Interview: Manny

Today we’re joined by Manny.  Manny is an incredibly talented and enthusiastic artist.  She is an incredibly productive artist and her work is mostly digital cartoon with a few webcomics.  Manny also does some traditional abstract artwork as well.  She has such an admirable passion for art and obviously really enjoys it, which comes through in her interview.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Doodle Hand
Doodle Hand

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve got a super expressive and stylized thing going on, it’s like Fairly Odd Parents/DP meets Invader Zim and like 10 other styles that I referenced bits from and added my own spin to. I think I even have some anime hints in there. It’s still got a bit of refining to go through though since I got to get better at drawing slower and not making my lines so sketchy, and I gotta work a bit more on body/face diversity.

And then sometimes I go full on abstract with some crazy flowery/vine looking things. Those are nice for when I’m not into doing more serious comic work and just want to play around with shapes and patterns.

Humans in Sexuality shirts (1), "Fighting Dreamers"
Humans in Sexuality shirts (1), “Fighting Dreamers”

What inspires you?

Mostly the pet cats I’ve had over the years, and other people’s pets. Ever since getting my first cat (technically second cat for our family) I started taking my pets and other people’s pets and just making them characters in my series. It’s been years since then and even now I can’t stop taking people’s new pets and thinking “Okay how can I cameo them in my Fighting Dreamers series”

I think stuff like trees and crazy color combinations also inspire me but cats seem to inspire me the most.

Super Stewie is not Ready for This (Fighting Dreamers)
Super Stewie is not Ready for This (“Fighting Dreamers”)

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I think it was just the idea of being an artist and making a story that I could animate. I don’t remember quite what started it but I think it was this Wallace and Gromit behind the scenes thing that showed how they made the claymations, and tiny child me was just like “OH MY GOD THIS IS AMAZING @0@” and I was hooked since. (that and my brother used to draw too and I was like “I WANT IN ON THIS” and 10 year old me started doodling everywhere).

And while I’m more on the comic side of things now, I would still be totally up for animating my characters in something if I had some help. Perhaps I’ll have one of my series as a TV show someday 😀

TAKTAKTAKTAKTAK ("Fighting Dreamers")
TAKTAKTAKTAKTAK (“Fighting Dreamers”)

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?

EYES, everyone’s eyes are goddamn huge. Big ears and long tails are common too (at least with my cats)

Waking Verse ("Fighting Dreamers")
Waking Verse (“Fighting Dreamers”)

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Basically just draw like hell and FOR GOD’S SAKE AT LEAST LEARN BASIC ANATOMY. Trust me, drawing humans and cats and everything else is so much easier when you know where everything goes. Don’t use your style as an excuse to not learn about that important sketch structure stuff.

I speak from experience, I was adamant that my style was fine up until I started taking art classes in college. That was at least 8-9 years where I was drawing without sketches, with characters that didn’t even look human (at the very least my senior year of HS I made cat people that looked a little better than the humans with eyes at the top of their head that looked REALLY phallic). Meanwhile my cats were on the right track but for some reason I didn’t do undersketches for a good while.

If I had started with what my human drawings started looking like in like 2011-12 then maybe I’d be a little more refined by now.

Gang vs. Patches ("Guardian Ghosts")
Gang vs. Patches (“Guardian Ghosts”)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m not entirely sure to be quite honest. I know I have to be somewhere between Demisexual and Asexual, mostly because I have online friends that are definitely not Ace and they talk about how they have the normal sexual urge things and other normal romantic stuff and I’m just like “… I’ve never …. experienced that … ever?”

Most of my responses seem to be for aesthetic reasons, like someone in a fantastic color schemed outfit or a really nice face/body build (bonus points if they have similar builds/hairstyles to one of my OCs). If I’m more on the Demi side I won’t know for sure until I actually become close enough friends with someone. But in the meantime I know that I’m in there somewhere.

… Sorry I’ve thought about this type of stuff a lot, usually comes after I think about the sexualities/orientations I made for my OCs and then I think “wait what even IS mine”

"Guardian Ghosts" Gang Sexualities
“Guardian Ghosts” Gang Sexualities

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not yet, I haven’t really gotten popular offline for people to really question it, and online the people I hang out with or see around in the sites I’m on actually on know that asexuality actually exists.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Mostly that Ace people are just “looking for the right person” so they could be fine with sexual stuff, and while that might be somewhat true for people more on the Demi side, most Ace people are generally just not interested in that kind of stuff.

I know I’m totally good with being single or at the very least super platonic with someone sometime in the future.

Possessed Max ("Guardian Ghosts")
Possessed Max (“Guardian Ghosts”)

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

RESEARCH! Even if it’s just character research or something, check out the different types of romance/sexuality things out there and see what fits you best. I know I only figured out that I’m in the Ace Spectrum because of my main guy, Max. I had heard about it before but never really looked into it until I thought “hey wait Max would totally have this”. And then I looked into it more and asked more people with it and as Max developed more, I started to realize that this same stuff sounded just like what I was experiencing.

Honestly I should’ve gotten the hint when all of my stories had main characters that were probably on the spectrum and I just didn’t realize it.

"Guardian Ghosts" Stick to Full Drawing
“Guardian Ghosts” Stick to Full Drawing

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Plenty of places! I got a couple webcomics running and some other places with some art stuff

WEBCOMICS

Guardian Ghost (which features Max, who’s canocally Aro/Ace)
http://guardianghost.smackjeeves.com/

Fighting Dreamers (featuring Stewie, who’s Demi-R/Ace but hasn’t figured that out yet)
http://fightingdreamers.smackjeeves.com/

Tapastic (GG and FD are there too with some others)
http://tapastic.com/mannykat8x

GENERAL ART STUFF

Deviantart (Also has GG/FD)
http://catmaniac8x.deviantart.com

Tumblr (more doodles)
http://cm8x-arts.tumblr.com/

Society 6
https://society6.com/mannysarahtruax

Redbubble
http://www.redbubble.com/people/mannykat8x

Etsy (this has more of my traditional painted stuff)
https://www.etsy.com/shop/MannyKatCrafts

YOUTUBE

General animation/speedpaint stuff
https://www.youtube.com/user/catmaniac8x

Vlog channel (this is newer and has less because my computer is awful) https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCBOVLXLvEt8qczkkGzP9fKw

Heart Covered by Vines
Heart Covered by Vines

Thank you, Manny, for participating in this interview and this project.  It’s very much appreciated.

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