Interview: Raven Jay

Today we’re joined by Raven Jay. Raven Jay is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying at uni. They mostly draw fanart and original characters. They currently have a fascinating webcomic entitled Anthrel, which is summarized as follows: “A comic series following the lives of the Anthreligions; immortal personifications of the world’s religions, sects, and other spiritualities.” (It updates on Fridays). It’s clear Raven is a very creative and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Cover

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a visual artist and illustrator, and most of my work is cartoonish. I draw a lot of both fanart and my own original characters and ideas. I have a few webcomic ideas in the works, and my current one is named Anthrel!

What inspires you?

My current favourite shows to draw from are Voltron: Legendary Defender and Boueibu, but most of my inspiration comes from religion, magic, and art history!

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist since primary school! I remember spending most of my time ignoring chances to socialize so I could sit and draw. My drive to draw – especially comics and illustration – became a lot bigger in high school because of friends I made and my supportive art teacher.

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?

A lot of my original work centres around religion and mythology and the beauty I see in it, and my webcomic is about personified religions, so I guess that’s a recurring theme I have?

My physical artist signature comes from a messy stylisation of my deadname; I just kept it because I’ve been using it for so long and it doesn’t really look like a word anymore. That being said, I forget to sign half of my art anyway.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It might sound cliché but don’t give up on art because some people think it won’t amount to anything; instead, keep making art because they think that. My father used to tell me I’d never make a living out of art, and his girlfriend’s friend once laughed at me for wanting to be an artist as a job. But now I’m at uni studying a creative industries degree and building art into a career, so the joke’s on them!

Also, don’t forget how important art theory is. Not only does art history tell you where you came from, it can inspire you too.

roman standoff
Roman Standoff

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m just asexual. I’m also sex-repulsed but don’t mind talking about/drawing sexual themes within certain boundaries.

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

Though I’ve experienced ignorance from peers, I haven’t experienced much prejudice, as most of my network is my university cohort and close friends. Normally I deal with ignorance by just politely explaining what asexuality is! Most people understand after that.

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

The most common misconception that I’ve encountered, I think, is that all asexuals are by default sex-repulsed. Though I am, I know not every ace is, and we all have different comfort boundaries for any sort of physical affection.

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

Always remember you’re valid in your asexuality. Maybe you’re questioning where you sit on that spectrum, and that’s okay, and maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow and realise you don’t identify as ace at all! We learn more about ourselves and about sexuality all the time; what matters is knowing that identifying as ace or aspec right now is a valid thing to do, and you don’t need to prove yourself to everyone.

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

You can find my art at draweththeraven on both Tumblr and Instagram! I also have a website, draweththeraven.com, which I try to update regularly (aka, I never update it). My webcomic Anthrel is at https://tapas.io/series/Anthreligion.

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

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!

two time
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: Battle Korbi

Today we’re joined by Battle Korbi. Battle Korbi is a wonderful young writer and visual artist from Croatia. He does a lot of writing in both English and Croatian, though not as much is posted just yet. When he’s not writing, Battle Korbi enjoys drawing and takes a lot of inspiration from anime. His work is brimming with color and an impressive use of lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

First of all, hiya. My art… I am a hobby writer, and a really “sketchy” sketcher, so to say. When I want to talk about my literal skills, I like to point out that I am having a bit of a tough time writing on both English and my native language. I love to write stuff on English, purely because there is a chance of posting it online in the far grimdark future, and I could let total strangers see it and rate me according to my skills, and not who I am. Yet I also like to doodle with Croatian (my mother tongue), because, my works then actually get seen by who-I-know are real people, but as always, some people don’t like to criticize their good friends, so I might not get to see if I am really that great in the first place.

