Today we’re joined by Kate Urquhart. Kate is a phenomenal artist who does a number of things. She participates in choir and chorale, a talented singer. Kate also does a lot of writing. When she’s not doing either of those, Kate is a dedicated crafter who does a number of things, including embroidery. She has included a truly gorgeous embroidery that took her two years to complete. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a singer, a writer, and a craft lover. I’m currently a member of two different choirs/chorales. I’m still not sure what the different is between choir and chorale, but anyway… One is definitely a choral, and the other is a small church choir. Between the two I get the opportunity to sing and perform heaps of different songs. So far this year I’ve performed Beatles classics, cheesy love songs, old show tunes, a small Latin number, and a lot of songs about Jesus (church choir, obviously).
My writing is just something small I do on the side as a way of coping with life. Sometimes I write poems, sometimes its snippets of stories, and sometimes it’s just a stream of consciousness to clear my head.
Alongside singing and writing, I also do knitting, crocheting, quilting, embroidery (cross stitch), and baking.
What inspires you?
I guess the need to cope ‘inspires’ my singing, writing, and craft. It gives me an outlet to deal with emotions. When my mind feels cluttered and fuzzy, I need a way to redirect whatever I’m feeling, and this is the best way I’ve found.
The internet is also a big source of inspiration. If I see a cute blanket or scarf online that is too awesome to be real, I can’t help but give it a go. Sometimes I’ll just happen upon an image that fills my mind with words, but I also follow a few writing prompt blogs to help generate ideas.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always had an interest in creative outlets. Over the course of my (short) life so far, I’ve had a go at all sorts of things. I have little to no talent in drawing, painting, photography, dancing, acting, or playing a musical instrument, which I discovered in each and every one of them. But along the way I found where my true passions lie.
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?
Ace characters. Literally always. Every single character, narrator, or persona in my writing is somewhere on the ace spectrum. Even if you don’t know anything about their sexuality, they are secretly ace.
I am also particularly fond of the oxford comma, so if you read a story or poem and it doesn’t have said grammatical necessity, please know it was not written by me.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
I’m not sure I really have any advice to give. Just do whatever you love. Be passionate about it. Even if you think your work isn’t great, it is, and if you love it you should keep doing it. The world is an ugly place at times, so by being an artist– by making beautiful things in an ugly world, you are doing something wonderful and brave and amazing.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am asexual and biromantic (I think – I haven’t quite figured myself out yet, but that label has worked so far). More specifically, I’m a sex repulsed ace. Quite frankly I’d rather eat a bowl of brussel sprouts. Ew.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’m not all that out there, both with my sexuality and with what I do, so I haven’t really come across prejudice. Generally speaking, though, I have come across a bit. My mum initially told me I’d grow out of it but she’s become a lot more accepting/understanding recently, and some of my friends had never heard of the ace spectrum before (but they fully supported me after they found out).
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“It’s just a phase.” What more do I need to say? It’s not a phase, I’m not being dramatic or ‘unique’ or picky or prudish. It’s just who I am. I was born this way; I will most likely die this way. Asexuality is valid and real.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t let anyone else tell you who they think you are. You know yourself best. If someone tries to say that you’re too young to know, or you’re not valid, or it’s just a phase, bite their head off. Seriously, bite. Their. Head. Off. You get to pick which labels you want, and you get to decide who you are.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Please visit (and follow) my blog: http://www.passive-soldier.tumblr.com/.
Thank you, Kate, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.