Today we’re joined by Anna Tichenor. Anna is a talented visual artist who has some really wonderful sketches and has created some incredibly striking images on Portfolio Box. Thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Indescribable, really. I like the sailor-aesthetic kind of thing. I feel like most of what I make is influenced by the book I’m reading. All good fun.
What inspires you?
Other people who can create art that they’re proud of. My best friend in college could paint an extravagant piece on a 50×50 ft canvas, and it would inspire me as much as my 10 year old sister drawing Elsa as a My Little Pony.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I always saw it as a challenge. I failed art classes throughout elementary and middle school, but all I thought was “I could have done better, I can do better, and I’m gonna show the world I can.” That’s what has driven me to do art for as long as I can remember.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?
Value is very important in any kind of art. Someone may think “Oh, I’m just drawing a cartoon, no need for shading today!” Sorry to spoil the fun, but that’s just not true. If something isn’t working out, always look for a place to add more value.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Just create art. A terribly drawn hand is much better than a hand in a pocket. A full sketchbook of bad drawings is better than an empty one. Making art is the only way to improve.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I find a lot more ignorance than prejudice towards my asexuality. People can never quite understand the distinction between romantic and sexual attraction, and they’re usually welcoming to the idea. If I ever get prejudice, it’s usually the kind I can’t fix because it’s been imposed on them since they were a kid: “Well, you’re mentally ill then!” “You’re absolutely mad!” I just nod and carry on (what else can you do, really?).
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The one I hear often is “Oh, you don’t experience sexual attraction. You must be so romantic!” or “Aww, that’s so cute! uwu” Or that all I want to do is cuddle with someone and watch Netflix (half true). I usually end up explaining to them that I’m a human being, and would like to be treated like any other. (Don’t squish my cheeks, please.)
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I would tell them that sexuality is fluid, and can change all the time. You don’t have to have everything figured out yet; for now, just be you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Both of my websites/blogs are fairly new, so there is little to nothing posted yet. But I’m definitely posting more now that I have more free time.
Thank you so much, Anna, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.