Interview: Ellen

Today we’re joined by Ellen. Ellen is a phenomenal freelance artist who does both traditional and digital art. She loves to draw and specializes in both cartoons and realism. Her work has an incredible vividness to it and demonstrates a masterful use of color. She’s a talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Pride

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is a combination of cartoons and realism. I have been developing my art for 8 years. I love to draw humans, animals or mythical creatures. I use drawing as an escape from the hardships that I face, when the pencil touches the paper or when my stylus touches the tablet, I enter a world where I can express myself without being judged for who I am. In some ways art can be very therapeutic, whether it’s because of school or life in general, I pick up the pencil and doodle away……until the lead snaps or the battery dies on my stylus.

What inspires you?

My friends, they have inspired me and stood by my side through thick and thin. They have supported me for the longest time and they’re the reason I’m still drawing! My dad is also my biggest inspiration, he has supported and inspired for many years. I remember when he would put up my pictures on the fridge when I was in preschool.

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

I started drawing in 1st grade. I would just draw the usual stick figures with noodle hair. But, one specific person kick started my love for art. When I was in 4th grade, this one girl taught me how to draw humans in a way that looked like a human it didn’t have all those advanced features that an actual human had. Ever since then I started to develop that style into what it is today. I never thought that I would ever become an artist but, look at me now!

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?

Whenever I draw my main human character, I draw this little curl on the top of their head. This trait came from my love of anime as a child and it carried through my style for as long as I can remember. Also I draw the tips of shoes/feet very pointy.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Always take constructive criticism! It will help you in the future when you want to become professional!

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Two Time

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Biromantic Asexual 🙂 but I’m still contemplating if I really like boys or not

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

Unfortunately, yes. Sometimes I’m really scared to go to a pride event because I’m scared that I will receive backlash due to my orientation. And I have been told constantly that “It’s just a phase, you’ll grow out of it” or “You don’t belong here because you’re basically straight!” Every time I make something pride related and I don’t add the lesbian flag or if I add the ace flag, I will get attacked by other artists who will flood the comment section saying that I’m homophobic for not adding the lesbian flag or that asexuality doesn’t exist and that I should remove it, and that really hurts my self-esteem. I try to ignore it and move on.

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

That we’re all just whiny virgins who can’t get laid or that we are just “innocent space beans uwu.” another thing that I’ve encountered is that all asexuals are sex-repulsed, some asexuals can have dirty minds or they can view that kind of material, it’s all up to them what they do. If you’re sex-repulsed, that’s fine, but all of us are different.

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

You are not alone, trust me. I was having trouble with my orientation when I was figuring out where I belonged in this community. You are valid! Don’t let anyone tell you that you are not, you are a part of this community and you matter! We are one huge asexual family.

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

You can follow me on:

Deviantart: https://www.deviantart.com/datshinyzoroark
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/datshinyzoroark/

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

Interview: Orlagh

Today we’re joined by Orlagh. Orlagh is a phenomenal young photographer who specializes in nature photography. Though young, Orlagh plans to continue pursuing art. His work captures the beauty of nature, filled with vivid colors and capturing plants and animals native to Wales. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist with a bright future ahead of him, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I have been taking photos for around 4-5 years, and have been drawing for much longer than that. Mainly my photos are of plants and animals native to my area, and my other works are of anything and everything! Currently I am pursuing a GCSE qualification in art, and am working on my theme of highlands.

What inspires you?

I have grown up in a house with a big garden, quite overgrown and sprawling with wildlife. I have found a lot of comfort in spending time there because of the privacy it provides, and that has given me a real appreciation of nature. I also have family living in a rural area, and the frequent visits throughout my childhood involved a lot of hiking!

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

My dad has a subscription to National Geographic magazine, which is filled with detailed photographs. I never read the articles, but would look through the images accompanying them. It was always quite clear in my mind that I wanted to go somewhere with my art, be it the drawings or the photos, but I have never been certain what that would be.

