Wow, there are so many Illustrators that adore. And as I grow as a Illustrator they are too constantly changing. I will always love Roy Lichtenstein, Al Hirshfield, and Keith Harring. They always speak to me. Today, I am in love with Zac Flagg Baldus, Ana Juan, Adam Rex, James Jean, and my God there are so much more.
I love and appreciate a variety of illustrators - one of my all time favourites has to be Quentin Blake as seeing his works just reminds me of my childhood. One of my more recent favourites at the moment has to be Oliver Jeffers, I simply adore his children's books.
I love looking at all kinds of different illustrators for inspiration. The ones I tend to prefer as far as style and technique goes are Marc Davis - all Disney's "9 Old Men", Mary Blair, Alfonse Mucha, Brandi Milne, Chris Van Allsburgh, the list goes on...
From the past I'd have to say, Gustav Klimt and Alphonse Mucha. I'm very big on art nouveau artists. Right now in the present time my favorite illustrator is Jamie Hewlett.
I've long been a fan of Alex Pardee and Greg Simkins (Craola). Their fresh, urban, gritty characters have inspired me out of many creative blocks. Also really a fan of Steve Lambe, his characters are so well done, it kind of depresses me. haha
Rob Schwartz and Sean "Wilky" Wilkenson are a couple local illustrators that are some of the most creative people I have ever met. They have really helped me take my illustration and overall creativity to the next level. I work with both of them here at Funko (toy company).
There are many other artist/illustrator/designer blogs that I frequent, letting myself absorb the awesome concepts and techniques that has improved my work dramatically.
Charley Harper, Jenny Kostecki-Shaw
NC Wyeth, David Christiana, Adam Rex, Gregory Manchess, Jim Murray, Justin Sweet, Tony DiTerlizzi, Rebecca Guay, Terese Neilsen, Mark Zug, Peter de Seve, Brom, Greg Swearingen, Phil Hale, Gris Grimly and Jon Foster... to name a few.
Those illustrator that I admire so much is Drew Struzan, Micheal Dudas, Allan bruch.
I am a huge fan of Mike Krahulik and Dan Paladin, both of whom work closely with the video game industry. Which is something I would love to do in life.
Leo and Dianne Dillon, Jan Brett, David Diaz, Kadir Nelson, Bernie Fuchs
John James Audubon
Illustrators such as Andy Smith, Dominic Trevett, Jonathan Croft
Akiman, Shoei, CRMK, Edayan, and Shinkiro; The artists of the Street Fighter Illustrations!!!
Robert McGinnis; the famous Pulp fiction paper back novel artist!!! Super amazing.
Perry Rhodan; The famous Pulp Science Fiction Paper back novel artist!!!
Matt Furie http://mattfurie.betternonsequitur.com/
Paul Robertson's amazing sense of humor http://paulrobertson.mechafetus.com/
My good friends of Minneapolis!!! :)
Travis "MintCondition" Stearns http://www.iammintcondition.com/
Josh "ToothJuice" Clancy http://www.toothjuice.net/
Albert Elmore of BootlegsByPeopleWhoCare www.bootlegsbypeoplewhocare.net/
Alexa Lindh http://www.comicspace.com/alexa/
I can usually find something I like in the work of every illustrator's work, but if I had to pick a few favorites, past and present I'd mention J.C. Leyendecker, Al Dorne, Robert Fawcett, James Montgomery Flagg, Norman Saunders, Rudolph Belarski, Edd Cartier, The Ashcan School of Artists; Sloan, Glackens, Bellows, Shinn, etc...
Comics & Animation: Bud Sagendorf, Chic Young, Al Capp, Jimmy Hatlo, Joe Musial, Harvey Kurtzman, Will Elder, Jack Davis, John Severin, Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko, Jim Steranko, Don Heck, Alex Toth, Mort Drucker. And my all-time favorite Will Eisner.
That's the short list!