Today we’re joined by Tyhnu. Tyhnu is a wonderfully talented digital artist. I really loved looking at their work, which is colorful and vibrant and just really interesting. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am mainly a digital artist; rarely dipping into watercolours, inks and pencil crayons when I feel like it. I draw lots of aliens, monsters and various odd cute things. I think the best way to summarize my work in general terms is “dark but cute”.
Though to be fair my definition of “cute” doesn’t always fit everyone else’s.
What inspires you?
So many things. Books, music, cartoons, games, current events, personal experiences, dreams, nature, etc. Life is a fountain of inspiration if you’re paying attention.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
As a small child I started drawing to express my chronic night terrors and never really stopped since. I never actually started taking it seriously however until I was about 17 years old and I regret not starting sooner. For some reason no one ever thought to tell me I could pursue art professionally and I’ve been working to improve my skills ever since. Seriously, if you’re young right now and think you want to pursue art as a career, start working hard immediately. The sooner you start the better.
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?
There is one thing you’ll see showing up in my art fairly often and that is a red rosary. A lot happened to me when I was 4 years old which I’m still coping with today. The red rosary I draw is based on the real red rosary that I still own, given to me from my father’s funeral. It’s a symbolic representation of carrying the burden of my past, stained by blood and religion.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Draw often, draw with variety and don’t shy away from what you suck at. Most of us have that one thing we’re really good at that we draw aaaaall the time and that’s all fine and well; but if you seriously want to see improvements you need to take the things you struggle with and wrestle them to the ground. It might be a hideous mess at first but know that it’s okay to fail. Keep trying. Embrace the shit.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Aromantic/Asexual. I think it’s relevant to add that I’m also agender but normally present as female by default since women tend to get treated better socially.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I hardly ever mention my asexuality unless absolutely necessary or if someone outright questions me about the black ring I wear. In about half of these instances I’ve had a negative reaction of some kind and no amount of polite explaining seems to get through people like that. They’ve already made up their minds so I generally proceed to ignore the entirety of their existence.
The worst though was with my mother, since I can’t just use the above tactic. It took her years to stop bothering me about getting married and having children (she basically had her vision of my future planned for me from the beginning, forcing me to go through communion/confirmation specifically so I would have a wedding in a church); but I can tell she still secretly hopes I’ll “find the right one” and magically change. And that’s not even touching how the rest of my family gossips about how I must be a lesbian if I’m not married and pregnant by now.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“The Right One”TM
That magical unicorn man who will turn me into a heterosexual woman eager to abandon her personal dreams and spew out uteran dumplings for the rest of her life.
The fun aspect of this one though is that people who say this and then spend enough time around me will soon notice that my brain quite simply doesn’t work that way at all (oblivious to flirting, not catching innuendos and subtle references to pregnancy, not having any desire whatsoever to interact with babies, forgetting that nudity is socially considered bad, etc). There is no super secret hidden heterosexual woman to unlock. Sure there are days where I wish it was that easy to “become normal” but that person would literally not be me anymore.
I’d rather just get another snake honestly.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s okay to not be sure, especially if you’re young and surrounded by pressure to choose a label right now. When I was a teenager I thought I was bisexual, as I was uninterested in either gender and figured that meant I must be sexually attracted to both somehow (dat aro-ace logic).
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m predominantly active on my Tumblr blog and usually post things there first; but I post a lot of other things besides my art there too so if you don’t want any of that my DeviantArt is your best bet.
I am currently developing a comic based on my personal experiences with alien abduction (evidently the main character will be aro-ace) called Bolgia Seven; so you’ll likely be seeing work related to that in the future. I plan to be ready to start releasing the comic this coming Halloween and if it does well I intend to donate half of all profits towards the conservation of animals, forests and oceans.
Thank you so much, Tyhnu, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.