Hernandez and I recently recorded Episode 5 of the Bike Soccer Jamboree podcast. We talk about our influences, specifically people who have made a dent in our own Personal Mythologies. Canadian solo performer T J Dawe called them Totem Figures.
Episode 6 of BSJ will continue the discussion. I blogged about my major influences a while back. Lately, I've come across the same notion with Austin Kleon (stumbled onto him from his book STEAL LIKE AN ARTIST recently) who advocates finding who inspires you, then tracing back who inspired them and so on.
Here's the deal. The people who have inspired me the most don't know they've even influenced me at all. I learn more from the examples that have been set than from direct, explicit instruction. I'm an observer and a studier. But not a student.
In fact, I’ve never really looked for teachers. I’ve always been on the lookout for mentors... people with skills that I want, people living a kind of lifestyle that appeals to me, people with an approach to life that I want to have as well. People I can emulate!