Interview: Wolfberry Studio

Today we’re joined by Jay at Wolfberry Studio. Jay is a phenomenal visual artist who works in digital illustration. Their work is mostly in the science fiction and fantasy genres and features people of color, who are underrepresented in such genres. Jay’s work shows extraordinary attention to detail and the images evoke such an amazing sense of imagination and beauty. It’s clear they’re a very dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Kadal Kanni
Kadal Kanni

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a digital illustrator who works mostly in vector. My fantasy and sci-fi illustrations focus on people of color who are under-represented in these genres.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by legends and myths from around the world. I enjoy exploring the differences and similarities between stories from different cultures. Stylistic influences include Chinese classical painting and Japanese animation.

In addition to visiting museums and galleries regularly to gain exposure to a wide range of styles, I do live drawing outdoors. Nature can inspire, even if you are not a nature painter.

Cables
Cables

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

I’ve always enjoyed drawing. I was one of those kids who got reprimanded for doodling in class in elementary school. I saw drawing as a way to tell stories. I drew comics about my classmates.

As I grew older, I became increasingly aware of the role of visual art in disseminating social messages. I had observed the lack of diversity in certain genres. One day, I realized that instead of complaining about other artists not drawing what I want to see, maybe I should draw what I want to see. That was when I decided to pursue formal artistic training.

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?

My studio signature is consists of the Chinese characters for Wolfberry Studio.  Wolfberry is another name for goji berry.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It is OK to feel disappointed with your work sometimes.  The fact that you are self-critical is a good thing. It shows that you are ready and willing to improve. In art school, I saw that the artists who improved their skills most quickly were the ones who were the most open to critique.

Regarding how to deal with the gap between where we are as creatives and where we want to be, Ira Glass of This American Life says it best in a 2009 interview:  (http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2011/04/nobody-tells-this-to-beginners/)

He was talking about video producers, but his comments can apply to just about any field.

We are all on a journey to getting better. It never ends.

Lattices
Lattices

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Gray-A. Aromantic.

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

Not in professional relationships, since the subject has never come up with clients.

I do want to say that I am pleased by the presence of out asexual artists of all levels in online communities. Their visibility paves the way for the rest of us.

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

Some people think that asexuality is pathological, and that aces would be happier if they weren’t asexual.

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

There is no need to fit yourself into someone else’s concept of a happy, fulfilling life.  What’s right for others might not be right for you. You are the only one who knows what’s right for you.

People shouldn’t be giving you a hard time for being asexual any more than you should be giving than a hard time for being allosexual, or for being a football fan, or liking ice cream, or being into whatever else they’re into but you’re not into.

You’re the only one who has to live your life. You’re not living it for anyone else. Seek out people who respect you and accept you the way you are.

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

https://wolfberry-j.deviantart.com/
https://wolfberrystudio.blogspot.com/
https://www.instagram.com/wolfberrystudio/
https://www.redbubble.com/people/WolfberryStudio/portfolio.

Autumn Kitten
Autumn Kitten

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

Interview: Sara

Today we’re joined by Sara. Sara is a phenomenal visual artist who I met at this year’s Indy PopCon. I was so excited when I realized she was ace and made sure to hand her a business card for the blogs, because good heavens she had such beautiful art. She draws mostly fantasy and original work, favoring a stylized look rather than realism. The result is her work has a wonderful dream-like feel with vibrant colors and soft lines. It’s clear she’s an incredibly talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Little witch_new
Little Witch

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw a lot of fantasy pieces, whether it’s sketching or digital paintings. I like painting/sketching in a stylized style instead of realistic one. I mostly paint my own characters but I love to do fanart of characters in my own style just to see what they’ll look like.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is music. I love listening to classical or instrumental music when I draw/paint. Music helps art flow and it opens up new ideas for me. I hear a melody playing and think I can turn that into something. I paint a lot of fantasy pieces and nature also helps add to my inspiration especially flowers.

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

When I was little I wanted to go into animation. Traditionally animated Disney movies were some of my favorite things to watch as a child and I always wanted to know how they made everything move. Now that I’ve gone to school for animation I’ve gravitated more towards concept art and illustrations.

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?

As of right now, no I don’t have a special signature. But maybe some day I will.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know this has been said and done many times but Practice, practice, practice. Having raw talent is the start of being a good artist but honing that skill and perfecting it will make you an even better one. That there are gonna be days where you second guess your art, style or your skill but always remember there are ups and downs in all aspects of life even art. Many talented artist out there still have those ups and downs. So don’t quit and don’t lose hope in your abilities.

