Since I joined the Guild of Erotic Artists in October last year I’ve not had chance to go to any of their “Event” days but yesterday I was able to change that state of affairs! I’ve only met a very few of the members briefly at the Erotica show at Olympia in London last November so it was good to go to the Beaumont Hall Studios in Hertfordshire and meet some more of them and compare notes on erotic art and life in general! I know it can be daunting walking through the door of somewhere when you don’t know anyone, and have never been there before, but everyone I spoke to had a ready smile, made good eye-contact and made me very welcome. I felt quite at home, helped of course by the fact that there were tasty sausage sandwiches and endless hot cups of tea! I was able to spend time chatting and getting to know people and put faces and names together. I know when I’ve joined art organisations before, part of the “getting to know you” aspect is also learning who does what sort of art and learning their particular styles and techniques. In some cases I can instantly recognise a painting I’ve never seen before, just because I recognise the style of the artwork of the artist, as individual as someones handwriting!
Everyone I spoke to was down to earth, helpful and full of good advice on selling, promotion, producing art and techniques for creating art. There were models there as well as artists and photographers and sculptors. A couple of the guys there had some of their artwork in portfolios and I must admit I had a smile to myself when one of them asked me “Would you like to see my etchings?” – normally that’s a euphemism for a man trying to seduce a woman, but in this case, he just wanted to show me his erotic etchings and talk about the art! How refreshing!
Most of the time I was there I spent the time chatting to a photographer and found him delightful company! He’s been in the guild for a bit longer than me and was more than happy to discuss his photographic art and there were some interesting comparisons to my work, even though he’s a photographer and I’m an artist. We had a similar outlook on catching the light in our art and determining what we considered to be “erotic” within art. I know there is no definitive definition of what makes “erotic” but he and I seemed to be in agreement of what we basically agreed it to be…… that frisson of subtle interest that makes you wonder what’s going to happen next….MMMmmmmm!! And we also compared notes on who had the easier technique for capturing the “moment” – as far as I’m concerned I think that photographers have a more difficult time as they only have a split second to capture the “instant” of the erotic image, whereas an artist can change whatever they want to make the image more “interesting” by changing the composition, the lighting, the colours, and the focal point. But, interestingly he thought artists had the worse time of it, because then they had to spend hours creating that one image that he could capture in as many “split seconds” as he wanted. Mmm…. an interesting and thought provoking comparison! We also discussed which sex had the easier time of it as a producer of erotic art. I think it must be easier for men than women to work in the business, because as a woman I think it’s more difficult and you might be opening yourself up to undesirable attentions from men who might perhaps think that you’re offering more than just art. Whereas my photographer friend thought it was a lot easier for women painting erotic art as they wouldn’t be viewed as “perverts” whereas maybe an older man photographing younger women would be! Ok, that’s got me thinking too! Maybe he’s got a point!
Later on I had the opportunity to talk to one of the models there. She’s more mature than some of the other models, and it was refreshing to hear her down to earth views on body shape and being comfortable within your own skin rather than worrying over your body shape because it’s less than perfect (than the photos that appear in glossy magazines when all the blemishes have been airbrushed out if it anyway!). I think a lot of men prefer women who are comfortable with their bodies and happy within themselves. Although I equally know that doesn’t stop women searching for the perfect shape and wanting to improve on what nature has given them!
So, all in all a good, positive and productive day. I’m looking forward to my next visit!