Today we’re joined by Lizzie. Lizzie is a mostly self-taught artist who displays an incredible amount of talent. She has been drawing seriously since around 2006. She’s hoping to get into commissions. Lizzie is also an otherkin. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
At this point my art is mostly digital, though I still keep plenty of sketchbooks around for doodling on the go! Most of my digital stuff is semi-realistic, and I’ll occasionally do pixel work. I’ve also dabbled in sculpture (clay and lost wax casting primarily) and would like to do more since I haven’t been able to do much outside of Sculpey figures since I graduated.
Subject wise I do a lot of fantasy creatures in the hopes that I can one day be a concept design artist, and I’m working on developing my landscapes and such so that I can be more appealing in that regard to video game companies!
What inspires you?
So much these days can be so inspirational. Other artists with great creature design (like Charles Vincent Wolfe who was featured here a little bit ago), strange creatures in real life, anime, fantasy, trading card art (especially Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering)….and so much more. There’s also some great sculptors that constantly inspire me with their great concepts, and I strive to do unique things with my stuff compared to the classmates I’ve taken sculpting classes with.
It probably also helps that I find a lot of things really cute and so I’m more inclined to draw them!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I haven’t always wanted to be a pro artist, and I’m still unsure if I want to stick exclusively to that path since I also love Biology sciences and feel like I could be really good with that, using art as a sort of side hobby. When I was younger before I realized just how competitive and potentially depressing the field is, I wanted to be a veterinarian. That’s certainly changed since then!
I have, however, always been creating art, though I didn’t start drawing seriously until about 6th grade when I got my first actual proper drawing book from a book order (a portion of How to Draw and Paint Dragons by Jessica “Neondragon” Peffer). Since then I’ve been obsessed with drawing fantasy creatures and know entirely too much about dragons since middle school was my dragon phase hardcore. Sculpting happened when I got some Sculpey clay as a gift and enjoyed making little sculptures from it, and lost wax casting happened when I was in a materials science class and we got to make a little copper piece of jewelry. I made a heiroglyph-looking hawk pendant that I’m still pretty proud of, if only I could find it!
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 try to include LC1279 or my signature in the stuff that I make, though I hope to make a play on my tumblr username heckacentipede and eventually make a centipede watermark to add to things!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Any artist friends of mine have probably heard this a million times from me but it’s one of the best pieces of advice I could give anyone.
“You’ll never get better if you’re not willing to fail first.”
Not to say that you’re going to be bad at something, but so many artists don’t try new things because they’re worried it’ll turn out bad. Well, you have to get through that bad stage to get to the stage where you’re good at the thing. I myself am still working through that for painterly styled things and landscapes and certain creatures, but I’m getting better! If you’re feeling nervous about trying something new like a new technique or something that’s difficult, to quote Shia Labeouf, just DO IT 😀
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
In terms of asexuality I’m a grey ace (I’m mostly asexual in that sex isn’t a big deal for me and not that important in a relationship but occasionally I’ll have sexual urges and want to act on them and will act on them, and I am also sexually attracted to other people) but overall I’m (brace yourself) a cis female grey ace panromantic heteroflexible individual.
Additionally I happen to be otherkin with a multiples system and each of the headmates has their own specific sexuality, with Lamentations the owl being another asexual (he’s homoromantic and in this body, transgender).
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
The only real prejudice or ignorance I personally have encountered is my brother in law insisting that “nobody cares who you’re not having sex with” and that’s why asexuality doesn’t matter, as well as people insisting that labels don’t matter (I’ll go into that more in the next question), but what I really see is online. Asexuality is one of those sexualities that is already marginalized by the general LGBTQ+ community (if I had a dollar for every time I saw a “the A stands for allies!!” I would be rich), and then a lot of ace people see grey asexuality as not really asexuality. Which I suppose it technically isn’t, it’s grey asexuality, but I’m always nervous entering asexual spaces because I always feel like someone is going to tell me I don’t belong.
For the most part I handle it by asking if it’s ok for me to enter the asexual space since I’m a grey ace, and the real life stuff I just try to have discussions on why asexuality at all is relevant.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Note for the editor: I’m very passionate about this particular topic and talk about some touchy subjects so if I need to tone it down let me know
Like I mentioned in the question before, I’ve heard time and time again that asexuality isn’t something that needs to be represented or that asexual individuals don’t matter in the LGBTQ+ community unless they’re ace and non heteromantic. That because horrendous things have happened to non-ace LGBTQ+ individuals and groups (like the Stonewall riots, or acts of violence against homosexual or trans individuals, for example), that because asexual people don’t have something to point to outside of the internet as an example of why we matter, that because asexuals aren’t targeted as often as other sexualities, that we simply don’t matter.
What those people don’t understand is that asexuals encounter a lot of silent targeting. Someone who might not realize they’re ace might hate themselves for feeling pressured to consent to sex, or they might experience correctional rape, or the fact that many asexuals (and demisexuals for that matter) find themselves feeling like they’re broken in this incredibly sexual society. How about the fact that it was because of asexual efforts that you can now get a divorce because of marital rape?
The belief that asexuals are less worthy of representation because there’s less of us openly dying infuriates me. That it’s some sort of oppression olympics. That unless we start speaking up outside of the internet that asexuality is irrelevant.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
First and foremost, sexuality is fluid. You can be ace or grey ace or completely allosexual one day and then your sexuality changes for whatever reason the next. That doesn’t invalidate the time you were ace, nor does it invalidate the time you were allosexual. They’re both equally valid times in your life, so what if it was a phase? There was a phase where I drew almost exclusively dragons and now I don’t as much but it still shaped my identity and who I am today.
Secondly, I personally hold the strong belief that at the end of the day, labels don’t really matter. Yes, the societal ramifications of falling under a certain label can be awful, but I believe that what a label is truly for is being an alternative to the label “broken”. You are not broken, you’re just not the average. Due to sexuality being so fluid, I’ve gone from being straight to bisexual to pansexual to confused panromantic ace to what I am now. In my case it’s not like I changed my attraction, I just got a better label for it.
Use your label as an alternative to broken, and know that if you’re confused on what that label might be? That’s alright. It’s taken me a good solid 7 or 8 years to get a label that specific for myself, and everyone is different ^u^
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
And I’m always available to talk if you’d like to shoot me a note on dA or an ask to my main blog, http://heckacentipede.tumblr.com/ 😀
Thank you so much, Lizzie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.