Written by Amber Victoria Lee & Crystal Lori Boyd for PeelArtsCollective.com
Who is “8E Moody?” Why the name “8E Moody”?
Hey what’s up! My name is Blare Moody, 21 years old, created and risen in Toronto. Also known as “8E MOODY” by my art title but pronounced as Be Moody, the name is just a shortened form of my given name. I added the 8 as a replacement of the letter B, to add some stylization into the name .. basically I had my social media pages as “Be Moody” before I got into doing art consistently, and I liked it, but I wanted to give it something to stand out a bit more; thus I arrived upon “8E MOODY”!
How long have you been seriously creating?
Well I’ve seriously been creating all my life, haha, but really I started taking my artwork seriously about 3 years ago or so. Before that I just drew for fun and because I enjoyed creating characters that looked cool to me, original characters is what I preferred to do. I hated art classes, sticking to guidelines on the “best way to do art” was something I disregarded. I did my own thing and just drew to draw, there was no apparent goal until I turned 18.
I think your tools of the trade are pretty interesting, what are the main materials you work with?
Well, I use “MOLOTOW One 4 All Acrylic Paint Markers” for my canvas paintings, but when I’m sketching or drawing I just go with the traditional pencil and fine point pen. I’ve worked with paint brushes and spraypaint previously, but I didn’t find it to be as enjoyable or as effective because I like my lines to be extremely precise, and as crisp as possible.
You told me you’re originally from Toronto but currently reside on the border of Brampton; how long have you been living in Brampton as a resident and more so, how long have you been working as an artist in Brampton? How do you feel about your experience so far being a Brampton-based artist?
I’ve been living in Brampton for about 3 or 3 and a half years now. I started painting 6 months after we moved here, and got very serious into it after a short period of time. I started with paint brushes and acrylic paints, but when I learned about the MOLOTOW paint markers I was intrigued. I knew my initial craft was solely in the traditional pencil or pen, so I felt this option was good for me because I really enjoyed creating the cleanest lines I possibly could.
Lastly my experience as an artist here in Brampton is very small. When I started painting, I knew that I’d be going back to Toronto to live there in a short time (or so I thought) and I had lived in Toronto all my life so I didn’t make much effort to integrate into being “a part of Brampton”. I grew up in Toronto, so I feel I am a Toronto artist, that’s where I came from. So, I deemed myself as a Toronto artist as I felt that it was the natural choice having lived there for all of my existence on this earth 🙂 .
The very first art show I had and all of them since have been in Toronto! I guess some would say I’m a “Brampton artist” and always have been, but I would have to disagree, haha! So as said my overall experience in Brampton as an artist is short and unexplored , but nonetheless after 3 years I’ve spoken to a couple of artists who are very kind, and seem to be more than willing to have me as a part of the community. I’ve been invited to multiple art events and paint nights in the last year or so. Considering these things I would say that my experience as an artist here is very “inviting” and “friendly” I’ve had all good experiences with the small amount that there has been thus far:)
You utilize social media incredibly well – when I first began my own interest in Brampton-based artists, you were one of the very first to pop up and your work fills the walls of Culture Rising in Downtown Brampton – but you are rarely seen at arts related events in the City, why is that? Could we expect to see more of you in person in the future?
Oh, well thank you, I appreciate the compliment, I feel that I’m not all that good at using social media personally! But thank you, and with regards to me not having attended any art events here in Brampton (literally not one) I would reply to you that its nothing personal against Brampton or any of the artists here. Being from Toronto, and in the hopes of going back, I felt that it made more sense for me to build my art roots in Toronto. Besides that I am often very busy either with working on my craft, working a part time job to stay afloat (because we all know art is a hard sell and sometimes it’s few and far between ) or just spending time with friends and family.
I actually rarely attend art events in general. With art shows I’m very particular, there are a few different shows I’ve attended in Toronto that seemed gimmicky, and looked to be a money grab and not much more with only few artists making sales or seeing results on social media, so I only find myself at shows two or 3 times a year if I’m lucky. Will I ever make an appearance at a Brampton art event in the future? I very well may, once again it’s not about me being against it or avoiding it but rather it often seems to happen at a time where I have something else that I need to take care of 🙂 The paint nights in the park, or the art nights I’ve heard about at Beaux-Arts seem very neat, but unfortunately I have my priorities just as anyone else does, I hope though that in the future I can attend at least one of these events to meet a few of the artists in person! And of course to get down and creative in a nice environment! I hope that answers the question efficiently 🙂
Speaking of social media, have you found self promotion on social media an effective means to grow your client base or have there been other resources you’ve utilized & found success in?
