One of my major influences was as a student, I somehow managed to have bad math teachers, even at the university level. This made me interested in being a really good teacher, and at this point in my life I have taught for nearly twenty years.
But I don't teach math! I teach subjects like Flash, 3ds Max, Animation, Photoshop, programming, etc. I love teaching and I work very hard at it, because it is so rewarding to see students begin to understand subjects that can be quite challenging.
I moved to Sweden two years ago, with the idea of spending the first year creating a video game - not just a regular video game, but one that you can learn geography from while you played. Well, after a few months of wrestling with the game engine (The Torque Game Engine), I began to realize this wasn't going to be easy - the engine was very poorly documented. I had to figure out things by trial and error, or by asking questions on the forums and hoping for an answer.
I was making lots of notes on what was working and what wasn't, and it was starting to look like I was writing my own book on how to bring game art into the Torque game engine! So I did just that. When I was teaching at the Art Institute the previous year, we'd had a publisher stop by and ask if any of us had ideas for books. I contacted this man, one thing led to another, and after six months of intense writing, Creating Game Art for 3D Engines came out in late 2007!
I took extra care to explain this entire process clearly, and have over 300 pages, and over 240 full-color illustrations, as well as a book CD with over 90 minutes of video tutorials.