Artist Danny Roberts influence map images of images representing concepts and themes


My Influence Map 2019

I’m currently taking the Schoolism class “Story-Driven Illustrations” by Djamila Knopf. One of the first assignments is to produce an influence map. I’ve never heard of an influence map before doing this, but it’s a cool idea. I’m planning on making one every year or two because it’s a healthy thing to re-evaluate those things that are driving you. The way an influence map works is you start out with a template covered by 30 squares. Each square gets filled with an image that represents a category, theme, idea, etc. that is currently influencing your work. The size of the image represents the amount of influence those concepts have on me. It’s a really fascinating task, particularly because if I would have made one of these right when I started my career, my map would have looked completely different.
(p.s. If you are reading this via Bloglovin or another RSS reader, you need to click through to be able to see the post.)

Rosy Cheeks

This one might be pretty obvious, considering almost all my drawings have them, but it’s something I’ve always loved. Can’t explain it and can’t deny it ;)

Elegant bouquet by Gustave Jean Jacquet
detail close up of Albrecht Durer etching of dogs
Fine Details

I’ve always been drawn in by fine details. I love high resolution scans, complex systems, hidden meanings, secret codes, tons of variety. Whether I'm adding fine details to my work or looking at them, details bring me so much joy.

Fairy Tales

Growing up with Grimms' Fairy Tales, Aesoph’s Fables, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, the OZ series of books, magical lands and classical stories have always captured my imagination. I hope to write and illustrate ones that capture yours.

Nadezhda Illarionova beautiful illustration art of a princess sleeping
Zelda Cover art
Classic Games

It was a funny realization that old NES and Super Nintendo games like Zelda, Final Fantasy, and Metroid have had such an impact on me. The time spent playing those games as a kid had a big impact on my imagination.


I think it is due to the fact that I moved around growing up, I have always connected to themes of long voyages, traveling to distant lands, getting lost in new places, second chances, and new starts.

Josh Hartnett  and Gemma Ward in Mario Testino fashion editorial for vogue
John Bauer breathtakingly beautiful childrens book illustration of a couple in love.

I’m definitely a romantic person. I’m a sucker for good romantic stories or paintings. I love the feeling of creating artwork where you can feel the connection between two people.

Sincere Lines

I fell in love with sincere confident lines when I first discovered Egon Schiele’s work. You can tell his contour lines were put down once, confidently, and not reworked. I strive to keep that strong line in my work.

Edith women sitting with red hair and tights by Egon Schiele
Gorgeous photo of colorful starry night sky with some clouds
New Worlds

I love looking at landscapes that make me feel like I’ve been transported to a new magical world.


I love old fabric patterns, repeating pattern designs, and various textures.

Very detailed blue white and gold repeating flower pattern
photographer Amber Ortolano surreal colorful photo os girl walking through a dream

Dreams & Nostalgia have a large influence on my work. Years ago, I started a dream journal where I write down my dreams the moment I wake up. Since I started that, dreams have been the starting point for a lot of my story and illustration ideas.

Old Movies

Movies from 1920-1950 have sparked my imagination and have had a huge impact on my work. I think I’m a bit of an old soul, and I often think and concept in my head in black and white.

still black and white photo from the movie Casablanca of humphrey bogart and ingrid bergman
Old production sketch from the old Disney animation Bambi
Old Disney

I love watching old Disney movies. They return my mind to nostagic memories of being a kid, which helps relax my imagination. I have three beautiful Disney production books that I draw a lot of inspiration from.


I love fun, playful, colorful paintings and images. Color is something I’m very timid working with, so I admire people with strong color work, and it pushes me to step out of my comfort zone.

Artist Rick Leong vibrant colorful and magical river lagoon.
A close of drawing of Kaori Miyazono  from the anime Your lie in april. アニメ「時は君の嘘」から宮園かおりの絵
Anime & Manga

Back in 2012 after my trip to Japan, I started watching Animes and reading Mangas. Since then, it’s been my favorite form of television. I watch an Anime every day and am constantly amazed and inspired.

Distant Lands

I love the concept of undiscovered distant lands. Growing up, I wanted to be an explorer and find new places. When I found out that the world had been discovered, I started building my own imaginary story world. I can’t wait to share it with you.

A photo of a the sea, the sky, and clouds. the Sky pale orange but the clouds and ocean are dark black
Black and white Mysterious photo of a shepherd with sheep in the mouth of a stone carved face

Mystery and the Mysterious get my imagination going. I love digging and researching and finding amazing strange mysterious places, people, and things.


I’m captivated by all things Mythical. I love studying old mythologies, or reading about mythical creatures.

Enoki Toshiyuki's Beautiful painting of a women kissing a unicorn.ユニコーンにキスする女性の榎俊幸による美しい絵画

I hope you enjoyed reading through what makes my art tick. Please share with someone who you think this post will bless ;) Have a great Sunday. The images source are the following:

1. Elegant bouquet by Gustave Jean Jacquet, 2. Aubrey Beardsley, Albrecht Durer, 3. Nadezhda Illarionova, 4. the legend of Zelda Cover, 5. Josh Hartnett & Gemma Ward in Vogue by Mario Testino, 6. Painting by John Bauer 1915, 7. Egon Schiele Painting, 8. Not sure the Artist, 9. Not sure the Artist, 10. Amber Ortolano, 11. Casablanca (1942), 12. Disney production sketch from Bambi(1942), 13. Rick Leong, 14. Artwork from the anime "Your Lie in April", 15. Not sure the Artist, 16. Not sure the Artist, 17. Enoki Toshiyuki

  • Public Comment
    Direct Message
  1. Petra | Reply

    Lovely post! So exciting to see where you draw inspiration from! Also interesting to get all the thoughts down on paper because is mostly just flowing around in the head making no sense 😊✨

    November 24, 2019 at 11:14 pm
  2. Jinnyoyo | Reply

    😃This was such an interesting post to see where you get your inspiration . I think it’s a great exercise for all artists to break down their style of work.

    November 25, 2019 at 5:53 pm