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?

Sometimes I wish I did! I can admire someone who puts so much time into making their work unique in such a subtle way.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would say that, no matter how unhappy you are with something you have made or done, you will have finished a better artist than before you started.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, plain and simple!

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 significant experiences, but there are always uneducated people in my classes who will pick on any minority. I have found a group of LGBT+ people who I can spend time with in these classes, and I think being in a group helps a lot.

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

I think, because I’m quite introverted, people assumed my identity is caused by a lack of interaction with other people – which is very frustrating.

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

You are allowed to be uncomfortable with any references to or sexual actions, especially in TV shows or books. It is not a problem that you don’t enjoy watching the things other people do. Try to find more representation online of asexual people instead, for example the webcomic Under the Aegis by vimeddiee.

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

I have sparsely filled a National Geographic’s Your Shot account: Orlagh Williams. Other than that I don’t have anything…

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

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: Ally Mueller

Today we’re joined by Ally Mueller. Ally is a phenomenal painter who specializes in portraits. She paints humans, fairies, and occasionally animals. Her work is so beautiful, brimming with color and detail, creating exquisite images that draw the viewer in. It’s clear she’s a talented and passionate artist, 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 do watercolor and acrylic of people, fairies, and the rare animal.

What inspires you?

It’s a different thing every time I pick up a brush. Sometimes its just a need to create something with no idea what! I’ll just re-do something I’ve done already. Or I can see someone somewhere and want to paint. Or good afternoon sun. or just a great color somewhere can get me started. looking at other people’s art helps too.

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

I always wanted to be an artist! I drew all the time when I was little and started painting when I was 10 but got really into it when I was in middle school and had an amazing watercolor teacher.

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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

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Even if its crap, don’t stop!!! If you keep going you’ll get better at it.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Grey-demi aegosexual (cause that’s not super confusing and weirdly specific)

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

I haven’t really told many people, the few people I have told literally already knew.

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

That I/we don’t like orgasms. I’m personally not a fan of sex, but (to get really TMI) solo orgasms are fun as hell. Also, tons of aces out there like sex!!! The other big one is that I/we don’t think people are cute! I may not wanna do the do with them, but I like looking at them!!

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

I, personally, struggled with my orientation for years! I was 27 before I had any inkling of that I wasn’t straight. It’s a really weird orientation because its defined by not experiencing something I don’t really experience. So I guess I would say that’s its OK to change the words you use to define yourself, its OK if how you feel changes, there’s no “right” way to be or feel ace, its OK. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with who you are.

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

I’m on Fine Arts America as Ally Mueller in Parker, CO and plan on doing some local art fairs this summer.

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Thank you, Ally, 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: Xanthe

Today we’re joined by Xanthe. Xanthe is an amazing young artist who specializes in visual art and her images are phenomenal. She’s currently in uni where she does a lot of printmaking, but she also does illustration work in traditional mediums and digital paintings. Aside from that, she also dabbles in book binding (which might be a first for Asexual Artists). The amount of detail in the pictures she sent to go with her interview is nothing short of incredible. Xanthe is a dedicated artist who obviously loves her craft. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Weird Dog

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

At the moment I’d say my art is split between my practice for uni where I’m specialising in printmaking, and at home where it’s a mix of digital painting and traditional illustration. I also dabble in bookbinding.

I have many varied interests, but my style is always fairly realistic no matter what medium I’m using. I’ve always loved drawing animals and supernatural creatures and these tend to make up most of what I create. I also make fan art sometimes.

I’m still trying to find a single direction for my work, it’s all over the place at the moment but I’m hoping to reconcile it this year.

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Prints

What inspires you?

I get inspired by many things but looking at the works of other artists has always been the greatest help. Seeing the kind of variety that’s out there these days validates my own work for myself, in a way, and helps me to push myself to create more and to try new and interesting things. Other than that I tend to look towards nature, music, science fiction and fantasy, especially concept art for movies and games for inspiration.

