I have always had a soft spot for fantasy illustration. Being a big Tolkien fan early on set that stage. I was immersed in Moorcock, Ellison, Leiber, and tons of other fantasy and science fiction novels for most of my teen years. I still read them once in a while but am more into the headier stuff like Dune and cyberpunk stuff like Gibson and Bear.
Jon Foster is a fantasy/sci fi artist that I've found really does it for me. His style and use of color are just phenominal, but I think it's the movement in his work that intrigues me. His characters seem to be on the verge of leaping across the page.