Underling Part 4, Interview from Wellred Weekly

Spanking Artist: Underling

Wellred Weekly explores the spanking art of Underling.

Volume 1, Number 2 : November 22, 2011

How long have you been drawing spanking art?

I really can’t recall a time when I wasn’t, on and off. I was an ‘arty’ child, encouraged in my drawing from a young age, and I’ve had these kinky fascinations for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure that spanking was an overriding theme, but it was definitely in the mix alongside other fantasies of humiliation and punishment. As with RedRump in his interview, I was sufficiently self-conscious about it to hide certain drawings away – I daresay some of them would have had my parents running to a child psychologist!

On the other hand, I’ve only been producing spanking art for an audience since 2009, when I realised there was a platform where it could be easily shared – first on other people’s blogs, and then on my own.

Where can your spanking art be seen?

I come across it on lots of spanking sites, thanks to the power of the web, and I genuinely get a kick out of that. It’s made to be shared. If you want to see it all in one place, there’s quite a big Underling gallery on the Spanking Art Wiki – but the biggest collection is on my blog, Underling’s Humblings, and it always appears there first. That’s also the place to go for animations and stories, and of course to say hi!

What inspires you to draw?

Oh, that’s easy. This stuff occupies far too much of my waking mind, and once I’ve imagined it I want to get it down on ‘paper’. It’s almost like realising a fantasy. But the truth is that much of the creative process itself isn’t that much fun – I get frustrated and sidetracked easily. So what inspires me to KEEP drawing when things get tough is the anticipation of finally posting something and hearing from people (hopefully!) that they enjoyed it. That’s the big reward. I also love the idea that I’m making a little contribution to this historical archive of kinky art, so much of which I’ve browsed myself over the years. Given the rate I work at, it’ll be a small legacy. But it’s something!

Where do you get your ideas from?

Good question. I guess everything I draw is a vicarious representation of a situation I like to imagine myself in – but can’t, or in some cases wouldn’t want to, experience in reality. I often find that more detail comes to me as I’m drawing, and I’m sure any artist, writer or musician will know what I mean when I say it’s as if these things are being revealed to me rather than me coming up with them myself. I do have a creative nature in general, and I’ve always many more ideas than I have time to actually turn into pictures.

I try to reject the obvious, although it’s hard to be completely original. There have been many times that I’ve thought of a scene and then realised that I’ve seen almost the very same thing in someone else’s art!

Are there other artists that interest or inspire you?

Of course! Even if I limit it to fellow kinksters, the list is long. There’s Sardax, the Grand Master whose pencil I’m not worthy to sharpen; Patron E Hall, who apparently only has a handful of pictures, much to my regret; RedRump, of course, who seems to have appeared from nowhere fully formed and is destined to produce some celebrated classics; Otto and Banjo, who start with Poser renderings but elevate them to the status of ‘proper’ art; Kami Tora, who makes gorgeous and erotic look so clean and effortless; Barbara O’Toole, many of whose pictures seem to have been drawn directly from MY imagination; and many, many more.

Do you have a particular technique or way that you go about drawing?

Yes, and it’s usually very structured. For most of my drawings I’ll construct the basics of a scene in Poser and then use that as a reference for the finished picture, adding elements as I go. Just about everything I draw starts with a photographic reference or a view in the mirror – it’s very important for me to get things looking ‘right’, particularly when it comes to clothing etc, and there really is no substitute for observation of the real thing. Comically, this involves a lot of dressing up on my part! Drawing and colouring are done entirely in software (typically Adobe Flash) using a tablet. Occasionally I’ll switch to another program for more subtle colour work.

For animations my approach tends to be different – I draw quickly and simply, typically in a more cartoon style and often without any references, and then invest the time in getting the movement to look right.

Do you prefer to draw in colour or black & white/greyscale?

Monochrome is quicker, and can be very effective for some pictures – but the hardest part for me is actually the line work, so once I’m happy with that then I’ve already cleared the major hurdle and I can complete the colouring relatively quickly if I want to. I like a ‘cel-shaded’ look, but that brings its own challenges – if you’re going to use very simple bold shading and highlighting then you can’t ‘fudge’ it, and you have to get the shapes and the mix of tones just right. It’s a learning experience, and I’m slowly getting better at it!

Is there a target audience that you specifically aim at?

Not really. I tend to think of F/M work as having a relatively small and mostly male fanbase, which is a shame – but I do know there are also a fair number of female afficionados too! I draw whatever takes my fancy at the time, and everything you see in a picture has resonance for me. Even so, because I have a feel for what many of my regular commenters enjoy you may find me giggling to myself and thinking, ‘Oh, so-and-so is going to love this!’

Does your artwork represent your own spanking preferences?

Yes, absolutely – or at least a subset of them, and luckily these seem to be common to quite a number of other people. It fascinates me how, although we spankos might not all enjoy exactly the same things, there are certain little triggers that seem to provoke powerful reactions in all of us. It’s almost like a shared species memory!

I say ‘a subset’, by the way, because I also enjoy all the other spanking pairings. It’s just that F/M is closest to my heart, and I have some (probably misguided) notion about keeping the blog true to its male sub origins.

Do you produce artwork which is not related to spanking as well?

Now that I have to try and keep the blog going, I don’t have time any more! :) Seriously, I do, but only really for friends and family – birthday cards and animations, that kind of thing. None of it reaches a wider audience.

Do you draw just for personal pleasure or for profit?

For pleasure and entertainment only. I’ve no professional connection to artwork, and in any case I find that doing anything for money can make it feel less of a pleasure and more of a chore. At least at an amateur level there are no deadlines to worry about – even though I may get a little gentle pressure from site visitors every now and again!

Have you considered using your artwork in spanking publications/books?

I was actually approached a while back by someone who wanted to use one of my pictures in a book. I had to decline, reluctantly. The book (while well-intentioned) was going to be somewhat edgy and I was worried about associating myself with it. It was very nice to be asked though!

Do you have any plans for future artwork?

Well, my head is bursting with ideas – it’s just a shame that there are only so many hours in the day, and many of those are taken up with my ‘real’ job.

New stuff will continue to trickle out, of course. I have a rather lovely, slightly sci-fi scenario in mind that is going to be so complex to draw that it makes my head ache just to think about it. And the animations seem popular and are relatively quick to produce, so expect to see more of those. Finally, I do have a picture on the go featuring (whisper it) a female spankee. There’ll be no place for that on the blog, but I’ll certainly link to it, wherever it ends up.

Smiles and Spanks, NaturallyGin.com