Interview: Broeckchen

Today we’re joined by Broeckchen. Broeckchen is a phenomenally talented visual artist who works in mostly digital mediums. She mostly does character design but has an incredible passion for any kind of drawing. Her work shows a masterful use of color and extraordinary detail that just pulls the viewer in, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. A Whole New World
A Whole New World

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My main focus is on character design, but enjoy illustrations of all kinds and even some crafts like bookbinding. Most of what I create is digital art.

2. Taste in Style
Taste in Style

What inspires you?

I’m strongly inspired by the aesthetics of animated stories and by art nouveau in terms of style, while mythology is one of my main inputs when it comes to the contents of my art. For example, I love creating variations of well-known mythological beings to go for an unusual and fresh look!

3. Rosemama
Rosemama

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

Sailor Moon! I always wanted to be able to draw, but different from many other kids I was extremely self-critical with what I created and got frustrated with my pictures very easily. Discovering Sailor Moon was what first gave me a really strong drive to push through that frustration and get better at art. I would probably still have given up very early on if my Mom hadn’t taught me how to trace from the magazines I owned – that was how I started actually studying the art I admired. From that point on though, yeah, I always wanted to work as an artist! I briefly wavered after graduating from school because everyone told me I couldn’t live off art, but then I soon discovered that there was nothing worth having art behind for either.

4. Harpy
Harpy

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?

Yes! It looks like two lines with a diamond symbol in between, often followed by the last two digits of the year I drew the image in.

5. Round KingfisherGriff
Round KingfisherGriff

I chose this symbol because it consists of my initials and incorporates that diamond-shape. At the time when I thought of that symbol, my best friend was a huge fan of the rapper Diam’s, and once told me that the rapper chose that name for herself inspired by the dictionary definition of a diamond: “The hardest substance known to man, a diamond can only be cut by another diamond.” It was a statement about perseverance and resonated so strongly with me and what I want to be that I felt it should be part of my identity.

6. Round PeacockGriff
Round PeacockGriff

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Learn to be forgiving and appreciative and do not stop. One of the most positive things I ever did was learning to look at a half-finished picture, realising it wasn’t exactly what I wanted it to be, and then just finishing and putting it out there anyways. More often than not, other people ended up seeing the beauty in it that I was blind to because I was too close. Sometimes a small miracle happens and it turns out that the half-finished work just happened to look worse than it did at any other stage, with the final result being incredibly pretty. But many people drop a piece or even the craft at large when they bump into that wall of “damn, this is not what I wanted at all!” and never get to find out how good and positive their work would actually turn out to be.

7. Round Cloudicorn
Round Cloudicorn
8. Round Furycorn
Round Furycorn

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demisexual and panromantic.

9. Pearl
Pearl

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

I actually don’t tell people about my exact identity too often. Since both labels I most strongly identify with are pretty obscure where I live, I tend to dread the conversation a little. I am also exceptionally lucky, though – where I live, most people are pretty progressive, and the number seems to shoot up even further when you go to an art school.

I am trying to open up about being demisexual more though ever since I realised that younger people with the same identity could probably really benefit of noticing that someone older and (hopefully at some point?) more established identifies that way, too.

10. Garnet
Garnet

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

The “But isn’t that normal?” one that follows demisexuals around a lot. I always have to explain to those saying it that while the emotional bond I need often appears alongside romantic feelings, it doesn’t always. I’ve felt attracted to close friends I had otherwise exclusively platonic feelings for, and I have been head over heels romantically for people but we never arrived at that specific bond I needed to feel physically attracted to them.

11. Amethyst
Amethyst

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

First off, it’s okay to take your time with figuring things out. Anyone who demands of you to have a firm and established label within a short deadline is just being a butt about it, you’re free to think about it, experiment, gather experience and even to reject specific labels altogether. And secondly, you’re a gift to everyone who shares your experience and is still searching for themselves. Whenever I wasn’t sure about continuing to grasp for my goals for my own benefit, that helped me out a lot. Knowing that I’m one more person in my field who improves all of our chances to become more visible and provide a future generation with more stability some day.

12. Alien
Alien

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

While my artblog at broeckchen is one of the most complete collections of my current work, I also have a nice hub-page at http://linktr.ee/broeckchen89 where people can see more different places to potentially follow me instead.

