Today we’re joined by Kailey Lewia. Kailey is a wonderful young hobbyist writer and visual artist. She’s currently working on a couple different novels that deal with pretty heavy subject matter. When she’s not writing, Kailey enjoys doing visual art. She paints, sketches, and does digital drawings. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and enthusiastic 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 am a hobbyist writer in high school and I’m currently working on two projects. The first is a novel that focuses on rape trauma, identity, sexuality, and race which is currently on hiatus, and the second is a novella about the concept of Stockholm syndrome. I also do some painting and digital drawing in my free time, just little sketches for fun.
What inspires you?
The idea of creating characters that stick with people. You see all these characters in pop culture that everybody loves and looks into: I want people to take my characters and bring them to a point where everybody is dissecting my work and figuring out what, exactly, my point is.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I was always an avid reader and after reading stories like Harry Potter in second grade, I instantly knew I wanted to write. I’ve been attempting to write stories since I was eight, it’s just that I’ve never really had a solid idea that I can follow through with. I think I do now, though!
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?
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Never give up. It doesn’t matter if there’s someone ‘better than you’- you have to push for a chance for people to see what you can do, and you have to strive to improve. Never give up and make sure that you’re happy with what you’re creating, so what you want to.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a biromantic asexual but I prefer not to label myself as biromantic simply because I don’t think that’s set in stone.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not necessarily in ‘the field,’ but I know I’ve certainly experienced ignorance at school for my identity in general. I know for me being part of the GSA has reinforced the way I feel about myself and my identity because it puts me next to several other people in the LGBT+ community who I know are willing to listen to me and speak up with me if there are problems with other students.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Personally, the most common misconception would be that someone of my age is too young to consider themselves asexual. I’ve known I wasn’t straight since I was eleven and spent two years figuring out I was asexual and I’ve obviously stuck with that since and believe I always will- but people think, despite my personal journey of finding my identity, that I’m either just saying I’m asexual for attention or because I’m too young to experience sexual attraction.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
If you have friends telling you it’s just a phase or doubting you when you’re figuring out your sexuality, drop them. If they can’t support you through such a tough time then they’re really just going to make it worse.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I just recently created a Tumblr so there’s only one digital sketch on it right now, but I plan on posting more sketches on it and sharing my writing/ updates on my work on it! At actual-brontosaurus.
Thank you, Kailey, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.