Today we’re joined by Team Spicy. Team Spicy is a wonderfully talented game designer who specializes in absurdist visual novels that toy with genre conventions. He’s an incredibly imaginative individual: his biggest project at the moment involves anthropomorphic chicken wings. Seriously, absurdist humor is the best humor. It’s clear Team Spicy is a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I make silly absurd visual novels that play with some of the conventions of genres I love. I like to make weird worlds and then take them seriously. Wingman DX is right now the biggest project I put out into the world. It’s a hot wing dating simulator where you can befriend and romance one of fourteen different hot wings, each of which have at least two endings. Check it out if you like absurdist humor, actual or anthropomorphic hot wings, or if you just like food! It’s free, though donations are always appreciated!
What inspires you?
I really love taking small absurd details and blowing them up to their illogical extremes. The world doesn’t seem to make sense but we all just collectively pretend it does- I think shining a light on that by exaggerating the absurdity of a world simultaneously makes me laugh and also expresses a kind of constant anxiety I have.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I started making simple games as gag gifts for friends before deciding that I should start putting some energy into projects that are more personally-oriented. I’ve always enjoyed dabbling in programs that I frankly don’t have training in, so just slowly figuring out different image, music, and video editing programs in the pursuit of making more and more elaborate jokes that only I find funny has been the impetus of a lot of my projects since I was a kid.
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?
In work that I’ve released publically? Not yet!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
This isn’t applicable to everyone, depending on what your goals as a creator are, but for me I ground everything in what I find funny or enjoyable. The sooner you stop worrying about whether other people will like what you make and start focusing on whether you like what you make, the less stressful and more rewarding making stuff is. I create for an audience of one, and if anyone else happens to like it that’s a cool bonus! If not, that’s okay too! You still made a fun thing you like and that’s farther than a lot of people get.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as a gray-sexual or gray ace gay man, though I usually just say I’m ace since it’s easier for people to understand. My go-to analogy is comparing sex to dessert. As someone that doesn’t have a sweet tooth, I don’t eat sweets unless someone I care about wants to go get ice cream and I’ll enjoy it because I enjoy their company.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not yet! I’ve run into more racial prejudice, but when the circles I’m in are so small, even that’s not too prevalent.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That ace people don’t have or can’t enjoy sex. That certainly can be true for people, but it’s not a mutually exclusive thing.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
There’s a misconception that romantic and sexual intimacy/attraction have to coexist and I think it makes many ace people worried that if they’re asexual but not aromantic they won’t be able to find romantically fulfilling relationships and that’s definitely untrue.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can find me on itch.io, Twitter, and Instagram at wingmanthegame where you can play my hot wing dating sim Wingman DX for free and also look at terrible gag gifts for friends that won’t make sense to anyone else. I’m working on a larger project but it’s not far enough along to talk about but updates will come on those pages in the future!
Thank you, Team Spicy, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.