Trust me, if I had a nickel for every time I get asked that question... well, I would not be rich, but let's say that I would have some serious extra money. So, I decided to let my first blog post about it, sort of a "let me introduce myself" thing.
Nowadays (in my personal and modest opinion), being a pin-up artist is a mixture of erotic and cute artwork, with a pinch of this and that. "This" and "that" could include pretty much anything, even porn. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that pin-ups are porn... I'm just saying that in this time and era, porn has actually permeated in the pop culture, and it would be unrealistic to think that pin-ups are an exclusion to it. But, that is a topic on its own... perhaps for a future post. By the way, I do have a great respect for the porn industry, specifically their performers... but again, that is material for another post. Oooh, the possibilities. :)
Anyway, I didn't grow up with pin-ups being part of my life... at least not in a conscious manner. The first time I read about pin-ups, I was already in college, when I found about the great work of Alberto Vargas. However, the culture of the classic pin-up was part of my early years, including my childhood, even if I didn't know it back then. Being a fan of old movies when I was a kid, many of them in b&w, the female beauty was always present before my eyes. That was the original form of pin-up, highlighting the beauty of women, in a way that was classy back then, and even more now.
I'll skip for now the how I got into painting pin-ups, or how my work doesn't necessarily have the typical look of a classical pin-up (yep, you guessed it: those will be topics for future posts). Right now I want to focus on explaining what is a pin-up nowadays (again, in my humble opinion). A pin-up, in simple terms, would be a calendar girl, be it in a swimsuit outfit, a rockabilly outfit, a stripper outfit, a super heroine outfit, a goth outfit, you name it. It's not so much about the outfit as it is about the idea of having a fantasy woman, girl, gal, etc., in a print (or in many cases, an original artwork). I mention this, because pin-ups have grown in range. Back in their early origins, pin-ups reflected the innocence of that early era, with most of the work showing a very conservative, although flirtatious, view of life. Even the femme fatales depicted in those mentioned early times, would not be considered so risqué nowadays. Nudity is not new, and it wasn't new back then either, but in these times, the risqué bar has definitely been raised. I really do think that this is a tendency that will keep growing, so I am curious to see what the future will bring when it comes to sexy images. Pin-ups are not going away, but they are definitely changing constantly, in part because of the times, but also because of the challenging instinct of many of the artists in the field, always trying to evolve and push the envelope.
So, next time you see a pin-up artist, don't be intimidated or even confused. A pin-up artist will most likely be somebody who likes to draw beautiful and scantly clad women, tempting the viewer to take a print home. Is this a stereotype of the pin-up artist? Yes, definitely. But I say this from experience... my own experience: I just described myself. :)
Pin-ups: evolution or just plain instinct?
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.