About my drawing skills? Yeah, I guess that is interesting. I like to take inspiration from anime, cartoons, more serious stuff, you name it. Few of my drawings here are random and don’t have a thematic that joins them. I don’t focus on a specific thing when drawing in general, but I guess my speciality is “caricatures” and making animesque characters out of… everything. I often go overboard with detailing, as I simply cannot stop adding those itsy little bits that make my scratchings look more complete than ever. Sometimes the amount of details would end up excessive, and to anybody who is not me what started as several lines ended up as mashed potatoes. I like to experiment with every type of visual media, and can safely say that I have made at least one of every type. Are they good though? Unsure. Are they mine and by default awesome? Totally. (Am I over-confident? I guess…)

Point is, I am a absolute noobface who is kinda good at everything, but not really a meister of anything. What is good that almost everybody I know draw for shit so by default I have amazing skills and flattery fuels me 😀

5. astera

What inspires you?

Depends on what has been happening, what had my eyes touched when wandering, what thoughts had been cycling through my dreams or inside my very lucid mind. I don’t have a stationary muse I could always refer to, I most likely harvest a single “sensation” and make stuff out of it, and then plant another seed and go on to another “sensation”. I remember that something flared up in my this summer when I decided to start doing a bunch of yaoi/yuri art. Stories and drawings keep pumping out of me, even though I had no “usage” of them. I had to remove all the art though, because… well, how would you feel if you find out your sibling has been drawing gay/lesbian softcore porn for quite some time? I reckon, not good. That is just a example though, one of many.

Currently I am leeching of WH40k, drawing Dreadnoughts and Space Marines whenever I get to it. I am also trying to imitate Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, and I have a good knack of it, I may say. With regards to writing, currently I am trying out comedy, lashing out hurricanes of puns and silly jokes. My favorite “Airplane!”-esque joke to use is: “It sprawled all over the floor. Carpet, of course.” Or “He was soaked from tip to toe. From rain of course.”. Basically, rev up the situation like something dramatic was going on, then dispel it by playing Captain Obvious. This works with some context though.

 

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

Lemme see… When I got a connection to the internet somewhere in my first year of high school, and a bit before, I started writing. I had been reading a lot of books before I “went online”, and was writing a bit too on paper. This single, quite slow and unrealiable thread of kilobites (yes, kilobites) where my only connection to the world out there. I found some creepypasta groups on Facebook, and I hit it off from there, writing incredibly bad stories filled with Mary Sues, miracles, and explosions. They sucked. Be it grammar (from bad English), the way story unfolded, or the way I told the stories. They never got much attention, but I kept on writing and posting every day, till I got better and better. I still dream of being a successful writer, but not really a full-time novelist, because such dreams are a bit unrealistic with my caliber.

About drawing? Yeah, I guess I picked up a pencil as a kid and just… did stuff? I guess I got complimented for my amount of details and whatevs. Out of boredom I gave my pencil, later my ink pen, a revisit during my later years of middle school, and just drew stuff every day til I learned to be a bit better than before. I might not have a soul of a artist, but damn whoever tells me I haven’t worked hard enough. I guess I want to be a proud author of a good comic someday… or a cartoon, or manga, or anime. I have not decided yet, but that doesn’t mean I should not warm up and exercise every day.

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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?

Eh, not really. Depends on the mood and the piece though. I might feel mystic sometimes and put “out-of-sight” details that don’t mean anything but a pat on the back for those who find them. I do like to pull references a lot. Like, it is easy to pull references to some anime/manga/games/shows/movies when you are living in a environment filled with people who cannot tell. Whenever I am writing on Croatian, and whenever I know that whatever I am writing will be read by someone. I make sure to pop as many references as possible, and try and pick up any reaction that implies that someone understood a reference. There had been a few people who got them. We became friends soon enough (my other friends became friends for other reasons, no worries).

Anything beside my basic signature (The weird number 8 with a K, two guesses to who it refers to) is quite rare to find in my works. Even I cannot find them. I reckon because I don’t do them too much. Sometimes when sharing my work I might get over-excited and spill the secret stuff almost immediately.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

First of all, create. Like, don’t take a break unless you have a important exam coming up, or if you have a big project to complete, or if you are crushed underneath work, or if you are getting ready to repel a siege attempt on your fortress, or if you are worrying about looting that store without being seen by zombies… Point is, create. Not every artpiece can be shown at a gallery or in a bookstore, they might be stored somewhere moldy and dusty, or incinerated, but the point is, if you won’t bother creating big stuff, take some time to practice your technique.

