I feel like growing up in the US it's pretty hard to escape pop culture to some degree. The form of pop culture that sneaks into my work tends to be in the form of 2d/graphic elements. I was drawn to animation from an early age, and it still holds a special place in my early influences.
As of late, I'm finding myself more interested in ephemeral/undervalued references. References that are a little less popular but feel familiar, as well as creating my own.
Items that are a little less recognizable to a mass amount of people, but still produce a familiar feeling. Some things that have had a short-lived purpose and/or won't be seen by a larger audience. Anything from character trademarks, street signs, packaging, book illustrations, stickers, etc. Items that are usually overlooked.