Interview: Camryn

Today we’re joined by Camryn. Camryn is a young up and coming artist who specializes in visual mediums. She has worked with acrylics, markers, pencil, and watercolors. Camryn plans to study photography or painting eventually. Her art is beautiful, using vivid colors and demonstrating an amazing creativity. It’s clear she’s an artist with a very bright future, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. Self Portrait

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a lot of multimedia traditional art, but I started out working with acrylics. Most of the time I make art that includes an animal in some way. I also create artworks with giraffes. A lot. I may have a problem.

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What inspires you?

I get inspired by other people’s creations, as do we all, but I also get inspired from all of the political unjust that is happening currently. I want to make a difference with my art in the future, I want representation for everyone, not just people that fit in the binary.

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

When I was a little kid I had no idea what I wanted to do, then one day I went to Painting With a Twist where artists do a step by step tutorial of how to do simple paintings and I fell in love with it. I started taking classes both in and out of school. Now that I’m in high school all of my elective are devoted to art.

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I think I am drawn to the field because there are so many different ways to create and no way is right or wrong contrary to what social media tells us. Social media tells us to always be perfect and for our art to be perfect. It’s OK for your art to look like crap. Keep creating and keep going.

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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?

Not really although I do create art with a lot of the same things, for example: giraffes, elephants, and peacocks.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Considering I am a young aspiring artist, there is not too much advice I can give. One thing I can say is practice as much as you can, and use what’s happening in your life to fuel you. Whatever problems you have going on in your life, use those issues to fuel your creativity. Another thing is don’t be afraid to mess up because you will. Just keep creating.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an asexual polyromantic. To make it easier for other people I usually just say I’m gay. It sums it up for people that know less to nothing about our community.

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

No prejudice, but I do experience ignorance. A surprising amount of people just don’t know what asexuality is and I have to explain it to them. I don’t mind explaining it, it just gets tiring having to explain who you are and such a big part of you.

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

That we are plants. That aces are emotionless. We still have feelings and emotions.

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

Do research! I was afraid of my sexuality and figuring out who I was, even though I am commonly known as a confident person. I didn’t want it to affect my life, but by ignoring it, it only affected me more. Own it. I am a proud ace and commonly mention it in conversation. The more you say it and own it the more you will accept yourself. The more you mention asexuality, the more others will know and be aware. I’m so lucky to have such an accepting friend group. many of them are part of the LGBT+ community themselves and already knew what asexuality was.

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

I am at camy19 on Instagram, which is my preferred social media. I am working on starting an art Tumblr at camryntheace.

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

Interview: schattenmitternacht

Today we’re joined by schattenmitternacht. schattenmitternacht is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in ink drawings and watercolors. They have recently started working with gouache as well. schattenmitternacht draws inspiration from many different places and are clearly very passionate about art, 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.

I do simple ink drawings and occasionally paint with acrylics and watercolors. Recently, I have started to use gouache as well. Subject to my art can be anything; people, animals, things. I love to illustrate feelings and emotions as metaphors.

What inspires you?

The world around me. I believe that beauty is everywhere and I try to capture it for me and for others in my drawings and paintings. The works of fellow artists are also very inspiring.

I do create things inspired be my personal experiences (my diary is mostly drawings) but those are things I’m not always fond to share with people.

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

I remember spending a lot of time at the drawing desk in kindergarten and going to exhibitions with my best friend’s grandmother. But only in middle school did I start to take art more seriously, when I got into manga thanks to a classmate. That’s when I wanted to get better at it.

To be honest, I never wanted to be a professional artist. It was always other people suggesting it to me and at one point in my life I thought it’s the only option available. I mean, I am an artist and I love being one and creating things but there are some aspects of being a professional artist that leave me uncomfortable with pursuing this career path. I’m afraid I won’t like drawing anymore when it’s what I have to do for a living.

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 set of symbols that I use in my more personal artworks. Arrows for example. But you don’t really get to see a lot of them. Because personal.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Challenge yourself and set yourself a goal. I for example want to create more “finished” works this year and not just elaborate sketches.

