Today we’re joined by Erin. Erin is a fantastically talented visual artist who specializes in traditional mediums. Her attention to detail is absolutely amazing and the pictures she sent to go with her interview show that she has an incredible eye. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I do mainly traditional work with pencils and fine tip felt pens. I haven’t done much digital work recently, but I really enjoy working in Photoshop when I have the time. Overall, I like working small and packing detail into whatever I’m drawing.
What inspires you?
Since starting a fine arts degree in August, I’m finding that seeing people around my own age working hard in their own styles and making incredible work is very inspiring. We all push each other to do our best work, and it really shows when it comes to final critiques. Professionally, I’d say artists who work on large-scale movies inspire me, as that’s what I’d like my career to turn into one day. The Lord of the Rings trilogy was what first inspired me to become serious about art.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Watching the special features for movie franchises like the Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter really got me interested in a career in art. Whenever I see a film I love, I immediately run out and buy the art book and absorb all I can from them! I’ve always been creative, and I’ve been drawing since I was little, so a career in art was always where I was headed. Even though I still have a long ways to go, seeing my own improvement keeps me passionate.
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?
Not really. In some of my digital pieces that aren’t watermarked, I hide my initials very subtly all over the place.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Whatever your chosen medium is, do it a lot! Even if you think what you do isn’t the best, the only way to get better is to make mistakes and try again. That being the most important factor, try to also keep inspired by the people around you. Keep a folder full of pieces and artists that you look up to, and don’t be scared to emulate the parts of their work you like. See a colour palette you like? Try it out! Like how somebody draws eyes? Try drawing that way! Eventually you’ll arrive at your own unique style that feels natural to you.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Right now I’d place myself as heteroromantic, sex-repulsed asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
The people in the field who know my orientation have either been nonchalant or politely curious. I’ve had a few classmates even approach me privately during after-hours studio time to ask questions. It was a little nerve-wracking to be honest, but it’s been very encouraging to have encountered such a positive reception. I’ve had very negative receptions outside the field, and the way I’ve dealt with that is to acknowledge that we’re a small, fairly unknown community, so getting confusion or seemingly rude remarks from people is to be expected. Take people’s words with a grain of salt, and encourage them to do their own research.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Probably that it just means a person’s shy, or naïve about sexual relationships. For me, sex-repulsion happens totally separate from my feelings about a person. I could have a sexual relationship if I wanted, but I’m just not in tune with people feeling sexually towards me, because it’s not something I understand or can reciprocate. I had to end my last relationship because I thought I was just ‘too shy’, even though the anxiety I was having over things as little as kissing was part of my asexuality (though I didn’t know it yet).
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t feel like you have to nail what you’re feeling down to a bunch of labels, because chances are, none of them will fit perfectly. It’s important to not try and define yourself right now, especially if you’re younger. Things could change for you, so just take yourself one day at a time and find people who will be there for your ups and downs. Following blogs like this one that shines a positive light on the community is a good step towards being okay with yourself. Chin up, kiddos!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Erin, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.