We caught up with Byron Power for a behind-the-scenes look at his erotic art.
“I’ve always been into drawing…” says Byron, when we ask how he got started as an artist. “My mum has said that if she didn’t know better – as an eye witness – she’d think that I’d been born with a pencil in my hand. After art college, I had jobs in retail and in local government. Eventually, I just had to do art full-time. I feel like we should all do jobs we love! Now, I really can’t imagine doing anything else. It sounds lame, I know, but art is kind of the love of my life.”
“I think my love of drawing superheroes comes from watching a ton of cartoons as a kid…” explains Byron. “Cartoons featuring jacked-up, beefy guys in form-fitting spandex suits and furry loin cloths. I think my brain just stayed in that world instead of growing up. What I love most about drawing characters like this is to try to express interesting facets of their personalities, which make them sexier to me. There’s nothing I like drawing more than a beefy, good-hearted, dumb-jock character, getting overwhelmed by a sticky situation. One of the advantages of drawing superheroes is that they don’t usually offend Instagram’s community guidelines – even if they are posed more than a little suggestively. My favourite guys to draw are original characters that I’ve created myself. They’re essentially designed to express facets of my own personality – even if they are infinitely fitter physically than I will ever be. I can let a little of my inner-self out through them. I always want my work to be fun more than anything else. Even if I’m drawing sexy monsters at Halloween, I want there to be a sense of lightness and fun. If guys looking at my work also get a boner, then that’s every box ticked.”
“Gay guys quite often feel a connection to the X-Men…” says Byron, reflecting on which characters are the most requested for commissions. “The X-Men are hated and feared for just being who they were born to be, so I can totally see why characters from that franchise are the most popular with my audience. Because my style of drawing lends itself to sexed-up superheroes, it’s natural that people lean toward that genre when they’re commissioning work from me. Although, I’m just as happy drawing some hardcore sex scenes with no spandex or capes in sight! I haven’t really had any weird commission requests. I’m super open-minded, and I can usually see the attraction to any kink, so nothing has shocked me all that much. A few times people have wanted me to draw them having sex with me, which I find pretty unnerving – that’s the only request that I’ve found especially weird!”
“My taste swings around a lot…” says Byron, when we ask him which artists he draws inspiration from. “At the moment, my absolute top hero in erotic art is Harry Bush. His work is super-hot and really plugs into a lot of kinks that resonate with me. His work is also unashamedly drawn – he was never trying to create a photograph, you always know you’re looking at a drawing, and it’s all the hotter for that. It’s devastating that he destroyed a lot of his art for fear of the implications of being outed, but I guess that just means that there’s some Harry Bush ideas floating freely around the universe! Tom Of Finland is an enormous inspiration to me – and, frankly, to all gay erotic artists. He was essentially the pioneer of an aesthetic that has become so ingrained in gay culture that his impact will still be felt in centuries to come. Nobody – certainly nobody in the gay community – could fail to recognise Tom Of Finland’s work. Nobody will be that iconic again, but we can try! The power of social media has created a global community of gay artists, particularly on Instagram. I’m so inspired by the supportive and encouraging dialogue that I have with so many artistic friends there. That is one of my greatest inspirations.”