Interview: Alex

Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a wonderful visual artist who works with both digital and traditional media. A lot of their work is experimental or abstract. They have a particular affinity for the strange and enjoy drawing monster people. Their work is interesting, with muted colors adding a sense of eeriness to it. It’s clear that 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.

bleedingheart
Bleeding Heart

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Oh man, what is there to tell? I draw original works and a lot of abstract and experimental ideas. Be they my own or friend’s characters, ideas, scenes, bad puns, you name it. I am constantly challenging myself to improve and draw all the strange ideas that come into my head.

I do have an intense interest in monster people though.

What inspires you?

It’s more along the lines of “What doesn’t inspire me?” Being disabled I’ve spent a lot of time inside my own head; built species, characters, worlds, ideas. A bit of music, a bit of nature, a phrase, a person in a state of emotion, smells even can get my brain working and thinking; ‘Who does this remind me of, what would this character do in this situation? How would this species interpret this?’

I’ve ended up creating entire characters after waking up after a rough night in the hospital from drug fueled dreams, desperately pleading with the nurses for some paper and pen so I could get it out of my head before I forgot all of it.

Myself
Myself

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

I always drew but didn’t always want to be an artist. I remember my duotangs in elementary school being filled to just an inch short of the brink with doodles, shapes, silly cartoons, puzzles, patterns and a lot of dragons. I remember then never hitting the edge of the duotang because I used the work paper inside to hide the fact that I used drawing to pay attention to my lessons.

It was honestly my paternal grandmother that really got me into art, she paints but never had a knack for drawing things from her imagination. And when she found out I could and did, she actively encouraged me, often getting me to draw fantasy creatures for her to use as references for her own art.

I didn’t start doing digital art seriously until a few years ago when the arthritis in my hands started to make using pen and pencils difficult to use for long periods of time. Its been a fun learning process that I’ve been lucky to have other artists that inspire and encourage me along the way.

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 sort of do but I tend to forget to put it as a watermark on my art. I designed a crest for myself that is in desperate need of an update. (My digital art skills have evolved a lot since then)

Other then that, maybe intense colours and lots of flowing lines.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As dumb as it sounds, practice the basics. When you find yourself frustrated with your art go back to doing basic gesture pieces and pages of doodles. Once your ready to draw something big that practice will be ingrained into you and will make things easier in the long run.

And don’t be afraid to fuck up! Making mistakes is how you learn, its allowed, and sometimes you end up finding out how to use those mistakes to make your art even cooler!

Newface
New Face

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual in a polyamorous relationship. I’m also a transitioning agender person. Two months on hormones now, woot woot!

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

Not overly, I’ve faced more backlash for being non-binary transgender then I have for being asexual. Most of the time my sexuality doesn’t come up when I’m drawing for someone, and the few times it has those I’ve been working with have been openly curious or even relieved because WOW there are a lot of Ace artists out there.

Redemption by Blood
Redemption by Blood

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

‘You can’t be asexual, all humans have sexual urges, you’re not a plant’ –Said to me by my abusive mother at 15 when I was trying to explain why I wasn’t really okay with identifying as just bisexual.

Another big misconception people seem to have is that I won’t have a raunchy as hell sense of humour. Admittedly my humour tends to go from raunchy to ‘wtf’ in seconds flat because I don’t view sex as anything but funny, so see no issue mixing it with other things I find absurd and funny.

I like to write porn (my favourite people to write it with are other Asexual people or Demisexual people) and think dildos are the funniest things on the planet. Just because I don’t want to hear about my friend’s sex lives or be physically involved myself in sex doesn’t mean I can’t see how it can be important in other people’s relationships.

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

Its okay to be unsure, its okay to question things. But know this, no matter what anyone else says, you know you the best. You always will.

