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  • Writer's pictureAzalea Forrest

Inspired by Media

Updated: Sep 7, 2020

There is SO much in the world to be inspired by, from nature to science, other people and vague ideas, or even in your everyday tasks. I have found inspiration in many things, but media has been my driving force, and I am sure it's the same for many others. How could you not be inspired by other's ideas? Somehow these people have taken things from the real world, mixed them all up together, and produced something amazing, or even something awful. To create is a remarkable, and human, thing to do. While all of this is subjective, I'd love to share some of the things that have inspired me over the years.

Much of my inspiration has derived from video games. I grew up playing The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time on the N64, as well as its sequel, Majora's Mask, and I can still think fondly on the memories of traveling across Hyrule and Termina while fighting monsters or transforming into one of the three main races.

There's something about our quiet hero traversing these incredible and dangerous dungeons, or even doing something mundane such as fulfilling a fetch quest. The atmosphere really stuck with me after all these years, and continues to as I play the more recent LoZ games. Breath of the Wild, the most recent in the series, especially struck home in that atmospheric open world, allowing you to explore every nook and cranny. I think of these worlds as I write my stories, especially in my latest work in progress, which thus far is dubbed Apothecary.

Of all the games I've played, my favorite has been Final Fantasy IX. IX has a storybook quality feel to it as you follow Zidane and his friends in a world full of a monster-producing mist. The characters have such vibrant and interesting personalities, the

music is phenomenal, and there is such rich worldbuilding! The fact that it's set in a fantasy steampunk setting certainly solidified my fondness for it, more so than the other Final Fantasies that I've played at length. One of my oldest characters that I've held onto from my role-playing days was inspired by Zidane's world, although I must admit she and her crew were inspired by the manga (a Japanese comic) One Piece as well.

I've also found inspiration in games like Fallout 4, Final Fantasy 7, 8, and 10, and even the farming sim, Stardew Valley. Video games are amazing mediums to tell stories in, and I've always been fascinated by them. It's no wonder they've inspired countless others!

There is a Japanese animation studio that I'm sure many of you have heard of that has not only inspired me, but has helped me through quite a lot in my life. It's called Studio Ghibli, and along with Toshio Suzuki and Yasuyoshi Tokuma, it was also co-founded with Isao Takahata and Hayao Miyazaki, the two main creators and directors of the studio.

Films like Kiki's Delivery Service, Princess Mononoke, and My Neighbors the Yamadas, all have such wonderful, endearing qualities to them that seep into my own world and character creation, and even into my own personal beliefs and ideals. From strong female characters to a thought provoking narrative, I am so grateful to Ghibli Animation for putting these stories out into the world, and eventually into the West. If you've never seen a Ghibli film, I implore you: watch them! Animation is not "just for kids", and while

many of the films are child-friendly, it doesn't mean they don't carry any quality for an adult to enjoy.

Hayao Miyazaki, before Ghibli really got off the ground, had made a seven volume manga called Nausicaa and turned it into a film. While the film is fantastic, it pales in comparison to its source material, which is so much more rich in lore and depth. Thanks to the success of the film, Ghibli was able to move forward to what it is today. I find quite a lot of art and stories that have also been inspired by Ghibli, and it really warms my heart.

The final bit of media I'll touch on today are web comics. There are so many great comics out there on the internet today! From Sakana by Mad Rupert, to Verse by Sam Beck, and even Lore Olympus by Rachel Smythe. There are so many good story elements within all of these comics, character depth, even humor, that I appreciate and am continuously inspired by. Even if that inspiration doesn't get into my work, it has still become a part of me and has helped me to grow as an artist.

Consuming media can be such a boon to creatives, and even to non-creatives. It can bloom ideas and emotions and entirely new universes within us, if only we would let those ideas take us away. What has inspired you? What media has stayed with you so strongly that it feels like it's a part of you?


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