Today we’re joined by Amanda Akins. Amanda is a phenomenal and versatile artist who does a bit of everything. She does quite a bit of visual art and crafts, including drawing and scrapbooking. She’s also in a band with her sister called Phine Wine (you can buy their EP on Amazon and iTunes). It’s very apparent that art and creativity are a huge part of Amanda’s life, 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 do a lot of different types of art and creative things. I have for as long as I can remember. I paint, draw, scrapbook, other crafts, sing, write, edit graphics and make YouTube videos
What inspires you?
Music is probably the biggest thing that inspires me. It puts me in a certain mood where I just get motivated. Also past experiences and other people’s experiences, especially when it comes to writing. I get a lot of inspiration from movies and other people’s art as well. I love seeing other artists thrive. I’m one of those people that will see an amazing work of art and then want to go out and do the same thing.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
It’s always just been a part of who I am, I think. I’m still figuring out what I want to do with my life but being creative and creating something for others to see and appreciate is definitely up there.
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 but I think it’s a really cool concept to have that. Especially if people recognize it throughout your work.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t stop. Never give up. It sounds really cheesy but it’s incredibly true. I had an art teacher in high school that told me to sketch every day and you will get better and I wish I took that advice. Your motivation needs to be pure. If you’re just looking to make art to get recognized then it’s not genuine. I think you really have to love it because it’s obvious when you don’t.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I still am figuring it out but right now I identify as grey ace specifically. But I usually just tell people I’m asexual as a general term.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t thankfully. I don’t usually tell people that I’m ace unless it comes up because it just doesn’t seem important for people to know.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we are all the same and we’re not. Asexuality and sexuality in general is a huge spectrum and trying to fit people in boxes is counterproductive. I also think when talking to people about asexuality you really have to explain and make sure that your perspectives aren’t the rule. That not everyone that identifies as asexual has the same experiences or beliefs I guess you could say. I would say a lot of people don’t actually understand the general definition of asexuality and that’s what I find myself explaining most of the time.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
That it’s okay not to know right now. That it’s okay to identify one way and then change that. We all change and we all grow so why wouldn’t our sexual orientations grow with us. You are valid and your feelings are valid and you matter. Do research and do what is comfortable for you. For me it was figuring out a word for exactly how I was feeling and even know I still am figuring that out with my sexual and romantic orientation and that’s okay. Maybe you don’t want to identify at all but it doesn’t make you less of a human being. Keep doing you and doing what you love.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a website where I sell a lot of my arts and crafts at: https://www.mandasscrapcrafts.com/
Thank you, Amanda, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.