The Influence Map: a tool for the artist
At the behest of my brother-in-law, I joined Deviant Art several months ago. We both thought it might be a good way to get my videos seen as well as some of my other artistic endeavors (Drawing, art, photography). It yielded limited results, simply because I don't participate in the community like I should. I still wade through other people's art on the site from time to time and occasionally post a new video, but for the most part I focus on other sites like YouTube and Twitter.
However, a while back I stumbled across a brilliant idea on DA that kept me thinking for months. The Influence Map. Created by fox-orian as a way to unlock ideas when stuck, the influence map is a brilliant concept for all artists. There isn't a single one of us that doesn't get stuck while working maybe looking upon our influences will spark some unexamined idea. I think I may do a new one every so often, as my creative influences change and fluctuate.
I recommend you give this a shot. The template can be found HERE. Search yourself and discover what influences you as a creative entity. I would love to see what you come up with, so if you're inclined, send me a link to your own influence map and I will link back to you!
Also, this exercise reminded me greatly of Scott McCloud's "Story Machine". I highly recommend that one as well, particularly if you're a writer or comic book creator. You can find it HERE.
Go forth and make art.