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

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Art has been one of the only things I’ve consistently been good at so it seemed natural to want to pursue it.

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Eye

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?

Other than my initials, not really!

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Ural Owl

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you have a passion for it, never ever give up. There will always be people who will try to discourage you from pursuing the arts because it’s not a ‘real career’, but they’re wrong. There’s so much reward in doing what you love. Don’t give in to self-doubt either, because most of the time the only thing holding you back is yourself. Always keep practising! No one becomes good at anything overnight. It does sometimes take years of dedication, but it is always worth it in the end.

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Cat

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteromantic, sex-neutral asexual.

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JSE

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

Not personally, no. I haven’t told many people as I consider it a non-issue, but those that do know are very close friends of mine and they have been incredibly accepting. There have been some occasions where I’ve had some intrusive questions asked about myself from people who didn’t understand what it meant to be asexual, but they’ve always only been politely curious instead of prejudiced or anything like that. I think it’s good to encourage people to do their own research, there’s so much information that’s readily available now.

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Chris

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

Mostly just the mindset that everyone must want sex because it’s ‘part of what makes us human’. People seem to be confused when I say I just don’t care for it.

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Snail

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

Always remember that you are valid; you are not broken or wrong, you are important, and you are loved. Don’t ever feel pressured to have to justify yourself to other people either; it’s OK to take time to figure things out and it’s OK if the way you feel changes over time. Labels are only there to help you figure out yourself, they certainly aren’t the be-all-end-all of anything.

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

The only place I put my art online is my Tumblr, http://many-times-over.tumblr.com/

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Books

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

Interview: Maranda Cromwell

Today we’re joined by Maranda Cromwell.  Maranda is an incredibly talented and versatile artist who draws and writes.  When it comes to drawing, she focuses on the darker parts of nature.  For writing, she’s a sci-fi/fantasy writer who is currently working on series set in a post-apocalyptic future.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Bound to Ashes

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art has many facets. On one side, I am a visual artist that focuses mainly on animal subjects and themes like death, decay, and the darker side of nature. Currently I’m very focused on wild canines, dogs, and opossum. On another side, my written works usually focus on science fiction and fantasy. My current book series, the Altered Sequence, focuses on supersoldiers, surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, and learning to find your place in the world.

What inspires you?

My own animals offer a wealth of inspiration—a lot of my pieces are referenced from my dog, Baldr. I’m inspired by the wealth of diversity the natural world provides. I often take trips to the zoo to sketch and paint to get my creative gears turning. Sometimes, when I’m reading a really gripping story, I have to take moments to jot down storytelling techniques the author uses so I can adapt them in my work.

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Dichotomy

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

I’ve been in love with drawing since I was in elementary school. I first developed my skills drawing dragons, Pokemon fanart, and Neopets. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as my artistic skills progressed into high school, I found my calling.

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?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice what you want to be good at EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s okay to produce crap, as long as you’re producing at all.

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Opossum Thugs

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a gray-ace. I almost never experience sexual attraction (we’re talking 99% here) though I do enjoy sex. I would just usually go out for ice cream instead. My sex drive usually hovers around the “nonexistent” realm. I appreciate humans aesthetically across every gender.

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

I have kept my sexuality to myself mostly, but those who know me have accepted my identity. My biggest supporter is my fiancé, who helped me identify my sexuality in the first place!

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

That all of us are sex repulsed. People see it as a black and white issue, like people tend to do. Emphasizing that sexuality is more often a spectrum than anything is very important.

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

It’s okay to hold off on identifying yourself right away. Growing up, getting older, experiencing new things and people, all these things can change your opinions and challenge your views of yourself. It’s okay to remain unlabeled as long as you feel comfortable doing what you’re doing! Just do your research and hear from other people in the community and be open-minded.

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

I maintain a website: www.marandart.com. It has my gallery of recent work and opportunities to learn more about my writing.

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The Nature of Malice

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