Interview: Emerald

Today we’re joined by Emerald.  Emerald is an amazingly talented visual artist who specializes in drawing fantasy scenes.  She has an affinity for dragons in particular.  She also draws a number of animals.  Scrolling through her DeviantArt page, I was amazed at the striking imagery found in her work.  The detail is remarkable.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, what’s to tell … I’ve been drawing ever since my hands were dexterous enough to hold a pencil. I started out with wacky colour combinations in watercolour, then progressed to stick people, then to animals. I’ve been drawing animals and fantasy variants ever since.

These days, I’ve become most known for my dragons. Fantasy is my preferred genre because of the endless possibility…I never know what will show up next!

What inspires you?

The real question is: what doesn’t inspire me? I look outside and pretty much see everything I need there. Sun in the clouds, wind in the grass, moon reflecting off the world at midnight … everything in the natural world inspires me. Sometimes my pictures will be based on critters I see in dreams, and you can usually tell when. Those ones are pretty strange.

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

I don’t recall. It was a long time ago. I think I was born with the desire to create, and the outlet that manifested was visual art. These days, I’m fueled by the desire to paint what I feel and see with honesty, and to make the world a more beautiful place. I don’t really have a field per se, I’m just a hobbiest at this point.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Hmm … if anything, it would be spirals. I seem to like spirals …

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be an artist. ESPECIALLY not yourself. With artists, we are our own worst critics. It’s a constant battle to keep on top of your own internal censor, but trust me, the world wants to see what you have to offer, even if it may not feel like it.

Also, patience. It’s the name of the game. Nobody turns into Van Gogh or da Vinci overnight, it often takes a lifetime. Give yourself time. You’ll get there.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

That’s kind of in question for me right now, but I identify as an asexual hetero-romantic.

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

Relating to my art? Not usually. Being a fantasy and primarily animal artist, I don’t get pressured by commissioners or anyone else to do anything explicit. Sometimes, when I do draw people, I am extremely conscious about how I draw certain points of anatomy.

It’s not that I’m shy about it, having grown up seeing the paintings of my grandma who is almost exclusively a nude figure artist. I just feel like there’s a lot of pressure to make a human figure sexually appealing, and I try to push against that. To me, all bodies and forms are beautiful, in a purely aesthetic sense.

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

That we were either scarred by some past event, or that we literally reproduce without a partner. (Trust me, it’s more common than you might think!) Another one is that it’s simply a matter of “finding the right one”.

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

You are human. Don’t ever think you’re not. You are not broken. You are still worth as much as any other human life, yes, even in a society that worships and idealizes sex and romance.

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

On my trusty deviantART account! I’ve been there for 7 years, and most of my major work is there. Check it out!

http://elementalshifter.deviantart.com/

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

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