Today we’re joined by Alanna. Alanna is a phenomenal mixed media artist who dabbles in a bit of everything. She specializes in digital art and animation. When not drawing, Alanna enjoys creating comics. Her work is beautiful and eerie, reflecting her enjoyment of the weird and the macabre. She also loves using intense colors and lighting. It’s clear that she’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m a bit of a mixed media digital artist; I animate, illustrate, make comics, write, do 3D, and even dabble in music. I never like staying in one style, I always like adopting a new trick or tip into my art and varying it up for each project I choose so I never get stale with what I do. What is consistent is my obsession with the weird and the macabre and my love for intense colors and lighting (and seals!)
What inspires you?
Surreal garbage! Bizarre trash! Anything strange and jarring interests me, fuels my creativity to create something new and unseen. Outside of the strange I really can find inspiration practically everywhere. Anything that tickles my fancy will give me an idea for something unique.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
My mom was an artist so I guess it rubbed off on me. I was thinking about maybe becoming a scientist but I kind of had a drive for art since it didn’t require the brainpower haha…
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 have a thing about my art where colors and objects play a strong role in categorizing things. Certain areas and characters usually have an extremely distinct color or shape to them, so much so it’s bordering onto obsession to keep things looking the same.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice, practice, practice! Never ever think little of yourself because you need to improve, many artists take forever to get their art right, being bad is always the first step to being good. Always, always draw from life, photos, anatomy books, etc. CONSTANTLY. I made the bad decision of not doing that as a kid and your work suffers because of that. Also taking art as a profession is something you really need to think about in the long run. Find a field with work in it and decide if its really want you want to do. Make sure to always have a back up plan and understand how this is going to impact you in the long run.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m both Aromantic and Asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I usually tell my identity to people I know and trust very well so my colleagues finding out would be happenstance. As for outside of my field I completely understand and know my identity is far beyond anything close to mainstream. Whatever backhand comments I get I understand people have no idea what this identity is and I’m fine with that even if it is a little annoying. I relate this back to my digital art because I know too well people believe I will my art into existence by pressing a button or I can somehow “draw” a 3D model into existence. People just don’t know and that’s fine for me, it’s going to take a many years before being ace is even recognized as much as being gay is. People telling me my identity is fake and that I must have issues on the other hand I don’t take as lightly.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Oh, damn, too many, both perpetrated by non-aces and aces alike, which frankly scares me. I consider asexuality a lack of an orientation or lack of attraction to genders and many LGBT places do use this too as a definition though still too many asexual sites list asexuality as having to do with sex, libido or interest in sex. Shame because being a non sex-repulsed ace I feel I’m not “ace enough” to be fully asexual because of this stigma. Asexuality has nothing to do with sex but it doesn’t stop people from believing that.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Be patient and realize coming out of the closet is not a one-time experience; it takes years, maybe even decades to fully realize yourself. Never force yourself into anything, never let anyone decide your orientation for you, its all up to you in the end. If in the end you realize you are ace or not that’s fine too, you’re no less valid no matter what label you find. Also know that it’s even harder for people around you to understand you right away, parents, friends and relatives may take years, decades to understand coming out of the closet is but what matters is they love you even if you feel they don’t “get” what asexuality is. And remember if you feel you’re in an abusive/neglectful home, you don’t have to tell your parents your orientation, tell people you know you can trust and when you can, move out. Safety is more important than wanting acceptance from people who won’t give it. I’ve met people who were kicked out of their homes and this is the best advice I’ve gotten if you’re not sure about your situation.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Alanna, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.