Today we’re joined by Rachel Staton. Rachel is a phenomenally talented visual artist. Her work is truly gorgeous and resembles stained glass. Rachel specializes in abstract pieces and her work shows an extraordinary complexity. It’s very clear that she truly loves what she does. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art is a mix of colored pencil and paint pen abstract pieces. I started out using just lined paper but as I became more invested in my drawings I moved onto canvas and multimedia drawing paper. I usually draw and sketch in a sketching book and am working on my second one now, the first having exactly 100 different pieces.
What inspires you?
Emotions are one of my main inspirations. When I read a book or hear a song that makes me incredible happy or sad or whatever I usually come up with an idea and just go with it. Sometimes I like to think that the things I draw are memories, because some of them are of places, things, and subjects that I have never seen or been to, but I can visualize them perfectly in my head.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
In school I was very antsy, and honestly still am, so in order to pass the time I started doodling on random pieces of paper. It wasn’t until college that I actually started to take it seriously though. I guess that you could say that boredom got me interested in art.
Honestly, I had no idea that I would ever be considered an “artist”. Right now I just sketch and draw what I like, but I’m sort of running out of places to put everything, and the people who have seen my work like it a lot, so I may start branching out, seeing if anyone wants to actually own what I create, which is terrifying and exciting in itself.
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?
The pieces that receive the most attention tend to be my “doodle” pieces, which are basically pictures made up of hundreds of different swirls. Despite having ADHD, I am able to focus for long periods of time to complete these pieces, which I’ve been told is something that not many people to do, so I guess you could call that my “signature”
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If you enjoy what you do, then do it for yourself, not to impress others. Once I tried to put my art out there, but I went too fast and it turned into a chore to impress those around me rather than something I loved. Wait until you are comfortable to start sharing your art, and do it at your own pace. Also, if you think that your art is subpar, remember that you are your biggest critic; only you know the mistakes that were made, so to everyone else, it looks exactly the way it is supposed to.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as Asexual, plain and simple.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
A lot of people who know that I’m Asexual and in a long term relationship don’t really understand how it works. I just don’t feel sexual attraction, plain and simple, and anything I do feel I can shut off very quickly. A lot of my friends will think that I’m grossed out by sex and stuff, but that’s not really the case, I just don’t understand what makes a person “sexy”. (Luckily I have my boyfriend to help explain things, he’s very supportive and I love him for it!) Usually I ignore it, since having them not talk about sex is easier for me, even though its for the wrong reason.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That I can’t love someone, or have a real relationship, or even have kids. Being asexual doesn’t make you sterile, and there is SO much more to a relationship than just sex. I’ve been in my relationship for almost five years, and we still have so much to discover about each other, so much to do. And the best part? He is willing to wait for me to be comfortable with anything, even if it takes years, he won pressure me. If you find someone like that, don’t let them go.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t listen to what other people say. Everyone else has their own identity, sexual experiences, and lives. If you identify as asexual, then you are asexual. Other people can’t tell you what you feel or don’t feel, it’s your own body and your own mind.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
The only place I have my art up publicly right now is my blog; http://soul-sketches.tumblr.com/
While I haven’t posted anything in a while, I think I may start doing that again. Also, if you want a custom thing done, message me, because that is something I am exploring now.
Thank you, Rachel, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.