I am inspired by so many people in so many different industries. Artists, authors, photographers, musicians, etc. Here is a short list of some artists that inspire me.
Sure, art is subjective, but these are some of my favorite master artists:
This guy is so inspiring to me. He had a gallery on Front Street in Lahaina and I used to go in there for hours and just dissect his work. It’s absolutely fascinating.
I’m a sucker for pen and ink or pencil drawings. M.C. Escher took reality and challenged every aspect of it with his works. It was a proud day when I introduced my son to M.C. Escher and he saw the brilliance in his art.
Renaissance art is super inspirational to me, and Raphael was one of the best. Of course, DaVinci, Caravaggio, Michelangelo, etc. are pretty good too…
I read a lot, mostly non-fiction stuff, but on occassion a good fiction book finds it’s way into my reading list. There are a few authors that I just can’t get enough of though. I’ll read anything by these authors:
Malcolm Gladwell is one of the few people that never produces a bad piece of work. Every single book is FANTASTIC. Every. Single. One. Start with Outliers, and you’ll be hooked. If you aren’t familiar with Malcolm Gladwell, you’re missing out.
Dan Brown’s books are like eating Dark Chocolate. They’re so good, so easy to read and so hard to put down that you just want more. No one merges fiction and non-fiction quite like Dan Brown. Angels and Demons is still the best.
Very much like Malcom Gladwell, Ryan Holiday’s books are all excellent. Stillness is the Key, Ego is the Enemy, Discipline is Destiny and even his less known books like Perennial Seller and Trust Me, I’m Lying are legendary.
Greg’s books are so easy to read and so, so good. Essentialism started it off and helped me be confident in my pursuit of less but better.
Think and Grow Rich is still relevant so many years after it was written. It’s spawned so many contemporaries and birthed the careers of Tony Robbins and the entire mindset movement. All his writings are excellent.
I’m a sucker for macroeconomics. Well, Peter Zeihan takes that to another level. Adding in geopolitics and how everything is interconnected and where it’s all going is fascinating, scary and eye opening. His books are long, but impossible to put down.
I know most people say they love music, but I am obsessed with music. I have several guitars around my house, and while I can’t play them very well (yet), I love listening to great guitar. That’s why you’ll notice a lot of my favorite musicians include phenomenal guitarists.
David Gilmour is my all time favorite guitarist. I would love to add a guitar signed by him to my collection. Pink Floyd may be my favorite band of all time. Just so much good stuff in their catalog.
I probably listen to more blues music than any other genre, and my absolute favorite is Buddy Guy. I’ve been fortunate enough to see him several times and keep a signed guitar of his in my office.
I’m not sure anyone ever mastered the guitar quite like Stevie Ray. What a legend. His cover of Tin Pan Alley is the best there is.
Michael Franti is one of those artists that I just can’t get enough of. He has such a positive and inspirational message. I remember seeing him way back in the 90s open up for 311. He stole the show.
For many years my friends called me “Ozzy” as I was obsessed with Ozzy and Sabbath. I still enjoy the hard crunching guitars and vocals from time to time. And yes, I will still respond to “Ozzy.”
I’d be hard pressed not to include the late, great BB. His storytelling was legendary and his influence knows no bounds. Another signed guitar of his hangs in my wife’s office (sometimes I work in there).
I have to preface this by saying “old” Metallica. I stopped listening to them after …And Justice for All, but their early stuff is as close to perfect as metal can be. The musicianship is incredible, the lyrics are great and they deserve all the accolades they’ve received.
I remember where I was when I first heard Guns N’ Roses in the 80s. Changed my trajectory for sure.
Another of the three Kings, Albert was always one of my favorite. Like BB, he was a legendary storyteller, and his music still remains among my favorites.
The first CD I ever bought was “Rust in Peace.” I bought it because of the album artwork. At the time I was 12 and never heard of them. They remained among my favorites ever since. Rust in Peace is definitely in the top 10 best metal albums of all time.
I grew up listening to heavy metal, and though I don’t listen to a ton of the really heavy stuff anymore, I do listen to quite a bit of RyG as they blur the lines between metal and flamenco. Super cool.
The Godfather of the blues. Muddy was a character and had some of the best stuff around. I’m grateful for his influence. Without Muddy there would be no Buddy Guy.
A lot of his compositions sound similar, but when I’m working, I can throw on Ludovico and work for hours. Great stuff.
By far the best of the Rat Pack. Not even close. Sorry, Frank. There’s a soft spot in my heart for old Italian/American music. Dino, Renato Carosone, Vic Damone, Louis Prima, Lou Monte, etc. I listen to a lot of these guys.
There are some amazing photographers out there, many of whom I look to for inspiration. Below are just a handful of some that truly inspire me.
I actually hate this guy. Not really, I just hate that he is so good. He’s the best. No one else is even close. I know some of the locations he has shot. I’ve stood where he’s stood, and I’m pretty good, but I have no idea how he was able to capture or stitch together some of the images he did. He’s the best.
Peter’s a great photographer, and one of the greatest panoramic photographers ever, but his marketing is even better than his photography. No one has been able to market themselves quite like Peter Lik.
Ted’s really good too. I like his work a lot. Like Marc, I’ve stood where he’s stood and had to take my hat off to how he was able to capture some of the images he did. He’s great with color and processing.
John is a great friend of mine and an inspiration. I’m proud to have met him many years ago and shot with him here in Hawaii and up in Alaska. We talk about once a week and are always learning from each other. Can’t wait for our next adventure together!
Chip’s been around a long time, and seems like a really good guy. I’ve been inspired by his landscapes of the pacific northwest for many years. He’s got a great eye for composition and finishing.
There are a ton of ocean photographers that I love, and choosing just one here is hard, but Warren Keelan is different from the rest of them. His work is bold and passionate. I always love seeing new work from Warren.
Art Wolfe has been there and done that with more grace than anyone. He’s shot everything, and shot everything well. I really appreciate looking at images through his eyes.
Joel is a black and white architectural photographer that does it better than anyone. He’s got such a cool style that I love trying to imitate when I get the chance to shoot architecture worthy of that style.