Today we’re joined by Emily. Emily is an amazingly talented visual artist who specializes in watercolors and fineliners. She enjoys drawing a number of things and her work is quite visually striking as you’ll soon see. The use of color and attention to detail is quite remarkable. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art tends to vary greatly, but my main focus is a tribal or zentangle style. Lots of lines, patterns and shapes, usually with a splash of colour for extra life! I usually draw animals, particularly in motion or with some kind of flow. This can vary from a running hare to a cat sitting, with the natural flowing, curved shapes. I also recently branched into more realistic painting, starting with flowers as I’ve never really touched on those before! My favoured mediums are watercolours and fineliners.
What inspires you?
The natural world is what gives me the most inspiration! Colour and flow are the two things that really attract my eye, so flowers, birds and animals feature heavily in my work.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been creative as a kid, right down to sculpting tiny dinosaurs from blu-tac at the age of four, or the time I painted a unicorn in the leftover curry sauce on my plate. (It was a beautiful chicken korma-corn!) Anything I could get my hands on, I’d use for art. My mum very much encouraged my artistic side and I took art up to the last years of high school. What made me really pursue it as a career were the kind and helpful words of a self-published artist, Mary Ann Rogers. She was the first to really look at my skills and go ‘hey, this would sell’.
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?
Only my signature, which is really just my name. I really ought to design a little symbol to pop in though!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
There is so much advice to give, but I think I can narrow it down to a few important points. First of all, and you’ll hear it a lot; practice. Someone with natural talent can easily be surpassed by someone who puts the time and effort in. There’s plenty of references and helpful websites that can teach you to draw specific things but ultimately, it’s time, patience and hard work that pays off.
Secondly, don’t beat yourself up about mistakes, and don’t push yourself too hard. For me, creativity ebbs and flows; I can get a ton of work down when I’m in a good mood, but if I push myself to draw, even just practice sketches, when I’m not feeling it? It never works out and I get frustrated. Get to know your own pattern of creativity and work with yourself, not against!
Thirdly, don’t be afraid to talk to artists who are already established! Everyone was a newbie; if you reach out and ask for advice, we might be able to tell you about our mistakes so you don’t make them as well! There are so many different artists with so vast and varied experiences, there’s a wealth of knowledge waiting for you, so don’t be shy!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m plain old ace! No sexual attraction and actually sex-repulsed, so very much a virgin. As for my romantic attraction? While I’ve only had crushes, and one genuine romantic, interest in guys, I could easily see myself settling down with anyone if they were ‘right’. So…maybe mostly heteromantic? Honestly I still don’t know myself!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I, fortunately, have not. Then again, I’m only ‘out’ to a couple family members and a few close friends. On a professional level and to most people I know, they probably just think I’m straight. If I did face such problems, really I abide by the idea of ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’. I know who I am, and while I’m happy to explain and educate, I’m not going to weep over the deliberately rude and ignorant individuals who refuse to learn.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That I’ll ‘find the right guy/girl’. This is even something I get from the people who are understanding about it. Nope. No sex for me. No sexual attraction, even the one time I had very strong romantic feelings for someone. I will find the ‘right’ person for me, but that doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly find them sexually attractive or engage in sexual relations.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Take your time to identify yourself. Don’t worry about springing out of a ‘closet’ before you’re ready; it’s no one’s business but your own. It sounds cheesy to say ‘do some soul searching’ but I mean it; really take the time to get to know yourself. After all, you are the one person you’ll always have to live with! Try to separate who you are from what society and people say they think you are, or what they expect you to be; I was very tangled up in that myself.
And above all; you are a wonderful, fascinating, intricate human people. Every second you’re alive is a complex jumble of chemical reactions that somehow translates into motion, thoughts, feelings and life.
You are a miracle, is what I’m saying, and you damn well deserve to be treated as such.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Easy peasy! I’ve a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TemplemanArt
A tumblr page here: http://templemanart.tumblr.com/
Or you can check me out on Instagram (bearing in mind that’s mostly WIP sketches!) https://instagram.com/templeman_art/
Thank you so much, Emily, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.