Part II Sexy Male Artists Reflect on Notions of the "Sexy Artist"

                                                                                                                                                                    Photographer Todd Collins

By Monica Adrian

I've been all over in search of attractive, talented male artists who have likely received from time to time compliments such as:

"I think it's sexy you're an artist"
"The fact that you're an artist makes me more attracted to you"

I've already asked attractive female artists a number of  questions and I'm interested in seeing how the men's answers differ. The questions are as  follows:

Does being an artist make you feel sexy? Or if someone is an artist does that make them sexier?

Do you believe people paint artists as higher sexualized beings? Why do you think this is or is not?

You can view the female artists responses at, Part I Sexy Female Artist Reflect on Notions of the "Sexy Artist"

Richard Robinson

Impressionist Painter

Ruakaka, Northland - New Zealand

"I am actually a sexual GOD. Women routinely throw their underwear at me in painting workshops and plead with me to take them as my next nude model. If I wasn't so happily married I'd have myself a harem of many thousands of women. Admittedly, they are all a good thirty to forty years older than me, but what a swinging good time we'd have! My eyes water at the thought.

But seriously, here's what I think:

1. No, being an artist does not make me feel sexy. Sometimes if I do a really good painting then that will do the trick, much like any great achievement, with that general sense of empowerment and self-worth. If someone is an artist, it makes them more attractive to be with because I figure we'll have more in common, but it doesn't necessarily make them sexier to me. If someone's interested in me sexually, that's what I find sexy.

2. Yes I can see a bit of that stereotype filtering through the general consensus, and perhaps there is a grain of truth in there. It's hard to see the world through different eyes than my own though - hard to see artists as anyone else might. Hey, maybe I AM a supercharged artistic sexual dynamo! Hang on, I'll ask my Wife....
Uh, she says yes I absolutely am, and can I get the kids sorted out for school tomorrow and get off the computer. That's that then." - Richard

Christopher Ables

Illustrator/Concept Artist

Los Angeles, CA - United States

Finding Myself in Wonderland
My answer would have to be no. For me, there's little to no thrill let alone sex appeal in being a struggling artist. I admire and respect those with artistic abilities but the instability and that struggle that comes with being an artist can be exhausting enough to deal with it myself. At this somewhat turbulent stage in my life, I'm not quite sure I'd have the energy or the desire to deal with it in regards to anyone else. 

I'm not quite sure what you mean exactly by higher sexualized beings, but if I had to answer, I would say no. The old, cliche' of artists being these flighty, over-sexed, bohemian, 'free-spirits' really is nothing more than a cliche'. Yes, some artists can be that way, but those characteristics can be attributed to various types of people in various types of professions. In addition, I know several artists who are grounded, vanilla, almost terribly boring people who work normal 9-5 jobs, lead modest and conservative lives and are in 'normative' monogamous relationships."


Marc Mancuso


Los Angeles, CA - United States

"I feel a little sexy when I draw well and I have my nice clothes on for that day with some nice natural light coming in. When I feel confident that can be sexy.

When people do something they love and are good at, I think that makes them sexy...when they are in the zone creating.

Rose in Vase
I think artists can be very sexual beings because they can be free spirits, eccentric and like to explore different sides to themselves and enjoy all aspects pf life, including being sexual. Being an artist you have to explore the human body and fully understand the mechanics of how it works." - Marc

Peter Arpesella 


Los Angeles, CA - United States

Looking II

"Being an artist makes me feel more alive. It makes me feel more of life. It makes me interested in people and curious about our truth. It makes all my senses more alive. The colors are brighter, the smells are more intense, the sounds more articulate, taste is deeper, the touch more intense. And the sixth sense is as lively as all the others, the one imagination flows in and out of. Being an artist makes me feel passionate and alive. If this is sexy, then yes. 
It depends on what kind of person they are, if that makes them sexier. “Artist” per se doesn’t mean much; it’s a label, it’s general. it’s the person who is or isn’t sexy. 
Sure, people can paint artists as higher sexualized beings. If we want to talk about energy, both sex and creativity originate from the same chakra. So it’s not absurd to associate artists with being sexualized. But, again, it’s a generalization, and as such it becomes inaccurate and meaningless. Often when people paint artists like higher sexualized beings it's only to sell more of something (magazines, shows, books, movies, etc.) or because it helps to not look at the real person or at themselves. I’ve met super sexualized beings who were teachers, mechanics, accountants. And I met artists that are so locked into their brains that sexuality feels like a statistical equation when I’m around them. Sex (the good/creative kind, the one that generates a positive experience for everyone in it) is a beautiful way to communicate, exchange, share and feel with another human being. Art is the same. The difference is that art has a huge reach that lasts over time." - Peter



