Today we’re joined by Ellen. Ellen is an incredibly talented and versatile artist. She’s mostly a visual artist who enjoys drawing and illustrating. She specializes in plush and comics for the most part. Her artwork is quite interesting as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
The main stuff I do is plush, comics, and drawings/illustration. Every now and then I try new things like sculpture but I stick with plush and comics for the most part. I like to be silly and fun. The things I’ve been enjoying drawing the most lately have been regular show fanart, monsters, my webcomic and various messy doodles. I’m head over heels for cute stuff.
I’m in the process of developing default patterns to open up commissions in the summer.
What inspires you?
Cartoons and toys. I’ve been told I’m like a big kid. I love animation so much and lately I’ve been wanting to dabble in it again. In also inspired by artists around me.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
We’re all artists when we start as kids, some just keep going. I just have a natural urge to doodle and I’ve developed it over the years to do things I wanted to do with it such as tell stories or design characters. Sewing is a thing I started doing when I was 4, funnily enough. My mom would sew a lot and make dresses for herself and quilts for us. I would play with scraps. She handed me two pieces of pink cotton fabric and a large threaded needle and I tried it out myself. It was a mess but it was a learning experience.
I started getting serious about plush near the end of high school when I just really wanted physical dolls of things I liked. I cannot tell you how happy I was when I really started to develop my skills in making these toys for myself.
I was inspired to start making comics at the beginning of high school when I was really into Invader Zim. I started to read JV’s comics and found other indie comics as well as manga. I want to be able to tell a story for other people to enjoy that counteracts things in comics that I never cared for. They’re small things but I always felt I could do better in terms of pacing and narrative in some cases but I’m still learning.
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 do have this signature for fun, I don’t expect anyone to know who I am by it but I think it’s cute so I continue to put it on most finished works.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
It is good to learn from others by trying out what they do. Be a good thief but remember that your ultimate goal is to walk on your own two feet so you don’t end up creating something under the thought process of “how would they do it” but instead “how would I do it?”. You’ll want to be able to translate your thoughts in your own way rather than assume how the other person would do it. Otherwise you end up with a sort of cognitive middle man that limits your capacity to evolve. Do what feels good.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual and Homoromantic. I like being around girls.
At times I question my sexuality and wonder if I’m gay. Very few times I feel gay but I am very sure that I’m not heterosexual. But I’d say 98 percent of the time I’m asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not really. I mean not yet anyway. I work in public education. I’m about to get my masters in counseling to work as a school counselor and once people get to know me they may feel a little confused by my sexuality since it isn’t as well known. I live in a conservative part of Washington state so I may also face some people who may find out that I have no interest in men. As much as I like to talk, I’ve learned not to talk too much about myself until I can make sure the people I’m talking to don’t have a habit of gossip. Gossipy people are very boring, annoying, and potentially dangerous to people who lack certain privileges with regards to sexuality, gender identity, life style, etc.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
You know… Most people tend not to care enough to even ask so I never really get to know. I guess I could say when I tell people that I do not want to have kids I get the usual “Well you don’t know that” which is an incredibly rude thing to say. That’s followed by “I’m sure you’ll meet a nice man” which I’m tempted to tell them I’m gay because it would be a shorter conversation than telling them that I’m asexual.
The people I do educate on asexuality are actually pretty understanding. I’m not all that open about it not out of shame it just doesn’t come up often.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
God I wish I could tell ya. It took me a long time to figure this out because I’m a cisgender woman and I was taught by society that girls lack sex drive but at the same time are boy crazy (what bullshit). So this lead me to assume that the girls around me were faking interest in boys. My cousin around the same age started to like boys as I started to like Pokemon when we were about 11 years old.
I’d say read up as much as you can and remember that sexuality is fluid. Things change and hopefully you’ll come to a conclusion about your identity that you are comfortable with.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you so much, Ellen, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.