Brie Moreno

May 22, 2020

Brie Moreno is an artist from Ottawa. Her work as been published by Breakdowon Press, Novembre Magazine, Nieves Books and Lagon Revue.

Can you tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do?

My name is Brie Moreno, I’m a multi-disciplinary artist from Ottawa, Ontario. I enjoy illustrating, making comics and beading.

What kinds of subjects do you like to depict in your work? Are there recurring motifs that always make it into your work?

Definitely! I go through certain phases where some motifs and symbols are unavoidable. There is an equation to each drawing. For example

1 beetle + 1 cedar tree + 1 backside view of a high ponytail character in belted flares = X

1 character holding brown purse with visible contents (bread) + 1 orchid + butterfly = X

1 horse + 1 leafless tree + alien character wearing gymnastic bodysuit = X

I just trust my gut feelings and see where the 3 object equation will lead me.

Similarly, what is your process of making drawings and illustrations like? Do you start with an idea or composition or is it more automatic and intuitive?

It’s always different. I love starting off drawing characters and then pop in some trees and flowers and go from there. Everything is a sketch and then I’ll scan in my sketches and photoshop those around, print them out and light box everything. It’s only when I’m using a medium like chalk pastels or watercolours where I go straight to paper with no plan.

How did you begin making jewelry?

I love nail art and came across all these nail trends that incorporated cute little gems hanging off long acrylic nails. I wanted to recreate something like that  on myself without having to commit to acrylics and then began the whole resin ring formation. Everything snowballed from there. I love thrifting and came across tons of gently used beads and charms and started playing around with incorporating those as well. The whole process has been so enjoyable!

What is the relationship between illustration and jewelry making for you? Do you see them as separate practices or a continuation of each other?

At first jewelry making was just an escape from illustrating but more and more I can see how they both inspire each other whether through colour choices or overall tonality. I haven’t done it yet, but I’ve been wanted to draw my characters in some of the jewelry I’ve made, it’s just a matter of scale. I rarely do up-close or detailed drawings of characters, but it’s definitely something I’m going to play around with soon.

What is your experience making and selling work online? How does instagram affect or integrate into your practice?

I love it! People have been so kind and responsive to what I’m throwing out there. I’m still so shocked, I thought for sure my online store would just be covered in cobwebs!  Instagram has been helpful in creating a world for the works to appear cohesively. Hopefully it gives people insight into where I’m coming from.

How have you been coping with the consequences of Covid-19 and being quarantined?

The quarantine happened right as I got back from London and was in the middle of figuring out my living situation so I’m currently self isolating in the suburbs of Ottawa with my parents. I’m doing well with quarantine. I love alone time, I have a great relationship with my parents, I’ve got all the necessities, and I have the privilege of being able to do my work from home. I’ve been feeling very nostalgic for life before all of this, but I’m also trying to be present and optimistic.

Who would you love to collaborate with?

Russ Berrie & Company, I’m a big collector and would give anything to be able to make my own figurine.

Have you seen any recent shows or exhibitions that stood out to you?

WHAAM! gallery’s online exhibition HOME, Maren Karlson: The Dust SpeaksThe Thicker the Woods, the Vaster the Vista, Rose Wylie: where i am and was 

Who or what are some of your personal fashion inspirations?

Hairy clogs, pink tights, big belts, French tip acrylic nails, big bows, Fall 2006 Maison Margiela, Shelley Duvall and Sissy Spacek in 3 Women, The Victoria and Albert Museum jewelry collection, A Room With A View, Robert Mapplethorpe jewelry, Martha Graham.

Favorite artists or designers?

Seiichi Hayashi, King Terry Johnson, The Hairy Who, Annie Pootoogook, Susan Te Kahurangi King, Kataoka Meriyasu, Yuichi Yokoyama, Gaultier, Issey Miyake, Junya Watanabe,  Undercover, Courreges, Marine Serre, Venice W, Barragan