I've heard Will Finn talk now and then about the homogenization of style in the animation industry, and last night he explored it more deeply. But his outlook is hopeful. "The notion of the Influence Map," says he, "may hold the keys, both to the problem and the solution..."
I've been looking plenty to animation's past and not enough to the present -- that is, to the artists AROUND me. I see so many of my dA and Blogger buddies regularly at school, while others are a measly few clicks away on the Internet. I explore with rabid enthusiasm. Then I leave the sites and go back to working from the professional talent I was already inspired by. Not for lack of respect, mind, but for being too easily distracted by the hype surrounding "the greats."
There are so many young, individualistic greats I see every day that I have yet to acknowledge in my own work, but they would be healthy influences indeed. Let me start by saying, thanks for bringing your art to the world and working to make animation and comics that much more inspiring.
P.S. If I don't successfully shoot out a cutesy cartoon by the end of the day, Happy Valentine's Day to all. May we all be with someone we love, sooner rather than later.