Also, if you are having issues with your creativity, try and tapping into your inner kid who considered Transformers to be super duper cool. If not Transformers, some other cartoon. Either way, you don’t have to make mind-boggling, ground-breaking or any other way “deep” art all the time. Take some time to relax, draw a super cool robot with flamethrowers and chainguns, or write a cheesy action scene with a hammy protagonist, or play a piece that could be used as a background music for a intense wizard duel. Make a sculpture of a space marine goring a alien. Alternatively, if you don’t like exciting and explosive stuff, then draw/write/play about/whatever something calm and simple, like flowers, animals, friends hanging out, sunrise, sunsets… Not every piece you make has to have a deep meaning behind it, nor does it have to trigger philosophical thoughts, breakthroughs or inspiration.

Last bit, learn to find, capture, tame and calibrate your intrusive thoughts and emotions. How many times a day you cross the road imagining yourself getting hit by a airplane (okay, maybe you don’t)? Just about how many times did you see a funny-looking person walking down the same road as you? And just about how many times did you imagine “Gee, what would I do if a terrorist came here and started shooting?”. Simply put, everyone daydreams. Once you learn to find these thoughts, you capture them, down on the paper or keyboard, or under a pencil. Then, you have to tame those nasty buggers, make them feel natural. This in itself is a process different for everyone. You might find it super easy, or tougher than a nail. Then calibrate those thoughts, make them a centerpiece of your new artwork, or implement them in your existing projects. It takes a while for all of this to happen, but remember, you are the one doing your art. No one is telling you that you should not bother doing anything else related to art. If they do, screw them. Caterpillars become butterflies, so do new artists become good artists, once you get enough time, sunshine, water, protein and whatever else.

redesign

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual… Bit gray I guess? I like shipping people and I find some people hella cute, but it never advances from there. I would like to throw in the “romantic” word here, but dunno where…

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

 

As in environment itself or the art community? Since I dunno anything about the second, I might give a rundown of things going on here around here. I had grown up in a religious environment, if not religious, then surely quite conservative. I myself am a Christian man, a Catholic to be more specific, and I cannot see any blame within my brothers and sisters when they become confused about my orientation. Specifically, I only told my classmates in high school that I am asexual. Reactions were different. Technically, I was the same as everyone else, as long as I did not like other guys, I was fine. There were some confusing moments, but high school kids can be accepting of that. And I still chuckle a bit from the time one of my friends said “Stop being asexual! That isn’t good!” in a tone of voice similar to the one given to people that text-and-drive.

I still have not told my family about it, though. Seeing how my (a)sexuality might impose a great deal on the dynasty (honestly, just a few huffs and puffs), I decided to keep that bit of info for myself. I would still like to have a wife and have a family, but I guess it would be tough when sex is virtually non-exist to me and physical attraction is a thing worth swapping for cake.

skeletoninquisitor

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

None other than a confused look and a “So… you like dudes?” or “So… your wiener is wrong?”. Seeing that I made a wise choice of hiding my orientation from people who don’t need to know, I have not got many troubles. I can still pour out some gold nuggets:

“So you don’t want kids?”: No, I would actually love to have kids. That are mine as well! No one is going to be a genetic father to my kids but me! I just don’t like the sex thing :3

“You sure you are not straight and pretending?” I guess I am sure. I mean, why waste time getting excited over people just because of their genders? Also, since when became all about sex? There is life beyond bed, people, and it is beautiful!

“I am sure you won’t be when you…” Nah. Thanks for considering though, but still, I have to refuse your kind gesture.

“You should stop watching anime, see what is happening to you! Next day you might decide to be a dragon or something.” Nah, if given a choice of what I would become, I would rather become a Aztec god of fitness thank you.

But these lines above are just what my closest friends asked. Everyone else just shrug their heads.

8 practice1

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

There will be people who will try and “convert” you, especially if you are a good friend to them and if you live in a conservative setting like me. Don’t let them confuse you though. Unless they are actively using drugs on you, remember that only you are in control of your willpower. Brace through, and be ready to hug the sunshine first thing in the morning!

