Interview: Hill

Today we’re joined by Hill. Hill is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital mediums. She draws mostly people and dabbles in fanart, though she also enjoys drawing original character. She is currently working on a comic called “AVG” and plans to draw more comics in the future. It’s very clear that she’s a dedicated and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

AVG c1p7 fin
“AVG” c1p7 fin

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly draw people! Faces are my favorite part to draw; it’s all about the wacky expressions! I started at a young age (about 3rd grade) using traditional methods. I tried all kinds of mediums like pencil, inks, paint…but my favorite for a long time was inks. I liked them because you could create a stark contrast. I would draw characters from “One Piece” and “Bleach” in inks all the time.

In high school I started the change from traditional to digital art, mostly because my sister was doing it and so it was cool. I had no idea what I was doing, but stuck with it. I currently use Photoshop Elements 12 and a Wacom Intuos Tablet. Doing digital art allows me to make speedpaint videos set to music! I love creating comics and portraits of my own characters. I have one comic that I’m currently working on, called “AVG” and several more planned.

What inspires you?

Music is my greatest inspiration! I can hardly ever draw without something playing. I feel like it adds more emotional strength to any piece I work on. My best friend is a music teacher and she always inspires me when she shares her knowledge.

I’m absolutely inspired by other artists! There’s so many artists I look up to and have learned from, like: Eiichiro Oda, Tite Kubo, Kohske, and Rebecca Sugar. They’ve each influenced my art style in some way. My friends on DeviantArt have inspired me too! They’re always trying new things and it makes me want to be better!

AVG c3p0
AVG c3p0

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

My sister is the person who got me interested in art! She was drawing long before I ever wanted to. When we were little, we loved playing with paper dolls and you couldn’t buy Pokémon or Digimon paper dolls, so my sister drew them. I picked up art, because there were so many characters we wanted to add and it would take a while for her to draw them all! I wanted to help out! Next thing you know I was drawing celebrities with giant heads and tiny bodies (they were awful)! It was always just for fun, but I really became invested in art when I started reading “One Piece”. I wanted to learn to draw the characters and I needed to practice for an upcoming art scholarship opportunity. It worked out!

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

My signature is my initials HRH with three lines through it. I wanted to have a cool signature and played around with a bunch of options. I’m not sure when I got to that one, but it stuck!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

What always helps me, especially if I feel art block coming on, is sketching. Sketching has led to some of my favorite pieces. It takes pressure off and can result in some really fun ideas! Always keep trying, because in just a year you can make so much progress!

Princess Leia grey
Princess Leia (grey)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual. I don’t know where I am on the romance end yet, that one hasn’t quite clicked like being Ace did. I had originally identified as Demisexual, but when I explored Asexuality, I felt it fit me better.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I haven’t encountered much prejudice or ignorance in my field. I’ve really only told those I’m close with or potential significant others. The only time I personally experienced it was when I identified as Demisexual and someone I know said they “never heard of it, so it must be fake”. I wanted to cry, so after that, I mostly kept it to myself. Since I’ve identified as Ace, I’ve only had positive reactions from those I’ve told. I’m happy to be a part of this interview, because it is a positive experience for everyone, especially artists, in the community.

SU Crystal Gems for V 6 fin
SU Crystal Gems for V 6 fin

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

“If you haven’t tried sex, how can you know you’re Asexual?” I just know. I don’t experience sexual attraction. I don’t mind talking about sex and I am interested in the possibility, but I don’t feel I need it to happen.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

It’s okay to wonder about it. You don’t have to figure it out, now or ever. It’s about what suits you and your needs and what makes you feel comfortable. Either way, you’re always welcome in this community! You’re valid and you’re loved! 🙂

I’m very proud to be a part of this community! I’m even crocheting a scarf, though I dropped an abysmal number of stitches haha … I hope that if you find yourself in this community, that you can be proud too!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

You can find me on DeviantArt: https://drawuntooblivion.deviantart.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drawendlesstars
YouTube, where I post short animations and speedpaints: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-RyTP_dlLqlkuF2hBIEAIw
and my comic is on Tumblr: https://avgcomic.tumblr.com/ and my website: (where I also plan to share other comics) https://avgcomic.com/.

