Today we’re joined by Mick Greene, who also goes by fiyhi. Mick is an amazingly talented visual artist who works mostly in digital mediums. They have a unique style and their work is stunning to look at. The expression on the faces is absolutely remarkable. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s a big mish-mash of colours, textures, and wacky expressions. I tend to exaggerate features and use a lot of different ways to highlight different characters like coloured noses, cheeks, fingers, and elbows/knees. Big curly hair is always fun. And of course a lot of anime sparkles. Sometimes there’s big bold lines, sometimes none, sometimes it’s coloured, sometimes black and white. People tell me they can tell it was me who made the art, that they can “see” me in it, but I certainly hope I don’t literally look like the characters, haha. I almost always work digitally with an intuos tablet and photoshop but I try to keep a painterly style when I can.
What inspires you?
My art has evolved so much throughout the years. It started off as a horrible lovechild of Johnen Vasquez meets Tim Burton. Then I went through my Homestuck phase (a four year long phase) and imitated popular fanartists. When I started drawing from life, I realized that I didn’t need to take directly from other artists to be a good one, I just needed to look at the world around me and try to inspire myself! I really love stuff with bright colours like flowers and succulents, and underwater things are also a huge inspiration. The one thing that’s never changed from the beginning is how much space inspires me (which is why my upcoming webcomic is set there!). I still take inspiration from other artists I love like Magnolia Porter, Michelle Czajkowski, Shelby Cragg, and Maya Kern to name a few.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Well, when I was really little I was convinced I was going to be a marine biologist (I thought dolphins were aliens and thought if I could just get close enough they would adopt me and take me to space). As I grew up, though, I realized that making art was something I really enjoyed and I just . . . kept doing it. I hope I’ll be doing it for a long time.
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 like to use a lot of star shapes in my art when I can fit them in and include varying little easter eggs for people to find. If you’re talking more along the lines of illuminati/conspiracy theory stuff then [RE҉DA̢C͢T̨E͘D]͏.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Oh gosh where do I begin . . . I’d say the most important thing is, if you really want to be an artist, if you know that’s what you want to do, then you can’t give up. You may hate your art and everything you do, other people may seem way better than you, but you can’t stop trying. You have to be like a steam train. As far as style goes, you can’t compare yourself to others at all. If you learn from studying life, your style will emerge on its own. It may take time but it will happen. And another good tip: try your best to thrive off negative critique. Let it inspire you to work harder, keep trying, and achieve your goals, rather than bring you down. It isn’t something everyone can do, but it will help you a lot in the art world if you can manage. Overall: learn from life, don’t let negativity knock you down, and keep trying!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I consider myself grey asexual and panromantic. It took me most of my life to figure out why other people seemed so focused on sexual attraction while I felt like it just wasn’t a big deal in my life. I’m glad I found a word for it, and that the info is out there for other people to find too.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’m lucky to never have experienced any kind of ace-specific prejudice in my field or otherwise, mostly because it’s not usually something I talk about on Tumblr, let alone in real life. Most people find it “too complicated” so I just stopped trying to explain. Personally I’m comfortable enough to do this, but I feel like a change is really needed. People need to take the education on themselves instead of relying on others to do it for them. Remember: knowledge is power!
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
There’s a mile long list… People think you’re incapable of love, that you’re some kind of cold unfeeling robot (or b*tch especially if you’re dfab), that you reproduce like plants, or that you’re straight up a mean person because of your asexuality. This frustrates me beyond belief, especially considering what a simple concept it is!
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You are valid. You are needed. You are loved. People may be confused, disgusted, or even hateful of you because of your asexuality. People may try to “convince” you, change you, tell you that you’re “too good looking to be ace” or that you’re wasting something by not wanting sex. You will come out of this struggle and be happy with yourself one day. You will find people who accept you and love you wholeheartedly. I love you and I don’t even know you! Everything will be ok. ❤
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Mick, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.