Today we’re joined by Galaad spectre. Galaad is another first for Asexual Artists: she’s a model (an alternative photo model to be precise). Galaad is from France and has been involved in alternative photo modeling since 2010. She specializes in a number of themes, including fantasy and steampunk. I always love learning about different sorts of artistry and Galaad’s is absolutely fascinating. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m an amateur alternative photo model since 2010. By alternative, I mean I work mostly in Gothic, fantasy, dark, whimsical, steampunk and cosplay themes. I usually make the projects by myself with the help of motivated photographers. I know what I want to do so I choose the theme and costume and photographers answers if they like the idea- of course, they are free to request and suggest their own ideas. Being a model is like a therapy for me: when I was younger, kids at school rejected me and insulted me because was different and “ugly”. As a teenager, I entered the Gothic subculture and found myself in it. This gave me strength to search for my identity and assume who I am. Becoming a photo model has reconciled me with myself. It takes courage to dare to have our picture exposed to the eyes of the world. I also want to show that you don’t need to be a tall and skinny fashion blonde to be a model. Everybody can do it if they want to.
I like to disguise myself and become someone else for a moment. But, paradoxically, it also reveals me as I want to be. Since I was a child, I dreamed to look like a fairy, a vampire of a witch and photography permits me to do that. Dressing like we want is part of the freedom of speech.
What inspires you?
I’m usually inspired by the things I like: literature, ghost stories, fairytales, cinema, theatre, music, myths and legends from the entire world and of course personal feelings and experiences.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
When I was in a transition class from high school to art school, I met someone who introduced me to photography and modeling and also had photography class where I learned the basis. I always used to love pictures of all kind and create some. Photography permits to transform the ephemeral to eternal and freeze the things we love in time, saving them from a complete dissipation. Photography also allows to bring things immaterial to life: this is true magic to me.
Yes, I always wanted to be an artist, but the art school has bruised my dreams because the teachers have discriminated me because of my style and I was disappointed to realise that the art school community in France is so full of closed minded peoples. But my love for art is still present and today I wish to work in a museum to take care of what already exists. I think that art is the greatest creation of mankind, this is what makes our humanity. Art is more important in our life than we thought. If someone’s tell you that art is useless, just respond “try to spend your life without and you’ll see”.
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 don’t think so, but there are some characters I really like to play like witches, ghosts and scorned brides because I can identify myself to them: I know what it is to feel different, forgotten and heartbroken. I’ve got ‘Spectre’ in my name (which means ghost), as an asexual person, I feel close to a ghost because he’s pure soul and doesn’t have to use a body. Some of the characters I portrays in my photoshoots are androgyn and asexual characters. I’m fascinated with the codes between genres. I’m not transgender but sometimes I feel nor woman nor man inside my head.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Go, do it and have fun! Don’t let anyone judge you. Do what you like to do, this is more than your right.
If I have to give an advice: take your time to observe, try and find what fits you. Do it by steps, it will be more easy this way.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify myself as hetero-romantic asexual. I’m attracted to men but not in a sexual way. Sex doesn’t interest me. It disgusts me and I see it like something that destroys. I don’t understand why it is so important for others – I’m sure many of them never asked themselves this question, they just do it because mostly everything around them told them they should.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Yes but if I didn’t say it, nobody notices. It’s sad because when I tell peoples I’m asexual, suddenly they avoid me or doesn’t want to talk to me anymore as if it was a contagious and fatal disease. The most violent reaction I used to encounter was someone who once told me “You are useless if you don’t f**k, what a waste you are”. I suffer a lot because of this. I feel lonely and I’m quite sure I’ll never find a companion to live with. I’m OK with my asexuality and won’t change for anything, it’s the others that doesn’t understand (and don’t want to try). Guys, there’s so many other things than sex in life, open your eyes and your mind. Hopefully, I’ve some nice friends that doesn’t judge me on this.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Sadly, asexuality doesn’t exist for most peoples in this world. As mostly asexuals, I’ve heard the traditional “You just didn’t found the right person yet. It’s just a phase, it will pass”. Yeah quite original, I know. I’ve also heard: “it’s an excuse because you’re too shy/too ugly” and “It’s in our nature, we are animals” ← I responded to this one: “So would you like to be treated like an animal?” He immediately changed his sentence.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Your orientation is not a choice and the best way to be fine is to embrace it. Don’t be afraid, don’t be ashamed. The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity – so dare to be different! You are not alone.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Galaad, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.