Monte M. Moore – professional creative in the comics, gaming and entertainment industries for 25 years. I received a BFA in design/illustration in 1993 and over the years have worked for most major and indie publishers in the industry and have won the World Fantasy Art Show twice for Best Black and White Art. I’m also a screenwriter with 8 script options sold and two feature films produced, and I am working on several creator owned comics and game projects for the game company MYNDzei Games which I co-own.
2: How did you get into what you do in the comic book field?
In 1993 several friends of mine and I self-published our first comic called “LORDS” and took it to SDCC to sell and network. The book was carried by Diamond Distributors but the industry went through a dramatic downswing, so we never published again. I then made my concentrated my focus on the freelance side of things and began to market my work to smaller publishers gaining work with Lightning, Harris, Chaos and other small publishers.
3: What was the first comic book you ever bought? What attracted you to it?
I mostly read my friends comics when I was younger, but the comics I remember buying the earliest were Elfquest(Pini), The Eradicators (Ron Lim), Elflord and the Longshot mini-series (Adams). Although at the time of buying these books my aspirations weren’t lofty enough to include working in the comics industry, but I was still drawn to the art. I decided I wanted to pursue art as a career when I was 16. I remember I had a subscription to Dragon Magazine for gamers like myself, and I seldom read the contents as I just wanted to see the art from Elmore, Easley, Parkinson and Caldwell.
4: What do you do to get into your creative zone?
Most professionals like me don’t have the luxury of feeling like you need to be in the ‘creative zone’ to work as we often put in 40-60 hour work weeks to be successful. That being said…I try to make my art studio as comfortable, cool and awesome so that it’s a great place to hang out in for so many long hours. I usually listen to movies/TV or radio to make the work zone a cool place to be.
5: Have you ever doubted your talent? If so, how did you work through your doubt?
I personally don’t believe I have any talent although I do believe there are many artists who do. What I know I have a lot of is pure dedication and persistence and that has served me well in building the skills to be successful as an artist. I often tell emerging artists when they are starting out to forget about talent and just focus on building skills and honing their artistic techniques. I think if you have dedication then the rest will come in good time.
6: What is your favorite creation?
That’s a hard question to answer since I’ve created thousands of pieces of art, but I guess I would have to say the piece I am most proud of is a piece called Kryptonians, that is a tribute piece to the Man of Steel film. The original hangs in my studio near my art desk. It’s a 2x4 foot multi-media illustration of one of my favorite characters/series….Superman.
7: Have you ever been faced with negative feedback? How was this reflected in your work, if at all?
Negative feedback is part of the job and you are faced with it all the time, especially in a world of social media. In college you get used to comments/critiques from fellow students and teachers and I think it’s one of the good things about going to school, to get used to that sort of thing. I’m the kind of guy who uses failure as fuel for the fire. I have rejection letters from the best companies in the industry and eventually over time every single one of them became a client, when my work had reached the caliber that fit their needs and standards.
8: Who is your greatest influence?
Although I have many great artists who I would call influences like Rockwell, Olivia, Elvgren, Sorayama, Elmore and so many others, my single greatest influence was my mentor for 15 years Mr. Frank Covino. Frank taught all over the world and specialized in the Classic Academic Method of painting which was the method used by artists like DaVinci during the Renaissance.
9: In thinking about the things that you have created, is there something that you hated but the public may have loved?
There were some pieces I did when working on 3rd Edition Dungeons and Dragons when I was experimenting with more hand painting and less airbrush work at the suggestion of artist Keith Parkinson. During that time I grew as an artist but I had to take a step backwards to later advance and when I look back on some of those creations now I cringe a little, but that is all part of the journey of growing as an artist.
10: If your creative work were edible, what would it taste like?
Well I guess since I am most known for pin-ups and sexy subject matter… I suppose I’d like my art to taste like the best black forest cake.. fresh out of the oven… with hand-made vanilla flavored whip cream and warm cherries dripped over the top….mmm.