Today we’re joined by J.D.. J.D. is a phenomenal craft artist who does both loom knitting and crocheting. He creates some absolutely beautiful LGBTQ+ pride items and nerd paraphernalia. Looking at the pictures he sent to go with the interview shows an amazing amount of craftsmanship and he obviously puts a lot of work into his art. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I loom knit and crochet with a focus on LGBT+ pride items and nerd paraphernalia.
What inspires you?
Most of the things I design come from necessity. When I was first researching the LGBT+ community and where I fit into it, it was the middle of winter and I wanted to be able to show my pride in a really subtle way that my family wouldn’t pick up on while also having a really warm hat. My idea, although not original, was to make pride hats. I made the first one for myself and when people started buying that hat, I made more pride hats.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I saw a friend at the time crocheting a giant brown granny square blanket and I just loved how it looked. She gave me some really crap yarn to practice on and a hook and I taught myself using the internet.
I learned how to loom knit from a lady renting out my father’s RV. She had recently had surgery and was trying to find something to do and I spent a lot of time with her that winter. She let me use one of her looms and after a few days, I went and bought myself my own which I still use today.
I didn’t start thinking about selling what I made until people started asking me too. I always knew I didn’t want to work for someone and although I can’t live off of the profit of these sales, it keeps my brother and I fed.
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 that I can think of, no.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
When you first start out, you’re going to think what you’ve made is terrible. The thing that no one tells you, because it’s pretty rude if they do, is that it probably is. What you need to keep in mind is that it’s okay to be terrible.
I made really crappy things when I first started loom knitting and crocheting but I didn’t stop just because it was crappy, slow going, or hard. I kept going because it was fun and now I’m selling my stuff.
Point is, if you want to get good at something, you have to start at the bottom, just like everyone else.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as asexual and panromantic.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not in my field, no, because I work by myself from home.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That it’s not real in the first place.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You’re valid. It doesn’t matter what the people around you say. Even if it is “just a phase,” they should still respect that in this moment, this is what you identify as. Even if find out that you’re something else tomorrow, it doesn’t change the fact that you identified as asexual today. The only thing that you need to be asexual is a lack or sexual attraction. Nothing else, and don’t let anyone tell you different.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, J.D. for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.