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

Sure. My art as it’s seen on DeviantArt started out as a personal dare, but in short it was like: ”Could I make 3D feet look nice, detailed and believable.”

Back in the early 00’s I was mainly working with post production and environment art, but I had always a passion for characters. What started out as a test, turned soon into a larger idea of a very certain type of pinup art.

I had not seen anyone doing tickling related pinup at that time or in the way I had it in my mind and I’ve always liked those 1940’s war era style through 1960’s rock’n’roll pinups both photographed and painted.

To get things started I did some early images in 2D by hand, but soon discovered it wasn’t for me, too cumbersome – I’m lazy like that, so I had to get creative. I recall that I made one commission where the girl was on her knees and trying to break into a secret safe, and I started thinking; what if she could actually move in that scene.

I was also a fan of heavily stylized cartoon figures, so I took a shot at this crazy idea of making a 3D version of this character and in 2009 I completed my first fully rigged toon style 3D character for my crazy images, just a year after doing some research with many trials and errors.

There is a little twist in the tale of my tickling art; when I was making my first 3D character design, which would eventually become the first version of a Toonips girl, I got severely sick and the prognosis was not good at that time. I sort of buried myself deep into my art and tried to find happiness through it – tickling creates laughter, laughter creates dopamine, so that sort of kept me going.

I was in and out of that sickness cycle for many years and many times during the past decade and it really drained me physically and mentally. I’m on the mend now, but my sickness has been one of the main reasons I have been on a hiatus at times.

My sickness also provided me time to develop the idea for the Toonips girl further in those times of hiatus and I also had lengthy chats with one fellow deviant also in quite similar situation as I was.

My situation was also the reason why I decided to get some more hands to help me keep things going. I never thought the idea of Toonips characters would catch on like they have, so I owe thanks to the awesome fanbase who have kept it a float all these years.

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

My techniques in the beginning were just some pencil and paper doodles. Then it quickly evolved into physically large felt pen and artboard paper black and white drawings. Pretty soon after that I went through the phase of transferring a drawn image via digital photography to a 2D digital canvas, but my true passion has always been in the world of 3D arts.

First I modeled everything by hand, very meticulously with a poly extrusion method over a digital side and frontal sketches of a character or an object, and all of it would be done inside 3DS Max, my tool of choice from the plethora of DCC packages for many years.

I used every tool and helper script I could find to make the modeling process go smoother and easier, but then I discovered something that could double my productivity. I would use morphing to create different looks for my characters, just enough that they would seem different from each other when looked at side by side.

My favorite artists of all time are Al Rio, Michael Turner, J.Scott Campbell and Dean Yeagle.

Al Rio’s strong and muscular women on the magazine covers have always inspired me. Michael Turner’s Witchblade and Tomb Raider were the reason I wanted to go ahead and try my hand in the comic things as well. J. Scott Campbell’s style of making the character’s look vivid and stylized certainly have made an impact in the style of the Toonips girl as well as Dean Yeagle’s Mandy character. I studied heavily both Campbell and Yeagle while making my first Toonips character.

The name Toonips stems from the words “cartoon” + “pinups”. You take “toon” from the cartoon and add “pin” in reverse, “nip”, when you add them together it’s toonnip. A little clean up with the letters and you get Toonips.

Art by CToon
Art by CToon

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

I think I was born with a pen. I can’t remember the time when I wasn’t really drawing or modeling anything, even when I tried to work in the tech field for a bit, I would always find my way back to drawing.

Also born with tickling. It’s in every fiber of my being. As far back as I can recall in my childhood, I have always been in love with tickling. I would drive my female friends crazy with it, but always in a good way. It’s an extremely joyful thing for me, so that’s something I make an effort to convey through my art.

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

I’ve had to actually make that as a guideline for the Toonips girls, so they portray that which I’m comfortable with. I’ve always been interested in girls and how they react to foot tickling, which I found out in very early years in my life. I think the giggly reaction combined with jolts and surprises gives me the most kicks and that feeling is what I’m trying to convey. Later on when I found out that tickling can also be highly erotic, I have tried to portray that side more in my art as well. Nipple and breast tickling is the latest development for Toonips girls and in my art. In the beginning the enormous breasts were there only to make the girls feel a bit clumsy and easily approachable.

Together with the team we are trying to make the Toonips girls more expressive to what they were before and hopefully we can then show more better some full body tickling that has been in my goal all along. The older version of the Toonips girl does not function very well with that in my opinion.

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?

Most definitely it’s the joyfulness and the laughter. Also the erotic agony of tickling induced pleasure. The relationship aspects with the Toonips girls I have set so that the male (which is always the tickler) is inherently larger, a dominant figure. It also brings about a certain guardian or protector feeling on the scene, even though the male ticklers can be a bit menacing as they never really show their face. When it’s girl on girl tickling, I try to portray a certain friendship and comradery between the two (or more) Toonips girls.

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

For me it’s the fantasy of it all. If I see an interesting tickling scene in real life or filmed, I’m immediately thinking, how could I make that more juicier, more vivid, more my kind and how to make it last longer. With illustrations, the impossible can always be depicted, something you can’t get from just looking at a photograph of the similar event. It’s certainly my goal to get as close as I can to the ticklish action, almost like being able to feel what the ticklee feels in that pleasurably agonizing moment when for example the tickler’s finger tip touches the skin on the arch of the sole.

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

I can’t be sure and I can only speak for myself and with my observations. I think tickling, for those who enjoy it, it’s a safe way to explore one’s emotions and get an instant response from the other party involved. For those who get aroused by it, it’s a way of connecting with like minded people and art can even show you a way to get interested about something together.

For artists, I think it’s a way of telling everyone, this is my passion, and those who like the result of that passion will gravitate towards that common place. It is probably in human nature to find a place where you belong and I think artists can help with that ~ it’s their obligation to do so.

Art by CToon

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

I would have to say that when I got the first Toonips girl built, it was an awesome moment. The first render out of her gave me a sense of relief and feeling of accomplishment ~ I’ve done it! Heureka! It’s alive! I can’t help but assimilate my feelings with Ray Harryhausen (the movie puppet maker), or Phill Tippet (also a movie puppet maker) what they must have felt when they first saw their creation pop up on the big screen or Dr. Frankenstein when his creation sprang to life for the first time. Every render made from the Toonips girl is like that for me.

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

Oh, plenty of them. Even tho, I let the team do the heavy lifting now, I’m still guiding the process of creating the new Toonips girl. I have already done the sculpting works for it and one capable artist has already done first rendering tests with it as well.

The Toonips girl is going to be updated into this decade and we will be making it with real time graphics. It will take some time to make it the way I want it to be, but we will get there and it’s already looking like I’m gonna feel the same as I did with the first version of her. This update will help me and the team (us) display the Toonips girls in a wider array of media, from which the games can become a real possibility, at least get us one step closer to them.

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

I actually think the AI systems might in fact enrich the art of tickling, but the one who develops the system used for ticklish representations has the obligation to think beyond the box of mere image creations.

The AI, as it stands, has a lot to be desired when it interprets the human body, especially the stylistic approaches. Where AI currently shines is in the textual communication and ability to produce responses. So, in my opinion, that action response thing is something that the art form and the world of tickling could really benefit from.

Well trained AI tickle bots and 3D characters in games are something I am personally super interested in.

Thank you for your questions!

All the best from

CToon (himself) & The Curators (team)

Di admin

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