I’m in an Anthology!

Hello all,

I’m still on my extended break (though I will soon have news about Asexual Artists reopening and posting again. I will actually have someone helping me so I don’t completely burn out again). However, I did want to pop in to make an exciting announcement.

I’m in an Anthology!

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AHHHHHH!!!! I’m super excited to have my name listed among such amazing and accomplished writers. Also, even more exciting: this was the very first time that I was able to write as a queer woman AND an adoptee. I wish I could put into words just how much that means to me.

My essay is entitled “My Trickster Hero” and it’s about how both Loki and WisCon helped me to bridge two important parts of my identity.

If you’re interested in reading the anthology (oh, I hope many of you pick it up! I can’t wait to read the reaction to it), it’s now available through Aqueduct Press: http://www.aqueductpress.com/books/978-1-61976-191-9.php

To celebrate this achievement, I commissioned one of my favorite artists, Laya Rose (LayaHimalayawebsite) to draw an illustration related to my essay. She drew the most beautiful image that I’m going to treasure always:

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Thank you, Laya! And thank you followers, for your patience and sticking with me!

Where I’ve Been

Hello all!

Long time no speak. I do apologize for my long absence. I wanted to write a quick post about what’s been going on and the future of Asexual Artists.

The short of it: I burned out. Between the shenanigans with the college,  having to deal with people on Tumblr tagging me in posts about how I’m not doing enough, and artists contacting me to demand my personal time and energy (not for interviews. Mostly for updating and changing things in their interviews, without providing any links. I’ve interviewed over 900 artists, hunting through links can take up to an hour or more), I completely burned out. This site takes a lot of time and effort, which I don’t mind at all, but I also have my own life.

I’ve decided to take 2020 off from Asexual Artists. I’m sorry. I know that there are some artists who have given interviews and are waiting for them to be posted. Rest assured, they will be eventually (definitely in 2021, maybe earlier if I find the time). It was either a year long hiatus or shuttering the site completely. Completely abandoning this site was not even an option in my mind. I still truly believe there needs to be a database of asexual artists and I plan to keep this site running.

I hope you lot continue to follow this site and please follow me on my social media (I’m on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram). I’m going to be releasing my 6th book this year, likely in the summer. With the time off from this site, I’m going to be doing a lot of traveling to conventions. You can find me at ACE Comic Con shows, my favorite convention to table at. Here’s my 2020 convention appearances schedule (there will probably be a few more):

February 28th – March 1st: C2E2 (McCormick Place, Chicago)
March 20th – 22nd: ACE Comic Con Northeast (Boston, MA)
April 10th – 12th: WonderCon (Anaheim, CA)
April 16th – 19th: MegaCon (Orlando, FL)
May 21st – 24th: Phoenix Fan Fusion (Phoenix, AZ)
July 3rd – 5th: Denver Pop Culture Con (Denver, CO)
September 11th – 13th: Rose City Comic Con (Portland, OR)

If you’re going to be at any of those shows, please stop by my table and say hi. I absolutely love meeting followers of these sites.

I miss all of you terribly. Again, I’m sorry for the hiatus, but I need to focus on my writing for a while (being an author is my passion and what I do for a living).

Thanks everyone! 🙂

Signal Boost: Lanterns of Arcadia Kickstarter

Hello all!

I’m still taking a short break from the site to work on my sixth novel (and I’ve got a very busy schedule for the next few months). However, I’m still going to try posting the occasional signal boost.

A phenomenal visual artist, Beth, has reached out to ask for a signal boost for her fantastic graphic novel Lanterns of Arcadia. She’s currently running a Kickstarter to get chapters one and two printed as a single volume. Beth’s work is gorgeous and this is a truly fascinating book, one which I highly recommend.

Here’s what she says about the project:

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“Lanterns of Arcadia is now live on Kickstarter!

