Today we’re joined by Angélique Nguyễn. Angélique is a wonderful visual artist and writer. She writes a lot of poetry and short stories, mostly in English and she’s soon going to start writing in French as well. When she’s not writing, Angélique does some visual art, mostly drawing and painting. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate 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 will draw and paint visuals from time to time, but my current works mostly consist of writing. I like writing poetry and short stories, and I’m currently working one long-term piece of work.
My mother language is English but French is my up-and-coming second language; I have plenty of poetry written in either language.
What inspires you?
There are many things out there and within that inspire me. Often times it is a mix of my current/remembered emotions, my life experiences or other’s life experiences, the aesthetics of my world, and the lessons I’ve learned from life and others. I like taking in what happened in my world and taking it apart, mixing it up, and reconstructing it again to tell stories. The influences can be big or small. Such influences can be as large as my mother’s presence in life or as small as the way the white markings fall on my rabbits coat. Culture is also a very grand influence in my life. I always loved learning something about my own culture’s or another culture’s stories and imagining how they would fit together in the grand scheme of storytelling and human life.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Throughout my life, I always knew I wanted to do something to express my artsy heart, even when society seems to demand me to focus more on mathematics and science. I’m pretty good at math and science but I find I will always be more appealed by art and emotion. At the beginning of sophomore year of high school, my English teacher assigned everyone to write a short story. As I was writing my short story, I realized that not every good story needed to be long like a novel. Before, I always had this idea that good writing takes a very long time and needed to fill a lot of pages. But now I know that this is not always true.
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’m relatively new to my creative writing so I still need to explore what makes my writing unique from others. However, I find myself attempting to just the pen or fingers write and type away without thinking too much. Sometimes, it just makes sense to follow your gut feeling and see what comes out of it. This is especially true for my poetry.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If you find there are no big themes or events you want to base your writing off of, then look for the small things. Even the small things could have a story behind it. You could make the story behind it. Write what you want to write and write how you want to write it. Inspiration always exists; it is up to you to find it. That will lead to you finding your comfort in writing.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
For the most part, I identify as a demi-sexual and bi. However, the truth is that my actual identity is very complicated. Even I don’t know all the answers to who I am.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
So far, there is no aphobia I have encountered in my field. If I do encounter it, then I would simply continue living my peaceful a-spec existence.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The most common misconception about asexuality that I have encountered is that asexuality is all out being repulsed by sex, which is simply not true. When I first heard of asexuality, even I thought I qualified because I was repulsed by sexual activity. Now I know it is simply about lacking full attraction to any particular person, which is also true of me. Also, my *favorite* misconception of demi-sexuality is that it is “practical”- therefore, not a separate orientation. That is also not true because a demi-sexual actually lacks any attraction to a particular person until they get to know and bond with them as much as it takes. Whereas a typical allosexual may instantly feel attraction to this person but still take their time to get to know them before jumping into any sexual activities. That is the main difference.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It is okay to be or not to be asexual. Sometimes, asexuality may be permanent for one individual, but not for others. That is okay and totally valid. Maybe you know your reason to identify as asexual but maybe you don’t. That’s all right! Exploring my orientation has been a struggle for me, and it might be one for you too. However, you are never alone. All I suggest is that you simply move forward and embrace whatever identity you feel is best for you. If you don’t want any labels then that is okay, too.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My work is currently all over the place. But here are some common spots for posting my work:
Tumblr: 17angelsprings.tumblr.com (search “my post” or “my poems” and you will certainly find some of my poems and other works posted there)
DeviantArt: 17angelsprings.deviantart.com (you can find some written works as well as some visual art stuff)
Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/17angelsprings (my current long-term writing project, Speaking My Language, is posted there, and that is where I’m compiling poems into anthologies)
Instagram: 17angelsprings (mainly reserved for my visual art)
I also hope I can eventually start a YouTube channel about mainly centered around my writing and being a writer.
Thank you, Angélique, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.