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: Gremory

Today we’re joined by Gremory. Gremory is a phenomenal visual artist from Scotland who brings their ace pride with them wherever they go. An incredibly creative individual, most of Gremory’s work is original characters though they do occasionally dabble in fanart. Some of their pieces are rather dark, but they definitely have their own style, which is quite interesting. 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 a lot of writing so my art is practically all original characters though I do fanart from time to time. I used to be traditional mediums only, using ink pens, alcohol markers, white inks, etc but now my work is almost exclusively digital. I use an Ugee 1910B drawing tablet (19 inches) and recently my work has all been done using Krita. Recently I’ve been exhibiting and selling at artist alleys, notably Glasgow’s Rai Con which I’ll be returning to in October. My table banner uses the ace flag and I use my little catboy Ahceria (Ace-ehrea) as my mascot!

What inspires you?

Two things: people and the paranormal. My work is either perfectly normal people living perfectly normal lives or it’s demons, vampires and faeries. There’s no middle ground with me. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Black Eyed Kids, demonolatry, UFOs and the Missing 411 series and I’ve been combining elements from all for a new novel.

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

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been drawing characters. I was inspired by shows like Sailor Moon, Monster Rancher, Dragonball Z, etc when I was a kid – I’d come home from school and sit in front of the TV like a little zombie, devouring the shows. As I grew up, I never got away from the whole “character creation” thing. All of my problems would be projected onto new and interesting people that were born in my mind – I use art as a therapist. Recently however, I’ve realised that as an exhibiting artist doing the rounds at conventions, I have a voice and I can use it to promote LGBTQA awareness and issues. I’ve also become very vocal about my pro-Scottish independence, anti-war and anti-racist stances. My moral and politics issues are often translated more into my writing than my art though – I’d say my art is my LGBTQA space and my writing is my human issues space.

A really life-affirming moment for me was at Rai Con in Glasgow, March 2016. A young girl, maybe 13 or 14 approached my table with her mum and they began flicking through my portfolio. When they reached my “I AM NOT INVISIBLE” ace pride print, the mum nudged her daughter and said “honey, isn’t this what you are? Asexual? And you’re not invisible either!” That touched me so much, to see someone taking an asexual youngster seriously instead of the usual “it’s just a phase” or “you’ll find someone” stuff that we so often hear. That was the moment that I realised I had a platform to help other aces feel comfortable and raise awareness. I’m planning a series of characters for each pride flag with the hopes that the series will open conversations at conventions and I can discuss these people and issues with my fans.

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?

Recently my theme has been either dropping hints to my characters’ sexualities or occult symbolism. I guess you could say my excessive use of blood is a theme, haha. Not all of my work is dark but I feel much more comfortable when I’m working with my vampires or demon characters.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t ever question yourself. Do you create? Yes? Then you’re an artist. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not good enough or that your style isn’t art. As soon as you breathe life into a new thing, whether it’s a character or a photograph, a song or a painting, you’re an artist. You’re a creator. You have a voice and you matter.

ace4web

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual.

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

Not as an artist or on my social media presence but in my personal life, quite a lot, actually. It’s mostly been in my work place. I work in a department store as an arts and crafts assistant. I actually had a conversation take place about who in the workplace we’d sleep with – when I was asked, someone interjected with “Don’t bother asking her – this is adult talk”, implying that I’m not developed or mature enough to understand the topic. I laughed but inside, I was deeply offended by the implication. I’ve been called broken, told by a couple of people online on my personal Facebook that they would “fix me” and I always get called out for being in a relationship, because apparently love is something reserved only for non-aces. I handle it by ignoring it. I know that sounds counter-productive to my promotion of asexual awareness but some people just don’t want to be educated and you can’t get through to them. I promote, I don’t preach. To those people I say, I don’t need your acceptance.

Dean Adams (905x1280)
Dean Adams

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

That asexual means unhappy. That you can’t be happy without sex. That you’re not allowed romantic (or sexual) relationships because you label yourself ace. Here’s the thing – aces CAN and do have sex. Not all, but some of us, and no one has any right to judge them for it. It’s just not something we’re interested in. We’d rather have cake (or pizza for me, please!)

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

Be honest with yourself and those you’re closest to and trust. My current relationship (which is also the most positive, honest one I’ve had) is the only one where I’ve been open about my asexuality and I’ve been able to have discussions and we’ve both compromised. You’re not broken. You don’t need to be fixed. Trust me, you’re not alone. Even if you can’t talk to your friends or family, you can talk to me and other aces. My inbox is always open for anyone who wants to talk or needs reassurance.

pluto (905x1280)
Pluto

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

I’m active on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gremdawg) and I’m always open to banter and chat and making friends. I also have a DeviantArt, Pixiv, Twitter and Patreon. You can buy prints of my work on Etsy and Merchandace.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3026710&ty=h
https://twitter.com/gremmu_art
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Gremmu
http://merchandace.com/item/i-am-not-invisible-art-print/
http://gremdawg.deviantart.com/
http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=17554546

Saffy (905x1280)
Saffy

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