Veil of Stars_new
Veil of Stars

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual/aromantic.

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

Towards me, personally, no I haven’t. But one of the things that does irk me is that there is barely any representation in media. Sure sometimes they have hints that a character is Ace but then they sweep it under the rug as if it wasn’t an important part of a character or that Asexuality is a disease that needs to be cured (I’m talking about the House episode that centered around that).

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

“How do you know if you’re Asexual if you haven’t had sex yet?” or “You haven’t met the right person yet.” These questions drive me up a wall and make me feel uncomfortable since I don’t necessarily wanna be in a romantic/sexual relationship with people. So when these questions are directed at me I feel a bright glaring spotlight put on me and it absolutely embarrasses me.

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

Take your time with your orientation it’s not a race to figure everything out in one night. It took me maybe 3 years to final except what my orientation was. Talk it out with people you trust and do research (it’s what I did). You are not broken because you don’t want to have sex or be in a relationship.

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

I have a two Tumblrs and an Instagram. You can find them both here:

http://the-lady-saron.tumblr.com/
https://sarahartart.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/sara_hart_art/.

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

Interview: Chesh

Today we’re joined by Chesh. Chesh is part of the duo behind Lani and Chesh; Only Confused About Taxes, a podcast that covers a wide variety of topics. I’ll leave the explaining to her, since she’ll do a much better job. Her description had me intrigued and I’ve already subscribed. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I co-host a podcast with my QPR (queer platonic relationship) called Lani and Chesh; Only Confused About Taxes (or OCAT for short.) The title comes from a Tumblr post about bisexuality that talks about how bisexuals are not confused and it’s not a phase, etc. Someone responded that well, yes actually; they are a little confused about things like taxes. And it goes on from there. Since Lani is bi and I’m acearo, both “invisible” orientations often accused of just “being too young” or “being confused,” we decided it was the perfect tag-line.

OCAT is in constant transition as we figure out what works best for us, but basically it’s a show about two friends talking about the world. We want to highlight media that has great representation, honor religious traditions that are in the minority in the US, talk about current events, and discuss how to change the world for the better. There are personal anecdotes, political opinions, and plenty of laughs.

What inspires you?

My co-host inspires me a lot. For one, she has a number of neurodivergencies and physical ailments that can make it difficult for her to function in a so called “normal” fashion and despite that she marches on. She has so much passion and belief in the idea that we can change the world. I’ve always been more of a “well, guess we’re all fucked anyway, why bother?” kind of person. She takes “be the change you want to see in the world” (Gandhi I think?) to a phenomenal level. It’s due to her that we are starting Shatter Entertainment, a media company devoted to equal representation of race, gender, sexualities, and more. We want to create things like an all-female cast recording of Newsies, write children’s books about the some of the amazing women of the past that history as we know it ignores, and create tv shows and movies that have strong women, LGBTQPIA, POC, Disabled, and everyone else that current media often ignores or lets down. Changing the world requires changing what the world sees. She truly believes she can make that happen. I want to help.

I’m also pretty inspired by the change we are currently seeing in the world, right now. Movies like the new Ghostbusters and Ocean’s Eight. Shows like Shadowhunters and B99. There are openly trans individuals in government and more and more people are willing to stand up and say “this is me.” Yeah, we have a REALLY long way to go, but at least we’re going. If I can contribute to that, even peripherally, I’d be honored.

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

Lani walked up to me (virtually; I think it was a text message) about a year ago and said “hey, would you co-host a show with me. It’s gonna be the starting point for my new company.” That’s it. That’s what got me interested in the field. We’re pretty funny together and as queer individuals on the millennial/gen z divide, we have a unique perspective on life and society. Podcasting as an art doesn’t interest me specifically. I’m an organizer by nature. I schedule and edit; I’m a fixer (in a non-mafia kinda way.) OCAT, and anything that follows, gives me a way to influence society as a whole, to maybe make it better. Lani’s the creative half. That being said, there is so much more to podcasting then I ever realized. There is a ton to learn and plenty of room to grow. Editing, marketing, planning; it never ends!!

I’ve always wanted to do art on some level. I’ve dabbled in poetry, fiction, painting, origami, piano, guitar, recorder, etc. I’m actually not too bad at the poetry and basic origami. But, because of my depression, I’ve never followed through on much of anything. OCAT is an amazing opportunity for another chance. I have Lani supporting me, a larger goal to dream of and focus on, and there are so many options and opportunities that the podcast does, or potentially may, link me to.

