Recently, I made an influence map. You might've seen things of this sort floating around. What it is is basically a collection of artist that have influenced me during my development as an artist. It's good to analyse oneself's art. Often, I fall into a trap of just painting with my brain off. In this case, the mindless painting is that delicious, delicious cupcake under the box. Its ok to make friends with that cupcake once in a while, but like most things, painting is a mental game. So yes, this is my influence map.
But wait, there's more.
The upside of having your influences in mind while painting is that you're constantly reminded of why you love them in to begin with. And you start to focus on those things and it gives you a road map to improving.
Speaking of road maps, it's an easy way to KNOW what to study. It's easy to get overwhelmed with subjects to study. World, meet Oyster. Studying your influences distills exactly what you want to showcase in your own paintings.
Now, I've gone one further.
This here's an influence "Family Tree". Now we take it up to eleven. Who has influenced the person who's influenced me. This is obviously speculation on my part. Having said that, it's possible to deduce. Try looking at artists who came before with similar techniques or of a similar art movement. Perhaps you may now fall in love with your "influence grandparents". Now study them. Happy arting.