Joe Ambrose

Artist/ Portrait Photographer

Mankato MN - United States

"No. I tie "sexiness" to a person's physical attractiveness, body shape, overall personality and the way they present themselves. I don't attribute what artistic talent I have to any of those qualities so I don't feel that it makes me any sexier.
 It doesn't make someone else any sexier than I would have already thought. However, if I already found them sexy it would increase my potential connection with them making them more appealing in a way.

I think it really depends on who you talk to if they are painted as more sexual. That said, I do feel there is a certain perception that artistic people are more sensitive than others and to some that makes them sexier. As a whole, I don't think artists are portrayed as being any more sexy than most."
- Joe

Alan Dubrovo

Artist / Graphic Designer

Newberry Park, CA - United States

"I do think that being creative makes me feel sexy. I think it has a lot do with the way I'm perceived by those who are not creative. Admiration and praise for my work gives me more self-confidence which in turn builds self-esteem and makes me feel sexier as a human being. It's in our nature to want to be recognized for our achievements small or great because it gives us impetus to continue working at what we have passions for. Also being creative makes for better romance, and that's sexy as well.
People wouldn’t immediately sexualize me when they see my work. I think they would be more concentrated on the actual artwork than me as the artist. If they were to ask me questions it would be why I created the art. However, maybe after hearing why I am passionate about being an artist it would come across as sexy in the sense that people are attracted to people who have passion.  Maybe telling people I’m an artist gives a little prestige to my name, but I don’t have women ripping the clothes off of me at the mention of it." -Alan


Sandeep Hunjan

Artist / clinical medical physicist

Sugar Land, TX - United States

"I definitely feel more free, unfettered, and released from social-conditioning compared to how I live my life as a scientist or academic where I am very much concerned with how I am perceived at all times. I feel that the best art can only be done when the artist is liberated from the chains of societal expectations and creating purely for the pleasure derived from the act of creation. If feeling more free to be myself is considered sexy, then I definitely feel more sexy.

In some respects, if someone else is an artist it does immediately attract me and create a bond consisting of mutual interest. Personally, however, to me the ultimate combination is someone who is in touch with their artistic soul, yet simultaneously highly intellectual and definitely able to laugh freely and laugh a lot.

 Certainly full-time artists living a bohemian lifestyle may have more time and opportunity to live as 'higher sexualized beings' compared with a married, academic scientist working late into the night with a family waiting at home. Personally, I have experienced a shift in attitude towards me the more I have shifted my focus onto the arts.

 Liberated, bohemian, risk-taking artists are perceived favorably by the observer, wishing that they too could be/act the same. The more I have projected this new attitude towards life, the more I have received positive feedback. However, this could equally be due to my changed demeanor, more relaxed manner, change in clothing, increase in confidence, etc., all of which combined may construe a person who seems to be a 'higher sexualized being'." - Sandeep

Patrick Parker

Artist / Surfer

Torrance, CA - United States

Surf Tr
"I do feel sexier being an artist because this profession is one of fantasy. So many people would like to be artists but might not have the talent, drive, passion, or dedication to make it their daily job. Similar to an actor or musician, artists have a certain mystique about them because they have followed their dreams and have made it their reality. Anyone to me who has followed their dreams and has overcome many obstacles to get there are sexier in my eyes because it shows strength and desire to be the best at what they strive for; very sexy!
I think artists are perceived as more sexualized human beings because they get to express themselves with their art. Consistently being able to do your passion every day makes someone happier, feel more alive, and free spirited... all things that ooze a higher sexual energy and is very attractive." - Patrick
 I am always creating new pieces, check out Patrick Parker Art
Also check me out on facebook!


