Interview: Marie-Pier

Today we’re joined by Marie-Pier. Marie-Pier is a phenomenal seamstress who uses her incredible skills for fashion design and cosplay. A dedicated cosplayer, Marie-Pier has cosplayed as various characters from different fandoms. Aside from her costumes, she also makes the accessories that go with her cosplays. Marie-Pier has also designed regular everyday outfits as well. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Elsa
Elsa

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Hello! I am Marie-Pier and I am an artist in the broad sense of the term. From drawing, to writing and even programming (it’s an art, believe me!), I enjoy many aspects of art, but my favorite outlet at the moment is sewing and cosplaying. For me, the main appeal of this activity is the fact that it’s so versatile and it encompasses most of my other passions. I draw my own concepts, I make my own patterns and I often have to handmake accessories, which allows me to build up so many skills. I haven’t made a ton of outfits and costumes thus far, but that’s because a lot of care is put into everything I make, which ends up being quite time consuming. Among the characters I’ve cosplayed, one can count Queen Elsa, The Evil Queen (Regina Mills from Once Upon a Time, Emma Swan (“Dark Swan”, also from Once Upon a Time) and a few other simpler cosplays like Wednesday Addams.

When I make “regular” outfits, I often go for little black dresses, although my most recent creation is an autumn/spring wool coat.

What inspires you?

I’m mostly inspired by the gothic aesthetic, as well as fabrics. I love things that look graceful and elegant, but I also have a soft spot for more structured/tougher looking outfits.

As far as cosplay characters go, I am mostly drawn to evil or dark characters, because more often than not, they’re the ones with the best outfits! It’s also always fun to portray villains or anti-heroes because they’re usually really confident and completely unashamed to be themselves.

One of my idols in the designing world is Eduardo Castro, the costume designer for Once Upon a Time, hence why most of my cosplays are from that TV show. Let’s just say that I am easily won over by impressive gowns and really captivated by anything that sparkles.

When I make actual clothes, I usually go for things that I am unable to find in stores. I don’t really care about what’s trendy; I simply make what I want to own and what I know would look nice on me.

Emma-Regina
Emma-Regina

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

I’ve always loved arts and crafts, as well as dressing up. Both my grandmothers used to make clothes and costumes for me. I would draw what I wanted to have and give them the drawings so that they could make it.

In high school, I decided it was about time I learned to sew on my own. As a longtime fan of Halloween, I started making my own costumes and I attempted to outdo myself every year. By the time I finished High School, I learned about conventions and cosplaying and began to consider it.

A year later, in 2014, I joined a fashion design club and took that opportunity to make my first wearable garments and my first real cosplay (Queen Elsa from Frozen).
What I grew to love the most about cosplaying is the amount of skills I got to learn from it. Each costume of mine came with different challenges that allowed me to learn things I wouldn’t have otherwise. (E.g. woodworking, making 18th undergarments, sourcing screen-accurate materials…)

However, despite my love of sewing and costume making, I would not want to make a career out of it, because it is my own way of clearing my mind and relaxing. I never really try to force myself to work on a project; I just let out my creative energy whenever I feel like 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?

There is a little something special I try to include in all my cosplays and it’s a bit of an inside joke. It began when I made sequins out of plastic soda bottles to cover the entire surface of my Queen Elsa bodice. Ever since I discovered how versatile a material plastic bottles could be, I’ve incorporated at least one element made from them in all my costumes. Thus far I’ve used them to make sequins, a hair comb, detailing on a dagger’s handle, and a necklace.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There are three things I would tell young aspiring artists. Firstly, practice makes perfect. The more you practice your skills, the better you’ll get. Don’t be scared to tackle huge challenging projects, they are the ones that provide the most learning experience. Also, don’t be scared to ask for help when you need it.

Secondly, don’t feel bad if you start preferring another art form over what you currently are into. Do what makes you the happiest and build as many new skills as you like.

Lastly, follow your own quality standards no matter what others say. If someone tries to tell you that you can’t possibly do something of a certain quality, don’t listen to them. Trust in your abilities and in your will to learn and perfect your craft.

Fashion-Design
Fashion-Design

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual greyromantic/aroflux.

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

Since my favorite character to cosplay (the Evil Queen) is known for being quite sexy and alluring, some people think that I dress like her to attract the male gaze and seek attention. Some even said that if I really was asexual, I wouldn’t choose to dress like that. I had thought about that sort of thing before making my costume and it almost stopped me from making it because I was afraid of conveying the wrong message, but ultimately, I decided to not care. I cosplay the Evil Queen/Regina because I love her as a character and because her outfits are beautiful and intricate works of art. I chose to not let people spoil that for me.

Orientation has nothing to do with the way we dress and asexuals have the right to be confident, comfortable in their own bodies and wear whatever they like.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve encountered is that asexuals simply haven’t met “the one” and that they’ll change their minds one day. There are a lot of people who think we need to be “fixed or cured” and that does get very tiresome in the long run. Also, some people think that we can’t be in a relationship if we’re asexual, which is not exactly true.

