In no particular order, here are some of my influences (unfinished):

Without exception, my mother (Charlene Green), influenced me more than I could ever imagine, account for or explain. I believe I paint the way I do because of my upbringing and surroundings; that is, I was immersed in a complex multicultural environment, in my home and neighborhood. Beginning with my heritage, immediate and extended family, which has Arabic, Black, Mexican and White within it, allowed me to learn and thrive amidst diverse ethnicities. The homes I grew up in, which could only be understood after having a firm grasp of what compulsive hoarding is, gave endless inspiration to me, and any artist at that. Before all the network shows on cluttered houses, pack rats and hoarders, I had lived through this. Because of all the clutter that I lived in, daily surrounding me, allowed me to paint in multiple dimensions and color, my mind able to sort through an array of ideas as easily as viewing the world through a pair of kaleidoscope glasses; though, without having to put the glasses on, I just simply opened my eyes and looked around. Regardless of how overwhelmed I may have been at times in our labyrinth of a home or environment, my mom could explain the most complex situation in such subtle simplicity, reassuring me that everyone experiences and responds to the world differently.

Broken lives and toys were never disregarded or discarded; they were inspirations for future projects, no one or anything was counted out...

Artists that influenced me:

...If it is in a magnificent way that I intend to insert an addendum into the history of modern art, I must paint with the child-like imagination of Picasso while using a brush with bristles made of Dali's mustache. Although I never met Picasso or Dali—who together in a room are like a particle and antiparticle nanoseconds away from annihilation—their life's work and legacy have unquestionably influenced a majority of what I understand and appreciate about modern art. They were the vanguards of Abstraction and Surrealism, the two main art movements that ferociously battled to conquer the 20th Century; both of them were autonomous in their craftsmanship and philosophies, creating and abandoning styles and genres before anyone else had the opportunity to comprehend their genius.

I chose to focus on Picasso and Dali, not because my artistic scope is limited, but because I recognize that any artist born after these two brilliant Spaniards becomes lost in the shadow of their success—let alone the dominant Spanish figures of the Golden Age that paved their way: El Greco, Diego Velasquez, and Francisco Goya. It is often said in traditional art circles that if a painter desires to be great, they must first learn how to paint like the masters; therefore as my teachers, I chose Dali and Picasso—the classical masters of modern art. I don’t want to become them, but through their instruction of artistic brilliance, and the exhortation of other ambitious artists, I can become BRIMS: Perhaps, one of the great and well known painters of the Twenty-First Century.

I don’t want to limit my praise to Spanish artists, though they are among my favorites, as there were many significant artists of various ethnicities throughout the history of art. This history, from the cave paintings of Lascaux to the wallpaper and screensavers of personal computers, is fascinating and worth the study of anyone interested; but the scope of this website is not about the history of art, nor other artists. But if the reader wonders, the past seven centuries, from the Gothic art of Giotto to the Abstract Expressionism of Pollock, are some of my favorite, though my inspiration comes from a much broader spectrum: Every artist who ever lived inspires me; from the creation of our universe to the simplified stick-figures drawn by a child. With such a glorious history of artists, how difficult it is then, to become known among them—this will be determined by an artist’s relentless ambition to create works that cause the viewer to pause and appreciate the fruits of their work...

Some short films I remember watching as a child:

All Summer in A Day
The Red Balloon

Some books I’ve read:

13 Clock's -- James Thurber
50 Secrets of Magic Craftsmanship -- Salvador Dali
1984 -- George Orwell
2001 A Space Odyssey -- Arthur C. Clarke
A Brief History of Time -- Stephen Hawking
A Call to Arms -- Christopher Dorsey
A Canticle for Leibowitz -- Walter M. Miller
A Christmas Carol -- Charles Dickens
A Clockwork Orange -- Anthony Burgess
A Farewell to Arms -- Earnest Hemingway
A Happy Death -- Albert Camus
A Message to Garcia -- Elbert Hubbard
Aesop's Fables
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass -- Lewis Carroll
All Quiet on the Western Front -- Erich Maria Remarque
American Born Chinese -- Gene Luen Yang
And Then There Were None -- Agatha Christie
Animal Farm -- George Orwell
Anthem -- Ayn Rand
As I Lay Dying -- William Faulkner
Atlas Shrugged -- Ayn Rand
Beowulf -- Translated by David Wright, Penguin Classics
Bhagavad Gita
Black Girl Lost -- Donald Goines
Blankets -- Craig Thompson
Blink -- Malcolm Gladwell
Black Hole -- Charles Burns
Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
Breakfast at Tiffany's -- Truman Capote
Bridge to Terabithia -- Katherine Paterson
Burned -- Ellen Hopkins
Carnage and Culture -- Victor Davis Hansen
Catch 22 -- Joseph Heller
Cat's Cradle -- Kurt Vonnegut
Cosmicomics -- Italo Calvino
Crime and Punishment -- Fyodor Dostoevsky 
Diary of a Wimpy Kid -- Jeff Kinney
Don Quixote -- Miguel de Cervantes
Dopfiend -- Donald Goines
Dune -- Frank Herbert
Einstein’s Dreams -- Alan Lightman
Ender's Game -- Orson Scott Card
Ethan Frome -- Edith Wharton
Factotum -- Charles Bukowski
Fahrenheit 451 -- Ray Bradbury
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas -- Hunter S. Thompson
Flatland -- Edwin A. Abbott
Fight Club -- Chuck Palahniuk
Foundation -- Isaac Asimov
Fun Home -- Alison Bechdel
Galileo’s Daughter -- Dava Sobel
Ghost World -- Daniel Clowes
Go Ask Alice -- Anonymous
Grendel -- John Gardner
Guns, Germs and Steel -- Jared Diamond
Harriet Tubman, Conductor on the Underground Railroad -- Ann Petry
Hatchet -- Gary Paulsen
Heart of Darkness -- Joseph Conrad
Helen Keller: A photographic story of a life -- Leslie Garret
Hope for the Flowers -- Trina Paulus
House of Leaves -- Mark Z. Danielewski
Illusions -- Richard Bach
In Our Time -- Ernest Hemingway
Invisible Man -- Ralph Ellison
Jonathan Livingston Seagull -- Richard Bach
Life of Pi -- Yann Martel
Light in August -- William Faulkner
Lolita -- Vladimir Nabokov
Lord of the Flies -- William Golding
Loser -- Jerry Spinelli
Long Walk to Freedom -- Nelson Mandela
Longitude -- Dava Sobel
Louis Braille -- Margaret Davidson
Manifesto of the Communist Party -- Karl Marx & Friedrich Engels
Malcolm X Militant Black Leader -- Jack Rummel
Man's Search for Meaning -- Victor Frankl
MAUS I & II -- Art Spiegelman
Memories of My Melancholy Whores -- Gabriel Marquez
Mere Christianity -- C. S. Lewis
Middle Passage -- Charles Johnson
Monster -- Walter Dean Myers
Naked Lunch -- William S. Burroughs
Night -- Elie Wiesel
Notes from Underground -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
Number the Stars -- Lois Lowry
Of Mice and Men -- John Steinbeck
On Protracted War -- Mao Tse Tung
One -- Richard Bach
One Day -- David Nicholls
Persepolis I & II -- Marjane Satrapi
Pimp The Story of My Life -- Iceberg Slim
Play The Piano Drunk Like A Percussion Instrument Until The Fingers Begin To Bleed A Bit -- Charles Bukowski
Post Office -- Charles Bukowski
Requiem for a Paper Bag -- Davy Rothbart
Rule Number Two -- Heidi Squier Kraft
Rumble Fish -- S.E. Hinton
Siddhartha -- Hermann Hesse
Slaughter House Five -- Kurt Vonnegut
Steppenwolf -- Hermann Hesse
Still Life with Woodpecker -- Tom Robbins
Stitches -- David Small
Tao of Pooh -- Benjamin Hoff (1982)
The Absolute True Diary of a Part-Time indian -- Sherman Alexie
The Alchemist -- Paulo Coelho
The Art of War -- Sun Tzu
The Bell Jar -- Sylvia Plath
The Big Sleep -- Raymond Chandler
The Book of Five Rings -- Miyamoto Musashi
The Breakfast of Champions -- Kurt Vonnegut
The Brother's Karamazov -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Captain is Out to Lunch and the Sailors Have Taken Over the Ship -- Charles Bukowski
The Catcher in the Rye -- J.D. Salinger
The Celestine Prophecy -- James Redfield
The Clan of the Cave Bear -- Jean M. Auel
The Color of Water -- James McBride
The Crucible -- Arthur Miller
The Crying of Lot 49 -- Thomas Pynchon
The Dreamer's Thread -- Starla Huchton
The Epic of Gilgamesh -- Translated by N.K. Sandars, Penguin Classics
The Evolution Man -- Roy Lewis
The Fire Next Time -- James Baldwin
The Fountainhead -- Ayn Rand
The Giver -- Lois Lowry
The Glass Castle -- Jeannette Walls
The God Delusion -- Richard Dawkins
The Good Soldier Svejk -- Jaroslav Hasek
The Grapes of Wrath -- John Steinbeck
The Great Gatsby -- F. Scott Fitzgerald
The Help -- Kathryn Stocket
The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy -- Douglas Adams
The House on Mango Street -- Sandra Cisneros
The Hunger Games -- Suzanne Collings
The Landmark Thucydides: Comprehensive Guide to the Peloponnesian War -- Thucydides
The Last Lecture -- Randy Pausch
The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes -- Unknown (1554)
The Little Prince -- Antoine de Saint-Exupery
The Magic Pudding -- Norman Lindsay
The Man With the Golden Arm -- Nelson Algren
The Meaning of Things -- A. C. Grayling
The Metamorphosis -- Franz Kafka
The Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, An American Slave, Written by Himself -- Frederick Douglas
The Old Man and the Sea -- Ernest Hemingway
The Origin of Species -- Charles Darwin
The Outsiders -- S.E. Hinton
The Perks of Being a Wallflower -- Stephen Chbosky
The Plague -- Albert Camus
The Prince -- Niccolo Machiavelli
The Prophet -- Kahlil Gibran
The Reader -- Bernhard Schlink
The Restaurant at the End of the Universe -- Douglas Adams
The Sea Around Us -- Rachel Carson
The Secret Sharer -- Joseph Conrad
The Selfish Gene -- Richard Dawkins
The Sound and the Fury -- William Faulkner
The Story of George Washington Carver -- Eva Moore
The Stranger -- Albert Camus
The Sunlight Dialogues -- John Gardner
The Time Machine -- H.G. Wells
The Trial -- Franz Kafka
The Wonderful O -- James Thurber
Think on These Things -- Krishnamurti
Time of the Great Freeze -- Robert Silverberg
To Kill a Mockingbird -- Harper Lee
Trinity -- Leon Uris
Turning the Mind into an Ally -- Sakyong Mipham
Twilight -- Stephenie Meyer
Washington's Crossing -- David Hackett Fischer
Water for Elephants -- Sara Gruen
We -- Yevgeny Zamyatin
What We Talk About When We Talk About Love -- Raymond Carver
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance -- Robert M. Pirsig
Zen Inklings -- Donald Richie