John Petersen


Ames, IA - United States

Zombie Fatigue
"Being an artist on its own doesn't particularly make me feel sexy. Spending late nights alone hunched over my drawing table, 'sexy' isn't the first word that comes to mind. I often become so lost in the drawing that sex just doesn't enter my mind. I will say, however, that tapping into my creative brain and expressing an emotion or stream of consciousness has helped make me less shy about communicating with women. I think it also has given me more confidence and passion, and enabled me to be comfortable with my feminine side.

And I certainly tend to be more attracted to artists for these same reasons. I'm really into passionate and expressive women. I've also found that non-artists have trouble understanding the need to spend any and all free time making art. I've had relationships end because of this. They think I'm a workaholic, when I don't consider what I do 'work.'

I do think people see artists (and musicians) as more sexualized and open, less constrained within gender roles as, say, athletes or blue-collar workers. It makes me think of the late Bill Hicks's advice to women: 'Find a flute player; someone who can use his fingers and his tongue.' :-D "
- John


Peter Nielsen

Artist / Body Painter

Salt Lake City, UT - United States


"I don’t think being an artist necessarily makes me feel like I am sexy, but I can see how people perceive artists (or any free spirited creative) as sexy.

I have the thought that anyone can be an artist; tons of people enjoy pursuing their creative endeavors in some way or another. So when you think of someone specifically as an artist, you differentiate them and hold their persona as “artist.” Simply put, artists are successful persons at creating and sharing their talents with others. Success like this is usually due to the artist being in tune with life, or in “flow”. The groove that the artist is in is what people perceive as sexy. When someone can be free to create what they want and be what they want, and people like it, then others will find them admirable, intriguing, and sexy.

Specifically for my art, as a body painter, I do find that people perceive me as sexy. Women like to feel sexy and desired, and men like to see beautiful women. What I do as an artist is provide a way to satisfy both parties. I help people feel sexy themselves, and that notion gets returned back to me." -

James Michael Johnson

Digital Artist

Goodrich, MI - United States

Floral Prime 2
"It certainly builds confidence when exploring and using your creativity. That's what it does for me. It always deepens my attraction to a woman who displays her artistic side. It becomes another desirable trait of who she is as a person. It shows a comfort in self-expression and that can be sexy.

It's possible many do. My assumption is they may view an artist as being capable of a finer appreciation. This can easily translate into being more sensual. I can't speak for everyone but it makes sense from my perspective." -James

Ryan Rabbass

RockChromatic :: Owner / Artist

Las Vegas, NV - United States

"Yes, I think being an artist makes you feel unique and sought after, probably a much smaller version of what a celebrity might feel like. I think in general what makes me more attracted to someone who is an artist is the fact that they are interested in or participating in something INTERESTING, doesn't necessarily have to be art. For me, art and music compose most of this category though.

I think that people paint musicians, actors, and people on stage and in media higher this way than artists, but yes overall I would say we do for artists too. It all depends on how the artist shows their work. But the fact that they are creating something original out of nothing is an attraction to others. People are attracted to uniqueness, and if someone can create a visually pleasing creation with their hands, this translates to an aesthetic symmetry with their own appearance as well. And they are good with their hands!! I think if someone sees an artist paint live, they might think, 'He's creating a 'sexy' thing with his hands there, and if his hands were on me, it would make me feel sexy as well.' Of course, this is just an assumption since I'm not in the mind of the viewer, but it makes sense to me."
- Ryan