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?

We’re a bit too new to have developed anything like that, really. Mostly, we just try to be honest, optimistic, and grateful towards all the amazing people who have helped and inspired us.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s super cliché, but practice and don’t give up. You are probably going to suck when you first start at whatever it is you’re doing. There will probably be people who are assholes about that fact. But we can’t all be Mozart’s. And, most of all, YOU HAVE TIME!!! So many of us in the millennial/gen z generations have had it indoctrinated into us that we have to have it all figured out by the time we’re 18. That is bullshit!! Pick a subject you enjoy for your undergraduate, instead of a profitable career path that you don’t really even like. Pursue a new skill even though you suck and there doesn’t appear to be any money in it. Jump from field to field for a while; become a jack of all trades, master of none. Study Buddhism or Paganism or Christianity or investigate a new religious movement. Some of the most well-known people of our time didn’t “figure it out” until their 40’s or 50’s or 60’s. Yes you probably could be like that teenager who started a successful shampoo empire or that musical protégé everyone knows of, but you probably aren’t and that’s OKAY!  Take your time, experiment, and realize that you and life can and will get better!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I typically use AceAro (asexual, aromantic) as my chosen identity terms. Sexuality wise, while I certainly experience aesthetic appreciation, I’ve never looked at someone and gone “I’d like to fuck that.” The idea of being in a relationship/having sex with a celebrity or some random on the street, which the allos in my life assure me is normal, has never made sense. I don’t know them and they’re probably WAY older then I am. And they don’t know me, so it’s always seemed kinda creepy. Plus, I’ve never been turned on just by someone’s appearance which made ace the best descriptor for me. Confidence is attractive. A certain face or body? Nah, not so much.

Romantically speaking, while I usually use aromantic for simplicity’s sake, I identify more as quoiromantic, which basically means I don’t understand what romance is. What makes something romantic rather than platonic? There’s a difference? It’s hard to look at someone and think “I’d like to be in a romantic relationship with that person” when you don’t really know what romance is. The term comes for the French world for “what,” which is, really, just spot on!

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

Not specifically in my fields/professions, no. OCAT is too new to have made any sort of waves in the podcast/communication community, so it’s never really come up. In my 9-5 job, it just hasn’t been worth discussing. I’m the youngest person in my office by over 20 years in a conservative part of the country. My coworkers would simply be confused if I tried to tell them I was this new-fangled thing called “asexual/aromantic”, and I haven’t deemed it worth trying to explain to a bunch of grandmothers who still struggle to understand that people can be gay. They try, but they struggle. So I just don’t say anything.

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

The idea that it’s a “phase.” When I came out to my step-father, he told me that it just wasn’t believable because I was “too young.” Maybe he’d believe me if I was in my 40’s or something. (That’s a direct quote and this from a man who’s known he was gay since he was FIVE.) My mother thinks that I’m only ace because of my depression. Which 1)even if that’s true, it doesn’t make me any less ace; identity is still valid even if its influenced by outside factors and 2) has more to do with her discomfort with labels then with me. My step-father still tries to set me up with any male who happens to interact with my social media or that I talk about even briefly (it’s really kinda creepy. Helped me realize I was being stalked on social media once). Because allos experience sexual attraction and it’s so consistently reinforced in society, people have trouble conceptualizing that some of us just…don’t.

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

Take a second, breath. You don’t have to have this all figured out. Identity is fluid and there are so many terms and labels out there, ranging from the general to the specific. Do some research, follow some Tumblr blogs, join a chat room or 12 on Discord. AVEN is a great starting point. The Invisible Orientation is a really good book on sexual and romantic identity in general, although it does focus on asexuality. I defaulted as straight until my sophomore year of college when I saw a presentation put on by the university’s sexual and gender diversity club. I didn’t find the aromantic label until a year later and didn’t use it until I got three months into a relationship and realized I wanted nothing to do with romance or relationships. It was another year or two after that that I found quoi and realized that’s what had happened between me and my ex-girlfriend; I’d taken a platonic friendship too far. Talk with someone you trust; I can’t count the number of conversations and freak-outs Lani has walked me through and vice-versa. Try a term for a while. If it doesn’t fit, try another. We are the children and grandchildren of people who thought gay could be cured and gender is binary. We are all figuring this out as we go along with barely a foot path to follow, if that. It’s okay to be uncertain.

