Interview: RK

Today we’re joined by RK. RK is a phenomenal writer who writes a variety of things. Xi writes mostly fanfiction, though xi also writes a fair amount on Tumblr as well. It’s clear xi loves what xi do and is incredibly passionate about writing. My thanks to xi for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I have a variety of art, from knitting and jewelry-making to writing songs and stories, to the more “traditional” artforms of drawing and painting. I tend to consider myself a writer first and foremost, feeling that writing is my vocation if anything could be considered such, but I spend a lot of time knitting and creating colored pencil or watercolor anime-esque portraits.

What inspires you?

Everything. Random thoughts, TV shows and books and movies (for the fan creations), my kids, my cat, my partner, the sunlight pouring down through the tree canopy in the backyard…. Inspiration is everywhere.

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

Always. I’ve been writing since the first time I could hold a crayon, or so my mother tells me, and drawing for almost as long. I love telling stories, whether it’s written or illustrated or even just making up a story on the fly to tell my kids at night.

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?

Nothing so consistently across the board, I’m afraid.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Everyone begins as an artist at their own place and advances at their own pace. It’s inevitable to find yourself measured against other artists, fairly or unfairly, and it’s important not to let those measurements discourage you from producing your art. Trends come and go, fads fade, but as long as YOU are happy with what you’re creating, that’s all that matters in the end.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I tend to identify as Asexual/Gray-Asexual Demiromantic.

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

In the regular world of art and writing, very little, which may change if/when my work gets a broader recognition. Online? Occasionally. I’m fortunate enough to have found a niche that allows me to surround myself with people who also tend to be on the Ace/Aro spectrums. I see the prejudiced/ignorant commentary on occasion, but very rarely has anyone directed it towards me. Mostly, people who question me about asexuality/aromanticism are honestly seeking knowledge, which I’m pleased to provide for them to better their understanding.

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

Probably that being asexual supposedly means not liking sex. Most of the people who question me about my being asexual express confusion over how my partner, a cis man who used to identify as het and now identifies as “RK-sexual”, can be in a happy and stable monogamous relationship with me, an asexual, or how we have two kids if I “don’t have sex”. This is usually cleared up by reminding people that asexuality doesn’t have to include sex-repulsion or celibacy.

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

There is no right or wrong way to be asexual, only what is right for you. You can ask other people for advice or assistance in navigating how you feel, but ultimately YOU are the only one who can decide what label or labels do or do not fit you.

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

You can find my fan works easily enough on AO3 (under the pen name LadyShadowphyre) or on Tumblr (“ladylilithprime” and “rkdoesartthings“), and I have a Patreon as “RK Hart” (with the profile picture of a white tiger).

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

Interview: Bere Weillschmidt

Today we’re joined by Bere Weillschmidt. Bere is a wonderful Mexican artist who writes a comic entitled “Love Afternoon Tea”, which is about a gay ace couple and their lives. It’s clear he loves what he does and is a driven artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

BERE

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My work is all about gay pairings, or sometimes polyamorous trios. I draw a lot of fan art but since I graduated, I’ve focused on my comics. I write Love Afternoon Tea (https://tapas.io/series/Love-Afternoon-Tea), which explores a homosexual asexual relationship between a cis man and a trans man.

What inspires you?

I’ve never been in a relationship before but the excitement I get from reading fanfic gets me going. Also, I grew up when everything was a bromance, instead of a canon relationship, so that possibility was a thing that sparked the inspiration inside me.

I’m really shy and sometimes that stops me from posting, but the people that comment are truly appreciated because this is something that pushes me to keep on working hard on everything I do.

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

Well, to be completely honest, no. I was always told that artists starved, and when I was younger I wanted to be filthy rich. On high school I started having a lot of troubles and I was about to not to get into college when my two best friends pushed me into graphic design. Three years later, I switched to animation and I since I enjoyed my career too much, I graduated with honours.

