Today we’re joined by Zach Spaulding. Zach is a broad spectrum artist who does a bit of everything. He’s in college as a Fine Arts major and enjoys doing illustration, comics, and sculpture. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I define myself as a multi-artist or broad spectrum artist. This meaning that I dabble in every field that interests me and learn it to a decent level that I make some pretty nifty things. From designs of business cards, flyers, or websites, to sculpting a realistic bust or cartoon or illustrating a book/comic and even more! I’m being trained traditionally as a ‘Fine Arts’ major, meaning I can draw naked people really well and realistically, though I’ve always planned on being majorly an illustrator and/or sculpture.
What inspires you?
A lot of things! I really love looking at other peoples’ art and crafts to influence and experiment in my own way. I feel like you should never limit yourself or go concrete on one ‘style’. Always expand and experiment. You might like the new thing you found!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I got inspired by my cousin. Though he hasn’t put in the same amount of passion he influenced in me, he was my biggest hero when it came to art. I would watch him draw all the time and look at all his cartoons when we were kids. Ever since then, I always tried to copy him and make my art better to impress him and maybe make him proud. I don’t know if I would be where I’m at if it wasn’t for him.
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?
I’m not sure if it would be classified as a ‘signature’ but I always really love to be recognized by my orange Mohawk, piercings/tattoos, and/or my Mohawk lemur. I also have developed the “brand name” PunkSm0ker as my personal identity.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Experiment, create, and draw crappy things. I know you’ve heard it before but you won’t get anywhere if you don’t keep drawing. Find the hardest thing you find to draw and then fill a sketchbook with it until you can draw it perfectly from memory. Do you suck at hands? Draw 20 hands in various poses and settings every day. Do you hate different perspectives of the head? Make it your new best friend by having a sketchbook only for heads with different expressions and in different perspectives. Whenever I feel like I have a difficulty drawing something or really hate drawing a thing, I make it the only thing I draw until its comfortable. And remember, references are your friends! Never listen to self-taught “I don’t use references ‘cause that’s cheating” artists. They will never move from where they’re at. You have to learn the rules of anatomy and objects before you can break them into a style.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as plain asexual but bi-romantic. I’ve never really had ever given it thought because I thought everyone was like that. Sure I can talk about boys and girls all the time but when it actually comes down to doing the dirty or even thinking about myself in that situation, I’m just not that interested. I never had thought others don’t feel the same way.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I think because of the way I talk people actually think I’m just pan/bisexual so no one actually knows outright that I’m ace aside my mom but that’s only because we had a wide talk about everything when I came out a trans*queer.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I haven’t actually come into any. The most I actually come into is bisexual misconceptions and it’s the hardest thing for people to understand and it’s frustrating because when I try to explain it, they’re (my mom) is like ‘Well you’re ace so you can’t know what it’s like.’ And just ?????? no you don’t understand?????
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You’re normal as anyone else and even if you’re like this now but then change or if you were (insert orientation) but now you classify as ace, that’s hella cool. Orientation doesn’t even matter unless you’re dating the person and you just have to be up front about it if they’re expecting the sexy times. If you’re cool with still doing it with the person, awesome; if you’re not, let them know. Personally, if my partner wants sexy times more than I’m wanting to put into, I’m putting it out openly that I’m all up for polyamory if the person knows how to communicate and are safe and I suggest trying it for other aces with partners that want to do-the-do but you don’t want to. As long as everything is open and communicated and no one is hiding that they did the do with someone without talking about it first or after, I don’t see the harm. Sex does not mean love.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m on a multitude of sites but where I post the most, along with various other famious and unseen artists, is my tumblr [punksm0ker.tumblr.com]. Some sites also include deviantArt and furAffinity but they’re drastically less frequent/ active. (Both under the name punksm0ker)
Thank you so much, Zach, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.