Today we’re joined by Ted Brandt. Ted is a wonderfully talented inker who works in comics. He’s one of the artists working on Action Lab’s Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess book, which looks absolutely incredible. He obviously has a lot of passion for his work and it shows. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m primarily an inker working in the comics industry, currently for Action Lab comics on the LGBT+ friendly comic Princeless: Raven the Pirate Princess.
As an inker my main job is to take the comics pages that are pencilled and polish them, finishing the linework. Reductively, I neaten the pages, but it’s more like a subtle reinterpretation.
What inspires you?
Depends on the day! I absolutely adore movies and music, but find inspiration in reading, cooking, eating; anything can be inspiring, or maddening, if you approach it in a certain way.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Art’s a bit like my sexuality: I was always supposed to be here but it took me a long time to figure it out. I’d been reading comics regularly since I was 14, but it wasn’t until nearly a decade later that I decided to try actually making them.
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?
Sadly no; as comics work is sequential commercial illustration, there’s nothing recurring in the work I’ve done so far!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Never confuse wanting to be an artist with wanting to be known as an artist: take pleasure and pride in the process, and let the results worry about themselves. And never be afraid of a bit of hard work; as long as you’re not sacrificing your health to achieve it.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m in the heteroromantic asexual category. I’m very happily in a long-term relationship, but don’t experience any desire for sex.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I might be lucky, but no! If, and that’s a big if, it’s ever come up, people have been pretty cool about it. It’s entirely possible my lack of experienced prejudice could be partly to do with the fact that I’m white and male; it’s still a pretty big sea of privilege to be swimming in.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Probably my own! Before I realised where my orientation is, I was obviously not interested in sex but felt like admitting that was somehow announcing that I wasn’t as cool or interesting as everyone else.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Find friends who you can talk to about it, and don’t be afraid to be honest. I lied to friends for years, pretending I was like them, and had experienced sex. I’m pretty sure they all knew I was lying, of course, but they were kind and never challenged me over it, or made me feel terrible because of it. So having people in your life who will be supportive is key.
Also, don’t be afraid to experiment and find out where on the spectrum you are. Trying something doesn’t define you at all, but the self-awareness that you will gain is priceless! I thought I was demisexual for quite some time, but with time and experience have realised that I’m full Ace.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can type my name into the digital comics website Comixology.com to find all my published work.
My Tumblr (tenbandits.tumblr.com) is my rolling art/blog.
I’ll have a full website soon, but it’s not quite ready yet. When it is, links will be available from my Tumblr!
Thank you, Ted, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.