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1) Do you want to tell us something about yourself and your art?

Hi, I’m AchillesHeelArt. I have been making male tickling art since the early 1990s in the days before the internet when tickle fans had to connect through snail mail clubs.

Leggi tutto: Tickling Artists #49: Interview with AchillesHeelArt

I started making fetish art to trade for other materials with other men I had as pen pals through those clubs. When the internet changed everything I decided to try to get into it more seriously and started my own website of tickling drawings in 2007 that ran until 2012. Most recently I got back into making my tickle art when the pandemic drastically affected my ‘real world’ work.

2) What techniques do you use to draw? Do you have a favorite artist that inspires you?

Back in the early days I used to do a pencil drawing that I would then scan in and clean up and color in Photoshop. I have since transitioned into working entirely digitally. I do the line work in Procreate by drawing directly onto an iPad, but I still export that drawing to Photoshop to do the coloring. There are so many incredible artists doing tickle illustration now, many more than when I first started. Some of my favorites are DogAndClover, Cado and Redfort.

3) How much was the passion for drawing born in you? And the one for the tickle?

I was drawing before I learned to write! In fact, I developed the habit of holding my pencil the wrong way before I went to school and teachers were never able to break me of it. I went to an art college and my own professional career is in commercial art. I think I knew I had a thing for tickling very early because of mainstream scenes in cartoons, but I didn’t realize it was a sexual interest until much later, post-puberty. I didn’t discover there was an actual community of people into tickling until my early twenties. Remember, I grew up pre-internet when I couldn’t just type “tickling” into Google.

4) What are the tickling scenarios that you prefer to draw?

While I drew a handful of female oriented pieces when I had my old website, my interest is in m/m tickling. I think I like masculine men in very restrictive bondage having their bare feet tickled the best. I love feather tickling in drawings, even though they don’t often work as tool in real life. I also enjoy drawing celebrities, as I enjoy the challenge of capturing someone’s likeness.

5) What are the aspects of tickling that you intend to represent with your art? Example: the laughing, the wriggling, the relationship between tickler and ticklee?

I really love drawing expressive faces on both the tickler and the ticklee. Being a tickle switch myself, I sometimes find the tickler in the scene just as fun to watch as the one being tickled. I also have grown to love drawing really expressive toes. After all, a foot doesn’t stay still when it’s being tickled.

6) Online there are countless photos and videos of tickling sessions. In your opinion, what do illustrations offer more than images of real scenes?

I think a drawing allows for scenarios that wouldn’t necessarily work in live action. Whether you’re drawing fantasy situations involving superheroes or furries or pirates I think it just works a bit better than trying to film it with real humans in costumes. Also a drawing can exaggerate certain aspects of the scene, like making the laughing face a bit more extreme or the feet larger than usual.

7) In your opinion, what makes tickling so interesting for fans of this phenomenon?

I think tickling is something that breaks down the walls that we all put up. When you’re tickled, you’re forced to react in a way that is very primal and completely beyond your control. Seeing someone react to tickles can be fun, funny and very sexy. For me it’s the idea of a very strong, tough man who has a weakness that totally breaks him down with the lightest of touches that turns me on the most.

8) What are your works of which you are most proud?

I don’t know if I’m proud of any particular drawings, but I have had a very humbling experience since I’ve started to attend TKLFest, an annual gathering of male tickle fans. I’ve had so many guys approach me and tell me how much my drawings helped them feel better about liking tickling when they were first discovering it. My work helped them feel less strange and alone and that makes me feel very proud.

9) Do you think AIs will end up enriching or impoverishing the art of tickling representations?

I think AI is both fascinating and terrifying. It will have a profoundly negative impact on art jobs around the world. I also think we’re in a sort of “Wild West” period of AI that will eventually be reined in by lawsuits brought by both artists whose work has been stolen and celebrities upset by their likenesses in AI generated pornography. I have experimented with it for several reasons: I wanted to see just how much of a threat it is to my professional and fetish work, and also because I have been left behind by new technologies in the past. Keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer.

10) Do you have any particular artistic goals for the future?

I’d like to keep making these drawings for as long as I’m able to! I hope my work outlives me and that people born with a tickle fetish enjoy them for years to come.
My Patreon link is patreon.com/achillesheelart I am updating (mostly) weekly for $7 a month!

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