Interview: Tokka

Today we’re joined by Tokka.  Tokka is a young remarkably talented photographer.  Looking through the photographs she sent, I couldn’t help but be impressed with this girl’s eye.  She has a very bright future ahead of her.  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’ve taken photos since I was 12 years old, when I received my first reflex. In the first place I turned to macrophotography but I like every side of photography. I love portrait too but at the beginning it wasn’t easy because none of my friends let me take photos of them. I also do some self-portrait, it’s more difficult to do but it’s also fun and satisfying when the result is good. I try to explore different aspects of photography. Sometimes I have an idea of a photograph I’d like to realize and I can’t stop thinking about it for several days. But sometimes I have some ideas on an impulse and I need to try them immediately. Or I just do some attempts and sometimes the result is good. I love photos that tell a story or simply are eye-catching and I try to make photos like that.

I also love drawing a lot and draw regularly.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything around me. Photography taught me to be more observant. It helped me to see the world in a different way, with more intensity. I notice little things I wouldn’t have noticed, tiny things I wouldn’t have seen before starting to take photos. All these little details are a great source of inspiration for me. It can be the light at 7 am, or the look of a stranger in the street, or the atmosphere of the city that gives me an idea… Sometimes I regret I can’t have my camera with me all the time for capturing them. Also the work of my favourite artists inspires me a lot and makes me want to try new things.

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

Since I knew how to hold a pencil I’ve always been attracted by artistic activities. During my childhood it was especially drawing. But I think it’s with photography that I actually found my chosen field, my true passion. I think what fascinates me in photography is that it allows us to see the ephemeral. It captures a unique and fleeting moment, it stops time, and it will forever keep this little fragment of time, immortalized forever. Basically I love the visual arts and I’d like to maybe pursue audiovisual studies or photography studies after that.

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?

Not really, I used to put my name on my photos at the beginning but I don’t do it anymore, which is not very logical because the photos I take now are better than the ones I took at the beginning…

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Well, I still consider myself a young aspiring artist (I’m only 16 after all) but my advice is, do not give up because what you’re doing isn’t as good as you want it to be. It takes time, and you won’t always have the results you hoped. Sometimes my projects don’t end up like I imagined they would end up, sometimes it’s something completely different from what I imagined, sometimes it’s better and sometimes it’s unsuccessful but that’s okay. You’ll work very hard for a project that won’t even look good at the end and you will be discouraged. But don’t give up because of that, keep practicing, and little by little, you’ll see that you have progressed. But don’t force yourself either if you have no inspiration. It happens sometimes too and more important is that it remains something you do with pleasure.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as ace gray-romantic, but I’m still figuring some things out.

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

I haven’t encountered any special prejudice within my field, but I don’t really bring up my orientation unless someone asks (and nobody asked me yet), so there’s that too.

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

I think most of the time, people don’t actually know what asexuality is, and therefore they have lots of misconceptions about it. Even myself, I knew asexuality existed before I started to identify as ace, but I didn’t have the right definition and so I didn’t realize I was ace until I did some research by myself! And apart from that most of the time people don’t assume it’s a real thing…

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

You are not alone. You are not broken. You are not too young to know what you feel and don’t listen to anyone who tries to invalidate you. Don’t be afraid to use a label if you think it’s helpful for you but you’re also not obliged to use a label if you don’t want to. Don’t be afraid to take all the time you need to figure out your orientation.

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

I principally post my photos on my Flickr account: https://www.flickr.com/photos/77864671@N06/

There are some of my drawings there too but it’s mostly my photos.

*Tokka is also on Tumblr:  http://alliwannadoisgohome.tumblr.com/

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

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