Today we’re joined by Pyrah. Pyrah is an amazingly talented and passionate visual artist who has loved art from a very young age. She draws anime and manga characters, both her own and popular ones. Her enthusiasm really shows through in her work, as you’ll see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Well, my art is mostly of an anime/manga/chibi type style. I do sometimes draw fine arts, and paint landscapes but the majority of it is anime etc.
What inspires you?
What inspires me is the way my art can affect people. A friend or family member would ask to me draw something for them and when I give them the finished piece, the look in their eyes and the smile on their face is what makes me want to continue drawing and making art. It also gives me a sense of serenity and calmness for when I get angry or upset as I can vent my negative emotions in my own way and at my own pace. (Kind of cliché but it’s true)
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
For as long as I can remember I’ve had a strong attachment to art. My mother told me when I was 5 years old I would write down the phone numbers from art commercials so that she could buy them for me and I always doodled in every book I had, sometimes without realising. As for wanting to pursue a career in art, I say I would have been about 7 years old. My teacher had taken my class to an art gallery and it would have been my first ever time being in an art gallery and I remember her telling us her favourite painting was (Woman with a Hat by Paul Cezanne if I remember correctly) and I remember her looking at it so intensely. After about a month or so I was back in the gallery and I bought a book with all the paintings inside and found the picture she loved so I went home and I drew the picture for her. It took me a few days and was slopping in comparison (it was also down with cheap colouring pencils) but it was my first ever real drawing and I gave it to her as a present (it was tradition to give your teacher a present at the end of each school year) and I remember her almost crying when I gave it to her and she kept it pinned on her wall in her classroom until she retired and took it with her. She would always say it was one of her favourite gifts and it was then I realised that I wanted to keep making art so I could make people feel the same amount of joy my teacher had felt. I went through different types of art (fashion designing, landscapes, portraits etc.) until I found anime/manga and fell in love. I taught myself how to draw them and now I’m pursuing a career in illustration/animation.
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 sign all my work with Lauren P but it’s really messy, joint writing (you can’t even read it) but other than that, no I don’t have anything else.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If you think your art isn’t as good as others, or you can’t seem to draw a certain object right, DO NOT GIVE UP PLEASE! Other peoples art may be slightly better because maybe they have had more experience in drawing or for other reasons. As to the people who can’t seem to get a certain object/aspect of their drawing right maybe you’re just having an art block at the moment. Go for a walk, take a nap, start drawing shapes to get you going and it will help get rid of it. You could also try a different style of drawing? I went through a number of stages before finding the art style I love the most but no matter what DON’T GIVE UP! Also remember there is a line between constructive criticism and hate. Don’t listen to the hate they’re trying to put you down while the others are just trying to help you improve!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am asexual and heteromantic
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Unfortunately I have and I handle it by straight up telling the person (respectively) that asexuals are apart of the LQBT+ community and that we are valid and we are not broken (or plants for that matter-yes this was once said to me-) and that not all asexuals are the same in the sense that we are all sex repulsed and all virgins.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The most common misconception I’ve experienced is when people learn of my asexuality and immediately ask “Don’t you have a boyfriend though?” as well as common questions like “I thought plants were asexual, you’re not a plant” or “How do you expect to have kids without having sex?” or my personal favourite “How can you live without sex?”
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
My advice is that please know you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with you. You are not broken.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I actually have an art page on facebook called Laurens Art Page (here’s the link: www.facebook.com/laurensanimeart?fref=ts ) and also on my instagram account (instagram.com/lauren_fairytail/ ) and there are a few drawings on my Tumblr blog but not many as they’re mixed in with all my personal posts and other reblogs so I won’t give the link but my user name is fairytail-angel 🙂
Thank you so much, Pyrah, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.