Today we’re joined by Maranda Cromwell. Maranda is an incredibly talented and versatile artist who draws and writes. When it comes to drawing, she focuses on the darker parts of nature. For writing, she’s a sci-fi/fantasy writer who is currently working on series set in a post-apocalyptic future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art has many facets. On one side, I am a visual artist that focuses mainly on animal subjects and themes like death, decay, and the darker side of nature. Currently I’m very focused on wild canines, dogs, and opossum. On another side, my written works usually focus on science fiction and fantasy. My current book series, the Altered Sequence, focuses on supersoldiers, surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, and learning to find your place in the world.
What inspires you?
My own animals offer a wealth of inspiration—a lot of my pieces are referenced from my dog, Baldr. I’m inspired by the wealth of diversity the natural world provides. I often take trips to the zoo to sketch and paint to get my creative gears turning. Sometimes, when I’m reading a really gripping story, I have to take moments to jot down storytelling techniques the author uses so I can adapt them in my work.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been in love with drawing since I was in elementary school. I first developed my skills drawing dragons, Pokemon fanart, and Neopets. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as my artistic skills progressed into high school, I found my calling.
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?
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice what you want to be good at EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s okay to produce crap, as long as you’re producing at all.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as a gray-ace. I almost never experience sexual attraction (we’re talking 99% here) though I do enjoy sex. I would just usually go out for ice cream instead. My sex drive usually hovers around the “nonexistent” realm. I appreciate humans aesthetically across every gender.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have kept my sexuality to myself mostly, but those who know me have accepted my identity. My biggest supporter is my fiancé, who helped me identify my sexuality in the first place!
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That all of us are sex repulsed. People see it as a black and white issue, like people tend to do. Emphasizing that sexuality is more often a spectrum than anything is very important.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s okay to hold off on identifying yourself right away. Growing up, getting older, experiencing new things and people, all these things can change your opinions and challenge your views of yourself. It’s okay to remain unlabeled as long as you feel comfortable doing what you’re doing! Just do your research and hear from other people in the community and be open-minded.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I maintain a website: www.marandart.com. It has my gallery of recent work and opportunities to learn more about my writing.
Thank you, Maranda, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.