Exploring 'Swinging Island' With Pin-Up Artist Andrew Tarusov
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Andrew Tarusov is a Russian-born artist and animator renowned for his bright and bold erotic pinup illustrations and animation. With the help of his Patreon following, Tarusov undertook the ambitious mission of creating Swinging Island, his debut erotic graphic novel about open relationships and the swinging lifestyle, which was inspired by his own fantasies and adventures.
What triggered the creation of Swinging Island?
It started when I lived in Los Angeles, and I realized I had to retain patrons on my Patreon page somehow. That’s how I came up with the idea of comics. First, I thought maybe I should do a soft erotic graphic novel. But then I decided to go full frontal, and I liked it more. You can’t post porn on Patreon if it’s real people, but you can draw it!
Has growing up in Russia had any effect on your art?
The middle of Russia is very gray and sad, so I would say it’s had the opposite effect! I’ve always tried to draw more colorful and happier pictures and stories than you see in real life.
Is Swinging Island your first foray into creating comics?
Yes. I had never created a comic before but have always loved them. I studied filmmaking and animation, and it helped because comics are basically a storyboard. But it’s a huge work, and I had to invite a lot of people to help me finish it, including an English-speaking editor, colorer, book editor and a print house. A lot of people helped me finish it.
Are you trained in 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.
Where did your inspiration for Swinging Island come from?
Basically, the main character is me—a shy and not very confident young man. All of the other characters are bolder and braver. The story takes place on a nudist beach, and I’m a huge fan of naked swimming. So, I just put my fantasies in the book. What would it be like to go to the beach with my girlfriend and to meet another more open-minded couple there? It was important to me to make a realistic story where people have failures and misunderstandings. It’s not like usual porn as I don’t draw sex scenes only to show sex. Also, I take a lot of character features from my real-life experiences.
I feel like it’s my mission to make cool sex-positive comics
What was your process for putting together Swinging Island?
I just drew it page by page, from start to finish. Sometimes I had to pause it because I didn’t know what I should do next. I even re-drew some pages from the beginning because I decided to start it differently. But now I don’t make mistakes like that. I plan everything, and I have a very exact outline in my mind and on the paper.
What equipment do you use for your illustrations?
I use an iPad and Procreate 90 percent of the time. Sometimes I finish my drawings in Photoshop, and I use After Effects for animation. I also love traditional art, and I paint watercolors and oil for myself when I have a chance.
What draws you to creating erotic comics?
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.
Have you ever had a muse?
I always have a muse. I love women, and they love me.
How has Swinging Island been received by its readers?
People love it so much! I didn’t expect that, but it looks like people love it more than everything else I do. I have more than 650 permanent readers [on Patreon], and when people join, they stay! I feel like it’s my mission to make cool sex-positive comics.
Do you have plans for a Swinging Island sequel?
Definitely. I’m doing a sequel on my Patreon, and it’s not even close to the middle. It will be bigger, hotter and longer. Also, the second part takes place in the clothes-optional hotel. I’ve been to such places, and it's always great fun.
See more of Andrew Tarusov's work on his website, Instagram and Patreon.
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