Today we’re joined by Axel. Axel is a phenomenal and versatile artist from France who does a bit of everything. He enjoys writing when he finds inspiration, does a fair amount of visual art, and is very enthusiastic about SFX makeup. While there’s a bit of darkness to his work, there’s also an incredible attention to detail. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a super-productive ace during some days of the year. I write, I draw, I do some SFX make-up, and some other things. I am not an art student, I am learning everything myself, and decided to simply express myself through various medias, depending on which one I find more appropriate to speak my mind.
What inspires you?
My nightmares are a good inspiration. I am not talking about real nightmares that I have had during my sleep: I am talking about my fears, my doubts. I like to create things that can recreate how I live, what I see, and how I feel during my days.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
When I was in elementary school, I wanted to draw but was persuaded that my skills were so bad that trying was not worth it. I figured out I was wrong, once, as someone told me I did not draw how they wanted me to draw, but more in a particular way. And that was my way. I liked it. I kept it. I bought books, I watched videos, I learned, and I kept drawing.
Still, I always wanted to be an artist but always have had a low self-esteem. My work could not be of any interest as so many people did things much better than I did. But I was wrong: I am not drawing to be good, I am drawing to express myself. As well as I am writing or creating make-up to express myself.
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 think I have anything like that for now.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Do not give up. Even if your family is not supporting you – which was my case. Even if your friends are not understanding your art. Even if you feel like many others are doing better.
Do it for yourself. To feel better. To communicate. To create. To live.
Remember that being great in an artistic field does not make you the best : you have to express something. Keep exercising, do not stop trusting yourself. You are the best at being you.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am a grey-romantic (aromantic most of the time) asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
As I did not speak of my asexuality to many people, and did not show it in my drawings until … a few hours ago. I did not directly encountered any prejudice or ignorance. I just know that there is a lack of representation that is more than obvious, and it often leads to misconceptions that can be hurtful. It affects us, but we are not the only ones to lose something by this lack of understanding: everyone is, sadly enough.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“If you are an asexual, you must have lived through a traumatic experience, or are depressed, or have a biological dysfunction”. I had this one talking to old lesbians that were surprised that LGBT+-phobia are still existing today. Funny thing: they were saying to me exactly what people said to them when they were younger.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Be proud of yourself. That’s the most powerful thing ever. Be proud of who you are. It does not mean that you have to tell everything to everyone: it just means that you are yourself, and you can be. Go wherever you feel safe, and talk with people that have similar experiences. Help each other. Remember that you are not alone, and that you are a fine person.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I will soon create a blog to post my stuff. But for now, I am creating a series of sketches about ace/trans/aro issues and jokes on my Tumblr: naerlhyss.tumblr.com
Thank you, Axel, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.