It’s All About Influence

Ahhh, internet memes. How you have the ability to get my creative juices flowing! Thanks to Pj Perez for alerting me to this fun little Influence journey. If you’re interested, you can pick up the template from fox-orian on

Sara Mooney’s Influences

[Try to follow along the best you can from top left to bottom right!]

  1. Rainer Maria Rilke – The first of a long line of old, dead poet dudes. He actually led a pretty sad existence, but the fodder he had for great poetry and writing was amazing!
  2. Crayola Interior Design kit – I received this as a Christmas present as a kid. It came with a little drafting board, complete with slide rules, angles, curves, and stencils/templates. My dad (a draftsman) showed me how to use all the tools, and he kept me stocked with mechanical pencils, good erasers, and velum. I must have made hundreds and hundreds of rooms! It’s amazing how much creativity can be fostered from the basics of lines and colors.
  3. The Cure – Yep. Teen angst. Played the Wish cassette until it was worn out. Let my freak flag fly high!
  4. Gaping Void / Hugh MacLeod – It all started with cartoons drawn on business cards and has now progressed to a sharp commentary on the advertising and social media biz. Who can ever argue with “Evil plans are best!” and “Ignore Everybody”?
  5. XML and rich metadata / Dublin Core – Metadata makes the world go ‘round! I’ve been coding web pages since 1994 (yes, starting in Mosaic days!), and think that this type of code is poetry. XML is so diverse that it’s the building blocks of information discovery. You can learn a lot by simply looking at the code. Only thing? It better be rich and correct, otherwise I become a very cranky gal.
  6. REM – This one is definitely for the music and not for Michael Stipe. One of the first alternative / progressive bands to go from college radio to mainstream.
  7. Libraries and WiFi – once again, information in physical or electronic form. Yay for learning and discovery!
  8. David McCandless – Information Is Beautiful. Yes, it is.
  9. Jackson Pollock – Many people look at his paintings and see only splotches of paint. What they miss is his underlying methods to keep his style in the paintings. What looks like chaos is actually highly organized.
  10. Terry GilliamMonty Python. Brazil. The Adventures of Baron Munchausen. His animations. So much of his work appeals to my offbeat sense of humor and slightly skewed outlook on the world that it’s hard for me to not look at his work and see brilliance.
  11. Music – simple yet so complex.
  12. Thesauri – Can’t find inspiration? Crack open the thesaurus, look up a word, and find another word. Repeat. Also great for doing alphabet poems!
  13. Roy Lichtenstein – Two words: Pop art. Another word: comics. Bliss.
  14. McSweeney’s Quarterly – These guys are always on the verge of great fiction. In fact, their quarterly release is also a work of art. Who can say no to your literature coming packaged like a WWII army survival kit in a cigar box or in a clear plastic envelope that looks like junk mail for $60 a year shipped?
  15. The Muppets and NYC – The Muppet Show was something both my parents and I could share, even when I was 5 years old. Sophisticated enough for adults to laugh at, amusing for the kids. In high school, we started taking yearly bus trips to NYC to see Broadway shows and run around the city. All I have to do is think about how big both the Muppets continue to be and the dynamic pace of NYC, and I’m happy.
  16. Haruki Murakami – A Japanese writer whose books are not quite reality, yet not quite fantasy. He weaves stories that exist in a haze like a waking dream. On top of that, he’s a runner who didn’t start running until his 30’s. He ran his first marathon while in Greece on the original route. How cool is that?!?
  17. Theatre – Where anything can go wrong and will go wrong. Nothing like being onstage or backstage when things don’t quite go as planned to foster immediate creativity.
  18. Apple, Inc. – With the help of an ex, I built a PC running Windows. Once. Then I immediately went back to a Mac. Fangirl? Yes, but more of a fan of their willing to push the envelope of innovation.
  19. Jack Kerouac – Who doesn’t want the life of touring around the USA and Mexico strung out and writing? This girl! Still interesting in reading and living vicariously through his adventures, and I hope to make it to Big Sur sometime in the next year.
  20. Wallace Stevens – another old, dead poet guy. Here’s a guy who was an insurance salesman by day and a poet by night. Right brain vs. left brain brilliance.
  21. Glen Phillips – Yep. Been a fan since 1990? 1991? I remember asking for a Toad the Wet Sprocket cassette tape for Christmas and no one having any clue who they were. Little did I know at that time how influential Glen’s songwriting would be in my life. It matured at the same rate I matured.
  22. Canada – From my early days of summer family camping around the 1000 Islands region to working for a French-Canadian company, that country always seems to come back into my life. Again. And again. Not that I mind since they do have Coffee Crisps.
  23. Converse Chuck Taylors – Best. Shoes. Evar! Get some white ones and design your own or choose from the hundreds of designs that were released over the past 50+ years!
  24. Traveling – There’s nothing like going to a different place to open your eyes to new ideas and learning how someone else lives.
  25. Camping and the outdoors – Taking the time to slow down, unplug, and see all the wonderful sights.



Sara Written by:

I'm an Information Architect and Taxonomist in the greater Philadelphia, PA area. Mad about metadata. Incessant organizer. Knowledge monger. Information seeker. Wisdom chaser. Curiosity has yet to kill this cat!

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