Hi again. Going back just a few days ago, on my first post, I wrote how often people ask me questions about being a pin-up artist. From "what is a pin-up artist?" to "how do I become one?" and everything in between. I always respond that I'm not an expert, but I am more than glad to share my own experiences, so they can avoid the many mistakes that I made in the past. With that in ind, I decided to share a bit more of the path that I've walked as a an artist in this genre.
First of all, you have to be aware of the fact that making a living of you artwork (or even making money in general), it's not an easy task. No, it's not. No, seriously, it's not. I am not saying it's impossible, but it's certainly a daunting task. So, my first advice is to ask yourself: "Do I want to become a professional artist and make a living out of it? or do I want to become a professional artist and get side gigs to help pay the bills? or do I want to become an artist although not professionally but rather as a hobby?" All these options (and pretty much any option as an artist), are completely acceptable... as long as you are happy doing that. I know that sounds like a tag line for a self-motivation book or a greeting card, but I mean it. What works well for some, doesn't do so well with others. The fact that your neighbor artist is cranking it up working commission works like crazy, or your friend artist is selling her/his artwork at galleries for a very decent profit, doesn't mean that is a route you should like to take, even if it looks tempting. Maybe you would like to create artwork in your own terms, in your spare time, not as a job. Or maybe you would like to focus on learning many different disciplines of art. In my opinion, whatever your fancy is, if it keeps you thirsty for more, then the rest will be a lot easier to accomplish. Still hard... but easier than if you were drawing just to get by.
Ok, once you know the reason why you are creating artwork, then you can focus on what you like to do. This might not seem so obvious at a first glance, but it is extremely important. For example, in my personal case it's important to create artwork and make a living out of it... while at the same time trying not to compromise my work to the point that makes me uncomfortable. I do erotic artwork, that's my passion, that's my call. Funny, cute, sarcastic, yes, but at the end of the day it's still erotic artwork. Which means that it bears the stigma of not being accepted everywhere. It is sad, but it is true. To make things even harder, I like to draw naked women. Not all the time, but my portfolio includes plenty of models depicted topless, bottomless, or both. I know that it would be easier to obtain paid work if I weren't drawing naked women. And even easier if I weren't drawing erotic artwork at all. However, as I said before, that's not my passion, that's not my call. I remember my Dad asking me a couple times (back when I was younger and starting to draw naked women): "wouldn't you like to draw landscapes? Landscapes are pretty." In retrospective, I can only imagine my Dad's concern of seeing his son putting a lot of effort not only in art, which is a lonely and hard road already, but also in erotic artwork, which is an even lonelier and harder road. It's not that he didn't like my work, but he knew that going that route wouldn't be an easy one. Nowadays, my Dad can see that drawing erotic artwork is what makes me happy, and that makes him happy as well. It's a very hard road to walk, but it's worth it.
The key here is "hard". Hard is difficult, frustrating, daunting, etc., but not impossible. Follow what your dream is, there's nothing wrong with that. Just make sure that you're up to the fight that you'll have to face. It's not a maybe, you will have to endure that fight in order to succeed. But, if you know what you're up against, then you'll be able to decide if it is truly your dream... or just a nice and cute idea.
Go ahead, start asking yourself those questions and if you feel convinced, follow that dream!
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.