Today we’re joined by Maria. She’s a phenomenal visual artist from Germany who is a fellow da Vinci fan (YAY!). Maria enjoys drawing with pencils, both traditional and colored pencils. She specializes in realistic images and her pictures show the most amazing attention to detail. The anatomy pictures are particularly impressive, though all her work is absolutely brimming with creativity. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Mostly I draw with pencils and color pencils. All my artworks are realistic. I’ve started to practice portraits, but changed short after my apprenticeship to human anatomy (like my role model Leonardo da Vinci). But I also draw templates for tattoos.
One day I started to mix my interests all together and since then you can see them in my artworks. There are also very personal stories behind some of them, too.
What inspires you?
As I said, Leonardo da Vinci is my role model. My first exhibition had the topic human anatomy (organs, bones, muscles oft he human body). The drawings itself where inspired by one of my associate professors during my apprenticeship. He teached the subject anatomy and his fascination affected me.
Today I have four muses, which inspire me from time to time without knowing it. It just needs one word or sentence and my mind makes something up right away.
My personal drawings are inspired by my own life and experiences made in it. It’s fascinating what ideas my subconciousness comes along with.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve honestly got no idea why I started drawing- I just did. When I was maybe 12 years old I grabbed a pencil and never stopped practicing.
But there’s is only a short period in my past life where I wanted to be an artist for living. That was the time right before my apprenticeship. The reason I fast quit the idea were the low chances of being successful in this are, in fact. Here in Germany everyone wants to be an artist. There are a lot of designers in different areas and everyone of them is looking for a job. Just a few a successful. The cold hard truth is, that it’s very hard to make a living with creativity. So I stayed with art only as a hobby. If there’s a chance of getting known I take it (e.g. exhibitions).
Another reason is my lack of interest in art. I’m just not interested in other styles of art like impressionism or surrealism or even the history of art itself. I do like realism, sculptures and antique buildings. Modern art, for instance, I don’t understand. Why pay thousands, even millions of dollars for a “piece of art,“ which could be created by a five year old child? But that’s just my opinion.
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?
I don’t think that there’s something unique in my drawings, except my signature. It’s a monogram, made out of the first letters of my first and last name. I also include a shortcut of the year the picture was created – that’s it.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
My advice must start with my favourite quote of Leonardo da Vinci himself: “Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art“. I think that every artist sees the truth in those words. Without passion, diligence, patience and trust in your own abilities it’s very hard nearly impossible to create art. Your spirit and your heart have to work together to create art, that shows the artists soul.
There will be days when it seems like your talent is forever gone. That your hard work just vanished and you’ll never be able to create any kind of art. But be patient. Those days will end as fast as they started.
I’ve also made the experience that it’s important to finish every single piece of work you started. Sometimes it seems that your current work isn’t turning out as imagined. Don’t fool yourself! Finish your work and you’ll see that you invested your time right. Sometimes the whole great picture is seen only after the last steps. You will never know if your artwork turned out like you wanted it if you stop in the middle of progress.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m an aromantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
One of the reactions I encounter every time is that everyone assumes at first that I’m joking. Yes, I’ve got a twisted sense of humor but in that matter I’m absolutely serious.
Every time i just hear: “What?! You’re what?! That’s impossible, because I’ve never heard of that. You definitely joking right now!”
When I try to explain I can see the doubt in their eyes. Shortly after my explanations they still want to explain their point of view. Sometimes it seems to me like they think I’m suffering from a kind of disease that has to be cured immediately. So they try to discuss with me hoping to convince me of their own view. Just because they didn’t know any better.
My favourite point of those discussions is: “You’re too young to know so. Wait another five years then you’ll see! You will be in great love, married and a great mother!“
I’m 25 years old by now and still have to hear those stupid sentences.
First I was disappointed and angry when I heard all that. I didn’t understand why it was so difficult to understand my orientation. But today I smile and explain patiently why I still doesn’t want to be in love or have sex.
I can imagine what it feels like to hear about this “new thing“. But I hope that someday people will understand and accept us.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Most people think I’m mentally ill. In their eyes to be asexual is definitely a personality disorder, nothing more. It’s sad but I think the most people fear what they don’t know. So they try with all their imagination to explain the unknown. To give it a reason or purpose they can accept. But there’s nothing to fear, only to accept. They don’t care about hurting someone‘s feelings. As long as they can believe that they’re right and feel good about it.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Talk to someone you trust about your orientation. One of my friends told me that I might be asexual. I didn’t know this word until then. After research I found another one: aromantic. I‘ve always known about my orientation but could never name it right. Now I can and it feels great. It’s also a relief to know that I’m not alone. Yes, there is still a silent fight of acceptance, but just because only a few people know about asexuality. There are tolerant people, but not enough. We all have to change that. But first you have to accept yourself. There was a moment when I thought: “Mmhh… so I’ll never fall in love. No marriage, no children, no sex… Is that how I want to live?” The answer is YES. Because I know, that I wouldn’t be happy in a romantic or sexual relationship. I would deny my own personality, deny who I really am. How could I be honest to others, when I’m not even honest to myself?
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Just a few days ago I created an account on DeviantArt. You can find some of my artworks there. Look for JackieP90 (jackiep90.deviantart.com).
I’m also writing my memoirs right now. I’m hoping to publish it one day.
Thank you, Maria, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.