The Artist and the Model in early 21st

I hope the following story will inspire someone, give him/her courage in pursuing a love for creating Art.

I frequent with great pleasure sites like Tumblr, Flickr, Instagram, Pinterest. Many people share their doodles and art. To me it’s a sign that the “art nerve” is encouraged in more people these days than ever before! Maybe it’s a refuge from the horrors the rest of the society constructs, maybe it’s a love for the language of Art as spiritual growth.

In primary school (talking about 50 years ago) I already gave up drawing. There was one guy in my class, he had a natural talent of drawing proportion and detail. And the adults were promoting the da Vinci idea: you’re a born artist or go do something else.

My love for Art never died and though I was pushed to other directions, “more macho”, because I was good at math and programming, I have spent some time in those areas. From a distance I observed artists and never had the guts to just go for it, afraid of failing at what I was loving the most.

Picasso’s and the modern art current didn’t encourage me; they were too “natural born doodlers” and I thought, if the world buys their art, they must do something that I certainly can’t.

Eventually I took to film and photography, it was closer to creating images, to framing the world around me and falling in love with those frames, images.

At the age of 49 (!) I got a health problem and couldn’t perform the job that was bringing me the bacon.
As Janis Joplin sang, “freedom’s just another word for nothing else to loose”. There was nothing else for me to loose so I felt free to pick up the pencil.

It turned out that my constant observation of life, details, human expressions were not wasted.
I made my own learning curriculum, based on the classical schools, mostly defunct these days:
1) The study of Anatomy helps you  understand what you see when you look at your model.
2) Practice like a ho’!

Everybody and his cat has a camera, the web is flooded with selfies, erections, I don’t think men ever felt so confident in exposing themselves nude online, for all to see.
And here comes the punch line: they won’t do it for an artist!

Being a model, nude or not, is not an easy job. It’s a job, those models earn their money.
Regular Joe, whom I asked to allow me sketch him for 30 mins while he was already nude for other reasons in my presence, either didn’t agree (insecurity?) or asked for ludicrous sums of money (he suddenly imagined himself a Prada model?)

I notice many works, from line drawing to oil paintings, are based on photos found online. In principle that would be no problem, just that tracing a photo misses 3 very important points:
1) Training your eye, hand
2) Allowing your personal touch to reinterpret what you see, even if you decide to go for the hyper-realistic style (some hyper-realists manage to make works that look like Art and not photos or Xerox copies – we already got those machines)
3) Returning the immense pleasure of discovering that you can make something yourself, like flying with your own wings, cycling on 2 wheels after abandoning the 2 training little ones attached to your childhood bicycle, swimming without hanging to a raft. That, to me, is immense!

I don’t think 10% of the people posting works online actually live from that. Even artists who try to live from their works, dedicate their full time to making works of art (activity far more time consuming than a 9 to 5 job), even they have a huge problem earning their bread.

Tracing is not new and not completely bad. It helps you get a bit of confidence, like those 2 training wheels. Caravaggio traced, it’s documented by his contemporaries. Many other artists in the Renaissance and after did that. That was Before photo cameras, most painters were trying to be photo cameras themselves. Very few, like Caravaggio, went inside that traced contour and poured a Universe of Beauty and Passion that we still admire, after hundreds of years.

Put everything in perspective: if you want your FB friends to think you’re an artist, go for “coloring books”: trace, color with pencils, oils or computers.
If you want to move further, just sit on the train while commuting, in a park, at Starbucks, observe, sketch, don’t care if anyone peeks over your shoulder and see you’re not da Vinci. Once you take a bite from that Art Love, it will bite back and you’ll be hooked, no need for antidepressants, FB, or selfies.

Here’s a simple example collected online: from a simple photo taken by someone, somebody hijacked it in photoshop, gave it a computer touch. Someone else traced it and turn it into a computer “painting”. Someone else traced it again and turned it into an analog painting. Nothing else to add.


The artist thanks you for re-blogging

NeuronValley, my Etsy shop. I only make/sell unique works, no duplicates. Very affordable prices. Galleries would add 45-50% to the price listed on Etsy. Etsy charges only 3.5% but I need to find the people who will adopt my babies (You guessed right, my works are my babies)
If you like (and yet not ready to buy original art), please at least reblog. The artist thanks you.

