More than reading his books, of which I have to admit I've only ever read the most obvious, it was reading Ray Bradbury's description of writing Farenheit 451 on library pool typewriters, in paid-for shifts amongst the clatter of numerous other machines and their operators that was a hugely profound experience for me. It gave me the confidence to realise that art could come from anywhere, no matter how mundane or deprived it may seem from the outside. You didn't need space or time or resources, just diligence and imagination. You didn't need six months alone in a cottage, you just needed the burning urge to get your idea down and the discipline to do so in the moments you had available. To a poor kid who knew he was always going to have to work for a living - surrounded by rich kids who would be able to chase whatever artistic dreams they fancied unencumbered by fear of failing, knowing that they would always have both support and fast track access to a decent career should they need it - that was an incredibly liberating thing to discover.
RIP Ray Bradbury