Pssst, Wanna Get Huge?
An Interview with body expansion artists Okayokayokok and The American Dream
By Donny Kestler
I was probably Google-searching something like “huge ass art” or “big butt drawings” when I slipped and fell down the rabbit hole. The scenery was completely foreign: elaborate, colorful comic illustrations of women with asses rapidly ballooning to caricature-esque proportions; artwork depicting ladies with distended bellies, growing larger as they consumed mass quantities of food; boobs were swelling to the size of watermelons for no discernible reason.
Eventually, I encountered some familiar faces. “Hey, that looks like April O’Neil from the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles,” I remember thinking while viewing one image. It was definitely April, but something was off about her. She was huge and sloppily eating pizza. Within two comic-strip frames, she was growing, bulging out of her signature yellow jumpsuit. I decided to press on. I ended up running into Princess Peach from the Mario Bros. video games. However, she too was bursting out of her clothing—as if she were really pregnant. Peach had grown so large that her iconic pink dress was stretched over only the top half of her stomach. Then I stumbled upon images of a woman named Gwen. I didn’t recognize her, but she had red hair and a pretty face. What stood out to me most was that her ass always seemed to be expanding, keeping her from fitting into her jeans and skirts. At that, I was starting to feel weird things, so I closed my internet-browser and took a cold shower.
I was equal parts curious and confused. I always thought that nobody loved huge lady-butts, women eating, female chubbiness, and pregnant bellies more than me, but the art I saw that day took those things to another level—an extreme level that I didn’t quite feel ready for. However, when I got out the shower I still had a full-chub, so I went back online and jerked off three times to pictures of Gwen getting fat on cupcakes and stuffing her gigantic ass into her jeans. That day, I had unknowingly stumbled into DeviantArt’s body expansion community.
Anyone who’s been to DeviantArt knows that the site doesn’t always live up to its name. Most of the content is about as boring and awkward as sex with two condoms on. However, DeviantArt’s ever-growing realm of body expansion art totally makes up for that, and then some. While the quality of the work ranges from crude to stunningly-detailed, the themes are always fresh and innovative. In the wide world of body expansion, reality is no object. If you can think of it, you can find it—or at least pay someone to draw it for you. Wanna see Jesse from Pokémon’s Team Rocket tear through her clothes with a huge, expanding belly? Done. How about Adventure Time’s Marceline the Vampire Queen with her butt growing incrementally larger until it can no longer fit inside her pants? Done. Oh, you’re not into fan fiction? No worries. How about some body expansion art featuring all-original characters? Done. Done. Done. Surrealism is your thing and you want to see women growing to epic proportions while also morphing into various fruits and vegetables? Done. Feeder fetish content? You’ve got it. Oh, you wanna see guys expanding too? Increasingly, done.
Body expansion art is exactly what it sounds like: any artwork depicting characters’ bodies and body parts expanding or inflating to epic—and often unrealistic—proportions. It is the next wave, people, and it’s already creeping into the mainstream. And how couldn’t it? It is at times funny, disturbing, sexy—even beautiful—and occasionally, all at the same time. Often, a single image reflects so many obscure, overlapping fetishes that, while viewing it, you begin to feel weirdly aroused and confused like you’re seeing pornography for the very first time again. Sigmund Freud would have a field day.
To bring you a little closer to the vortex of this fascinating subculture, I recently interviewed two prominent body expansion artists from DeviantArt. They go by the names of Okayokayokok and The American Dream. Their work is among the best of the body expansion community. Their galleries display a wide range of themes depicted with breath-taking detail—and often in vibrant color. Both are masters of their craft, seeing over 1,000 hits each day on their respective DeviantArt accounts. Through commissions and comic illustrating, Okayokayokok has even made body expansion art his full-time job. Yeah. But enough of my ravings—let’s hear from the artists themselves.
How long have you been making body expansion art?
Okayokayokok: Since July 15th, 2010. My first art submissions to my DeviantArt page were body expansion artwork.
The American Dream: I’ve been what’s called a fat admirer (FA) since I was a teenager and an artist my whole life, so growing up it was inevitable that, at some point, I would make something similar to expansion art. The first expansion art I ever drew was in 2003 but the first one I ever posted online was in early 2007. So 11 years ago, and 7 years ago respectively.
How did you first get into body expansion art?
Okayokayokok: I discovered it on DeviantArt. The first picture I saw was of a girl ballooning up after getting hit by a fat-ray gun. The other big thing that caught my eye was how popular the
picture was. I was in a really bad place in life—just divorced, recovering from cancer, working odd jobs, and living in a generous friend’s guest room. I started drawing body expansion art in hopes of getting some commissions, and it happened.
