*disclaimer- the artwork below is considered to be of mature content, containing nudity. If you are under the age of 18 please avoid this particular blog post. Please see other blog posts on my page.*
While browsing around Ebay selling my bearded bunny prints I ran across a very large mass of male erotic art created with coffee washes. The work was very unique and selling for good sums of money. I was impressed with the work and decided to seek out the artist and ask him some questions.
The artist's name is Bilal, he is 35 years old freelance illustrator/ fashion designer and part-time Starbucks employee living in Southern California. I want to thank him for agreeing to the interview and sharing some of his erotic male artwork.
Bilal, you are currently selling some impressive male erotic nude drawings, done in coffee. How long have you been selling these types of works on eBay?
Merci, and I have been selling since early 2006.
How much do you make, or have you made selling these drawing on eBay?
It depends. I average around $500.00/month.
That is an impressive amount for a self representing ebay artist. How much does an average drawing on ebay sell for?
Somewhere between $40-$60.
How did you get the idea to color them with coffee? Do the works smell like coffee?
I once noticed a coffee cup stain on a napkin which reminded me of old water color paintings and thought I should try painting with coffee and see how it turns out but I didn’t know what to paint. I didn’t want to paint flowers and shit like that but I have always loved drawing the human form in slutty poses, so one day I was checking out nude drawings for sale on eBay and I was like, DAMN, I think I can do better than some of the stuff on here and make me some extra cash. But, I did not want to do just plain old pencil drawings, so I drew an artsy side pose of a guy from his shoulder down to his thigh, mixed some instant coffee in a cup and went to work. I did, like three paintings which turned out better than I had expected, so I put them up on eBay. The rest is history. Oh, and yeah, they do smell like coffee. I have had many customers mention in their feedback that the art work smells great.
When did you start doing fantasy or erotic art?
I guess when I was around 13 is when I came across an old copy of Heavy Metal magazine and discovered the art of Boris Vallejo, Milo Manara, and my namesake Anki Bilal. I was into marvel comics a lot as a kid but I had never seen such blatant sexuality in regular comic books as I found in Heavy metal comics. My fantasy drawings always bordered on erotic but coming from a conservative country (Pakistan) and an even more conservative Islamic culture, I never did fully express myself in my drawings until quite recently.
Name one or two artists that inspire your work?
I have way too many because my style of art is many different kinds as well. A few I mentioned above already, but most of my erotic work is inspired by the works of photographers such as, the late Herb Ritts, Richard Avedon, and Bruce Weber with a little bit of Patrick Nagel thrown in. If I could afford it I would rather do photography but I find drawing much less expensive and more gratifying an outlet.
Have you had a lot of success on eBay? Do you sell your work in other places online?
I had never imagined that I would be dependant on my art to pay my bills or that I would actually have collectors that are genuinely interested in it , but its only now that I am getting around to realizing that I might have something here worth making a fuss about. EBay has been the only venue for my work thus far but I am hoping to fool a gallery or two into selling my work in the future… I am keeping my brushes crossed!!
Do you get a lot of repeat customers, from similar places in the world, or do your buyers vary each time?
I do have some loyal customers to whom I am ever so grateful, because without them my art would sell for tuppence. The majority of my customers are from the united estates, but I have had many buyers from Europe and some as far as Australia.
How do you package and send your art to the buyer?
As you know I work part-time at Starbuck!! Convenient I know, but that’s not where I get my coffee to draw with! But… I do use their gift wrapping tissue paper to roll my paintings in, which is held together with a coffee-of-the-day sticker, for those in the know. It is then stuffed in a barrel/tube and shipped to the nether regions of the world, or where ever the buyer may be!
Do you have big plan to continue to make lots of erotic art to sell on eBay?
Not really, as I mentioned earlier, I started doing this for fun and to pay my bills. I am currently seeking full-time employment and once I do get it, I will no longer have the need to sell on eBay, but every now and then when I need some extra cash and am feeling horny, the coffee and the brushes will come out, and I will whore myself on ebay… 10 dolla, coffee coffee!??!
I want to thank Bilal for his time and fascinating insight into his artwork, check out his popular ebay auctions by searching: cafeartiste.
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