Paul Grech

Artist / Digital Artist

Denville, NJ - United States

"1.Well, it definitely makes me feel something. Simply being an artist doesn’t feel like anything in particular, but the act of creating a new work – that’s invigorating. I’m not sure I’d use the adjective “sexy” though – partly because I feel it’s a cheap or dumbed-down interpretation of a uniquely transcendent feeling, and partly because creating art can be just as frustrating or exhausting. I’m both a painter and a graphic designer, and the physiological effects of these mediums differ dramatically. For me, digital art is far more of a cerebral exercise. I’m separated from the work by a bunch of mechanical stuff – a mouse, a keyboard, a screen. What I’m seeing isn’t even the thing I’m working on, but rather, a representation of it. And I’m nearly always sitting. Overall, it has a kind of sterilizing effect. In contrast, the smell and viscosity of paints, the torque of the brush bristles, and the tension of the canvas all play into multi-sensory physicality of painting. And there’s a wonderful spontaneity – a certain unpredictability that arises when you deal with the analog realm of paint. You have to deeply connect with your materials – they literally require a matching physical response from you. It can feel quite erotic at times.
2.It depends on the art they are making whether I think it makes them sexier. If it’s something mindless or repetitive, or if they have nothing particularly new or interesting to say – no voice – I’d find little appeal there, although I may respect their passion. But show me someone who has wonderful style or finesse, or whose work challenges the way I think or feel about something, and that would certainly make them stand out in a crowd.

3.Perhaps. And perhaps artists around the globe are high-fiving each other at the very thought of it! I can understand why people would arrive at this impression. After my first school trip to an art museum, it seemed as if artists were just a bunch of horny guys sitting around painting muscles, dicks, clenched fists and naked women. After all, that’s what was on display, and that’s what we were compelled to celebrate. And it makes sense – artists create things that are important to them, and sex is usually high up on that list. But if people do paint artists as highly sexualized beings, I don’t think it’s exclusive to the fine arts. Writers, dancers, and musicians evoke similar vibes. " - Paul

 It's got me thinking.....

 If someone is an artist, does that make them sexier to me? Well maybe, because I found a great number of these artists very attractive and I had to remind myself to stay professional when conducting these interviews. For me personally, the hierarchy of my attraction was structured as: attractiveness of the profile picture, then quality of the artwork, and lastly the intelligence perceived through their response.

I think if someone is an artist, and in particular a good one, I do find this element to be sexy. Having admiration for someone does make them more sexually appealing to me and this admiration is not exclusive to artistic talent. However, this sexual admiration I speak of is contingent on them being attractive to me to begin with, sort of as Joe Ambrose alluded to in his own response.

The "sexy artist" label in some ways bothers me personally because it makes me feel less recognized as a person. As Peter Nielsen explained, "So when you think of someone specifically as an artist, you differentiate them and hold their persona as "artist.'" This differentiation between "artist" and normal persons can be felt in Ryan Rabbass's words as he had stated that it can make an artist feel, "sought after, probably a much smaller version of what a celebrity might feel like."

I think men want to be sexy, and the reasons why don't matter as much as they do for women. Women want to make sure that they are perceived sexy inside and out, and compliments that only cater to the physical, especially if they are expressed crudely, can come off the wrong way. A lot of this also depends on the environment and the contexts in which they are given. Point is, I think men are more often flattered than offended by sexual comments. When reaching out to these men to do this article, many of them admitted to me that they felt flattered and I had a much higher number of those that replied back to me than I did for the women. I reached out to about a fourth as many men as I had to women and had more replies back than I could allow for this article.

Richard Robinson provided a very simple explanation for what sparks sexual attraction for him, "If someone's interested in me sexually, that's what I find sexy." What appeals to me about this perspective is that it seems like it would generate many win-win situations. What it shows is someone who can very well reciprocate positive feedback.  I definitely don't share the same point of view, but I wonder if most men would agree with Richard. If they did, it would prove my theory of men accepting flattery more readily.

I find it perplexing that the male responses seemed to generate so much variety in their perspectives. So much so, that it is difficult to draw any comparisons between them with any kind of solid conclusion. Marc Mancuso, Peter Nielsen, Paul Grech, and Ryan Rabbass in different ways touched on the physicality of the actual creating process of being an artist and how that's sexy. However, Christopher Ables, and John Petersen commented about how being an artist can be depicted as unsexy. John Petersen in particular paints the image of an artist as physically unsexy through his description of being, "hunched over my drawing table."
Peter Arpesella and Christopher Ables have agreed that artists compared with other occupations don't seem to be necessarily more sexual. However, Sandeep pointed out that artists may have more opportunity for sex due to less time constraints as oppose to other demanding occupations like doctors or scientists. However, this contradicts what John Petersen was saying about artists being constantly at their work, possibly too preoccupied for sexual thoughts.