This one is very easy, SOCIAL MEDIA IS THE SHIT SON!! Haha!!! I’ve sold 1 painting at an art show ever out of the 5 -7 ish art shows I’ve attended. Anything else that I’ve sold has been strictly through social media, word of mouth or the Culture Rising shop locations in Missisauga and Brampton! (Shout out to all the guys working there, I’m extremely grateful to have the privilege to hang my stuff on their walls, couldn’t be more thankful!) but by far social media has shown far more results than anything else has so far in my experience (another reason why I don’t often attend art events often)!
Looking at your paintings, they seem to tell a story. You also feature a lot of cartoon characters in your work – do you have original characters you feature regularly? If so, what’s your headcanon for them?
I love this question!! Where do I start? Umm, I have a couple of characters that I’ve used frequently, but there’s one specific character that I’ve painted a handful of times, he was my first ever favorite character to paint during my art adventures so far, and he actually represents me and who I am.
I gave him the name “Otto” for no particular reason. He’s the character with the long red flippy like hair. I’m a red head, and I used to have long hair that was slightly similar to that. He also often bears tattoos, sometimes I change the tattoos or use different ones but many of them represent a tattoo that I would like to get, or are symbols that have meaning to me.
Each painting that Otto has been in is something of a representation rather than a story, for example the large canvas where he is shirtless with chains. There are amethyst crystals surrounding him and he’s in some sort of place, but it’s not a place that is recognizable .. it’s not a particular location. In that piece I was representing how I was feeling at the time, I was going through issues personally; I was depressed, I was scared of what my future would be like, there were alot of unstable people around me, and I myself having not finished highschool or working at the time felt unstable as well. The chains represented me being stuck, not having a shirt represents me feeling alone, feeling that I had no protection, but the crystals represented dreams, creativity, and also hope and life energy. The background as said is an unknown, unrecognizable place. Which is where I was at the time with what I had been experiencing. I felt lost and insecure … Now that I’m thinking about it more deeply I didn’t even know it meant all this at the time that I was creating it.
Of course some of the paintings were more for fun, some were experimental, like the “hidden power within” piece. Also featuring my character Otto in a smaller more compact cartoony version I was exploring the idea of possibly creating a comic, and seeing what I could come up with design wise, and to try to flood in some story ideas . Many of my other characters might also one day be a part of the comic if I ever decide to try it out!
A lot of the other characters you’ve featured in recent work are 1990’s cartoon characters – is this a personal choice? If so, what does the 1990’s mean to you?
Ahhh the 90’s characters 🙂 I was born on December 15th , 1994. I loved cartoons, still like ’em to this day. There was something about the creativity in cartoons back than that I never see anymore, extremely exaggerated expressions and body movements, comedy, and lessons for life that you don’t really notice until your older. When it comes to 90’s cartoons it’s all about nostalgia. I love them, and I know there’s a lot of people out there who feel the same and I know they’re craving that childhood feeling, if I can help fill that gap once in a while, I’m interested 🙂
One of the first things a friend noticed about your paintings was the deep symbolism in spirituality, the occult and Ancient Egypt. What is your personal draw to this type of symbolism and reasoning behind using it in your work?
Symbolism, one of the greatest and most interesting forms of art on our planet still to this day , from spirituality to religion to ancient culture, I’ll explain as best as I can.
My dad attended NA (narcotics anonymous) a program for recovering addicts. I grew up in an environment of people trying to get healthy and find a way to function and to cope with many worries in life. One of the big things I noticed as a kid, and that my dad spoke about , was spirituality.
Later on in life, around 14 years old, my step mom at the time had showed me a technique called Reiki. It’s a form of hands on healing. It excited me , eventually, after being extremely depressed, in the next two years from than I started to explore spirituality deeply. Meditation, reiki, reading, YouTube videos, crystals etc. Spirituality was and still is the foundation on which I learned to deal with a lot of things in my life. I was never religious and didn’t know much about it, but I explored religions as well and found that spirituality seemed to fit what I felt was right for me.
This led me further into a deep wind of interesting things on the Internet. One of these things was the occult, new world order and government conspiracies. During my time of learning and practicing spirituality at that age I was also learning about the mysterious organization of the illuminati and how it was effecting our world and the symbolism, metaphors and so on that they used in modern media. I also came to find out that they’re oh so “evil eye” was actual based on the Egyptian symbol the eye of Horus.
Interestingly all of these things seemed to coincide with each other. Spirituality and how we’re in a war of the mind and spirit rather than a physical war, as well as how Egyptians seemed to be extremely talented in mathematics geometry astrology and building, or how they may have had alien beings or entities helping them to learn these things, and of course this government thing and how the pyramid and the all seeing eye are in the American dollar bill. I spent quite a few of my years looking into all of this and it became a major influence on my life and my mind.
