VIP Interview Jay Moyes – Fetish Artist!

A warm welcome to Jay Moyes, active in the adult industry for the past 20 years.  Jay is an artist that started work for the AVN (Adult Video News) magazine originally to enter data and then progressing to managing the Production Art Department and writing and publishing his own column.  Now a graphic artist and webmaster Jay is a man that has been there and done that!

 

Welcome Jay, thanks for doing the interview.  To start off where are you based?

Porn Valley, California! It’s a group of suburbs Northwest of Downtown  Los Angeles. Also known as the San Fernando Valley.

How did you come to be in the adult industry?

As an artist, I’d already been working with adult content. I worked for QSM Books, Fantasy Makers, and Spectator Magazine in the San Francisco Bay Area. After living in Los Angeles for some time, my friend Chris at AVN needed help and knew I’d be a good fit. It was a really lucky break. Back then, the industry could be really tight, pun intended.

Your first job was with the industry Goliath AVN.  What was it like working there?

Thing is, while there’s huge presence, there’s a small core of people coordinating what happens. All this while a cyclone of chaos surrounds the place. The most important thing is to remain proactive and get as much done as possible. When my boss left, her replacement tried turning our department into a 9-5 operation. That manager didn’t last long.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to put in 12 hour days. Every Wednesday I’d do a full shift handling graphics, then write the BDSM events column.

It seems like you became a jack of all trades there.  Data entry, graphic design and columnist.  Which of these did you enjoy the most?

Hands down, the graphics. I knew just enough how to open Photoshop when I started, but Chris Lowden showed me quite a bit and lined me up with tutorials. When Tim Connelly came on board, he brought on Photoshop expert John Castro and a punk rock scientist named Ed Webb. While Webb knew nothing about Photoshop going in, his genius, combined with Castro’s skill were a huge source of inspiration for me. Webb exceeded our expectations in Photoshop and became one of our best cover artists. I learned volumes working with them. They’ve both gone on to much greater things than I could dream.

Six years is a fair amount of time to work in what must have been a pressure cooker environment.  How did you cope with the stress?

A joke I used to have, is you chant “I can’t believe they pay me to do this.” I took photos of naked people, joked with porn stars, got to work with stunning eye candy on the computer, and was paid quite reasonable for it.

What is the most interesting story you have from working at the AVN?

Bryn Pryor takes the blame for that one. He actually had the balls to make our own show that parodied the office. Paul Fishbein financed it, Bryn produced it, and a lot of our staff and friends were involved in it. It was called The Money Shot. We called in our porn star friends for cameo roles. My big part was as a performance artist in drag, drawing fetish art, then burning the pieces. This show was five years before YouTube started. We would have been a hit had it uploaded today.

From there you were headhunted by Eddie Van Halen to help with his porn company SLLAB.  Tell us a bit about that?

EVH wanted to start his own adult cable channel, with the best directors from the industry. His son Wolfie was still under 18, and we had to be quiet about it for custody issues. I was introduced through friends and EVH recruited me.

We started video production to get things underway. I was on board for The New Neighbors and Trophy Wives. I created the ads, helped with graphics and assisted with production.

Meanwhile I kept another iron in the fire as a consulting partner in the publicity firm, Black and Blue Media.

What he really wanted was Michael Ninn. I made the call to Red Light District and forwarded to Michael Eddie’s phone number.

The irony is the whole thing eventually fell through. Eddie married Janie Liszewski, Ninn’s publicist. Ninn asked us at Black and Blue Media to take over publicity for Ninnworx.

What was Eddie like?

He wasn’t at his best at the time. He was like the crazy friend with wild ideas. We’d talk in the middle of the night until daylight. EVH dreams big. But he didn’t know how the porn industry itself worked. We had some great marketing and talent. But we were on the tail end of the big features for porn. He had big money, but the network he wanted required an extra zero or two on the budget and a lot of patience.

Janie really did seem to be best for him. He changed his focus and went back on tour. He changed his look for her and intensified his approach on music. Janie could have suggested he keep the vision of owning an adult empire, but they seem happier this way.

Jay Moyes Art
Fetish Art

How do you find balance in life?

Is that what this is? There are two ways to look at this. The Navy Seals say when you can’t keep going, you’re only at 40 percent of what you can really do. On the short term that helps you push through some things. On the other hand, what happens when you are long past that and are honestly maxed out?

I have to acknowledge there are things I just can’t commit to, or everyone suffers. Last year, I had to step down from something. I wasn’t able to focus. The work on that project was falling apart. I recognized that and addressed it. They still want me to come back. If that time comes, I will have to put something aside to make things work.

Day by day, I prioritize specific things  If more gets done, that’s awesome.

One very important rule I have is regarding favors like work for exposure, work on the cheap, or stuff for friends. If I can’t enjoy it, get something out if it, or have fun, I’m absolutely not doing it for free, on credit or deferred.

If you don’t at least get something out of it emotionally, then doing work for “exposure” drains you.

Throughout you owned and operated your website fetishartist.net.  Tell us a bit about that?

I’ve usually had some kind of site going. Around the year 2000, I bought JayMoyes.com. I used the domain as a portfolio for my work. What was funny was to find out there are at least five others with my name, but I did give them years to claim dibs.

The economic crash put that on the back burner until around 2012, when I could afford to get serious about art again. JayMoyes.com served as a blog and test bed for what new stuff we could do at Black and Blue Media.

I soon realized I had been out of the fetish scene too long. No one really cared who Jay Moyes was, if anyone cared to begin with. So I took what would be our own marketing advice and rebranded. I looked for an affordable domain, and created social media profiles to fit the brand.

