Today we’re joined by Helen, who also goes by mystmoon. Helen is a phenomenally talented visual artist who does a lot of animation as well as illustrations. Her work is absolutely gorgeous and I recommend looking at her links to see her beautiful art. She’s a very enthusiastic and passionate artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m an artist and animator. I love drawing concepts and characters and generally just futzing around with Photoshop to see what comes out. I’ve recently started designing prints for shirts too!
What inspires you?
Anything and everything! My main inspiration is probably conversations with my friends and family though, I’m lucky to be surrounded by people who are funnier than I am! For my animations I draw a lot of inspiration from shadow puppet shows and anime, I really like playing around with different animation techniques and seeing what’s possible!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
My grandfather was an artist and headmaster of an arts college (after working in advertising for a while) He died when I was young but I guess his influence is what encouraged me to first keep on with my drawing as something to do more than just a hobby. I first got interested in animation after watching the behind the scenes features on DVDs and just going “That looks cool! I wanna do that!” I started trying to animate after that as around 13
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?
Octopuses have begun making a reoccurrence in my work recently after I started studying them for my final film for my MArt. I find them really fun to draw! I’m not sure what else kind of a style I have, people can generally tell when something is mine, but I’m not sure what tips them off!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Just keep creating! Try and do something every day, even if it’s just a doodle diary, cos the more you do something, the easier it is. Also, don’t feel pressured to share these online or anything, it’s totally ok to just make art for you!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as demisexual. It took me a long time to realise it, as I thought I was asexual for a while and then I began getting feelings for a close friend. After that, I began looking into it more in depth and decided that demisexual closest fits how I personally feel about relationships.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’ve never really discussed it with others in my field. I’ve had issues with friends not believing it’s a “thing” or that I’m just fussy, and I’ve also sometimes discussed how elements in a work can be misconstrued or problematic, but I’ve never had something that particularly sticks out, no.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That it’s just being fussy/being a girl/trying to be a special snowflake. I’ve also had people assume that because I’m autistic that it stems from that, and is therefore just part of my disability that I should deal with, rather than something that comes from who I am.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Remember that your orientation can change and that so long as you’re comfortable with how you identify, that’s all that matters. It takes some people years to figure out what they’re comfortable with, and others get it right away, so just figure yourself out at your own pace. Labels are just labels at the end of the day.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a website at www.mystanimations.com as well as a deviantART (http://mysteriousshamrock.deviantart.com/) a YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTnW7e19gEgCUdXCZkTGtdg) and a Tumblr (http://mystmoon.tumblr.com/) I also sell my work through Redbubble (http://www.redbubble.com/people/mystmoon92/shop) and Society6 (http://society6.com/mystmoon) I’m available for commission through all of these channels.
Thank you, Helen, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.