The Male Beauty of Instagram: Illustrator Boisop Talks Boys, Boys, Boys
The beauty of elusiveness is sorely missed in the, now, digitally-enhanced art scene.
Meet Boisop, a North Bay illustrator who caught the wind of our office for his hyper-sexual, neutral color palette depiction of men. Everything from an innuendo to full-blown intercourse—Boisop doesn't take the subject seriously (no pun intended.) The beauty of Boisop's work is that he (respectfully) refuses to let us call him by his real name for this article. He uses his work to speak rather than himself.
We akin his work to the post-World War II art for gay men specifically and the intrigue of how Banksy floats about.
We caught up with the North Bay artist on the heels of his growing community to talk his passion, the man of his dreams, and what's next for this wet dream of a portfolio.
BC: You work under a pen name but give us the essence of Boisop / Dainty Boi.
DB: So I was daintyboi first, the name was inspired by my favorite ice cream, ‘The Dainty Gentleman' from Bi-rite creamery in Mission. But it [my username] got removed by Instagram, then I made Boisop. I got this name idea from a pink bar of soap in a gang shower. And at that time, I also wanted to build my brand for a possible online store, so I decided to go with ‘sop’, where it met between shop and soap, I think.
DC: How did you find your art style, it's hyper sexual, it's light coloring, and it's playful to an erotic nature, what's the process like of creating these pieces?
DB: Literally, I get inspired by everything that I see and what's in my imagination. Those outlets give me so many ideas, actually... too many ideas. Then, I decide the order of what I really want to make and show to people first. I launch Adobe Illustrator and go from there.
Portrait of Boisop
Illustration by Boisop
BC: Are these pieces a personal affinity to specific male gay group or are these personal encounters with men of this sort?
DB: For myself generally, I always try to combine all types of people. I think it isn't about personal encounters, or actually maybe not... In short, I'm open to anything. These [the work] are just some of my ideas, commissioned works, and fan-art. One time, a guy wanted to ask me for a portrait of himself, but he was too concerned about his masculinity in comparison to the other guys I've painted. Again, I’m open, and I don’t care about body types. I just like people who like my art.
BC: What's your go-to color palette in real life and in your art life?
DB: It always changes in my life, nowadays—you will see ivory and soft pink.
BC: We also noticed suggestive self-portrait images on your Instagram feed, care to explain the additions there too?
DB: Someone left a comment on one of my pictures before, on my last account, I remember he said something like ‘so your body is also one of your art pieces?’ I mean, I think a part of my own personal imagery could be art too. Actually many people have complimented me for my butt. My mom, my ex's, friends, classmates (not teachers though) and even dancers in the club or bar. So I thought, ‘okay, I will make it [my butt] art.’ My mom said, "when you have good things in life, share that with people." But, I think she didn’t mean the butt, I knew it will attract people’s attention. You know, nowadays, it's all about attention. There are three type of followers, the ones that only like my work, the ones that only like my pictures, and the ones that like both.
BC: Where do you see this art going? Just as a hobby? Working on this full-time?
DB: It is a hobby, but I see the possibility of it becoming bigger part of my life... Unless Instagram removes my account again. But I think it wouldn’t be my main or full-time job. I focus primarily on my main job, which is graphic design. Or if they become one in the same, someday.
BC: How would you describe the perfect man in 3 words, GO!
DB: Warmhearted, confident, listener.
BC: Do you think where you grew up has anything to do with the influence of your art?
DB: Yeah, I think so. I believe everything around me has affected me somehow. When I was young, I lived in a house right on the main busy street. Usually, I stayed at home rather than playing outside, and in that time, I liked to draw.
BC: Are you currently taking commissions and does it have to be in the style you present to the world?
DB: Yes, I'm taking commissions, and it doesn’t have to be [in my style] but at least I prefer my style of art to be shared. And usually, people request me [to draw] because they like my style.
BC: What's next? Anything exciting we can share with our readers?
DB: As I mentioned, someday, I want to open my online store. I’m an avid pin collector, so I would like to start a pin line. And nowadays, I’m studying 3D graphics, so I will be posting some 3D graphics in the future. Actually, I want to make more intense concepts but I have to do a "tug-of-war" with Instagram's guidelines. So I made a Tumblr account, which is my followers recommend.