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/spaceturtleart/lanterns-of-arcadia-volume-1

www.lanternsofarcadia.com is a fantasy mystery in which a scientist and a dragon team up to stop demons from destroying a magical library.

The book will contain all of Chapters 1 + 2 as well as an exclusive epilogue (180 pages). I’m also offering art prints, signed books w/ a sketch, watercolor commissions, and a few cameo slots so you can get you or your character in future pages of the comic! Early Bird copies of the book are just $20, so pledge early to get in on the discounted rate.”

She has included some truly stunning artwork of the project:

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I really want to see this project come to fruition. It is beautiful and a really stunning work by an amazing ace artist. Please, show Beth some love. Donate if you can and signal boost the heck out of this project.

Thanks, everyone!

Interview: Nev

Today we’re joined by Nev. Nev is a wonderful French visual artist who specializes in comics. She’s currently taking a break from her studies to travel. Nev makes excellent use of vivid colors in order to draw the viewer in and her attention to detail is extraordinary. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with an incredibly bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a baby comic artist who is taking a pause during her studies to travel after three years of comics studies in Belgium. I have two webcomics (in French, sorry), too which I try update frequently. I make a lot of comics and illustrations zines beaucoup I love to have a real and concrete object in my hands.

I love telling stories and drawing them, and I love to draw things related to my aesthetics (like vaporwaves things) too.

What inspires you?

I think all can be an inspiration. I’m really inspired by everyday life, and the people I talk too. But also to the things who I find aesthetic and that make strong images for me.

Also, I have a lot of inspiration which come from comics, cartoons, mangas, and a lot from the zine and underground culture and the internet and webcomics culture. I love to see what artists does near to the industry.

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

I love drawing and telling stories, so… comics were for me. I love to think about how I can compose my comics pages, how to transfer a feeling, an atmosphere, a rhythm in a story. And drawing what you had in your head is so pleasing.

I always draw and… telling stories. When I was 3 years old, I was even making sort of child zines, about a hero porcupine who was saving animals. But I know that I wanted to be an artist when I was 11/12 years old I think.

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, and that’s a real shame! I always forgot to sign.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Training about your lack of skills to progress, but let you time to just doing your comfort zone too. Read and see a lot of different things to be inspired by a lot of things. Take the time, even I know how it’s can be difficult. And try to be nice with yourself and take pauses, it’s important.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a heteroromantic asexual between sex-favorable and sex indifferent.

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

Yes. Not a lot, because I’m out about this only with people who are understanding about that, but even with that, sometime, people don’t really know the subject and does some errors. I’m in relationship with someone who isn’t asexual, and I discovered my asexuality during the beginning of our relationship, so… it was kind of difficult at the beginning. No mean intentions, but the ignorance can create a lot of misconceptions.

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

Maybe that I’m sort of sick and that hormones can heal me. But, it’s not a question of hormones at all (and aces are not sick, thanks).

Also, that you can’t be ace and be in a relationship, and have maybe sexual interactions. Having sex doesn’t disqualify someone from being asexual, actions are not attraction (but this is not a reason to make additional pressure to aces who don’t have sex).

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

It’s okay to be lost and to have doubts, and that don’t make you any legitimate at all. When I was younger, I was really lost about my asexuality, and what I feel about it. I repressed it a lot of time, because, well, sex pressure and society, and after, because I didn’t feel legitimate because I didn’t find myself in a lot of testimonies. But you are who you are, and only you can know what you feel and if you’re attracted of not. And, really, you’re not broken.

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

They can find my work on Tumblr, here: https://la-nev.tumblr.com/, or on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nev_photos/.

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

Interview: Juju

Today we’re joined by Juju. Juju is a wonderful writer who is mostly known for their fanfiction. Aside from fanfiction, they also write some original fiction and are currently working on a novel. Juju includes aspec characters in everything they write. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate writer who loves what they do, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write things! Most of my readers know me for fanfiction, but I also write short stories and I’m working on a novel! I also like to share stories through little video games made in RPG Maker, although I don’t often share them as much as I probably should.

