Nikki Peck’s Instagram Bonercandy account has had its ups and downs, the downs – like those of many erotic artists with an online presence – often to do with the changing censorship policies of different platforms. She has sometimes had to resort to covering genitals with flowers and other devices, and has to be more careful than she would like with what she depicts, but she is determined that artists like her should do whatever is needed to keep the conversation about women and pleasure alive.
In July 2017 Alison Sinkewicz of Vice magazine interviewed Nikki about her work; you can read the whole piece here. We have selected some of her more interesting replies.
When did you start doing the kind of illustration work you do now?
I started after I moved back to Vancouver after art school in Montreal. I wasn't doing a lot of drawing or painting anymore because I was trying to find a job, so basically there was no practice. When I was little I spent a lot of time drawing women, very immature stuff, but I wanted to go back to that only with some more mature themes, more provocative themes.
Was it then that you started bringing in your own sexual experiences?
After I broke up with my boyfriend in Montreal, he was very caged in and controlling, I really wanted to break free of that. There were so many photos of me online, at parties with my top off, having a good time and being with open people. It became more of a jealousy issue, and it became really toxic, so I wanted to relive those experiences without feeling the guilt.
So it was a cathartic practice?
Yeah, after my relationship I was super depressed and anxious, and I was asked by a doctor to start illustrating a book on psychological issues, eating disorders, depression. So I started drawing bodies looking in the mirror, themes of self-reflection and kind of self-hate.
At what point did Bondercandy69 take off on Instagram?
Round about 2015. Before I'd been doing really low-price commissions for my friends, but now I get a ton of commissions and I get the weirdest things.
What's the strangest request to slide into your DMs?
Oh, I get a lot of dick pics, but the weirdest inquiry was probably ‘Hey can you draw me and my sister fucking?’ I've drawn some weird stuff that hasn't gone online, like one with a famous Hollywood director. That got a little frisky.
But do you still welcome people putting in commissions?
Oh for sure. I don't do all of them, because some do get really weird, or like very specific like ‘Can you draw me and my girlfriend, me licking her pussy while her ass is in my face.’
The sex positivity movement, especially online, is so new to and available to larger audiences that I imagine there are some people who don’t know how to respond to your work.
People just aren’t exposed to it, so if people come across my work and they’re not familiar with an open, sex positive movement, they’re going to be offended. That happens particularly with queer art, and a lot of my art is queer.