Sarey Ruden is the creator of Sarey Tales, original works of art inspired by real life dating experiences. SAREY TAKES SOME OF THE OBSCENE MESSAGES SHE’S RECEIVED FROM MEN ON DATING APPS AND TURNS THEM INTO STRIKING and at times hUMOROUS art. HER WORK AIMS TO boost awareness of the affronting world of online datinG BY turning ugly into art, one text at a time.


Provocative, powerful, fearless

What sparked your idea of turning your dating experiences into art?

About two years ago I received a particularly hurtful message from a guy on a dating app I had been on one date with. On a whim, I felt compelled to turn his ugly words into something more. At first my pieces were mainly typographic designs, black and white, more focused on the messages I had received. The design process was cathartic to me, it helped me to see the bigger picture. These terrible messages weren’t a reflection of me, but rather, of the toxic masculinity poisoning our culture.

Where do you get inspiration for your style of art?

I find my inspiration from the text messages I receive on dating apps such as Plenty of Fish,, Tinder, Bumble, OKCupid and Jswipe. The words inspire a rush of visual ideas and concepts of how I can illustrate the way they make me feel. Each text message invokes a certain reaction in my mind, be it anger, laughter, frustration or fear. These emotions lead me down a path of visual exploration through different genres of art history. Currently I am obsessed with hyperrealism and pop art styles.

Can you describe your artistic process?

My process always begins with the text message. It may be one I just received that morning, or one from my vaults. Or often, a submission from a follower will inspire me. From there, I generally begin sketching out how the words make me feel, noting styles and colors I would like to explore when I date my design to the digital realm. After designing process, I like looking for the perfect “room” to place my art in. I love adobe stock image selections of blank canvases. These images allow me to give context to my design, and often add a little humor to my art.

What has been your experience of being a female in the erotic, sensual & intimate art space?

Generally, the reaction is receptive, but I think you have to know your audience. Finding the niche art exhibits and galleries which cater to erotic art is imperative. Because my erotic artwork is based on the real messages sent to me on dating apps, my art often requires some explanation. The story behind the art gives context to my creations. And for me, context is everything.

What are your biggest challenges in producing erotic art in the heavily censored social media age?

Erotic art has been a difficult genre to navigate. I am still learning how to find my way in this very nuanced genre. Many of my posts are removed on Instagram due to censorship. I have received many messages on from members who don’t care for the work I am selling. To me, this friction is inspiring. I think it is important to continue to create art which makes others uncomfortable, or question why they are uncomfortable with certain styles of artistic expression.

What are you currently working on?

I have just finished a series called “Erotic Ice Cream” which uses real cones, sprinkles, paint, and Styrofoam balls to create hyperrealistic ice cream art, all of which look like various body parts (breasts, penis, tongues and derriere). Again, all the artwork is inspired by the text messages sent to me on dating apps. I am also continuing to work on a series called the “UDP Project”. (“UDP” is an Unsolicited Dick Pic). I have been working on perfecting my molding technique, and, intergrating other sculptural elements, I am happy to announce that my UDP project is nearly complete! I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but I am hoping to have it on display at various erotic art events in 2019.

What's your favourite piece of art?

That’s a hard question. I always fall in love with each new creation, and then slowly begin to realize I actually hate it, until the next piece is finished. It’s an endless cycle of creation and destruction. But, if I had to pick a single piece, it would have to be “Tear That Butt Up”. I completed this work over a year ago, and it’s one of the few creations I still admire. Creating this led me down a path of exploring new techniques and taught me to push my artistic boundaries.