Today we’re joined by Parker W. Parker is a wonderful young aspiring artist who enjoys drawing. Though she does a lot of work with traditional mediums, she also works in digital as well. She draws inspiration from many different artists, including Lenora Carrington (one of this author’s favorite surrealists). Parker has a number of different styles she enjoys using and her pictures are fascinating and unique. This artist definitely has a bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I draw!! My main medium is traditional pictures, usually stylized portraits or surrealistic pictures. I also like to draw digitally, however, and I’m also very interested in comics. What I’m trying to pursue personally and as a future career is something in animation. I draw lots of character designs, as well as storyboards. I’ve always felt drawn to more macabre type art, so I try to show some of that in my own drawings. Symbolism is also a huge factor in my drawings, I like to incorporate lots of symbolism from my own personal life, or from topics that are easily relatable to the people I display my art to.
What inspires you?
Everything inspires me! Music, shows, other art, culture in general is very inspiring. I love taking all the possibilities of symbolism about a certain subject or personal event in my life and turning that into a picture with lots of symbolism. My friends have joked about me being the ‘queen of symbolism’ since absolutely everything in some of my pieces, right down to the tiniest detail, means something.
Some artists I am inspired by are Claude Monet, Salvador Dali, Vincent van Gogh, and Leonora Carrington.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
It has always been art. I wasn’t really sure what kind of art I wanted to pursue until a couple years ago, but it has been art ever since I could pick up a pencil. What really kickstarted my interest in animation, character design, and illustration was being introduced to anime and manga in 6th grade. While I’m a bit embarrassed of those years, they did help me gain a sense of what field of art I wanted to legitimately pursue.
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?
It’s more of a symbol than a signature (though I do sign my own name on my traditional art pieces), but I tend to draw people crying, or with some sort of fluid coming out of their eyes, nose, or mouth. Most of the time it’s not even used as some sort of symbolism, but just because I enjoy drawing tears, hahaha.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Work tirelessly on your passion. When you care enough about something, nothing else matters to you. And it’s alright if you get frustrated and nothing feels right. Take a breather and try again tomorrow. You can give up for a day, just don’t give up forever. And the whole “innate talent” thing is stupid. Anyone can be an amazing artist if they have the passion and determination to put in the hours. Talent only gets you so far. You can be talented, but incredibly lazy and never get anywhere, or have no talent and be incredibly hardworking and become successful.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a biromantic asexual!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not really in my field, I guess, but it got so bad just in general that I stopped telling people completely for a few years. My mom and I got in several awful fights over it and she tried to force me not to tell anyone else, my friends at school said I was a freak of nature or an abomination, and when I first realized something was off, I thought I was called to be a nun (no joke) and cried because I still had romantic feelings for people and didn’t want to give up art to become a nun, hahaha. Nowadays I don’t get nearly as much prejudice, and I’ve become open about it again. It’s definitely still there, you’ll always encounter idiots, but I try my best to point them in the right direction so they can learn more and maybe change the way they think. However, I have no obligation to do this, and if it gets too much I usually just remove myself from the situation if possible (or get in a fight).
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Where to begin? Haha, maybe with the idea that you can’t feel romantic attraction if you’re asexual. I’ve heard several times that since I get crushes on people and have a girlfriend, I can’t be asexual, which is a very backwards way of thinking since it confuses sexual attraction with romantic attraction. And then there’s “you’re just trying to be special” and “you’re just a late bloomer/women don’t feel sexual attraction anyway” which is problematic for several reasons.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Do your research, find what fits you, and be proud of it. Being proud doesn’t necessarily mean being open, if you’re in a hostile or unsafe environment I’d advocate safety first, but pride means understanding that being this way does not make you broken and being unashamed of who you are. Understanding another piece of yourself is a beautiful thing, and anyone who tries to tell you otherwise is completely, totally wrong. You are an amazing human being, worthy of love (in whatever form fits your needs) and respect.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Parker, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.