Today we’re joined by Ally, who goes by yourfluffiestnightmare on Tumblr. Ally is a hobby writer who enjoys writing fiction. When time allows, she also enjoys drawing. Ally enjoys creating, 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 am a fiction writer in my free time. Sometimes I draw.
What inspires you?
Relationship dynamics of any kind and why people are a certain way. I like to explore that with my characters. They may bear some similarity in traits with persons I know in real life, but it’s not very noticeable as I don’t just “lift” characters but compose them from both imagination and maybe people I know.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
No, I am too realistic to know that I couldn’t make money with it. I was too average in drawing and never really pursued it; I would’ve failed as a graphic designer or so as the competition is much better. I use my creative work as recreation – although it’s not very relaxing and feels like hard work, too. But it’s different kind of work. Kind of like using your right arm to lift something after you only used your left all day long. When I do a lot of calculating for my studies, my creative output usually goes up, too. It’s a balance.
So I didn’t want to be an artist, but the way I got into writing was that I had this story idea building up in my head for a long time and it always came back to me and I added stuff, and I was curious to see how it would work in a written form. I wanted to explore these characters. That was May 2011, and I was 17. I had just graduated high school and had a lot of free time, so I did a few months of writing practice – writing scenes and comparing them with examples I knew I found bad, unlearning mistakes, etc. I was just determined to learn writing.
I was pretty horrid in school when it came to my native language, my grammar and spelling was fine but I couldn’t deal with poem analyzations, so I assumed I couldn’t do creative writing. I always read a lot, so I guess I sort of had a natural feeling for it and a good vocabulary so it came maybe easier to me than to others, and the story may be far too long because I didn’t know about right pacing, but it’s stylistic very similar to how I write now and I never had complaints that I would write too stiffly, unemotional, or whatever.
Since then, there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t written. It’s become my main source of creative output, and it’s so handy: you just never get bored when you have your handful of characters always with you.
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?
No, I don’t think though. Although – there are usually LGBT+ characters in my stories, whether it’s crucial to the plot or not. When I started writing I still thought I was straight, so it wasn’t really any agenda, and later it came pretty natural to me. I wrote subconsciously what
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
- Be bold. Write the things you want to write or do and go through with them. Don’t write what attracts most readers. Most of the time, readers request or want the same generic story over and over again, but it would bore me to pieces. (And they still have plenty of alternatives).
- Do your research, let ideas ripe and evolve before you post, and please, be able to distinguish constructive criticism from “hate”.
- Seriously, do your research when you’re a beginning writer and/ or writing about something you are not familiar with.
- Look at other artist’s work in your field. It’ll influence yours.
- Be patient with yourself, but also self-critical. There will be episodes where you feel nothing goes forward and you don’t improve but you’ll look back and see the progress. Just keep doing it.
- Work primarily for yourself.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I found out about asexuality last year (Feb 2014) thanks to a good friend of mine and it just clicked. I finally knew what was going on in my brain. I long identified as biromantic since then, as before finding out I was ace, I was attracted to everybody to the same degree, so yeah “I’m probably bi” (haha) but in the last months I have been trying to get into that and given my confusion about how important being in love and in a relationship seems to others, I feel pretty aro, too.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
No, I haven’t. But I am not out to many people, not to mention other writers.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I wasn’t familiar with the term or it being a thing at all – so I can’t give you my thoughts on it before I identified, but usually the common response is “But… how (do you not feel sexual attraction)”. People cannot imagine it, just as I can’t imagine what it feels like.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You’re valid, please don’t try to change yourself. It does not end very happy or satisfying. Stay safe and always be careful to assess who you come out to. You don’t need to come out, that’s fine, too.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Unfortunately, my mother tongue is not English, so a link to my writing would prove rather pointless. Maybe I will translate some of my work in the future, which I will probably announce on my Tumblr at yourfluffiestnightmare
Thank you, Ally, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.