6Zagoon is the artist name for Jose Angel Arevalo from Mexico City. His manga-inspired artwork and comics are as endearing as they are sexy. Get to know him and check out some his work below.
BWM: Tell us a bit about your background, and how you started creating art?
6Zagoon: My name is Jose Angel Arevalo, aka 6Zagoon. I’m a Mexican gaymer, chubby-bear-chaser (although now I’m more of a cub body type). I’m 35 years old and living in Mexico City with my husbear.
I just started making art one day on my smartphone, my husband has always told me that I was good at drawing but up until then I had only done drawings in a notebook. One day I saw a video on YouTube of somebody making art on his own mobile device, so I decided to download the same app this guy was using. In my mind I thought that to make digital art I needed a specialized tablet with a proper digital pen and software, but I tried it out just for fun and it turned out I wasn’t half bad. Of course, I needed to practice so I started to watch tutorials and learn different types of techniques, styles and learn about body structure. Although I must say, most of the tutorials focused on normative types of bodies so drawing drawing chubby guys was more of a self-taught thing to be honest.
BWM: What is it about bears that makes you want to incorporate them into your art?
6Zagoon: I have always been part of the bear community since I was in my early twenties. That’s the type of man I have always liked. With regards to art, I have always loved big chunky characters in visual media, like Coop from an old Cartoon Network show called Megas XRL, Stoick the Vast from the How to Train Your Dragon franchise; or if we’re talking about videogames, Bob from the Tekken games. It felt natural for me to draw them and to showcase the beauty of bears and chubby men.
BWM: What initially drew you into the bear community? And what keeps you there?
6Zagoon: Authentic people are in the bear community. Bears have always had the attitude “this is the way I am, like it or leave it” which I admire. They are masculine but at the same time tender. Their personalities is what attracted me most since I was younger and that is what I want to reflect in my comics.
Also, the community feels like a brotherhood, it’s something I haven’t experienced aanywhere else. It simply warms my heart. It’s a community that tells you that anyone can belong in it.
BWM: You mentioned teaching yourself to do digital art on YouTube. Did you take any professional classes?
6Zagoon: I’m mostly self-taught, I took some artistic lessons in high school but that was mostly the typical “draw this bowl of fruit” kind of stuff. At that time, I used my free time to draw more anime type stuff in my notebooks, to be specific Dragonball Z characters hehe.
It really was until recent years when I started to draw digitally that I discovered the possibilities out there and tried to look for a more personal style. Now I always look at the work of other artists on Instagram and Twitter and wonder to myself “what kind of techniques have they have used here” and try to apply similar things to my art, things like shadowing, lights, textures, different brush strokes. I’m always learning, or at least that’s what I’m trying to do.
BWM: What big projects are you working on? What is coming next?
6Zagoon: My current project is an ongoing webcomic named “My Ex Bully”. It’s a story about a chaser guy Xavi whose destiny put Roland in his path, the bear that turned out to be his high school bully who Xavi finds out is a completely different person nowadays. It’s a story about prejudice in all forms and a romantic story with bits of drama here and there. I already have planned many arcs and plots for it.
And of course on my social media I’m quite active and always posting different drawings related to my original characters or some fanart, so anyone that’s a fan of bear art – please, check me out!
BWM: Who are some of your artistic inspirations?
6Zagoon: There are many great artists I have followed through the years like Jovithor, Mark Wulfgar, and Blazingcheeks, just to name a few of them. Even before social media, I had already fallen for some mangas based on bear-like guys, like the ones created by Jiraiya. One big inspiration I have are the books from Gengoro Tagame like My Brother’s Husband, a story that tackles the Japanese society’s prejudices around homosexuality really got stuck in my mind.
I’ve noticed that most of the comics and mangas I have read that are gay-bear based, tend to focus too much on sex, in my opinion. And sex is cool and all of course, but with my web series “My Ex Bully” I wanted to touch on some other themes. My story does have some sex on it, of course, it is an adult story at the end of the day, but I wanted to center the story more on the feelings of the characters.
My biggest inspiration is my husband though, he always encourages me whenever I have my doubts about my art and pushes me forward. He’s my biggest fan. hehe
BWM: Where can we see/ purchase your work?
6Zagoon: My main social media is on Twitter. My account is @6zagoon. This is where I post many examples of my art, even the NSFW stuff. I also have a Patreon page (patreon.com/6zagoon) where I upload early access of “My Ex Bully” comic for my subscribers and more exclusive NSFW art. In the future I’m planning to print a physical version of the comic once I reach a certain point in the story but that’s just in planning stages right now.