The Writing on the (toilet) Wall – Kindle is out

the kindle version of my book is online. Revised, with additions.
If pornograffiti, toilet art, haiku and poems that talk about the “immoral” mind of some of us queers is your cup of tea (pun intended), treat yourself to one. Just so you know, out of those 5 US$ only one goes to me.
And you could say to your friends “hey, I do support an artist, he’s gonna buy a new pencil now”. Hmm, maybe I shouldnt try sarcasm, not many appreciate it.
However, your purchase will help boost my morale. I know almost everyone needs morale boosting, but they won’t pay you more if I call your office 2x a day, will they?

Happy new reading time!

A very good year to everyone, yes, including Trump and Brexit voters!

My book launch was much fun! In Amsterdam, Netherlands, I expose my works and organised this book launch in a restaurant that is an active part of the queer community. Yes, such places still exist. They organize events, dont charge artists for exposing on their walls, they believe in what they do and do it with passion. Hip hooray for the Getto in Amsterdam!

Meanwhile, after giving my 10 limited series baby for adoption, a very similar clone book is available on Amazon USA and European sites.

The Writing on the (toilet) Wall: sleazy drawings, immoral poems, haiku and drawing pages Paperback – December 29, 2016

  • Paperback: 78 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition (December 29, 2016)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1541275144
  • ISBN-13: 978-1541275140
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 0.2 x 9.6 inches



The Writing on the (toilet) Wall

A book of sleazy drawings, haiku, immoral poetry and some coloring pages is out!
I worked one year on it, from concept to the poems, drawings and book layout.

on Amazon US, EU:

List Price: $12.00
6.69″ x 9.61″ (16.993 x 24.409 cm)
Black & White on White paper
78 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1541275140 20161227_142207
ISBN-10: 1541275144
BISAC: Poetry / LGBT

The Writing on the (Restroom) Wall –

– a book of pornograffiti, haikus and gay related poems

Since March I’ve been working on a book regarding the almost lost restroom (public toilets) culture. Here’s a bit why:
As a teenager (back in the day) I sometimes entered public toilets. They used to have them in parks and some streets, the stairs descending underground. There was not much of a maintenance, people had a bit more respect for public property.
What surprised and amused me were the funny drawings and texts left on walls above the urinals or cabin doors. Both straight and gay themed caricatures. My interest in man to man sexuality budded much much later.
Those images were like cave paintings, which put me “in touch” with other people, told me about their thoughts, desires, people who shared a funny joke.

You need to understand that before the internet and porn tsunamis on Western culture such stuff was rare. Im talking about Europe, probably the Americas were ahead of us, though the West, thanks to the religious (imposed) beliefs, always regarded sex as shameful, sinful, sexual desires and fantasies as abominable.

Apart from the sex message in itself, the drawings, most of them childish, turned those toilets in a sort of amusement park – museum.
Out on the streets spray graffity (which arrived in the early 80s!) were doing something else.

I thought: what if this graphic/text culture went on developing itself, bringing more drawing and poetic skill to the walls? But most city toilets these days are sanitized to the max.
Based on some “primitive” artists, mostly anonymous but Keith Haring, Palanca, even Michelangelo and DaVinci (both gays) to name a few, I started drawing these pornograffitis.

One major remark is that I see sex between men as a power struggle. Oscar Wilde said: everything in the world is about sex, except sex. Sex is about power. (I subscribe)

Just like the Japanese shunga drawings (exaggerated cock sized Japanese men enjoying women with gigantic pussies wearing beautiful kimonos), if the art itself gets to a certain artistic level, you stop thinking “yak, that’s pornography!”.

This book, not finished yet, is a collection of drawings, some to pencil color yourself, and haikus or short poem-like writings even longer gay-themed poems that speak of lust, love, and power expressed in sexual form.

I will post a number of these pages. You will notice a “girlish” handwriting of some texts, it’s done on purpose, text can be an image in itself.