The American Dream: The type of body expansion I’m almost exclusively known for is “weight gain.” At first I used to edit artwork of thin women or photographs to make them to look overweight. That was in high school, back in 2003. I didn’t know it but this was a form of weight gain expansion art known as “morphs” or “morphing.” When I later created a DeviantArt account in 2006, I realized there was an audience for this when people left me comments about expansion on my normal plus-size positive artwork that I would do occasionally. At the time I was very shy about my fetish, but when I found out it was a popular niche, I began practicing and posting my work a lot more and discovered the terms “weight gain” and “expansion.”
Why do you like doing it? What keeps you going?
Okayokayokok: It’s rewarding. It’s important as an artist to have your work seen, and the more people who want to look at it, the more successful it feels. That’s why I make all my commissioned work available to view in my gallery, which has over 400 images. I found out pretty quick that I couldn’t rely on commissions for my income, so I started making comics and selling those and doing commissions between comics. After a couple years, it worked out to be my full-time job.
The American Dream: Having a preference for bigger women is one thing, and it’s amazing to draw that because it’s something I don’t get to see often enough. It’s just another form of sexual expression for us creative types. That, in itself, can be very enjoyable. But depicting characters rapidly or realistically expanding is exciting because you get to indulge in something that normally takes months or years in real life. Most times it’s like fulfilling a fantasy of getting to see someone expand right before your eyes. It’s sexy but I suppose, in a way, that’s hard to describe. For many weight gain expansion fetishists the journey is actually more exciting then the end result, which for weight gain enthusiasts is a very fat person. There are some comparisons you could make to people who enjoy a good role-play or narrative twist to their porn or erotic material as compared to just the act of sex itself.
Creating your own fetish artwork is a thrill because you get to expand characters people want to see and I am sure it’s the same rush many other artists and directors feel when doing other types of erotic artwork.
What are your favorite themes to depict in your work?
Okayokayokok: Except for my comics, all my work is commissioned requests. Since the day I started, I’ve said I’ll draw anything you want as long as it’s legal or doesn’t break the DeviantArt rules, so I get all kinds of requests. I love it, because it keeps things interesting.
The American Dream: Lately it’s been feederism—expansion using food. Stuffing is a term used for images depicting characters with food in their mouths already, eating more then a normal person should in one sitting let alone one bite! Overeating has a few nasty implications that artwork doesn’t have to worry about, it’s inspiration could be found in cartoons like Pigs is Pigs, a Merry Melodies cartoon from 1937. In this cartoon a pig is punished for overeating by having a nightmare where he is forced to eat and eat until he cannot anymore. By the end of it he’s so fat he’s ready to burst! How did he get so big so quickly? That has kind of become a staple of weight-gain art, rapid expansion.
I mostly prefer to depict BBW (Big Beautiful Women) in my expansion artwork, so mostly I draw fat or thin women becoming fatter. One thing I particularly enjoy is the muffin top expansion, which is where the stomach fat is pushed up and overlaps the belt line of tight jeans or pants to create a muffin-shape effect. It’s wonderful.
Okayokayokok, I noticed that you have a DeviantArt folder titled ‘Blueberry Art’ that contains depictions of
women—and some guys—turning into blueberries, as well as other fruits and vegetables. For me, Violet Beauregarde from the movie Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory comes to mind when I see those works. Was that movie an influence?
Blueberry expansion was something I stumbled onto very early on. I never felt any kind of connection to that movie until after I had seen a comic done by a fellow artist. It was the best expansion artwork I had seen in a comic, and it was hot. I went back and re-watched that clip of Violet turning into a blueberry and it was like seeing it with new eyes.
The American Dream, do you have any major influences?
My earliest influence for my expansion artwork is Japanese doujinshi (fan comics) artist PenGindou. Others would include Kawaii Debu and LesToil. Cartoons—such as the one I named earlier, Pigs Is Pigs—where characters gain a lot of weight quickly in a more comedic fashion were probably also influences for me, as with many other artists, but on a more subconscious level. The Totally Spies episode “Passion Patties” also features a main female character gaining weight, which was definitely a series that many claim took fetish elements and used them in a popular cartoon. These are the ones I’d call the biggest, but fat in the media has always caught my attention. It’s hard exactly to pin down when weight gain became a part of my fetish life as it was something very gradual.
What is the typical process for creating one of your works? What materials do you use? How long does it take?
Okayokayokok: It’s the same process any modern comic artist would use. I do all digital work on PS with a digital tablet. I usually spend a month on a 20-page comic or a 15-page color comic. For a single character commission, 5 hours.
The American Dream: The typical process is I come up with ideas, sketch them down with pencil in my sketchbook and then work up a more polished finished sketch. From there I scan the sketch into my computer and do polished, clean lines either digitally or with an ink pen. After that, often times, I will color it using Adobe Photoshop CS3. This process normally takes about 4-13 hours depending on the complexity of the picture but even then art is not a set process so sometimes it takes even longer.
