According to Google Analytics not a single person is yet to read any of my blog posts.  Cool, right? That makes my influence a solid zero. 

Austin Kleon published a book called 'Steal Like An Artist' in which he addresses how to a creative person (or anyone generally speaking) can develop a signature style.

The basic premise is that you take a little bit from each of your influences and use it to create something new.  Steal like an artist by stealing from an artist.  

My influences cover a range of industries and disciplines, and although I don't 'steal' their work, they are people who I look at when I need/have needed a push. Here are a few that I sweat on.  I don't know any of them personally, but from a followers perspective I find them interesting:

Casey Neistat
The first time I heard of him the tag line read 'Video Wizard'. If that is the case, he is Dumbledore & Gandalf rolled into one. Casey is a social juggernaut who continues to remain unique and genuine in a realm that is packed with fabricated and paid promotion. His daily vlog is a testament to is ability to adapt to new projects whilst already dealing with other challenges such as his tech company Beme

His influence over my career has been profound considering he lives in New York and we will probably never meet.  I started doing video because of watching his creations over and over and over again.  Go to his YouTube Channel and arrange the videos to 'Date (Oldest)' and go from there. Here is the introduction I had to him originally: 

Callum Preston
A highly creative yet very humble Melbourne based 'professional person' as his business card states.  I discovered his work through following hardcores bands of which he design a lot of t-shirts, posters and other artwork for.  With social media becoming an obsession (along with me being a hermit), I followed his work via Tumblr and Instagram more closely throughout the past few years and really appreciate his D.I.Y ethos and approach. Through what he has shared I have discovered Casey Neistat, Aaron Draplin, Tom Sachs and a bunch of other really cool people. 

I have been lucky enough to visit his space in Collingwood at the Everfresh Studio, as well as hearing him speak on a few creative panels. In his debut art show he also built a handmade DeLorean:

A video I made at the Everfresh Studio Open Day in 2015 - see Callum's space around the 2.44 mark

Wil Wagner
Solo artist and the lead singer of The Smith Street Band.  One of my favourite singer/songwriters of all time, but more importantly one who can break your heart and make you smile in the same song. 

I recommend his solo work and The Smith Street Band to as many people as possible.  Most come back saying they loved it, some say they don't like his vocals.  Either way, I think he is brilliant and has wonderfully crafted music that has helped me through good and bad days.

Steen Jones
Artist and owner of Few & Far Collective.  Currently the best user of social media in the Australian art scene in terms of be able to make interesting content, collaborating with other creatives and including moments from his adventures.  Steen is proof that hard work pays of.  Having discovered him when One Love Apparel first launched, I have followed his journey to becoming a highly sought after artist who is now snowballing his way around the world. 

See more:
snapchat: steen_jones

Aaron Draplin
Logo and graphic designer, Sole Proprietor of Draplin Design Co.  The man can tell as story and is someone who you would have no trouble holding down a conversation with.  I had the privilege of hearing him speak in Melbourne in 2015, and met him afterwards.  We talked about Warren Ellis and Ballarat. It was great.  His passion and enthusiasm make him easy to like.  Here is the video I saw when I discovered him: 

Michael Clarke
Former Captain of the Australian Cricket team.  As a teenager playing cricket in Country Victoria, I hated Michael Clarke. A lot.  To the point where my under developed adolescent brain made homophobic remarks about his appearance and lifestyle.  Then when he dated Lara Bingle, I became even more savage. 

Then one day when I saw how much everyone else also hated him, I stopped.

In the public eye, he almost change overnight and reinvented himself.  The shaved head, dropped the sponsors, got married, started to pile on runs and lead Australia as a good cricket captain. Sure, some of his off-field choices I thought weren't great (anyone remember the Louis Vuitton Luggage or sponsor deal with BP?), but his demeanour and adjustments made my opinion of him do a 180. 

Long story short, when Phillip Hughes passed I was overseas and home never felt so far away.  The manner in which Clarke handled himself and the situation was phenomenal.  To then play a week later, with a chronic back injury and score what would be his final (and finest) test 100, was a testament to how he should be remembered.  

Below: At the 1:58 minute mark there is a poignant moment where he looks down.  I believe he knew it would be his final test century. This is one of my favourite sporting moments. 

John Safran
Safran doesn't seem to be afraid of much.  He also doesn't back down from confrontation easily. His method of TV and Documentary making is priceless and engaging viewing.  I have watched Music Jamboree, John Safran vs. God and Race Relations multiple times.  The book he penned about a murder in the Southern state of Mississippi, USA is excellent and an interesting perspective of how the events unfolded.  Really looking forward to what he does next (another book I hear?).  As I slowly work towards hopefully making a documentary, I will look to Safran as an example of how to do it. 

This never gets old:

Wil Anderson
Australia Comedian, Podcaster, TV Host. 
For a long time Wil Anderson had me blocked on Twitter. I have no idea why. Most likely I targeted the Bulldogs for beating the Tigers, and made some poor "Richmondy" comment. But now I am able to follow him, and it's been great.  

I have thoroughly enjoyed his Wilosophy podcast, and also the Two Guys, One Cup AFL Podcast alongside Charlie Clausen.  Because I am time poor and watch too many movies, I am yet to get into TOFOP and FOFOP, which are his comedy podcasts. Nonetheless, I find Anderson's perspective to be well-thought and highly progressive, and my humour to be in tune with his jokes.  He also writes an hour of new material per year for his show, which is an unbelievable workload for a guy who also lives in two countries and produces, and hosts, Gruen. I went to my first (and only) comedy show at the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival and saw Fire At Wil.  Needless to say, I laughed.  Enjoy a small piece of genius here:

Oscar Boyson
New York Filmmaker.  I found out about Oscar's work through Casey Neistat.  His method of storytelling is brilliant and his narration is done with precision.  He also seems to have this old fashion cinema character appeal about him.  Almost as if he should have been born in another era and lived through the 1940's, 50's and 60's. 

See more of his work here:
Vimeo / M2M Iconic 

Honourable mentions: Mum & Dad

• I started writing this on 21/02/2016. I'm so slow. I'll get better at it soon. 
• I own none of the photo or video content. 
• I am aware that all of them are white males. This wasn't deliberate and I'm sorry if it offends anyone. J.K Rowling wrote the books of my childhood and they did more for me than most teachers.