Today we’re joined by Laura. Laura is possibly a first for Asexual Artists: she’s mostly a street artist. Her passion is making stickers to put up in various public places. Aside from street art, she also enjoys doing sketches in her sketchbook. Laura is an incredibly dedicated artist who truly loves what she does, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m mostly interested in street art at the moment. I love making stickers, I occasionally make stencils and would love to learn how to do freehand graffiti someday. I’m also learning how to use a tablet, but that’s a weak field at the moment for me. Working with a regular sketchbook and pencils seems to be my forté.
I love making stickers because it’s something non-logical for a person to do. I don’t receive any money for doing it, most of my stickers get removed, I don’t make any publicity for anyone but myself, etc… For me it’s just the coolest thing ever to see someone put up a little drawing for someone else to see. I don’t see a lot of people doing it where I live so I decided to be that person.
What inspires you?
Any sketch done (well) directly in black ink marker. (see Creature13’s DeviantArt sketchbooks)
Dynamic, bold and edgy lines in sketches. I don’t like overly rendered pieces with like a million colors.
Anyone with a distinct visual style. Almost like a trademark. I love Skam (he’s a sticker artist).
In a more wide sense I guess anything cool I come across on the internet with a nice aesthetic, mostly pictures. I have a folder full of images like that, and when I’m not inspired, I just flip through them until I see something I want to draw.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I was an angsty twelve year old kid in an almost dictatorial high school, and just needed to get out. I don’t know if it was depression, but my mom definitely noticed and decided to pull me out and get me to another school. She gave me a pamphlet of the school before I changed schools (obviously) and I saw an art program. I couldn’t draw AT ALL back then, but I was sold immediately. So, I finished my year at my old school (that’s when I started drawing) and then went to the new school and it was a life changer. I love my mom for helping me make that decision.
So no, I didn’t always want to be an artist, I just needed to get out of a bad place, art just happened to be in my path.
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?
Yes! I tag everything with “Varya”
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If you want to do this, don’t half-ass it. It’s possible, but only if you really commit. I’m not there yet either. Progress is like being in the middle of the ocean, sailing towards the shore, you can’t see yourself getting closer, but you have to keep going no matter what.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Fully asexual and fully aromantic. I love my friends!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
OKAY, funny thing that happened JUST NOW. I asked my sister to convert this file of the interview to a pdf file because I’m cheap and don’t have word, and she was like “But you’re not asexual.” Sigh
Okay, now to the messed up stuff:
I once had to report a guy to the police, because I had to reject him. After I explained why I rejected him, he proceeded to send me death threats and such. On Facebook, he tagged me in a status saying that if anyone saw me in real life, they should beat me up (and he would if he saw me) I kind of laugh at it now cause it seems so ridiculous, but then I remember I had to report a guy because his fragile ego was so badly damaged he wanted me to die. I was called less than human, heartless,…
Also, I once explained my situation to my best friend and some of my other friends during a very relaxed class of sculpting, and they all told me I was wrong. That I would want it someday, that that’s just anatomically impossible, etc.
I don’t mind the death threats as much as what my friends said though. Because I know the guy was mentally atypical? (I’m sorry if that’s offensive, English isn’t my first language)
I was more hurt by what my friends said because they said it in such a way that made me feel weird, like they were more educated, and I didn’t know what I was saying. Now I have this subconscious idea that I can’t tell anyone because I’m weird and that’s weird and inappropriate
I’m still working on accepting myself. I’ve self-harmed, I’ve dealt with depression, and have cut off some of my loved ones completely because I couldn’t deal with a romantic relationship. Every time the topic of asexuality arises I just can’t bring myself to casually mention that I am asexual (even though my best friend now knows). I just cringe? I guess? Because of all the embarrassment instilled upon me by past experiences
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we’re wrong.
I’m so sick and tired of people “knowing better”. “You’re not asexual” is a thing I’ve heard quite a lot (no, not just my sister who said that)
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s okay to not have to put a label on yourself all the time. And it’s also okay to do so anyway!!! A name to what you are can be a relief to some, to make sense of what you feel, so that’s cool. I just want you to know that some people can be very hurtful about asexuality because they don’t know about it and think you’re making something up (seriously, my mom get confused after gay and lesbian, the rest of the acronym doesn’t exist to her). Those people’s opinion doesn’t matter because who knows you better than yourself, right??
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Laura, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.