By Jessica Wettig
If you love heavy metal, you might be familiar with one local artist’s work.
Harrisburg native Brad Moore moved to Carbondale in 1980 and acquired degrees in Fine Art, Commercial Art and Cinema Studies from SIU. He said his first professor helped him put together his first portfolio by advising him not to include his best work.
His first gig involved illustrating a booklet for a Star Trek Convention, where he was asked to do something different than what most artists might produce. He succeeded.
From there, Moore took his work to Chicago where he met several “big guys.” He couldn’t even afford business cards, so he remembers handing out small pieces of paper with his information.
He got work immediately.
He started his work in comic books, specifically with horror and gore–which was very popular at the time. This opened up the door for the main part of his career.
When rock bands are touring, they have a lot of down time on the road, and they often look for things to occupy their time. It turns out that reading comic books is one of these things. Many of these musicians stumbled upon his work, and he began receiving letters asking him to do album covers.
“It became an avalanche,” he said.
He received a lot of letters, and gained a lot of work. He now works for dozens of record companies worldwide. His most famous work is is Morpheus Descends’ 1991 album cover Ritual of Infinity.
Album covers became the only work he does. Much of his work is done from home, and he also travels quite a bit to places like New York and Chicago. He also appears at conventions.
Moore spends an average of one month working on a project. He has to use large pieces of paper in order to incorporate all the necessary details. Most of his work has multiple sections of extended detail. Viewers have to look closely when viewing his work from album size to see the use of colors, lines, shapes, objects and other parts of the piece.
He begins with an idea, of his own or the client’s. He has had a few instances where he has turned down a project because the ideas didn’t fit his style.
He takes the idea and creates a sketch. The details and alterations are discussed for the final project, and a contract is signed.
Moore enjoys painting primarily, preferably macabre pieces. Much of his inspiration comes from his dreams, and he also gets some ideas from films. His current project is Gatecreeper’s new album cover.
His studio consists of dark walls, which are very important, and he plays music for inspiration while he works.
He went to Switzerland in 2006, and he said he was amazed at how hospitable people were. He was also amazed with how many people knew his work in that part of the world.
In addition to being an artist, he is also a guitarist, a songwriter and an actor. He loves films, various types of music (including jazz and metal), shopping for books and records, and attending conventions.
Moore will be at the Comic Con World convention in June in Blackpool, UK.