Western artists have long been influenced by masters from the Far East, though Tupac would never actually admit "Keep Ya Head Up" was about the brave struggles of Connecticut's James Van Der Beek to hold his massive dome upright. For a local illustrator inspired by artists from the Even Further East, check out Josh Holland's Art
Hailing from the mean streets of San Rafael, Holland produces anime-ish prints drawing from the likes of Miyazaki flicks such as Spirited Away, and the show Samurai Champloo, but not Samurai Shampoo, which is a just a half hour per week of dudes lopping off Heads and Shoulders. On the whacked out animal front, there's a '60s-esque print with a dinosaur running from apes/piranhas under "Space Dinosaur, Defend History Against Unknown Future" in Japanese script, a purple-striped serpent slithering across a fantastical ocean floor, and from his "Phobias" series (which explores, among other things, the fear of puppets), a crazed googly-eyed Cookie Monster with blood dripping from his mouth, raising legitimate doubts to his claim of using "acid free" paper. For phobia-phobes, he's also got the five-print "Adaptation" series, including a bug-eyed, Asian-style coy fish in "Never Lose Your Sense of Wonder", and a Where The Wild Things Are-looking monster clan screaming into the night in "We Will Be Heard", also what about half of Denver's matriculating seniors say after getting their CU acceptance letters
The outlier's his single print featuring an actual human in "I Heart Conan", with the red-headed cut-up surrounded by his show's most popular characters, from Pierre Bernard in his Recliner of Rage, to The FedEx Pope, to the fan favorite Masturbating Bear -- like James, a brave performer always committed to keeping his head up.