Interview: Simon

Today we’re joined by Simon. Simon is a wonderful young artist who is quite versatile and enjoys working in a number of mediums. While he does some writing, Simon prefers visual mediums and does a variety of visual art. It’s very clear that he’s an incredibly enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a lot of different art. I love writing, drawing, painting, digital art, chalk drawings, minor calligraphy; I do video editing and photography if I have the time.

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What inspires you?

Day to day life style. Especially if I’m just past a hard time like I am now. (A bit of teen gossip and stupid stuff with my “friends”). Long story short I found out who actually cares and dropped those who didn’t and I feel so much happier, and ready to create. I love watching other artists create as well, and even looking at how-to books to get ideas.

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

This is going to sound a little redundant, but I think where my appeal to art comes from is because when I was younger all I got for my birthday was school supplies, and I was never good at sports or anything else, so I said “what the hell, let’s try this,” and it was probably the best choice I’ve made.

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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 do! In all my recent pictures you’ll see a fish with a crown and in the fish it says “Fishermen” and underneath “Prince” in cursive. Made after a character I designed and fell in love with.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re friends we’re like mine, in which there was another artist in the group, or even another artist in general that is “better” than you, do not, under any circumstances allow yourself to be below them. Keep doing what you’re doing because you aren’t doing it for them. You wanted to do this, and one day your stardom will come. No matter how much better they seem, I promise you one day you’ll get there. I promise you you’ll regret giving up and giving into them. I almost did and I could’ve lost it all. You keep working on yourself and if anyone shadows over you, know you will progress and get better. I know it’s hard to not compare yourself to other artists, but believe me, it’s so much easier that way. Just because they’re progressing further doesn’t me they’re better. It just means they progressed further. I’m sure your art is rocking and you’re doing your best. And that’s all you could ever ask.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Oh boy I’m here. I am somewhere between flat out asexual and Demi, I guess. I feel like if I forged a strong enough bond with a romantic partner I could feel sexual attraction, but I know I don’t feel sexual attraction like everyone else does, if that makes any sense. I guess I’m “asexual until proven otherwise”? (I don’t mean any offense I’m just trying to make light of my situation ;))

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

I can’t say because so far I’ve never run into it.

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

Ugh this where I wish I was more active in the Ace community because I can’t answer this either. I guess it’s that they cannot have sex, but like I myself, when I’m older, I’d be willing to do it if my partner wanted it. That’s about all I know, I’m sorry.

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

Goodness child, if you’re asexual, that’s a-okay! I didn’t even know being asexual was a thing until maybe two years ago. I’m glad I know now, because it’s cleared up quite a few things. Such as when everyone fans over someone for being “hot” or “sexy” and I didn’t feel any emotions towards who they were talking about, just that they were somewhat good looking but I didn’t see all the fuss. This also doesn’t mean if your ace you can’t find people hot or sexy. Just if you don’t, that’s okay. If you don’t feel sexual attraction, it’s awesome, it’s all good. You’re okay. Besides if you identify as ace and figure out you’re not, that’s also fine! You don’t have to stay Ace for your entire life.

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

Haha my Tumblr under (at nest-friends-are-best-friends) #my art or my Instagram at fishermenprince.

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

Interview: Keelan

Today we’re joined by Keelan. Keelan is a wonderful visual artist who hasn’t met a medium he doesn’t like. Right now, he’s focusing mostly on ace pride/positivity and autistic pride/positivity, both of which are greatly needed in today’s world. His work is so beautiful, brimming with color and life, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mostly fanart, sketches and positivity/pride drawings. I have also done a bit of costume design and costume making for some local theatre. I’ve experimented with a variety of mediums such as oil paint, acrylics, chalk/charcoal, photography and ink + bleach but I mostly stick to pencil and digital drawings because it is what I am most comfortable working with, and what I have the most access to. In the past year or so my art has been focused mostly on asexual/a-spec and autistic positivity because they are both important parts of my identity and I want to express that and my love for the two communities. I’ve been drawing with pencils for a long time, but digital art is still very new to me because I only started exploring it last year.

What inspires you?

Other artists and their work are a huge inspiration to me. Seeing the beautiful work other artists create inspires me so much and motivates me to keep on practicing and improving. Sometimes they inspire me to try new things as well. I probably wouldn’t have begun to explore digital art if I had not seen and been inspired by the progress of other artists on social media. I am also inspired a lot by the communities I am a part of, such as the online asexual and autistic community. They have given me the confidence and inspiration to express myself more through my art and take pride in my identity through it.

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist ever since I was little, and I began to put effort into learning and improving my art when I was around eight and wanted to be able to draw my original character properly. That goal from when I was a kid has been motivating me for years to keep on trying. Unfortunately, because my main focus was being able to draw a character that meant that for years I didn’t explore anything outside of drawing people in pencil and pen. I only began to pick up exploring other things such as colour and different mediums when I chose to do Art in GCSE when I was fifteen. Even though my career goals are a little different from when I was younger, I still want to continue being an artist as a hobby.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really. I used to have a habit a few years ago, of signing all my art with my initials. I don’t do it as often anymore; however, I try to keep it up (inconsistently) with any art I post online. In all my autistic art I make an effort to include the neurodiversity symbol; a rainbow infinity symbol.

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Dai Li Agents

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep on trying. It can be difficult and very frustrating but the thing about art is that you are always learning. Even those artists who seem to have mastered it all are still learning and making mistakes and improving. Art takes practice and time so its fine if you struggle with and take a long time to learn something (such as how to draw hands or animals). Looking back on your old art might make you cringe but that’s only proof of your progress. Its proof that you have grown a lot and will probably only continue to grow and become more skilled.

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Proud Ace

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am panromantic asexual, though I also identify with demi-romantic.

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

I have encountered a little. In my life offline I experience it less because not as many people know I am asexual. I have received some ignorant and slightly insulting comments from people who do know, or from people who don’t know I am asexual but have heard of it. It always hurts and frustrates me a bit to hear it. I tend to either speak up about it or let it slide depending on the situation and how well I know the person. I don’t handle confrontation well so I admit I tend to avoid it even when it might be best to speak up.

I have definitely experienced more prejudice and ignorance online. I am fairly open about my sexuality online and I post most of my asexual positivity art on my blogs and it has caused me to receive some unpleasant comments as a result. I find it is best to delete the messages, block the sender and not let it bother me. In fact it usually motivates me to draw even more ace positive art.

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

That asexuality is just a lack of interest in having sex or a form of celibacy. It’s a misconception that frustrates me a lot because I have seen it be used against asexual people to invalidate them or make incorrect claims based on that misinformation. It is also, I suspect, where the comments from my family that I “just need to meet the right person” or that I am a “late bloomer” come from.

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

You aren’t broken and you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with being asexual and there is a wonderful community out there for asexual and aromantic people. It’s okay if it takes you a long time to come to terms with being asexual and it’s okay if you aren’t sure of your orientation.

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

I post a lot of my art on my Tumblr main: keelan-666.tumblr.com under the tag #keelan-art and on my side blog: autistic-space-dragon.tumblr.com under the tag #space-dragon-doodles. However neither blogs are purely art blogs so a lot of other stuff is posted there too. I also have an Instagram: keelantheace.

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Ace Positivity Post

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