In Conversation: Ian Moore

In Conversation: Ian Moore

Ian Moore is a Bristol based illustrator who works in a style that fits somewhere between caricature and satirical cartooning. He balances his time working on editorial illustrations for a range of commercial clients while producing and publishing his own zines that have been featured by the likes of It's Nice That, Vice and Stack.

 

Could you define the approach or philosophy of your work?

I was inspired early on by Ralph Steadman and Gerald Scarfe. I was into punk at the time so the scratchy ink line-work mixed with satire really appealed to me. For a while I was just working with black and white, it wasn't until I got into more trippy psychedelic illustrations from the 1960s and 70s that I started to introduce colour to my work. In particular I was a big fan of the warped cartoons of zap comix. I think that kind of humour is important in my work; I like taking the piss out of things that I don't particularly agree with.

Which piece of work or project have you learned the most from?

I think the project I learnt the most from was working on my 1star TripAdvisor zine. I'd made some zines before but nothing with as many illustrations so it taught me how to efficiently manage my time. It was also the first time I started to experiment with more digital aspects, so it was a big leap forward for me stylistically.

Which illustrator alive or dead do you most admire and why?

I'm a big fan of Braulio Amado. I like how he's always experimenting and pushing his work forwards. Also I like how his style isn't really restricted to just one medium but whether it's illustration, graphic design or typography you can always tell it's his work.

What is the most challenging aspect for you of being a ‘jobbing' illustrator?

The thing I find most challenging, and I don’t think I’m alone in this, but it's staying on top of emailing and self promotion. I think I’ve gotten a lot better over the years but I used to really struggle with updating my client list, I wouldn’t call myself naturally organised or business minded but it's important to learn if you want to work as an illustrator.

'...I wouldn’t call myself naturally organised or business minded but it's important to learn if you want to work as an illustrator.'

Who would be your ideal client to work for and why?

I’d like to work with more left wing publications. Mostly because it's something I feel strongly about but also because the articles I have had the pleasure of illustrating for The Baffler and The New Republic have been really interesting and fun commissions.

What do you think defines ‘good illustration’?

I think good illustration tells a story. Whether that's in the form of a comic, kids book or a single editorial image for an article, communication should be the first priority. I think that's a major difference between illustration and art, that the meaning/intent of a piece of art can be left up to interpretation whereas I don't think the same is true for a good piece of illustration.

If you weren’t an illustrator what would you be?

That’s quite a difficult question to answer because I’ve never had a back up plan. Though when I was really young I wanted to be a stuntman. Looking back I think illustrator was a safer choice.

What is one part of your working process that you do well, something you could improve and something you wish you never had to do again?

I’m happy with how my drawings are looking at the moment. It’s taken a long time to get to a place where I feel like I’ve got my own voice and now I’m just looking at what else I can use it for, where I can push it next.

I think one part of my process that I think I could improve on is my colour theory. It always feels like a bit of a balancing act trying to get a vividness to an image but also readability.

I don’t think there's really any part of the process I’d never want to do again. Maybe working traditionally with ink and brush because I always seem to end up smudging a drawing and having to start over or edit in photoshop. But I know I’ll always go back to it because I enjoy that tactile way of working.

What actor/actress would play you in a film about your life and what would the name of that film be?

"Nowt better to do" with maybe Jesse Plemons? Probably someone unassuming like that.

What was the last film that made you cry (in sadness or in laughter)?

I watched the new Bond film at the cinema recently. Someone had spoiled the ending so I kind of knew what was coming but found myself in stitches in the last moments of the film.

Find Ian on Instagram

Ian illustrated the feature 'The Egos Have Landed' a series of Pompous A-List Pontifications from Hollywood for the new Courage & Strength issue, available now to buy in the shop.