Interview: Grace Schodel

Today we’re joined by Grace Schodel. Grace is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying in uni. She does both traditional and digital art, drawing a variety of subjects. Her art is remarkably beautiful, showing an incredible attention to detail and a masterful use of color, which draws the viewer in. She’s an incredibly passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My name’s Grace Schodel but I go by knittinganarchist online, I use the pronouns she/her, and I’m studying a bachelor in animation. My art is pretty all or nothing honestly! I use both traditional and digital mediums to either spend 3 months working on a series of conceptually similar drawings, or spend 3 minutes smashing out cute and stupid cartoony comics.

What inspires you?

Probably a mixture of a good colour palette, my drawings are all pretty heavily inspired by colour palettes that caught my imagination, and romanticizing everyday life. A lot of my drawings are about making mundane everyday things fun; my uni induced breakdowns are overdramatic and honest, forgotten gift cards are a cause for celebration, and messy hair can be a Look. I love positivity; at the moment I’m working on a series for an art show in February that focuses on the spacy disassociation I felt for most of my first year of uni, but instead of going over old wounds is supposed to represent me working through that feeling.

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What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve always loved art, but was never really allowed to think it was a viable option for my future. I did design after graduating school because I thought it was a good balance between creativity and responsibility. But I was miserable, and decided to just follow my heart instead and study animation.

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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 have hidden codes in my drawings, but now I kind of wish I did because that would be rad. The closest I have is that for a while now all my lineart is in two layers, one red one black and the black one is set to a lower opacity. I think it just makes the picture a little softer and adds something cool to the overall look.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to use references. I spent so long feeling guilty for using reference photos or other artworks, that I tried to do everything from my head. In my opinion even tracing something is okay (as long as you don’t try to pass it off as your own original without giving credit) it helps immensely with anatomy, perspective, and developing your own “style”.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a sex-neutral asexual.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

In my field? No not really, everyone at my uni so far seems to be fairly open minded and accepting of everyone. But in my personal life I’ve been mostly met with confusion and disbelief, the classic “What happened to you?” and “But you wear short skirts and have dated before” get thrown around a bit. A few deeply uncomfortable conversations about sexual scenarios have happened where someone has said “Well, what if …. happened, would that make you normal?”, but I mostly just avoid that by only telling people who need to know, such as my boyfriend, and the close friends I trust.

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What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Of course I can’t speak for everyone here, but personally its either been that I can’t be ace because I like dressing up nicely, and apparently people only do that to seem attractive so they can hook up? Or that aces are afraid of sex? Some aces may be, and that’s their choice to identify as ace, but its endlessly annoying so have to explain no I’m not afraid I’m just not interested.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

It’s perfectly fine to have no interest in sex. It can seem the be all and end all of relationships and growing up, but honestly if it’s not for you, it’s not for you.

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Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Either on my Facebook page where I offer commissions:
(https://www.facebook.com/knittinganarchist/)

Or my Instagram where I post a lot of my personal and uni work!
(https://www.instagram.com/knittinganarchist/)

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Thank you, Grace, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

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