We Go Everywhere Together 4
We Go Everywhere Together 4

Thank you, Hill, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Signal Boost: Series Reboot

Hello all,

I meant to post this earlier, but I kept getting nervous and losing my nerve. I’m really bad at self-promotion 🙂

As most of you probably know, I’m an author (I write a series entitled The Shape Shifter Chronicles). You’re probably also aware of how my career started: with an emotionally abusive acephobic writing mentor, who tore me down completely. As a result, I had no confidence in my ability as an author and I had to hide my ace characters for my own safety. When I got into self-publishing, I released an error-ridden problematic version of my first manuscript. When I went to conventions, it was like carrying around the novel form of the Scarlet Letter: it was not my voice, not my story. I dreamed of the day when I would be given a second chance to re-release my first novel as the story I had always intended it to be.

Then, I was given the opportunity to do just that by Snowy Wings Publishing. I would be able to get my manuscripts professionally edited, have the covers redesigned, and finally reclaim my voice and my story. The Shape Shifter Chronicles is being rebooted. It is truly a dream come true.

I mean, just look at these gorgeous covers designed by Najla Qamber (Najla Qamber Designs). Those are my characters, my wonderful badass characters! There they are 😀

Originally, the series was going to be a summer release, but then the nightmare with my local community college happened (which further destroyed my confidence. Turns out regularly referring to a person with a learning disability with heinous ableist slurs doesn’t exactly do wonders for their mental health. Go figure). I had to recover from that and it set me behind schedule. Snowy Wings Publishing was awesome and I was allowed to push back my release date to Halloween.

And now Halloween is just around the corner and my anxiety is through the roof. I put so much work into in this reboot and I’m really proud of how it came out. I really want people to enjoy it (I know some of you have already started reading or read the first version of this series and I’m hoping you’ll check out the reboot too).

Marketing is super tough for Indies, especially when you need a certain number of reviews for various services. I’m really doing a lot of trial-and-error when it comes to marketing and therefore, I’m dependent on word-of-mouth at the moment. Reviews help a great deal, so does signal boosting. Adding my series on GoodReads (first novel here, and I think you can find the rest by clicking my name) is a great help as well. If you have a blog or podcast or something, I’m available for interviews.

I’ve received a great deal of help from Lyssa Chiavari, including her setting up my Pronoun page, where you can pre-order all the eBook versions of my book.

Signed editions of the paperbacks will likely be available via my Square store in mid-November (you also get convention prices, which are a little cheaper than from the big online stores).

The series is going to be released on October 31st. I’ll probably reblog or repost this next Sunday. Hope you don’t mind.

I’m incredibly nervous about this (seriously, kind words are very welcomed and very appreciated). I pour so much into Asexual Artists and am way better at promoting this site (and all the amazing artists I’ve interviewed) than I am at promoting my own work. I really need to get better at that because that’s my source of income.

Anyhow, I’m hoping some of you check out my series! It’s four openly queer women saving the world! And having fun while doing so!

Thanks everybody! 🙂

Interview: Sahar

Today we’re joined by Sahar, who also goes by sinamonroll draws. Sahar is a phenomenal visual artist and writer. They write a lot of poetry and have started dabbling in prose. For visual art, they specialize in character art with lots of color and dynamic lighting. Sahar hopes to one day combine their visual art and writing into a webcomic. It’s very clear they’re a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Architecture Study
Architecture Study

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer and a visual artist, specializing in character art. I love using a lot of colors and dynamic lighting in my art, and drawing and creating stories about diverse people in fantasy settings. For writing, I mainly write poetry, but dabble in prose. Sometime in the future, I plan to combine my drawing and writing skills to create a webcomic or graphic novel, but that’s a long way away.

What inspires you?