I also like this line: “There is life beyond bed”. I like it a lot. Why? Because it implies a lot of things. Like, if you decide to head out and explore, you would see all those little things that matter in life, details that make a bigger picture more beautiful. The social media and the internet tries to make it all about sex. If you get laid enough, you are cool. Remain a virgin, and you are useless mess of tears. But that is just depresso propaganda limiting people from their inner lights, just to bring them down and break them. Depressos are trying to get through everyone, me, you, your friends and family. They want to blame you for things out of your reach, and use this guilt to claim superiority. They want to take your passion, and break it, so you can become like them.

The world needs passionate people to keep moving around the sun without trouble. The happiest people are the ones who keep with the world’s currents, the way the water moves, the way the rocks remain still in face of trouble, and the way fire heats. That doesn’t mean you should watch news 24/7. No. Just be passionate about you do. Be happy about what you do. Take criticism where its due, and discard the bad things. My father says; “It isn’t about doing what makes you happy, but being happy with what you are doing”, and my “There is life beyond bed” applies perfectly.

Anywho, check yourself for your asexuality. If all the conditions apply for you to fit on a spectrum, then you are fine! Asexual people are still people, people who can love others all right. It is just that we had been blessed with a opportunity to see daily life without sex, and to see where the true beauty lies. If you are a artist, a total noobface or a pro, you should be able to see what makes beauty beauty, and what makes sex sex, and how to capture each.

9. witchgirl

 

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

Uhh, I surely like to write a lot, hope I didn’t bore ya, fellow aces! Either way, you guys can check my lousy FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/battlekorbiart/ (Be warned, I don’t upload everything I make here, only when I remember it)

I guess, I would appreciate it if you people checked out my absolutely empty Tumblr blog: https://thy-battle-korbi.tumblr.com/

yeyy2

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

Interview: Mies Nestor M

Today we’re joined by Mies Nestor M. Mies is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in drawing characters, both their own and fanart. They started out doing mostly traditional art, but have recently started doing digital. They have an incredible amount of talent. The amount of detail in their drawings is extraordinary, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

a family photo
A Family Photo

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a cartoon artist on Instagram. I did majorly traditional art in the past but due to minimal amount of space in college dorms for art supplies, I have only really been doing digital art mainly for the last few months. I enjoy making both fan art and art of my own characters. Making characters is one of my favorite things about drawing. I don’t write about them a lot, but I am very passionate about making unique and diverse characters, though I laugh to myself that most of them are asexual.

What inspires you?

I have always been a fan of cartoons and anime, mostly shows that are peaceful and revolve around characters and character relations, but mostly in the way of friendships and family. Within the last year I’ve really gotten into Dungeons and Dragons and I’m very inspired by both the campaigns I am in as well as the ones I watch online. I feel like the parties that are made in those games show great and loving friendships that are different from usual media.

Fate
Fate

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

I actually hated drawing when I was young. I had a very “if I’m not good at it now I’m not going to do it” mentality. I always enjoyed cartoons and the like and eventually got around to drawing. I also had ideas for characters and I couldn’t help but want to draw them.

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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’m a sucker for symbolism and wordplay. I tend to have characters wear joke t-shirts as well as have color codes for certain characters of my own. It’s nothing too big, but I love having little callouts to certain aspects of a character

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep practicing. It’s an oldie but a goodie. Anything you want to do will take time to get good at. Surround yourself with people to share your art with too. There’s nothing that makes me want to draw more than my friends telling me they enjoy my stuff.

IMG_2098

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a Aromantic Asexual. I have never had any attraction I guess haha.

