Today we’re joined by Lou Boyer. Lou is an amazingly talented digital illustration artist. Their use of color is just gorgeous. My thanks to them for taking part in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a digital painter that works primarily in Photoshop, I love concept art and especially love designing characters and clothing as well as armor. And hair, I loooove drawing hair.
What inspires you?
Literally anything can inspire me in many different ways. Music does a lot, I’ve got a huge itunes library and it has everything from Benny Goodman to Pendulum to Fleet Foxes to Nicki Minaj and all that fits between. Sometimes I’ll just get a really neat idea based off of a certain pose, subject, or detail. My imagination tends to run wild on me.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve drawn since I was a little kid. I always had a bunch of pent up energy and I have A.D.H.D, keeping my hands busy was a must and so most of my notes and schoolwork was covered in doodles. I’d fill a sketchbook in a month and a half and have to get a new one asap or we’d run out of printer paper. Before I had a tablet I drew with a mouse and a butload of patience.
The funny thing is, as a kid I never really thought about being an artist as a job, it was just sort of a thing I always did. I loved animation and I thought it was super neat, but I had my heart set on being a chef. I watched more of the food network than anything else (save maybe Spongebob) and I wanted to own a cafe that specialized in different types of hot chocolates and pastries. And while I still love cooking, it got pushed toward the back burner (hah) around ninth or tenth grade when I started vocational school for Graphic 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?
I have a couple signatures that I’ve hidden in my artwork at different times depending on how I was feeling. Sometimes it’s just a JiiNSY watermark, other times it’s my thumbprint, and other other times it’s a little signature thing I figured out in like 3rd grade because my initials look like a butterfly when you draw them the right way.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Draw. Draw draw draw draw draw. Art is not all about skill, it is not all about inspiration. It is 1000000% about discipline and making yourself sit down and actually put pen to paper a thousand times before anything looks remotely like you want it to. Don’t get discouraged, don’t compare yourself to other people, and don’t stop drawing.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’ve got straight A’s. I am Asexual, Aromantic, Agendered, Asthmatic, Allergenic, and mildly Arthitic.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Plenty. It’s surprisingly hard to explain to people that you won’t draw certain things because of how you feel about sex and all that jazz. Also I sort of constantly get misgendered when it comes to pronouns. Which is part of the reason I came to the realization that I am in fact not comfortable with She/Her pronouns. I had a couple articles written about my Disney Jaeger Pilot series where they kept saying “she did this”, or “her art blah blah blah” and it just knotted up my stomach and made me feel all gross inside.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
As far as I can tell it’s that most people seem to automatically equate Asexuality with a lack of appreciation for form, or that it automatically means that you can’t “do it”. A lot of people pull the “I just don’t get it” card on me and it takes a dictionary’s worth of explanation for them to just squint at me and walk away, still confused. It’s hard to explain that my personal experience is not the case for every Ace. That some do in fact like to do the do, bump the uglies, have fun friction times. Not me. In my case, yes I am sex repulsed. No, I do not want to be in a relationship. And no, I do not want to be identified as any gender. I don’t give a dang if anyone else does, to each their own, that’s awesome for you, but not me.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
First off, I need you to know that it is perfectly normal what you are feeling. You are not alone, you are not broken, and I am so sorry that you will have to put up with a bunch of bullshit going forward. It can often feel like one of the most isolating things when you realize this about yourself. So much of the world and of media is so entirely focused on romantic love and lust and the big ole’ gender binary that stepping out of that prescribed mold of social ‘norm’ feels like walking on glass. You never really know who is going to understand and who is going to make you feel worse about it. Sometimes the people you least expect will indeed be horrible about it and the best you can do is find a safety net to fall back on. A support group who can pick you back up and remind you that your worth is not in your ability to find a ‘significant other’ and how often you have sex with them. Romantic love is not the be-all end-all of what is good in the world, sexual attraction is not compulsory, and all you have to do is figure out what your definition of self is, where you are most comfortable, and do what is best for your own personal and mental health. Be awesome, Be the Ace you were born to be.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’ve got a couple places, I have my professional portfolio jiinsy.wix.com/gallery and then my Tumblr which is just jiinsy.tumblr.com which is loaded with my art and a bunch of fandom shenanigans. Always feel free to drop me a line either in my ask box or at my email which can be found on the contact page of my portfolio.
Thank you so much, Lou, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.