Today we’re joined by DarkNerd. DarkNerd is an awesome visual artist who works mostly in clay sculpture. Recently he has begun to dabble in sprite art and has done work in traditional media. DarkNerd is also an enthusiastic fanartist. His work has a very unique style and it’s very clear he has a great eye for detail. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I currently mostly do custom figures with Super Sculpey right now, along with sprites. I’ve been working with clay for around 3 years by now and spriting for around 8 years on and off. I also do traditional drawing and have very recently set my foot in the digital art realm. I mostly just throw stuff around and if something’s working, I stick to it for as long I feel good doing so. I have a really hard time coming up with original ideas I don’t plan on expanding into copyright stuff at some point, so most of the work I do post tends to be fanart, if not all. I have tried painting but I am not exactly the best at that. Though my working on figures is helping that a lot. While I don’t plan on getting a career in art, I do plan on making at least one toy that ends up in a physical store.
What inspires you?
Horrible/brilliant concepts tend to give me the most inspiration, along with a few games from my childhood and current life. This is pretty much a broader way of saying most of my art is inspired by the Gingerdead Man, Hamtaro, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon. I do look at a lot of artists, but most of them don’t have direct influence on my art style, the only ones I can really think of are a few of my old friends from a Pokémon forum I still hang out on. I did of course have an anime/manga phase, mostly inspired by Pokémon though. In terms of figures, Kaizahr from YouTube is my biggest inspiration, though Giovy’s Hobby, Cristhian Crafts, Nerdy Crafter, AkameruKawaii and a lot more channels, probably too many to list off.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
The first figure I can remember doing is a Squirtle I made using Model Magic with Kaizahr’s tutorial. It started off as just me trying something new and kinda liking it. I then realized most of my fandoms didn’t really have accessible merch in the form of figures. So I figured, hey, if no one’s doing anything with this, I might as well. I always wanted to be an artist, but not as my primary career. Way too many people told me how bad of an idea that would be so I eventually developed a different goal for my job. Still doing art though and don’t plan on stopping.
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?
Nope. I have experimented with that a lot, though. I even had a logo for quite a few years. I stuck with that for a while, up until late high school, where I figured it wasn’t really that good. I did recently experiment with it again, using the head of my ACHHD character. I did not like it. Might bring it back soon, once I fix it up.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Whatever you do, keep doing it. Drawing? Keep drawing, even if it is tracing, redrawing, using how-to-draw books about specific characters, just draw. Sculpting? Sculpt, whatever you feel like, abstract shapes, YouTube tutorials, etc. Paint? Keep painting, landscapes, figures, 3D figures, etc. Paint. Don’t enjoy doing something even after giving it a try for several months? Try something. Write a bunch of art forms on pieces of paper, put them in a box, shake it, and pull something out. Do that. Like literally, do that. I did. A box with pieces of paper, the perfect decision maker!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
On the ace spectrum, definitely sex repulsed. Not even a fan of the internet’s primary resource. No, I am indeed a sex repulsed ace, never putting that auxiliary organ to use. That said, I have the mouth of a sailor and the mind of a miner. Which is to say my thoughts and words are very dirty and inappropriate. As for my romantic orientation, I’m not sure. Never been in a relationship and currently too busy to get into one right now. I have thought about it, but I have no idea how I’d actually feel in one. For now though, I’m Aro-Ace.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t really spoken to many people outside of friends about my asexuality, but on my campus I did at one bring it up because I was asked and got the typically, “People can’t be ace, you just need to try it!” response. I have never mentioned it ever again. I do however deal with a lot of people who just assume every single human being is anything but asexual.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we don’t exist. In truth, we do. I personally hang out with Elvis who is still totally alive. I’m also on a first name basis with Gregg, otherwise known as the Sasquatch. But seriously, those are myths people. Asexual people are not myths. We’re people. There are people who see people and do not think about sex. Sex is not the great motivator. People need to stop acting like it is.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
If you can, ignore it. But I know there’s a lot of people who simply can’t and that’s okay. If you can, try to avoid those people who question who you are. If you can’t do either, you’re not alone. It’s okay. There’s plenty of us, feel free to talk to any of us. I will personally do all I can to help anyone who asks for my help. It doesn’t matter how small or how big whatever it is you need help with is. Sometimes a simple gesture of someone offering help is all you need. Sometimes what you need is someone to help you with the thing. I, and many others, will gladly help you. Even if it’s not directly, even if it’s just moral support, even if it’s just someone to help you deal with not accomplishing something, people can and will help you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can check up my art blog, Captain-Waynes-Ship or my main blog, DarkNerd-Crossing. If you have any questions, I’m pretty open about my art, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I will answer it as best as I can.
Thank you, DarkNerd, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.