Today we’re joined by Rachel Scott (who also goes by Angela Shepherd, FoxTail95, ThePsychedelicNinja, and Shusheries). Rachel sent me an incredibly kind email and some really fantastic art. She’s an incredibly talented visual artist who has a lot of passion for her work. And it shows. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I go through a lot of styles, but I think I’ve been sticking to a realistic and a cartoon style recently. I usually draw traditionally, but I’ve started working digitally recently. While I mainly draw, I also sing, write poems and stories, and participate in other art styles too. I think I do best with backgrounds as I’ve been drawing them longer than I have been people or animals, but I will draw almost anything that catches my imagination. A lot of my art is done through request, though that request may take a while to get too because I’ve got a schedule or because I forget to do it until I see it in my notes and remember that it is, in fact, a thing I still have to do.
What inspires you?
Anything can inspire me. Usually I draw part of dreams I’ve had but didn’t know how to word, but other times I’ll draw things I saw in real life or things that I saw because I had glanced at something and thought it was something else. I drew a fish before because I was staring a shadow a cord made. If it catches my eye and makes me see something else, odds are I’ll draw that something else.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I honestly started drawing as a kid as a hobby because everyone else in my family draws. I’ve been drawing since I could pick up a pencil and I haven’t stopped yet. Drawing is still a hobby to me but it’s also something much more than that as well. It isn’t really a goal of mine to become a professional artist, but if I become one I’ll be fine with it too as its something I enjoy.
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 do have an easter egg type watermark in my work but I use it mainly so people won’t try to take my work. If you find it though, good on you because it’s not hidden too well anyways but you could message me to see if it’s the thing I speak of. It’s not in all of my work though because I forget things very easily, so if you can’t find it, try another piece to see if its there.
I guess feature-wise I like to include dark settings if I can (such as the night) and I may have some kind of glow in my work or there might just be a lot of blue or black in the work. I just like dark or mysterious things and glowing things.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
No matter what anyone says, don’t give up. Never give up on your art. Don’t be afraid to change your style or try new things. If it doesn’t work out, that’s fine, try something else. And just because your art doesn’t look like what you wanted it to look like, don’t get frustrated about it, try again later or redo it once you’ve gained more knowledge about what you are trying to do. Be confident with what you do. Even if it’s not the best thing you could do or you feel like you aren’t the best, be proud of what you can do and what you did do. Don’t judge you art based off of other’s art and don’t think you should give up just because someone else’s art looks better. They weren’t that good when they started out, they learned and they grew, and you will too. Just keep trying and never give up and you’ll do just fine.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m aromantic and asexual. I’m probably closer to sex and romantic neutral, but it does vary depending on recent events, but I’ll never push my own opinions on others if I can help it.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have actually, but I mainly get prejudice in life in general rather than for my art. With my art, it’s usually “you aren’t attracted to people so why are you drawing them as attractive” or something along those lines or I’m told I shouldn’t write, draw or even talk about people in romantic or sexual situations. If I even state that someone is attractive, I could get some hate thrown at me for “lying” or “leading people on” and I’m treated like some innocent child a lot of times for who I am. In general life, I typically am called a tease or that I’m playing hard to get. I’ve gotten my fair share of threats from people or “jokes” about how they should try to “fix me” or “show me what I’m missing out on.”
For the more threatening people, I try to block them or ignore them and in real life I stick around a group of friends when around them or avoid the places they go. With the non-threatening people, I typically try to sit down with people and explain to them the LGBT+ spectrums, the difference between aesthetic, sexual, romantic, platonic, and sensual attraction, and what I am and what I am not and let them ask questions. If they take a while to understand, I’m fine with helping them understand.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Probably the biggest misconceptions I’ve come across are
a) that we are all innocent children who have to be protected from the horrors of the sexual world
b) that we are just confused and don’t know what we want and that we will change our minds eventually because we are late bloomers
c) that aces are repulsed by sex and will never have it or that we are just celibate
d) that we need to be fixed and that we are broken
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You will figure this out. You may decide you are something one day only to change your opinion later, and that’s fine. You just learned more or you changed, that doesn’t make you any less valid. You may experiment or try things and feel like it isn’t right, but that’s okay. I honestly felt broken my whole life and still felt unsure even after I learned what asexuality and aromanticism is because I felt like it wasn’t okay to be this, but it is. You may feel like you can’t love, and that’s fine too. It’s really completely fine to identify as this, even if you didn’t before.
You are not broken, you are valid, and you will be okay. Just take a moment to breathe, you will figure this all out, and you will be fine.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I am mainly active on my Tumblr, but I am also on Deviantart and I upload there whenever Deviantart isn’t busy being buggy. You can send an ask to my Tumblr any time you want and I’ll answer when I’m not doing homework. If you want me to answer privately, make sure to add that on too, and you can ask me anything and I’d be willing to reply. If you want to send me a singing or art request I’ll be down for that too.
MLP Deviantart(Years old and just started being active again): http://nightmaredaydream.deviantart.com/
Youtube (Old singing videos and new speedpaints): https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdTHi19Ow9bpoOvn71gwNFw
Thank you, Rachel, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.