I love to do challenges or make lists of projects I want to realize because when I don’t know what to draw, I already have some to work on and don’t have to spend time thinking of something.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aro ace.

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

Not much actually.

My boyfriend asked me once if I was sure I am ace as he couldn’t understand that even though I like physical intimacy, I am still asexual. I explained to him that even if I don’t feel sexual attraction, I still like how it feels and that I think it’s fun.

I myself have never actually experienced prejudice or ignorance against aromanticism, but my friend has. Their mother keeps pressuring them to find a romantic relationship. So that’s something.

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

That

  1. I don’t have,
  2. don’t want or enjoy and
  3. am not able to have sex.

A lot of people don’t have sex. This doesn’t make them automatically ace though.

Second, I can understand how someone could think that this is what it means being asexual, as it was something that kept me from calling myself ace for some time. I don’t really know how to put this in words but you can still want to or enjoy it to sleep with someone without finding them sexually attractive. Sex is something very intimate and wanting to share this intimacy with someone does not in any way conflict with being ace.

The last one… What has my lack of sexual attraction to do with my body? It’s just another way to say that we are “broken”.

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

You are not broken. Your needs are as valid as those of allosexual people and your boundaries are to be respected, don’t ever think they are not.

If you have a hard time telling different attractions apart, look up their definitions or people describing them.

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

I am the most active on Instagram. Then of course on Tumblr and on Amino. Actually, you can find me everywhere under schattenmitternacht.

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

Interview: Fiona

Today we’re joined by Fiona. Fiona is a wonderful visual artist and writer. For writing, Fiona is working on a number of stories at the moment and enjoys writing a variety of genres. She’s no less versatile when it comes to visual art, doing both traditional and digital art. Her work demonstrates a keen eye and an amazing attention to detail, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I both write and do visual art. Both vary quite a bit as I am currently working on 3 extended stories/novels and all three are vastly different genres. As for visual art, I used to do a lot of traditional art in varying media (acrylics, graphite, pen, etc.) and most of it was as realistic as I could get it. Now I do mainly digital art mainly because it’s hard to get materials for other forms and Photoshop has an undo button… My style in digital art is still fairly realistic but more comic book like with lines and kind of soft cell shading.

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What inspires you?

I have never been able to give this question a good answer. I guess I’ll do ‘who’ inspires me because I’m honestly coming up with a blank for ‘what’ inspires me. Currently I am working on a Sci Fi story/novel and that was really inspired by The Martian by Andy Weir because I really like the more realistic type of Sci Fi where it could conceivably happen. In my digital art, my style was inspired a lot by Fiona Staples’ art (Fionas are generally gr8) though my style has evolved a bit and is far from just copying what she does. (Hopefully.)

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

When I was a little kid I drew so much it was ridiculous. Whales mainly for some reason. I kind of lived in the middle of nowhere and the only thing to do was draw or read so I did that 24/7. I blame that for why I like to write, read, and draw to this day. I never really wanted to do art as a job, I’m more science minded, but since I could remember I’ve loved to draw and I started writing extended stories in probably 6th grade.

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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?

Not particularly… my stuff is way too all over the place to have a connected symbol of some sort.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know young artists have heard this time and time again but Practice. When I was younger I always was told I was good at art and it was just because that’s all I did. I never really took any formal art classes that would teach me how to draw (I did take some classes but they were more ‘studio time’ kind of things where the teacher didn’t actually teach anything.) I only started digital art the summer before last and already my stuff has vastly improved as I’ve gotten used to the media and practiced with it. Scrolling through my art blog you can see my improvement in digital stuff from my early posts to my more recent ones. Other than that I would just have advice for people who want to improve with anatomy which is take a life drawing class. If you can’t do that, watch a dance video or something and pause at different times to do drawings of different lengths. (10 seconds, 30 seconds, 5 minutes etc.) it really helped me a lot.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am sex repulsed and bi romantic (if you really want to get into it, demi romantic as well) basically I’m a massive amalgam of ‘hard to explain’ so I usually don’t go into it lol.