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

I’m mostly active on Tumblr: bohgeyboss.tumblr.com

Or at my Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/agentboss.

waterravensmall
Water Raven

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

Interview: Emilie Tremblay

Today we’re joined by Emilie Tremblay. Em is a wonderful visual artist who is just starting out and already shows a great amount of talent. They paint and draw mostly. For painting, they draw inspiration from abstract art. Drawing is a little different: Em enjoys drawing all sorts of life, like people and plants. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist with a bright future ahead of them. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a visual artist. I practice mainly with the traditional media of painting and drawing. I really love abstract art and you can probably see that style influences my paintings a lot. I also love to play with colour and shapes. When it comes to drawing though I tend to be more interested in life; people, plants, architecture (especially people) I just find it all very fascinating.

What inspires you?

The world I would say. The people around me (my family and friends, even strangers on the bus), the people I see on TV (Bob Ross, Tuppence Middleton, etc.) Anything and everything I set my eyes on has the potential to be… reformed? Perhaps you could say. I just love to create. And the things that I encounter, the things that I participate in or engage with, they all stay in my mind and gather into these weird abstract ideas that can become beautifully interesting things that I just need to set to paper. It’s all very poetic I think; to have so many wonderful things and people around you that can inspire you to create something or do something that can make you so happy.

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

Honestly I can’t remember a time I wasn’t playing in paint! I’ve always liked getting dirty and splashing different colours together. It’s just something that has always been a part of me. Obviously I’ve refined the skill since I was two, but yes I’ve always wanted to be involved in the arts in some way. My mother being an artist probably also had something to do with it!

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?

Nope! Just my personality 😉

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just do it. Practice, practice and practice some more. Do a little bit every day and just keep doing it. Never stop and never give up. I understand it can be a lot and you might not always want to or have the energy to, but if it makes you happy it can be the most wonderful thing in the world. However it is not just raw talent that is going to get you in the business! You need to refine your skills, diversify your portfolio, make connections and share your work (not all of it though because you do still want to make money and you definitely don’t want anyone to steal your work and say it’s theirs! Be careful!) Especially in this technology obsessed world, it is very important to have followers. The more you post and the more consistent you are with posting the better! But please don’t overwork yourselves. You all need to remember that the most important thing, before anything else, is to take care of yourself: mentally and physically! Take a me-day if you have to; it’s okay!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Biromantic asexual

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

I’ve only fully come to terms with my asexuality last year (2017) during my final year of high school and let me tell you that was an intense journey. I’ve also only decided I want to be a professional artist probably about six months ago? (I am the most indecisive person ever!) Saying this, however, I have encountered my fair share of ignorance (not as much prejudice thank the lord) and it has made me wary of sharing my sexuality.*I am open with myself and whoever wants to know me, I am completely comfortable with my sexuality and full of pride let that be known!* But I’m also incredibly socially awkward so I don’t particularly like to flaunt myself (if that is even the right word) Oh gosh what am I even saying anymore (sorry I ramble!) The point is yes I have encountered it in my field and yes it sucks every time but the best way to fight ignorance is with knowledge! I will be the first to say it honestly sucks having to always explain and re-explain what something is, especially when that something is so ingrained in your identity; it can be a very personal blow. Being a non-binary person as well, I am no stranger to ignorance when it comes to identity and it can honestly be so exhausting to have to constantly have a 300 page essay on hand with varied, credible sources stating that “yes, it does exist. I’m not making this up.”

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

The most common misconception is that asexual people don’t feel romantic attraction either. Yes, there are also aromantic people and yes, those are two attractions that often coexist. However, they are two different things; asexual just means that I don’t feel sexual attraction. That’s it, that’s all. Another one would be that I hate sex. Personally I am not a sexual person, nor do I think I ever will be, but I am fine talking about it and watching movies with sex scenes. But not every asexual person is the same. Again; asexual just means that I don’t feel sexual attraction.

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

Don’t rush it. And don’t fight it. Please. Life is so complicated and so difficult already, don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t want or feel comfortable doing just because it’s what everyone is saying you’re supposed to be doing. You have the best knowledge of who you are. Remember that.

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

You can like my Facebook page: artisteft, or follow me on Instagram: at eft.art! And please feel free to DM me, my inbox is always open and I would love to talk to you about art, asexuality or anything else at all!

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