What inspires you?

At the risk of sounding like an overenthusiastic alien, humanity itself is my greatest inspiration. Humans are utterly fascinating.

We have the power to wage war, and also help each other in times of need. We spend years learning each other’s languages just to communicate with people outside of our own circle. We all share the same range of emotions. We can communicate through looks without saying a word to each other; even a smile is something we can share, if we have nothing else in common.

Our experiences are diverse and universal at the same time. The relationships we have with each other—parents, lovers, siblings, friends, workmates, etc.—are varied, but when you put it all together you have the story of a life. It’s my privilege as an author to take a slice of a life, any character’s life, and portray it for the world.

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

I’ve been writing stories ever since I learned what letters were. I used to write little stories for my younger brother on notebook paper, lying on the floor in my bedroom. It didn’t matter that he couldn’t read them; I read them to him! In elementary school when they taught us the writing assessment, I used to pray that I’d get a narrative prompt (sadly, I never did).

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?

Unique feature? That’s a hard one… I have a terrible time recognizing themes in my work; usually other people point them out to me and I just accept that they must be right, haha.

I guess I can say I do enjoy writing about belonging; I like to do character analyses in my work in the form of introspection. I also really enjoy writing sibling relationships, especially if it’s found family and siblings. I love ships as much as the next fan, but there’s something about “they’re like a brother/sister to me”. That’s a deep platonic love that never gets as much recognition as it deserves.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Make the content you want to see in the world. Who cares if it’s entirely self-indulgent? If it makes you happy, do it! Do it, do it again, read it and enjoy it; the best part is that sometimes, other people will like it too!

Practice doesn’t have to be boring. How do I practice writing? I read books. I watch movies.. I look at screenplays. I go to the theatre, if I can. I play video games. I study the plot, the dialogue. Look at your favorite stories—why do you like them? What’s your favorite part? How do the character interact? Of course, grammar is important and the fundamentals are there for a reason, but no one said practice had to be all textbooks and essays.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual! I find men and women both aesthetically pleasing, but I don’t experience sexual attraction to them.

When I first learned the terminology I thought I might be gray-ace or demi, but I realized that I was only tying into some of the myths surrounding asexuality. I was letting people who didn’t know me tell me who I was, based on generalizations. It wasn’t until I asked myself who thought I was that I was able to come to terms with my own sexuality.

I also identify as heteroromantic, or at least gray-romantic to some extent.

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

Oh, for sure!

I think what I’ve heard the most is that I’m “faking” being an asexual because I write nsfw content. That’s also the most laughable, since I never realized you could only write about your own experience and nothing else! I’m openly sex-positive; sex is a beautiful, intimate thing… it’s just not for me.

I’ve also gotten anon hate on social media from people who don’t like my headcanons, especially if they’re on the ace spectrum. If it’s a LGBT ship it’s homophobic to have them as ace, if it’s a straight ship it’s too pandering. Can’t win for losing, right? Beyond that, it’s usually the same old “asexuality isn’t LGBT, you aren’t oppressed, make your own community” garbáge that exists all over social media (mostly Tumblr).

It always hurts the worst when it comes from mutuals that I trusted; sometimes people I considered my friends share or say aphobic things and I want to shout “Don’t reblog those lies! Ask me, I’m right here, I’m always willing to talk about my own experience with you!” But, if I said those things, 9/10 times I’m accused of stirring up discourse or being too defensive.

I learned long ago to keep my mouth shut, write what I want, and freely use the Block feature. Life’s too short to worry about what some faceless person on the internet thinks about me, and besides: probably they’d be too cowardly to say those hurtful comments if we were in the same room together.

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

“Asexuals hate sex and look down on people who don’t.”

