Lewd Spotlight - Renezuo
In the latest issue of the Lewd Spotlight, LewdGamer had the chance to talk to Renezuo, an artist very familiar with the dark side of lewdness and even more familiar with ladies wielding immense "equipment".
LewdGamer: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?
Renezuo: I’m Renezuo, I do a lot of fantasy-based erotic art, of which a lot typically involves chicks with dicks. It’s not something I set out to do initially, but it’s something I’ve sort of fallen into doing and I enjoy. I’ve spent a lot of time hopping from project to project for other people and have only really been focused on my own stuff for the last couple of years. I’m also a member of Kupaa Networks and do some of the Event Coordination there.
LewdGamer: How and when did you start drawing?
Renezuo: I started drawing around the age of 2... usually on the walls of my parents' house in crayon. I doodled on spare printer paper growing up, but didn’t start getting any real education in art until I got into high school and later in art school. I started making use of photoshop in my sophomore year of high school, when I was introduced to it through a Graphic Design vocational course I was taking. Regular courses for digital art weren’t offered in my area back then.
LewdGamer: How long have you been drawing lewd artwork and what got you into it?
Renezuo: I think my initial interest in drawing anything sexy happened around the eighth grade, I generally had more fun drawing the female form than the male form at the time. But back then it was usually just things that hinted at spicier content and it was usually few and far between and squirreled away in my room somewhere. I don’t remember specifically what it was that got me started down that road, but if I were to venture a guess, I would say anime. I grew up mostly in rural Maine and back then there was nothing for anime on TV except Dragon Ball Z and Sailor Moon, I think Pokemon was just getting started. But then sci-fi channel starts doing “Saturday Anime” and I was shown as a whole other dimension of things for the style.
Before that, I was drawing mostly comic book-type stuff and I dropped everything to try and get more of that anime/manga influence... but as I said, there was almost nothing available. There was a locally owned video store that had a collection of some anime you could rent on VHS, but most of them had a rating that required an adult to rent for you and that was a tough sell for my dad. I could convince him on some stuff, but I had a snowball’s chance in hell if the video I brought him had a busty anime babe on the cover.
Finally getting the internet helped, but 56k modems only got you so far. Right out of high school, I moved to Colorado and was able to get a decent computer with high-speed internet and actually dive into things the way I wanted and it was around then that I took that extra step forward to depict full range nudity and sex in my work. It wasn’t good, but it was a start.
LewdGamer: How did you arrive at your current art style?
Renezuo: Not art school, I’ll start with that. I’ve had more influence from my various friends and colleagues doing art than I ever really got in my expensive art schools. I went to two, started at one and transferred to a second halfway through. They weren’t useless, they teach you a lot about deadlines, work ethic, setting goals and so on, but in terms of art style... I feel like little of it was earned at school.
I floundered for a long time until I made friends with an artist named Tazio Bettin, who’s done a lot of professional work for comics and games and broke me off a lot of bad habits I had in terms of my style at that point. I wanted very much to imitate the anime style, but couldn’t figure out how I wanted to settle on it and he basically tossed it all in the trash and told me I was wasting my time trying to do someone else’s style instead of allowing my own to emerge on its own. It was a pretty solid wake-up call during a time of upheaval in my life, so my whole “art thing” got broken down over and over with me trying to rebuild it and find a new approach. I’d been working on Trials in Tainted Space for about a year when Tazio’s advice came back around about working on someone else’s thing when I could be working on mine.
But what I put up in my work now is thanks in large part to Hizzacked. I cannot overstate just how much of a positive influence she’s been on my work and sifting through the bad habits I acquired in school and get me kind of back on track. Perhaps the best thing school did for me though was prepare me for how to direct someone like her is on your work. A lot of art is ego, and being able to take criticism on it without getting butthurt is a skill you acquire separately of it for most people. Hizzy doesn’t screw around if she wants to help you and she’s gonna sit down to do it; she’s not going to sugar coat it and she’s not there to powder your ass. If I hadn’t been trained to set my feelings aside during times like that I don’t think I could have seen the good she was trying to do for me and I wouldn’t have the friend that I have now.
A huge chunk of my influence right now comes from her though.
LewdGamer: Do you draw for a particular kind of audience?
Renezuo: I actually don’t know, to be honest with you. Maybe that’s a failing in my business model. I spent so much time drawing things for other people, emulating other styles, and doing just what a client wanted that nowadays I kind of just do the thing I want to do. Things that interest and appeal to me get drawn to either scratch an itch or tell a story. My hope is just that I find other people who like the stuff I like and want to help me develop that into something bigger. But from what I’ve gathered from other people, I’m seen as kind of a “big titty futa” artist.
