Not in particular (haha), but as a kid I was always the one making things and coming up with ideas for me and my friends to do. I founded a nature club with our own zine, we had an underground headquarters with a chimney in it and made fires underground, which almost killed us haha. Later I started my own skateboard magazine with a friend, we did 5 issues on my dad's photocopier and supplied to all skate shops in the Netherlands. When I was in my late teens, I discovered graffiti, which really changed my perspectives of what is possible in showing your "designs" to a larger audience.
As a homeowner and young dad, I am kind of stuck here in Breda, a small city in the south of the Netherlands, which isn't necessarily a bad thing because the city is nice and without too many distractions I can just focus on work other than going to parties, meetings, and events all the time. And of course, there is the internet. I think, especially since there are no local clients, I was forced to operate on a larger scale online, which has really helped to raise my profile on a global level. I now work with clients that want to work with me because they are a fan of my work, instead of bullshit local clients that want me to paint dolphins on their garage door because I am "that artist guy that lives down the road".
Pfewwww, hard one, I am always thinking about this, and it changes by the day but let's see, in no particular order:
Owen Davey, those colours, the amount of work he is putting out there at such a high level. This guy is just incredible!
Grand Chamaco, I recently re-discovered his beautiful 3d work and it is giving me so much energy. Makes me want to learn Cinema 4D.
Janine Rewell, Her work is just amazing and so well put together. Super professional.
Mar Hernandez (Malota), so many cool characters and lovely textures, nice and weird with feelgood vibes.
Marie-Laure Cruschi (Cruschiform), this level of talent and attention to detail is insane.
I am looking for someone who is smart and wants to learn. Someone who knows about the design scene today and who works on finding his or her place in this scene through hard work, strategy, and planning. Someone who is a maker pur sang and has a go-getter mentality, but most of all, someone who is nice and has absolute fun in what he or she is doing.
Stop being so fucking shy and go for it.
Be excited about your own work and others will be too. Without excitement, work looks boring, no matter how well designed. So find something that you enjoy and start close to your personal interests so it will be fun to work on. Try to learn as much as possible by reading, listening, watching and meeting others, and create your own personal story.