It’s something that has to interest you so much so that in the most difficult times… you keep on going because there’s no other thing you see yourself doing. By the way, I am not starving and I am quite happy by teaching others how to do this.

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 signature is really simple that on my ID people scoff at seeing it. But they never know what it means since it’s an alias.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Fight for what you truly believe in. If you don’t have the means to get into art school, don’t worry: most of the stuff is on the Internet. You can do it. Never be afraid to reach out to other artists, I think everyone is happy to help on what they know!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aromantic Asexual.

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

Yes, I suppose is very common that people struggle with being a virgin because there’s always the questions and judgement from others. Mostly when you’re over 25.

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

That we are really innocent (?) I hate that.

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

I just accepted myself. It took me a lot to do it because I thought I was just a “late bloomer”, but as a tip I’d say… talk with other asexuals. You’ll get to see how much you have in common and how comfortable you start being in an asexual space.

Don’t rush yourself into figuring it out, sexuality is a spectrum after all… and it might change in time.

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

https://www.instagram.com/bereweillschmidt/
https://twitter.com/bereweilschmidt
http://weillschmidtdoodles.tumblr.com

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

Interview: Bryn Kettle

Today we’re joined by Bryn Kettle. Bryn is a phenomenal animator from New Zealand. They draw a lot of fascinating and unique characters, frequently including bright vibrant colors to draw the viewer in. They’re clearly a dedicated and imaginative artist who loves what they do. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. Putting the War in Reality Warpers
Putting the War in Reality Warpers

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an animator who works on very cartoony nonsensical jazz that usually involves something meta or something that warps reality – most of my work is pretty much a tribute to something else.

What inspires you?

Cartoons – old, new, foreign, limited, in a weird medium, seconds long, hours long – whatever! if it’s animated, I’ll watch it!!

2. Atronus
Atronus

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

I believe the first cartoon that got me into this mess was Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends – that, I remember, was about when I started to try and replicate smear frames that I’d get a glimpse at.

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?

The number ‘307.47’ pops up a lot. Everybody who I’ve worked with on shorts and what have you, that I’ve been able to sneak it in, have never questioned me about it – it’s probably because there’s a lot more cartoony nonsense distracting them from it.

It’s the DSM-IV code for nightmare disorder.

3. Butterfly Soldier
Butterfly Soldier

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

That isn’t keep making/practicing the thing? I think having a back log of your most favourite, most inspirational pieces of art to fall back on really helps keep me trucking along.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just a genuine ace!

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

Not at all – I find my fellow artists are extremely accepting – the folks at work even use they/them pronouns for me.

That isn’t to say I haven’t experienced it anywhere else, of course – I’ve gotten my fair share of the old “you just haven’t found the right person” and “you’re young, you’ll grow out of it” every now and again.

5

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

Oh criminy which one to pick – ace peeps had a bad experience, ace folks are all naive, the ace community are just picky – but I think the most common one I’ve gotten is the mindset that it’s curable in some shape or form.

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

A month ago, I went to Wales to meet my second cousin Ian for the first time. he’s in his 60’s, retired and totally 100% ace goals – his apartment was full of treasures from his life, including a Salvador Dalí lithograph and he gets all the love he needs from his close friends and family. he’s never wanted, nor tried to get with folks and nobody really expects that of him. (they’ve given up at this point) So yes – it is absolutely possible to live a full and happy life without focusing on any of that jazz – just be you, focus on feeling before labels and live your best life full!!… of treasures, preferably.

6

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

At hoodboycartoons on InstaTwitterTumblr and Facebook and Hoodboy33 on Deviant art

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HnCGOSQa4jg

7. Sean Expressions Chart
Sean Expressions Chart

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

Interview: Civvi

Today we’re joined by Civvi. Civvi is a phenomenal visual artist who mostly does digital art. She does a lot of fanart, but has also done some original work as well. Her work is bright and colorful, making use of vibrant shades to make the drawings pop. 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.

