One of my biggest inspirations the last couple years has been illustrator Hermann Mejia. Although Mejia does a lot of work for Mad Magazine, don't disregard him as an amazing painter, draftsman, and all around cool artist. One thing that struck me about Mejia, aside from his hilarious and grotesque caricatures, is his watercolor paintings. They are so loose yet controlled, something that I've been struggling with ever since I picked up my first set of Crayola watercolors when I was in grade school. His mastery of the medium is apparent when looking over all his illustrations. In addition to watercolors, he plays around with a fair amount of mixed media which I find the most interesting.
Every character that Mejia creates is so dynamic and original. Sam Viviano, art director of Mad Magazine, told my manager, who in turn told me how Mejia actually brought a real casket into his studio to fully capture a seemingly unimportant prop for one of his MAD movie parodies. It's that sort of attention to detail that I'd like to incorporate more into my work.
I strongly suggest that everyone check out his website and prepare to be blown away: Hermann Mejia
Below are a varied selection of his works.