'He was trying to seduce me, under the guise of teaching me, from the start.'
Back in 2017, I did an Actors & Skin feature on actor Johnathon Schaech. (HERE: & HERE:) While putting together that piece, I found a series of images of a hot shoot featuring Jonathon and a female model. The only image from the series I could find was a compilation shot from a Dewey series by DC poster Jimbo. I got in touch with Jimbo who originally thought he'd lost the shots after an issue with an old computer. A few months later, Jimbo got back in touch after finding the shots on an old hard drive.
When I was starting to put together the piece featuring the images, I couldn't get a particular story out of my head. It wasn't a story I'd heard of when I put together the first pieces on Jonathan, it was year later that the story came out. I was reading a post on Dreamcaps about actor Martin Hewitt, when the subject of Endless Love came up. I hadn't been aware that a year after my 2017 pieces, Schaech wrote a piece for People Magazine detailing his story of being molested by director Franco Zeffirelli.
'There’s a moment where, even though you are taught to be charming and have sex appeal as an actor, a line is crossed and everything changes. When someone crosses that line, when someone preys on you, there’s a panic that sets in. That’s what Franco did. He crossed that boundary and I felt as though I left my body. He molested me in my bed. He put his hands in places that I couldn’t even imagine and he did things that I am not proud of. But it’s not my fault.'
Many of course know Zefferelli from his work on film, most notably 1968's Romeo & Juliette. It was 1993's The Sparrow that Schaech shares the director made his life a nightmare. The 'me too' era provided an opportunity for so many to share their stories, but it's still struggle for men who have been abused. I think the fact Jonathon's story wasn't highly publicized is a great example.
Although FH is clearly about enjoying visuals of the male form, story is an important part of the process for me. When only an image is seen, it's far too easy for distance to be created. I strive to ensure that I'm not posting just a body, but a person. Story is essential in this process. I applaud Jonathon's bravery in sharing a very painful piece of his story.
'I'm inspired by a variety of things, usually a pose or the lighting or composition of a photo. And of course when I find the model attractive. Sometimes I have an idea for a picture, especially during the seasonal art challenges, and I look for a picture I can reference.'
As a writer, I tend to see life in terms of story. I'm constantly writing 'scripts' in my head, and add dialogue to moments I both experience and observe. I am guessing visual artists see life in the same way. It's always fascinating to me, to think about inspiration. Not just the what, but the when. There are certain days and certain times of year, that I'm more inspired and motivated to create.
I'm not exactly sure why, but my motivation to create tends to peek around holidays. FH readers are familiar with my love of holidays and holiday themed imagery. It's more though, than just enjoying images of naked men with pumpkins and candy canes. When I was a kid, holidays, vacations and sick days, tended to be when I actually had the time to pursue my hobbies, interests and passions. I had what seemed endless time to write and create, watch TV, and stay up late and read for pleasure.
When I think of reading for pleasure, as a child that often meant illustrative works. It was the time I went to the drug store and purchased an Archie Double Digest, a Family Circus or Marmaduke paperback, or the latest Danny Dunn adventure novel. Sometimes the books were full of comics and drawings, other times, the art work was just on the cover. Either way, these illustrations stimulated my imagination and desire to create stories for myself.
I think this is one of the reasons I tend to seek out art work more around the holidays. Holiday inspired images and art often take me right back to that creative motivation I felt around the holidays and summer vacations. This past Christmas, while search for holiday imagery, I discovered the work of Roy Johnson from Badsign769. I instantly fell in love with Roy's work, both the visuals, and my emotional connection to them.
Roy's images beautifully assemble together my childhood experiences with holiday imagery and art. Roy's images of the male form are often erotic, yet it also incorporates that child like wonder that holidays, play and the magic a creative imagination can produce. The images featured here are some of Roy's favorites. I also added a few of my own. You might recognize a few of the model as images, models and gifted photographers, are often motivational sources.. I threw Roy a few questions to find out the source and inspirations stem from.
Do you remember the what the drawing or art piece was that first had you realizing your talent?
'I'm always comparing myself to artists that I think are better than me (a bad habit, I know), so I think I recognize my talent most when I look at my older art and see where I've improved. I've been drawing since I was five years old, so I'd say the realization of talent is progressive. I can't say I remember the moment when I realized that I had a talent for drawing.'
Red briefs: 'Sometimes I have an idea about colors before I start a piece, and sometimes I don't have ideas about colors until I'm ready to color. For this drawing I decided at the beginning that I wanted to use one color for the model and background, and a different color for the briefs to make them really pop. I loved the way this one came out.'
Autumn: 'I loved this photo when I saw it posted, and I really wanted to draw it. Trees aren't the easiest for me to draw, but I had an idea of making the trees a flat outline instead of being detailed. I decided on the colors early on and I just loved the way it came out.'
Sea Monster: This one was just fun. I liked using the tentacles to both cover the man (to stay within acceptable guidelines), and also add a dose of homoeroticism by ripping the man's swim suit off. I originally posted a black and white drawing, but I liked the drawing so much I posted it again with color.
