BOYTOONS MAGAZINE #58 – A cozy chat with Theo Bain!


I recently began thinking about how I might reinvent BTM! I mean can you believe it has already been 7 months since my first entry. Over those months I’ve chatted about numerous well known artists, introduced you to emerging artists, shared behind the scenes info about my projects at Class Comics and discussed a bunch of stuff from my favorite horror flix to my recent vacations.

Just recently it occurred to me that this would be a great place to hear directly from the artists I chat about, and so I am very proud to bring you this first BTM interview.

Theo Bain is a fantastic artist, and a close friend. Many of you will recognize his work from Britdoodz, the website he created with his partner Jack. Recently, the partners in crime decided to each focus their efforts on different adventures, and Theo is hard at work on some very exciting homoerotic projects. I was SUPER THRILLED when he accepted to answer a few questions for all us of here to enjoy! So sit back and sink your teeth into what this exceptionally talented guy had to say!

BOYTOONS MAGAZINE: You are such a fantastic artist, Theo, with an incredibly dynamic and vivid style. Tell us about how you started drawing?

THEO BAIN: I dont really remember a time when i wasn’t drawing. My father is an artist and so I guess drawing was just a natural part of my childhood.

BTM: How did you get started drawing gay comics and pinups? Did you make a conscious decision to start drawing male nudes or did you just naturally evolve into it?

TB: I remember one particular occasion when I was about 14 years old. I had done a series of drawings of men just in towels. Of course I hid them from my parents, among my books on my book case. I was ill and off school and my parents were doing some changes to my room and took down the bookcase in front of my panic stricken eyes!! They found the images and awkwardly asked if they were mine. I denied it, saying they must belong to my brother, which was ridiculous as I had put my initials on each drawing on the mens towels!!! I guess drawing naked men was just something I have always and will always feel the need to do!!

BTM: What are some of your influences in art? Are there particular artists or comics that inspire you?

TB: I am a huge advocate of looking at classical art. I am very inspired by the classical Greek and Roman sculptures. The anatomy is flawless! and i am also a huge fan of Victorian artists such as Lord Leighton. Of course, I am also inspired by Disney cartoons, particularly the work of Glen Keane, cited by so many, including myself, as being the god of animation!! Of course, without coming across as a total creep your own erotic work has been a huge inspiration in more recent years and has given me the courage to continue to devlope my erotic art!

BTM: Take us behind the scenes of how you go about creating your art. Where do you begin and what are the tools you employ?

TB: Generally for pleasure I just start with my blank sheet of paper and sketch any guy that comes into my head. If it’s a commissioned piece the process takes slightly longer to get to this stage. I will usually thumbnail various versions and ideas for the image, and when these get approved, a larger pencil drawing is created. I have been using a blue lead pencil for a couple of years now, and prefer it so much more to traditional lead. I dont have a light box, and so have always inked over my pencilled image. With the blue pencil you can scan the final work and the blue lines dont scan so it saves a lot of rubbing out time. Once the image is scanned I then take it into Photoshop, colour it and voila; a finished piece!!

BTM: You once told me that you really appreciate your pencil sketches, and that you sometimes prefer them over your inks. Why is that?

TB: I think that with any drawing the pencils are filled with so much life. Not just my own work but that of many others too. Lines that disappear after the inking stage add to the weight and three-dimensionality of an image, they also represent the thought process on paper. A line to show the position of an arm which is later moved down a bit, shows just what was going on in the creation of the piece. There’s something just so alive about all that.

BTM: You’ve had the distinction of creating some amazing online comic strips for several clients. Your “Gaydar” strip is one of my favorite gay comics of all time, and your work on “From the Cellar” is always so hot and sexy. Can you tell us a little bit about those projects? How did you come to be involved with them and what was the experience like?

TB: The “Gaydar” strip came about through Britdoodz actually. And for that I have to thank everybody’s friend, Google!! The “Gaydar” strip was such a blast and really helped to teach me a thing or two about drawing sequential erotic stories! It’s a shame it ended after so few episodes, but that’s the way these things sometimes go. It was for an experimental newsletter from “Gaydar” to its members. I guess there just wasn’t the interest in the newsletter as a whole and so they dropped the entire thing after just a few months.

From the Cellar happened through the Prism comics website, and as Jack was busy already, I took on the role of artist for that too. What was a challenge about that project was drawing caricatures of actual people.

BTM: You and Jack created Britdoodz together, and your styles are a perfect match for one another. Did you both make a conscious decision to evolve a style that would be so well matched or did it just happen from working so closely with one another?

TB: I don’t think it was ever a conscious decision. After all, when you live with someone 24/7 things are bound to rub off. But we both have always had a love of Disney animation, comics, Manga and anime, all these things are bound to have influenced our styles to an extent. I still think there are differences in our art, though some people tend to miss it! Jack will always draw his guys with a watch on…don’t ask!! And I think mine tend to have a slightly more elegant flow to them, which probably comes from my long term love affair of Victorian art!

