Interview: Jaem

Today we’re joined by Jaem. Jaem is a phenomenal visual artist who works in traditional mediums. She does a lot of painting and a little crocheting. Their paintings are large vibrant pieces, which often fit together. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist who loves to create. 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 paint on paper or canvas using mainly acrylic paint in select shades for each piece

What inspires you?

Horror movies are great inspiration, and using subtle ways of that, such as cables, skeletons, syringes, or just background images and motifs is very interesting

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

I took art as a subject in high school, general at first then moved on to painting, and just enjoyed it and loved it so much I continue to do 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 use arrows and mountains a lot, whether in the background or as a focal point, I also use three (give or take one or two) shades in a series of work so they all have a good link and you can see how the story develops

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just continue with it, spend as much time as you can working at it, and if you don’t want to spend time on it find a medium that you do want to spend time on.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Currently as Demi, but I have previously identified as fully asexual

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

I am not out as such to anybody in my field, but I have been told/overheard people talking about sexuality and how “having sex/sexual thoughts is intrinsic to being an artist” I usually say something about how ignorant the person who said that must be or just ignore it

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

That people who identify as asexual are prudes/don’t like to talk or mention anything vaguely sexual – there are probably people who this applies too, but there are many others that it doesn’t apply too

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

Read up on it, do some research, and see how you are going to let it affect or change your life, you don’t have to let it become a major part of you and effect your everyday life, but if you ignore it or try to shove it away, it will negatively affect your self-perception and how you feel about life

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

I am not currently displaying or selling any of my work, but in future I am hoping to sell on etsy or a similar website, and maybe if I can, have my art displayed in a gallery.

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

Interview: Jen

Today we’re joined by Jen. Jen is a phenomenal painter who uses oil paints on canvas. She creates a wide variety of different images in various genres: science fiction, fantasy, and even some fanart. Her work demonstrates a keen imagination and a beautiful use of color and line. It’s very obvious that she loves painting and it shows in her work. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

portrait
Portrait

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a traditional painter — oils on canvas. The bigger the better, but I’m running out of room to store them all. I paint a lot of landscapes, mostly science fiction or fantasy, sometimes abstract or modern stuff, some fan art (Elder Scrolls, Dragon Age, Mass Effect, and Witcher fandoms), and I dabble in bit of fanfiction as well.

What inspires you?

So many other artists! The natural world, video games, books, colors or textures I’ve seen. Smells. Dramatic scenes. Music. Lighting. Inspiration can come from the most mundane and sometimes the funniest most unlooked for places. Never take it for granted.

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

I was never the kid with the sketchbook when I was young. I started collecting Star Wars comics and art books when I was in high school. I remember looking through one of the art books and seeing Ralph McQuarrie’s matte paintings for the original trilogy and realizing that people did this for a living. So I started drawing on my own. I went to two semesters of state college and then pleaded (I was splitting the cost w/ family) to transfer to art school. I had to take a painting course as part of my major. It was challenging but I ended up loving it and although I dropped out before completing the degree, I have now been painting for over fifteen years and am starting to work towards making a career out of it.

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Winter Medley

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?

Along with my signature, I add a thumbprint. I don’t know if that’s all that special.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Besides the obvious one of: practice, practice, practice? I’d add that it’s important to have as much variety in your education as possible: Sculpture, digital, drafting, even dance. It all helps your brain learn to translate light, movement, color, and form and perspective from two dimensions into three and back again. Diversity is key. Lots of different media, lots of different subject matter. That and learn some solid financial and organizational habits. Boring, but it will help keep you in food and work.

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Urdnot Wrex

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am demi/ace/autochorisexual.

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

Mostly, I don’t tell people. But even so I’ve encountered a bit when it’s come up as to why I’m single and not dating. Ignorance more than anything else. Many people have not heard of it. Those of an ‘old-fashioned’ mindset insist I’d be happier with a husband and children. As if I don’t know what I’m talking about. Some tend to think it’s a trend or an affect to gain some kind of reputation or attention like I’m putting on some kind of special snowflake act.

Then there is the preconception that artists are somehow more passionate than other people…so it follows that they should be more promiscuous, too, right?

I’ve also been told, mostly by men although I did hear it from at least one woman, that if I’m ‘not getting any’ that I’m somehow stifling my own artistic ability and creative process? Which is as ridiculous as it is manipulative crap and very annoying.

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

As I’ve sought to learn more, I’ve noticed a lot of folks struggling to understand what asexual is and getting it confused with being bisexual or pansexual. They just take all these terms that they don’t understand and lump them together.  The gender preference (or lack thereof) regarding any potential partner is an entirely different aspect of human sexuality. A person can be asexual and bi, asexual and pan, asexual and gay, asexual and straight, etc. Asexuality deals with the lack of sex drive and/or sexual attraction and/or interest in having sex.

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

Take your time with it. You don’t have to meet anyone else’s expectations. Figuring yourself out is a lifelong process. You are allowed to learn and grow and change your mind as often as you need to about who/what you are. Society still places a lot of pressure on people to be in relationships. If a relationship makes you happier and healthier, then fine. If not, that’s fine too.

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

I post on Tumblr. http://caffeinatedmusing.tumblr.com/
My portfolio is http://jenniferward.foliohd.com/  and I have some prints and such available on Society6 https://society6.com/jwardart_2016

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The Ritual

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