Horacio Abdala raises LGBTQ+ awareness through his illustrations

Horacio Abdala is working towards inclusivity and non-discrimination. You might know him on Instagram as @soft_horno and @h.o.r.n.o.5 , where he pays tribute to the bears in the LGBTQ+ community and celebrates the human male body with its curves, its hair and its glory! Horacio wants to empower all queer people and sensitise the common sense by demonstrating the human body as an object of desire, humour and desire.

Tell me about yourself! Who is the artist behind @soft_horno?

The first thing I always say is that I AM NOT A BEAR! I really like the bears in the LGBTQ+ community and that’s why I pay “tribute” to their beauty. Apart from that, my name is Horacio Abdala, I am 34 years old and I am from Buenos Aires (Argentina). I studied graphic design and currently work as a designer and illustrator. I like to eat, do some exercise, travel, draw a lot and generate projects that have to do with my passion for drawing.

Why did you decide to name your account SOFT_HORNO?

Soft Horno relates to my other project, HORNO (@h.o.r.n.o.5) which means “PORNO” but with it is written with the initial of my name (Horacio), so H instead of P. In English “HORNO” is translated to OVEN, and I am happy it is related to high temperatures and fire! Just like my project, that is a pretty hot erotic project, hence the game of words. SOFT_HORNO is the soft project hehe, more oriented to emotions, that’s why soft.

Where do you find your inspiration?

I find inspiration in many things, but mainly what activates me to draw is music. It sensitises me a lot and makes it easier for me to release emotions. Another great source of inspiration is the male figure with many curves, hair and humour.

How would you describe your work?

In SOFT_HORNO I try to show everything that is somehow hidden within a “hard and strong” male figure, sometimes I like to present a totally different point of view than expected, and other times, I simply show sensitivity in some expression.

What do you most enjoy sketching and drawing?

Having the blank sheet is the door to a world of possibilities, it is a mini sensation of pleasure when starting to scribble. Apart from that, I really like to experience the feeling of the stroke according to the pressure applied, I like that the visual result of the sketch is so connected with the way you apply pressure, breathing, relaxation etc.

Have social media helped your account and your work?

YES! Social networks helped me a lot to make my work visible, to express what I felt visually and to have feedback of what I was doing with people from all over the world. Also, they helped me by giving me new job opportunities too.

What is the best compliment you received?

One of the most beautiful things someone said to me was: “The drawings you make helped me to accept myself more as I am”.

What has been the funniest request from a fan?

I don’t know if it is the funniest, but it is definitely the most shocking:
“Could you change the colour of the nose? It looks as if it is dead”.

What are your role models?

The first one that comes to my mind, conceptually, is Jim Hopper from Stranger Things. he is rough, sensitive and beautiful!

Do you feel your work is sexualising the male body?
I don’t see it from a negative perspective. I try to take it out of the normal context, and to play with the extremes of tenderness and sexy. A great inspiration that I didn’t mention before are pinup models.

Which other artists do you admire?

I love the simplicity and imagination of Moebius, James Jean and Tomer Hanuka.

What technique do you use?

I generally work in digital (Photoshop) but I also really like to use traditional drawing and colouring techniques. Especially coloured pencils.

What shall we expect from you in the future?

Hmmmm, I dont know! My plan is to continue with this because it is what makes me the happiest.
I would like to be able to reach many more people in our community and spread a good message. I would also love to work towards inclusivity and non-discrimination inside and outside our circle.

*all images are courtesy of Horacio Abdala

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