Today we’re joined by Tay Collins. Tay is a remarkably talented visual artist. They are an amazing illustrator who use pictures to tell stories (and what gorgeous stories they tell). My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I work in sequential art, character design and illustration. I tell stories through my art, sometimes my own, sometimes ones I’ve made with other people.
What inspires you?
Being able to create a tangible piece of my imagination is very inspiring in itself. I love creating fantasy worlds for people escape to, much like many of my favorite movies and comics did for me as a child. When I tell a story through my art and see other people enjoying it, it reminds me of how I feel when I see an inspiring story.
Both currently and while I was growing up, fiction captured my heart like nothing else. When I’m sad, or angry or even just bored I can always turn to my favorite fantasy worlds and see the characters I love. For me, that’s very special. What’s most inspiring for me is having the chance to create or be a part of something similar, so that I can help someone else have that special feeling too.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have always wanted to be an artist, but animation is likely what made me so intent on becoming one. When I was younger I was absolutely mesmerized by animated movies and TV shows. Little kids often want to do things that they think are cool, and I thought animation was just the coolest. That feeling never went away for me, so I started drawing and just never stopped.
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?
Not particularly. I very often apply geometric shapes to my work, even if they’re not immediately seen. Though this is less of something unique to me, and just a common method in design practice.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
I think one of the biggest difficulties you’ll come across as an aspiring artist is losing your motivation. So one of the best things you can do for yourself is to remember to celebrate your work. From your own perspective it might not seem very special, because you see it every day. But from the view of others, there will always be someone who loves it. Loving yourself and what you do is important!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual and possibly aromantic. I am currently unsure of my romantic orientation.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
It’s rarely ever come up in my field to be quite honest. That in itself is a problem though, since I work in writing. Very few times have I ever seen asexual representation outside of my own work.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The most common thing I encounter is people assuming they know what asexual people want, and thinking that all asexual people are the same.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Many asexual people have much advice to offer, so if you’re struggling with something there are a lot of communities you can turn to for help and support.
Remember that your orientation is about your happiness, it’s what you want and it isn’t for anyone else to decide.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
However, please be wary if you are sensitive to blood and minor body horror!
You can also find more examples of my work in my portfolio, which can be found here http://taycollins.carbonmade.com/
Thank you so much, Tay, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.