I know aces who are sex-repulsed. I know aces who are married with kids. I know aces who are fine with giving, not receiving. I know aces who only dislike intercourse. I know aces who have sex because, for them, it’s a way to be close to their partner.

Sex positive, negative, neutral— we all share one important thing: we don’t experience sexual attraction. That is what makes us asexual… not our opinions.

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

It’s okay to be asexual.

If you think you’re 1% ace today and 99% ace tomorrow, you can say you’re ace. If you’re not sure yet, you can say you’re ace. If you think you might change your mind, or you’re using this label until you figure yourself out, you can say you’re ace.

Sexuality is fluid and confusing, and it’s even more confusing if you don’t experience it at all. We’ve been there. We are there. We know. The people with the loudest voices and biggest hatred are often the minority. Don’t believe everything you read on the internet.

Remember to love, and allow yourself to be loved. Love isn’t binary, it’s not limited to intimacy or romance. Love your friends, your family, your pets, and (most importantly) yourself. Love is so many shades, a thousand thousand nuances that we can experience together as humans. Don’t lose hope by focusing on one color when you’re surrounded by a rainbow.

Having sex doesn’t make you less ace. Being in a relationship doesn’t make you less ace. Wanting to be closer to your partner doesn’t make you less ace. Wanting children doesn’t make you less ace. You are allowed to ask for physical affection without it having to lead to sex. You are allowed to want to kiss, to cuddle, even to make out or pet your partner without it having to lead to sex. You do not have to do anything you are uncomfortable with. You don’t owe the world, or anyone in it, anything that will bring you harm.

You are not broken. You are valid. You are loved.

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

You can find my work at https://archiveofourown.org/users/Jubalii! Just look for the sheep, haha! I’m also on Tumblr at https://heyheyitsjuju.tumblr.com/. On Tumblr I post fanfiction as well as more about my original stories, OCs, etc.

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

Interview: Fish-Heads

Today we’re joined by Fish-Heads. Fish-Heads is a wonderful visual artist who does a little bit of everything. He does drawing, painting, large scale installations, and has recently been dabbling in digital art. He enjoys drawing monsters in particular and his drawings are vivid and unique. It’s clear he loves what he does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I try not to limit myself to one particular medium over another, so I consider myself a ‘jack of all trade’ kind of artist. Painting, sculpture, large-scale installation, drawing; whatever feels natural to that particular piece at the time is what I roll with. Recently, however, I have started dabbling in digital art for the first time, and have quickly fallen in love with it.

What inspires you?

I enjoy working within the realm of monsters. Inner demons, monsters living under your bed, tricksters and lonely souls; depicting monsters has become a quick and cathartic method for me to cope with my own struggles throughout life.

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

I have been interested in art since I was a little kid. As I got older though, art making became a way for me to escape reality and the tribulations of mental illness. Depression and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder have been a part of my existence for most of my life, so art making gave me those few moments of solace in the day to get away from it. Even after receiving my BFA and MFA, art continues to pull me away from life and steer my mind toward calmer places.

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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?

Mouths and teeth have been a consistent staple throughout most of my work. I like to think there is a strange and disgusting beauty to mouths; they showcase so much of our internal and external emotions. A smile can depict happiness and willingness, but it can also express fear and uncertainty. Likewise, frowns can express sadness, illness, and pain. I use mouths as my primary focal point because they are so malleable and squishy, and have been an effective outlet for depicting my own emotions to the viewer.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Try not to get caught up in finding your niche style or medium; always allow for experimenting and exploration in oneself. Do not fall prey to comparing your art with other artist. If you are not having fun making your art, then what is the point?

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a Demibisexual.

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

I would say the number one type of ignorance that I experience, not only within my field, but in general, is the assumption that aces, of any kind, do not exist. Since I do live within a fairly touchy ‘red’ area, confronting such ignorance is a relatively fruitless endeavor, so I tend to ignore it. However, despite being afloat in a red sea, I am comforted knowing that I am far from the only one out there; and have made a number of friendships with others just like me.

