THE SEX FILES: Talking Pink. My Interview With Amy Matthews

As a traditionally trained artist, Amy Matthews has worked in a variety of mediums since an early age. Amy found her voice in 2008 when she turned her unique fusion of hyper realism and exaggerated form towards a series of images she calls CartoonPink. Since then, she has provided her stylized portrait work to private collectors, adult film stars and media giant Digital Playground…where I first became aware of her wuth the work she did on their calander. I got lucky enough to speak with Amy Matthews about her unique work in the adult field.

What’s it like being a woman in the cartooning business?

I think I’m able to offer a unique perspective on erotica in a way that might appeal to other women a bit more. I saw a lack of sweetness in the genre, so I decided to use my own influences and sensibilities to create CartoonPink.

Did you start out always drawing slightly naughty pieces or did that evolve over time as you sex life blossomed…assuming it has blossomed, I don’t mean to pry!

The majority of the work I have done in the past has been very main stream. The naughty drawings emerged in my sketchbook as a way to do something fun and challenging. Life drawing is always a good exercise for an illustrator, but when I started to use porn as my drawing reference I found it extra challenging because of the unusual perspectives and positions of the figures. It was also a challenge to make the characters look sweet and pretty while doing such explicit things.

Obviously the net helps us all in whatever business we happen to be in these days but being in such a visual medium do you find any negative aspects of the web on your business or how you present your work these days?

Well, images can be very easily stolen and used for other purposes by anyone who finds them. This is the nature of the net and it’s something that you just have to be smart about. Companies like one I’m working with, CDO, actually take the initiative to educate people about image licensing and the importance of compensating the artist for the work they’ve created.

For so many of us, the only exposure we get to anything dirty in cartoons is Japanese Anime or for my generation that old Fritz the Cat movie . What’s your definition of ‘toon porn?

Yes, the majority of cartoon porn is Anime…that’s the main reason I wanted to bring CartoonPink to life. My influences and interests are of a different tone, and I didn’t see anybody really doing cartoon porn that I personally found attractive. I wanted to draw really naughty stuff that retained a sweetness and beauty. That’s what turns me on, so I wanted to reflect that in my illustrations. I’m glad that other people are enjoying it too!

When does a drawing skirt the edges of caricature-and I use that word as a positive here.

Yes, that is a very fine line. Since I’m doing cartoon drawings, it’s easy to consider a recognizable cartoon drawing of a specific person to be a caricature. But what I try to create are more cartoon portraits than caricatures. Caricatures tend to exaggerate the unattractive elements of a person’s face, and they’re generally drawn with an intention to be comical. I try to capture the beauty of a model and simplify them in a way that’s very attractive. So in a way I’m sort of creating a reverse caricature. It’s much more difficult to create these flattering likenesses than to just loosely base a pretty drawing on a particular model. I enjoy that much more than doing portrait work. It’s far more freeing when I can just create a pretty drawing and not have to worry about whether or not it looks just like the model. But portrait work is generally the kind of job that comes along when people are commissioning images.

What’s coming-up for you in the future and where can people find you?

I’m really hoping to get CartoonPink up and running before too long. It will be a membership site where I can showcase all of my naughty images I am constantly creating. I have recently licensed a percentage of my tamer illustrations to a sigtag company, where all of the naughty bits are covered up (that’s a lot of underpants to paint after the fact). But CartoonPink will have all of my large images on the site with no censorship, so that I can share them with my fans and my fans can help keep me working on lots of new, exciting images. And of course I have several irons in the fire with Digital Playground and can’t wait to see more projects come to life through them.

Find Amy and her work at  CartoonPink, Creative Design Outlet, and Sexy Art Gallery.

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