For Glen Hanson, the big-name illustrator behind this year’s Sleaze poster, every small encounter is an opportunity.

Whenever I go anywhere, I’m observing, he tells Sydney Star Observer.

That’s just the way I’m wired. When I meet someone, I’m thinking how could I draw them. When I’m out somewhere, I’m observing everything about anyone.

But if you’re a friend of the Toronto-born, Los Angeles-based artist, don’t despair. You’re unlikely to recognise yourself in his portraits.

I’ve drawn specific people, and also people where I’ve used specific tattoos or hairstyles, he says.

Sometimes people know they’ve been drawn, and most of the time they don’t. I rarely use someone from top to bottom. It’s like Frankenstein’s monster.

Hanson is most famous in the gay community for his work under the pseudonym G-Man, featuring illustrations of beautiful, buff fantasy men in varying states of undress.

But behind the beefcake is a serious illustration career. His work has appeared in publications like GQ and The Wall Street Journal, he’s worked on projects for Disney and Nickelodeon and he designed the famous cover art for Blink 182’s album The Mark, Tom And Travis Show.

For the Sleaze project, he drew on this year’s party theme: Ghetto Fabulous. But he wanted to stay away from some of the more corny or sexist elements of the culture he was illustrating.

So the only pimp character is a drag king, and the only barely dressed girl-in-a-rap-video character is a drag queen.

New Mardi Gras is celebrating the release of the Sleaze poster with a competition.

Everyone who buys a party ticket by Sunday 10 September will go into the draw to win a one-off, original Ghetto Fabulous portrait of them and up to four friends, and a signed print of the Sleaze Ball poster. Ten runners-up will win a signed print of the Sleaze Ball poster.

Sleaze Ball 2006 is happening at the Hordern, Dome and The Forum on Saturday 30 September from 10pm to 8am. First release tickets are $99 ($79 New Mardi Gras members and concessions). Book on 132 849 or at the Ticketek website.

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