We’re in the mood for a little Q&A. Think you can keep up?
Your responses are anonymous and not associated with your Grindr account
Choose as many as you like
Choose as many as you like
Finding others who fit your search, hang tight...
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form

The Sensual World of Pol Anglada

Pol Anglada invites you to escape the monotony of quarantine with erotic queer art.
Khalid El Khatib
&
Guest Writer
March 11, 2021
April 15, 2024
9
min. read
The Sensual World of Pol Anglada
Table of Contents

Spanish born, Paris-based artist Pol Anglada has had a busy quarantine. In 2020 alone he collaborated with renowned fashion brands JW Anderson and Moncler; contributed to Free Time, a zine he founded with friends; and maintained a prolific Instagram account.

The key to his productivity is his passion for art. He’s been drawing since he was a young boy, through a childhood he describes like the Spanish version of a Luca Guadagnino film -- more Call Me By Your Name or I Am Love than Suspira. He came of age in northern Spain, near the Pyrenees, where his father and grandfather, electricians by profession, were illustrators in their spare time. They encouraged his drawing while other young boys were playing football. And their conditioning provokes an almost Pavlovian response today. Anglada says a blank sheet of paper and some coloring pens brings him immediate joy, which has served him especially well these last several months.

Anglada’s father’s impact on his life and work goes beyond encouragement and support. His father’s comic collection was a catalyst for the illustrations of male figures that Anglada is celebrated for today. Like so many queer youth raised in small towns (in a pre-internet era on top of that), characters in his father’s comics contributed to his sexual awakening which graduated him onto more erotic work, like the Tom of Finland comics Anglada found in Barcelona’s book stores while on field trips.

The comics did more than foster his ability to immaculately outline a triceps. Anglada has long been drawn to the stories of love and lust within the gay manga comics, as one example, he loved as a teen. When he sketches, he works to capture the sensitivity and vulnerability of queer culture by focusing not just on the act of hooking up, but on the feelings it evokes -- anticipation, trepidation, exhilaration, even disappointment. For those who find themselves in the pandemic missing the emotions as much as the orgasms, Anglada’s art has you covered.

Art by Pol Anglada
Art by Pol Anglada

An Interview with Pol Anglada

Hi Pol. Where are you right now?

I’m in Paris.

You live an international life, and it no doubt inspires your work — how has quarantine hurt or helped that?

I have a day job as a fashion designer in Paris, and I do my drawings and illustrations in my spare time. So actually, as much as 2020 has been a hell of a mess, it’s given me lots of space to focus and to spend more time at home drawing.

The last several months have seen people, especially in creative professions, try to establish a routine to find inspiration – whether it’s baking bread or working out. What’s your routine?

Ever since I was a child, my go-to activity during free time has always been drawing. As a kid it cost nothing to keep me entertained; I just needed a sheet of paper and a couple of coloring pens. That’s helped me to be cool with alone time. I understand that for many people, being by yourself or inside your head has been tough. What works for me is I start drawing while listening to podcasts so it feels like there’s a conversation between friends around me. My inspiration literally comes from the world that we live in. With quarantine, things feel very still. And when I get in my head, I just draw what’s in front of me.

I’m working on a book, and as I write it and through anything I’ve written really, I’ve been obsessed with the idea of the muse. Who are the men that you draw? Do you have muses that inspire you?

I love what you say about the muse. To me the muse is more about the attitude [than a man]; it's something that obsesses me with a character. Ultimately, the outside of the body, even on gay illustrations, I’m not into drawing genitals. I try to stay more on the movement and the emotion of the character. The muse goes from someone, an individual, to a certain kind of attitude or thought. Recently, I did work for Kink magazine with Paco y Manolo that was a bit more sexual [than usual] but what I was trying to do was capture the essence of meeting and hooking up.

The idea of the muse also played a big role in my sexual upbringing. When I was a teenager, I found my dad’s comic collection from the eighties and you’d have very buffed up characters who were also very dark. Those male characters, who obviously weren’t gay, were part of an aesthetic that inspired me. Muses, to me, are the idea of someone inconcrete.

Art by Pol Anglada
Art by Pol Anglada

Talk about finding a muse now – when you are isolated from people, when Hook up culture is on hold. Is your drawing and journaling an outlet for sexual fantasy?

For me, drawing is an outlet from reality in general. Again, the thing I remember the most in my life is drawing. Little boys would be playing football, and I found greater joy drawing by myself. While growing up and coming to terms with my own sexuality, and through my frustration with a male character in my dad’s comics having a straight hook-up, my drawings were a bit more of an inner sexual discovery.

