Today we’re joined by Megan Christopher. Megan is a phenomenal and versatile artist. She does both writing and visual art. She currently has a web cartoon entitled I, Geek. Megan has also recently worked on a webcomic loosely based on her experience as a romantic asexual, which she hopes to continue writing. Megan has a really great eye for detail and it shows in her work. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
When I’m not writing, I draw, make comics, and do some graphic design. In the past I’ve also made copper-based jewelry, collages, needlepoint, and a myriad of other crafts.
What inspires you?
My geeky fandoms have been an enormous influence on my life and my art. Even before I started drawing, I made fan art. It probably all goes back to Harry Potter.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I consider myself a writer first and foremost, but for most of my life, I wished I could draw – I just told myself I was no good. Then I started working in a comic shop, and my exposure to and appreciation of art definitely increased. I decided to start practicing, and got a lot of positive feedback. One of the things I love about modern comics is how many different styles there are, and cartooning allows me to combine my creative outlets: art, writing, and humor.
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 yet, but now I want to! Like a Hidden Mickey…
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Keep at it. It’s the most obvious, and the hardest advice to follow. I want to give up at least once a week. I’ve tried what feels like a billion different forms of art and have yet to ‘make it.’ It’s pretty frustrating, if not downright depressing, and the older I get, the more dire it feels. But the truth is, I couldn’t stop making art, even if I wanted to, and the only way to get better is to make more. You absolutely never know what will catch on. I’d also say, be open to criticism. Another tough one – practically no one is born with the thick skin needed to succeed as an artist. It’s something you develop, and the more you expose yourself to critique, the easier it’ll get.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a hetero-romantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I grew up in Hollywood, California – when it comes to a lack of sexual attraction, ignorance is everywhere. At first I just kept to myself, staying quiet whenever the topic came up. These days, I’m open about being asexual, and invite people to ask questions when the subject arises. I tend to treat any ace-prejudice the way I treat misogyny – with disdain and a dead-eyed stare.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Probably that it’s “not a thing,” or that it’s a phase. I think most people who hear the word ‘asexual’ treat it with skepticism. It’s so foreign to them as to be impossible. The irony is real, yo.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Embrace the community you can find. If that’s online, so be it. If you’re lucky enough to live in an area where asexuality isn’t such a radical concept, reach out to others. Having people in your life in whom you can confide is crucial. Also, whatever orientation suits you right now doesn’t have to determine the rest of your life. Sexuality is fluid enough that something might change down the road, and it might not. But even if it does, that doesn’t invalidate how you feel at any given time. People aren’t as easily labeled as we’d like them to be.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My art is on Instagram (http://instagram.com/megan.christopher) and Tumblr (megdchristopher.tumblr.com), and my web comic, I, Geek – including ‘Ace Adventures’ strips – can be found at igeekthecomic.tumblr.com. Follow me on Twitter megdchristopher.
Thank you, Megan, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.