If you've been following our socials, then you probably know that we're extremely stoked to be throwing our first ever art exhibition popup in NYC, Hentai Is Art. In celebration of hentai and breaking stigmas associated with unrestricted art, we interviewed the extremely skilled artist of Crush Crush, Morgan! Ever wondered about the talent behind the captivating and detailed artwork featured in your favorite games? Keep reading for an interesting, and might we add, quite hilarious interview! Make sure to follow Sad Panda Studios to stay updated on Crush Crush!
Where do you live?
Canada! Land of brewskis and bacon, and beaver galore! Also a ridiculous amount of double entendres and passive aggression. Oh Canada!
What’s your art background?
I grew up loving anime, and got really into drawing Sailor Moon, Samurai Pizza Cats and nekked waifus from a young age. I made my own hentai visual novels back in the Geocities days of yore. There weren’t really any schools for learning to draw in anime styles, so I basically became a hardcore otaku and taught myself.
When did you decide you wanted to become an artist?
When I was very very young, despite schools, adults and TV specials telling me there was no future in drawing anime. Well who’s laughing now!? I’m an artist, and those guys are... probably old or something.
Who are your biggest influences?
I follow a lot of amazing hentai artists on twitter and patreon, but the guys who can animate are the heroes I need, not the ones I deserve. Mike Inel and Speedo are so good at pumping out high quality smexy animations. It’s a skill I definitely want to get good at for our future games. (Tee hee! I said “pumping”.) 😉
Where do you get you inspiration from?
All the different manga and anime I’m watching at the time influences my art a ton. Also twitter artists and cool shit I find online - it all just tumbles off the internet and into my heart like cholesterol. I buy a lot of import Japanese anime magazines just to look at the pretty pictures and stay on top of all the neat art styles ...in style.
What is your favorite type of art to create?
Boobies! I’ve seriously done the full gamut of traditional painting to family-friendly cartoons to realistic pet portraits for friends and hated it all haha! Anime and sexy guys/gals are the only things that bring me joy :”) That probably says a lot more about me than I realize - but really, who doesn’t like boobs? Nazis?
How did you get into creating adult illustrations?
I started by making fanart for myself, and that turned into home-made visual novels again just for me, because I couldn’t get my hands on any real H games until much later in life. Turning 18 was a magical time for me. But then I started working at Disney for a while, where they pretty much suppressed all those emotions and drove me to draw completely opposite art. But I continued making the forbidden arts in my personal time, and held strong until I was free. So it’s not just fun to draw nekked ladies - they’ve been part of a hentai spirit journey, I guess?
Which current art trends are you following / interested in?
Some futa is interesting to me, yuri and yaoi is always fun, and the blend of monster girls and furry into some anime art styles is really cool. Also girls drawn thicc and curvy are neat to see, and I should try it out cuz all the girls in Crush Crush need to eat a sandwich. So I guess you could say my tastes are maturing? Evolving? Something.
Do you watch or read anime, if so what is your favorite manga/anime show?
Oldschool anime like Slayers and Escaflowne, and more recently KonoSuba is a kickass show. As for manga I read lots of shounen action ones and some guilty pleasure otome romancey-shmancy ones. =P I like’em drama llama, sickly sweet, or boobies and blood.
Where do you feel most comfortable creating artwork?
Facing a door so nobody can sneak up and see what I’m drawing. Preferably with a cat on my chair and coffee and or alcohol on my desk. I work all hours of the day and night. Sleep is for the weak, and I’m trying to cure my body of it.
What type of artwork do you consider Crush Crush to be?
I’d say it’s got a clean look to it that emulates the anime style but is also 15% North American in its look. It’s a good hybrid. Not too moe that it feels like the girls are actually young adults capable of doing adult things. And by adult, I mean allowing strangers to buy them magic slippers and bone them.
What other activities or hobbies do you have?
I’m learning how to code, I like going for walks and hikes, I play DDR on the ps2 to stay fit! Hah. Board game nights with friends. Try to attend lots of nerdy things like anime and gaming conventions, Comic-Con, etc. I spend a few hours every week as a cat perch too. That’s a hobby of sorts.)
What are your thoughts on the stigmas around adult art?
Well, it’s super tricky when you have some developers taking the industry back 2 steps for each step forward. I really enjoyed the art and gameplay of Huniepop for example, and it got some mainstream attention, but the developer likes to post stuff on Twitter that sort of confirms most people’s worst suspicions of adult game makers 😞 Luckily the taboo is still lifting, and for every big AAA mainstream game that treats sexy times with style and substance (like The Witcher) it helps lift it even further. I hope someday that adult games will feel no more strange than adult scenes on HBO. Other than that, I support tons of patreon artists trying to make adult games because it just needs more of that to become a recognized genre for adult gamers. And since all of that was pretty serious talk, here’s an emote of boobies (.)(.)
Do you tell people that you illustrate adult art?
Most of my friends know. The best was when ex-disney coworkers found out and started reaming me for it. I was like “yer just jelly I get to draw titties all day and u don’t! ” Some of my friends are really into Crush Crush and think it’s great; they even ask for the hi-res nude art. Pulling those friend strings, sheesh... But all in all, I really enjoy being an “outed” artist, and interacting with fans that have similar passions and tastes as I do.
Would you consider creating adult art more fun than other types of artwork?
Absolutely! Nothing more fun than drawing flirty sexy characters enjoying themselves and trying to seduce the viewer. If an image can make you feel sumfin that’s great, art job accomplished, and I aim to make you fall in love with our characters and blush 😉 I ship plenty of characters and couples in shows and manga, and I like making content that gives people a similar, but perhaps more intense, experience.
Do you have any advice for aspiring artists?
Try different things and reference your favs, then develop a style unique to you. But most of all draw what you enjoy. Don’t get suckered into drawing boring stuff for commissions, it really drags you down. If you can find a niche - that’s even better, cuz that becomes your untapped market. Draw unicorn half-lamp half-fridge porn if it makes ya happy. Chances are it’ll get somebody hot ‘n bothered. I’m not saying that that’s what works on me. Why would I admit that outloud? Is it hot in here?
If you could pick one historical artist to create an adult game in their style, who would you pick and why?
Can you imagine the batshit crazy sex scenes a Pablo Picasso sex game would have? You’d have to shower after every session. You’d have to keep a box of M.C. Escher style tissues nearby. What I’m saying is that there are going to be positions God didn’t intend. Eyeballs next to hoohoos. Dongs in places that dongs aren’t normally. Cosmic!
Are there any questions you aren’t normally asked that you’d love to answer?
No one ever asks me what my Patreon is, so… (cough). No but seriously, no one ever asks me what the capital of Thailand is, and it’s Bangkok, and that’s nine different shades of awesome, and now I need to take that shower. Phew!