1. hell yea fam
Hell yea fam

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do mostly digital art these days, I highly favor drawing cute girls because, well girls are cute! I draw mostly fanart, as it was what first inspired me to draw.

What inspires you?

The media I consume! Most of my urges to draw come from seeing a character in a show and being filled with the desire to create my own rendition of them. Fanart makes me really happy and I love sharing it with other people who like the same things that I do.

2. colorlull
Colorlull

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

I started drawing casually in middle school, 7th grade, because I was so enamored with the Warrior Cats book series. I remember the very first drawing I actually put effort into. I spent the whole school day carefully sketching out a drawing of a cat, laying on her side with several kittens around her, I used my thumb to rub the pencil and smooth the texture, I started scratching through the notebook paper going over the lines too many times. It’s probably been about 10 years since then, but I can still remember the almost foreign feeling of pride I felt looking at what I had done. Until then I had been praised for my intelligence and nothing else. Now I made something, and creating felt good. I did art very casually without trying to improve up through high school, and only got semi-serious about improving my skills about a year or two ago. Since then I’ve made such great progress I’m really proud of how far I’ve come!

3. New Lulu
New Lulu

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?

Ah I don’t really think so. Some friends have said that the noses I draw make it easy to recognize my art? But my style is always changing and shifting so I don’t settle on one thing for very long at all.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do what makes you happy! For a long time, it made me happy to draw without thinking critically about what I made and how I could improve, and that’s totally fine! Then when that stopped making me happy, and I wanted to improve, I started doing that. If you just want to draw the same self-indulgent stuff over and over, don’t let anybody tell you that that’s wrong or that you aren’t “allowed” to just draw for yourself. Whatever makes you happy is the right thing to do.

4. LuluIcon Done
Lululcon Done

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromatic.

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

Ah not really, not in real life at least. It’s always very disheartening to learn that artists I admire and aspire to be like are aphobic, but that’s just another one for the block list.

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

That I’m not allowed to make dirty jokes! My sibling called me “a weird asexual” for liking a song with a sexual meaning, and almost everyone I’m out to has made comments about how weird it is that I make dirty jokes “despite” being ace. My sexual orientation does not determine the music, comedy, and media I enjoy! I have the humor of a high school aged boy and I won’t let anyone take that from me.

5. Elf Druid
Elf Druid

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

It’s okay, whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay. You’re not broken, and you’re not alone. I wish I had heard about asexuality in high school, it would have saved me so much self hatred. I thought I was so wrong for not being like everyone else. But I’m not wrong for being me! At first I thought I wasn’t “allowed” to be asexual because I had a partner, and we would have sex, and sometimes I would enjoy it. But that doesn’t make me any less ace! As soon as I learned that, and accepted who I was, I know it sounds cheesy but it really did feel like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. It feels so good to be me! I hope every questioning aspec person out there reaches the point where is just feels good to be themselves.

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

I’m on Tumblr civvi-the-civilian, and civvi-draws-lapidot, and on Instagram civvithecivilian. Those are the best places to reach me.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/civvithecivilian

6. space elf white lines
Space Elf White Lines

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

Interview: Jenna Rose

Today we’re joined by Jenna Rose. Jenna is a phenomenal author who specializes in LGBTQ+ romances. She has currently released two novels in a planned 5-book series. It involves a mysterious supernatural society and a pair of PIs who try to solve the mysteries in their communities. It sounds like a fascinating read and Jenna obviously loves writing it, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write LGBTQIA romances. My favorite genre is fantasy, and science-fiction, but I have some stories in the works that have a more contemporary setting.

The books I have published are written with co-author Katey Hawthorne. They take place in a world where a supernatural society exists in secret alongside our own, and follow Lowell Kanaan, a private investigator and wolf shifter, and John Tilney, an author and pyrokinetic, as they work together to solve mysteries in their community. Lowell’s a gruff kind of guy with a heart of gold underneath it all, and John (who’s demiromantic!) is a sweet and tenacious oddball.

