References & Inspiration: Pepe Silvia

YouTube animator Worthikids published this last month, an animation of a hilarious scene from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia. Just like the animations I’ve linked here of segments of Let’s Plays and podcasts, it’s always really fun to see how the artist sneaks in their own gags to the scenes. My favorite gimmick is the 3D Charlie models that are left standing in the room and then get bumped around in zero-g as Charlie moves through the space. Mac’s giant coffee mug is also funny, since in that episode part of the issue is that the two of them are nearly hallucinating from the amount of coffee and cigarettes they keep having.


References & Inspiration: Ava’s Demon

The other webcomic I actively follow. Really strong designs and a very pleasant style that can convey melancholy, fantasy worlds, dream states, gritty futurescapes, and fiery demonic possessions. Also quite easy to sit down, start reading, and then forget you were doing something else, thanks to some slick website design.

Start here:


References & Inspiration: Cowboy Bebop

Another anime I watched with my friends, though this was before Baccano!

This intro showcases strong sense of design and animation work. Silhouettes and shadows in particular play a big role in this sequence, which also combines character illustrations, animation loops, American newsprint, and some bomb music by the Seatbelts. It just oozes style.

inspiration, my work

References & Inspiration: Robin Hood

Possibly one of my most favorite classic Disney films. Beautiful artwork and wonderful, fluid animation. A relatively low framerate as was standard back then for Disney, but with hand-drawn stuff it still looks great.

Source of inspiration for both my animation and illustration work (It’s also a source for the fan series A Fox in Space, something I did a post on last semester). It contains all those golden Disney principles of 2D animation, and, the rhinoceroses in this scene were what I was nonconsciously taking reference from when I sketched the second concept, the rhino guard, for my portrait project.


References & Inspiration: Baccano!

The opening to Baccano!, an anime from 2007 I watched recently with friends. This is the adaptation from a light novel, and it looks really good. The style is consistent and it does as good a job it can at keeping the characters distinct (there are A LOT of characters), and it was a very good idea to repeat their names with their faces for the intro, as you will need help remembering them all at first.

I really like the animation in this series. If I had to pick out one issue, it would just be in the beginning of the intro where Miria points with her right hand at the bag. It looks really wonky without any other part of her body moving with it.


References & Inspiration: Breath of the Wild Artwork

I’ve talked already about how I love this game. One reason: the artwork.

In the first four images you can see the team’s official promotional art. It’s like digital gouache, really pretty. In motion, the game resembles this style remarkably well, especially when viewing landscapes from a distance. The textures, lighting, and shaders all contribute to the feel with irregular edges and brush-like strokes of color.

The last three images demonstrate their application ofan ancient Japanese style of sculpture known as Jomon. It is the inspiration for the designs of the ancient ‘Sheikah’ technology in the game, seen on the six-legged laser-firing Guardians, the Sheikah Slate that the protagonist uses, the several massive towers spread across the game world, and the 120 shrines and four dungeon-beasts that the player can explore.

I really like that gouache look. It was the thing I had in mind when I was searching for brushes to paint my Footwomen Doe portrait, providing a direct inspiration.


References & Inspiration: Flight


This is the cover art for Volume 3 of Flight, a series of comic anthologies, compilations featuring comics from various young artists. This book had been in a bookcase in the next room for years and I used to love flipping through it. Great variety of styles, super imaginative illustrations. Recommended to check this series out.

As of this post the site is under construction, but here’s where you would look:


References & Inspiration: Saga


I received the first two volumes of this great comic series, which i cracked open again the other day. I’m a big fan of the character designs and illustration style. This image in particular: somehow working both hard-edge black outlines and loose brush strokes together, looking effortless.

Available for purchase here:


References & Inspiration: Annue’s Car Boys Animated

If you haven’t seen any of the Polygon writers Nick and Griffin’s YouTube series, Car Boys, you’re not gonna get this very much.
(The two jointly play a soft-body virtual vehicle simulator called Beam.NG Drive, and invariably break it with their testing. Certain models included in the simulation, a test-crash dummy and a model of the Stig, are frequently the subjects of their game-breaking exploits.)

This video is just well-put together, but it helps to have seen the series. Just search for Car Boys and you will find it.


References & Inspiration: ahoy

ahoy is a user on YouTube, actual name Stuart Brown, who makes videos documenting the depiction of various kinds of weaponry in video games.

What I like about these videos is the sense of design in the presentation. Simple stark contrast, with white text on black or single-color backgrounds, and wipe-transitions that invert the colors momentarily as they pass. It’s probably vector work, as that would be the most sensible format for the style. Might be Flash, or entirely After Effects, or a similar program. Either way, it’s neat, clean, stylish, and easy to process.