Interviews

Tied Up: The BDSM Inspired Artworks of Anja Slibar

August 28, 2015
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By Karley Sciortino//
The erotic illustrations of Anja Slibar show the playful side of BDSM. They also make you want to get really good at tying bondage rope.

Anja is a 28-year-old artist and illustrator who grew up in small village in Slovenia. Obviously, she went to a Catholic high school. (Catholic girls are the best at being bad, as I know from experience). She studied art in Slovenia and Finland, and now lives in NYC. She really loves leather. For her alter ego, check out her Lucky Girl Motel project, on Instagram :)
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What drew you to making BDSM-inspired illustrations ? Is BDSM a personal interest? A voyeuristic fascination? Something else entirely?

Anja: I was always attracted to drawing female bodies, but few years ago I came across this amazing image of a tied-up lady with her cat. It was such an awkwardly bizarre portrait, but it was also so interesting to me! That image made me think about the amazing contrast between the raw material of the rope and soft female flesh. So it’s definitely a fascination of mine.

Have you seen the movie Diary of a Teenage Girl? I just saw it, so it’s on my mind. It tells the story of a 15 year old illustrator/aspiring cartoonist who’s drawings are hyper-sexual and really funny. There’s a scene in the movie where her drawings really freak-out a male adult, who’s basically like, “That’s what’s in the head of a young girl?!” I was wondering if your drawings have leaned toward the sexual since you were young.

I haven’t seen the movie but I can totally imagine this happening to me, too. When I was younger I was always drawing these “realistic” images of scenarios that would happen in my head and yes, they definitely included sexual things, but I never showed them to anyone and probably had them hidden somewhere. But as I said, I loved drawing naked bodies—nudes that turned into a sexy little drawings of everyday life. A lot of people are surprised when they meet me after seeing my work. No one expects a nice little polite girl drawing such realistic sexual images. But that’s why it’s fun!

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Who are some of your favorite illustrators (or artists in general, if that’s easier)? And is there an artist who was influential to you when you were just beginning to make art?

My favorite illustrator is Cleon Peterson! I LOVE his work, I wish he was my friend. I also love Charles Burns and his comics, and the works of Touko Laaksonen a.k.a. Tom of Finland. It’s like a male version of my work, but a bit more hardcore—maybe I’ll get there in few years. I guess I have a thing for black and white drawings… I really love these artists, but I’m not the type to get obsessed with a specific artist and study him or her. The things I draw are the things I wish to do/have/experience/miss. It has nothing to do with a message to the world, it has nothing to do with other artists or other people. It’s only me and the lady I’d want to be.

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