Jim Flora was the start of an illustration style that took the modernism of painters such as Miro, Klee, and Picasso, blended it with a jazz sensibility, and added a dollop of the Sunday funnies pages. He created an urbane and wiggly graphic beast that was ubiquitous in the immediate postwar years, throughout the 1950s and well into the following decade. The cartoonist Kim Deitch once told me that his father, the great illustrator and UPA animator Gene Deitch, "worshipped" Jim Flora. Gene wasn't alone in that assessment!

Fifty years later, Jim Flora's work (both old and new) remains fresh, breezy, smart, and humorous. And it's no secret that Jim Flora continues to exert a strong influence on many illustrators of today. Echoes of the master are readily apparent in the work of Michael Bartalos, J. Otto Seibold, Phillip Aderson, Terry Allen, myself, and others. I think I can speak for all of us in saying we only wish we could attain the heights Jim seemed to scale without ever breaking a sweat! He was a monster!

     — J.D. King

If you look at my paintings, you'll see Jim Flora's influence, as well as that of Deitch, Kimball, and many other illustrators that I haven't been able to track down yet. That period of jazz-influenced, minimal, cubist, wacked-out, avant-garde illustration and animation remains my favorite and is the base upon which I've tried to build my own body of work. Sometimes I paint an object and realize, "Oh no-that's how Jim Flora would have done it!" That usually requires me to paint over said object and try to do it again more "Shag-like," whatever that means. Jim Flora did it like nobody else, and I don't want to step on his toes.

     — Shag

This is going to change the way that I draw," I said out loud in a record store. I was holding a copy of Shorty Courts the Count on LP. The cover seemed to be moving. The balance of the shapes and colors was so perfect. After a few minutes, my eye made it to the bottom right corner. It said, simply, "Flora." With a bit of searching, I found it was Jim Flora. I've been a huge fan ever since, and my drawings were forever changed for the better.

     — Tim Biskup

Jim Flora was a big influence for me -- I was always inspired by the spontaneity and animation in his work. While designing album covers in the early '80s for groups like The Dickies and Oingo Boingo, I stumbled on Jim Flora's LP covers. I was excited and depressed at the same time. I realized his stuff was so much more new wave or punk -- or whatever -- than what me and my peers were attempting. He was fresher, more innovative, and just better. Later when I became a kids' book illustrator, I found Jim Flora's books.

Though not as animated as his album art, they were, and still are, more exciting than the majority of picture books out there. He was one of a kind."

     — Lane Smith

Jim Flora's surreal images pop off the paper and into the viewer's subconscious. The album covers he illustrated are visual jazz-very playful and improvisational. He also drew Siamese twins. I don't know why, but they're very cool.

     — Gary Baseman

The following quotes were taken from The Mischievous Art of Jim Flora