Today we’re joined by Taylor Jay. Taylor is a wonderful visual artist who is currently majoring in art. She shows an incredible amount of talent and her work is brimming with color and amazing details, as well as a fascinating use of lines and perspective. She’s obviously got a very bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m still pretty new to the art world, and still have TONS of learning to do! At the moment, I’ve been experimenting with anything and everything, but I really enjoy nature and landscape photography. I also enjoy ink, though I hope to learn how to create digital art soon as that’s what I’m majoring in. I just need to get a better-functioning laptop!
The picture below are some of my favorite pieces thus far! The upper left is Gazing, which is a cat sitting on a fence staring at the moon (watercolor pencil). The one next to it is a rough sketch of a future tattoo design done in Sharpie. Upper right corner is a simple gardenia flower done in colored pencil. Below it is a moon drawing done in ink and colored pencil. Bottom right is photography of mine and my boyfriend’s hands, edited in multiple photo apps. Finally the biggest square is my favorite at the moment. It’s named Uncle Death, done in charcoal.
What inspires you?
My other art friends really inspire me. Especially my roommate / best friend. She’s super artistic, and I hope I can be as good as her someday. I am also very moved by David G. Ferrero, who is an illustrator residing in Gijón, Spain. He specializes in the art deco / art nouveau style, and I absolutely adore that style. He does a lot of Disney, too, that is amazing. I also aspire to be as good as him, of course with my own personal style thrown in!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I actually didn’t decide to be an artist until my senior year of high school. Before then I always admired art, but I thought I was a crappy drawer. I honestly sucked at crafts and still do, and have never been the best at drawing. However, around my sophomore year of high school, I fell in love with the drama department. I was never on stage, but behind the scenes making the show come to life. I loved the behind the scenes aspect, because the audience has no idea how much us crew kids actually do (for the most part). It got me thinking about how I would love to create this “magic” off the stage and on actual movie screens. Thus me becoming a visual effects artist and / or animator popped into my mind. Around my senior year, I decided that that’s what I really wanted to do.
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 so? Not yet, at least. I mean, I do scribble my little signature at the bottom right of my pieces. I’ll sometimes also purposely make the piece look scratchy. I really like the rough-looking sketch of things, so I guess that counts!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
It’s okay to not be as good as others. Whether they have more or less experience than you. Everyone has a personal and unique style, and everyone progresses at their own pace. Have confidence in yourself, and whatever you do, do NOT compare your work to others! That will be the death of you, and I myself am still learning not to do that.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
As far as I know, I’m simply asexual. Not sex-repulsed, just a low to zero libido. I’m not sure if there’s a proper term for it, actually!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have experienced it quite a bit with both friends and potential partners. With my friends, they would always make comments about these “hot” guys, or what they would do to the hot guy they saw at the mall. I would always tell them that I thought he was attractive, but not hot. I would also tell them that I have no desire to do anything with him, or I couldn’t picture myself getting intimate with a crush. They would always tell me that I “needed to get a boyfriend, then I would get those sexual urges”. Well, I got a boyfriend in high school, and those “urges” still did not come.
With potential partners — I’m into guys — I would tell them that I was asexual. I would tell them I’m not a sexual person and such. They would either say they understood but still pressured me, or they would tell me it was my excuse so we wouldn’t get sexual. I even had one guy say he would “change me” after we went on a date… didn’t happen.
I’ve always just kind of brushed it off, though. Let people think what they want to think. I know what I am and that’s all that matters. But I finally did find someone. When I told him I was asexual, instead of making a comment or saying he could change me, we stopped what we were doing and he asked questions. He asked legitimate questions so he could get a better understanding and not pass my boundaries. Now we’ve been together for nearly a year, and I’m so happy.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Almost every time I have told someone I was asexual, they immediately asked “So you’re never gonna have sex? What about children of your own?” or “That means you don’t have sex at all, right?” Then I explain to them how not every asexual person is sex-repulsed, and that there’s a spectrum, etc. etc.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s okay to be asexual, and to be “different” from your friends. It’s okay if even the thought of sex makes you feel gross. It’s okay to have a low sex drive, and it’s okay to fall anywhere on the asexual spectrum. It is okay to be asexual. It doesn’t mean you’re broken, even if you have a history of being sexually abused. It’s okay even if you believe you’re asexual, then discover that you’re not. No matter what, you’ll be perfectly okay.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I actually don’t post too much of my work, or discuss it. I’m still a little hesitant to post it. Though I do post a few things on my Tumblr from time to time (you-look-beautiful-as-always). I also have a photography Instagram: at bts.photography, but other than that, I don’t post anything.
Thank you, Taylor, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.