Christian Fantasy Artist Statement - Janice Moore
The Narrative Drawings of Janice Moore - Artist Statement
I like to mix my fascination with ancient history to create speculative christian art.
Most of my hand drawn drawings can be described as narrative illustration. In every picture there is a story; and in every drawing I am envisioning a story that I have already written, or one yet to find it's way into words. Often a new art project envolves investigating various myths and ancient legends with the intent to convey a pictorial story in addition to those I write.
Back in college, a friend and fellow art student once told me that I thought "like an Indian and not like a white man," because I think in pictures. You see, Lisa had grown up in Alaska, her parents were teachers with the Bureau of Indian Affairs and two of her four sisters were adopted, both were full blooded Native Americans, one being Upik and the other Inuit; so coming from her being told that I think like a Native American was a huge complement. I feel that my drawings express the proof of her statement, in that often I do much more than just draw a picture and most of my drawings end up telling a story in picture form.
As a a speculative christian fantasy writer my drawings are an additional avenue to give extra voice to the fiction I write. It is not unusual for my drawing to develop and unfold in unexpected ways including hidden pictures, optical and facial illusions. And, I must confess to enjoy the process of allowing the work to develop all by it's self as if taking on an independent life of it's own. I want to convey additional descriptions to the reader that they can mentally see, feel and hear, and even touches the sense of smell to help develop a rich tapestry of imagery to enrich the stories I write. I attempt to do this by adding small details to the story by way of the addition of narrative illustration that I hope adds intrigue and a sense of adventure. That is often the purpose of many of my hand drawn drawings.
Some have mistakenly labeled a portion of my drawings as sad and dark, overlooking the light and symbolic suggestions of hope that are quietly evident in each drawing. Admittedly, these elements are not near as dominate as the initial impact of despair. But dark is not how I see these particular drawings, to me they are simply stories with a much deeper meaning.
I didn't always know I'd be an artist. Like most kids, I liked to draw, but I spent the majority of the time with my nose in a book, or playing outside. Still, my interest in art started early. My mother paints and encouraged me to develop my own artistic skills from an early age. In high school my artistic talents won me a partial art scholarship and was instrumental in getting me into the art program at East Carolina University, Greenville, North Carolina. But, I found much of the art program there to be more interested in abstract art rather that the traditional, realistic art I wanted to pursue.
My influences are diverse, and am completely fascinated by highly realistic art and fantasy. I love realism in art, as exampled by the pencil drawings of Diego Faziothe and the paintings of the Dutch Masters of the 17th century. Among the artists I most admire are Norman Rockwell, M.C. Escher and Kim Anderson; and of course the fantasy art of John Howe, Alan Lee and Brian Froud. I grew up watching the afternoon adventures of The Wild, Wild West and Tarzan, and as a teenager fantasy films such as Willow. Of course being a bookworm I also have my favorite books, including The Dune Series by Frank Herbert, Brain Herbert and Kevin Anderson. And believe it or not most of the books in my personal library are nonfiction, so you can count those as a major influence on my artwork as well.