Today we’re joined by Flavia Rose. Flavia is an incredibly talented and versatile artist whose sheer range is truly amazing. She does sculpture, documentary films, theater, graphic design, photography, and laser cut jewellery. As if that’s not impressive enough, she also has a blog she co-runs that’s a literary analysis of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics. Color me impressed. The pictures of her work show remarkable skill and dedication. This is an artist who has a bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a generalist, I dabble in a lot of different mediums. My main areas of interest are graphic design, wearable art and technology, and documentary filmmaking. I also love working in theatre, photography, and I’ve recently started designing jewelry. I love anything visual and I’m happiest when I’m making something. Some of my favourite projects recently have been a ukulele that lights up when you play it, and a collection of female dwarf beard designs that, in my opinion, should have been in the Hobbit.
What inspires you?
I love to travel, I collect ideas and inspiration from wherever I go. I did a big trip around the UK and Europe in 2013 and I’m still processing all the ideas I got from my adventures.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I think I always knew that I was going to spend a life making things. I grew up with a maskmaker for a mother and so it was a very creative household. We’d solve problems by making things, and so I got very used to the trials of the creative process very quickly. I was never quite sure what type of artist I wanted to be, but that was probably because a lot of the areas I work in now weren’t even invented when I was a child. Or at least, laser cutting and 3D animation weren’t really discussed over a New Zealand 1990s dinner table.
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?
Recently I’ve been gravitating towards projects featuring complex, interesting women. This goes for both personal and group work, and also applies to the characters the project features and the women I work with. Recently I had the immense privilege of working in a queer feminist theatre collective. We had this moment of realization where we were like, “Wow, how often does it happen that the director, writer, and sound, set and lighting designers are all women?” Women and LGBTQIA+ people are still grossly underrepresented in making film and theatre, so it’s important for me that I work on projects that have good representation.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Keep making things and don’t stop. One of the best things I heard as an aspiring artist was that, when you start out, there’s a gap between your hands (skills) and your head (ambition). So maybe you’re making things and you’re a little bit disappointed with what you’ve made because it doesn’t quite match up with what you imagined it would be. The only way to get through that is to keep making things, and the gap will close. Don’t be discouraged! Surround yourself with art that you love and create stuff that makes you happy.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’ve definitely encountered ignorance. Once I told a photography tutor that I was interested in doing a photographic essay on asexual people – he asked me, “is that people who reproduce with themselves?”. When I come out to people I usually find myself answering a Q&A session because most people in New Zealand, at least, haven’t heard of it before.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The good ol’ “you haven’t met the right person yet”.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Trust yourself. What you feel is valid.
The most valuable piece of advice anyone ever gave me was, “you don’t have to like anyone.” No one had ever said that to me before – instead they said things like “we need to get you a boyfriend”. For someone to tell me, “No, it’s fine, you don’t have to conform to the expectations that people push onto you” was incredibly freeing for me.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My photography/creations blog is flavia-rose.tumblr.com, and my personal blog is lady-beard.tumblr.com. Visit my portfolio at http://cargocollective.com/flaviarose or my society6 store http://society6.com/geeksweetie
Thank you so much, Flavia, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.