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

I’ve only really had an audience of younger artists following me, so I’ve never had any pushes to do anything I’m uncomfortable with in my art, thankfully. As well as that, my art style is rather cutesy and “innocent”, so I’ve never gotten any inappropriate comments or questions. I’ve talked about my identity on livestreams, but everyone has been fairly kind.

momhouse
Momhouse

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

Offline, I’ve definitely gotten a lot of the “you’ll find the right person one day” stuff. I rarely explicitly state my identity, but I often say “I’m not interested in dating/sex” and gotten quite a few confused and, while well-meaning, demeaning responses. People seem to expect everyone to experience attraction, and get confused and act sorry when you express that you don’t.

persona glasses
Persona Glasses

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

What you’re feeling is normal, and there are people out there just like you.You don’t need to follow everyone’s expectations of what you should be and take all the time you need to figure out how you identify and you are always allowed to change whatever labels you use if you find a new one that fits better or figure something out about yourself. That doesn’t mean you were faking it or wrong, figuring out yourself is a process and it’s okay to take your time.

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

I post on Instagram! My main account is ShadowGingerdapple and I talk about my own characters on ShadowOCdapple. If you want to find me on Tumblr I’m at ShadowSnowdapple!

Radiant Soul
Radiant Soul

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

Interview: Brittany Granville

Today we’re joined by Brittany Granville. Brittany is a phenomenal visual artist and writer from Kentucky. She’s currently working on a webcomic entitled Cirque du Royale, which she both writes and draws. Cirque du Royale is all about a family of circus performers and it looks so amazing. Brittany’s work is incredibly unique and her characters are so expressive they practically pop off the screen. It’s clear that she’s a passionate and amazingly talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

artvartist
Art v. Artist

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw cartoons, comics, do graphic design and write. I’ve been drawing my whole life and have a Bachelors of Arts in visual communication design. I do freelance when it’s offered, but I’m still looking for a full-time job. I spend most of my time writing and drawing my own comic called Cirque Du Royale. It’s a slice-of-life comic about a family of circus performers. I love cartoony styles and silly expressions.

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Callaloo Event

What inspires you?

Hahaha! Depression and money! I need to feed my dog and keep myself in clearance nail polish, so that’s a big motivator when it comes to freelance. When it comes to my own work, I just need to have something to focus on other than sadness and crying. That’s actually why I started Cirque Du Royale. It was a distraction from job hunting and all the rejection. Basically, I could worry about the last interview or I could write about a health-nut strongman and draw funny expressions!

On a less cynical note: I like stories and I like making up my own stories. It’s all an effort to try and communicate. Growing up, I had a hard time making friends and really communicating with people, but I’d make up characters and found that I liked spending time in their world rather than mine.

beardedcupcake_circposter
Bearded Cupcake Circus Poster

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

I grew up watching a lot of TV and reading a lot of books. Cartoons were big for me. I watched a lot of The Simpsons, The Flintstones, Rugrats, Looney Tunes, Powerpuff Girls, and Dexter’s Lab, and would copy the styles of those shows. I was fascinated by cartoons and the way they worked. When I was really little, I wore out our VHS copy of Bambi because I would pause and start it over and over to look at each frame of a scene.

I also read a lot of comic strips as a kid. At about 8 or 9, I started drawing my own comic strips. I shared them with friends and classmates, and they liked them, so I kept drawing them!

When I was older, I got more interested in illustration and graphic commercial art. I’m still nowhere near where I thought I would be at this point in my life.

cast2017_2
Cast 2017

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?

Both my art and design work tend to be very colorful and rounded, but I can’t see any real style signatures. :/

cirqueep3-18
“Cirque Du Royale,” episode 3

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Like a lot of artists say, practice a lot, it’s very important to build skills. Draw from life and practice realistic anatomy. I see many young artists get annoyed that their teachers want them to draw still-lifes or models rather than anime or cartoons. But it’s good to know how to draw the real thing, that way it looks more believable when it’s simplified (for example hands). If you’re in school and want to draw anime or cartoons, just get a separate sketchbook for your own personal work and one for studies!

In addition, try different things, when it comes to art and life. It’s good to find a hobby outside of art; it keeps you well rounded and to gives you something to do when you don’t feel like or can’t drawing. For example, I write, cook, read, make jewelry and stuffed animals from time to time, and am in a local civil rights organization.

