Today we’re joined by Denois. Denois is an amazing craft artist who mostly crochets. Aside from crocheting, she also sews, knits, and dabbles in jewelry making. She is also a writer who specializes in flash fiction and other short forms. The images she sent to go along with the interview demonstrate an extraordinarily creative mind. And the cats are too freaking adorable 🙂 My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Mostly I crochet. Occasionally I will knit, sew, make jewelry and I dabble in fashion design. I have a degree in floral design, but I haven’t done much of that lately because the materials are expensive and the result doesn’t last as long as the others. I also write fiction. I’m currently in the middle of three novels and I’ll write drabbles and flash fics and other short fiction pieces to help build my characters or my universes.
What inspires you?
Making people happy. I like to design clothes for people I know to try to fit their style and needs in a way that would make them look their best. I crochet things for family and friends based on their interests.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
When I was in pre-K I wanted to be a professional basketball player. But by the time I was in first grade I wanted to be an artist. From about age 10-18 I thought that because I don’t have a lot of skill at drawing that being an artist would never work out for me, but I’d still do some art as a hobby. When I was in my early teens my mother taught me to knit and crochet, but I didn’t do it for very long. Then when I was in college a couple of things changed for me. I did horribly in Molecular Cell Biology (I don’t recommend taking that as a Freshman) so I changed my major to floral design and my sister got pregnant and I decided I’d crochet her a baby afghan. From there I expanded to all of the other things that I do. College is also where the first characters for my first novel showed up in my imagination and wouldn’t leave me alone until I started working on writing stuff down. Sometimes I hope that these things will one day pay the bills, but I haven’t had much luck with that so far.
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 really include anything specific intentionally in my work. Maybe because I do so many different things.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Keep trying. Try different media. You might find you are better with one medium than with another and it will let you express yourself. But also, don’t be afraid to keep trying with one you enjoy even if you think that you aren’t “good enough” because practice definitely improves your work. I never practiced drawing enough, but I’ve seen a lot of improvement in my crochet and my ability to make patterns for sewing and crochet.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as asexual. I haven’t always, it took me about 30 years to realize that what I thought was sexual attraction is actually sensual attraction. (That is, I have attraction where I want to cuddle and have non-sexual touching).
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I don’t really interact with others in my field other than some groups for sharing patterns and ideas for crochet. However, almost everyone I have ever mentioned asexuality to in person has responded with blank stares or incredulity because they think it doesn’t exist or couldn’t exist because how they feel their sexuality. I would say that out of the fields that I hang around the edges of that fashion design would probably be the most prejudiced or ignorant of asexuality because it has a big push for “make it sexy” and how clients want to feel sexy. I ignore it because, yes some people do, but most people really want to feel comfortable and good first. For some people, feeling sexy makes them feel good. For others feeling good makes them feel sexy. And for yet others, sexy never enters the equation. I tell people that ask that I design to work with people’s favorite features and make them feel confident for the situation the item is for.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we don’t exist. That everyone knows from a young age who they are attracted to and it’s never a null set. In conjunction with that, that people’s romantic and sensual attractions match their sexual attractions. (I guess that’s not specific to asexuality).
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Remember you are valid. You are loved (platonically). Platonic affection is as important as romantic or sexual affection. It is okay to identify under the asexual umbrella while you figure out exactly where you belong, or even if you never figure out exactly where you belong. The A is not for Ally.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I post some writing on my writing blog, writer-denois and I might post pictures of some of my other work there too.
Thank you, Denois, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.