LewdGamer: What is your favorite character and fetish to draw?
Renezuo: I’m really big on my various OCs. My main OC I circle back to most often is Myanna, a plant demon with a dominatrix gender-bendy thing going on. I built up a lot of lore around her species of demon and the world they inhabit and from there I just got more and more characters along these various stories that I can work with. Futa pops up in my work a lot and I do enjoy it a lot. I’m a little hipstery about it though because I was playing with it before it blew up as a fetish a few years back. Now it’s just kind of everywhere and people half expect to find a dick hiding under a skirt in any given image, so I don’t know if we can really call it a fetish the way the term might be applied to other things. But in that area I specifically like futa on female the most, I generally use futa as a “magic strapon” that gives one of the ladies a dick with some potency.
Aside from OCs, I got a few characters I really enjoy doing fanart of, but my top is probably Lulu from Final Fantasy X, and I’ve been dying to make some more time for Urbosa from Breath of the Wild.
LewdGamer: Is there anything you wouldn't draw?
Renezuo: I favor more mature characters and developed forms so anything in the loli or shota range is right out. I don’t touch vore or scat at all, and gore isn’t something I mess with really unless you count vampires doing their bloodsucking thing. I’ve done a few yaoi-type pics a few times but there’s nearly no demand from me to do anything like that these days.
LewdGamer: Do you ever face any difficulties in your drawing process?
Renezuo: All the time. Breaking bad habits is hard for me and I catch myself doing the exact same shit that Hizzacked has told me not to do a thousand times. But the biggest challenge I face that maybe a lot of other artists don’t is balancing my work time with family time. I’m married with two kids, so it’s important to be able to plan my work time carefully so that I’m not missing out on time with my wife or all the little milestones kids hit early on that are super important.
Even while I’m working, there could be something that happens where I have to drop it and put it down for a while to attend to other matters, which is directly antithetical to my natural workflow that favors long periods of uninterrupted time before coming up for air. I’ll get antsy when I’m away from work and get a little agitated, it drives my wife up the wall because she’s aware of it.
Along with all of that is keeping the work totally apart from the family. My wife is aware of what I do, of course, she’ll even sit down and help me out pitching some ideas and story stuff for the worlds and characters... but when it comes to the kids, we’re militant about them keeping away from my office and work area to prevent any accidental exposure to things at too early of an age. I’m pretty sex positive about shit, but there’s no reason they need to know the exact nature of what I do for several more years. My door stays locked at all times when I’m in the office and my PC gets shut down or locked when I’m not in the room.
LewdGamer: Could you briefly describe some of the projects you're currently working on?
Renezuo: I have three major worlds I divide my time into. Codex Alkotas, Night Wave, and Celestial Tides.
Codex Alkotas is a sort of dark fantasy world with demons and dragons banging sexy ladies with magic and futa dicks and is the culmination of years and years of material I’ve developed in the background with my wife that I finally get to put up for everybody. I put out illustrated stories for it, I did a trial comic in the world to get a feel for the process, and I’d very much like to bust out a game for it in the future. The big story I’m doing for it now is “Mistress of Fellgrove” which contains a lot of the early story for the OC I mentioned earlier, Myanna. It’s a much larger scale project than the short stories I’ve done before with four chapters posted up on my site. I’m making the illustration of the content a sort of collaborative effort with site members right now.
Night Wave is a more modern “retro” fantasy set in the 80s with a retro wave aesthetic applied to it. I’ve got tons of story for it as well, but I’m still considering some options on what might be the sexiest avenue to tell them, my main concern is that a comic in the style could get repetitive and I’d burn myself and the audience out on it super quick. But I absolutely love doing high contrast pics for it.
The last one is Celestial Tides which I shunted over to my Patreon recently. It’s a sci-fi world that was born of all the ideas I got while I was working on Trials in Tainted Space. Basically, while I was doing work for Fenoxo, I’d just get these rapid-fire ideas that just couldn’t be put into the game or added on to it. I would do sketches and jot stuff down and then set it aside to get back to work. Well, that’s Celestial Tides, all of that stuff repurposed for a new sci-fi world of my own inspired by a lot of the sci-fi stuff I like... including some of that 80s and 90s anime. Site members have access to it as well, but I thought to put it over on Patreon would help it to get a bit more love after being neglected for so long. I’m currently doing a comic set in the world called Perverse Horizons, that is a Mashup of the normal Celestial Tides world with some Final Fantasy mixed in.
Renezuo can be reached directly via Twitter, where he frequently posts previews and complete art pieces.