Today we’re joined by Schi-Lee A. Smith. Schi-Lee is a phenomenal artist who is incredibly versatile. She does a lot of visual art and even teaches painting classes. When she’s not doing visual art, Schi-Lee enjoys writing and writes both original work and fanfiction. Schi-Lee also has a passion for singing and even has some karaoke fans. It’s clear she’s a dedicated artist with an impressive amount of passion, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Well, I paint quite often, I actually teach painting classes sometimes. I sing, a lot; I have some fans at karaoke. I draw with pen or pencil, too, and I write, both fanfiction and original works. My writing is usually like what I read, sci-fi ish, and I pride myself on making realistic dialogue. I like to paint and draw realistically, haven’t quite gotten abstract down. My singing can be just about anything, I can sing Creep by Postmodern Jukebox and Highway to Hell just as easily.
What inspires you?
When I was a child, it was my Dad. I still have his drawings and poems around my house, and when I was very young, he would record us singing on a giant cassette tape recorder thing and let me do skits in between songs. He was very artistic, and just about all my artistic tendencies stem from him. Now, it’s still that in a way, but also I just want to see the beauty in the world, and add to it if I can. Lots of people love hearing me sing, and love my writing, and love my artwork. If I can make someone else happy, then I’ve succeeded.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Technically my field is Biology, that’s what I’m majoring in in University, but I’ll always consider myself a musician, artist, and writer. My Dad never put me down for any art I did, so I was never afraid to get into something I wanted to do, and it’s always been with me since childhood so even if I never get any recognition for any of it, I’ll always be an artist. Therefore it’s not as much something I want to do, as something I’m doing, even if I stay obscure.
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?
I do, actually. My Dad’s signature was a heart with ‘LAB’, his initials, in the center, all interconnected, it’s really neat. I made one for myself when my initials were still SAB, but it looked really weird, so when I got married, I changed it to a kind of horns, or something, to match SAS. It’s hard to draw with a mouse, but it’s basically this.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t worry about what others say is art, art is what you want it to be. I have friend who play metal that people say isn’t music, but it is to them, and it makes them happy. Draw/sing/write/do whatever to make you happy, or to get it out of your head, don’t do it for others.
And don’t be put down if it sucks at first, most everyone’s first drawing of a person is a stick figure, just practice, and practice a lot.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as a biromantic asexual. I suppose if one goes for this part, I’m sex-positive.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have encountered some people that didn’t really know what it was, but my friends were very supportive and defended me before I could. I have awesome friends. Thankfully I have yet to encounter any prejudice or ignorance that scared me like I know plenty have, so I thank God every day for where I am in life.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we hate sex, or we never have sex.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You aren’t alone, that feeling that you don’t understand what all the fuss is about? Other people feel it. It’s not weird to think that a ‘hot’ person isn’t hot, according to your body. You don’t have to pretend.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Well, I have a YouTube channel, youtube.com/schihigh, where I’m attempting to post my singing and music videos I make on. I also have a Tumblr and a specific tag with my art on it. You can just search ‘schi’s art’ on schi-walker-locked.tumblr.com. If someone were to want commissions, they could message me on Tumblr, or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Just put commission in the subject.
Thank you, Schi-Lee, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.