LEXINGTON, Ky. (11/19/13) — Rugrats, Phineas and Ferb, and Pinky and the Brain are cartoons that all of us can probably admit to seeing once or many of times before. While watching these shows we sometimes forget that there is a face behind the cartoons that make them come alive.
Herb Moore, originally from Cynthiana, Ky., has always had a passion for making people laugh and drawing. After graduating from Harrison County High School in 1977, he moved to western Kentucky to follow in his dad's footsteps and help with the family business.
“It wasn’t really what I wanted to do, but it was an easy decision and something to fall back on,” Moore said.
In the fall of 1980 he took off to Walt Disney World and got a job driving a boat in the jungle cruise.
“I was working part time and realized there was no way I could make a living if the hours didn’t pick up, so I moved back to Kentucky and enrolled at Western Kentucky University to get back on track and follow my initial dream.”
Moore had it in his mind that he was going to get his art degree and move to California. Sure enough after getting his degree at WKU, he packed up and moved out west. Not making it quite to California, he made a ‘pit stop’ in Arizona and ended up staying there for seven years to get his second degree in Commercial Art.
“I felt empowered. This was my career I knew exactly what I wanted to do and nothing was going to stop me,” Moore said, “I was working two jobs and going to school, I knew that is what I had to do to fulfill my mission and dream.”
He heard the best advice that he had ever received at a point when he needed it most. An old NBC executive from New York sat him down and told him, ‘If going to Los Angeles is what you want to do, do it. Doors will open, sometimes you’ll have to work for free, but take the leap of faith.’ At that point he knew nothing could stop him.
“It was 1991 and I made the leap,” Moore said, “I got an apartment and was ready to hit the ground running, but that is when life got really challenging.”
Within the first year, Herb’s passion and determination was tested after getting held at gunpoint, having his truck stolen, and living through earthquakes and riots.
“Finding any job was next to impossible and finding a job in the business I was pursuing was totally impossible,” Moore said.
Eventually he landed a job as part of background cleanup for the popular cartoon, “The Simpsons.”
“I didn’t realize it at the time but the way this industry works is you have a job for so long and then you get laid off when the season is over,” Moore said, “ I worked for three months and was laid off at the end of that season ‘The Simpsons.’”
It was a roller coaster of emotions for Moore, as he would get a job in the field that he wanted but knew that he had to constantly be looking for another job.
“I was a kid in the candy story, I saw all of these opportunities right in front of me and wanted to have them all,” Moore said, “In that first year in LA I learned how tough it was to keep a job, but I learned how to do many different things."
He could’ve easily given up within the first year but he kept pushing because he knew that this was the only thing he really wanted to do, and he knew he’d eventually get where he wanted to be. Six and a half years ago Moore got hired on to Disney to work on the new show, ‘Phineas and Ferb.’
“When I got a job I would work as hard and as much as I possibly could because I didn’t know when I would get laid off,” Moore said “I was tickled to death to work for Disney, they were great comedy, and I always wanted to work on a show that was just insane.”
Moore is currently working for Disney with ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ As a legacy to his father, Herbert Moore, the art lives on as a family tradition. Both men have reached their dreams of becoming well known artists and never gave up when times got tough.“I used to feel guilty because how lucky was I that I got to go to work every day and laugh all day long,” Moore said, “It was insanity. I used to watch the show after it would air to see the work that I had done, but after the fourth season aired I was just so exhausted that when I wasn’t working, I didn’t want to think…at all.”
After all of these years Moore never gave up on his dream, and now he has worked his way up to a job that he once dreamed of. Looking back he believes that without perseverance, he would’ve never made it this far.
“I knew once I decided what I wanted to do I knew nothing was going to stop me,” Moore said, “It’s tough to get into the business, but I did it. If you love what you do and you want to make it your career and you’re willing to face whatever. This business will weed you out if you are uncertain.”
After 22 years of working job after job, Moore can say that he has not only met many inspiring and passionate people, but have learned so much about his work and himself.
“There are good times and there are bad times but that is with everywhere you go,” Moore said, “During that first year I could’ve easily went back home to mommy and daddy, but I knew that this was exactly where I needed to be. There are problems everywhere you go and there will always be challenges, but I was determined, and after being discouraged so many times, I found the perfect job for myself.”
Moore is currently working for Cartoon Network with ‘Phineas and Ferb.’ As a legacy to his father, Herbert Moore, the art lives on as a family tradition. Both men have reached their dreams of becoming well known artists and never gave up when times got tough.
“Perseverance,” Moore said, “no matter where you go, never forget that word.”
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