex shapes. It is this reason why Akira Toriyama and Tyson Hesse are my artist inspirations, and I hope to achieve a similar level in skill.