13. Rosa's Pumpkin
Rosa’s Pumpkin

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

Interview: Sami Mariano Vacari

Today we’re joined by Sâmi Mariano Vacari. Sâmi is a phenomenal visual artist who does illustration and animation. They’re currently studying animation at uni. They do some Overwatch fancomics and have an original webcomic entitled Dead Hearts, which is currently on a temporary hiatus while they finish up at uni. Sâmi’s work shows an incredible attention to detail and color, as you’ll soon see. It’s clear they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

3

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I love designing characters and digital cut-out animation, but I also do illustrations and comics! I create mostly Overwatch fancomics for my art blog, at least they are the most popular thing I do and I try to keep them frequent. I’m an animation undergraduate in my last year of uni, I’ll be working on my conclusion short film for a year, and I hope I can create something very good to add to my portfolio!

I also have a webcomic project that’s currently on hiatus so I can focus on uni, it’s called Dead Hearts. The main character is an aroace trans woman, and it’s something that doesn’t follow her all the story but it has a big impact on how her life plays. It’s a project I’m hoping to go back to as soon as I can!

What inspires you?

What keeps me going forward is mostly the fact that I see so little of myself in animated TV shows. I’ve seen a growth in them the last years, but I see a lot of ace and non-binary characters alike being portrayed as robots or aliens. Very hard to find them as just common human beings who happen not to have sexual attraction. I try to create stories I would like to see myself.

All ponies
All Ponies

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

I grew up with anime, specially magical girl animes. I’ve always loved Sailor Moon, it’s still my number one show! My first serious piece of illustration was a Sailor Jupiter fanart when I was in fifth grade, and I’ve never stopped creating since then. When I discovered I could go to university and get a degree in animation, I didn’t think twice!

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 guess my work has a very cutesy feel to it, my color palettes all have pink in it somewhere. I’m fascinated by that fantasy sunset color palette with a pink-purple-blue gradient so they are pretty recurring in my work.

anamaria
Anamaria

 

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I guess, most of all, you need to be having fun with what you’re doing. I see many friends starting out and worrying too much about technique, and I see that hindering them from finding a style they can call theirs. You gotta have a base too but you can’t forget the creativity when creating.

Also, animation has a very interesting concept that is, why is your film important? We are asked this question when presenting ideas to producers and studios. Creating content for others isn’t only you fulfilling your artistic need to share your ideas, but it also has a big social impact when it is experienced by other people, an impact we sometimes undermine. I carry this very close to me when creating my work. What will others experience when they see you work? It can change your perspective.

beforecontact story
“Before Contact” story

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m pan-demisexual/romantic, I have always been, it’s just easier to put it in words now.

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

My animation classmates have been the best. I didn’t disclose me being ace to all of them, but the ones I did, were very understanding. But I also understand they are all pretty much outliers, and many others I know wouldn’t be too welcoming to it.

concept aliens
Concept Aliens

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

I see the whole “humans can’t be asexual, they reproduce, they’re not plants” a very lot and it’s very annoying by the sheer plainness of argument. Also the whole “asexuality is just a phase” be it someone thinking that you’re just a late bloomer or anything else.

deadheartsavatar
Dead Hearts avatar

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

Take pride in what you are. It’s you and if you’re ace, it’s great! It’s not just some phase and it’s something very real for many people all around the world.

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

My art Tumblr is faeri-sami, and I also post frequently on my Instagram stories faerisami. Some of my comics are on tapastic too.

header

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

Interview: Isaiah

Today we’re joined by Isaiah. Isaiah is a phenomenal writer and visual artist who does a number of things. For drawing, they mostly do digital art and enjoy drawing and designing their own characters. For writing, they focus on fanfiction, poetry, and short stories. They’re currently working on a short story featuring an ace main character. It’s clear they’re a very dedicated and talented artist. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

adrian (6)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I primarily do digital art of my original characters, but I also write poetry and fanfiction and short stories (though none of them are finished.)

The story I currently put the majority of my effort into is (somewhat ironically) a hodge-podge romcom/coming of age/ self-acceptance story about a gay demisexual cis boy who fell in love with his best friend. It features a lot of religious themes and internalized homophobia so I understand it definitely isn’t for everyone! The main storyline is about him, but it also branches off to tell the stories of the other cast members, who are largely queer and neurodivergent. My fanfiction is pretty standard mutual pining stuff and my poetry is largely about mental illness.

What inspires you?

I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with very queerphobic content, so oddly enough I’m kind of inspired by the very strong desire to give other queer youth a story to latch onto!! I really want to put media into this world that folks who aren’t usually represented can see themselves in. I’m also really inspired by my friends & the kindness they show to me. They’re all amazing artists and people and they help me do better.

