I grew up in an artistic family and it rubbed off pretty hardcore. Having an engineer for a father also created an interesting mix of perspectives.
I'm writing / penning a graphic novel that is what I believe to be a sub-genre Steampunk I am calling Rational Steampunk. This approach insists on a strong dose of reality, unlike most Steampunk, which simply accepts even the most irrational of physics and logic-bending notions.
That ain't going to happen in my universe, and I think the boundaries of Rational Steampunk creates some amazing results. And the research requirements uncovers some of the most surprising historical information I've ever known.
I also really like Lovecraft, especially the concept behind Cthulhu (partly because I love octopus). I like designing art, especially sculpture, and then giving the piece a backstory - like it's actually an artifact of an ancient culture and was found under mysterious (perhaps perilous!) circumstances.