There are currently two books out in a planned series of five. The first in the series is Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Arms Dealers, and the second is Kanaan & Tilney: The Case of the Man-Eater. I will mention that the books do contain sex scenes, so if those aren’t your jam, you can skip over them or they just might not be the books for you. Thanks to the publisher I’m currently with, sex scenes are no longer more or less required, so future books of mine will not always have them.  🙂

What inspires you?

Man, so many things! I save pictures of places all the time. Natural wonders, different kinds of houses, abandoned places… Anything that I think would make for a cool setting. Other books inspire me too. I might read something and realize hey, I’d love to see a steampunk story with queer characters, or, it might touch on a subject that I would have liked to seen explored more.

Also, I play Dungeons & Dragons and I find their character creation system in the current edition weirdly useful for coming up with character concepts.

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

The list of things I wanted to be when I grew up changed a lot when I was a kid. One day I’d want to be a Power Ranger, then the next I’d want to be an archeologist (because, you know, Lara Croft), annnnd then the next I’d want to be a zoologist. But, writer was the one thing that was always on the list. I loved how books contained whole worlds you could get lost in, and I always wanted to create my own and share them with people.

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?

Haha! I don’t, but now I feel like there should be.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Be comfortable with things not going the way you expected them to. There will be times when a plot point won’t always work out the way you hoped, and now and again a character will surprise you and do something unexpected. Hell, sometimes you’ll end up writing something completely different than what you started with. And you just kinda gotta go with it.

When I was younger, when I dreamed of being a writer, I didn’t see myself writing romance. I wanted to write Young Adult novels. LGBTQIA romance is something I kinda stumbled into. Turns out, though? I love writing romance. I’m having fun and getting to tell stories I love. It’s totally not where I expected to end up, but now that I’m here, I’m glad that I did.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as biromantic demisexual.

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

I’m lucky to work at a publishing company that works hard to be inclusive, so I’ve never run into any issues with anyone at Less than Three Press, or with any other authors. However, I do unfortunately get the occasional review that’s acephobic or just uneducated about asexuality in general.

I think, like with anyone, I have my good days and bad days when it comes to dealing with prejudice or ignorance. Sometimes it’s easy, sometimes not so much. On the days it’s harder to brush off, I try to remind myself that part of why I write LGBTQIA fiction is because of how little representation there is out there. A lot of people don’t know or understand what asexuality is and, my hope, is by putting it out there in my writing that it will help educate people. And if not? Well, my writing isn’t for them. It’s for people, like me, who want to see themselves in stories. If even just one person out there feels a little bit less alone, or realizes that they are not broken and are fine just how they are, because of something I wrote, then that’s all that matters.

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

This is a tough one. There are a few things I hear all the time, even from my own family, but I guess the most common would be is that asexuality isn’t a real thing. I’ve seen arguments that aces just haven’t met the right person, that we need to experiment more with sex, or that we just have low sex drives and medication would fix things. I’ve even seen accusations that asexuals are making it up for attention, or so we’ll be included in queer community without actually being queer.

But the craziest thing I’ve heard? I’ve legit had my own family tell me that my lack of interest in sex is normal for women. Lots of women feel like I do, so clearly asexuality is a made-up thing and why do I need a special label for it anyway?

It’s a lot of bullshit arguments with nothing to back them up other than ignorance, sexism, and acephobia.

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

You’re not alone. I know that there are times when it feels like you are, and that you might always will be, but nothing could be further from the truth. There are people out there, both asexuals and allosexuals, who love you and accept you for who you are. There’s an entire community eager to embrace you. You belong, you’re valid, and you are loved. And, if you ever need anyone to talk to, I’m here for you.

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

They can check me out at my website (http://www.jennarosewrites.com) which has links to my Facebook, Tumblr, and other social media accounts as well as information on where to find my books.

They can also head on over to the official Kanaan & Tilney website (http://kanaanandtilneyinvestigations.com).