If anything can be concluded it's that defining what makes a "sexy artist" for male artists is a highly complicated issue. For the women, it was relatively collective that being an artist made them inwardly feel sexy through their confidence achieved through it, and outwardly that it depended on the type of art.

Perhaps what Peter Arpesella said is correct. Maybe there is some truth in that artists are able to feel the world around them with higher sensitivity. That we are able to pick up frequencies that others cannot. And this sensitivity, this passion, is translated in what we can physically feel with our bodies making us higher sexualized beings.
What is it that makes someone an artist? Is an artist simply a technician? A creator? A persona? A lifestyle?
Maybe artists are not specifically higher sexually, but higher in every element because we allow ourselves to feel more and we make art so we can make others feel too, feel what we are feeling, and see how we see. What is sex but a method of deep connection? Perhaps art is our sex, our way of exposing ourselves to try and make contact. To touch another. To excite them. Enliven them. Pentetrate them. And through all this be understood.

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  1. Hello MindfulArtiste!

    Regarding your article, is was very interesting to see the difference in opinions between the men and the women. It seems that the men were more likely to report that being an artist had little impact on their sexiness. It seems that the women identified as being more sexy from their art. Do you think this is more indicative that women artists are merely treated as more sexy than male artists? The men seemed to view the "sexy artist" as a cliche where the women seemed to connect the stereotype with their actual perceptions.

    Thanks for your illumination on this topic.

  2. To answer your question, I have to reiterate that the male artists didn't seem to agree on anything.
    The female artists, in general were able to ascribe being an artist as "sexy" but only by redefining the word sexy into something that was rather unsexual.
    While there were some male artists who viewed the "sexy artists" as an unconvincing cliché, other male artist such as Ryan Rabbass were able to link their increase in sex appeal directly to their art.
    I'd like to think that female artists are more sexualized than male artists, only because women tend to be more sexualized in general. However, these interviews didn't seem to really support that hypothesis.
    I don't think these interviews are able to indicate thoroughly that one is more sexualized than the other.

  3. Great piece, Interesting responses. It seems that it really depends on the type of person. Some feel, "no, I don't" and some feel "yes, I do”. But they all seem to feel like it's a way to be free and express themselves (isn't that what art is about?)

    So, I would think it varies on the individual, like most of them said. While people (such as yourself) said they don't necessarily think sex when they’re drawing something sexy, some might. Also some might feel very empowered while others might be painting something that makes them said or angry. Depends, I guess as well, on the mood you’re in and what you are drawing. Some artists are more methodical with their art while others have a completely different state of mind then what they’re creating. I think in a way you’re putting yourself out there, showing something personal, and being open and that is, whether or not you think about it, kinda personal like sex. But maybe again, it depends on the individual.

    I know for me personally mine affects my work. While I'm not an artist with drawing, I consider myself a filmmaker which is a different form of art. I tend to like what I make when I am sad or depressed (which doesn't happen often but happens to us all) I tend to like my work better, because it comes out darker. When I'm personally happy and write or shoot something I tend not to like it as much because it’s not as interesting or complex. It's odd. So what’s harmful to me (being sad or depressed) tends to make my films better. On the flip side, if I'm doing something like a comedy short, if I am in a bad mood the thing doesn't come out funny at all.

    Musicians work this way as well. Trent Reznor of NIN earlier music was wayy better then what he makes now. He was really depressed and his lyrics and music spewed that. Now that he is happy and married, when he tries to write darkly it comes off as contrived.

    Same with rock bands like Metallica, their early stuff is much more raw. They were young and angry and this came through in their music. As they got old and tried to still be full of rage it felt again fake and contrived. They were older, had kids, in different states mentally and didn't have the same passions.

    So I guess what I'm saying is as an artist, how your art makes you feel is going to be up to the individual. Some people can be happy while drawing something sad, or thinking about nothing sexual when drawing something sexual while others need to be sad to draw something sad or need to be thinking sexual thoughts when they draw someone naked or something sexual. Method vs. non method art I guess. Just a theory no actual evidence :)