Part of the fun of any Comiccon is taking in all the sights and sounds and that includes the plethora of local artists who set up shop to show off their impressive artwork inspired by the films, shows and comics they’ve consumed over the years. One such artist is local boy Chris Moore, who specializes in drawing realistic and comic book inspired portraits of superheroes. While at Comiccon, Chris was kind enough to share his time with me to give me an interview about how he got started, what inspired him and where he’s going.
Part of the fun of any comic-con is to see what some of the local artists and vendors are offering. While the events are host to celebrities, video games and even pop culture news at some of the bigger events, the life of these events is still the small independent artists who sell their wares at these increasingly popular events. I took a few minutes and sat with Chris Moore, who draws under the banner C. Moore Designs, to understand where he’s coming from, how he got started and where he’s going.
Chris started honing his artistic craft at Les Enfants du Monde primary school. Drawing animals to start within the confines of art class, it wasn’t long before he caught the eye of his teacher, who highlight his work by submitted his art to local art exhibitions. He remembered seeing his work in a shopping mall and realizing that his art must’ve meant something if it made it this far out of the school. One of his art teachers later on actually stated in front of the whole class that “this is art” in reference to his creations. When asked about what does he think was the first comic book he ever owned, he gave an answer that I’m sure many of you will relate to, which is, of course, Calvin and Hobbes. The main reason though wasn’t the story of a young boy living in a fantastical world with his imaginary friend though. It was the illustrations, which were simpler than what you’d find in a superhero comic but somehow managed to capture a child’s imagination. Chris was instantly drawn to them. From there, it was Saturday morning cartoons-specifically the antics that the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles got up to, that got Chris to put pencil to paper.
At eight years old, he moved to Barbados to live with his dad. Buying comic books and toys were more like luxury items on the Carribean island, so Chris had to find the items that really drew his attention, as these commodities were not cheap. A childhood friend of his, who Chris saw as an inspiration, encouraged him to not only to start drawing but to work on perfecting it. Practicing his art became a focus while living in Barbados as a child and by the time he was eleven, he had begun to catch the attention of his art teachers. One of them actually took Chris’ work and told the entire class that “this was art”. From there, it was magazines like Wizard and the Marvel/DC comics that were the inspirations behind what to draw next and taking part in art competitions to further hone his craft.
Chris eventually returned to Montreal twenty years later Unfortunately, adulthood took over and Chris began to slow down on the drawing. It got to the point where due to work (or lack of work), school and life that he had no time to draw at all for years. He had actually given up on art at this point in his life. It wasn’t until a friend of his requested a portrait that Chris picked up drawing again. Under normal circumstances, he wouldn’t do portraits as he felt they restricted him but as it was a request for a friend, he caved in. This, in turn, led him to another customer who wanted Chris to commision a portrait for him and the sudden enthusiasm and interest for his work, along with the motivation of a co-worker, who also appears as an artist at Comiccon, psyched Chris into art all over again.
After a lot of practice, Chris has begun to hone his craft. He loves drawing characters from Marvel and DC comics, creating either hyper-realistic portraits of characters or adding his own unique twist to the character, including adding his own spin to the character or making the character more comic book/cartoon inspired compared to his realistic portraits. He makes a point to experiment with different styles in order to do something different each time. While many of his works, especially the hyper-detailed sketches are done with pencil, Chris also does his work on a digital tablet in order to express himself differently.
The 2018 edition of the Montreal Comiccon is the first convention for C. Moore Designs and was a learning experience for the artist, who said he came away with not only sales and fans, but helpful advice from other artists selling their wares at the con. He hopes to return to Montreal Comiccon again in 2019 with those lessons in hand and is striving for a fan base large enough to make a potential push to other contentions around Canada and the USA in the coming years. But the priority is that he simply hopes people end up appreciating what he does and that they continue to seek out his work in the future-something every artist can relate to. If you like Chris’ story and art, you can check him out on Instagram where he shares his art for his fans (it’s pretty good art, I must say).
If you haven’t already, check out my other comic con articles, including my hands-on impressions of Marvel’s Spider-Man and Shadow of the Tomb Raider as well as a Q&A with Game of Thrones actor Julian Glover.
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