Interview with The Dark Arts

Witchy Pixie – https://www.instagram.com/witchy_pixie/
The Dark Arts-https://darkestarts.com/

How did you get your start in the lifestyle?

I was working on a production job a while back and met some people who were into the kink world and learned some stuff from them, mostly how different the actual kink world is than how it’s presented in movies and TV. I filed that information away in my mental memory banks and years later decided to start trying out some rope stuff with a few models. It ended up being fun and making for photos that were so much different than what I was doing up til then, so I kept learning, exploring and experimenting and things kinda snowballed.

What draws you to rope and bondage?

People standing around in clothing, underwear or naked is all fine and dandy, but rope is a less travelled road in terms of “something to put on a body to increase the aesthetic appeal” and it presents not only interesting things to look at from a decorative standpoint, but using the ropes to restrain or contort a body presents a whole new suite of visual options. Of course the tabooness of bondage is a factor too. There’s always something appealing about things that are seen as “forbidden” or “deviant” so that plays into it. Bondage or kink shouldn’t be taboo, and it would be great to live in a world where all forms of consensual art and/or sexuality are normalized, but for now there is that little extra spice in working with a medium that is seen this way.

Can you please describe your artistic process? What do you feel makes it unique?

There are a lot of people out there who do bondage photography, and I really make an effort to make my work stand out as unique in that genre. I think a hallmark of my style is that I really try to focus my images on the full body. I rarely crop out legs or shoot angles that obscure portions of a person. I tend to stand back and get the entire person in there with as blank of a background as possible. Obviously sometimes it’s impossible to have a solid color background when I am not in the studio, but I do my best to clear everything that’s not bolted down out of the frame. The other thing I try to make a signature is the use of lighting and color. I’m always thinking of new flash techniques or color combinations to make things look weird, alien or really pop off the screen.

What do you hope to accomplish with your work?

I’d love to be able to make a living off this, but photography is a tough racket anyway, and bondage photography is even harder. As with most things it boils down to who you know and who among the small number of companies or individuals who can pay for content want to pay you. I pull in a little money from my Patreon, and the book may end up turning a small profit when it’s all said and done, but it would be awesome to be hired to do this.

What does your book Light/Shadow/Color hope to show its viewers? Is there an

underlying message?

I suppose the main message is that bondage is beautiful and all bodies are beautiful. So much of bondage is contained to images of thin, young white and asian women and that alienates so many people of different genders, sizes, ages and colors. I do my best to shoot all kinds of people and show all kinds of bodies. Of course the vast majority of people who model are younger, thinner women, and a lot of men who contact me to shoot come across as really creepy or weird (asking me to find female models to shoot them with, etc…) so my body of work is not as diverse at I’d like it to be, but I try!

Is there a link between your work and your personal life? If so, what is it?

I keep my personal life pretty separate from my kink persona, but I will say that I absolutely incorporate kink into my private life. I am by no means a lifestyle kinkster or anything, and wouldn’t want to be, but I absolutely use my rope and kink skills in my personal relationships.

Can you give some photography Do’s and Don’ts?

Shoot a ton! I always go into a shoot with the expectation that I’ll only get a small number of good finished shots but I shoot a ton of each tie. The more you shoot of a setup, the higher the chances you’ll get a few that look amazing. It’s also important to make the model feel comfortable. If your intentions are to get some ass from a shoot, the model will smell that like stink on shit, so just… don’t. Be up front about everything from the get-go and be chill and easy going. Don’t make sexual jokes, don’t touch models in weird ways, don’t use pet names or compliment their boobs or butt. Use your damn head! Literally every shoot I do eventually gets to the point where we talk about all the creepy photographers they’ve shot with. Don’t be in those conversations! If a model is comfortable they will give you amazing photos even if they are not pros. Just being relaxed allows them to move more freely, make eye contact, not come across tense. Lastly, ease up on the damn skin filters! I know that a lot of people are self conscious about their appearance, but some photographers really overdo it on the filters and make people like like plastic.

What is the most challenging thing about your work?
For some reason it’s shooting in LA. I don’t know why, but I have had so many flakes and no-shows there. Must be something in the water. Beyond that it’s trying to not get burned out by shooting or getting bored. Sometimes it feels like I’m shooting the same stuff over and over, but that doesn’t last long. I do scale back shooting sometimes to get other things done in life, but usually shoot with some kind of regularity.

What do you feel your work reveals about you as a person?

I keep kind of mysterious as a person, but I imagine that people see my work and imagine a person who is very creative and principled with technique and style. THey may also see me as kind of a smartass if they follow my Instagram stories where I mess with all the dumbasses who message me thinking I am the models in my photos.

Are you currently working on any new projects? If so, what are they?

The book was just launched, so that’s the big project right now. There’s nothing else planned for a while other than more shooting and trying to think of new things to do!

Where can individuals view/purchase your work?

My website is the place to buy my book. I post all my work on Patreon, every photo! So if you want to see everything I do, Patreon is the place to do it for a very small monthly pledge. I also sell prints through email. I tried to make a self-service print site once and literally NOBODY ordered one after like two months so I closed it. It cost money to maintain and was not worth it. So now if anybody wants a print all they have to do is email me!

What is your overall goal as an artist? How do you plan to accomplish this?

My only real goal is to stay interested. If I lose interest I will stop doing it. If I can make some actual money with this then awesome, but that’s not necessarily a goal given how difficult that is.

 Any closing thoughts?

Not really. I’m just happy to have the fans I do and like providing something fun and cool for people to enjoy in this otherwise trash fire of a world we live in!


About The Dark Arts

The Dark Arts is a Washington State based rope bondage rigger and photographer. They got into the art of shibari five years ago after being hired to shoot some people at a local kink club, began experimenting with the art form and soon was creating bondage imagery not seen very much from other people working in the bondage scene. The Dark Arts is constantly pushing the envelope of visual style, trying to incorporate bold colors and lighting and seeking diverse models that one generally doesn’t see in shibari photography. They strive to show all genders and bodies in rope, bucking the tradition of only putting petite white and Asian women in rope. LIGHT/SHADOW/COLOR is their first book and compilation of work.

Links:
https://darkestarts.com
https://www.patreon.com/thedarkarts
https://instagram.com/darkartsphoto/

Comments

  1. Great work!

  2. whippedcutie says:

    Stunning photos!

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