These are people that inspire me daily to be better at what I do and what I'm passionate about. Some of these people are really simple people that accomplish(ed) extraordinary things. Not all of them are artists, musicians, etc.
Georges Prosper Remi, aka Herge
Creator of my favorite comics, the Adventures of Tintin. His true vision unraveled the older he got, delving deeper and deeper into the precision of his craft. He wrote comics mostly for different Belgian magazines and newspapers, and was constantly being re-invented by his publishers and editors. Instead of stubbornly plowing ahead with his own agenda, he celebrated each and every contract amendment, accepting the challenge as an opportunity for himself to grow as an artist. His international acclaim is arguably one of the greatest modern accomplishments, and yet he maintained strict personal humility until his untimely death in 1983. Wish I could have met him! I started reading Tintin when I was 6. I've often felt like my art was heavily persuaded by his influence, particularly his attention to depth of field and perspective.
Arguably one of the most textured artists I know in my immediate life. He plays guitar, drums and keys better than most, has a one-of-a-kind voice (think Kevin Prosch meets Marc Cohn, meets Bruce Cockburn). Nico built my website. He's gifted in social skills, and is notably a jack-of-most-trades especially jacking around. Most importantly, Nico is gentle father. I strive to exude his passion. Follow http://nicogroove.com
Bruce Olsen and Jackie Pullinger-To
Follow: http://www.bruceolson.com http://www.ststephenssociety.com
Bruce Olson, aka Bruchko, growing up in missions, this dude was always my most impressive hero in the field. He entered the jungle when he was 19 to show the love of God to the Motilone Indians of the South American Rainforest. His goal was to translate the Bible into a language no first world had ever touched. He succeeded, having convinced the tribe that they shouldn't eat him. To this day, Motilone's are among the most educated and exceptional tribes people in the world, with a 100% literacy rate. I met Bruce when I was 16, just before heading to Hongkong to work in the heroin withdrawal unit in Kowloon, run by another incredible missionary, Jackie Pullinger-To.
Many singer-songwriters toil for months on their Macs, trying to make a demo that sounds polished enough to score them a record deal with a major label. But Ari Hest has done the exact opposite, as he continues to defy the conventional route of a musician. Already signed to a major, he opted out of his label deal so that he could have more control over his art. He then embarked on his ambitious ‘52’ project, during which he spent all of last year immersed in an unprecedented effort – to write, record, produce and release one new song per week, for 52 weeks in a row. The album features reworked versions of 12 fan-selected songs, culled from the past year’s extraordinary output. It’s a renegade path that reveals the ‘New Music Industry’ at its best, and allows Hest’s impressive work to find the audience he wants it to find. Add to that the fact that these songs were written amid the week-to-week gauntlet of ‘52’, and it’s all the more impressive. I would LOVE to play with Ari sometime soon. He has been one of my very favorite songwriters as of the last year.
one man band
Scott Dunbar is the one man band who busked for 12 months straight to become the richest musician I know!! Yes, I have toured with Scott. It was a revelation to watch this dude grind it out with his feet. VERY impressive. Find his live show, embrace it.
Has there ever been an album so rich as "Grace"?? Much of who I am as an artist comes from a deep longing to emulate the life and talent of the ubiquitous Jeff Buckley, one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time. My favorite songs include: Morning Theft, Last Goodbye, Dream Brother. Oddly, his most notable work was the remaking of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah". My favorite cover? Morning Theft, definitely.
David Wilcox, folk artist from North Carolina. He is a walking, talking, singing Jesus character that exudes the most tender of affections off and on stage. I've played several shows with him, after following his work for over a dozen years and it changed my life completely.