"...a stylized armor..." 45voltz - In His Own WordsMar 24, 2021
I was actually born in San Francisco. When I was seven, my dad, he had his heart set on opening a beef cattle business. So we moved east of San Francisco and yeah, I grew up on a cattle ranch. I had other aspirations career-wise, so I moved back to San Francisco.
Two and a half years doing figure drawing. It's nothing I ever went to school for or anything like that. But I have a lot of close artist friends whose work over the years I've just been really inspired by it. I was like, you know, I want to partake in this as kind of again, a balancing to my professional work, which is art, but it's all digital. Figure drawing, which I've never done before, but I found that figure drawing really does use a whole different part of your brain than any other kind of art. And you have to consider things much different.
So, it was really something that really sort of took off during the pandemic because I belong to a local life drawing group here in San Francisco called Gay Men's Sketch, primarily as an artist. Mark Chester, who runs it, who's a photographer and he asked me for a long time, he's like, "will you ever pose for the group?" And I was like, no, I'm really just here to draw because it's more of a Zen thing for me that way. And then when the pandemic happened, all of a sudden, like this light turned on, there was this opportunity, which existed the whole time. It's taught me a lot, both as a model and as an artist, because I think there's this nice sort of kismet that you get when, you know, as an artist, what you want to draw, that you can then sort of channel as a model.
So, I think there's a great benefit for anybody who draws to try their hand at modeling. And even now, my Instagram persona aside, I'm not the most comfortable with my body, but I also know that there's a sort of a freedom in it if you can kind of let your brain kind of relax into it and recognize that it's for art and that there are people that love drawing all different kinds of body types.
I think the first online posing I did was for Mark's group. I did this pose in my bathtub where I was able to put the iPad above the tub hanging on my shower caddy. You'd never be able to get something like this at an in-person session. I'm enjoying playing with the bathtub poses.
So, I got it about four years ago that I first started, like, this upper section here. I never wanted a tattoo until I saw this artist's work. And then I noticed he actually was in San Francisco. And I was like, well, this is a sign. I was on his waiting list for a little over a year. My feelings about tattoos completely changed because for the longest time I was like, what are tattoos? I always thought it was like, almost like a bragging kind of thing. But then the art part of it kind of spoke to me and I was like, no, what it is is your body as a canvas.
For me, you know, I told him I was like, I was looking for something that was almost sort of stylized armor. Life throws a lot of challenges at you, but spiritually and symbolically, if you kind of armor yourself up, you can kind of psychologically sort of brace yourself for a lot of things. And you just have to sort of get in that mindset. And this was kind of a symbolic visual representation of that. I went and had a first session. And after that, he did like the first upper part here, that like sort of cut off around here. And I was like, it feels incomplete. And he was able to squeeze me in and get me a session to complete the lower part of the sleeve. I love the fact that it was very graphic. It wasn't an object.
If you find a piece of artwork that speaks to you or that you somehow reflect something symbolically about you, it's actually a really interesting and deep way of kind of sharing that with the people that you meet to the people that you interact with in some way.