Today we’re joined by Christian De Mohun. Christian is an absolutely fantastic visual artist who has a number of inspirations (a fellow Da Vinci fan!). His work is incredible and there’s a touch of dark surrealism to a few of the pictures. The wings in some of the pictures are so beautiful. This is an artist with a lot of passion for his medium. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art’s very much a mish-mash of things. Though I specialise in people, I pull from varying things I love – from surrealism to pre-Raphaelite to whatever emotion I’m working from at the time. Mostly I’ll draw something spontaneously. I’m not good at planning drawings out and the amount of times a single piece will go through re-dos entirely depends on my level of focus at the time.
What inspires you?
Things that have happened to me, music I’m listening to – if I hear a piece of music that immediately puts a picture in my head, I’ll listen to it on repeat until I’ve finished it, for instance – varying roleplays I’m in and games I play. I draw inspiration from my favourite artists as well – Dali, Da Vinci, Hugh to name a few – and also from abstract things like emotions, my own nightmares/personal things, and from my transition.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
This’ll sound very bad, but my first ‘art’ was graffiti! And not even pretty graffiti at that. I was a ‘tagger’ – someone who scrawled a nickname on a wall – though I’d occasionally do little pictures with it. After I cleaned up and found my now-fiancée, she asked me if I could draw angel wings for a tattoo idea she had. I decided to try, and she encouraged me to keep doodling. I never thought I’d be good enough to be professional, though, until I was accompanying a friend to a college induction and just for the hell of it I thought I’d look into the art courses. I showed my sketchbook to one of the lecturers, and despite not having any qualifications he enrolled me on the spot based off of that.
I took the opportunity with both hands, and I’ve never regretted it.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?
If it’s not my initials – CDM for Christian De Mohun – hidden somewhere in the picture, it’ll be some little nod somewhere or – in the style of the old classics – the picture will be full of symbolism.
I like symbolism!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Never, ever give up. Remember art is personal, and whatever style you use, you rock it because it’s your style. Never let someone dictate it for you. Learn from other artists – if you see a picture that has a technique you think looks amazing, study it! Don’t be afraid to ask – artists as a rule love to pass on knowledge because someone’s showing an interest. Even if you’re not pumping out masterpieces like you feel you should be, always be drawing – doodle something every day, whether it’s a stupid little face or something you use as a base for something bigger, ALWAYS draw.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
This one’s a weird one. I’m a hypersexualised Ace, meaning I enjoy sex a lot but have no sexual attraction. At first I thought I was more demisexual as I am attracted to one or two people, then grey ace, but as I searched harder I discovered I didn’t really know what attraction was. It didn’t help I felt bad because I do have sex and I enjoy it a lot and I didn’t want the partner I have it with to think that I didn’t find them attractive, because I do, I’m just … not really bothered if I don’t get it. It’s like chocolate – I like it, if it’s there I’ll have it, but if it’s not and there’s none in the house I won’t go looking for it.
And just to confuse things further, along the way I also discovered I’m quoiromantic too – in other words, what the hell is romantic feeling and what do I do with it, does my best friend have a crush on me or are they just being nice, oh my god are they in love or is it platonic?! About the only thing I know for sure is I’m in love with both my fiancée and my partner (yup, I have two in a happy polyamorous relationship) and they’re in love with me. Beyond that … nope.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Personally? No. I’ve had prejudice for being trans, but not Ace. However, I’ve seen the erasure and such and some prejudice towards my fiancée and when I didn’t know better and was – frankly – dumb I was just as bad with said erasure and ignorance. Luckily, through no small part of my fiancée’s patience, I got better.
Oh, there was the fact we aren’t really welcome in Pride marches, being as at the time I was considering myself Bisexual and I’m trans and my fiancée was Ace. That wasn’t really nice.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The sodding ‘reproduce asexually’ thing. That and ‘is your partner going to see a shrink about that? You’re really brave, I don’t think I could last that long without sex’. That was quoted from my tattoo artist, but I’ve heard the ‘you can go to a psychiatrist for that’ from too many people. The ‘you haven’t had a real man in the sheets’ was one particularly hurtful one towards my fiancée, as in one fell swoop they’d erased her sexuality and misgendered me at the same time.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Screw ’em. Remember, they aren’t in your head, they can never know how you perceive and think, what you enjoy or why. It’s not up to them what you identify as, they’re only labeling you against their own desires and perceptions. Do your research, find what makes you comfortable, find your safe place and stand proud. It’s also none of their business – you don’t NEED to ‘come out’, you don’t have to tell them anything.
You are not broken. You are not alone. And you do not need to force yourself to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You are you, and unique, and strong. Be proud of that fact.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
These days, it’s pretty exclusively found here on Tumblr at http://rimewasted-icequeen.tumblr.com/tagged/mine – though I will warn, I do have NSFW pieces. They’re tagged, though, so if you have Tumblr Savior or a similar blocker that has ‘NSFW’ added they shouldn’t show up. I hope.
Thank you, Christian, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.