Interview: Kayla Rose

Today we’re joined by Kayla Rose. Kayla is a phenomenal young visual artist who specializes in a variety of mediums. They mostly use graphite and colored pencils, but have recently gotten into charcoal drawing and they also paint. While they mostly do visual art, Kayla also writes and sometimes dances. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

20180418_180311(0)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw, mostly using graphite and colored pencils, but I’ve recently started using charcoal as well. I paint as a therapy activity. I have dabbled in clay sculptures, found-object sculptures, foam carving, and ceramic tiles. And I write whenever I have brain power left over. My style is still in flux and I have varying subject matter.

What inspires you?

I tend to take inspiration from a lot of things: life, death, depression, my own experiences, and things I find beautiful or haunting.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

For as long as I can remember I have been drawing in notebooks and copying pages from coloring books, but about four years ago I started working in theatre and it has helped fuel my desire for skill in as many forms of art as I can manage.

20180418_180953

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?

Right now I don’t have any trademark or signature, though I am trying to come up with one centered around a rosebud.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Since I fit in that category myself, I don’t feel super qualified to say anything, but I would want to remind artists to chase what they are passionate about and fight through all the blocks because you will come out better than before.

24838326_1004588883038624_8788813155720495104_n(1)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a Pan-romantic Asexual, and I fluctuate between sex-neutral and sex-repulsed.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I’m in the arts and most people around me are very open-minded and welcoming of any and all, so I can’t say that I’ve run into much prejudice, but there is a lot of ignorance about it. There are people that I’ve had a hard time convincing that Asexuality is real, and it’s vastly unrepresented so I often feel lonely. But I try to keep my chin up and live my own life regardless of other’s point of view.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That none of us have any interest in sex whatsoever, or that discussion of sex will make us very uncomfortable.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are valid, you are not broken. No matter what the masses or media try to force on you, believe in yourself and don’t let the haters get you down.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I post pictures of my work on Instagram as moonstruckmernerd and my blog at http://thewordsmithysshop.blogspot.com/.

IMG_1327

Thank you, Kayla, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Cyr Pavleszek

Today we’re joined by Cyr Pavleszek. Cyr is a wonderful visual artist who also does fanart. While he mostly draws his original characters, Cyr also draws some fanart for various fandoms. He uses drawing as an outlet and his work is brimming with bright colors and detailed expressions. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

cochlear new
Cochlear

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is a mix of original characters and fandom drawings. I tend to draw whatever comes to mind

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from my art teachers and media I watch, such as anime, medical dramas, cartoons, and comics

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

My art started as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and mental illness, but I haven’t always wanted to be a professional artist. It came about recently when I took art classes and my teacher said I had a good chance of making a living professionally as an artist

Commission for WhatTheDog Smaller outline

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 don’t think I have a unique signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep drawing, keep on doing it. Don’t think about it either! Overthinking your art could lead to you becoming self-conscious about your work and giving up. Don’t give up either!

Henry clothed ref
Henry Clothed

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I would say asexual, somewhere between asexual and demi-sexual. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I don’t openly share my sexuality because of prejudice, when I do it’s to shut it down. I learned to handle ignorance by reminding myself that the person is usually uneducated. If they’re not willing to learn, I just ignore and move on.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That we’re all prudes and can’t stand nudity of any kind. As an artist I look at naked bodies to better understand anatomy, I wouldn’t be able to learn without it!

vent art
Vent Art

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

I know it’s hard, but once you finally accept and understand that you’re on the ace spectrum, and fully accept it as a part of you, it’s rewarding, fulfilling, gratifying. Please keep true to yourself and I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Right now you can find me on a Tumblr-alternative called Writscrib under the username Cryptid, and I have my own website with my portfolio: http://www.cryptidartworks.com/.

Tiefling!
Tiefling!