BTM: You and Jack are partners in life as well as in art. I know how amazing it can be to work with your partner on projects, since Fraser and I do so daily. Recently you and Jack decided that Jack would focus his efforts on the mainstream comic scene, while you would continue on with Britdoodz and focus your energies on adult themed projects. Was it a difficult choice to make and do you think that you and Jack might yet have the opportunity to collaborate on projects together?

TB: This was probably a harder descision for Jack than it was for me. I have a tendency to compare my work unfavourably to others and so it was always a bitter sweet relationship on Britdoodz. Jack’s career had taken off in other less adult directions, so he really didn’t have the time for Britdoodz, so it seemed natural for me to take over and focus my time on it. A collaboration with Jack…not just yet, he’s too darn good!!

BTM: I hear that Jack sometimes calls you the “Art Nazi” and that you are often your own worst critic. Why do you think that as artists it is important to be critical on ones own work? Do you think it motivates progress?

TB: I am the worlds worst critic. I think it’s absolutely vital that an artist is critical of their work. Too many times I have spoken to people who think their work is just awesome…and a few years down the line, their work hasn’t developed or improved in the slightest. In my eyes, there are always things to learn, or else you might as well put your pencil down, and what’s the fun in that?! Having said that, it can be very debilitating. I still have those amateur dramatics of throwing a drawing down in utter frustration and swearing I’ll never draw again! But thats just the artistic temperament…….. isn’t it?

BTM: Your first work as a professional comic artist was on a series called “Monster Club” which was published by a company called APC (Autumn Press Comics). What was that experience like for you?

TB: Horrendous. This story has appeared several times on message boards and it still pains me, but having said that, and without giving anyone any credit for it but myself, it was character building!!!

BTM: I recently discoverd “Gimoles” and LOVED it. Can you tell us a little bit about that wonderful project?

TB: Gimoles was going to be a 4 part mini-series published through Alias comics. About the fairies of Spring.

I don’t know the full ins and outs of what happened but there were issues with Alias and their “Christian” standpoint on Britdoodz. Also, as has so often been the case, there was a financial problem!! And so with regret, I came off the project.

BTM: So, a little birdie told me that you are currently working on a project for Bruno Gmunder called “Greek Love”. What can you tell us about this little gem?

TB: Indeed I am. Its been written by a fantastic guy, Dale Lazarov, whose first erotic graphic novel to come out of Bruno Gmunder appeared on the shelves earlier this year. Not sure how much I can say at this point. But its a rampant adventure between Hercules and the God Mars!!!

BTM: Being an established artist, do you find that there is a difference in how gay erotic art is received in Great Britain, or even Europe compared to North America?

TB: I think that’s hard to say at this point in time. Greek Love will be the first erotic work that I have done for a really wide audience, so I shall probably have to hold fire on aswering that question. One thing I will say though, is that companies here value you for your artistic ability on the job they have commissioned you to do, whereas in my limited experience, American companies seem to be obsessed with the other stuff you do that actually doesnt relate to their job at all!!

BTM: A lot of emerging artists look up to you and are inspired by your work, and with good reason. What sort of advice would you have to give to an artist wanting to take a stab at comics or gay erotic art?

TB: Wow. Well, apart from now grinning like the proverbial Cheshire Cat….people look up to me?!!!! AWESOME!!! I think the advice I always give to aspiring artists, whether it’s erotic or not, is to draw constantly and study anatomy. It’s very hard to develop as a creative artist if you dont take the time out to study the human body. The greatest advice I can offer is to always think of what you’re drawing as 3-Dimensional. It’s a daunting, and incredibly hard lesson to learn, and probably impossible to teach, but the more you draw, the more you FEEL the drawing. If that makes sense!

Thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions, Theo (and a MILLION THANK YOUS for drawing that FANTASTIC illustration of Camili-Cat! Tee Hee Hee!!!). I truly appreciate it! I am sure I speak for everyone here when I say that your work is inspiring and always beautiful and that we will ALWAYS hunger for more! You ROCK my friend! :)

For more info on Theo Bain, you can check out his personal art site, www.theobain
.com
as well as his profile on www.prismcomics.org, and of course, the wonderful www.britdoodz.com

See you next time folks!
Hugz + Kisses
Patrick XOXOX

All artwork created by Theo Bain, © Copyright 2006. All Rights Reserved.

Comments

  1. Awesome interview and questions Patrick and Theo!

  2. Hey Patrick!

    This is cool stuff! Your first interview with another artist is a cool direction to take. It’s always great reading about other artists that I don’t get to hear a lot about.

    I guess living in Australia and being so far away from the bulk of the world and where these amazing people work from and where their work is more well known, leaves me at a disadvantage, but on the upper hand I do get to see Kylie Minogue perform more frequently and do get a chance to be floored by Bono from U2 jumping on stage with her and making a surprise appearance!!

    Oh, Back to Theo, I have always like Britdoodz, I came across their site almost one year ago.

