Art Whore

Art Talk – Chris Moore of ‘We Become Monsters’

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Chris Moore’ urge to create is innate, stemming from child-hood days spent kit-bashing old ‘GI Joes’ into unique monstrous creations. A passion he kept as a hobby for many years.

Chris only began formally selling his works a few years ago after being constantly hassled by close friends who wanted to own some of Mr. Moore’s unique art.

Whilst being young to the art hustle, Chris style, passion and creativity has led to him being contracted to do commission work for companies such as ‘Kirk Von Hammett Toys’, and gaining a loyal and devoted following.

(Picture below of The Hell?! resin from ‘We Become Monsters’)

Chris Moore - Hell Resin

With many sculpts in development, and enough creation and passion to power an army, now is the perfect time to get to know Chris Moore and ‘We Become Monsters’ by reading the art talk below…

Basics/Getting to Know

Name + D.O.B?

Chris Moore, 1976

City, State n Country you’re Repping?

Las Vegas, NV – USA

Describe a memory from three stages of yr life ….basically trying to piece together Mr. Moore’s pivotal moments. Concerts, art, action-figures, women, school, college… ANYTHING man.

* age 10 – pre pubes:

I used to stay up super later at my buddies house during sleep-overs.
We’d get a pizza, drink a ton of soda and watch horror movies like Evil Dead or CHUD on HBO and Cinemax after his parents went to sleep.
Then we’d stay up crazy late playing CHUD with Gi Joes.
We also used to take eyeglasses screwdrivers and unscrew the backs of the Joes, then re-assemble them different. It got to where we traded heads or bodies with each other, or at least for me, when I was buying a toy I’d happily buy a toy that sucked to get a cool part I wanted.
I’m not sure we ever played ‘GiJoe vs. Cobra’ at all, it was always shit like V (the series) or They Live or Escape from NY.

(Picture below of Chris and his lovely wife Keri at a recent ‘We Become Monsters’ show)

Chris Moore - Chris + Wife at Show

* age 15 – pube rage:

Rode my bike EVERYWHERE until I got my car. We used to go zip around on the golf course near my friends house sometimes. Golf courses are awesome for bike rides.
One of my best friends worked in a video store so we’d all hang out there smoking cigs and watching movies. This got me exposed to early Peter Jackson, Cronenberg, Fulci, Argento, both Bavas, etc..
We just nerded out watching shlock and horror and poking fun at the insane porn titles like ‘Edward Penishands’ or ‘Fatliners’.

* age 20 – acceptance of pubes:

The below is not bullshit. I know how it sounds but it is true.
I met my wife around this time, by crashing a party that I followed Alex from Clockwork Orange to. She was dressed as a nun and pulled my face off towards the end of the night.
I left a dead clown in her apartment. Her roomates were not pleased, and neither was the clown.

Personal motto?

“I suck at marketing’ Does that count? Hah.

(Picture below of a custom 18″ ‘Kid Robot‘ Mega Munny)

Chris Moore - 18inch Mega Munny

Favorite band(s)?

I always come back to ‘DK’, ‘Misfits’, ‘Cramps’, ‘Lost Sounds’ and ‘The Pixies’, but I like all kinds of shit.

Favorite TV show(s)?

Of all time? It is a common answer but ‘Deadwood’ and ‘The Wire’ have it tied.
OG ‘Twilight Zone’ is also fucking great.

Favorite sport(s) + teams?

Pittsburgh Penguins, because that is my wife’s favorite, I don’t care much about sports myself.

Favorite movie(s)?

I don’t have time, and you don’t have space, to list anywhere near them all, so I’ll go with one: ‘Meet the Feebles’.

Favorite books and comics?

I really liked Hugh Howey’s ‘Silo’ series.
I like all Stephen King, even when he goes off the rails like later ‘Dark Tower’ books. ‘Doctor Sleep’ is excellent, and ’11/22/63′ was awesome.
I read all kinds of stuff though, I can chew through books pretty fast.
My strongest recommendation would be non fiction though, Stephen Pressfield’s ‘The War of Art’. Skip the last section, it is bullshit about angels or whatever, but the beginning and middle are the best shit any creative can ever read.

General Questions

Company motto?

Fugly resin toys for weird people.

(Picture below of a new sculpt titled Crypt Creeper from ‘W.B.M’)

Chris Moore - New Sculpt

What are the worst aspects of working in resin?

I love the material generally, but humidity can fuck you (it makes foam instead of the usual plastic like cure).
Now that I’ve relocated to Vegas I don’t need to concern myself with humidity anymore.

What, to you, are the best aspects of working with resin?

Generally speaking, it has a low barrier to entry – so anyone can be shown how to use these materials.
Personally speaking, it is much easier to cast hard into soft than it was to do, say, foam latex into hydrocal.