Thank you, Cyr, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Audrey

Today we’re joined by Audrey. Audrey is a wonderful young filmmaker who is just starting out. She has just started posting her films on social media, including on YouTube. Audrey mostly makes films that fall into the comedy genre. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with an incredibly bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

IMG_1726

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an aspiring film maker I guess you could say. I’ve been making short films for a while, but I just started posting some on YouTube and social media. I like making comedy short films the most because they get a message across in an enjoyable way. I’m hoping to learn more about professional film in college next year where I’m majoring in Film Studies!

What inspires you?

Life itself really inspires me. It sounds weird but many of my film ideas come from my experiences in life. I like to put a funny spin on things because if you can’t laugh at life what’s the point! Pinterest also inspires me. I love that app.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I actually started high school thinking I was going to be either an Engineer or a Teacher! Needless to say, that changed. I didn’t really realize that I wanted to become serious about Film until last year. I had grown up around it, my dad taught a high school Film class, but I never seriously thought of it for me. It’s when I started making short films that I realized how much I loved it and would actually like to take it to the next level.

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 currently, but if I start to make my YouTube channel more official, which I’d like to, then I’ll probably start to develop an intro/outro that puts my name on my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Art doesn’t have to just be a hobby. If you take what you do seriously, then you should focus on it. The world needs more art and what you do is important. If you’re nervous about your friends and family seeing your work, don’t be. They are almost always going to be the most supportive people in your life. Also, social media is an amazing platform for art. Use it to get your work out there. Even if you don’t think it’s good, someone else will. And who knows, maybe you’ll inspire an upcoming artist to focus on their own art!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as heteroromantic asexual. I say currently, because I’ve never felt a strong connection for a boyfriend so I haven’t ruled out Demisexual in my future. But for now, asexuality is the sexuality that I feel fits me.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Not really because I embrace my sexuality so much. In fact, I’m even looking to do some skits about asexuality because it’s so underrepresented in our media today.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That it’s just a phase. I’ve been fortunate enough that no one has said it to my face, but it’s definitely been implied when I tell people. When I told my mom she was very supportive. She loves learning about sexuality and gender identity but I know she doesn’t fully understand it so I don’t blame her. Even she implied that my sexuality might change as I get older. Which could be true, but for the moment identifying as asexual has made me understand more about myself and has given me an identity and a group of people who I can relate to.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

If you think you might be asexual or somewhere on the ace scale, go with it. If you feel differently in the future there’s no problem with that. But for me, finding an identity has made me much happier and I feel like I belong. Many people don’t know what asexuality is and because of that, student can feel out of place and like there’s something wrong with them because they don’t feel sexual attraction. That’s why I really feel we need more representation in the media. The way I figured out I might be asexual was through a Cosmopolitan article interviewing a couple asexual women. Little things like that can do wonders for confused individuals like me who had never heard of asexuality. But if the media won’t represent us then it’s our job to spread the word.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

You can check out my YouTube channel here!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzHaJ97rA4U_tlVnXIEiC4A

(The channel name is audreylee but there are several people by that name on YouTube)

Also check out my Tumblr: audgelee. I’ll be posting a bunch of ace jokes and anecdotes that hopefully some of you guys can relate to!

Thank you, Audrey, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: EpicRosalina

Today we’re joined by EpicRosalina. EpicRosalina is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. While she mostly does digital art, she also dabbles in traditional art, using mostly alcohol markers. Her style draws its inspiration from anime. EpicRosalina mostly draws her own original characters (she also dabbles in writing), but has drawn her friends’ characters on occasion. It’s clear she’s a very passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Aki Lumi
Aki Lumi

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work with digital and traditional art but I much prefer digital over traditional. When working with traditional art, I use alcohol markers. I work using an anime style as it’s what I’m most comfortable with. I mainly draw my own characters however I sometimes also draw some characters belonging to a friend of mine. I’m trying to get back into writing by starting a new book soon.

What inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from my characters’ personality and backstories. Some have pretty messed up pasts. I turn those moments into illustrations which is fun since I get to experiment with different poses and backgrounds. Other times, inspiration just comes out of nowhere. Some doodles that I do get turned into illustrations.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I would casually draw starting from the age of 11 mainly because of a close friend of mine who is skilled with her art. I aspired to be as good as her and so I started taking art more seriously. It was around that time when I discovered anime and so I also took inspiration from that sort of art style. I only wanted to really be an artist when I saw that my art was improving and had people complementing it.

Aki Suki
Aki Suki

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 don’t think I do have anything special that I try to include in my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t think that to be an artist, you must be “Born with artistic talent.” I wasn’t talented at all but I kept practicing and practicing till I reached a point where I could say “I made this and I’m proud of this.” Use whatever you need whether it’s references or models. Do whatever you need to keep you motivated and constantly finding ways to improve.

Luna's breakdown final
Luna’s Breakdown

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual Demiromantic though I do find myself questioning it sometimes

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I have encountered some ignorance. I have been told that I just need to find the right person and I don’t belong in the LGBTQ+ community but I try my best to ignore it my surrounding myself with people who support me.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

People who confuse Asexual with Aromantic. I’ve encountered people who think that just because I’m Asexual, it means I don’t want to be in a relationship however it’s quite the opposite. I’m fine with being in a relationship however I don’t want to have any sexual relationships

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

If you’re struggling then give it some time. Some people figure out their orientation much sooner than others but that’s ok. If you need to experiment to find out what you identify as then go ahead. Don’t think that you have to abide by a label.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

You can find my art on my DeviantArt, Instagram, and sometimes my Tumblr at EpicRosalina. My upcoming story will be posted on my Wattpad which is also EpicRosalina.

Luna LN Final
Luna LN

Thank you, EpicRosalina, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Sophie A Katz

Today we’re joined by Sophie A. Katz. Sophie is a phenomenal and versatile writer. She writes in a number of different forms and styles. She’s a fellow writer who enjoys writing hopeful stories (we need more of them! 🙂 ). It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Sophie Katz headshot

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

It’s all about stories for me – I LOVE stories, and storytelling. So far, my best skill to bring stories to life has been writing. I’ll write in pretty much any form; different stories need different mediums, after all. Some stories are short, some are novels. Some are screenplays or stage plays. I dabble in poetry. I have a few stories that sit in my head and insist upon being graphic novels – I’ll have to find someone who’s better with visual art to collaborate with for those.

What inspires you?

Life inspires me. That’s a vague answer. I have a “story ideas” tag on my Tumblr with hundreds of pictures and prompts in it, and I didn’t think that that was out of the ordinary until someone said to me, “Wow, you get story ideas from EVERYTHING!” But everything DOES have a story to it. You know that word “sonder”? About realizing that every other person in the world is living a life just as complex and interesting as your own? I can’t help but see that in everyone and everything around me. I don’t see things as just the way they are – I want to know why, and what might happen next. And that’s what a story is, at its base: why are things the way they are, and what could happen next?

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

There was this dollhouse in my parents’ house – I think it’s still in the basement – and incidentally we didn’t call it a “dollhouse” because Mom did NOT want her daughters playing with dolls; we called it a “people house,” like that Dr. Seuss book. I’d sit at the People House with all of our toys, all the animals and action figures and Disney characters, and narrate their adventures, for hours and hours. It was just what I did. Before I could write or read, I told the stories of my toys. And then one day, Dad took notes on the story I was telling, and typed it up for me. That’s where it really started. After that, I learned to read and write, and started writing little books, and Mom became my editor. But it took me until junior high to really start identifying as a writer. Before that, I honestly thought I was going to be an actress, even though I wasn’t very good at it, and didn’t really enjoy it. I think because the storytelling thing was just something I’d always done, I didn’t recognize it as special, or even as “art” at all – but it was always there, and eventually I recognized it as such, and now it’s what I want to do with the rest of my life.