    I know I have said this before about other artists and I will say it again, I love how they don’t try to mimic the perfect image of the perfect looking man, but make their work fun to look at and inject their own personality into their work, Britdoodz falls perfectly under this banner, and in my opinion makes them a leader in their field as with yourself, Ismael, J.C Etheridge – I’m sure you get the point I am making.

    After reading that one of Theo’s inspiration was Disney, the penny dropped and I really made the connection and could clearly see the the influence that Disney has on his work.

    As for sometimes preferring his pencil sketches over his inks is also something that I can really relate to. As you know I am not an artist but I do take great pleasure in sketching when I get the chance. I have never been trained and have been self taught and to this day I am hopeless with inks and couldn’t use a program on my computer to draw anything to save my life, but there is something about just sitting in front of a blank sheet of paper looking at an image from a magazine or book and using that as a template to create something of your own. Where it may take a professional a few hours to do a basic sketch, it takes me days just to get the line work done before I even look at shading.

    But it’s nice to read about what makes a person tick and how they go about their work, more so reading about the kinds of crazy thoughts and criticisms they have on their own work, it makes me feel kind of normal now knowing that I am not the only person who speaks to himself in such a way, even rearranging the living room sometimes sends me of into a downward spiral of madman conversations to myself that will one day without doubt have me locked up in a luni bin receiving electro shock treatment and taking medication that will have me talking to magic pixies and fairies in the garden and have me checking under my bed every night for crazy clown dolls that may come to life and try to kill me in my sleep! Oh, shit! see what I mean!

    Great job and congrats on a perfect first interview for BTM Mr. Fillion, and thanks to Theo for letting us have a peek a boo into his world!

    Manny!

  3. Awesome BTM idea, Patrick!

    The other day, I was showing my straight female friend some of my favorite gay artists (and keep in mind, she’s a Disney FIEND) and when I showed her Britdoodz, she nearly lost her mind. She had a lot to say– I can’t rememer everything, but she really praised your work– from an animator’s perspective.

    (Then I felt guilty becasue when we were in school I totally convinced her to switch her major from animation to illustration, like me– and now we’re both jobless…)

    ANYHOOO, yeah I love Theo & Jack’s work and I can’t wait to get my hands on all the new stuff Theo’s comng out with. And yeah, what IS with the watches? Before my eye was so discerning, that was how I could tell you guy’s stuff apart.

    (Random tidbit– I met someone last weekend who’s been to Glen Keane’s house for a cookout or something– and the man has a swimming pool shaped like Ariel, the little mermaid.)

    Aaah, the life!

  4. Oh I love his art. He as such a cute “non-anime” style. Which is not too common in that style. The Camilli-cat drawing is ADORABLE!

  5. Heh! “Art Nazi”!

    Great interview, guys!

    J x

  6. Theo looks exactly like Russell Crowe!!! =D

    Awesome interview with an amazing artist, I soooo love the Gaydar-Strips and Theos rendition of Cam is just beautiful! I’m such a sucker for Cat-Bois and Cam and Lanor are just perfect examples of my fetish! =D

    Thanks Patrick for featuring that incredibly gifted artist on Your blog! And thank You Theo for doing this interview! I’ll check Your website regularly, You gained a fan! =D

  7. Hey Phroq!

    I thought the same thing also LOL. I didn’t want to mention it first though. I wonder if he has smashed a telephone though??

    Manny

  8. Russell Crowe… I must change that photo!!!
    Thank you Patrick for asking me to be your first interviewee!!!
    And thank you guys for the interest and support!

  9. Charlie MJR says

    I’ve seen Theo Bain’s work a lot around the net, and been on his site a few times too. I love how he seems to crate many different body types and not just held to one type, making his characters diverse and unique.
    He has a style which is both sexy, and sweet, cartoony and masculine.

    Plus, he’s very pleasing to the eyes is Theo, I like the way he looks.

  10. dreamerboy6 says

    Oh my gosh! When I looked up Glen Keane’s work I could TOTALLY see how big an influence he must have had on Theo’s artistic style! You can really see the similarities. Still, he remains so unique. It’s no wonder he’s one of my favorite artists. I remember when his version of Cam got pulled from the Y! before I had a chance to see it, he was so friendly in his response to my message. It’s such a joy to finally be able to see that picture! It’s absolutely awesome and sexy. This interview was incredible! What a wonderful idea! Great job guys!

  11. Hey Gang…

    I’m soooooo pleased you all enjoyed Theo’s interview. It was a blast to put together, and it really gave me a chance to get to know this terrific artist much better. Theo has some really great projects coming up so my advice is follow this talented guy’s career closely!

    Theo, I am really pleased you had fin doing this. I want to thank you again for your participation! You ROCK my friend!!!!

    Much love to you all… and thanks again for sharing your thoughts on this interview, and new feature here at BTM!!!

    Hugz + Kisses to you all!
    Patrick XOXOXOXO

  12. And he has just started a blog

    britdoodz

  13. He’s style is kinda Disney, but like a million times sexier. GREAT stuff!

Speak Your Mind

Malcare WordPress Security