That’s why you won’t find much from my site on LinkedIn and Facebook. Those are personal profiles that don’t fit the brand for FetishArtist.net.

While Fetishartist is a good blog for my work, I also use it to spread love and respect for my peers in kinky artwork.

visit the fetish artist
fetish artist blog

How do you get your inspiration to create fetish art?

Most often, the scene is my studio. While I love anime and other artists, I’m inspired by the relationships and innovation I see at play parties and clubs.

As an artist, I have to acknowledge certain rules, yet push boundaries. Otherwise it is just cliché.

When I started there were only a few professional fetish artists in San Francisco, so it was easy to stand out. Los Angeles, and now the world is very different. Anyone can draw boots and a whip. Collectors want to see how far further you can take that.

What is your favorite piece?

Currently it’s a small piece called Red Bondage for Gallery 30 South in Pasadena. The piece is a painting of a male with a rope chest harness and clothespins on his nipples. The backside features CBT and military boot fetish. I’ve been improving my acrylic work and everything came together just right.

This could change tomorrow, each piece is a new set of goal posts and experiments. I’ve got a skateboard deck waiting for me to paint a Dominatrix and skate punk up ahead.

Whom else to do admire as an artist and why?

Artists tend to have long lists of people we admire. My firsts were Reji Matsumoto, Erte, and Ralph Steadman. Matsumoto is responsible for my latex fetish because as a teen I saw his women in colorful skin tight space suits.

As I grew, I learned a lot from the pen and ink work of Robert Williams. Now I’ve realized a lot of his inspiration came from sci-fi artist Virgin Finlay (also no stranger to erotica). Currently, I study the colors of work by Coop, who got some of his color work while collaborating with Frank Kozik to screen print posters.

Also a stint as a tattoo artist.  That must have been interesting?

In the 90’s, I did flash art for Kenny’s House of Pain in Santa Clara, and Rob’s Tattoo in Livermore. This was just as I was getting into Fetish. Martin Kenny may still have some of my kinky stuff on his walls.

Tattoo studios are like a compost heap of creativity. The scene may not look pretty, but it yields huge volume of good work.

Jay Moyes Art
Fetish For Life

What is the weirdest tattoo that you did?

The posters were the wildest. These were big, 11×14 jobs. Rob’s had a detailed dragon, with waves in the background. While I did a poster for Kenny’s called “Blazing Tattoo Guns of the Old West” with a Dominatrix riding a tat gun bursting out of a robot gunslinger’s chest. Man they were a lot of fun to do.

Martin Kenny asked me to do some sheets of flash art he could trade for other art. He wanted detailed, single needle, celtic knotwork that would challenge his rivals. It backfired though. He put it up on his walls and customers asked for it. The detailed, intricate pieces were a pain to tattoo, but they made him money, which was the important part.

You are a co-owner of black and blue media.  This is a business that describes itself as a marketing and publicity company that mixes adult tastes with mainstream entertainment.  How do you manage to pull that off and make the work unique?

There’s a huge difference between the adult industry press and mainstream journalism. Mainstream publicity relies on wire services, which distribute to major news outlets for a fee. Adult news sites don’t tend to follow those services. So you have to connect as directly with adult journalists as possible.

It’s not uncommon for Black and Blue Media to get contacted from a mainstream firm to reach the adult press. We even created an adult news wire service called ThePressWire.com, and our fees are quite reasonable.

A huge difference between Black and Blue Media and other firms is adult is a visually driven media. Most publicists come from a writing or journalistic background.

While at AVN, part of my job was hounding publicists for artwork. I’d get a press release about a new contract pornstar, with no photos of the star whatsoever. There’d be this huge pressure to publish the story, and we’d be sitting there going “With what? You sent us no photos of the chick!”

At Black and Blue Media, we know graphics are an integral part of a story in the press, even if we have to generate that art ourselves. That’s why it is such a pleasure working with people like Michael Ninn, who know how mandatory it is.

And my advice if you’re looking for more exposure, video is next on the list to sell your story to news media outlets. We’ve already collaborated with video editors in the past and done small scale video editing for projects.

Who do you most admire in the adult industry and why?

Michael Ninn, who has a very professional eye. Skye Blue, who set a high standard, yet gave us creative reign to do some of our best publicity work. Mistress Cyan, who has worked herself up from a small dungeon in Porn Valley to the large Sanctuary and DomCon franchises, while maintaining a dedicated leather family. Of course, Sherry Ziegelmeyer of Black and Blue Media, who did many things never conceived of in adult publicity, like starting the first viral alternative reality game to promote Michael Ninn’s The Four.

I also very much admire Peter Czernich of Marquis. He set the high water mark for fetish video and publishing before some in this business were even born. We got the rare honor to publish releases on Marquis.de when he covered fetish news. I love his latex photo work and always will.

What do you see yourself doing in another ten years’ time?

Parole.

Kidding! But that should hit home the nature of how transient this business can be and how much changes virtually overnight.

Many are afraid of what could happen in the current administration, but you can’t have the delusion the adult business was ever invulnerable.

As an artist, no matter how liberal the authorities are, your job is to push boundaries. The difference between art and pornography isn’t the lighting. It’s the requirement to embrace the consequences and keep pushing ahead.

Personally, I’d like to see myself in some kind of retirement from work that requires offices and deadlines. So I can do things like finally tour, exhibit at art shows abroad, and meet more awesome kinky people who like high octane artwork.

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