Today we’re joined by Embo. Embo is a phenomenal artist who specializes in cross stitch. She has recently cross stitched a number of Pride badges, which are absolutely beautiful. Embo also does some embroidery and she has recently started dabbling in drawing as well. It’s clear she’s a driven and passionate artist who loves to create, 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 mostly cross stitch, sometimes embroider, and occasionally draw. Cross stitching is my main art though. I favour working on smaller pieces, and recently I’ve spent most of my time making small Pride pieces.
As for drawing, I’ve taken up doodling fan art of Mass Effect with the intention of writing fan fic in the future.
What inspires you?
I follow many talented people on Tumblr, and seeing their work inspires me greatly! If I see someone has created a wonderful piece of art, I find it spurs me into action and I will immediately start trying to create something of my own. Drawing is more accessible for me, but I can’t resist taking on new cross stitch projects, to the detriment of older forgotten WIPs!
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Admittedly my reasons for getting interested into cross stitch aren’t very inspiring. I kept seeing subversive cross stitch popping up online and thought it was really funny and wanted to get into that. As soon as I started though, I realised that cross stitch is an amazing craft, really fun, and especially good for stress relief! And to this day, I’ve only produced one piece of subversive cross stitch haha.
I started as a fan artist when I was younger, but found that no matter how hard I tried, I was never satisfied with my drawings. Cross stitch, however, has always been really satisfying.
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?
To be honest, not really. I still haven’t gotten into the habit of signing my cross stitch pieces, which is something I really ought to get into doing. I used to sign my drawings, but I dropped the habit some years ago when I stopped being happy with what I was making.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t get bogged down in getting lots of Likes on social media. Be proud of what you’re making, and don’t stress about what other people think.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Somewhere between ace and demisexual. Possibly panromantic and demiromantic too, but I’m still figuring that part out.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
The worst I’ve encountered was coming out to a family member and being told that I just hadn’t met the right person yet. This was frustrating, as talking about my asexuality has always been hard in the first place, and I felt like I was being shut down. In response, I just never brought it up with them again. Nowadays I rarely come out, unless it’s necessary for the situation. This… is not a great way to be. I shouldn’t have to feel the need to hide this aspect of myself, but the fear of prejudice tends to take me over a lot. I’ve also had to quit visiting some “LGBT-friendly” websites outright, because the audience was completely acephobic. I realised that I just wasn’t welcome there, which was a shame because I otherwise enjoyed the site. I… was angry and sad for days afterwards. It’s not an easy thing to process.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we’re all a bunch of prudes. Or that we’re just trying to make ourselves out to be special for something that isn’t even a thing. I also worry that, because I’m in a relationship, people think I’m not ace anymore which… is not how that works at all.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t be afraid to embrace yourself! Labels can be greatly helpful, but use them carefully- don’t cling to them completely. You’re 100% valid in who are, and don’t let anyone take that from you. And don’t worry if you find your labels change over time. Mine did, and I had nobody to talk to about it at the time, but don’t worry if that happens to you, it does not make you any less valid!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Embo, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.