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

Interview: Linda

Today we’re joined by Linda. Linda is a phenomenal video editor who has done online media work for MTV, PBS digital studios, and the NHL. She mostly does short form content, but hopes to edit a fictional narrative some day. It’s clear she’s a driven and passionate artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a video editor editing mainly short-form content, but I’d love to edit a fictional narrative. I find them to be the most creatively challenging.

What inspires you?

People who are trying to be the best form of themselves.

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

Oh lord no, my parents were completely against going into the arts. They’ve always wanted me to find something more practical and technical to do. I found this summer film program in high school and quickly fell in love with the art of filmmaking, found my niche in editing, graduated with a B.A. film production, 2 years out of school, I’m still a freelancer but am constantly looking for full-time work.

I’ve always loved working with my hands. I guess that’s what makes me love knitting, crocheting, manuscript (calligraphy, handlettering), volleyball, and crossfit. None of those fell into art (except the calligraphy, which I play off as improving my handwriting), so it was hard to find something I really loved to do when I was younger.

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?

When I’m a bit more comfortable in my skin, I can definitely share it in the future!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Your work reveals who you are, embrace it

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

A little between sex-repulsed and sex-neutral.

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

I haven’t really come out to the crews (they’re behind the scenes) I’ve worked with. But some of my colleagues outside work/my field has asked/told me “how do you know if you don’t try?”

I’ve tried explaining to them that I just don’t feel that sort of attraction, or any sort of sexual attraction towards anyone.

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

“You just haven’t found the right one.”

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

Be patient with yourself. There is nothing wrong with you, you’re not broken.

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

I actually don’t have a website lol, I don’t think I’ll have one until I’m full-time.

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

Interview: Ruby

Today we’re joined by Ruby. Ruby is a wonderful young artist I met at a recent convention I was at. She is a fanartist who specializes in redrawing screencaps. Ruby really loves to focus on characters, particularly characters she enjoys. It’s clear she’s a talented artist with an admirable amount of passion, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. photo (2)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art mainly consists of screencap redraws of fictional characters from video games, TV shows, or movies. I have autism and get very obsessive over certain characters. I sometimes draw my own ideas but I am not very imaginative so it is difficult for me to think of an idea.

What inspires you?

Mainly I am inspired by fictional characters that stand out to me or I can relate to. For example I really like Shadow the Hedgehog because he’s quiet, prefers to be alone, and had a major struggle in the past like me. I also like to draw characters that I think have an interesting design.

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

I’m not really sure what got me interested to be honest. I drew Sonic characters as a kid and I didn’t really start drawing until I was 13 and thought it would be fun to draw my friend’s favorite Mortal Kombat characters for her. Mainly I draw now to relieve stress but unfortunately do not have a lot of time for it since I started college.

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?

If I am majorly obsessed with a character, I will put a heart or something to show that I am obsessed.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

A lot of artists compare themselves to other artists saying, “I will never be as good as them” and I don’t want people to do that. There will always be someone better than you. Don’t give up, keep drawing and practicing. You don’t even have to take expensive classes, there are hundreds of videos on the Internet of artists sharing their techniques. Do not rush your artwork, make sure you take your time. I know it’s hard not to rush when you’re almost done with a drawing but it’ll look better if you spend more time. Try and take breaks.

2. photo

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual.

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

I have not had any ace prejudice or ace ignorance in my field.

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

When I first revealed to my family I was ace, my parents were okay with it. But my aunts/uncles/grandparents/etc. all tell me that I will change my mind, I am not ready, or have not met the right person. I am an adult. I have never dated. I do not want to be interested. I love being alone. Sex disgusts me.

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

Finding your sexuality can take time. Do not let others control you. I know there is a forum site called AVEN where you can ask questions. Don’t be afraid to research.

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

Nowhere, really. All I have is Snapchat and Discord and I’m barely on those because I’m either in college or working.

3. photo (1)

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