Things REALLY took off once I realized that Disney World had a writing internship…but if I start talking about THAT, then we’ll be here all day.

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?

That’s a really interesting question. When my big sister was looking at colleges, I started picking up literary journals from the schools we visited, and I started noticing a troubling pattern in the works published there: they were overwhelmingly sad. I concluded then that sadness must be the easiest emotion to evoke in a story, and the true challenge was to create something that made people happy.

Bad things do happen in the stories I write, but they very rarely end that way. Books and movies that end in hopelessness bother me. By all means, kill your darlings and send me to bed crying, but give me a reason to get up in the morning! This is a very roundabout way of answering that a feature I include in my work is hope. My stories are most often about people looking at the world and seeing not only the bad that is, but the good that could be, and working to make that good come to be. I think a lot of people perceive hope and optimism as naïve, and sadness and despair as true art. It’s fine to have that opinion, but I don’t subscribe to it. I see art in joy, and in the challenge of creating joy, and in taking on that challenge. I see art in hope.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You are not completely unique, and that is a good thing. It’s a good thing because it means that you have something to offer that will resonate with other people. You are not so different from the rest of the world that nobody will ever understand; rather, you have something to create that other people need. Create what is true to you, what is so true to you that it feels like no one else in the world may have ever felt the way that you feel about it. Create it and share it with the world. And someday, someone will walk up to you, and nervously shake your hand, and say, “That’s exactly how I feel. Thank you for turning it into art.”

Also, I highly recommend learning the skill of biting your tongue and saying “thank you, I’ll consider it” to critique. It’s not an easy skill to develop. Feedback is key to growth, and while you don’t have to TAKE all the feedback anyone ever gives you (you won’t take most of it, and that’s the way it should be!), it’s good to hear feedback. Feedback is how you learn what people are getting out of your art, whether your art is doing what you want it to do to the people you want it to do stuff to. I hope that sentence makes sense. I’d appreciate feedback on that sentence.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual, usually. Recently I’ve been feeling a bit more solidly ace; my body on occasion will send me a surprise bout of “nonononono” even when I’m with someone I am very much emotionally connected to.

I don’t even know what’s up with my romantic orientation. It’s like it plays “duck duck goose,” where it’ll go “duck duck duck…” over everyone around me for ages and then suddenly “GOOSE! YOU HAVE A CRUSH!!!”

I like things to make sense, so it’s all a bit frustrating for me, but I’m training myself to make peace with the uncertainty. Having words like “demisexual” and “asexual” and “sex-positive” and “sex-repulsed” to throw around helps some. I like having words for things.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Nothing’s been explicitly directed towards me, but romance is such a prevalent part of the stories we tell that I can’t help but be nervous. I’m nervous that I won’t be able to write a love story that someone will want to read, because I can’t know what it’s like to be the allosexual people that mainstream romances are about. I’m nervous that putting ace people in my stories, or being frank about demisexuality, will bring more trouble down on me than good. But this is my life, this is my truth, and these are the stories that I wish, oh god do I wish, that I had had when I thought that I was broken. How could I not write that? But I’m nervous, so how CAN I write that?

Fortunately, I found an incredibly supportive feminist arts community at my university, and I felt safe enough there to read a piece about figuring out my sexuality at an open mic. After the show, an audience member came up to me and thanked me, because what I had read was exactly how it was for them figuring out their sexuality. That’s when it hit me that however nervous I was, I couldn’t let that get in the way of creating my art. People need to know that they’re not alone. And coming up against ninety-nine readers who think I’m some faker special snowflake is worth it if I can get to the hundredth reader who needs to hear that they’re not alone.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That it doesn’t exist.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

…Honestly, I wish someone had advice to give ME, because I struggle with it plenty. What I do know to remind myself of as much as I can is this: your sexuality does NOT make you a burden, and anyone who makes you feel like it is can walk the plank.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I have an electronic portfolio at https://sophieakatz.wordpress.com/, and I’ve just begun a writing Tumblr in an attempt to self-promote – you can find that at https://sophieakatz.tumblr.com/. Go ahead and send me a message there if you want to chat about anything! Or you could contact me at http://ohthewhomanity.tumblr.com/; that’s the blog where I use the “story ideas” tag. You can also find my Odyssey articles every week at https://www.theodysseyonline.com/user/@sophiekatz.