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

This is not really an advice, per say, but I think that those people need to hear that they are not broken, no matter what society tells them. Today’s world is so overly sexual, but we must not let that discourage us. Even if we’re a minority, we’re out there, we’re valid and we shouldn’t let other people tell us otherwise. If you think that you might be asexual, just follow your gut feeling and let that guide you. Set your own boundaries and limits and respect yourself; do what makes you happy.

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

I am on multiple social media under the name Silyah246.

For sewing and cosplay progress (and the occasional daily life post), find me on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/silyah246/
For more professional high quality photos, you can head over to my DeviantArt page: https://silyah246.deviantart.com/
For more fandom orientated things and the occasional makeup tests, my Tumblr is the place to go: http://www.silyah246.tumblr.com/

I am also on Twitter (https://twitter.com/silyah246) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/Silyah246), but I use those less frequently than the others.

Regina-V1
Regina-V1

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

Interview: Murkrowzy

Today we’re joined by Murkrowzy. Murkrowzy is a wonderful visual artist with a unique style. She does both cartoon-style with realistic proportions. Her work is fascinating, with a remarkable amount of detail. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Uhm, well, I wouldn’t know how to describe my art well! Alright, let’s see … I’d say it’s a mix of a few different styles of cartoons. I took inspiration from shows like Ed, Edd’n Eddy, Danny Phantom & some comics like Scott Pilgrim. It’s mostly “I’m gonna draw this & not care about how it looks” & then seeing where it goes. It’s mainly cartoony with some realistic proportions I guess.

I also make costumes & other little accessories sometimes! I work mainly in traditional art, sometimes digital.

What inspires you?

Other people’s art! Animation! Seeing other artists do the thing! Seeing creativity! Movies! Music! Really, just experiencing stuff other artists put out is what inspires me. Whimsy, never before imagined stuff!

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

I was drawing since I could remember. I don’t remember any specific movie or franchise or whatever that made me think “Shit, I wanna draw like that someday”. Maybe it was Disney or anime? I’ll say yes. I’m also autistic; I guess this was one of the many ways I would fidget creatively with. I just always had a pencil & paper in my hand during school. I never stopped drawing & that meant my grades suffered for it! No regrets. (Don’t be like me, alright?)

Have I always wanted to be an artist? Friend, all of us are artists. We take lines & force them into recognizable shapes. We are gods! Rulers of the pencil! Ancient deities of craft & world making! Without our god powers, our world would not be as bright as it is! Bow down to our unbelievable powe-… okay, I’ll stop.

chester cup sleep 4 copy
Chester Cup Sleep

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 used to have a symbol, but it fell away into some deep space void. Now I don’t have a special symbol. I just use text & put in ways to find me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

(Can we curse here? I’m gonna do it.)

There will *ALWAYS* people out there who are going to think your art is absolute fucking garbage, that it’s the worst thing they ever saw. Those people will compare it to artists who had more time & experience, & then turn to you & tell you to stop drawing because “it looks like shit”. If you want to get better & for those comments to stop, you *have* to keep going. You will hit blocks, you will run into haters & you will run into people who will reject your art because “it’s not good enough”. That’s reality. You know what is also reality? Not giving up. You got 13 hateful comments? People are saying your art is shit? Here’s how to handle those comments; take them & use them to your advantage by not listening to those people & KEEP MAKING ART. I don’t care if it’s macaroni & cheese latte hearts at Starbucks. Your art will always improve & get better if you keep at it.

The reality is this: you will not understand anatomy, perspective & color theory in 5 minutes. Talent & skill isn’t something that is served onto a plate where you just eat it up & suddenly you get better. It’s years, YEARS, of hard work, trial & error to understand the art of art.

Here’s one more thing: try not comparing yourself to other artists. I find that’s very draining on one’s self-esteem, & that bottle is quite difficult to fill back up. You should: admire their art, use the “I WANNA BE THAT GOOD holy fuCK” feeling to propel yourself forward to get better in art.

So just fucking make ART! Don’t stop! Only stop for food along the way! & sleep. & maybe a shower.

cupstress mugstress copy
Cupstress Mugstress

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Gray ace! Gray aromantic as well. I pretty sure it’s fluid because it changes a lot. Somedays I’m like “hey, that person is really cute!” & other days it’s “you’re so goddamn aesthetically pleasing to my eye holy shit”. Many days it’s “CAN WE HANG OUT. PLZ”. It’s never been “omg hotness I wanna bang you”. I just don’t see how people are like that! How the hell are people attracted to genitalia anyways…

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

Many times. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore it. Although I believe it’s best to talk things out & educate people. I have a friend who thinks sex is the ultimate expression of love. Being ace, I disagreed & we discussed it. He didn’t understand how it was possible to be asexual & still date someone. I told him what I knew: sometimes people just want to cuddle & not have sex. Some people enjoy the act of sex while not being attracted to the person.

I love to explain it to people like this: Do you see a flower? Do you think it’s pretty? Do you want to fuck the flower?

