Interview: Tami Veldura

Today we’re joined by Tami Veldura.  Tami is an incredibly versatile artist who has yet to find a medium she doesn’t like.  She’s an incredibly talented artist and does a bit of everything.  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 dabble in a lot of different mediums. Painting, pencil, digital art, design, photography. I’ve created websites, played with scrapbooks, and tried my hand at wire wrapping.

I’m largely self-taught and my art doesn’t have any specific direction. I mimic styles I come across to varying degrees of success. I’m pushing myself in digital art this year. There’s more I can do and I’d like to expand my body of complete work.

My writing stands apart in this regard. I attended the University of Redlands and graduated with a BA in Writing and an emphasis in Fiction. I write queer fiction; romances, science fiction, fantasy, adventure, military stories- sometimes these genres cross each other. My pirate story Blood In The Water was nominated for two awards and my contemporary suspense Stealing Serenity was nominated for a third. No wins, sadly.

What inspires you?

Other beautiful art, movies, writing, television. I got sucked into Vikings from the History channel and now I have to write a Viking story. I’m in love with Agent Carter despite its flaws and have already dipped my toe in the fanfiction. Night Vale is epic in ways I can’t properly describe and the things coming out of fandom are constantly impressive.

I cultivate the dashboard of my twitter and Tumblr to constantly provide me with inspiration. Photographs, art, writing, jokes, drawings– it all puts me in the mood to create something myself.

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

I’ve been drawing since crayons and writing since grade school. It was never a question I’d pursue them both professionally. I only graduated with a writing degree instead of an art one because I can write to a deadline.

I’ve learned recently that I can probably do art on a deadline, too, given some direction. Finding my own path with art is much harder for me than writing. I’ve started taking occasional art classes at the local community college to help me refine that muscle.

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 don’t deliberately put any kind of symbols in my work (yet). My art is signed Tami [year] but other than that, I don’t have a universal message I’m trying to put out.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Finish something. It doesn’t matter how small. Taking on huge projects is always worth the effort, but you need to practice finishing just as much as you need to practice starting. So finish something this week. Finish something next week. Practice finishing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m demisexual, an orientation I wasn’t aware of until about a year ago. (Thanks, Tumblr)

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

Not directly. I’ve seen it second-hand, but I tend to surround myself with accepting, progressive, and impressive people. Individuals who waste their time taking people down with them are simply not worth the effort of engaging with.

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

That the orientation is fake or a joke for attention. That you ‘just haven’t found the right person.’ I encountered an asexual friend in college who constantly dealt with the assumption that she was sexual, she was just in denial. It was very damaging. Thankfully she found herself a supportive group of people and I met her recently for a mutual friend’s wedding. She’s in a very happy relationship with a girlfriend.

At the time I thought that meant she’d evolved in her sexuality but I’ve since come to position that relationships do not automatically = sex. Perhaps she more accurately defines as demisexual. Or she’s simply asexual as she’s always been and that’s fine. I’m glad she’s found someone to be happy with.

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

Rather than seeking to be like those around you who are different, seek to surround yourself with those who are like you. Change is good for a person, you evolve and grow as you age, but you can only change for yourself. Changing for others will never allow you to be comfortable.

So find people who share the same feelings as you do. Find people to admire that fall in your neighborhood on the gender/sexuality spectrum. Be yourself with them and deny anyone who looks down on you any access to your time.

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

Website (http://www.tamiveldura.com/): Writing, art, photography, books, my home-base. Everything stems from here

Tumblr (http://tamiveldura.tumblr.com/): Random, animals, fandom, space, weirdness. But also my writing, photography, and art.

Twitter (https://twitter.com/tamiveldura): Where I talk about my day and give writing updates to those who care

Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/tamiveldura): For book reviews and story randomness

DA (http://tamiveldura.deviantart.com/): Inactive, but browse through for old art

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

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