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

OCAT can be found on GooglePlay and iTunes as well as on the company website www.shattertheentertainment.com. If you like us, remember to like, subscribe, and comment. We can also be found on Twitter (at LaniandChesh and at yerawizardlani) Tumblr (at foiblefoldandflail and at yerawizardlani) and feel free to email us at laniandchesh@gmail.com. We would love to hear from you!

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

Interview: Monica Stuffle

Today we’re joined by Monica Stuffle. Monica is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in realistic drawing and portraiture. She has also dabbled in sculpture. While she prefers realistic drawings, Monica also draws in a cartoon style on occasion. It’s clear she’s a dedicated 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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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art ranges from digital to traditional, and even occasionally sculptural. I usually draw as realistically as I can, but my people-pleasers tend to be more simple and cartoonish. My art is almost always portraiture, and my strongest portraits are in plain old graphite.

What inspires you?

People around me, both on and off the internet. I’m drawn to aesthetics, so I’ll be inspired my a pretty face, a lovely themed blog, or another artist’s work.

blue vent painting

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

I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. I never really considered my talent and important thing until recently. I’ve been trying to incorporate my passion into my life more and more, including doing commissions (open 😉 ) and posting my work to try and build a career out of 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?

I wish! Maybe I should come up with one. Like a tiny ace flag in the corner or something.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Young or new artists should always remember to breathe, taking a step back and looking at where they are. I know I struggled a lot with not living up to my own expectations, so I had to learn to sit back and remember how far I’ve come already in my artistic journey. There will always be someone better than you, and that’s okay. My advice is to take what you can from your experiences. Learn from other artists, acknowledge your mistakes and fix them, and never give in to frustration.

hinanananananata

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic asexual as far as I know! Still unsure of my romantic orientation but very set on the asexuality.

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

Very little. There’ll always be someone who just doesn’t understand when you come out, but for me they have always grown either accepting or quietly confused yet still loving. I’m very lucky in that sense.

IMG_7753

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

That aroaces have no soul! Honestly, there are different kinds of love. We aren’t all apathetic!

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

Take your time. There’s no pressure to find a label, soon or ever. If you feel that you’re asexual or aromantic, that’s your own business and no one else’s. If you figure that you don’t identify on the ace spectrum even if you thought you did, no worries! The LGBT+ community is one of self discovery.

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

I have a Redbubble and an art Tumblr, both at monic-artt. (Again, commissions are open!! It’s dirt cheap!)

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

Interview: Sierra

Today we’re joined by Sierra. Sierra is a phenomenal poet and dancer. She uses art as an outlet. When she’s not choreographing dances, Sierra enjoys writing poetry. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a great amount of enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a dancer and poet. I write or choreograph what I am feeling and use my art as an outlet for my emotions. I try to address issues and subjects many people deal with such as mental health, grief, etc. I think it is important for everyone to express themselves, and if my art can be used to help someone express themselves, I feel I have reached my goal.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything, but my main inspiration is people. When I see someone being purely themselves, I can see the art in them and want to be able to express that to others. I also get a lot of my inspiration from music of all kinds.

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

I have always loved the arts, specifically dancing. I grew up dancing and felt like it was the only thing I could relate to others through. As I got into high school I discovered a love for poetry and began to write. I have not published any of my work, but it is a goal I have for the future. Art has always been something very close to me.

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 isn’t anything special about my work. I just try to capture raw humanity and convey it to others.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do what you love and don’t worry about what others think. You will grow into a uniquely beautiful artist no matter what you do. Not everyone will love your work, but if you reach just one person and help them feel something, you have done the best you can as an artist. Push yourself to your artistic limits and allow your creativity to flow freely.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic-asexual. I consider myself sex-repulsed and between romance-neutral and romance repulsed.

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

Not specifically in my field have I encountered prejudice or ignorance, but in life in general I find a lot of ignorance. So many people can’t understand how something so engrained in their minds can be non-existent in ours, and therefore ridicule us for it. I think as long as you can stand tall and ignore that hate that comes towards you, you can be whoever you want to be. Anyone and everyone is valid.

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

I’ve found the most common misconception of asexuality is what it actually means and that it is different for everyone. Many people don’t understand asexuality and try to decide for themselves what it is. They then have an incorrect idea and/or opinion of asexual people which can be hard to change.

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

If you embrace who you are, you will feel amazing. Its okay if you don’t know what that is yet, you will figure it all out in due time. If you don’t feel like coming out yet, then don’t. Just know that the ace community is such a loving family that is always looking for new members.

