If you follow what's going on in the contemporary art world, then you're familiar with the work of Ed Ruscha.
Rather than try to say anything important about him or his work, I'll let you read this very scholarly dissertation about his painting "Mean As Hell". Although it's specifically about the painting, it really "nails it down" in explaining Ed's oeuvre.
What attracted me to this video and the main reason I'm sharing it is the simple honesty with which he speaks about his career and the reasons for becoming an artist. It just doesn't get any simpler than this; and that's why it's so inspiring.