Imitating Order – An Interview with Morgan Robles

Matt: Your style is so lush, and so distinct. How did you develop it? Who are the artists that inspired you while you were coming into your own as an artist?

Morgan: Thank you. I was inspired by so many different people: Albrecht Durer, José Guadalupe Posada, Francisco de Goya. Illustrators like Florian Bertmer, Godmachine, Natalie Hall—really cemented me into wanting to do my own thing and not care about what others might think. I gave less of a shit about perfection and did what just felt right. If something looked too perfect or realistic I was doing something wrong.

M: You certainly have a very particular aesthetic. Where does that come from? How much of yourself do you put in your work, and how much of it reflects yourself?

Mo: Animals, existentialism, fearing the unknown and supernatural and death, and mental health, trauma. I’ve been raised around a lot of this in my life – my mother was an animal hoarder. It wasn’t great. I would see the animals do some awful things being clustered together, it would get terrible. I vividly recall a mother rabbit eating one of her newborn kits. I incorporated that trauma into my work a bit. I feel we get clustered together but still feel alone, or used, mistreated. Probably why I just draw singular figures a whole lot in a blank white or black space, I’m not really sure. I leave that up to the viewers to decide. Oh, and Lucifer, haha.

M: What’s the endgame for you, with your art? What drives you forward when you create, and where do you see yourself in the next, say, five years?

Mo: I’m still unpacking a lot from the last few years. I ended a long term relationship and realizing I have control over myself and I finally have some financial independence. I feel like a kid moving out of their parents house at 18 at 34 years old. That being said, all I can tell you is I just want to keep making art. My dream has been doing illustrations for bands. I used to have prints of gig art by Frank Kozik, Tara McPherson of my favorite bands and I said to myself, “hell yeah, this is what I want to do.” Tattooing is also my next career move. What drives me forward is, I don’t know. I can’t think of doing anything else that isn’t art. The world is my oyster, I guess.

M: Here’s a pretty straightforward one: what’s your dream gig?

Mo: Jeez, probably designing something for my favorite musician.

M: Oh no the planet is getting demolished to make way for a galactic super highway. Thankfully you and the rest of humanity are getting whisked away to a new planet to live—but you’ve got to move quick and only get to bring along three things. What are they?

Mo: Headphones, pen, and a bottle of good tequila.

M: What’s something you’ve got going on you want more folks to know about? Something you’re proud of you’d like to promote or raise awareness of. And on the flip side, what’s something of someone else’s you think more people should know about?

Mo: I’m really proud of this transgender art compilation I organized called Transcendent Transgressions—all profits are going to Trans Lifeline and we’ve raised over $800 since its release in March 2018. You can get it on Gumroad for $5.

I don’t have specific projects or organizations to boost. I keep an eye open for Gofundme’s for transitioning or leaving terrible situations since that’s very close to me. I often feel there’s more of an impact since it goes directly to the person in need. Also, RAICES. Fuck ICE.

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