So I deleted some pieces today, including a few semi-popular ones (like the recent "Leia says hi" pinup that has gotten a lot of positive attention and even some fanart of its own). I figured I should acknowledge that and explain why.
I won't be uploading overtly erotic art that depicts likenesses of real people any more. The short explanation is that after some articles I've read and lots of debate and discussion with myself and others, I'm just not comfortable with putting out material that is adding to the deluge of creepy shit famous people have to ignore every day because they're in movies or whatever. I've always come up with excuses to avoid thinking too hard about how Scarlett Johansson or Carrie Fisher or whoever I'm doing sexy pinups of that day might feel about my depictions, or the fact I'm sharing them with the whole world sans any form of permission. Even beyond the unlikeliness of said people seeing the art at all, I'm also not comfortable how the art contributes to a collective normalization about the objectification and consumption of real people.
I realized that being able to almost photo-realistically paint real people doing whatever I want is a form of power, similar to photoshop, and I feel as though I've been abusing it.
I've always drawn self-gratifying pervy/erotic art, and I will continue to draw it and upload it- so long as it isn't a real person's close likeness. Erotic art is great; I love that DeviantArt is tolerant of this kind of expression. I'm not quitting being a pervert (not that I'd even want to), I'm just going to keep some of these fixations to myself as they might be centered around real people who I have no desire to upset or traumatize.
It's useful every once in a while to examine why we make art in the first place. Why do we upload it for others to see and what do we think it adds to the world?