Here I am, already in mid January of 2020, but finally sitting down, writing, reminiscing not only about 2019, but the whole decade of the 10's... 2010's, that is.
Of course, I am not planning to write about everything that happened to me during those 10 years (is that even possible?), but rather focus in one aspect of my life. Specifically: my artwork. Oh, yes, my artwork saw a lot of shifts and changes in that spawn of time. I will not write about everything related to my art during 2010-2020, but rather the highlights of it. Sounds fair? Then come along and walk with me through 10 years of work. :)
* 2010 was marked by three elements. 1) The beginning of a tradition that holds up to this day: my annual Mexican Independence Day pin-up. That year, celebrating the bicentennial of Mexico's Independence, I rendered two new pin-ups with that theme. 2) A running gag of some sorts started to get featured more and more often in my images: the infatuated characters surrounding the pin-up muse, always with googly eyes and their tongues sticking out. Yes, I included those features in previous years, but just scarcely, here and there. 2010 was the year when they became a recurring element. 3) A step up regarding how I rendered my toons: more details on the models and even on backgrounds, starting with the Halloween image for that year, which featured my friend and beautiful muse, Ijsselina.
* 2011 continued with the style from the year before: still rendering cartoons, but focusing on delivering more details. If again, I had to list the elements that defined this year, they would be two. And they also would have a name, since those two elements are two models, two muses, two friends that shaped my work through the inspiration they brought. 1) 2011 was the year when I met Lisa Del Toro, by a mere coincidence, and right away I rendered a toon featuring her, which would soon became the visual emblem of my art. Not long after that, I chose to feature her in the Mexican Independence Day pin-up for that year... and the tradition got even better: since that moment, Lisa became the official muse for my Mexican Independence pin-up, with a new image every year, a tradition that still is alive and counting. 2) After being contacted by Fascinatrix for the first time, I was captivated by her beauty and decided to render not one but five toon pin-ups of her. Each image was a different exercise, always trying to improve my work. Additionally, one of those pin-ups became an instant favorite among many clients of my work, old and new. Up to this day, that image is still a favorite for followers of my art, a true classic.
* 2012 was a very dry year regarding my artwork. In fact, not only 2012 but 2013 and 2014 as well. These years marked a time in my life when I did not want to focus on art, but on anything else instead. Back then I had a part time job (for a short time I even had two), and decided to unplug my mind from art to take a break. I have to mention that even though I was taking a break, I managed to deliver the only yearly holiday pin-ups that I used to render back then: Mexican Independence Day (always featuring Lisa Del Toro), Halloween and Xmas. Plus, the occasional random pin-up, featuring friends of mine as the models. This random pin-ups allowed me to gift my friends with an original design inspired on them, while at the same adding new images to my portfolio.
* In 2015 I got hungry for artwork again, hungry for new images. Needless to say, 2015 was the year when I went back to render several pin-ups per year, instead of the tiny amount from the previous three years. I shifted my attention to pin-ups featuring models from the adult industry, mainly porn stars. Starting with Sara Jay, my portfolio saw a parade of new porn star toons. I went back to pin-ups with no background (except for the holiday illustrations), focusing more intensely on the bodies and expressions of these muses. Even though my images were still cartoons, the details were more accurate, more polished. Additionally, the infatuated characters that I mentioned earlier, with googly eyes and tongues sticking out, became a real staple of my work during this year.
* 2016 saw my toons blend with my realistic work... does that make sense? I started to render pin-ups that, even though they were still cartoons, they also started to lean more towards realism. This meant having (once again) more details, and a greater likeness regarding the face of the reference model. My first rendition of this kind was in the middle of the year, when I did a pin-up based on Lelu Love, a lovely adult performer. This piece marked another step towards realism, leaving my previous style of toons behind... although still being a cartoon. Later on, inspired on mega porn star Kendra Lust, I rendered my first piece in years that did not resemble a toon at all, a straight out portrait. Also, a tradition was born inside another tradition: the Halloween pin-up for this year, featuring my friend and exceptional muse, Seffana, matched the style set by the Mexican Independence Day pin-up and the rest of the holiday pin-ups followed suit. From then on, the Mexican Independence Day pin-up sets the tone for the following holiday pin-ups of a full year. This was also the year when a new pin-up was added to the list of holiday illustrations: Day of the Dead, where I featured Lisa Del Toro (for a double feature that year, along with Mexican Independence Day). Additionally, 2016 was the year when I started to collaborate with porn stars from Mexico's scene, when I rendered a pin-up of the beautiful Mia Marin.
* 2017, this was a very productive year, with many, many pin-ups under my belt. The trends from the previous couple of years continued to manifest: more realism, more likeness to the model, more matching tones for all holiday images (set by the yearly Mexican Independence Day pin-up), more detailed backgrounds for holiday images and no-backgrounds for the rest of them. Plus, more collaboration with Mexico's porn stars as well. Among the notorious aspects of this year, I can mention: 1) Focusing on rendering more nude non-holiday pin-ups, starting with an image based on mega porn star Gianna Michaels, another instant classic. 2) The creation of pin-ups celebrating weed culture, marijuana, 420, etc., through a very exciting and fun collaboration. Five images were created (plus one from 2016) for a line that featured sexy muses from Suicide Girls showing her love for the wacky weed. 3) The holiday pin-ups for 2017 were rendered in the fashion of full illustrations, with more elaborated backgrounds and very detailed elements. 4) The rendering of tons of sketches featuring a mixture of professional adult performers, amateurs, from United States, from Mexico, portrait style, comic style, explicit, non explicit, etc. The goal of doing these sketches was to keep honing my skills, plus spreading the word about my work on social networks, especially Twitter. 5) The Mexican Independence Day pin-up this year had two editions, with two different muses. The first one being Lisa Del Toro as usual, while the second one being Fernanda Sw, a mega porn star in Mexico, who had a huge following on Twitter. I say "had" because Fernanda is now retired from the industry and her Twitter account gone (now she resides on Instagram). However, the effect her support brought to my Twitter account was incredible, and it helped me propagate my work in my natal Mexico.
* 2018 was basically a rerun of the previous year. 1) More realism in many of the pin-ups, with no trace of toons. 2) More holiday pin-ups with a matching style set by the Mexican Independence Day illustration, this year again with two editions. 3) More collaboration with porn stars (from United States and Mexico). 4) More sketches based on porn stars and amateur models. 2018 was also the year when I added a 420 Day pin-up to my official list of holiday pin-ups (hey, we celebrate the holidays of our choice). That list is the most current up to date, which includes: Mexican Independence Day, Halloween, Day of the Dead, Xmas, New Year's, Valentine's Day and 420 Day.
* The last year of the decade of 10's, 2019, saw a smaller amount of images added to my portfolio and no sketches at all. My attention was divided between many projects. Among those projects was my apprenticeship as a tattoo artist, from which I got my license to work as a professional. Still, I was able to render more portraits at the beginning and middle of the year. However, when the time came to set the tone for the holiday pin-ups of the year, I decided to go back to rendering toons, with no trace of realism. Why? Because of the same reason why I decided to render portraits a couple of years before: to tilt the balance in the other direction. I have always seen my art having two different poles: realism and "cartoonism" (nice! I just made my own word). When my works starts to lean heavily towards one of those poles, it is time to tilt it in the opposite direction. Does that mean that I will not be doing portraits anymore? Of course not. It just means that it is time to bring some cartoon fun back.
And just like that, we are in a new year, a new decade (welcome to the 20's!). I look forward to keep creating more art, more pin-ups, be it realistic, toons... or a mixture of both. Cheers for more adventures, more projects, more fun! :)
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.