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

I haven’t been doing this for long but… honestly I just thought art looked pretty, and I really wanted to be able to create it too!! I started when I was twelve so I’m a bit behind other folks my age, but I’m not too worried.  I used to want to be an author before I’d ever even wrote books. I liked ELA and besides that it was… largely due to J.K Rowling and the attachment I had to her story and characters, though she’s fallen out of my favor in recent years.

riley (7)

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 don’t think I do, honestly? People say that the way I draw lips and eyebrows is pretty recognizable, but I think for the most part my art isn’t like, at all that unique. Which isn’t a great selling point I know but I just kind of… scribble until something happens!!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re feeling uninspired, or frustrated, it’s okay to take a little break. Don’t push yourself too hard. If drawing is making you unhappy, you don’t need to do it. There’s a lot of pressure to pursue art like a hound and draw every day, but everyone is different!! Find your own balance and treat yourself kindly.  Don’t compare yourself to other artists, even if they’re your friends and you feel compelled to. Have fun & be yourself and it’ll come to you!!

Also; if you know you’re sitting down to draw for a while, get yourself some water!!

sanchez (3)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m quoiromantic & autochorrissexual asexual.

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

To be honest, I feel like most people who take in my art don’t know I’m asexual, though I definitely see a lot of acephobia & other queerphobia in the community I post in. It’s unfortunate & really bums me out, but I’m not really one to get into arguments. Personally, I tend to delete any rude comments that reference sexuality on my work because I worry about queer kids stumbling onto them and internalizing that hatred.  If they do get to me, I’ll vent to my friends about it, but a lot of it just inspires me to work harder and be even more visible. At the end of the day, I think that your work bothering a bigoted person is an achievement.

s

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

A lot of people think we’re either just celibate, or that we have absolutely no libido at all. The concept of someone being both asexual and having a consensual, voluntary sex life is bizarre to them, but in a way that they almost refuse to process most of the time no matter how many times you attempt to explain.

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

You aren’t broken, and there isn’t anything wrong with you. Humans are multifaceted and strange, and being asexual is as normal as any other way of being. I know it can be difficult living in a society that prioritizes sex and romance so highly but you aren’t alone, and you don’t need to experience relationships the exact same ways as allo people do. You’re allowed to feel this way and don’t have to justify it to anyone.

Also: it’s okay to try out a label, you don’t have to be positive. You’re allowed to change your mind and learn new stuff about yourself. Just hang in there!!

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

DIGITAL ART:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blahruto/
Tumblr(s): blahrutocs.tumblr.com & blahruto.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blahruto/
Toyhou.se: http://toyhou.se/blahruto
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blahruto
DA: http://roblobliotical.deviantart.com/
Picarto.tv: https://picarto.tv/blahruto

WRITING:

Fanfic: https://archiveofourown.org/users/blahruto
Poetry: http://sobliotic.tumblr.com/
https://www.wattpad.com/user/sobliotic

m

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

Interview: Emilia Shinpai

Today we’re joined by Emilia Shinpai. Emilia is a wonderful visual artist who is just starting her art career. She specializes in drawing characters, both her own and others. She has a style that is whimsical and cute, brimming with color and imagination. Emilia is a very dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Emilia
Emilia

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I usually do artwork of characters of mine or of really cool characters. I’m not an expert at everything, but I’m OK with it!

What inspires you?

My friends! We all share each other’s art and such, usually while eating lunch or when we have time between classes, or when we’re at home.

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

I discovered my hidden talent while writing kanji. I tried out art from one of those anime books, and I thought “Hey, that’s good!” In the beginning it was about appeasing friends, but now it’s for fun. I have always wanted to do art, since my dad was an artist as well! My mom always said he passed it down 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?

I do have a special signature, it depends on the art I’m making. If it’s for an account with “Emilia” on it, I sign “エミリア” (Emilia) on it. If it’s an account with “Chibs” on it, I sign “ちび千葉市” (Chibi Chiba-Shi, which could roughly translate to “Small Chiba City/Chibi (small) Chiba”)

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

No matter how bad you see your art, keep trying! You’ll get better with practice as time goes on. Who honestly cares if you start off trying to be realistic, only to mess up on proportions, or if you start off with some sort of anime-like style, copying your favourite show, etc. No one really cares. Your style and your art are up to you.

Amsterdam
Amsterdam

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aromantic Asexual! If we want to get technical, then I’m a touch-averse sex-repulsed aromantic asexual.