Furthermore, art is great but your physical and mental health is more important. Try to at least get a walk in everyday, so that your body doesn’t break down on you. And take breaks at least every 2 hours.

itme_mod
It’s Me

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual and aromantic. I know that people can have different romantic and sexual attractions simultaneously, but I can’t split mine. If you want to get more specific, I’m also sex repulsed. Like, I think consenting adults should have sex if they want. Cool. Good for them. But anyone touching or kissing me in a sexual way makes me want to barf!

I found out about asexuality when I was 18 after a dude at college kissed me. I was so disgusted, I googled to see what was wrong with me. Cause everyone likes kissing, right? This was in 2010, a little before Tumblr and more widely available material on asexuality, but I managed to find Asexual Visibility and Education Network (AVEN) and videos by Julie Sondra Decker (aka Swankivy) on YouTube. I was so happy to find out that what I was feeling was a real thing with a name. I’m so glad I’m aroace. Because, honesty, romantic/sexual relationships have always seemed really annoying to me…

tomatobisque_Twitter
Tomato Bisque (Twitter)

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

No, but I’m not really out to people IRL, but I’m also not hiding it. The only problem is when men try to flirt with me or when my older relatives try to talk to me about dating. Bleh!

I have had a comment or 2 on my comic that an ace character couldn’t be ace because he’s 13 and that it’s just a phase. Like, bruh, that was literally a joke in the comic. I just ignore it. I think it’s funny. :p

claudette poser
Claudette Poster

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

Ha! I might be people’s idea of what an asexual is. I’m asexual, aromantic, and sex-repulsed. I’m also autistic, and asexuality is commonly seen as a trait of autism…:/ The perfect storm. But some people, especially people new to asexuality, don’t realize that not all aces are like me. Aces can be hetero, homo, pan, bi, etc. romantic. And guess what, some aces actually have sex and like it! I help moderate the asexual blog, Asexual-Society, and one of the most common questions we get is “Am I still asexual if I have sex or if porn or something sexual turns me on?” Like, yes baby. You’re still a human person with a libido, it’s just not directed at anyone in particular. There’s no wrong way to be ace, kids.

fish fryday_Facebook
Fish Fryday (Facebook)

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

You’re not too young to know your sexual orientation. You also don’t have to rush to figure it out. There’s no hurry. Just don’t do anything that you’re not comfortable with. No one knows you better than you do.

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

My art Tumblr: http://bgranville.tumblr.com/
My portfolio website: http://www.brittanygranville.com/

Cirque Du Royale:

Tumblr: http://cirqueduroyale.tumblr.com/
Tapas: https://tapas.io/series/Cirque-Du-Royale
Smackjeeves: http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=167570

pride17
Pride ’17

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

Interview: Al

Today we’re joined by Al. Al is a wonderful visual artist who has her own style and characters. She is a self-taught artist, who creates some absolutely beautiful imagery as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

CeeCew
CeeCew

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoonist. Overall though, I like doing my own thing. Own style, own characters, and own stories to go with them.

I’m more or less self taught, I enjoy drawing both digitally and traditionally, and I also animate. Usually on my DSI and 3DS though, as I don’t own the appropriate tablet yet.

I mostly draw my characters and occasionally I don’t know, draw a tree or something.

What inspires you?

The idea that someday, I might be able to put my ideas and creations out there and they will be forever immortalized so that when I die, they will continue on without me.

flyte and marquel refs
Flyte and Marquel refs

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

Oh, I’ve been interested since I was a little kid. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, even before I hit preschool. My parents seemed to like what I created with my grubby little hands- so being the attention seeker that I was, I just kept drawing and drawing, until I eventually started to really like it and here I am.

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?

Sure. I have an art logo I created a few years back, and although it’s not in all of my art, it gets some cameos here and there. It’s of a dead fish, looks like this-

Logo <div class="question"></div>

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice. Practice a lot and stop comparing yourself to others and belittling your art just because you don’t think you’re good enough. No artist improves at the same rate or the same way, and the only thing that will happen if you keep drawing is that you get better and better, until you become absolutely fantastic. The worst thing you can do is give up.

