Last night I spent a very enjoyable time with a diverse gathering of people from different nations. Seated at dinner, my companions were, amongst others, English, Polish, American, Scottish, Danish and Turkish. An eclectic mix, and possibly more enjoyable because of it. And most I had not met before. So, when polite discourse starts over the meal-table people ask the normal questions of well-being, vocations and inter-relationships with others around the table. And you spend time surreptitiously viewing the new acquaintances, taking in physical form, facial expressions, choice of clothing and deciding how appealing their personality is to your own. As they do with you. Its part of the game of getting to know someone. Polite talk ensues whilst you assimilate all these factors. And then they get around to the question….. “And what do you do, Jackie?” and I smile pleasantly and say “I’m an artist”. “Oh” they say “Do you paint landscapes?” “No” I smile “Although I can do, I’m an erotic artist” and then I wait for the response. And when its a different ethnic background to your own, you’re even more intrigued of the reaction you’ll get. And when a woman asks the question and I give my reply, I’m never quite sure what sort of response I’m going to get either, and it will be even more so when its a woman from a different country. The Danish woman who asked it, last night, was very elegant, both in her looks and clothing. Her Turkish male companion, was very quiet, but intently listening to everything said around him. I waited for the response. And it was instantly very favourable, positive and interested to know more! So I talked, and expounded on my subject, passed over a business card which was inspected by them both. I carried on talking and noticed the guy busy doing something in his lap under the damask table cloth. My interest was piqued…. until I was shown that he was looking at my website on his mobile phone. Ah!!! The wonders of technology, over the soup! But at least they could view what I was talking about, and could see what artwork I produce, what subject matter and images are mine. And then, the previously quiet man started talking….. and it turned out we’re in the same line of business! He creates erotic images too, albeit moving ones! So we have a lot in common, and the whole experience was quite normal for the pair of us. It just goes to show, more people than you first realise are working with erotica! And what I like about it is that its all quite normal, healthy and accepted amongst like-minded people.
Also at the dinner was a catalyst. It was in human form. And one I’ve not seen for a year or so. The first time I met him I found him dynamic and one of the most inspiring, funny, delightful and witty men I know. He’s also disabled physically and struggles with getting around, but manages to make light-hearted jokes about his problems and always radiates good energies and positive up-beat vibes. I love his openness and being in his company as we talk about so many varied subjects. And the reason I know he’s a catalyst? Because it was during a conversation with him over a year ago that started an interesting chain of events for me. Because he put me in touch with Lucy, and through Lucy I updated my website to more erotic art, which led on to me promoting myself more, and I started my blog, which led on to my selling more erotic artwork, and becoming an international artist, which led on to some delightful Americans coming to visit me to see my art, and me talking to the WI about being an erotic artist and being accepted in the Guild of Erotic Artists. All of this happened last year because of one conversation. I know my life would be different now if I had not had that initial conversation. He didn’t do anything other than mention the name of someone else who also worked in erotica. I did the rest myself. And worked hard at it. But often its the people we meet in life who change the direction we’re going in.
And to finish with another conversation I had over the course of the evening, with no preamble whatsoever a male acquaintance who I’ve not seen for some months said he thought my painting “Getting acquainted” was quite provocative! I laughed and asked how, when all that was happening was in his head! The image isn’t showing anything other than a seated man and a woman kneeling infront of him. The title and your imagination is creating the rest of the image! But the guy I was talking to obviously found it a powerful one! Good. That’s what images should be. Powerful enough for him to mention it to the artist who created it. But I possibly might not have painted it if I had not had that initial conversation with the catalyst……….