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

Well, as far as my art goes, I just work in my room and post stuff online so I haven’t experienced much in that regards. I’ve encountered it a bit with just people I tell I’m ace (which honestly, hasn’t been that many people) but mainly it’s just along the lines of ‘wait that’s a thing?’. Ignorance as opposed to being outright mean basically.

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

Mitosis? Lol. No seriously I’d say the most common is that ace people are just people who ‘can’t get any’. Like, honey no. I just don’t want any.

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

I’m really bad at giving advice like this lol but maybe just that a lot of people feel the same way you do and those who say it’s fake are just as ignorant as someone who looks at some characters in a language they don’t speak and insist that therefor, it isn’t a language. (Basically, those people are just ignorant and you should ignore them). Don’t ask me advice about coming out because I am just as lost about that.

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

My main blog is kvothe-kingkiller, my art blog is cork-run and I’m uploading one of my stories chapter by chapter as I finish them, both on my fictionpress account (cork-run) and AO3 (cork_run)

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

Interview: Keelan

Today we’re joined by Keelan. Keelan is a wonderful visual artist who hasn’t met a medium he doesn’t like. Right now, he’s focusing mostly on ace pride/positivity and autistic pride/positivity, both of which are greatly needed in today’s world. His work is so beautiful, brimming with color and life, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mostly fanart, sketches and positivity/pride drawings. I have also done a bit of costume design and costume making for some local theatre. I’ve experimented with a variety of mediums such as oil paint, acrylics, chalk/charcoal, photography and ink + bleach but I mostly stick to pencil and digital drawings because it is what I am most comfortable working with, and what I have the most access to. In the past year or so my art has been focused mostly on asexual/a-spec and autistic positivity because they are both important parts of my identity and I want to express that and my love for the two communities. I’ve been drawing with pencils for a long time, but digital art is still very new to me because I only started exploring it last year.

What inspires you?

Other artists and their work are a huge inspiration to me. Seeing the beautiful work other artists create inspires me so much and motivates me to keep on practicing and improving. Sometimes they inspire me to try new things as well. I probably wouldn’t have begun to explore digital art if I had not seen and been inspired by the progress of other artists on social media. I am also inspired a lot by the communities I am a part of, such as the online asexual and autistic community. They have given me the confidence and inspiration to express myself more through my art and take pride in my identity through it.

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist ever since I was little, and I began to put effort into learning and improving my art when I was around eight and wanted to be able to draw my original character properly. That goal from when I was a kid has been motivating me for years to keep on trying. Unfortunately, because my main focus was being able to draw a character that meant that for years I didn’t explore anything outside of drawing people in pencil and pen. I only began to pick up exploring other things such as colour and different mediums when I chose to do Art in GCSE when I was fifteen. Even though my career goals are a little different from when I was younger, I still want to continue being an artist as a hobby.

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 really. I used to have a habit a few years ago, of signing all my art with my initials. I don’t do it as often anymore; however, I try to keep it up (inconsistently) with any art I post online. In all my autistic art I make an effort to include the neurodiversity symbol; a rainbow infinity symbol.

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Dai Li Agents

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep on trying. It can be difficult and very frustrating but the thing about art is that you are always learning. Even those artists who seem to have mastered it all are still learning and making mistakes and improving. Art takes practice and time so its fine if you struggle with and take a long time to learn something (such as how to draw hands or animals). Looking back on your old art might make you cringe but that’s only proof of your progress. Its proof that you have grown a lot and will probably only continue to grow and become more skilled.

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Proud Ace

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am panromantic asexual, though I also identify with demi-romantic.

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

I have encountered a little. In my life offline I experience it less because not as many people know I am asexual. I have received some ignorant and slightly insulting comments from people who do know, or from people who don’t know I am asexual but have heard of it. It always hurts and frustrates me a bit to hear it. I tend to either speak up about it or let it slide depending on the situation and how well I know the person. I don’t handle confrontation well so I admit I tend to avoid it even when it might be best to speak up.