Thank you, Sophie, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Eliza

Today we’re joined by Eliza. Eliza is a phenomenal visual artist who also writes and does some performance art. Most of what she does is writing and fanart, including cosplay. Eliza also does some dancing and acting too. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

IMG_0177

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work in multiple genres of art. I do visual art, fan art, cosplay, writing, dancing, and acting. Specifically I do fanart and writing.

What inspires you?

What inspires me is seeing other artists my age doing amazing things, which gives me the hope to be like them.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I actually got interested in art by accident, but it still happened. I’ve been an artist since I was 7 years old.

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?

Sometimes I put DS in my art

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Criticism is necessary, but don’t take it if it doesn’t help you. No matter what people say, you will get better in art.

IMG_0178

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an asexual aromantic

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I actually haven’t yet. Except for the occasional ‘asexuality isn’t real’ comment. I usually just ignore the comment or delete it.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The most common misconception I see is that asexuality is just an excuse for not getting laid.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Don’t let other people tell you what you can and cannot be.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Other than Tumblr, where my art is at either at Unis-Trash-Stash or at xthe-space-rebels, I am also on IFunny as Uniway.

Thank you, Eliza, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Tamare Rosemov

Today we’re joined by Tamare Rosemov. Tamare is a wonderful poet who hopes to publish his poetry one day. He writes mostly short free verse poetry and has sometimes posted it publicly. He is clearly a dedicated and passionate writer as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write short free verse poetry which I sometimes post publicly. I usually only share my poetry with a couple close friends, although I do hope to get published someday.

What inspires you?

My emotions are the basis for my work as well as my greatest inspiration. I love the way that poetry can aid in the struggle against the impermanence of life – a small burst of joy or sorrow can retain its original vigor when expressed in a few meaningful phrases. This urge to commemorate my favorite moments and feelings inspires me as strongly as emotion itself.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

My interest in poetry increased significantly when I was hit with depression. I discovered that poetry could be a wonderful coping mechanism for making sense of the emotions and problems that haunted me. As for being an artist, it was never on my mind until I realized that I need art in my life, and perhaps it might become part of my professional career in the future.

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?

My favorite poems include sea imagery. I grew up in a small European seaside town, and the sea remains to me the ultimate object of nostalgia as well as a metaphor for many parts of my life.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up on art even if you’re afraid of criticism or a lack of creativity. I think we all have that desire in us; the desire to express ourselves, and we all encounter stimuli that inspire us to create. So even if your art does not fit somebody’s standard, if it makes you feel more whole, keep on creating.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a heteroromantic asexual, and until recently I thought I was just an extremely innocent heterosexual. It still shocks me that I’m that different from the person I always considered myself to be.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I have not encountered much prejudice, and I acknowledge that I am privileged in that aspect. The worst I’ve encountered is ignorance because I haven’t come out to many people for fear of damaging my relationships.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Probably the idea that asexuals don’t exist. It’s annoying when someone seems to accept my asexuality but then proclaims smugly, “You’re just very pure”, “Everyone wants sex”, or “You’re just too shy to express your dirty thoughts”. I know how I feel, and even though I’m still getting used to it, I am an asexual and asexuality is a valid identity.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Don’t be ashamed of who you truly are. Sexuality is as deep as the human mind, and the human mind is an enigma. We might never know why our minds work the way they do, but what we do know is that our minds can create, think, analyze, love. So, no matter what your sexuality is, love yourself.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I post my bad and good poetry at https://allpoetry.com/BlueCandlelight;

Thank you, Tamare, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.