Nothing motivates me more than knowing how good other illustrators are. Although it can be discouraging, I occasionally browse other artists' sites to see what I have to live up to.
Dan Dos Santos is another CT native, and he's pretty much living the dream; killer work, great success, critical acclaim. In addition to painting about a gazillion book covers, he also continues to illustrate cards for Magic: The Gathering. When I saw him speak at the Society of Illustrators in the fall of '07, he said he had work scheduled six months in advance. How cool would that be? Man, I'm jealous.
In any case, hop on over to his website to see what I'm talking about.