To many people, they would answer: yes, yes, no. I then draw parallels to asexuality: we see a person, we think they’re pretty (aesthetically) & we don’t want to sex the person.

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

“ACE PEOPLE CAN’T/DON’T WANT SEX. ACE PEOPLE CAN’T/DON’T WANT LOVE.” That’s pure fucking bullshit & me & my ace friends will gladly give a fuck about that. I don’t blame a closed mindset; some people literally cannot fathom asexuality & what it’s like! It’s at that point in time we throw some education in their direction & try to get them to understand.

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

Ace people don’t give any fucks, that’s what I say! You aren’t broken, you don’t need fixing. Accepting yourself is hard as bricks … you can break through that wall. You will hear people who will say “Maybe you’ll find somebody. Maybe you’ll change your mind”. I once found those words troubling; I stopped once I gave them my own meaning. I realized that even though I am ace, I can still love someone! I can still have sex, have feelings & do the things. I just don’t experience them as often, nor do I want to.

Maybe I will find somebody who will love me for who I am. Maybe my mind will change; after all, sexuality is fluid. Like fluid, it changes. I’m going to be hitting my 30s soon & I haven’t had my first kiss or first sex. I don’t care if it never happens.

Don’t worry about “not being normal”. Your sexuality is your normal. Hug it, take it out to dinner. Don’t give any fucks. That’s one thing ace people are really good at.

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

Please send all the lovelies to:

Twitter: Murkrowzy
Tumblr: GlassesCatMurk/MetroCatStudios (for art!)
YouTube: SurvivorMurk

*PTERODACTYL SCREECH*

murk retail
Murk Retail

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

Interview: Lettie Harris

Today we’re joined by Lettie Harris. Lettie is a phenomenal artist who does machine embroidery. They have made a trans pride themed line of accessories and are hoping to start an ace one as well. Their work is positively beautiful with bright, vivid colors and a great eye for detail. Lettie is an amazingly dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

(Artist owns a crafting business in its startup phases. They do machine embroidery and want to make an ace pride themed line of accessories. They already started on a trans pride themed line)

What inspires you?

I would say my activism is the main thing. Not only am I Asexual but I’m also Non-Binary. I feel both things have a lot of misconceptions and misinformation about them. I’m hoping with my art to maybe open some eyes and start some conversations.

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

I have always been an artist of some kind but with different mediums. I got into my current job of machine embroidery through learning hand embroidery. I got into hand embroidery through a medieval reenactment group I joined.

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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 is hard to do with my current medium. I definitely will be passing out business cards though!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let others tell you not to create. I’ve had many critics but now I’m living my dream of being a full-time artist.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Probably Gray Ace. It’s fluid like most things and flows between the Ace spectrum.

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

Not yet in my field, but definitely outside of it. “If I was better at sex I would like it more” or “I just haven’t met the right person” I have heard things like that. Even from a therapist, who I promptly stopped seeing.

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

That it is a choice. I have heard this many times and it always frustrates me. I don’t like feeling weird and outcast by my peers and society I would never choose that. But it is not fair to myself to just conform and follow what’s “normal” and be unhappy my entire life

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

You are not broken. Nothing is wrong with you. I thought those things most of my life until I found out that there was a thing called Asexual and I wasn’t alone and it was okay to feel this way. It is also 100% okay to be in a romantic relationship where sex is not the main focus. Which is not how life is portrayed in our culture.

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

This page might not be fully up and running by the time this is seen but it will be soon so if you like it I will post when the shop function is available if you are interested in that. Otherwise I have a folder with my Pride stuff in it you are more than welcome to look at. Which I add more to every day!

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

Interview: Aurore

Today we’re joined by Aurore.  Aurore is a wonderfully talented artist who specializes in making clothing, accessories, and wigs.  She’s very talented at sewing.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

(Artist sews and creates clothes/accessories and wigs)

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by some eccentric people (around me or on books/the internet) who I admire their styles and a lot of different styles and aesthetics. I’ve always been fascinated by alternative styles, also gothic outfits/aesthetic but especially very colorful styles, which is more me. I like trying and changing very different ones!

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

Concerning stylism, I’m really into some materials, textures and colors! I like the fact that you can mix them and create unique stuff! I like the fact that I can use decoration or random stuff as accessories too!

I’ve always been into arts in general, 1st I’ve been into drawing, I occasionally paint too but stylism is my main passion.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Usually a very big wig :3 and some eccentric/big stuff on my head!!! This is a recurrent feature 😀

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Push away your limits, there is no rule in how to create! 🙂

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I discovered autochorissexuality recently and this is me 🙂

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

In my field, which is mostly IRL, people don’t know. Or maybe they don’t seem to care.  Otherwise I’ve met mostly understanding people fortunately.

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

I’ve been said that I’m frigid and ill…

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

I’d say that they aren’t broken, they’re awesome and they’re worthy 🙂 It’s okay to be questioning too.

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

On my blog rainbow — chameleon.tumblr.com, as I wrote in my 1st post, I only occasionally update it because I sadly rarely have occasions to wear my creations 😮 but I’ll update it in November 😀

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