(Picture below of the Big Lump resin from ‘W.B.M’)

Chris Moore - Big Lump

You have a background in prop and FX work. What were the best and worst experiences you had in the commercial prop/FX world, and why?

I barely did any film work, and the work I did was a blast. I got paid in Hong Kong films plus costs.
Haunted house work was hit or miss, we had one get shutdown due to building owner concerns (nothing to do with what we did or had planned) which totally sucked as it was in an old steel foundry in Pittsburgh and would’ve been amazing. The building was super creepy.
We still got paid though, the contract was on point.

Are art-toys for the kids?

Not mine. In the US at least, there are very strict safety concerns and expensive testing required. Hence the ‘THIS IS NOT A TOY’ or on mine ‘NOT FOR CHILDREN’.
I’ll give them to my friend’s kids, because they know these are to go on a shelf and not to chew on, because all my friends kids are super smart awesome kids.
One dumbshit can put you in the poor house forever though, so I do not sell to children.

Art Questions

Favorite ‘other’ artist(s)?

Toywise? I’ll go indie here as I am fairly well done buying factory made stuff – this isn’t any kind of complete list though. ‘Motorbot‘, ‘Menace Inc‘, ‘MannyX‘, ‘HX Studio‘, ‘MattA‘, ‘Killer Bootlegs‘, ‘Fuller‘, ‘Alarment‘.
Stickerwise I’ll go ‘Renone Lab‘.
Keep an eye on ‘Undead Speed Equipment‘ too, that dude’s first resins are awesome.

Worst aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

The hustle part.
I don’t like spamming people or talking people into buying stuff. I like talking about work and I like selling a piece, I just am not comfortable doing any ‘convincing’. This works against me, as this attitude is sort of toxic for social media exposure.
For example, a single FB post I make isn’t going to really be seen, yet I am not typically going to make daily posts about a particular release. I post some leading up to a release, I re-post any press I get, and then I post when it is up in the store and then that is it.
Not surprisingly I do my best sales in person, because people see them, and if people see them, some people end up buying them.
Also, I liked playing videogames, but now have neither the time nor the money to bother.

Best aspect of the contemporary art-hustle?

There are some very supportive cool people to meet, and when you find someone who REALLY likes your work, it feels great and motivates you to keep creating.

Do you consider what you are making to be ‘art’, ‘design’, re-hashed crap?

Non-re-hashed crap? Hahaha.

When and why did you first start making ‘art’ (toys, drawings, paintings, anything)?

I have no idea, I’ve always done stuff like this.
I only started doing it ‘seriously’ and trying to share and sell stuff around two years ago.

Any formal art training? Or pivotal moment/influence?

My mom painted a lot when I was a kid – that definitely got me on an art path form as long ago as I can recall.
I have an industrial design degree, though IMO the focus was on prototyping process more than design – might have been my fault for taking the prop/FX track though.

Why + when did you decide to go in on the art hustle?

Around 2.5 years ago, a friend wanted one of my 6th scale zombies I’d made for myself. I couldn’t part with one but offered to create a new one.
That was my first toy sold and broke the ‘I don’t want to sell this, this is mine’ barrier for me. So, then I started trying to make things that I could maybe sell. And I’ve maybe sold some of ’em.
I have a huge amount of frustration (entire releases not selling much at launch etc..) but I am only two years in.
I decided on a 10 year commitment to try this out. I will keep going no matter how shitty I feel about it for ten years. Then I am allowed to re-evaluate and either ramp it up even more or scale back to hobby level, or whatever. Until that time is served I have to work as hard as I can on it though.

(Pictures below of one of Chris’ 6th scale zombies – the piece that led to him pursuing the art hustle)

Chris Moore - Zombie 001

Chris Moore - Zombie 002

Describe the method of making a ‘We Become Monsters’ piece? (dot point all o.k.)

It ain’t fancy.

* Your 2D work such as drawings and prints?

Print is a strong word. I either just paint a shitty painting or I do a ‘shitty print’ as below…
* Doodle on something (scrap, post it, anything)
* Snap photo of doodle
* Doodle more with my tablet
* flip image if it has text
* Print
* Xerox the print
* paint wood/scrap/plastic/any-flat-surface with clear acrylic medium
* place xerox face down
* squeegee paper down on surface
* let dry
* immerse in water
* using water and my fingers, gently rub off all the paper (this part takes ages, but my labor is free and fancy prints aren’t – I am on a practical zero budget here)
* Paint or tint the piece as I deem fit.

(Picture below of a drawing by Chris)

Chris Moore - drawing

* Yours 3D sculptural works?

* Sculpt (clay/wax/sculpey/epoxy)
* If one off – Paint
* If not one off – clear coat.
* Make mold
* Cast
* Repeat
* Tooling if multi piece (cutting, sanding,holes for articulation,etc..)
* Wash in greensoap + water (scrubbing with a brush)
* Assemble if multi piece
* Paint if painted piece
* Seal if painted
* Package if header carded or boxed.
* Take photos
* Put in store.