At this point now I couldn’t tell you if there really is a conspiracy or not, but if there is I wouldn’t be suprised either. I don’t know if the earth is “shifting frequencies and raising our vibrations into light beings” or not, but it could be. I also don’t know if Egyptians did receive help from “aliens or godlike spiritual entities” but they could have been. All of this coincides with my infatuations with symbolism and how they so easily represent many things that are of interest to me.
The all seeing eye represents a god like look upon the world. The ability to see all things for what they are or aren’t, the eye also may represent the pineal gland which is said to be the seat of the soul, and of course the ability to see things that are hidden in plain sight. Then you have symbols like the ankh from ancient Egypt which represents eternal life. I believe personally that we are souls on a journey and that when our bodies die we move on to new experiences whatever they may be, so the ankh fits that view. These are just a couple of examples of why I use symbolism, and what it means to me.
I often use my astrological symbols as well, Sagittarius, my birth symbol, or Jupiter my birth planet, both of which I have tattooed on my hands. All the symbols I use have meanings, and each of their meanings are meaningful to me in my experience here in this life
Which, if any, artists tend to inspire or influence the theme or style of your paintings?
This is a difficult question for me. Growing up I loved the cartoons Dragon Ball Z and Yugioh. Dragon Ball Z had a very neat style of art and the story behind it, also spiritual and of interest to me. Yugioh had interesting characters artwork and stories as well more on the Egyptian side of things. So they influenced me a lot when it comes to designing with symbols (Yugioh), or backgrounds (Dragon Ball Z) or concepts even, like my character Otto having rocket boots and being able to shoot energy from his hands .
When it comes to the style it gets very difficult to explain. I found an artist on DeviantArt when I was 13-14 and she had a very unique style. Very bold clean line work. I loved it. Pyromaniac was the name of that artist. I can’t find her on there anymore though, so that’s where I decided I liked bold line work. When it comes to stylization of my original characters. It’s a very cartoon-y kind of style.
It also has a hip hop or streetwear kind of vibe in the clothing, I’ve also loved rap music as well as some alternative music. Three artists that I can name off hand that have recently inspired me are @skottieyoung @spzero76 as well as @cheograff but ultimately, my art is like a combination of hundreds of ideas styles and looks that I’ve seen and enjoyed. Sometimes I like the way an artist draws a certain thing, so I utilize it and than work it into a slightly different version that I like and recreated into my own so as to not be directly stealing ideas. It’s completely okay to learn from other artists any day of your life, but directly taking what they did and copying it is not okay to me. We all need to learn somehow and the best way to learn is to watch, repeat, and than develop your own style and techniques.
In 2016 it’s rare to find someone who’s specializes in one single thing (i.e. just painting, just film) – is 8E Moody one of the rare ones or do you practice other crafts?
I like this question, at this time I’m definitely only into the one thing I do which is painting with my paint markers, but nonetheless, I’m interested in a few different things. Firstly, I would love to get into digital art, but unfortunately my finances don’t match the criteria for a decent computer and a Wacom drawing tablet. I’ve also been really interested in picking up some copic markers for illustrations on paper, and to be able to blend (MOLOTOW markers contain a highly opaque hybrid acrylic paint that is very very very difficult to blend and isn’t recommended even by the company) and lastly I’d definitely like to try out some super sculler to see what I can do sculpture wise, that would be dope! Haha! So in the future I definitely plan to expand of my mediums of choice.
What are 8E Moody’s goals & plans for the rest of 2016?
My plans for the rest of 2016 are as follows: I’d like to save up enough money to move out of the place in currently living in, as me and my girlfriend have developed a wonderful relationship in the last year and the small room were cramped in is far too small for two. Besides that it’s time for Mr.Moody to grow up and have his own space to work, grow, and chill out in!
Other than that my plans are simple, I’m going to keep pushing my YouTube page with paintings and some how to videos, I’m going to continue developing my craft consistently and work at getting better at it, and I’m also gonna have fun with those thugs because what’s lie without fun!? Once I get settled in my new place I intend on investing more effort into expanding my creative ventures. Maybe I’ll finally sit my ass down and out my story writing to the test, see if I can come up with a good plot for a comic or something like that? Who knows, I like to go with the flow and see what happens so anything is possible 🙂
Closing notes: Thank you to Amber, and Crystal for offering to me the privilege of being featured on your newly created website along with other awesome artists! I appreciate the time you put in to send out these questions and I hope I gave you a satisfactory set of answers, I would have gone into even more detail but I didn’t want to make it unbearably long!! To whoever reads this thank you for taking the time to get to know a little bit about me and who I am.