Over the past year, I’ve been super into reading webomics, gobbling up new ones whenever I can. I used to read a lot of regular books, but I hardly have time anymore and webcomics are my way of satiating that need for reading and imagination, while also getting to check out really cool art in the process. I also tend to be really inspired by TV shows I enjoy, like Steven Universe and Avatar, or music I listen to (especially musicals). Oddly enough, science and the natural world are also incredibly inspirational to me. I’ve always been super into science and physics and astronomy and things like that, and the weird stuff that exists out there is a huge inspiration when it comes to worldbuilding, fantasy creatures, and even poetry that I make.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I don’t actually want to be an artist, at least not professionally, when I get older. I have been interested in writing and creating fictional worlds ever since I can remember, and towards the end of middle school, which was a pretty tough time in my life, I took up drawing as a means for me to escape the reality I was in. Today, it still serves that purpose, as well as just being something that’s incredibly fun for me to do. While like I said I do want to make a webcomic someday, I don’t necessarily plan on making writing or drawing a full time job, just because I’m more interested in studying physics and engineering.

Liya Character Design
Liya Character Design

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really that I know! I’ve been told that I have a unique use of lighting and color, but I wouldn’t really say I do. In my writing, I like taking existing clichés/metaphors/phrases and upending them, but I don’t know how successful I am at doing so.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I think the most important thing for artists in any field is to know your limits, and then challenge them. Constantly. Practicing your craft is incredibly important, but what’s even more important in my opinion is practicing efficiently – learning where you need improvement and actively working in those areas to achieve that improvement.

Reo Character Art
Reo Character Art

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an aromantic asexual.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

It’s not really been in my field, but I’ve encountered my share of ace-exclusionists or just general queerphobes on social media, as you do. I was forcibly outed to my mom and we’ve come a long way, but at first she was very confused and put off by it.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That it’s just, like, a “neutral” identity that goes away in the presence of another identity. Like homoromantic aces are “just gay” or heteroromantic aces are “just straight.” It’s really frustrating because it feels like asexuality is just being entirely ignored and shoved aside, like it’s not a valid identity in and of itself. Also the idea that it’s “just a phase” or something that can be easily fixed by “finding the right person” or taking medicine or whatever.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You’re not alone! It’s okay to want or not want sex and romance, it’s okay to identify as whatever you feel most comfortable with and it’s okay to change your identity if you feel like you need to. You’re not broken or wrong or weird.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I have a Tumblr (https://sinamonroll-draws.tumblr.com/) and an Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/sinamonroll.draws/), where you can follow me or message me for commissions. I also have a Redbubble (https://www.redbubble.com/people/sinamonroll) if you’re interested in purchasing my art.

SU Screencap Redraw
SU Screencap Redraw

Thank you, Sahar, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Gigi

Today we’re joined by Gigi. Gigi is a phenomenal and versatile artist who does a bit of everything. She writes a bit of poetry and she also has a running fan comic set in the Kirby universe. When she’s not writing, Gigi does a bit of visual art. She mostly does fanart, but she also does self-portraiture and some abstract drawings. It’s very clear that she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to write mostly, and I’ve started with fanfiction. Ever since late 2010 I’ve worked on a fan comic called 20 Times Kirby, and my story with it is kinda funny. I started it just ’cause, literally, I had no expectations for it and I was only working on it due to boringness, but soon I grew attached to it, to a point where I actually started putting effort into it. The results are a pretty complex story with multiple characters, almost 1000 pages, and almost 7 years of work, with constant updates! In fact, the comic became more my own thing rather than just me exploring the Kirby universe; the elements of the series are there, but they aren’t extremely important. Looking back, this all is insane! But I love it; working on this comic is my passion. I even plan on rewriting it in the future, since I’ve made some mistakes in the past and I’d like to fix them.

I also like writing poems, both in English and in my first language (Brazilian Portuguese). They are literally about anything, and I write them when I suddenly feel inspired. I haven’t really published most of those, but I’m starting to think I should.

Another art thing I do is drawing, usually fan art, but sometimes self-portraits and some abstract drawings. Most of them end up as sketches only, however. I’ve also more recently started to learn to compose, but for now it’s mostly experimenting and trying to learn stuff.

What inspires you?

