Today we’re joined by Shelby Miller, who also goes by Shubbabang. Shelby is an incredibly talented visual artist. She works in both digital and traditional mediums. The images she sent along are quite intriguing and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her work in the future, which is quite exciting. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I work with digital and traditional pencil/colored pencil and have been interested in studying animation as well as doing character designs. A majority of the content I put out are comics, though I still also draw fantasy related characters or creatures. My style ranges a lot from cartoon-ish to slightly more realistic. I used to put out a lot of fan art as well but I’ve been trying to do more original work recently, and at the moment I have a webcomic that’s still in the early stages of the art process that I’m hoping to be able to start sometime next year.
What inspires you?
For non-humor based art I take a lot of inspiration from movies I adored when I was growing up. Specifically the older 2D animated movies that had unique or interesting art styles you didn’t see often like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, El Dorado, Prince of Egypt, etc. My comics however are usually based off of events in my life or everyday things, just with a bit of silliness added in.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawing. I’ve still got sketchbooks from when I was in elementary school filled with doodles of random made up animals. It was around the time that I started to get praise for it that I thought “Hey, I think I could do something with this.” Of course I was around five years old and the praise was usually from adults trying to be nice I think, but regardless it helped me decide what to do with my life!
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?
Since my art style tends to vary a lot, I don’t have anything consistent other than my usual watermark.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice as much as you can! Look up and gather references to use! No one starts out being amazing and if you get discouraged, try again the next day! You may not see the progress at first but when you look back there will be a huge difference. Another thing that helps especially if you’re drawing human figures is knowing a little bit about anatomy. One of the classes I took in college was anatomy and it wasn’t even art related, but it really helped me learn how bones and muscles move and look. Also, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone when drawing. Try a new brush, a new technique, a new color, anything you don’t normally do and you might find out you like the result!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as heteromantic/asexual. It was actually recently I had figured it out and it helped explain a lot of things for me such as why I wasn’t into intimacy or why sex wasn’t such a big thing in my life. In fact I had no idea sexual attraction was a thing until I started looking this stuff up, because I’ve never encountered it before.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Well, not directly towards me. Though it’s because I identify as heteromantic that I haven’t announced it as much where I put my art out, mainly because I know there are people who think that doesn’t count as asexual. For the most part I ignore it because the only person who gets to decide what I view myself as is me.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That it either doesn’t exist or that people who are asexual don’t like anything romance or relationship related. I used to be bad about that as well when I first learned about it (which was 3 years ago) and it wasn’t until I figured out what the difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction was that I actually realized that I might fall into that spectrum.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You don’t have to decide right now, and you can change how you feel. There are many different ways to experience the world of romance and sometimes it’ll take a bit to figure out just where you land on the spectrum. Even so, you’re still valid and I’m rooting for you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Right now I post all of my work on my Tumblr at shubbabang.tumblr.com. In the future I’d like to have my own blog or site, but for right now I mainly use that.
Thank you, Shelby, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.