As an artist, a writer, I have been influenced by other great artists, and not just by other great writers. Vermeer and Dali, for instance, are two of my favorite painters and have greatly influenced me and even inspired me. I have several of their paintings around my house, including over my fireplace. I believe that all great art is connected, like the chapters of a long novel.
I also believe that art is not only an expression but an interpretation of what is all around us: People, nature, everything. And each work of art we create is like a leaf on a branch of one great tree that spans the universe and all of time. Even if your art is cooking, you are contributing to that great work of art that is mankind. Keep making art everyone!