Today we’re joined by Allyssa. Allyssa is a wonderful author and visual artist. For writing, she specializes in realistic fiction with plenty of LGBT+ characters. In visual art, she does drawing and painting, both in abstract and realistic styles. It’s clear 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 usually write, paint, and draw. My writing is typically from the point of view of a girl facing deep personal issues or mental health issues. I would classify my writing as realistic fiction. I write characters that are LGBTQ+ and are not considered the norm by society. My paintings are usually either abstract or realistic people. My drawings tend to stay on the side realistic portraits of women.
What inspires you?
People that inspire are Dodie Clark and Luna Lovegood. I love how they are unabashedly different and true to themselves. Dodie’s music is so full of heart and soul and emotion that I can’t help but feel inspired from it. The state of the world also inspires my writing and themes for my paintings. My art typically has undertones and themes of despair and how messed up the word is. On the other side of things, the beauty and complexity of humanity and nature never ceases to amaze me. My own issues with mental health and my poetic sort of view of the world helps me with using my words, choosing colors and shapes, and writing the darker parts of stories. My personal experiences with mental health gives me the ability to portray mental health in a more realistic way.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I first got into writing when I read the book Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. It was written so beautifully and held so much emotion and creativity that I wanted to make something as wonderful. Family members, my older sister and my aunt, also influenced me with their art. I think I have always wanted to be an artist, especially when I look back and see how I was more content making something as a child rather than letting it disappear once playtime was over.
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?
Something that I always include in my writing is a character that is LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, or defies gender roles. My paintings and drawings are also almost always a portrait of a young adult woman that has some kind of physical flaw.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Though I am a young aspiring writer myself, my advice to others like me is to write what you love to write and to write something with feeling. Write what you feel passionate about and that you feel could make an impact on someone, even if it’s just one person, and if that one person is yourself.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as noviromantic asexual. I have never had a crush on anyone and did not want to have sex with anyone now or in the future. My romantic orientation is complicated and a mixture of many different romantic orientations. Some of the basics are hetero and demi romantic. Most parts of my romantic orientation seem contradicting to each other and is hard to describe, so I use novi. Majority of my romantic orientation is part of the aromantic spectrum.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t encountered any prejudice, but that’s mostly because I haven’t told anyone besides my two closest and open-minded friends. I don’t hide the way I feel. When the topic of sexual orientation comes up and anyone asks me, I just say that I’m not attracted to anyone in that way. No one has had an issue with that so far, though I have only used the word asexual to describe myself to the two friends.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The most common misconception I’ve seen is that it is cut and clean, that you either don’t feel any sexual or romantic attraction or you do. This is something that my struggles with accepting the labeling I use fed on.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I advise anyone who is struggling with their asexuality to not be afraid of the terms and slang used. You can identify however you feel suits you. Once I found a community and people that didn’t criticize my orientation, I felt so much happier and comfortable with myself. Know that you don’t have to use terms you don’t feel comfortable using to please the people around you. Your orientation is for you, not other people. Orientation is fluid, and it’s not your obligation to make other people feel comfortable with who you are.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can find me on Tumblr. I have two separate accounts. I post my writing and artwork on this account. My other account is mostly quotes, art, fandom, and other things I enjoy and inspire me. You can find that account here.
Thank you, Allyssa, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.