When I started to draw erotic comics and paintings, I felt happiness, I felt that this is it and I decided to stay on that path
Andrew Tarusov is a Russian-born artist and animator specialising in pin-up art, who creates bright and bold art with a kinky edge. Tarusov grew up in Rybinsk, Russia, before moving to Moscow and then on to Los Angeles. He now lives in Moscow where he spends his days creating drawings, animations and crypto art of classical pin ups, inspired by bronze age comics and fetish art. We spoke to Tarusov about his inspirations, his passion for erotic art and why he thinks crypto art and NFTs are the future of all art.
Did you study art?
Oh yes, I spent a lot of time studying. First, I finished art school, graduated from an arts college where I studied oil painting, and then I spent six years in the Film University in Moscow studying computer graphics and animation.
Has growing up in Russia had any eﬀect on your art?
The middle of Russia is very grey and sad, so I would say it’s had the opposite effect! I’ve always tried to draw more colourful and happier pictures and stories than you see in real life.
What draws you to creating erotic art?
I always loved eroticism in all aspects. Movies, photos and drawings. I just can’t resist it. When I started to draw erotic comics and paintings, I felt happiness, I felt that this is it and I decided to stay on that path.
What inspires your illustrations?
I love all kinds of art: movies, old and contemporary paintings, comics, burlesque performances, music videos, trips to museums. Of course, most of all I love erotic art in all forms. I take inspiration from everything: It might be old painters such as François Boucher, Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, Raphael or contemporary artists like Jeff Koons or Andy Warhol. But the biggest influences are pin-up, erotic and fetish art.
How did you develop your style?
I just drew what I liked. Plus I took some inspiration from other great artists like Gil Elvgren or J. Scott Campbell and mixed it with my own interests.
What equipment do you use to create your illustrations?
I use an iPad and Procreate 90 per cent of time, sometimes I finish my drawings in Photoshop and I use After Effects for animation. I also love traditional art and I paint watercolours and oil for myself when I have a chance.
On your Instagram, you call yourself a Crypto Artist and an NFT Rebel. What made you decide to jump into creating art for the blockchain?
I think that’s the future of all art, to be honest. My friend told me about it in the beginning of 2021 and, after research, I understood that this looks like ideal business for me. I create digital art professionally, I love to animate things, I know a lot about the art market in general and I have a decent following.
What type of artwork do you sell as NFTs?
I create and animate new works for that market. I don’t sell old stuff. Old is old and I don’t think it’s fair. I sold some works (for example, my last work went for 0.888 ETH which was US$2300 at the moment) and I have bids for others. Also I participate in a lot of collaborations with different artists and other interesting people. It’s hard to predict the future sales because everything is super new, but I hope some of these collaborations will be very successful.
Do you think there’s a future in crypto art?
Yes, I think everything will be based on the blockchain eventually. We just have to wait until it’s less energy consuming and easier to set up. You may like it or you may not, but blockchain is the next ‘internet’.
What has been your biggest career highlight?
My first crowdfunding campaign was my biggest success. I launched my pin-up calendar dedicated to the Olympic games in Russia in 2014 and nothing happened for two weeks. There was no interest from people at all. But someone posted it somewhere on the internet one day and it went viral overnight! I sold 5,000 copies of it, bought a new car and was invited to speak on television several times.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to pursue a career in art?
Just do what you want to do, draw whatever you want even if it’s porn or fan art. You will get your audience eventually and maybe you’ll become rich and famous one day.
Tell us something about you that we might not expect.
I love going to sex parties and drawing sketches of people having sex there! It’s super fun and interesting.
What are you working on at the moment?
I’m working on the sequel of Swinging Island (my erotic graphic novel), on the documentary about Russian Burlesque scene and on a lot of collaborations based on the crypto art.
Have you ever had a muse?
I always have a muse. I love women and they love me.
See more of Andrew Tarusov on his website, Patreon and Instagram.