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

Not really, since I’m not out to everyone as an aromantic asexual. Everyone just knows me as an artist personally, only really close friends know about my orientation

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

“It’s just for now.” I honestly don’t like that, especially since I’m growing up, becoming an adult. It’s now I should decide what my future’s like, and they say “no one can stop you”, but there’s extra meaning to that. I’m free to be who I want, and I like being aroace.

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

It’s okay! Right now, you’re free to find out who you are. You may be young, or old, or in between, but it’s never too late to find out your orientation/sexuality. You may be 13 and find out you’re asexual, only to realize later, you may not be. You could be 30, or 60.  No one can decide who you become or who you are at this moment in time.

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

I don’t usually post my art on Tumblr, I’ll start using a new site that works much better than DeviantArt or other sites. Link to it: https://pixiv.me/emiliashinpai

Nizimine Kakoi
Nizimine Kakoi

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

Interview: Doodlebuggy

Today we’re joined by Doodlebuggy. Doodlebuggy is a wonderful storyboard artist and character designer. In the past, she has worked at Hasbro and will soon have a series on Netflix, which sounds fascinating. It’s clear she has an admirable dedication to her art, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

abigail
Abigail

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a storyboard artist and a character designer.

I will also be creating my own cartoon series about a disabled girl who lives in a junkyard and build battle armor.

I also like to write poems and songs.

What inspires you?

The concept that I could do something to help someone else live a better life.

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

When I was in health class in middle school we had to give a presentation on different STD’s. As a religious girl talking about genitals at all was embarrassing, so I made a cartoon by putting a bunch of frames into PowerPoint and scrolling down really fast. I got an A and a cookie.

Also in the Behind the Scenes of Monster’s Inc. I saw a grown man wearing a Viking helmet getting pushed down the stairs in a cardboard box like a rollercoaster. The day I was told adults could get away with it was the day I realized this was meant for me.

bat
Bat

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

Not really.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Fail, fail often and fail spectacularly. Make a plan and screw it up. I used to want to punch anyone who ever said that you learn more with failure but now as a 28 year old I see why. You may know that something won’t work but you won’t know WHY until you try it. See why you can’t use watercolor and oils, see WHY you can’t use medium heat when making Hollandaise sauce. See WHY. Always find out why. (Unless it is something that could lead to death don’t try to see why you can’t drink bleach or something.) Sometimes you find out there is no reason why and rules have been holding you back. Sometimes you realize “OK THIS is why you can’t have candy for breakfast.”

And the most important thing. LEARN from your failure. It doesn’t work if you keep making the same mistakes.  Embrace your mistakes. Make it your armor.

Gods
Gods

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am Demi. But even then my interest in sex is EXTREMELY limited.

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

Not in my field but I have been told that I haven’t “met the right guy” by others. To which I reply. Why don’t you date llamas? Oh you not into llamas? How do you know if you never been with one? Maybe you haven’t found the RIGHT llama. But people in animation tend to be fine with it. As long as you are not an asshole and get your work done it’s fine. We got lesbians, gays, and I actually found my first ace friend at Hasbro. We both laughed/cried and finding out we are not alone. More and more of my friends have started opening up to me about their own sexuality. It is apparently more common than I thought. Thought I still feel I don’t have the right to be at a pride parade since I feel like everyone else is fighting to be with someone they love and I am fighting for…what? Wanting to not have sex? Many feel asexuals shouldn’t be in the LGBT community if someone tells me I don’t belong then maybe I don’t. To be honest, it makes me sad.

hog
Hog

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

The difference between libidos and attraction. Someone can be asexual but still have a libido. It is like being hungry but not in the mood for anything in the fridge. Sure you might eat one thing or another to satisfy your appetite but you don’t hunger for it.

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

You are not broken. You are not incomplete. I know it sometimes feel like you are living in world with a color you will never see or a flavor you can never taste but you are you who are. There is a reason you are made this way.

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

http://doodlebuggy.tumblr.com/.

QueenOfEgglandLineup
Queen of Eggland

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

Interview: Grace Procella

Today we’re joined by Grace Procella. Grace is a member of P4 Comics, a group of queer artists that do a variety of things. Ve does mostly comics but also some character design and illustration. Grace takes a lot of inspiration from anime and is very dedicated to vis art. Ve is incredibly passionate about creating, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to vis for participating in this interview.

