Today we’re joined by Ollie Martin. Ollie is a young writer and visual artist. They have posted a 36 chapter trilogy entitled A Vampire’s Travels on their blog and they really want to be a screenwriter in the future. Aside from writing, Ollie is an avid visual artist and drew the art for A Vampire’s Travels. They favor a cartoon style when it comes to drawing. It’s clear they’re an incredibly enthusiastic and driven 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.
I do both art and writing. My art is mainly in cartoon style, simple but fun. I want to make TV shows and movies, and have to date written four TV shows and two movies. I stick to the horror, adventure, and superhero genres.
What inspires you?
My surroundings mostly. A lot of characters are based off of people I have seen while walking around my town (Eugene, Oregon) and my writing is based off of my own experiences. In terms of people and shows, I am heavily inspired by Rebecca Sugar, The Good Place, and 60s film (Hitchcock, Star Trek , cold war sci fi, etc.).
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I didn’t want to really be an artist until in 6th grade I got into drawing to impress a girl I had a crush on. I then discovered that I really liked drawing, and have been drawing ever since! As for writing, I have always written stories, but it never got serious until 9th grade. I wanted to make cartoon shows for a while, but then after watching Classic Star Trek , I wanted to make live action shows.
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?
Not really, I used to sign with my initials, but a) they were OC, which confused people when I signed art of characters that weren’t mine and b) I am working on getting my name changed. I have yet to create a signature that I am happy with.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
For cartoonists, there are going to be plenty of crappy art teachers that are going to tell you that your art style isn’t real art, and they are completely wrong. For writers, you’re never going to know if your writing is good unless you start writing and learning
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Asexual, I never want to have sex, as I find it gross. I still however want to a romantic relationship.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Where do I even begin? So many TV shows have a scene that goes from two characters arguing and cuts to them lying naked in bed together. I have never understood that. I find the show How I Met Your Mother especially acephobic because of how they had an episode saying that sex and romance are inseparable. Ace representation in TV shows is usually a person who is practically a robot/ is a robot and emotionless. My ace characters are vibrant and I can’t wait to put them on the screen.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we’re aro as well. I was talking to a teacher about how I needed a partner like this one movie character to which she responded, “I thought you were asexual and didn’t want anyone.” I said that I just didn’t want to have sex but still wanted to have a romantic partner to which she said, “Well you’re a senior in high school, it’s okay for you to feel that way now .”
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
If someone tells you, “You’re too young to decide that you don’t want to have sex!” Or “You’ll change your mind later,” Ask them, “Would you tell me that if I was straight?” It catches them off guard every time. There are people who are not going to understand, but they don’t decide your sexuality, you do.
I remember that when I was younger and didn’t know what asexuality was, I thought I would have to force myself to have sex to please a partner. You never have to do that, ever. If you don’t feel sexual attraction but still want sex, you’re just as ace as the rest of us, welcome to the club of people who were made an outcast by their peers in 2014 for not finding Bendyman Crumpersnitch hot.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
On my blog at film-focus-mind. I wrote a trilogy of novelettes called A Vampire’s Travels about an Italian vampire. The main characters are an aromantic man and a nonbinary person. I also have all of my art on there too, and if you go to the tags page you can find links
Thank you, Ollie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.