Most artists had a 'theme' as a kid they drew over and over. Did you have a specific subject you repeated?
'My passion as a kid was super heroes, for sure. Comic books were undeniably my inspiration for drawing. When I was younger and I had more time, I used to do a lot of sequential art, drawing my own comic books.' What was the strangest idea ever thrown your way or that you were commissioned to create?
'I can't think of anything strange, really. I've had a few requests from followers to draw them as super heroes, but there's nothing strange with that! I still wish daily that I had one super power or another.'
Do you remember what led to your first erotic drawing of the male form?
'I have to say it was Instagram! I started drawing guys from miscellaneous pictures found on the internet to post to my page, which led to a few requests from followers to draw them. Eventually tame drawings of shirtless guys evolved into fully nude drawings.' Are there specific features (hair, face, body part) you especially enjoy drawing, are there any that lead to more struggle?
'Every artist would probably say hands and feet are the worst, and those have always been challenges for me too. Body hair is something that I think I've become much better at. I'll admit bulges have been a favorite part to draw, and I've drawn some guys just because I wanted to draw their bulge lol.'
.You often use images of specific models and from specific photographers, do you check with them first, or share after?
'A lot of my drawings have been based on photos of models that I've found online on miscellaneous blogs, so the photos and models are uncredited. With Instagrammers that I draw, I really like surprising them with a drawing. Occasionally I'll send a drawing privately to them first to get their reaction and post only if they like it. In those cases I've usually been communicating with them already.'
Have you ever had a model or photographer say no, or not react well?
'I had found an uncredited picture of a model online, and I loved the lighting of the photo, so I drew a picture exaggerating the shadows. I tagged the model, who was flattered with my drawing. The photographer, however, was not impressed. He reported me to Instagram and they removed the photo. I admit it was my fault for not noticing the photographer's tag on the original post, but I also felt censored since this was not intentional on my part. I was offended with my drawing being removed (perhaps justifiably), so I drew a tarp over my original drawing and reposted it! With the model completely covered the photographer could no longer accuse me of stealing his work. Now, if I see that a post has a photographer credit, I reference this in the description of my post and tag the photographer if they have an Instagram page. So far, no one has been offended. If I think there's a chance of that though, I will ask the photographer first. I have drawn a few guys that didn't seem impressed with my work. That's always disappointing, but overall guys are usually flattered.'
I especially love your holiday work, Halloween, Christmas, there's something about the holidays and erotic material that for me, goes hand in hand. Are you inspired by the calendar, dates, seasons, holidays?
'My recent holiday drawings were inspired by the October drawing challenges. I discovered Inktober a few years ago, and even though I never work in physical mediums these days, I like to participate with digital drawings. I enjoy drawing men, so it was always fun to put a homoerotic spin on the word prompt. I wasn't that inspired by the Inktober word list last year, but Instagrammer @byron.power came up with a Homoween list that I had so much fun with. By the end of November I was wishing I had a new daily challenge so I decided to do a series of "naughty elves" for December.'
Although your work is sometimes erotically charged, it also blends and balances so many themes from media, superheros and childhood fantasy. Is it difficult to hit the right note, 'R' rated visuals with in some cases almost a 'g' rated child like wonderment?
'I think my biggest concern has been whether or not a drawing will be within acceptable guidelines. Initially my drawings were very tame; just shirtless guys. But as I my drawings became more erotic, I had to consider if a drawing was too sexual or if I could censor the drawing enough to post to Instagram. While some artists literally post graphic drawings daily, I found myself shadow banned for about 2 weeks after I tried posting a nude to my stories that wasn't censored enough. The picture wasn't even posted - it was intercepted as it was loading! So now I censor my work for Instagram and save the uncensored for Twitter.'
With time on my hands, I've been trying to get into the CW's Nancy Drew. The show has all the pieces. A hot, likable cast, a solid base in the book series, great sets and atmosphere, yet they can't seem to pull it all together in a watchable show. I especially want to like it as I'm crushing over actor Alex Saxon who plays Ace in the series.
I'm watching it on Demand, but man the show seems to be almost trying to get me to give up. I'm close... I'm a few episodes in, and am going to give it just one or two more. It's ok background television, but it really should be better. As I said, all the ingredients are there, they just don't seem to know how to combine them all together.
The good thing however, is my interest in Alex has me wanting to finally give The Fosters a try. I'd read a lot about the series over the years, but never had time, or the opportunity to give it a go. Maybe it's time to turn off Nancy and company and give The Fosters a try.
FH readers are familiar with my previous features spotlighting the work of photographer Billy Joe Davis of DAVISICON. I'm also a fan of Billy Joe's Instagram, especially his frequent posts of images of new and upcoming models. It was on the DAVISICON Instagram that I first laid eyes on the beautiful Shane Intihar. Of course I had to hunt for more!