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

Sexual relationships = happiness, therefore aces are not happy. This misconception has plagued me for so long, and only continues to be more prevalent the older I get. The notion that one must be in a sexually-active relationship in order to achieve happiness has always rubbed me the wrong way. I have been walking through my life knowing many fantastic and brilliant people, people that have brought me significant amounts of joy, and never once did I ever want to sleep with them.

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

You are not alone, there are others out there just like you. Even when things get tough, remember to turn toward that which brings you happiness, and run with it.

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

Website – www.fish-heads-monsters.com
Twitter – at LoneFishMonger
Teespring – https://teespring.com/stores/fish-heads-inc

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

Interview: Sara

Today we’re joined by Sara. Sara is a phenomenal visual artist who does a lot of illustrations. She also dabbles in a few crafts, but illustration and designing stationary is where her passion lies. She’s also going to be running a conference session in London about archaeology and the history of gaming (which was signal boosted on this site a few weeks ago). It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do illustration and comic strips and I design stationery. I sometimes wander into graphics or various sewing projects but I’m mostly an illustrator.

What inspires you?

My friends ^_^ usually my best work starts with me thinking of something I want to draw for someone and then getting so excited I can’t stop till I’ve got in down on paper. The thought of how happy it will make them sustains me. Aside from that, the artists who really inspire me are often comic artists and colourists. There’s something about how economical comic art has to be and how much it communicates that I really love. My favourites are probably Erica Henderson, Fiona Staples, David Aja, Ed Brubaker, Matt Hollingsworth, Cliff Chiang, Matt Wilson and Adrian Alphona.

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

I always drew as a kid. My mum drew too and she took me to the park to draw one day and did the whole ‘draw what you see, not what you know’ lesson and from there I was hooked. I mostly drew from life when I was younger because I wasn’t confident about having a style of my own but eventually started experimenting. I was always imagining the inventions or clothes or stationery or musicals I would design. I had big dreams! I really got into stationery when I was a teenager and discovered Artbox (the South Korean stationery brand). I loved the idea that you could have something so small and simple but the details and colours and the character in the designs could make it really beautiful. In stationery simple images with a lot of personality work the best. I’d say that alongside being an inventor, author and philosopher, being an artist is one of the first things I ever wanted to be.

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?

I guess I use a lot of block colours. The symbols I use on my personal work are a blue postbox with teeth and a flying apple with an eyepatch but they don’t really show up in stuff I post online…

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t worry about developing a style and sticking to it. It’s ok to be trying something totally different or using things you’ve seen other people do. Your style is a side effect of all the people’s work you’ve seen and imitated and absorbed bits of and rejected other bits of. It will just happen without you noticing it. The link is you. If you’re doing it, it’s your style. And don’t just be passionate about art, be passionate about other things, learn about them, get excited. That’s where the ideas come from.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual and aromantic!

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

Not in art because I mostly work with people who are my friends already. But I have in my day jobs. I’ve met people who took it as a challenge, someone followed me home from work once trying to convince me that having sex with him would change my mind (that was hella scary… if someone does that to you, call the police!). Other people were perfectly nice in most ways but just flat out failed to believe me. Most people are lovely about it though, if slightly confused! Usually my reaction is just to stay cheerful but firm. If people try to speak over me or deny my experiences I keep explaining and don’t let up.

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

That we’re not queer enough!

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

Sometimes it feels scary not having a map in life, even if it’s freeing at the same time. Other people seem to shape their lives around their sexual relationships so much and doing your own thing without all those rules to follow can make you feel pretty lost. I still find that scary so I can’t say for sure it gets better but I can say there are a lot of us and we’re all getting through day by day and making a future by living it even if sometimes we can’t look ahead and see our future clearly. Even when you’re lost, you’re not alone. Everything you are is real.

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

Tumblr: theamazingsaraman
Instagram: lilibetbob

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