Bryan Moore

Sculptor

BryanBryan began his career as a sculptor in 1984, working on many horror films such as the Nightmare on Elm Street franchise, Jumanji, and Mortal Kombat, all the way to current offerings such as Underworld 2, The Cave and Backwater. TV work includes Tales from the Darkside, Monsters, Love and Curses and the new Sci-Fi Channel special Monsters of the UFO

When much of the FX work shifted over to computer, Bryan gravitated into the blossoming toy and collectible market, spending five years as a staff sculptor at Mattel Toys working on such classic brands as Barbie, Hot Wheels, and Disney product.

In 2002, Bryan opened Arkham Studios, to provide the toy industry with high quality prototyping and final product. Current clients include Universal, Mattel, BMW, Jakks Pacific and Burger King.

In addition, Arkham Studios now offers it's own line of literary and occult figurines for the high end collectible market.





Bryan Moore - An Artist’s Statement

You know, I’ve always wanted to write up an “artist’s statement” like so many others I saw. You’ve seen ‘em before. It’s usually along the lines of “No one understands my Poe-like melancholy that I suffer for my art in a cruel, unappreciative world” or something like that. How boring, right?

Unfortunately, it’s true. Trying to make a living as an artist these days is brutal, not just for me, but for every artist I know, be they painter, sculptor or what have you. Photoshop killed so many art careers and now Z-Brush is doing the same thing to sculptors. Many times I’m told over the phone that being a “traditional sculptor” is now unmarketable, almost a dirty word and something that should be put out to pasture.

Granted, Photoshop and Z-Brush opened up a new career for many people and the results of using those two computer programs can be fantastic, but it seems that many ignore people of true talent and the work they do with their own two hands and years of knowledge and experience.

I know what you’re thinking. “Get with the times, Bry, or you’ll be left behind!” or “That’s just the way of progress, dude, get over it!”. You’re right. If I want to stay competitive in a marketplace those are great skills to have.

One thing I’ve noticed, though, is that now there are too many people who can use those computer programs who aren’t artists. People who have marginal talent or skills, but a computer program makes what they can actually do all bright and shiny. Another casualty of the glut of “computer artists” is that they drive the working wage or actual worth of the art down. Why? Because now there are more of them than are of guys like me of actual skill and talent.

Anyone can walk into a large, consumers electronics store and buy a computer program that can pretty much do the work for them. And they do. Every day. To the tune of a billion dollar industry. And suddenly, they are an artist. They have the receipt to prove it. Guys like me learned their skill set the hard way and that was by actually making something with your hands until you did it long enough to get good at it. Then you’re suddenly called “talented” and if you’re lucky you could talk your way into a job where someone would actually pay you money to do what you loved for a living.

Those situations are still out there, but they are indeed becoming harder to come by.

So, what next for a guy like me?

Well, in talking to other guys and gals like me who are real artists, there are two choices. Take six months to a year off (if you can afford it), buy the computer software (if you can afford it), and pay someone to teach you the programs (if you can afford it), and learn your skill set all over again by using a computer interface which will make you far more marketable to employers. This isn’t a bad idea and probably a smart thing to do.

The other choice is to realize what is truly going to make you happy as an artist in life. Will you be content to sit behind a computer screen for years as your eyes go and you get carpal tunnel syndrome in your wrist and hands (seen it happen far too much already) or will you keep going with your art as you saw it in the first place, cultivating that skill at really getting good at something that no one else can do?

The pendulum can swing both ways in an economy. CGI effects for films has been ‘en vogue for years, but now people are getting burned out on the look. Why? Because any kid can do the same thing with a computer program that they bought at the store. No one’s impressed anymore.

Artists (and I’m talking about REAL artists here) create niches and fans and followings by doing their own thing. Remember Don Martin’s silly scribbles for Mad Magazine? Of course you do. Why? Because no one else drew like that. Can’t do that on a computer. Same with other great artists like H.R. Giger, Drew Struzan, Thomas Kuntz and many others who created their own distinct style from their hearts and minds and hands. The world will always remember these names, not the nameless technicians who bought a Photoshop program and suddenly fancied themselves the next Norman Rockwell.

Name one “computer artist” who has created a style unlike anything else. You can’t. True talent comes from years of hard work couple with an intuitive sense of “what’s right” whether it’s on paper, in clay or whatever, not by sitting behind a computer.

Of course, I may being singing dirges in the death throes of real art, but I don’t think so. I just attended a horror convention called Monsterpalooza where most of the items on display or for sale were of monsters from films. Pretty much all the art there was created by hand by real people, not computers. It was some of the most inspiring and originally executed art I had seen in a long time and it was being celebrated in the form of compliments and cash paying customers.

Stick to your guns, fellow artists. I see a light at the end of the tunnel.