As an illustrator of the fantastic, a lot of my initial influences were cinematic -- Star Wars being first on the list. It wasn't until 1998 that I read Lord of the Rings and started to get more into the fantasy side of things.
I began painting mostly in acrylics and then oils. A few years later I started painting digitally, and now all my illustration work is digital.
As I continued to do art I started focusing more and more on fantasy, after finding out that I enjoy that subject matter most of all. Looking back, it does sort of make sense, as Star Wars was basically space fantasy, not really science fiction (midichlorians yes, but we won't go there).