Today we’re joined by Erin. Erin is a first for Asexual Artist: she’s a culinary artist and a freaking amazing one at that! I think I was drooling the whole time I was scrolling through the pictures she sent. They’re absolutely beautiful and I could not be happier to feature her on this site. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Me: How am I going to pick pictures to send in? All my work is terrible and should not be seen by the public eye.
*Scrolls through pictures of my work*
Me: How am I going to pick pictures to send in? I’m such an amazing artist and these are all fantastic. How am I going to narrow it down?
Haha, I guess that’s more about me then it is about my work. Not much to say though. I create what makes me and others happy. I guess that’s what I love about culinary. Everyone loves a beautiful and well-decorated treat.
What inspires you?
On, just what inspires anyone else I guess. Pretty things like flowers, and fall, lace and delicate, soft fabrics. Soft things and bright things, like sunshine on green leaves or a tuft of cotton candy bought at a local carnival. I’m also inspired by other people a lot. Someone’s favorite color or what they laugh at, the color of their hair, their favorite treat or flavor, what inspires them or who they fall in love with. Pretty sappy I guess, huh? I may be aroace, but I am still a hopeless romantic at heart haha. Pretty things and deep things and strange things, these are all just so beautiful to me, and make me happy. People are also so interesting and complex and wonderful and awful and human. I just have a massive love/hate relationship with people.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Okay now this is two different questions with two different answers. I have been interest in art all my life, and have dabble with jewelry making and painting and drawing and sculpting and this and that and so on and so forth and have always known I wanted to do something artistic, for the most part. However, I have always HATED cooking. Just hated it! So I never even attempted culinary arts, though, to be honest, I always had a vague interest in baking and pastry and cake decorating that I always kind of ignored.
I didn’t really dive into this interest though, until I was 20. I fell into a deep depression then, and my mom was looking for some way for me to keep busy, so I didn’t do anything rash. Seeing as I had no job, no school, nothing to do or no way to be needed, (all contributing to my depression) she signed me up for cake decorating classes. I fell in love from the very first class. In fact, though I had thought originally that it had taken me several months to even entertain the thought of becoming a pastry chef, when I had read a journal entry I had made of my first class, I had written down that I wanted to do this as a career. Go figure. At the time when I was so depressed that it caused me physical pain, and I spent all day praying that I didn’t have to go on anymore, that I could just die already, these classes were the only thing that made me feel okay. Even kind of happy, in their own way. In retrospect, I really should have known that baking would have my heart forever.
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?
Make a shitton of mistakes. I just cannot stress this enough. Make ALL the mistakes and make them ALL the time! And once you’re done making a mistake, make new ones! Grand ones and small ones and ones that set you off into fits of rage! Just all the mistakes! Mistakes are in reality, really and truthfully, the most beautiful thing you could do with your art. Mistakes are gorgeous, and should be praised. At some point, we as a society decided that everything must be perfect all the time no matter the skill level and it was the biggest fucking mistake ever. Mistakes are beautiful things that allow you to grow and adventure and discover and find yourself and to become a better artist and person. You truly learn so, so very much more from mistakes than you ever will from success. So make tons of mistakes, love those mistakes so thoroughly you want to marry them, and learn, and soon you’ll find yourself making work you never dreamed you could make.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual! Either sex adverse or sex curious depending on the day.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I wouldn’t say I have experienced prejudice/ignorance directly because of the field I choose, but whenever I even approach the subject of ‘Hey actually I’m not interested in this’ I get met with a lot of opposition. Implications that I’m not human, or that obviously I’m mistaken because of course I’m interest in sex everyone is interest. They’re more accepting of the possibility that I might gay than I might be asexual. It’s exhausting. It’s part of the reason why I don’t actually come right out and say, ‘Hey I’m asexual!’ First because I ain’t got no time for a vocab lesson, uh huh, no sir, I got a pie in the oven and two dozens tarts that got to be done in an hour. Second, because I want to get a general sense of how they will treat the subject, so I hint at it instead. When the reaction is negative, and it always has been so far, except for a few close friends, I drop it entirely, and, depending on how negative the reaction, avoid that person. If they can’t accept me they don’t deserve my presence. Period.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Other than The Debate (whether or not asexuals belong in the LGBT community and more specially, if they can reclaim queer) the most common misconception has actually come from within the community, which is the subject of someone not being use the term asexuality because they feel actual attraction of some form or that they are not “ace” enough. There is a whole spectrum of asexuality, and the fact that so many don’t feel accepted because they do not fit in a strict definition of what it is to “be” asexual is appalling. I have seen lithsexuals, graysexuals, demisexuals, and more feel unwelcomed and outcasted because people refuse to accept them into the community. It is a practice that I find to be, to be quite honest, disgusting, and one that needs to be talked about more (I’ve actually been fiddling with the idea of addressing it but I don’t know how many people would see it if I posted it on my blog.) We cannot fight for inclusion in the LGBT community and then turn around a reject our own. I wish so badly that this community may be a safe haven for any and all that find home within the term, just as I have. I know we can do it too, we might just need to work a little harder.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s hard. I know. It is so very hard and it can be a damn near impossible struggle at time. I’m sorry, it’s going to be hard, it might be hard for a while, but you will be okay. Eventually things will get better. Everything will be alright, you’ll be accepted as who you are, no strings attached. And you’ll be loved just as you are, no strings attached. Keep fighting my loves, you are stronger and braver than you could ever know, and I look up to you so much, and it will all be okay. And you will be so happy. Keep going.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Unfortunately, I don’t have a specific website or blog set up to view my work, though I have considered making a baking YouTube series. Perhaps if I get enough interest in that I might do it. Might do it anyways, we’ll see. At this time, I will occasionally post my work on my personal blog, theanonymousbooks, if you want to follow that you are always welcomed, lovelies 🙂
Thank you, Erin, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.