By merging the line work of artist Egon Schiele, the wry humor of Tomi Ungerer’s occasionally terrifying erotica, and a former side hustle selling used socks and underwear to people looking for rather niche garments on Craigslist, Dominic Myatt’s work is as intriguing as it is sensitively rendered.

Myatt moved to east London from his birthplace in the northern English countryside to study fine art and art history at Goldsmith’s Art School, a place known for its esoteric and conceptual approach to making art. It took a while before Myatt, who graduated in 2014, to realize that it was actually okay to just draw.

“When I first started creating work at Goldsmith’s it was a lot more conceptual and data-based, and I was doing a lot of research around knowledge, authority, and epistemology. That rigorous critical thinking and reading was great not just for work, but more widely, too.” The move towards drawing and making works on paper came at a point when Myatt realized that for him, the more conceptual side of his practice lacked a “stimulating visual element.” He says, “Drawing feels more immediate, but I only started at the end of my course. I felt like it didn’t really have a place before. Drawing falls in and out of favor, and in an art school environment you feel certain pressures to favor one form of art over another. It took a while to know that I could use it to explore ideas and things rather than just using it as a tool.”

Dominic Myatt, (no kissing)

Since that realization, Myatt’s drawing has taken center stage. From a shared studio in Dalston, he works using fountain pens or dip pens and ink directly onto paper, going through numerous iterations of a single image before arriving at a point where he feels the image says what it needs to. When he’s not drawing, he works two shifts a week at a sex club in central London. “It’s very interesting, I’d rather not have to work in a menial job, but it’s definitely inspiring. Not in a sense of visual inspiration—a lot of people would be quite bothered if I were to draw them—but it affects your attitude to sex and how you think about its role in people’s lives and in their identities. It’s definitely reduced my shock threshold working there.”

I wonder if it’s a rather British thing, for these men—many of whom are married or “straight” in the outside world—to want to keep their sexual preferences and peccadilloes so utterly separate from their “normal” lives. Sex, after all, is a funny thing when it comes down to it: the weird noises, the multifarious likes and dislikes, the glorious messiness of the whole thing. But in the UK at least, that’s all very much hush hush. That’s what I really like about Myatt’s work; it’s both honest, in a caricatured way, and very funny in its unflinching portrayal of sex and bodies.

“They do remove the humor from sex a lot of the time here,” he says. “There’s a lot of humor around heteronormative sex in some sense, but there’s still shame attached to queer bodies and queer sex. People just don’t really talk about it.”

Dominic Myatt, (no kissing)

Attitudes like this have made the visual expression we see in his superb new book (no kissing) possible. Printed by Japan’s MNK Press last year and due out in the UK at any moment, the book is a series of around 30 drawings that illustrate “men seeking men” (m4m) ads on London’s Craigslist listings. Naturally, there’s some brow-raising stuff, rendered in typo-laden text (mis)spelling out the various ways in which the people behind the various postings want to be “used, abused, worshipped, and loved,” as his publisher puts it.

Dominic Myatt, (no kissing)

The genesis of the project came about in Myatt’s final year at university, when he sold used socks and underwear on Craigslist for around £20 a pop. “It was quite fun and interesting, but I’d never felt comfortable enough to meet these people, so I’d mail the items, or once I left them in a flowerbed and emailed the guy an annotated map with an arrow saying ‘socks,’” he says. “You never know what people are going to do with the things you’re selling them, but you imagine certain scenarios in your head. I was coming across more and more strange personals looking for really odd and bizarre things that you hadn’t even thought of as being someone’s sexual desire.”

When I asked about the weirdest ad he found, Myatt said it was a man looking for a farmer to “own” him as if he were a pig. The poster proudly stated that their “meat would be tasty.”

The palpable marriage of grotesquerie, poignance, and pleasure in the ads makes for a rich foundation to bring them to life visually. But while his images have a fluidity and immediacy to them, they’re the product of years of honing that style and reams of discarded paper. Myatt says, “Although the images are drawn quite quickly, they come from hours and hours of working until I get something I’m happy with. It’s not about just doing a squiggle or a distended toe; it takes days weeks and years of working things out until I could get to, say, a mouth position that evokes a sort of terror in a face.”

Dominic Myatt, (no kissing)

There is one part of his practice where he only gets one shot: tattooing. Myatt taught himself with his own tattoo gun, and the help of some very willing and trusting friends along the way. He’s keen to point out he’s “not a ‘tattoo artist.’” As he explains, “I’m not going to do designs that people bring in, I only do work that I’ve made.”

This little side hustle has born some wonderful stories; he travelled to New York to ink two designs onto artist Scooter LaForge, and when one Lyon-based chap found out Myatt would be in Paris for the day, he traveled across France to be tattooed with a design created from a poem he’d sent the artist to interpret as he wished. “I really like that idea of transference of something onto skin,” says Myatt. “It’s about so much more than just stamping a design onto someone. It really felt special. I’d like to do it a lot more.” With his sweet demeanor and sensitive approach to making work, we have absolutely no doubt he will.

Dominic Myatt, (no kissing)