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Digital artist Laceoni, who hails from Portugal, recently shared some of his gorgeous new homoerotic sketches. Read up on Laceoni's methods and inspiration in a Q&A the artist was kind enough to also share with The Advocate:
How long have you been making your erotic art?
I started working with erotic art as a side project under the name of Laceoni back in 2012, but I've been exploring the subject since well before then mostly as comics and anime fan-art, back in my high school and university years.
Though one of my first erotic drawings was when I was only 14 years old and the funny thing is that they could have been part of my coming out story, as my brothers discovered these images but I explained them as being "just a phase" and imitation of someone's else's drawings.
I had always been a bit shy about it and struggled with some difficulty in showing artwork of this nature to friends and family, or posting them online, so it was why I decided to create the alias name "Laceoni" and a blog on Tumblr, under which I could create erotic art without any restraint or restrictions.
Did you go to school for art or self-taught?
I attended school and studied fine arts for several years, so part of my knowledge of the arts come from school. But with digital arts I am self-taught using tutorials on internet and tips from fellow colleagues as learning material.
Is art what you do for a living?
Yes, I work as a freelance illustrator. The erotic art projects could be considered one of my hobbies, as so far, I have not had very many clients and briefings regarding this way of expression previously. However, I am now seeing an increase of interest and request for this work.
What's your medium? Paint on paper or canvas?
For the Laceoni works, I work them entirely on a computer with a Wacom graphics tablet using a very light and easy software called Paint Tool Sai.
What's your process, from before start to finished painting?
First, I make a collage from different photos and porn screenshots that I usually collect, on top of which I'm sketching the general directions and details of the artwork. Then I trace onto these sketches, the final drawing and coloring.
What size are the original paintings?
I am working digitally so I am a bit limited by the screen. However, I imagine printing them to larger formats, and as I have them online for sale on websites like Redbubble, the larger files are usually best and currently most of them are offered at around 16 x 20 inches in full size. I will work on updating this in the near future so that they will be available in much larger formats/sizes.
Do you work from live models or photos or imagination?
As said earlier, I work from photos that I collect on my computer and my phone, gathering every image that excites me or that I find interesting, though lately I've been working mostly with print screens from porn and other videos online. I want the final image to resemble the photos that I use as little as possible so that I don't feel like I'm abusing someone else's work.
Your art is fun, frisky, and frank, but also sweet, thanks to your technique and color palette. A healthy portrayal of happy horndogs. What's your message?
Well I concentrate mostly on gay sex positivity and the male body. I want to show sex through a different lens than that of which standard porn is presenting it and illustrate details such as mutual pleasure, the facial expressions during sex, the tenderness, the fun, the roughness, the pleasure of masturbating, etc., I want to show all of this in a "non-dirty" manner.
When I received a message from a straight guy saying, "I am not gay but I really love your artworks," I thought that maybe, in a small way, I have succeeded in promoting this positivity.
The same applies to all of my straight friends that are loving these works and were actually a bit insulted or offended that I hadn't told them about it and shared my artwork with them earlier on.
What or who inspires you and your art?
My art is mostly inspired by my own desires, fantasies, and experiences. Though as a young gay artist, Tom of Finland was a great influence for me. I was always awed by his world and imagery, and getting to see his work in all sorts of art books served as a great means of motivation in my start to the exploration of creating gay erotic art.
You recently did a cover for gay pin-up zine, Meatzine. Are you a gay zine fan? Others that you like or care to recommend?
I like everything that is gay erotic art related, and zines are included in this. The cover I did for Meatzine was because I am a fan of the zine, and I had seen on their Instagram account that their images are being pulled off, or censored, because of the nudity. This one cover that I loved and had found nothing wrong with concerning the community guidelines was being removed from their profile, so I thought to reinterpret it and send it to them as Instagram is more lenient and indulgent on the topic of nudity when it comes to illustrations and drawings. The artwork is currently still posted on Instagram.
Unfortunately I don't know too many gay zines, though I would love to discover more. The few other gay zines I know of are Doable Guys that I had participated in, and BogossBook.
You mention on your Instagram that you do commissions. Have there been any that have been particularly interesting or favorites?
Well I like all of the commissions I've done so far. Though I may tend to represent just certain types of men, when it comes to commissions, I feel more than happy to draw anyone. Having received some request to draw girls/women, transgender people, and/or some family portraits, I am open to these possibilities and welcome them.
Your art is available for purchase on Redbubble, on which you have nearly 400 (!) designs available in various formats. How's that been working for you? What are your biggest sellers? T-shirts, prints, shower curtains?
So far, it has worked "OK." The shop on Redbubble has it's up and down periods and is a growing source for a passive income. Though the biggest sellers for me are the art prints and the post cards. This past Christmas, the majority of the products sold where postcards.