Today we’re joined by Maddie. Maddie is an awesome young artist who is quite versatile. She works in a number of different media. Mostly a visual artist, Maddie is also learning to play the piano and she’s also a filmmaker. Her drawings show an amazing attention to detail and emotion. It’s clear that she has a very bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I make a range of different art in my spare time, but mostly drawing. I tend to draw fan art a lot but I also like to try making original works because those feel more personal. I have a few smaller art-related hobbies, I like having lots of ways to express myself because sometimes one method feels better than another. I used to make a lot of small animations, I am teaching myself how to play piano again through YouTube tutorials, and lastly I love making short films. For the most part I make “term videos” of all the things my friends and I have done in each term at our school, and I’ve made several short films for school projects, my final one for my last year of high school is going to be a documentary, but I’m actually not allowed to say what it’s about ‘cause it’s a secret! I upload all my films to my YouTube account so it’ll be up there sometime next year.
What inspires you?
I’ve found that I’ve always been inspired just by other artists. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, so when I was a kid I’d just copy the drawings I saw in picture books so I could make my own, whenever I’ve started a new style of art I’ve always taken inspiration from artists in that field so I can try to gradually find my own style, this was especially helpful when I started drawing manga.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve definitely always wanted to be an artist, for as long as I can remember it’s all I’ve wanted to do but I don’t really remember why. Growing up my relatives were all really trying to get me into tennis but I always preferred to spend my time drawing in my room. I’ve always loved movies so that’s how I got into making short films and animations, I also love music so that’s why I started playing piano. As for manga drawing, I have my best friend from primary school to thank for that, she first showed me the art style when we were eleven, and I’ve been drawing it ever since.
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?
Unfortunately, I don’t but I’m hoping to think of one sometime in the future, I love when artists use their own unique symbol in their work, my favourite being Gabriel Picolo’s cat that he includes in every art piece, I hoped I would have come up with one by now but I think I should just wait for it to come naturally rather than force it for the sake of having one.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t worry if your art isn’t as good as you want it to be, every artist, no matter how good they are, struggle with the feeling that it’s just not good enough. But you need to remember that you’re not making something for it to be perfect, and you’re not making it just to please other people, you’re making it for yourself. So make art that you want to see and don’t worry if it doesn’t come out the way you want it to. We’re lucky to be able to express ourselves through art so we should appreciate having that ability, because it is very special.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as Apothisexual, which is just a more specific term for “sex-repulsed asexual”, although when asked I just say “asexual” so as not to confuse anyone who wouldn’t be familiar with the topic. I also used to identify as demi-romantic but I’ve found that hetero-romantic fits better. Romantic and sexual orientations can be very fluid sometimes so I’m happy to switch between whatever feels best.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Since I’m not very “out” I thankfully haven’t experienced much personal prejudice, the only person who I’ve talked to about my sexuality in person is my sister, and recently the topic came up again and I mentioned how I used to be terrified of relationships and she said “yeah you thought you were asexual for a while!” as if it was silly that I identified that way, so I just said “… I still do!” and left it at that, so that really hurt me to hear my sister laugh about it that way. Apart from that incident it’s mostly just hearing relatives talk about how I’ll definitely have kids one day, and people acting like you need sex to have a fulfilling relationship, so I’ve learned to just give myself reassuring words during those times and remind myself that I’m still valid and that there are people who will accept me along with my sexuality. As long as you can support yourself you can get through any of the ridiculous things people will say to you!
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I’d say the most common one is that we’re all aromantic as well by default, I feel like I have to remind people sometimes that I can be romantically attracted to people and that I do want a relationship in the future. I’m glad people recognize aromantic as valid, that’s for sure, but it’s very frustrating that people think if you won’t have sex with someone then you don’t want a relationship either, they don’t go hand in hand, you can have a loving relationship without sex, but a lot of people seem to struggle with that concept.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Just remember that you can be loved regardless of your orientation, whether that’s romantically or platonically, and you don’t have to do anything for anybody just because their orientation is different, your comfort is what matters most to you. And if you’re a relatively young asexual like me, remember that sexuality can be fluid, and if one day you find you aren’t on this spectrum anymore then that’s totally okay, always do what feels right with you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m mostly on my Tumblr account ‘chibi-choo’, my Instagram ‘chibi_mads’ and my YouTube channel Chibi Choo: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClXY6SgR91jw5Tu_f2SSkZA (They all have chibi in the name because that used to be my favourite style of manga ‘cause it’s very simple.)
I’m also going to be launching an art store on Society6 soon so stay tuned for that on my Tumblr as I’ll announce it there.
Thank you, Maddie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.