Today we’re joined by KC Pendragon. KC is an amazingly versatile artist who works in a number of mediums. She is mostly a visual artist, who particularly enjoys geometric patterns and designs. She also does a fair amount of writing, both original work and fanfiction. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
As a painter, I specialize in geometric designs and patterns. More recently, I’ve been using wooden boxes, though I also use canvas and hardboard. In digital art, I occasionally paint and sketch, usually whatever my hand is itching to draw at the moment.
As a writer, I mainly write fantasy. In a way, it’s my form of escapism. Right now, I’m writing mostly fanfiction, which helps me improve my writing and is also a stress reliever. However, my first fantasy series is slowly making progress and taking shape.
What inspires you?
For writing, it can be almost anything. I often pull inspiration from life events, both from my own and from others. When I started to come to terms with my asexuality, it started to show up in my work. And science, my other love, will often sneak its way into my work, even in just the little things.
For visual art, it’s a whole lot of architecture, as well as patterns found in nature and crafts. I have hundreds of photographs from when I visited London; most of them aren’t even visually appealing to other people, they’re just references that I can use in later work.
One of the other things I focus on is colors. Since most of my work is geometric designs, my palette is very harmonious. Often I draw from nature, as well as other artists’ works. If I’m really pressed for inspiration, I’ll take an animated movie, take a screenshot, and deconstruct the color palette.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
It was really my grandfather that got me into the whole thing. He was a chemist, but he’s also an avid painter. He encouraged my love of art and science simultaneously, and he showed me that I could do both. His geometric art is really quite brilliant and studying his works was the springboard for my own.
Writing, on the other hand, was more of my own doing. I have been writing little stories since I was a wee one, but it wasn’t until I discovered online fanfiction that I actively started applying myself. Then it moved from not only fanfiction to original works.
It wasn’t until about two years ago that I really started to get more involved with more of my art. I’ve been warned against burning myself out, what with the heavy course load I’m required to take as a chemistry major. I’ve been writing and painting much more, in an effort to help relax my brain. That’s when things started to take off.
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?
My palette is typically muted colors. I use all types of colors, but I don’t typically use pastels or extremely vibrant colors. If I do, it’s an accent, meant to catch the eye. In my traditional art, part of that is just because of the hazards of mixing your own paint. For my digital art, it’s because muted colors are easier on my eyes.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Constructive criticism is vital, no matter what your specialization is. Not just getting praise, but actual criticism as well (which is not synonymous with ‘this is terrible’). Find out what you do well. Find out what you can improve on. Writers, don’t just get someone to proofread your grammar. Have them check everything. Are your characters written well? Is your plot twist predictable or did it actually shock them? What gaping plot holes have you missed?
Painters need their own type of proofreading. Would a different color scheme have worked better? Is your shading good? Is your anatomy correct? Listen to people, identify your weaknesses, and then keep trying.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m asexual, somewhere between sex-positive and sex-neutral.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not so much prejudice, for which I’ve been blessed (though I have seen some directed at other aces). The people I have encountered have usually been open to it. The reaction to my ace characters has been fairly positive, which was really fantastic.
Ignorance is more common, both in the field and personally, since asexuality just isn’t as well-known. The misconceptions can range from funny to annoying to just plain confusing. If they want to listen, I am willing to talk. If not, I move on.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I found people typically assume asexuality also means sex-repulsion (and to a lesser degree, aromanticism). I used to have this assumption, which is why I didn’t know I was ace sooner. That’s why I’m trying to give my characters a range on the spectrum. I’m don’t know if that’ll have an impact on people, but it’s what I got.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Resources, resources, resources. Not just literature, but people. Talk to someone. Talking to a friend is what helped me figure out I was ace.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
That’s a bit of a mess right now. My writing blog (which is mostly fanfiction at this point) is kcpendragon.tumblr.com. I post my art projects on my personal tumblr and deviantart (geekwiththeglasses.tumblr.com and kc-pendragon.deviantart.com). The painting is somewhat infrequent because I’m a very slow painter.
Thank you, KC, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.