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

You can find out more about my work on my Tumblr, at poeticaceinspace. P.S. I’m pretty bad about keeping up with my blog but I’m trying to get better.

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

Interview: FurvaNoctua

Today we’re joined by FurvaNoctua. FurvaNoctua is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in drawing characters and party members from RPGs and Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Aside from character art, FurvaNoctua draws things from cartoons and games. They draw both in a cartoon style and a semi-realistic style. It’s clear they’re a passionate and enthusiastic 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.

I really enjoy drawing my characters and other party members from the DnD and Pathfinder RPGs I participate in as well as fun scenarios that happen in the sessions. I have also started to sometimes draw animal mash-ups, I’ve drawn a lot of stylised owls, occasionally do some small comics and sometimes draw things from games and cartoons. I enjoy drawing with my girlfriend and draw stuff for her sometimes.

I do a lot of traditional drawing as well as digital. I often fluctuate between mostly drawing traditionally or mostly drawing digitally. I most often draw in a cartoony – I guess also semi-realistic – style. Sometimes I do some more realistic stuff.

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What inspires you?

Cartoons, webcomics and video games I like, and just a lot of art I come across.

I often get motivated to draw by watching Doodle Date from YouTube. It’s a couple who draw together and it’s just really relaxing and uplifting to watch!

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

I have always loved drawing and been fascinated with the process of creating animated movies/cartoons, comics and video games. Since I was a kid I wanted to make video games, but I thought that couldn’t be a possibility.

I’m not currently actively pursuing making video games, but I plan on trying in the near future. Even if I’m just going to make a small game on my own, for myself, I’m definitely going to do something with video games!

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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?

I have made signature that looks like a small owl with an F and N for wings (to stand for FurvaNoctua) that I often forget to sign my work with. Otherwise I don’t think so.

Katrine sketch in colours
Katrine sketch in colours

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As someone with depression and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, so ADHD without the hyperactivity) I have struggled a lot with actually getting around to draw when starting any task feels impossible and overwhelming, especially a few years ago. What I found helped was to not beat myself up for not drawing and instead just soak up any information about art that came my way. Even if I wasn’t drawing often I could still learn a lot about drawing while being too low on energy. I watch drawing tutorials on YouTube, read any drawing tutorial I come across, examine the colours/lines/light of any drawings I like and look at how they are build. Besides learning a lot, it might also give you inspiration/motivation/energy to get drawing yourself! But either way you learnt something and probably had some relaxing time for yourself in the process.

I felt this helped my art grow a lot after I got out of (my equivalent of) high school and got more time and energy to focus on drawing. I had gotten a lot of knowledge about drawing and now I could really try it out in practice, which was really nice.

So, focus on getting to a better place, passively take in any art tips you come across, do art if you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. You will have plenty of time to improve.

Another thing I have struggled with which is tied to what I have already talked about, is feeling like I’ve fallen behind and not being where I could have been if I could have just drawn regularly. What I feel has helped me feel happy with where I’m at (but still excited about improving of course) is imagining showing a recent piece to my younger self. Who hasn’t wondered how much their skills will have grown in a few years? If you could actually answer your younger self and show where you are now, they would flip out (for many reasons, but let’s focus on the art)! “Those hands look so good!” “I love this character, they are so cool!!” “I can’t believe I will get this far!” “I’m so glad to see I’ll get better at poses.” You might wish that you were further than you, but I’m positive your younger self would already be very impressed. Knowing my younger me would be happy with where I am helps me be happier with where I am too.

I focused on drawing, but I think both things can apply to about all art and I hope it helps someone.

Mona and Shy Plague Knight low res
Mona and Shy Plague Knight

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aroace and feel zero percent sexual attraction and romantic attraction.

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

Not specifically in regard to being asexual, but being sex-repulsed certainly creates some struggles. I’m not very good with nudity, so learning to draw proper anatomy still feels difficult to me as most common ways to improve is to do things like croquis. A lot of artists I have asked about good ways to learn anatomy that isn’t croquis have almost all told me that croquis is really just the way to go and everyone can be uncomfortable at first, but you quickly get absorbed by the drawing. They don’t tend to get that I wouldn’t just be uncomfortable, but most likely will have a panic attack before I get the chance to draw… I have however gotten some nice resources from a nice fellow ace artist recently (who doesn’t share this problem, but can understand how it’s difficult), and I’m excited to look at them further!

I find it difficult to find good resources on my own. Having something like croquis, but have the models be in underwear so the anatomy is still very clear, would be nice, but I don’t quite dare to search for people in underwear on the internet.