I have definitely experienced more prejudice and ignorance online. I am fairly open about my sexuality online and I post most of my asexual positivity art on my blogs and it has caused me to receive some unpleasant comments as a result. I find it is best to delete the messages, block the sender and not let it bother me. In fact it usually motivates me to draw even more ace positive art.

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

That asexuality is just a lack of interest in having sex or a form of celibacy. It’s a misconception that frustrates me a lot because I have seen it be used against asexual people to invalidate them or make incorrect claims based on that misinformation. It is also, I suspect, where the comments from my family that I “just need to meet the right person” or that I am a “late bloomer” come from.

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

You aren’t broken and you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with being asexual and there is a wonderful community out there for asexual and aromantic people. It’s okay if it takes you a long time to come to terms with being asexual and it’s okay if you aren’t sure of your orientation.

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

I post a lot of my art on my Tumblr main: keelan-666.tumblr.com under the tag #keelan-art and on my side blog: autistic-space-dragon.tumblr.com under the tag #space-dragon-doodles. However neither blogs are purely art blogs so a lot of other stuff is posted there too. I also have an Instagram: keelantheace.

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Ace Positivity Post

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

Interview: Lisa

Today we’re joined by Lisa. Lisa is a phenomenal hobbyist who loves to draw and take pictures. Her photography is beautiful, showing everyday life and various scenes she comes across. For drawing, Lisa mostly does illustration. She works with both digital and traditional medium. Lisa is an incredibly enthusiastic artist with a creative soul, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m someone with a lot of hobbies who takes some of them a tad too serious. First of all I draw a lot on paper and digitally but I’ve experimented with acrylics, watercolor, oil paint, clay and probably a lot more things. I tend to stay with illustration though, because, well, it’s in my comfort zone. And then there’s the photography thing. I try to take my camera anywhere I can and usually end up taking lots of photos, sometimes even with good result. I’m also mostly interested in street photography. I also enjoy learning about the technical aspects of optics and photography.

What inspires you?

For photography of course other photographers (on Flickr, Instagram etc.) but also the places I go to and the architecture of the city I’m visiting that day, although I don’t feel like I have the right lens for architectural photography though. (Lenses are insanely expensive, did you know that?)

As for my art, well, other artists of course! Following a bunch of artists (pros or not) has helped me grow a LOT. Also seeing art from my friends all the time motivated me because it made me want to improve.

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

I was in kindergarten and in class, minding my own business and enjoying myself with a coloring book when I overheard some girls say to each other that I was bad at coloring. I was so upset that from that day on I decided to practice drawing and I basically never stopped. (don’t worry though, I take criticism well these days) There was a period of a year or so that I was determined to go to art school as well, but my fear of financial instability eventually creeped in and I convinced myself to choose another career.

I only ever started photography when I decided to buy a DSLR because some of my high school friends had one at that time (it was also a trend I believe). But being extremely competitive by nature when it comes to these things, I wanted to make sure I was better at it than them so I learned about photography theory for two months before finally buying the camera. (I had some money saved up from my job, luckily)

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 any to be honest!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep doing what you love and don’t beat yourself up over your mistakes. You will improve and learn new things your whole life which is something you should be excited about. Treat art like a lifelong adventure! 🙂

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an asexual and that’s all I know. I guess I’ve had crushes on all kinds of people but I never wanted it to get serious. (commitment issues, probably? : ))

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

Well I wouldn’t know since most people don’t know. Or rather: I talked about it to some of my friends but some of them don’t seem to take it serious at all or don’t even believe it exist. I even have one friend who mocked me publicly a few times which was very painful. She is still very dear to me though, but it kind of made me wary. I’m not planning on ever speaking ‘irl’ about my asexuality again because I’m uncomfortable with it now. It’s just a tiny inconvenience in my life and we all have to live with those, right?

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NGE

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

That asexuality is just a medical issue that should be able to get fixed with the right treatment.

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

Take your time with it I guess! I’m still struggling with it myself so I wouldn’t know what else to say other than, well, there’s more people out there going through the same thing so you’re not alone!

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

I post my photography (and sometimes some stupid sketches) on my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lisnano/

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Yael

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