Interview with Aaron Moran

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5 Stars
On November 29, 2011
Last modified:January 3, 2013


We previously posted something about Aaron Moran and his works in painted wood. Then we contacted the artist for more insights regarding his works, inspirational starting points and his style. Enjoy!


Do you have some artworks since you were a child?
Most of my childhood art is hidden away somewhere at my parents house among old photo albums and elementary school report cards. They made a point of not throwing any of it away. They even have a big Rubbermaid bin of all my sketchbooks from throughout high school, which is saying a lot, because I must have filled almost twenty books throughout. I didn’t really care about anything other than drawing at that point.
Can you send us the first artistic manifests you had?
These were scanned and sent to me by my mom. They are: a picture of a guy with a head in a jar and tentacle legs, an awesome portrait of a dinosaur, and a car with dual-exhaust pumping pollution into the air. The dinosaur is particularly nice.
When did you start working on this?
These were scanned and sent to me by my mom. They were in a notebook from 1992 when I was 6 years old.
Why did you choose this medium to express yourself?
Felts were just the go to drawing medium as a kid. Why draw with a boring grey pencil when you can draw in color? It helps that some of them were smelly felts too!
When and how did you find your style?
I didn’t really figure out my ‘style’ until after pursuing my undergrad. While studying, I was trying out a bunch of different things without thinking too much about focusing in. For a long time I thought I made a big mistake in doing so because I was all over the place. There was very little consistency in my work. I was worried. I thought I would never find my niche. Now that I have a few years under my belt POST undergrad, I feel quite differently. I have started to focus in on something I find quite interesting, and not only that, but have received a positive response from viewers of the work. I am no longer worried because now everything I do, regardless of medium, has a little bit of my style attached to it. I really feel like my voice is now present in my work.


How do you work?
I begin by hunting for material from the surrounding area. This means going into torn down houses, or hopping a fence or two. While I’m doing this, I am embracing the places from which the materials come. The energy I get from the places is as important as the material. The next step is organizing the chaos. After locating materials left for waste, I clean and organize them (color, texture, patina, wood grain etc), cut them down into manageable shapes, and begin constructing. The initial cut shapes usually start large, and get continuously smaller until all gaps are filled. I don’t work from sketches or plans. I work intuitively and try to let the energy from the materials direct the work. That sounds kind of new age, but really I’m not!
What inspires you?
I am predominantly inspired by my surroundings. I enjoy the natural physical environment as well as the marks that man makes within it. Housing, development, decay, urban, rural, geography…. these are all things that find their way into the work, and not only conceptually but aesthetically as well. I feel lucky because I am not from the city, so I have grown up with an awareness of natural beauty that a lot of city dwellers only see from a distance, or experience on their occasional summer vacations. Growing up in a suburban environment has completely shaped my work. I think this is clear in its aesthetic, which works in both urban and rural contexts.
What themes do you pursue?
Urban vs. rural, geography, development, decay, antiquity, the myth of progress…
What’s your favorite art work?
Some of my favorite artists are Michael Johansson, Kilian ENg, Anish Kapoor, and achitects Safdie Moshe, Frank Gehry, and Daniel Libeskind. Also, local artists Les Ramsay, Sarah Gee, Jessica Bell, and Russell Leng are high on my list. They never disappoint.


Is there any difference between your commissioned and personal work?
I have only done a few commissioned pieces, but the only real difference thus far has been the scale. They request a certain size, and I work within that. On that note, I had the privilege of working with Catalog Gallery in Vancouver this summer, who was designing the façade of the Okanagan Crush Pad in Summerland B.C. They commissioned a triptych for their wine tasting room, and actually brought back materials from the Okanagan for me to use. It was AMAZING. The pieces took on the personality of the location strictly though the materials that came from there. They looked like nothing I had ever produced, and I believe that is because the source materials were like nothing I had ever worked with. I hope that all future commissions are as enjoyable to work on.


Thank you, Aaron!
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