Interview: Alysha

Today we’re joined by Alysha.  Alysha is an amazingly talented visual artist and cosplayer.  Her cosplays are absolutely incredible and her drawings are also quite interesting visually.  She’s an artist with a really interesting style, which is always welcome on this blog.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Astrid Hofferson (How to Train Your Dragon)
Astrid Hofferson (How to Train Your Dragon)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Drawing: I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember, and whilst I still have a long way to go to get to the level I want to be at, I’ve recently begun to develop my style in a direction I’m happy with. I love both manga and portraiture and enjoy drawing both, and I’m working on combining the two.

Cosplay: I came across cosplay at the first convention I went to, Supanova 2013, and I instantly loved it. Who doesn’t want the chance to become their favourite characters, to see them brought to life? It combines crafting, painting, sewing, puzzle solving and gives me the scope to learn heaps of new and really exciting techniques, and I love the challenge that comes with each character.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by artists that I like, for both mediums, as well as mainly books and movies. I like to draw and cosplay characters and people that I love, usually due to both personality and design. I have to really connect with characters to cosplay them, which is why my cosplays aren’t really of major characters.

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

Art is my hobby, but it is a major part of my life. I’ve always been sure to try and keep my skills from getting too rusty and discovering cosplay over the last few years has been fantastic. It’s something I wanted to do as soon as I saw it and I haven’t looked back. Art is always going to be a major part of my life, no matter what form.

Blind Seer
Blind Seer

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 don’t for my cosplay, aside from wanting to make it as realistic as my limited skills allow, but I sign all of my drawings with the year and then AD, my initials, which worked a lot better before they switched dates from BC/AD to BC/BCE, but I started with it so I’m just going to keep it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep going and stick with what interests you, even if it seems like it’s not going anywhere. It’s so much easier to keep going if it’s fun. If it’s something new that you want to try, give it a shot, and start small. My first cosplays were Misa Amane from Death Note using stuff I had in my closet, and next was the Tardis which was a blue dress with windows badly sewn on it. It looked terrible, but I had fun, and starting small gave me the confidence to move on to bigger and more complicated techniques. And no matter what you are interested in, research, research, research. I cannot stress it enough. It’s possibly the most important thing you can do to improve your skills. That and trial and error. But research is easier and saves a lot of grief.

Hades - Hercules
Hades – Hercules

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Heteroromantic asexual

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

Technically art is my hobby and my field is science, but I haven’t really encountered and prejudice in either, but I also haven’t really discussed it too much with anyone outside a couple of close friends either. Can’t really comment too much.

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

That it doesn’t exist or doesn’t belong on the LGBTQI+ spectrum. Seems to crop up a lot.

Poppet - The Night Circus
Poppet – The Night Circus

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

Research. Find out what options are out there. I only realized my sexuality a few months ago, and that was only because I came across a Tumblr post on Facebook about asexuality and just had a lightbulb moment of yes, that’s me, other people feel that way? It’s hard to get good information, particularly about asexuality, but the more you read the more things begin to make sense. I had no idea that the way I felt was different to most of my friends until I actually started reading about it and talked to my friends. Who proceeded to tell me that they had assumed I was for ages and were just waiting for me to figure it out. Thanks guys. But seriously, having someone to confide in after you read a bit is great, it gets you out of negative thought loops and can help reaffirm what you’ve been thinking. Just make sure it’s someone you know will support you, whether it’s a friend, parent, blogger or whatever. And it’s okay if you don’t feel like you fit into a specific category. The names are just there to help us describe ourselves, they don’t have to be cut and dried labels. You aren’t broken, you aren’t weird, and people will still care about you. It’s doesn’t change who you are. Phew, okay, waffle over.

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

Facebook and cosplay amino: AhriBelle Cosplay
Tumblr: AhriBelle Cosplay for cosplay stuff and Undertaker1892 for randomness that occasionally involves drawings, and a lot of random fandom stuff

Also photography credits go to:
Astrid Hofferson: Steph Doran Photography (Facebook Page)
Undertaker: Bianca Robinson Photography (Instagram)

Undertaker - Black Butler
Undertaker – Black Butler

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

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