In general, videogames and music inspire me, but any kind of art may do the trick as well. When I see something that I can tell that was made with care and attention to detail, that motivates me to do something similar. Also, whenever I find something I really like in any kind of fiction, I try to make something similar to it happen in my stories, if possible of course.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a huge imagination and I would make countless stories in my head about literally everything. I would never write them down, however, apart for one or two Pokémon fanfictions I only drafted the beginning. Only when I started working in 20 Times Kirby, and got so attached to it, I stopped to think that maybe writing had be my secret passion all this time. That’s when I actually started to write stuff down, even if it’s just bullet points of a story. Seeing friends and other people do other art stuff like drawing motivated me to try these too, but writing will always be my main passion.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really I think? Although I do love giving a meaning to everything that happens in any story I work on, and connect all events whenever possible too.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up! Whatever the field of art you want to work with, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be a master at it on your first tries, and this goes for everyone! I know that when you start, you already want to be very good like the artists you see around, but it’s actually a long road, and those people have travelled it. And you can do it too!

Also, don’t be afraid to rewrite stories, redraw drawings, remake your songs, and so on. If you think you can improve something you’ve already finished, you probably can, and you’ll learn more in the process!

Finally, don’t be afraid of criticism, it only helps, no matter how much it may hurt. Take it and try to learn with it, whoever commented about your work like that only wants to help you. However, if you notice someone commenting about your work only giving negative thoughts, looking like they aren’t trying to help, ignore them. Giving constructive criticism is one thing, giving hate is another, and learning the different between the two is very important.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic and asexual. Well, at least I think I am; these are the labels I identify with right now.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not really directly, and I guess this is more aro related, but I do notice that lots of people comment a lot about shipping and have gotten disappointed when I didn’t really do any real romance in my comic (yes, even in a Kirby fan comic). Honestly… I just ignore them for most part. I don’t avoid romance completely but I rarely use it, I don’t think this kind of stuff is mandatory in a story.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The misconception that Asexuality is just a “phase”, and that it will change when you “find the right person”. That’s like telling a straight person they are going through a phase, and will realize they are actually bi when they find the right person of a gender they claim to not be attracted to. It makes no real sense and it’s just trying to erase who we are.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

First of all, no matter what others say, your orientation is valid. You are valid. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.

Also, feel free to explore labels, if you think one doesn’t fit you completely. If you asked me a year ago what my romantic orientation was, I would have told you grayromantic, not aromantic. That’s because it took me a while to truly identify as aromantic, and identifying as grayro for a while helped me do that. Really, you don’t have to pick a label once and never change it, change your labels whenever you feel it’s the right thing. These labels exist to help us find more about ourselves!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

20 Times Kirby can be found here: http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=91583

I also have a Tumblr where I sometimes post art, although I haven’t done that in a while. Either way, you can find it here: http://gigithoughts.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art. If I ever get around to post my other art stuff, I’ll post about it in my Tumblr, but let’s see.

Thank you, Gigi, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Ash

Today we’re joined by Ash. Ash is a wonderful young baker who has a passion for food. They enjoy cooking, though they don’t do it as much as they’d like. They have such a love and passion for food, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I bake food, generally for my friends. I bake something different each week, generally something sweet, and take them in (if my family don’t get there first!!)

What inspires you?

Finding new things and trying new foods! They give me ideas of what to bake and what flavors work together, for example recently I discovered a recipe for white chocolate and basil mouse, which I was sure wouldn’t work but as intrigued to try it. (it works really well by the way)

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I used to bake with my mum when I was younger which is what got me started on baking. I wanted to be a chocolatier when I was young, however baking is now a hobby and I will probably go into a maths related field rather than art.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

My signature dishes are my vegan brownies and my chocolate orange cupcakes – the recipes are very well guarded!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Sometimes stuff goes wrong. Cakes collapse, you add too much baking powder, you burn them. So what? Make it again. You’re first attempt at something shouldn’t be your last. Keep trying, if you’re having fun it’s worth spending time over.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m panromantic asexual

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I’ve not experienced any prejudice, as I am at school with some very tolerant accepting people, however there is a lot of ignorance. So many people don’t understand what it is and I’ve had to explain many times what asexual means.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That I just haven’t found the right person yet, and because I’m young that I’ll grow out of it.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Follow some ace positive blogs; this really helped me to accept that I wasn’t alone, that I was valid and not broken. Know that it’s also ok to change your labels!! I used to think I was bi, then pan, before I realized I was ace. I may find later down the line that I’m demi or something else entirely, and that’s 100% OK!! Let yourself explore and don’t be afraid of being wrong its part of growing within yourself.

