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If You Post Pictures of Your Naked Girlfriend...
Vice: How do these thingies work? Do you draw the pictures and add the color when you’re done or what?
Nick Gazin: First I draw it, then I block in the colors in watercolor and go over the lines in charcoal.
Fascinating. How did you get into watercolors?
Because I’m impatient. Oils can take a couple of days to dry, so you do a layer of colors, then you have to wait forever before you can come back to it. Watercolor doesn’t take very long to dry, so while one’s drying I can keep working on the others. It’s more immediate. Also, I like bright colors.
If it didn’t take as long, would you rather be doing these in oil?
I used to, but there’s just something about oils—it’s like pushing around cake frosting. I find it not fun to control. You’ve got to enjoy the medium you’re working with, whatever it is. It can’t just be like jerking off in the shower—it’s got to be more like making love to yourself, where you’re rubbing your body in oils and you’re totally submitting to the full sensual experience.
Well, that’s gross. When we asked if we could use the drawing with the cop that says “See You Soon,” you were like, “Aww, really? That one?” Why don’t you like it?
Something about it doesn’t sit right with me. I like to have text and images next to each other, but that one seems too much like a New Yorker cartoon or something. Whenever anyone looks at it, I feel like they just immediately think, “Oh, that’s what the cop’s saying.” It might as well have a speech balloon around it.
Where do all your source images come from?
I take a lot of pictures and draw from those. I also hang on to old catalogs and Playboys and dig shit up on the internet. The one with all the kids is from a picture of a group of German Boy Scouts in the 70s that some guy had on his Flickr account. It was a really big, high-resolution scan, so I could get in there and get the details down.
What about the girl with the necklace in her mouth? Where’d she come from?
My roommate found her Photobucket account. It was a bunch of shots of this classy-looking Korean girl in nice clothes doing things like taking baths with her friends. Or there’s one where she’s wearing spats with a long, fancy ball gown, but then she’s got it hiked up over her head. Eventually she took the account down, but we saved all the pictures in a folder titled “Future Wife.”
Do you go to a lot of those porn-trading message boards?
Oh yeah, the “Smoke Weed and Die” picture came from one of those. I love those places. You always get a good mix of typical professional-looking porn and bad amateur stuff. But then there are some shots that are really beautiful. They don’t look like they were meant as porn. There’s one photo of this girl running naked through a hotel room with her hair blowing out behind her that I’ve been meaning to make into something.
Those are the ones that always stick with me—the ones where you can’t quite figure out whether or not you’re supposed to be beating off to them.
Yeah, like when you’re looking at a bunch of pictures of a girl and suddenly it’s her at her graduation. Or there’s some weird detail like she’s all tied up with a dildo sticking out of her, but you can see Futurama on the TV in the background.
Do you think making art is more like masturbating to web porn or having sex with a beautiful girl?
Hmm. Maybe it’s like jerking off but then you save some of the cum in your hand and wipe it on the beautiful girl’s face.
Jesus Christ, dude.