Sofie Birkin on how to inclusively illustrate an adult sex guide

The Denver-based, British illustrator discusses how to authentically capture eroticism in her latest project.

Date
9 December 2020
Reading Time
1 minutes

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When illustrator Sofie Birkin took to the Nicer Tuesdays Online stage, she posed a pretty challenging question, one that is no mean feat. How do you illustrate an erotic sex guide with warmth, humour, beauty and importantly, a sense of genuine sexiness. This was the project that Sofie took us through from her home in Denver, Colorado. Her biggest project to date, the illustrations for sex educator Ruby Rare’s new book Sex Ed: A Guide for Adults was a mammoth task. She took us through her creative process and importantly, her intentions for this project, to be as inclusive as possible when it came to depicting different bodies.

“We’re fed this very restrictive idea of what sex will look like which can really effect the person and how they view themselves,” she said astutely during the informative talk brimming with saucy yet educational illustrations. Explaining how she struck a balance between the two, the job also required a lot of research, and to round up her Nicer Tuesdays talk, Sofie shed light on what she’s learnt about sex for the project. Also touching on the book’s reception and how the queer and trans community responded to the inclusive illustrations, Sofie’s talk is chock-full of creative advice on how to successfully marry concept and technique in harmony.

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Nicer Tuesdays is our monthly event of creative talks. You can find out more here.

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