Some asexual blogs:

thehumorousace
fuckyeahaseual
goandlivelife
aspecpplarebeautiful
cake-for-ace
aceofbays
hetacesarevalid
aroaceblogging

(these are just a few I know of! There are many more out there)

Thank you, Ash, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Sarah

Today we’re joined by Sarah. Sarah is a phenomenal young cellist who has been playing the cello for a few years now. They’re very dedicated to music as you’ll soon read. It’s clear they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

This is my fourth year playing cello. I began when I was in the sixth grade in a school music class, and have continued my music through school and private studies.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the works of classical composers like Gustav Mahler, but my favorite pieces to perform are done by Danny Elfman and Nikolai Korsakov.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

When I first heard somebody playing the cello, I was in fifth grade and playing the violin. I heard and loved the way the music sounded with the cello, and immediately decided that I would play the cello.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really. Most of the stuff that I play is already composed, and so I follow the dictation.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know most young artists get tired of hearing this, but the trick really is just to practice. You have to keep at it, and you will get better. After four years of music, I sound immeasurably better than I did when I began. You just have to keep at it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an asexual aromantic. I am also very much sex-repulsed.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I usually try to educate my fellow musicians about my orientation, or ignore them. Most of the time they just accept that they won’t change my mind, and leave me alone.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That asexuality is a medical condition that can be cured. When I tell people, I usually get responses like “That’s too bad”, “But you’re so pretty”, and “Have you seen a doctor about that?” And any combination of the three. People think that it is a bad thing, like a disease.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are completely and 100% valid. No matter what other people say about your sexuality or try to convince you about your asexuality, it is real. And that’s awesome. It is NOT a disease or illness, it is a valid sexual orientation, and you definitely belong in the LGBTQIA community!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I will often post stuff about it on my blog (at mindel14)

Thank you, Sarah, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Brie

Today we’re joined by Brie. Brie is a phenomenal young aspiring artist who specializes in visual art. She enjoys drawing people, including some original characters, and dabbles in fanart as well. Her work shows an incredible attention to detail and a sense of whimsy as well. Brie is a very enthusiastic and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Horned Beauty
Horned Beauty

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mainly people because, well that’s really what I know I can do. I like to draw specific people as well as making up and drawing my own characters!

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by the pits of hell I called my brain as well anything I see around my school and in my everyday life

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

To be completely honest when I was little I really wanted to be a fashion designer but I have always loved drawing and up until last year I hadn’t really done any drawing but then I got really bored in my math class and I started up again! I have honestly never been more thankful for a really boring teacher!

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

The only thing that really comes to mind is that I always put my signature somewhere in my drawing, but other than that I can’t really find anything else.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Some advice that I could give any young artists would be, and although it sounds very cliché, but honestly don’t give up on what your working on, if you feel as if you have no good ideas just draw or write about it anyway, even if it turns out bad, DO IT ANYWAY!

Ophelia
Ophelia

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a homoromantic asexual

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Sadly, I live in a very Christian family and my grandmother is quite homophobic, so I haven’t really told anyone save some of my close friends. Whenever I bring up any form of conversation about asexual stuff, I get told “no you’ll find someone” and stuff like that and honestly I have never had so many quick change conversations about food in my life.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The biggest misconception I find about asexuality is that most people think that people who are ace have no emotions, and anytime anyone askes me so you don’t have emotions right I just have to stare at them so a minute, then morph into a purple dragon and fly away form the stupidity.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Some advice I could give would probably be just go with what feels right, go with the one that makes you genuinely happy and see where it goes from there!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

My art handle is mainly my Instagram at weirdonamedbrie. I’m planning on also posting some work on my Tumblr at weirdonamedbrie-art!

Thank you, Brie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.