One of the things I love doing while I am online is looking out for new, exciting artists, especially the ones who create morbid, dark material. In one of my searches I ran into an artist called moga. It only took a quick search through her archive and I knew I had to see more of her work.
Her style is influenced by manga and anime but moga tries to give her own twisted tone to it. I’d say that the main elements in her pictures are melancholy, horror, gore and a little bit of cuteness. Her gifs come with very intense, almost epilepsy causing, frame rate frequency. Somehow the dizziness they cause is addicting. The colors she uses are vivid but they never really give off a happy mood. On the contrary, even her lighter illustrations have a tone of pessimism in them. That’s exactly the sort of art I love and moga does it perfectly.
As I search her portfolio, I find out that she’s responsible for many -mainly horror- games. Out of them I found at least 3 that instantly grabbed interest me a lot: “I am scared of girls“, “Safety: Life is a Maze” and “Ghost Suburb II“. Usually that genre is full of titles that resemble ib, Mad Father or any of Uri’s games (i.e. The Crooked Man) but moga’s games try to have as much originality as possible. Each game has its own character, be it visually and/or in terms of script. They are not what one would call easy but, I promise you, they are worthy of your time.
I could go on and on describing what I like about moga’s art, but instead I prefer to let her introduce you to what she does in the interview she kindly gave us.
Neko-chii (N): Introduce us to yourself.
Moga (M): Hi- hi~ I’m moga. Just got in from walking in rain thick enough to soak me from head to toe, it was beautiful. And cold.
(N): When did you first start drawing?
(M): Since I was born.
(N): Could you describe your creative process?
(M): I sort of just think; let my eyes glaze over. Then I maniacally doodle, and write things out. Then obliterate, redo, and build on top of the things I like. As in, carving something out of thoughts.
Also, I just try to have fun with it. ^v^
(N): In “I am scared of girls” your protagonist is a crossdressing man. In “Safety: Life is a Maze” transgenderism is also a part of the story. How important is it for you to create characters who go beyond the hetero and/or cisnormative status?
(M): I feel like most people kind of have types of characters that are normal for them to have in a work, and it happens to be that mine are either female, or non-binary type of gender. To me, it’s normal to be around such people- and see them deal with the problems they have just like any other type of person.
Plus, I try to make the games and art I want to play and interact with- and involve some of the same things I worry about, which happens to be transgender type stuff.
(N): Gore and horror seem to be major parts of your work. What is it that attracts you to these dark themes?
(M): I feel relaxed and calm in them. As dumb as it sounds, overly happy and bright work hurts my eyes and hurts my head. Most of the horror stuff is caused by me trying to make something atmospheric.
(N): What do you believe is a key element in creating a good piece (whether it’s a video game or an artwork)?
(M): The best thing is probably just to not worry about it, and just make something. There is something nice in just creating something, and just letting your brain go wild.
(N): One of the things I love about your games is that each one has its unique aesthetics. Is experimentation the path to finding your personal style or is it something you value per se?
(M): Experimentation is a pretty big thing for me, I like to mess around with aesthetics a lot and often. A lot of why my games all have differing looks is primarily because I end up varying between a lot of different styles before I settle on one. I’m starting to get a big more solidified in my style, so I’m now trying to use more motifs than a change of visuals.
(N): Where do you draw inspiration from?
(M): There are so many places I draw inspiration from, I try to always be open to new thoughts and situations which I can look to when I make something later.
(N): What feedback have you received so far? Is online response important to you?
(M): I’ve received generally positive feedback; I get a lot of critiques of my work as well which I’m happy to get. I also get a lot of bug reports, which really help me make a game better. But in general, I like interacting with people- so it’s nice to have the response I’ve had. Considering also, that online is where I am most comfortable- I consider it extremely important to be able to hear from people.
(N): Name three artists that have influenced you and tell us what is special about them.
(M): It may seem dry since these artists are not especially current- but here we go.
Gustav Klimt, who did a wonderful mix of very wonderful forms and abstract motifs. I studied his sketches and entire catalogue to try to learn from his paintings and subjects.
Roy Lichenstien, who I learned the importance of a line from while studying his catalogue.
Katsushika Hokusai, from whom I got an understanding to just enjoy your art like you do the world. I got that feeling from what I saw of his work, and what’s been reported about him. I really enjoy the idea also that an artist is essentially a craftsman continuously honing their skill, which I also got from his work.
(N): Is there an artwork or game you are most proud of? Why?
(M): If I had to pick one, it’d have to be I’m Scared of Girls. People have written and talked to me that it actually helped them in their own lives deal with themselves, which I think is a priceless and wonderful thing to have done.
(N): Do you consider yourself a gamer? If so, could you give us a top five of your favorite games?
(M): Ha-ha~ I do consider myself a gamer! Top five, here we go:
5. Silent Hill (PSX)
4. Persona 3 FES (PSX2)
3. Fate/Stay Night (PC)
2. Brass Restoration (PC)
1. Doom with many, many, many modifications. I swear I’ve logged too many hours in that game. (PC)
(N): Is there any music genre or artist you that you consider your favorite and, if so, what do you like about it/them?
(M): I am weirdly split many ways on music, it depends on my mood. I on the whole enjoy alternative rock, and I sing along with a lot of stuff that probably would make me embarrassed to say. Personally, I really adore Xiu Xiu. I love their passion in performance.
(N): What is a talent or skill most people would be surprised to learn you possess?
(M): I like cooking actually, it’s really fun and pretty nice to just surprise people with bakings suddenly. I’m not that great at it, but I try.
(N): Tell us about your future plans.
(M): There are a lot of games in line to be released, when I finish them. I’m working on learning 3d programming, so that one day I can start to make games that truly look like what I want to present from my head’s image.
At the moment, I am making another Ghost Suburb game for this fall- which I do not have a title for quite yet.
I’m also doing commissions for all types of art, including for games, so that I can get better tools for art and game making.
I am also doing some artwork for a yuri date-sim game by WinterWolves called Nicole, which I’m proud to be able to do- so when it comes out check it out if that’s your thing.
(N): Thank you for this great interview. Any last thing you wish to share with our readers?
(M): Thanks for reading through this!
Also, I want to sincerely thank everyone who’s wrote ever downloaded, supported, or even just liked a piece of my art- it means a lot to me. Please stay safe, and please enjoy my future works.