Nor
Nor

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

Probably that aces don’t have sex or that aces and allos can’t be in any lasting relationships because the allos would leave at some point because they would eventually want something the aces can’t give.

Owl lake from dream
Owl lake from dream

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

Take your time and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. The expectations and pressure of society might make it feel like you should just go do some stuff you don’t want to in order to be normal and happy, but that’s not true and it won’t help. So just listen to yourself and take your time.

Veta - First and recent
Veta – First and Recent

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

Anything that I post goes on my Tumblr: https://furvanoctua.tumblr.com/
My Instagram, where I post anything that isn’t digital art: furvanoctua
My Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/furvanoctua.

Zelda
Zelda

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

Interview: Dave

Today we’re joined by Dave. Dave is a wonderful writer and visual artist. For visual art, they enjoy clear shapes, preferring more functional design. When it comes to writing, Dave focuses on small details. They’re obviously a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

anti-Being
Anti-Being

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My visual art tends to be… ‘functional’. I prioritize Clear shapes over polished details, to try and make it as easy as possible to tell what is what at a moment’s glance. I am often reminded of that one picture of the Kirby Developers holding up their sketches of Kirby, & how the drawing done by the Programmer is… not like the others.

I know that it isn’t anywhere near as good as other works that use shading, color, & more, but it makes me happy to draw it, & that’s what matters.

Writing is a whole other Story; I try to spare not a single overlooked detail when trying to design something.

What inspires you?

All kinds of things! Songs, Games, Books… I look at some of the seemingly most random of details, wonder, ‘what if’, & follow the train of thought to its destination.

colored final

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

It’s hard to remember what exactly got me into Art. In kindergarten, I used to think that reading was silly, & spent all my time not-reading. Then, I agreed to read ‘Mr. Popper’s Penguins’ for something silly; I think it was for a pizza reward…

And then I spent all my time not, not-reading.

Sometime between Elementary & Middle school, I started to slowly draw more, & read less-

And the rest is history.

On some level, I think I’ve always wanted to be an artist; when I was younger, I wanted to be a ‘genetic scientist’, because I thought it would be as easy to mix genes as it would be to mix colors. I knew what I wanted to do, I just was looking in the wrong place & gave it the wrong name.

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 anything completely consistent as far as I can think of.

If I was to add a symbol to everything I draw though, it’d probably be a Segno, a musical symbol that shows where to begin again. The idea of a continuous cycle appeals to me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Go ahead and draw whatever it is you want to draw, & write whatever it is you want to write.

If you are afraid that it’ll seem crude and/or embarrassing in the future, well that’s ok!

All that matters is that you enjoy making it. And if in the process of making it, you start to figure out ways to refine your craft, that’s just a Bonus!

Also, sharing your Art with others may seem frightening, but it can help you to line things up in your mind. Writing something and explaining something can be two very different things, & one can fuel the other.

Just be careful of ‘Hate’. Sometimes, people can be jerks, and while it’d take a whole lot more time to explain all of the exacts about the differences between constructive criticism, and someone just trying to hurt you by belittling your efforts, there is one little trick I found that tends to help figure it out…

If what someone said makes you want to make More art, then it was most likely positive, & should likely be listened to.

If what someone said makes you want to make less art, then it was most likely intended to try and get you to make less art, with no motivation for trying to help you involved. It no longer counts as ‘Art advice’ by this point, and should not affect your will to Create. Maybe show someone else next time.

dragons
Dragons

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aro-Ace.

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

I have been incredibly blessed to have encountered very few ‘situations’.

The ‘worst’ I’ve encountered was with an Art Teacher misunderstanding me, but I handled it by carefully explaining the details, and they (at least on the surface and through their actions,) understood what I was trying to say.

GOROGOA
GOROGOA

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

That ‘Ace people don’t love/are totally unfeeling’. This is not true. ‘love’ is not defined as, ‘wanting to get in someone’s pants’. And if the things I experience while reading a good book, or hearing a good song aren’t feelings, then I have no idea what they are, but I’m glad to have them!

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

It would depend on what kind of struggle they are dealing with, but mostly to not fight yourself to try and fit a label that just, doesn’t fit.

You are You; not a string of descriptors that have been written in ink.

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

I mostly have been posting stuff that pops up into my head Here.

Anything from drawings, to text blurbs, worldbuilding bits, game idea stuff, & more.

If you come to visit, I hope you can find something you like!

Pearl
Pearl

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