Monstrosity
Monstrosity

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

For sexual orientation, I just call myself ace/asexual. On the romantic side, I’m grayromantic.

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

Honestly, I never really got anything bad directed towards me in terms of my asexuality. There was one time where a person believed that it was the same thing as celibacy, saying that being ace is a choice and if you have sex, it automatically makes you well, not ace. But y’know, it’s just ignorant words coming from an ignorant person.

As for parents/family, I hinted it at them a few times but I’m pretty sure they just think I’m some sort of late bloomer or saving it for marriage or something. They’re no doubt just waiting for me to suddenly wake up one morning and be like, “HEY!!! I’M NOT A SQUEAMISH SISSY ANYMORE!! I’M GONNA HAVE SEX LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!!!”.

It never really bothered me though. The worst kind of prejudice/ignorance I’ve seen is from Tumblr itself, but it’s not exactly personal so, I just get angry for a second and then move on.

panic icon
Panic Icon

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

Oh, there’s a lot. “Only girls are asexual.” “If you have sex, you’re not ace.” “It’s just a phase.” “I wonder what made you decide to be asexual?” etc. Yknow, the usual ace myths.

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

First, don’t beat yourself up for how you feel. Not only is it possible that other people are already hurting you for being ace, but now you’re hurting yourself, and that just makes things ten times worse. Your lack of sexual attraction is fine and normal, and if you’re gonna take the word of someone else about how YOU feel, then you’ll be as misguided as they are.

Second, if along the way, you end up discovering you aren’t as ace as you thought, don’t beat yourself up about that either. You’re not a fraud. You just learned more about yourself, or changed over time and that’s perfectly fine. And don’t feel obligated to keep calling yourself something just because that’s what you already told others. Like I said, labels can change and you should accommodate them to describe yourself.

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

Oh, mostly Deviantart or YouTube. My YouTube account is SaltyMilk and my DeviantArt is Captain-Dark-Kitty.

skele duck
Skele Duck

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

Interview: Starr Myers

Today we’re joined by Starr Myers, who also goes by iSpazzyKitty on Tumblr. Starr is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently working on a webcomic entitled Justice Roulette. Starr enjoys creating worlds and stories with her art. Her passion really shines through in this interview, as you’ll soon see. Starr’s enthusiasm is wonderful and she definitely has the heart of an artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw cartoons!  I started out using markers a lot, and got fairly decent with them, and as I learned more about digital stuff, I eventually ended up moving on to doing fully digital work (save for scanning in sketches sometimes).  I use a Wacom Bamboo Tablet and SAI (with a sprinkle of Photoshop 7.0).

I create stories and worlds with my characters, namely a webcomic called Justice Roulette, and other future concepts that I have yet to officially start writing.

JR Banner
“Justice Roulette” Banner

Also, while I do write stories as much as I draw, I’m gonna use “draw” as an easy umbrella term for me because it’s easier than typing “draw/write/make music/etc.”

What inspires you?

Sometimes the weirdest things can inspire me haha!  But notably dreams, other artists and writers, and my favorite media.  Steven Universe and is a huge inspiration to me for story-telling in general, A Certain Scientific Railgun was a huge inspiration for JR, and some of my friends as well as YouTubers like TheMysteriousMrEnter and The Nostalgia Critic have really helped me improve my ability to pick apart plots and put them back together in a stronger form, so to speak. ❤

Grem
Grem

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

I started drawing when I was about 7-8 years old, and I recall watching Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Krypto the Super Dog.  I drew my first character inspired (design-wise) by Bendy from an episode of Foster’s, and gave him Superman(dog) powers.  His name was Nossy (pronounced “nosy” because I have two Rs in my name, therefore I thought having two Ss would be cool).

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 always sign and date my work, preferably with my own hand writing.  And I don’t remember when, but I’ve taken to drawing a tiny little star at the end of my name, which I use a * for in text.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

First of all, TAKE CRITICISM, or at least consider it.  Even if it’s said in a very harsh way, it can still help you improve.  Don’t let harsh or negative words destroy you or make you want to quit.  If you love what you do, KEEP TRYING.  Criticism is there to make you the best you can be, not to get you to give up or build a wall.

