Today we’re joined by n.a.. n.a. is a wonderful poet from Canada who publishes his work on his Tumblr blog. His poems play with language and use strong visuals. It’s clear he’s a talented and dedicated poet, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art is poetry, so I guess you could say that I’m a poet – though I would never admit it in public. Currently I post one poem a day to my Tumblr blog, but I have hopes to publish a poetry collection in the future. There isn’t really any set theme of my poems and I’m a firm believer in subjectivity, so every poem means something different.
What inspires you?
This will sound cheesy, but everything inspires me. I would say music and books are what inspires me the most – I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up so, they became my friends at an early age and ever since then I think they’ve always been there to guide me as I progress with writing. Other aspec artists inspire me as well – especially Roanna Sylver whose books I’ve recently fallen in love with!!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Yeah, I’ve always wanted to be a writer, even before I knew how hard writing actually is. I remember when I was younger I used to write little stories and poems that didn’t really make sense, but I found myself loving them and dreaming about what I would do if they were published. Reading sparked my interest a lot as well, I’ve always enjoyed analyzing characters and I think poetry has allowed me to do that a little bit.
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 think I have one, unless my alias counts. I think having one would be super cool though, I just haven’t put much thought into one yet.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t be afraid to create your art, even if you don’t think it’s good enough. Everyone starts somewhere and everyone lives a different life, but not everyone can create what you can.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m an aromantic asexual, I also like to describe myself as queer. I first found out about asexuality after an ex-boyfriend of mine came out to me, I had heard about asexuality before (from prior experience with queer Instagram pages), but didn’t know much about it. When I read up on it I realized that I was, and always had been, very aroace. Funnily enough, he broke up with me the day after I figured it out – for reasons that didn’t have anything to do with my recent discovery.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’m lucky enough to say that I haven’t had any encountered any ignorance based on my asexuality, but I have seen many people outside of the poetry community and on twitter get a fair bit of hatred. I’m very grateful that my friends outside the internet are accepting individuals and always let me know that I’m important and valid, even if I don’t always feel it.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
There are so many that I could talk about, but the one that bothers me the most is that asexuals are straight and don’t belong in the community. Being a trans asexual guy, I often don’t fall into that category because I am trans, but I know that if I wasn’t trans that I would probably be shunned from the community in the blink of an eye. Another misconception that I really hate is that asexuality is a medical or health issue, I think I hate this one specifically because it could lead to a misdiagnosis if an asexual person is accessing healthcare.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I believe the biggest advice I could give, and the advice I wish I had gotten, is that it’s 100% okay to be confused or unhappy about your orientation – just like it’s 100% okay to be content or happy with your orientation. If an asexual individual is feeling unhappy or just generally down about their asexuality I recommend they read some books or comics with asexual characters like themselves, it always helps me when I am feeling down and reaffirms that representation really is important!!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
As of right now my work can only be viewed on my Tumblr, which is apollota.
Thank you, n.a., for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.