Nagoya-based artist and musician Robert N. Moore first came to Japan not for artistic inspiration, but to save his failing health. In 2007 he was 25, a freelance designer in Nashville with plenty of top-name clients and security, but a punishing schedule to match.
He explains: “Back then, I’d wake at 5:30am to design T-shirts, work full-time as an art director, design CD jackets at lunchtime, take classes at night. I was drinking coffee straight from the pot and Heineken by the keg. I had neglected my body. My throat was lacerated – I couldn’t eat, and doctors thought I’d need a new esophagus. I learned the world’s top throat doctor was in Nagoya, and came for non-invasive surgery.”
While in recovery, Moore found a job and hooked up with a guitarist, Takashi Terada, who shared his passion for blues-rock music. He decided to stay and network, but just one year later Japan’s economy crashed.
He says: “Ironically, after surgery I could physically eat, but couldn’t afford food! So I sold off my music equipment. Since then, though, I’ve built back everything and much more by clearly visualizing my goals and pursuing them with determination, passion and expectation. At this point I’m independent, with my own art studio, clients and even sponsors.”
Moore now owns his own company, Imagine Design. Before going independent with this in 2011, he worked for various companies doing advertising, illustration, graphic and concept design. This month’s KS cover shows off his “Japanesque” style, which depicts Japanese themes with an outsider’s sensibility.
He explains: “When I first arrived in Japan I worked doing Japanesque T-shirt designs, and started a T-shirt company, but I didn’t want to be limited to this area or those themes. In recent years I’ve expanded. I work by hand or incorporate software, doing portraits, architectural renderings, and graphic design. These days I’m also into acrylic and watercolor painting, but I can’t settle on just one medium!”
With his artwork and designs rapidly spreading all over Japan, Moore’s future is looking better than ever.
Robert N. Moore’s new work, in an unprecedented style, will be on display at Café Absinthe (1-2-27 Kitahorie, Yotsubashi Bldg. 1F, Nishi-ku Osaka) from June 5 to June 30. The opening party is on Friday June 7 from 7pm.
View more of Robert’s work on his website: www.rob4artstuff.com