Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a wonderful visual artist who works with both digital and traditional media. A lot of their work is experimental or abstract. They have a particular affinity for the strange and enjoy drawing monster people. Their work is interesting, with muted colors adding a sense of eeriness to it. It’s clear that they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Oh man, what is there to tell? I draw original works and a lot of abstract and experimental ideas. Be they my own or friend’s characters, ideas, scenes, bad puns, you name it. I am constantly challenging myself to improve and draw all the strange ideas that come into my head.
I do have an intense interest in monster people though.
What inspires you?
It’s more along the lines of “What doesn’t inspire me?” Being disabled I’ve spent a lot of time inside my own head; built species, characters, worlds, ideas. A bit of music, a bit of nature, a phrase, a person in a state of emotion, smells even can get my brain working and thinking; ‘Who does this remind me of, what would this character do in this situation? How would this species interpret this?’
I’ve ended up creating entire characters after waking up after a rough night in the hospital from drug fueled dreams, desperately pleading with the nurses for some paper and pen so I could get it out of my head before I forgot all of it.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I always drew but didn’t always want to be an artist. I remember my duotangs in elementary school being filled to just an inch short of the brink with doodles, shapes, silly cartoons, puzzles, patterns and a lot of dragons. I remember then never hitting the edge of the duotang because I used the work paper inside to hide the fact that I used drawing to pay attention to my lessons.
It was honestly my paternal grandmother that really got me into art, she paints but never had a knack for drawing things from her imagination. And when she found out I could and did, she actively encouraged me, often getting me to draw fantasy creatures for her to use as references for her own art.
I didn’t start doing digital art seriously until a few years ago when the arthritis in my hands started to make using pen and pencils difficult to use for long periods of time. Its been a fun learning process that I’ve been lucky to have other artists that inspire and encourage me along the way.
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 sort of do but I tend to forget to put it as a watermark on my art. I designed a crest for myself that is in desperate need of an update. (My digital art skills have evolved a lot since then)
Other then that, maybe intense colours and lots of flowing lines.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
As dumb as it sounds, practice the basics. When you find yourself frustrated with your art go back to doing basic gesture pieces and pages of doodles. Once your ready to draw something big that practice will be ingrained into you and will make things easier in the long run.
And don’t be afraid to fuck up! Making mistakes is how you learn, its allowed, and sometimes you end up finding out how to use those mistakes to make your art even cooler!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a panromantic asexual in a polyamorous relationship. I’m also a transitioning agender person. Two months on hormones now, woot woot!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not overly, I’ve faced more backlash for being non-binary transgender then I have for being asexual. Most of the time my sexuality doesn’t come up when I’m drawing for someone, and the few times it has those I’ve been working with have been openly curious or even relieved because WOW there are a lot of Ace artists out there.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
‘You can’t be asexual, all humans have sexual urges, you’re not a plant’ –Said to me by my abusive mother at 15 when I was trying to explain why I wasn’t really okay with identifying as just bisexual.
Another big misconception people seem to have is that I won’t have a raunchy as hell sense of humour. Admittedly my humour tends to go from raunchy to ‘wtf’ in seconds flat because I don’t view sex as anything but funny, so see no issue mixing it with other things I find absurd and funny.
I like to write porn (my favourite people to write it with are other Asexual people or Demisexual people) and think dildos are the funniest things on the planet. Just because I don’t want to hear about my friend’s sex lives or be physically involved myself in sex doesn’t mean I can’t see how it can be important in other people’s relationships.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Its okay to be unsure, its okay to question things. But know this, no matter what anyone else says, you know you the best. You always will.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m mostly active on Tumblr: bohgeyboss.tumblr.com
Or at my Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/agentboss.
Thank you, Alex, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.