Secondly, draw for you. While improving is always a good thing, what I mean is don’t only draw because people will pay you or people ask you to.  Making money off your art is great too, but I feel like it’s important to truly love what you’re doing, ya know?  At least for me, commissions are not nearly as fun to work on as personal art.  And if I like how my art turned out, I’m more proud of it than if someone else tells me they like it.

Thirdly, you can’t please everyone, so if someone bashes your art just because they don’t like the subject matter, kick em to the curb.  And on the flip side, don’t ever EVER tell an artist that they’re terrible for creating something you may not like.  I don’t care if it’s “problematic” or “gross,” people have different interests, and FANTASIES ARE OKAY.  ← Obviously very important to me.

Fourthly, USE REFERENCES. There’s no shame in it.  In fact, it can make your art tons better even in the long run!  Tutorials, references, photos, whatever you need!  How do I shade this?  What’s a nose look like?  Feet? Horses?  Three-armed caterpillars?  (well…) Yeah.  DO IT! ❤

References
References

Fifthly (are these words?), I know it’s in our nature to copy things we like.  It’s fine to take on a style you like in order to grow; however, it’s best that you eventually build your own.  That way, you’re original and memorable as more than “that artist that draws like this more popular guy.”  Also, be careful when creating characters and stories inspired by other things!  There’s inspiration, and then there’s flat-out ripping something off.  I went through a terrible “ripping everything off” phase, and I literally did not understand why it was bad until years later. So maybe this’ll spark people to think it over early. 🙂

Sixthly, you do not have to be the best at realism or landscapes to be an artist.  You don’t have to paint to be an artist.  You don’t have to be good at all mediums.  Being decent in various places is great, but there’s nothing wrong with focusing on what you love the most, AS LONG as it doesn’t hinder you from learning new things or researching when you do draw/write things you don’t know much about.

Lastly, I could go on all day.  I really hope some of this stuff was helpful haha.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m sliiiiiightly unsure at the moment, but I’m pretty comfortable with biromantic asexual. Though, I’m also considering changing that to demiromantic.  I know not many people use that term, but I’ve never found myself desiring romance with anyone I wasn’t already close to (except when I was a dumb little kid who just wanted a boyfriend because “that’s what girls do”).

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

I don’t recall anyone ever being intentionally rude or unaccepting over me being ace, and that’s regardless of the field lol.  But I’m still fairly young and I’ve only been identifying this way for about a year. Also I don’t leave the house. xD

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

The most annoying questions I get asked:

“Wait, but how can you like porn/smut?”
“So you don’t feel pleasure?”
“That must suck.  That means your man don’t get screwed.”
“You never masturbate?”

Etc. Etc.  None of that is true in my case (though asexuality is a spectrum, so it may be for others).

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

Honestly, I still struggle with it because I personally wish I wasn’t asexual, and I’m soooo used to hearing “oh, you just haven’t done it right yet” or “try doggy style.” >.< But that doesn’t mean it’s bad to be ace, and there are lots of people who understand how you feel even if you don’t like the fact that you are.  It really, really helps me to find blogs like this to remind me that I’m not alone and that it’s totally okay to be asexual.

I can still be proud to be ace even though I wish I did get pleasure from sex, and I think with time I can learn to be okay with that too.  I’m already starting to.  In fact, now that I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t like it, I’m more comfortable identifying this way, because I know it’s something I cannot control and there’s no reason for me to feel bad about it.

Also, don’t let anyone make you feel like you owe them anything.  I have sex with my fiancé because I love him, and I enjoy it on a romantic level.  But you don’t have to if you don’t want to, and if you have a partner, they should understand that and be open to the relationship never including sex.

And of course, remember that you are really awesome!

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

I am iSpazzyKitty here on Tumblr, as well as many other sites!  I have an art tag, and also a link to ALL my other social media profiles haha.  Here is that list: http://ispazzykitty.tumblr.com/links

Thank you for reading!! ❤

Thank you, Starr, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.