Well, inspiration comes in many forms, and every image is sort of different, so I’ll go through your list and maybe some generalities will come out from there.
That one came from experimentation, I really had no clear idea before I sat down to work on it (which is rare these days). I was supposed to do an album cover for a band, and was having a hard time of it. For some reason I made these two spheres, and then it occured to me that if I added chains to them, they’d look sort of like maces. So I did that, but then realized they were pointing downwards, and so it seemed more like they were giant weights, pulling something down. I then started thinking of all those horrible stories you hear about people getting tied to cement blocks and being drowned in a river, which led me to the idea of doing something similar. The album was for a death metal band, so the subject matter seemed to work. I added the light source strong on top, and dark on the bottom, like your underwater and seeing the sun from below the waves, before you fall into the darkness. Added the figure, decided to make him sort of serpentine. The title fallen angel came to me as I way to describe the overall motion of the piece (being dragged down), and the fact the character was being dragged from the light to the darkness, which had some heaven and hell corilations. I added the tiny anemic wings on its back to fortify the concept and the title.
I’d been doing some looking at piercing and body art, and also I’d seen this really cool album cover from a grindcore band called nasum, which to me was the next logical step, hooking up wires to humans as input/output devices. I decided to explore those ideas in a piece, got a bellybutton photo, started the wires. Due to the flow of the wires, the final pieces seemed to deal more with the output side of things rather than the input side of things, and I went with the title Alternative Birth because it felt like the wires were bursting forth from the orafice (birth), like some mechanical creature being born from an organic creature (hence, “alternative”)
Entry Point 2:
The first Entry Point was based on microscope photography I had seen, getting really close to the skin. It was one of my earlier pieces, and just didn’t quite come out the way I wanted. It just felt too simple somehow, the connector to the body was not much more complex than a textured cylinder. So I decided to challenge myself to making the most complex wire piece I had ever done, with hundreds of wires, all bundled together, twisting around, make something very complex, but at the same time, it needed structure in there. This led me to a huge revamping of my wirebundler script, to allow for pathdeforms since I wanted the wires to be more than textured cylinders. I wanted the skin to look really bloody, like a wound, hence the red colors.
This is really just a simple nature piece. Ever pulled up a piece of sod from your lawn and saw all the cool roots underneath? Well, roots did always look like tentacles, and I love tentacles, so I decided I would make a piece as though the grass and roots were actually alive. The colors are all earth tones, to reenforce the concept. This went through several iterations, the original drawing looked a little more like a spore or virus, but I decided to go a little more straight from reference for the final piece. Added the eye to reenforce the “aliveness” of the creature. I also am a big fan of the Faeries book by Alan Lee and Brian Froud, and so some of the “feeling” of the piece comes from that work.
So I guess one piece came as an experiment. One came from looking at images that led me to some philosophical thoughts, one came as a way to improve on a previous concept, and one came from nature. But all of my work really is a mixture of things, I see a painting, I see a cool shape in nature, I see a color combination on my drive to work, and somehow those differen things fit together in my brain, and an idea is born.
In general, I look at a lot of nature, a lot of photographs (both my own and other people’s), and I tend to come up with my scene before I come up with the creature, which may be partly how I keep stuff more abstract. In some respect, the creature doesn’t matter as much in the end as the environment, lighting, mood and overall shapes in the piece. The details of the creature just support the primary feel.
A lot of ideas usually come to me at night, right before I go to sleep. While their initial inspiration come from something I had seen or felt earlier, it takes a few hours to percolate in my head before the actual image comes to me.
I sorta see it like this, I see the world, and then I view that world through my own eyes, subtely changing the shapes and themes to more closely reflect the stuff that interest me. I also combine multiple seperate things, since I feel the strongest ideas are actually a combination of ideas. So I may see an interesting shape in a rock on a hike, and turn it into some strange creature, or a robot or an alien landscape. Or I see some sort of neat color combination, and then use it later on in a piece that suits it. Music is also an inspiration, although I generally don’t get ideas directly from music as much as listening to music helps me shape the ideas, helps me with the details, after the initial idea has already formed.
Anyways, hope something in all that babbling answers your question