Toy Questions

What are your thoughts on ‘The Sucklord’, and his role in the art-toy scene?

I’m familiar with a few of his pieces and I know he is very popular and was on a show (I don’t watch much television). I admire his ability to brand and some of his pieces make me chuckle.
If I was shopping for a mashup pop culture piece I’d like go for a ‘Killer Bootlegs’ figure though. Not knocking ‘SL’, just that Frankenfett is awesome.

(Picture below of some ‘W.B.M’ stickers n cards in the safe hands of Mr. ‘Tenacious Toys‘, Benny Kline)

Chris Moore - WBM stickers n cards

In your ‘Rad Toy Review’ interview from 2012 you mentioned your desire to work in soft vinyl/sofubi… Why the desire to work in sofubi man?

I’d like to know the process.
I don’t really have a desire to get anything factory made but it seems like this can be done by one person in the right environment.
I do not think it is practical for me though. It would be a lotto win dream or some nonsense.

Is the rise of ‘art’ toys an indication of the changing nature of ‘art’? OR just a bunch of nerds with too much $$$ and time?

I am the last person to be able to answer this. I have very few connections in the scene, I’m not a very social animal and I have no idea what I’m doing most of the time.
I just make stuff I like and hope others like it.
I couldn’t follow a trend to save my life and I’m one of those assholes who think everything is art. Someone designed your trash can, and he worked his ass off doing it.

What are your thoughts on the current rise of mass-production in the resin-art world, and the move away from hand made pieces? The 2012 Designer Con Suck-con figures as an example…

I don’t know anything about those or about mass produced resin.
I don’t think I have a problem with it, but it isn’t my thing.

Do you think once an artist has re-used a piece of pop-culture, it becomes harem for another artist to use it/spoof too? …I am thinking of ‘The Sucklord’ + ‘Boba Fett’; ‘The Mark Ultra’ + the hangman mask head; ‘Buff Monster’ and ice-cream etc.

Not, not at all. They don’t own that shit. I feel weird about the recast stuff sometimes, I don’t do it much (Ken hair on Political Scumbags, altered Ken face on Baby Kisser) but if you use pop culture to leverage someone else’s characters you have to accept that others do it too.
As far as the hangman or ice-cream, those are so general I can’t see the connection to any specific artist. Though like I said, I’m not really hip deep in scene stuff, I just make my shit and post it.
I don’t know who ‘The Mark Ultra’ is other than his name sounds familiar.
‘Buff’ I only know from some sculpting credit drama that made me think he’s a dickhead, though his work he’s done himself seems neat enough to me.

Favorite toy/figure? (I’ll allow self promotion)

Self promo on a favorite question? Lol nope.
I like but cannot afford ‘Jumbo Machinders’. I have some beat up ones.
I have a goofy vinyl toy I grabbed in Japan that I think is from ‘Ultraman’ that is my fav in my collection but I don’t know what it actually is.
It is a flying saucer with tentacles coming out of the bottom and stupid eyes on top.
[editors note: the toy Chris is referring to is the Avsorva from ‘Ultrman Leo’ Episode 42]

(Picture below of Avsorva – Chris’ favorite toy)

Chris Moore - Fave toy

What does your wife/girl/woman/family make of the whole perpetual adolescence/Peter Pan/man-child aspect of toy art + toy collecting?

My wife Keri is super supportive and awesome.
She can get defensive at any perceived slight to me though, heh.

What was it like collaborating with ‘Kirk Von Hammett Toys’ on the Nosferatu sculpture you designed for them?

They were really hands off, which is great. I shot them I think 16 sketches, they picked one, and I got to work.
I did not meet or speak with Kirk but Metallica’s merch guy was my go between and he was a great guy to work with.

(Picture below of the Nosferatu Chris sculpted, designed and cast for ‘KVH Toys’)

Chris Moore - KVH piece

The Future

Any collaborations on the horizon?

Not at present, I’d like to do another piece for ‘KVH Toys’.
I don’t even have a house right this second, next month I move in to the new place and get the new studio built. Then I’ve got some folks I’d like to do some work with.
I’ve been meaning to try and get a collab with ‘MannyX’ going for awhile now.

Any major projects you want to hype man?

I just dropped the Scumbags on the webecomemonsters.com site on the 7th of Feb, some of those guys are left.
Plenty of other stuff on the site as well.
New drop next first Friday (March 7th) will be Lil Peckers. Basically cute little monster cocks.
Just like all my releases since I moved to Vegas, they will be available in person on First Friday at DOWNTOWN SPACES / Square Shooting, 1800 INDUSTRIAL ROAD SUITE 103.

(Picture below of the Political Scumbag resin by ‘W.B.M’)

Chris Moore - Political Scumbag

Links

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