Interview: Sofia Bergendal

Today we’re joined by Sofia Bergendal, who also goes by Haesselmaas online. Sofia is a brilliant visual artist who is just starting to get into digital art. She wrote that she likes to find beautiful moments in life and then commit them to paper. Her work practically sparkles with vibrancy and is quite lovely. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mainly do drawings. For a long time I used pen and paper and got by on that, but recently I’ve gotten into using the painting/drawing program Sketch on my tablet, and it’s helping me reach new levels and draw in ways I hadn’t thought of before, like using my imagination and just drawing. That used to be (and still is) a big challenge for me to do. I usually see something or capture a moment on a screen (freeze frame or a photograph) and draw from that. I am very good at drawing a likeness, but it’s a completely different style when I just draw, which I’m learning to do now 🙂

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What inspires you?

I recently found out I am ace and aro, but romance has always fascinated me. Especially LGBTQA+ romance. Possibly because I sensed that I didn’t fit into the ”normal” spectrum myself and I thought they held the key, I don’t know 🙂 So this has become a sort of theme in my drawings. Other than that I like when I can see lines and shadows – in faces, in trees, whatever. It gives me an idea about where to start drawing and I love that.

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What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Both my mother and stepfather are artists, as well as my brother, so you could say it’s in my blood, I guess 🙂 My parents were the ones who taught me to look at lines and shadows in the world around me and I’ll always be grateful to them for that. When I was younger I considered going to art school like them, but I’m not that type of an artist. I don’t create something new. All I do is copy 🙂

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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 really, unless you count the gay couples 😀 I’m a perfectionist, so I usually don’t stop until it’s absolutely perfect. I still look back at some of my earlier work and cringe.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t compare yourself to others, that will only bring you down. Try to start with something simple – like a rolled up ball of paper – and try to draw that. And then keep trying until it’s perfect. And try to not see the object, but the lines and shadows and how they interact. It’s the best way to learn to draw – in my opinion 🙂

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual and aromantic.

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Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

No, not really. I heard horror stories about ace prejudice, but in Denmark where I live the main problem is that it’s mostly unknown. The closest we get to prejudice is having to explain what it is.

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What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That people (including two of my therapists) believe that being asexual means having no sexual feelings *at all*. If it wasn’t for this misconception I would have found out who I was a lot sooner.

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What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are not alone. You are not a freak or an alien, even though it might feel that way. Don’t look at the people around you to tell you what to do or who you are, but go online and find out for yourself. Go on AVEN and search for ace blogs on Tumblr. That’s how I found my tribe. Love yourself for you and don’t compare yourself to other people. You don’t need their approval. Be significant by yourself.

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Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I have a page on Deviantart (name’s Haesselmaas) where I try to update my work. I also have a Sketch profile (search for Sofia Bergendal). Lastly, feel free to find me on Tumblr (also Haesselmaas) 🙂

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Thank you, Sofia, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

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