There is a fairly large body expansion community—of both artists and fans—on DeviantArt, which seems pretty supportive and fun. What are your thoughts about the body expansion community on DeviantArt?
Okayokayokok: It’s surprisingly big. I get 1,000+ pageviews a day just on my DeviantArt account. I almost get as many on my blog.
A lot of viewers and fans give feedback, and I do my best to reply to every comment. I’ve had conversations with some other good expansion artists and they’re all great people. The same goes for fans—it’s not common to meet one that isn’t pleasant.
The American Dream: The expansion community is both small and large at the same time. A lot of folks know each other but there are also new artists and fans popping up all the time every year. I would say it can be a bit divided. People who enjoy weight gain primarily are in opposition to fans of more cartoony inflation artwork or breast expansion. But then there are those who like all sorts of expansion. I am happy that many of my fans are supportive, even to the point of buying commissions and supporting my artwork at conventions. There are however fans who are a bit harder to please—either asking me for things I don’t wish to draw and also artists who seem to compete with one another for attention in a very niche fan base. Still, for the most part, I do like most of my fans.
Do you think body expansion art will ever break into the mainstream? Personally, I’m shocked there isn’t a coffee-table book out already. In terms of body expansion in the mainstream, the music video to Major Lazer’s “Bubble Butt” comes to mind.
Okayokayokok: Because of its adult content, I’m not sure. But, if you look on YouTube, it’s weirdly featured in a lot of cartoons in a modest way—even some Disney shows. And of course, everyone’s seen Willy Wonka. I think there’s definitely a chance for it to break into mainstream further than it already is. Right now, it’s a digital phenomenon. It doesn’t really need to go to paper at this day and age.
The American Dream: I think elements of it slip in here and there. Heck, as I mentioned earlier, Totally Spies was a cartoon many fans think was influenced by fetishists, since it was created during a time when expansion art was just getting popular on the internet in the early 2000s. I know of several self-published books out there actually including one of my own—a comic—and a few others. Right now it’s mostly either small print runs being sold at conventions or digital only comics, but larger prints of expansion artwork is sure to come, I’m sure.
So it’s hard to say how mainstream it may or may not ever become.
What do you think is the most exciting piece of body expansion art you’ve ever made?
Okayokayokok: I did some commissions involving multiple girls all entangled and interacting—all with various expansions. Those were BIG challenges, and I like challenges, so those come to mind. The Magical Card Game Ecstasy comic is great, but Sanderson Step Sisters Issue 7 has to be my favorite—though I expect issue 8 to replace that as my favorite. I’ve started inking issue 8, and it is by far going to be my best artwork and storytelling yet.
The American Dream: It’s one of my most recent pieces promoting She Had it Coming 2, the self-published sequel to my 2011 comic of the same name. It features my character Dobuita Mori, a Japanese-American former college basketball star who gains a massive amount of weight due to a sports injury and acquires a food addiction and a fetish for gaining weight. In this picture I went pretty cartoony and depict her wearing flashy skimpy food related clothing and tattoos she doesn’t normally have with the word “FAT” across the belly. She is consuming spaghetti with the name of the comic up like spaghetti. This image will be used for the back cover and I’m pretty proud of it. Her already plump sister, Puku, depicted on the right is more then happy to see her big sister gaining weight.
You obviously accept commission requests from fans. What is the strangest or most-interesting thing someone has asked you to make?
Okayokayokok: Yes, I’m not ALWAYS accepting commissions though. Just between comics. The TF remote comic pages were definitely unique. A long time ago, I agreed to do a private commission while the person watched me draw. That was a MESS. It ended up being a woman with giant mouth that took up most of the picture. Going into her mouth was a busty woman with feet that took up half the screen along with all sorts of food. By the time I finished, I regretted ever taking it on. It was so bizarre. That was the last time I did a private commission. The first comic I did, the BlooBerry Comic, was by far the craziest comic I’ve done. Each page was based on what fans requested and it was funded by donations. It was so wild, that some of the pages got removed from DeviantArt. But in it, there’s 3 girls who experience multiple transformations—each based on fruit. One girl turns into pear-bodied blooberry with a banana head, one turns into a raspberry blueberry who has so many swollen red boobs, she looks like a raspberry—then her tongue turns into a boob and her friend sucks on it. It’s so crazy! But that’s what you get when you ask hundreds of people what they want—a smorgasbord of transformations!
The American Dream: Actually I do a lot of commission work. A great deal of my gallery is commission work on DeviantArt. I would say perhaps 35% of my gallery. Oh I got it—the weirdest commission yet for me was probably one where the artist wanted me to draw their characters—themselves, I think—being expanded but also being rapidly transformed into pigs! It was a fun commission but every time I sat down to work on it I’d think, “Man, this is weird.” Coming from an expansion fetishist that is kinda funny I suppose.
Thank you both for your time. Please keep up the fun and exciting work!