Today we’re joined by Stella. Stella is a young artist who displays an incredible amount of skill. She specializes in traditional mediums, favoring watercolor and ink. There’s an eerie dreamlike quality to her work as you’ll soon see. It’s quite interesting visually, demonstrating a wonderful imagination. This artist has such a bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Warning: there is some blood and mild body horror in one picture (the 2nd one in the interview)
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a primarily self-taught artist, but I have recently finished a foundations art class and will soon be taking an intermediate course. My favourite mediums to work with are watercolour and ink; I typically combine the two together. I enjoy creating phantasmagorical scenes and portraits.
What inspires you?
I often seek inspiration for my artwork from the ocean, music, and literature.
There are also many artists who inspire, most notably Tim Burton. Other artists I admire and find inspiring, even if their styles don’t directly influence my art, are Carson Ellis, Mab Graves, Mark Ryden, and Camilla d’Errico, They are all incredibly talented & kind individuals who are able to make a living doing what they love, which is my ultimate goal as an artist.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I have always gravitated towards art, and ever since I was a young child, I hoped my future career would involve art. Unfortunately, I felt discouraged from this dream for many years, as pursuing artistic careers is frowned upon and seen as illogical by much of society. However, this past year I realised the only way I would be happy making a living is by making art. I am now filled with new determination to achieve my goal of becoming a children’s book illustrator. This would allow me to combine two of my loves, books and illustrating, into one!
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?
I’m afraid not! But the things that you will frequently see in my work are octopi and whales.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Do not listen to the voice inside your head that tells you your dreams are pointless or useless to pursue. Do not listen to others who tell you those things. Instead, follow your artistic instincts. Never stop creating. If you are young and want to work in an art field, and you are filled with ambition, I really do think you can succeed. Be relentless! Prove everybody who thinks you can’t be successful wrong.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am a heteroromantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have not encountered discrimination amongst other artists, but I have encountered discrimination amongst other folk. The worst of it was when someone told me my asexuality was a disease. Negative remarks like that can be very disheartening, and sometimes angering, but on the occasion they happen, I always remind myself nothing anyone says can invalidate my asexuality.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
A lot of people confuse asexuality with the inability to love (typically romantic love). I find this to one of the most unfortunate misconceptions for a whole slew of reasons–first off, aces are completely capable of developing loving relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic; secondly, this helps perpetuates the incorrect idea that sex = love, and therefore sexless relationships are meaningless; and finally, this misconception reinforces aromantic erasure.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Always remember, your feelings are valid, and you are not alone, no matter how much it may feel that way. Know it is okay to be uncertain about your orientation, as sexuality can be very confusing. Also, I know many aces deal with rejection and invalidation from family and friends after coming out, which is no doubt incredibly disheartening. If this is you, I promise you will meet so many others who will love and accept you for who you are, even if this may take time.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have an art Tumblr where I post most of my works (although I’m afraid I don’t post very often). The url is itsalovelydaytoleavemealone.tumblr.com. I hope within the next couple of years to make a professional portfolio website, however.
Thank you, Stella, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.