Today we’re joined by Shay. Shay is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in a cartoon style. She is a self-taught artist and is currently working to get a degree in animation. Her work has a masterful use of color and a sense of whimsy, which just makes you want to smile. She’s clearly a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a self-taught digital illustrator and I’m pursuing a degree in 2D animation! I prefer to use a very Western cartoon-like style. Picking out bright or pastel color schemes is my favorite!
What inspires you?
I often draw my favorite YouTubers, my friends, and my two adorable dogs! I also do a lot of self-portraits. Lately I’ve been trying to create my own original characters, but those are all still a work in progress. When I’m not sure what to draw, I sometimes will come up with a color palette that I love and go from there!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been interested in drawing, but I didn’t set my mind on really trying to improve until about 6 years ago. Growing up I would only consider more “practical” careers like graphic design or marketing. That is, until a year ago when it suddenly occurred to me that real people with real lives actually get to illustrate and animate for a living. And it made me think “Why couldn’t that be me?”
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 typically, but when drawing myself I often include daisies somewhere in the illustration just because I really love them, and four-leaf clovers because I have a knack for finding them and they just seem to appear everywhere in my life. And it couldn’t hurt to have a little luck on my side!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t be afraid to try out elements of a style from artists you look up to. As long as you’re not tracing or essentially/literally claiming their work as your own, it will certainly help you discover your own unique style. Everyone’s signature style is just a conglomerate of things they saw and just thought to themselves “Wow! I really like that! I wonder if I could replicate that!” Trying out styles like that really helps you come into your own with time.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am asexual and heteromantic!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not really, mostly just those that have never had the concept of asexuality explained to them. People tend to associate sex with something artistic, and therefore assume that all artists want that in their lives, which is not the case at all!
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That it’s just being picky or that an ace person just “hasn’t found the right person yet.” If you’re asexual you don’t have any interest at all. I have never once in my life looked at someone and fantasized about having sex with them, and I’m in college. That has nothing to do with not finding the right person.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Please don’t stress about it too much! You may face some prejudice and ignorance about asexuality in your life, but at the end of the day you know how you feel, and nobody else can change that about you no matter how much they want to. You are not broken!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m most active on my Tumblr blog, but you can find me on these social medias:
Thank you, Shay, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.