*Warning: a few images might be NSFW
Today we’re joined by Conn Viktor Lee. Conn is a remarkably talented visual artist. He’s a freelance artist and tends to have a darker style. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art is semi-realistic, detailed, and darker in style. I draw a lot of muscular, thick men and women. Generally draw more transgender people than cisgender ones. I love drawing monsters, aliens, and demons as well. I generally only work in black and white, because I get bored with colour. I do enough of colour while doing cosmetic restorations, so I try to stay away from it when drawing.
What inspires you?
Death-related anything, especially funerals. Horror movies. Symphonic/power metal. Spooky houses, abandoned buildings, lots of supernatural stuff. Video games. Human anatomy. Gruesome gore/body horror. My guinea pigs and fancy goldfish. The universe.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been drawing since I was 2 years old. My dad was an artist, so they always had art supplies lying around I could use. I always wanted to do comics, and once I got older, I really wanted to do things just related to art. I went to SCAD in Savannah, GA, majoring in sequential art only because that’s what my family really wanted me to do. I dropped out after 3 years due to severe burnout, plus I wanted to do what I had always wanted to do that involved art: Being a mortician. When my mom died when I was 14 years old, my love for the death care industry only grew. I have worked a few years in the funeral industry specializing in restorative art (cosmetics and reconstructing faces). I do commissions here and there between school projects. I’m in mortuary school right now and will be moving on to get a bachelor’s in some kind of forensics. I would still love to do comics, but I’m a little slow so I don’t think I could do anything with a company, only self-publishing.
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?
Usually people ask me how I get my lines to look so neat… All my drawings are 600-1200 DPI and on a huge canvas. Trust me, they are not neat at all if you zoom in really close. Also… FireAlpaca. It’s a free drawing program, and it is fantastic for lineart (which is perfect since that’s all I really do).
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
USE PHOTO REFERENCE! People will try to tell you that reference is cheating, but it’s not. Reference is extremely important. Take selfies as facial reference. Exaggerate your facial expressions for better emotion. If you use a photo from someone else and they say it’s OK to use it as reference, remember to credit them! Crediting creators is important. Use Google images to find the origins of a photo. Also life drawing. Life drawing is amazing and fun and there are many sites online that have figure drawing sessions you can take for free. Here’s one: http://artists.pixelovely.com/. I wish it had more body type variation, but it’s a start! And I reference this for skeletons and muscle reference: http://www.innerbody.com/. You must know the human body if you want to be successful in drawing humans or humanoids. Also, practice every day even if it’s just doodling in your school notes.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Panromantic asexual for now. :3
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
When I first came out, asexuality was NOT as well-known as it is now. I follow some amazing asexuality-related blogs and to see how many people they help… amazing. Obviously there is still a lot of ignorance related to asexual people, but back when I came out, the most I got was “maybe you just haven’t met the right person yet” or whatever B.S. they could blab out. I just brushed it off and continued on. I knew my sexuality and understood that I didn’t experience sexual attraction, and that’s all I cared about. I was happy to finally realize what I was, and that there was nothing wrong with me.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That asexuals aren’t capable of being in any type of relationship, such as queer platonic or a romantic one, because they thought something was wrong with us mentally. Obviously very much not true. You don’t have to be in any relationship ever if you don’t want to or just don’t feel it.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It took me 20 years to figure out what the heck was going on with me. Just know that nothing is wrong with you if you don’t want to go on dates or have romantic relationship or a sexual one. Just give yourself time to figure out your own sexuality. You don’t have to know it by the time you’re 16. You don’t have to kiss anyone before or at a certain age (I was 23 when I got my first smooch). You don’t have to kiss anyone ever! You don’t have to do ANYTHING you don’t want to. Remember that.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can find my art tumblr at www.conns-art-blob.tumblr.com. My personal is www.hairy-hanniballs.tumblr.com. I think I have links to my Fur Affinity and Patreon on my art blog. I just started both, so they aren’t very active as of yet ! And if you want to discuss commissions or comic projects, you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you so much, Conn, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.