Some books I plan to read (Some of these were recommendations to me, so I'm not sure of the content):

A People's History of the United States -- Howard Zinn
A Voice in the Wind -- Francine Rivers
Boyd -- Biography of John Boyd
Climate Change Reconsidered -- S. Fred Singer
Earth Abides -- George R. Stewart
Enough of Pessimism, 100 Essays -- Philip Abelson
Fall of the House of Usher -- Edgar Allan Poe
Feynman's Lectures on Physics
Godel, Escher, Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid -- Douglas R. Hofstadter
I Am A Strange Loop -- Douglas Hofstadter
Lila -- Robert M. Pirsig
Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
Narcissus and Goldmund -- Hermann Hesse
Principle Centered Leadership -- Stephen Covey
Revolutionary People at War -- Charles Royster
Rubber Bullets -- Yaron Ezrahi
Sending in the Clowns -- Kris Ralston (High School classmate of mine)
Schrodinger's Cat Trilogy -- Robert Anton Wilson
Six Questions of Socrates
Snow Flower and the Secret Fan -- Lisa See
The Art of Living -- Epictetus
The Divine Comedy -- Dante Alighieri
The Far Side Gallery -- Gary Larson
The Godless Constitution -- Isaac Kramnick & R. Laurence Moore
The Idiot -- Fyodor Dostoevsky
The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors -- James D. Hornfischer
The Pearl -- John Steinbeck
The Power of Myth -- Joseph Cambell
The Sun Also Rises -- Ernest Hemingway
The Virtue of Selfishness -- Ayn Rand
Ubik -- Philip Dick
Undaunted Courage -- Stephen Ambrose
Understanding Physics -- Isaac Asimov
War and Peace -- Leo Tolstoy

Quotes I like:

Picasso - "If you know exactly what you're going to do, what's the good of doing it? Since you know, the exercise is pointless. It is better to do something else."