During quarantine, I was balancing being locked down at home with how much I was enjoying it in order to push myself forward. So I’d do a drawing about going bananas but also about being in my own head. Drawing is having a conversation with yourself.

But yeah, when I haven’t seen my boyfriend in two weeks, sometimes sketching becomes... a really good outlet, if you know what I mean.

How do you draw differently for a fashion collaboration, like with JW Anderson or Moncler, than you do for a personal project?

Not that much really. I was really lucky to collaborate with JW Anderson and with Moncler. Jonathan [Anderson] is really straightforward and knows exactly what he wants. In the middle of the pandemic he wanted to tackle a new way to showcase a collection without a physical event, so I got to create characters and they gave me total freedom. I cherished that freedom and got to treat the project like I was drawing at home.

It was the same with Moncler. They were so open to being in my universe.

It’s super interesting and important how the fashion is opening more and more again to illustration, including really brilliant illustrators like Ricardo Fumanal. In 2020 and 2021, illustration is a really resourceful way to communicate a vision.

Do you also see fashion houses embracing queer culture more and more? Your collaboration with Moncler, for example, may not have been the most intuitive.

When I draw, even if it’s a depiction of gay men, I always try to push the depiction to the more vulnerable side. It may be suggestive or have sexual energy but it’s really about sensitivity and vulnerability, and to me, that’s part of what’s so empowering about queer culture.

What’s your take on social media, where you post so much of your art? Some of your art could be called escapist, and there’s criticism that social media is making us all lose touch with reality.

For me, Instagram is a portfolio. My sketchbook where everything goes. I find living in the tangible world to be good and that it’s also good to have them a bit separated, but you have to make it work for you.

Art by Pol Anglada
Art by Pol Anglada

Let’s talk about the escapism that inspired your earliest drawings, back when you were a young boy in Spain. I’m from a small town too, in Iowa where I am now actually. To what extent has being from a small town and without access to the queer culture you’re immersed in now influenced your art?

I’m from northern Spain, from Catalonia, near France. My family on my dad’s side were electricians and my family on my mom’s side were farmers — but my dad and granddad have drawn all their lives. They’ve never taken it as a profession, but I’m lucky enough to come from a family where we celebrated art and individuals the way that they were. I didn’t have a problem growing up not wanting to play football and wanting to play dress up, or cutting out clothing for dolls that my grandma made. Everyone in my family supported me and my drawing.

I share all of that because all of that support for me and my imagination made for the perfect childhood.

And those early drawings were inspired by your father’s comic books. I’m assuming there weren’t a lot of queer people in your town, so were comics your first connection to them?

Obviously, my dads comics weren’t gay or queer. I just focused on the male figure within those comics. And eventually I learned how cool it was that people did erotic comics: when I was 13 or so, I went on vocational trips to Barcelona where I could pop into comic stores. It was there that I first got my hands on a Tom of Finland comic and that blew my mind -- I was like WHAT!? I was born in 1991 and we didn’t have a computer until I was 15. So growing up, it was all about making the trip to bookstores in Barcelona and getting comics from the likes of Jiraiya, a Japanese author that draws gay magna, or Tom of Finland like I said. The list goes on and on.

Do you ever think about young people in small towns going to comic stores looking at the zines you’re drawing for now? Or even seeing these drawings online and having the same experience as you?

You’re giving me goosebumps. That would make me the happiest in the world. We have a fanzine called Free Time that’s just my friends, and we invite people to tell people about their free time. We’ve been to a couple of fan zine conventions, and there have been some people who I didn’t know telling us that they love it. I try not to think about it, because I have so much to draw, but that’s my goal. It’s one of the best things ever to happen, when someone seems to enjoy my drawings as much as I enjoy drawing them.

Art by Pol Anglada

{{video-inline-cta}}

Share this article

Find & Meet Yours

Get 0 feet away from the queer world around you.
Thank you! Your phone number has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We’ll text you a link to download the app for free.
Table of Contents
Share this article
“A great way to meet up and make new friends.”
- Google Play Store review
Thank you! Your phone number has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
We’ll text you a link to download the app for free.
“A great way to meet up and make new friends.”
- Google Play Store review
Discover, navigate, and get zero feet away from the queer world around you.
Already have an account? Login

Browse bigger, chat faster.

Find friends, dates, hookups, and more

Featured articles

Related articles

Find & Meet Yours

4.6 · 259.4k Raiting