Today we’re joined by Chelsea. Chelsea is an amazingly talented, versatile, and passionate artist. She works in a number of different traditional mediums as well as digital. Her work is absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to look at. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m kind of all over the place with art. I love traditional mediums; watercolor and charcoal and oil paint. I love mimicking these mediums in digital, with all the fun special effects that digital brings to the table. I very much enjoy ceramics and sculpting though I am horrible at them. And lately I’ve been doing all sorts of experiments with resin casting.
I lean towards an illustrative style most the time, but very much enjoy realism and abstract in equal measures. And I absolutely adore fanart. I pretty much make art just to make myself happy. Sometimes that drawing my favorite characters, or learning a cool new technique for something, and sometimes that’s painting squiggles until my mind is empty.
What inspires you?
Color seems to be the first thing to grab my attention. Movement and abstractions really inspire me as well. I’m also a big fan of space and anything aquatic. My favorite TV and movies are always a good start, and of course my cats can often be found in my art.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I come from a long line of crafty and creative people, so the love of art has always been there, although most people in my family did not pursue it quite like I have. I remember finding my mom’s drawings when I was a kid and thinking that it would be great to be able to draw like she did when she was younger, and it always made me sad she didn’t keep it up. I was heavily influenced by anime and manga in the 90s, and was sure I wanted to be involved in that world. Once I got to art school I realized I loved classical and traditional art just as much, and grad school taught me how to appreciate modern art as well.
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 my fanart with a little square “tea-is-hot”, but my most noticeable feature would probably be my love of over exaggerated color. Rainbows everywhere! Even my mostly black and white work has little baby bits of my favorite colors in them.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
I still struggle a lot with perfectionism. Perfectionism kills art. You have to learn to let things go, to remember that all masterpieces come from dozens or even hundreds of studies and practice pieces and failures. Just keep doing as much as you can, as often as you can. And don’t be ashamed of your inspirations. If a TV show makes you want to draw, that’s amazing! A cool leaf outside makes you want to take some pictures? Fantastic! Studying the old masters and trying to recreate them? Look out, Leonardo!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I currently identify as bi/panromantic-asexual. I find many people of all genders attractive, and would love to be in a relationship, but there have only been a couple of times in my life that included any desire for physical intimacy. (This would probably fall under Gray-ace technically, and definitely has some elements of autochorissexualism.)
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have only recently publicly identified as ace, so no personal prejudices in my field yet. In my personal life, I’m tempted to start carrying around cards with the definition of ace on it, though.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The classics: “did something happen to traumatize you?” or “so you hate sex?” and “you’re not asexual, you just haven’t met the right guy yet”. (And it’s always the right “guy”, too. Jokes on them, if I wasn’t ace, I would still be a lesbian-leaning pansexual.)
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Sexuality is fluid; your past and your future shouldn’t dictate how you feel comfortable identifying now. Being asexual isn’t being broken, and it isn’t synonymous with aromantic. Just because you’re asexual doesn’t mean you can’t have a happy and healthy relationship, if that’s what you want.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Chelsea, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.