I'd like to think that the biggest influence on my work would be drawing inspiration and ideas from the world around me. Whether that's taking time to step away from the screen with my trusty sketchpad and find somewhere quiet to think (anywhere green and open), to browsing around the web for sources of inspiration and finding what your peers are getting up to (award sites, social networks, via friends), or escaping with my favourite TV shows/movies (I'd hate to think how many times I've worked with Fifth Element playing in the background).
While those all make up a huge part of influencing what I do, I probably wouldn't say they are the biggest influences. If I was honest, I draw my biggest influence from positive competitiveness; used right it can encourage you to keep on top of your game, inspire new ideas, learning and ways of working, to go outside of your comfort zone and motivate not only you but those around you to be better and work smarter.
I thrive in an environment where I feel challenged, possibly even a little bit daunted by the amazing skills and work of those around me. Rather than look at that negatively, my goal is to spin that to a positive and think "what can I do to be better?", or "what can I do to help/encourage others be better so that in turn I can be challenged by what they go on to do?".
Back in my university days, one of my lecturers made the observation to me that it's funny how it only takes one or two people to work hard to drive up the quality of the work of the rest of the group. It's infectious. Rather than compete against each other, we competed together (some of whom are still my closest friends today). We shared what we were working on, learned to become receptive to criticism and opinion, and generally helped each other out, while simultaneously trying to 'out-do' one another, and it worked.
I'm not the best, and I don't know everything. But that's okay. I might be working on a project using Backbone as my choice framework, while friends might be making awesome things using AngularJS. While I'm accruing knowledge in my choices, they too are on theirs. We can exchange that knowledge and experience in a mutually beneficial way, and save each other those hours of head scratching over that particular thing that just won't do what you want it to do, and produce better work because of it. And should the need arise to work within the others choice framework; you instantly have someone with that experience and knowledge you can draw from.
Be competitive, but do it in a way that's productive, share your knowledge with others, take the time to help someone that's stuck, and they will do it for you; if they get better, you will too. Be inspired by what they make and don't be afraid to recognize them for it, it doesn't make you lesser it makes you more.