Â Â Â I was commissioned by Jonathan O’Connor, a wonderful writer and also one of my dear friends who is currently putting together an essay book, MASC, that deals with masculinity and sexuality. Â I read its draft, and it was extremely personal and raw; and of course it was relatable as a gay man myself. Â It captures both physical and emotional aspects of the main character’s life as a gay man; family, friendship, love relationship, and such.
Â Â Â It starts with this:
MASC: (n) masculine. Â Often used among gay men while exchanging physical statistics in online chats and personal ads. Meat to indicate a straight-acting, manly guy, that likes men. (Antonym: Fem.) âMasc by Jonathan O’Connor
Â Â Â Juicy, isn’t it!? Â When I read, I READ hunny (not “read” as a gay terminology, just saying.) Â Also that was my friend’s personal essay book, so I had this extra love and compassion for what he went through… Â I almost felt like I was in a LGBTQ group session or listening a testimony at my church (I go to a LGBTQ affirmative church.) Â It’s really nurturing to see one’s vulnerability.
Â Â Â Anyway, so here is what I sent him first; thumbnails.
Â Â Â He liked #2 and #6, and we talked on a phone, then decided to do #6. Â It captured the both physical and emotional flavors from the book. Â Since it was a quick turnaround, I jumped into from the thumbnail to its final piece.Â
Â Â Â (Oh by the way, you can see more on my Instagram page!)
Â Â Â I do use gouache to paint shadows and highlights. Â People tell me that I could digitally, but I enjoy the traditional part of my process. Â
Â Â Â So yeah, that’s it! Â Here is the final piece again;
Â Â Â Jonathan, it was delightful experience to work with you. Â You are very talented writer, always wear a warm and positive energy that I enjoy, and mostly delightful. Â
Â Â Â Please check his website: Jonathan O’ConnorÂ
Okay y’all, have a wonderful day!
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