P4 Job Search
P4 Job Search

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

We are a group of queer (but mostly asexual) artists that do comics, videos and other content with the intent of spreading positivity and education about Asexuality. Personally, as it stands, most of my art involves comics, but I do a few character designs/illustrations here and there. Most of it is all anime inspired, as that’s what got me back into art in the first place, but I try to diversify a little here and there. Matter of fact, we run a weekly series where we feature different asexual perspectives. Since I let them tell me how they want to be portrayed, sometimes I run into some lovely challenges. From coyote shaped cakes to panda wizards, we’ve had an interesting variation of characters thus far.

What inspires you?

What originally inspired me was the works of Sophie Labelle, Serpentenial, Kate Leth and several other astounding comic artists. I really thought I had a neat experience being aporagender and asexual, so I thought sharing my experiences might make people feel like they’re not alone. Nowadays though, it’s the fans that inspire me, their passion for the message and for this community really brings about some interesting concepts and dialogues.

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

Was a total doodler when I was in school, always drawing stuff in the margins, but it never really expanded from there. When I suddenly got into anime in university, it was jumpstarted and I realized that, that was the art I wanted to do. I think I’ve always had the artsy spirit and drive in me, just some bumps along the way made me lose track of it. (Most notably, high school studio art killed the enjoyment for me originally).

4Kind 1
4 Kind 1

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?

Oh lord, I have bad habits, like I always use a certain hand positions, but when it really comes down to it, I think my signature would be how character interact with the dialogue bubbles and my framing. There’s a certain level of 4th wall breaking in all my work that really pops the story out on to your lap. Having character openly reference annoying dialogue bubbles or look over into other frames. It’s fun to conceptualize, draw, and read!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

A while back I made a lovely little info-graphic about this. When it really comes down to it, the main thing is to just start. Art takes lots of refinement, practice and passion. With enough directed practice, anyone can become an artist.

To be more specific, if you’re looking to be a comic artist like me, I think the best thing I could tell you is not to be afraid of sharing your stuff. You see an LGBTQ+ page that posts memes about queer stuff. Share/post it to their page, tag them, whatever. When you reach out and tap into existing communities, you’ll find it’s much easier to grow.

Trigger Happy
Trigger Happy

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a romantic asexual, more specifically a biromantic asexual. Sex negative/apathetic, somewhere there. I just don’t like it.

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

Actually I’ve encountered more prejudice FROM aces rather than naysayers. We have a way of questioning ideas on the right and left, which can sometimes draw some angry crowds. But whenever I run into prejudice or ignorance I have a conversation with that person. See what their opinions all about. Overall it usually end up with both of us coming away disagreement, but a little bit wiser.

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

Oh lord, most definitely that attraction = desire. Even when it’s so easily explained to people. You desire acts and feelings. You’re attracted to people. But everyone seems quite ignorant to these ideas. Other than that, often people will think your asexuality was caused by trauma, which I’ve always found odd. That’s ones fairly commonplace.

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

Be you. That’s all I can really say. We have an ongoing series about Gate Keepers, and the catch is always, that he can only make you think you’re not allowed in. But he can’t actually stop you from going through the gate. You know who you are better than anyone, so don’t let others tell you who you are and where you belong.

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

Tumblr, Twitter, Facebook, Patreon, all at P4 Comics or Perplexingly Purple Pride Potatoes. If you like food porn, you can also follow us at p4_potatogram on Instagram!

P4 Logo with background
P4 Logo with background

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

Interview: Brianna Rose

Today we’re joined by Brianna Rose. Brianna is a wonderful visual artist and musician. For visual art, she specializes in cartoon style and is incredibly passionate about children’s media. For music, she does a couple of different genres, from blues to soft acoustic songs. It’s very obvious she loves to create, as you’ll read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. afirst

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is kind of like a big cartoon-medley. I can draw more realistic-looking stuff but I’ve always had a better way with exaggerated shapes and cutesy features. I’m really passionate about children’s media and making it as fun and imaginative as it was when I was young.

I work with a lot of different styles and I like to experiment a lot with them! I also love the process of designing characters, so a lot of my art leans heavily in that direction.

Aside from that, I’m also a musician! I mostly sing blues and rockabilly-type music (that’s what I usually write, anyhow) but I often record just… soft acoustic songs. They’re easier to play on guitar haha.

a1

What inspires you?

People, honestly! The best way to design a character is when they’re based around something you’re familiar with in reality. Of course, this doesn’t always hold true– but at least for personalities, it works pretty well.

Music also inspires me a lot. Like most artists, I listen to music nonstop while working– and I’m a musician myself, so it helps visualize things a bit better, and also drives me to make my own tunes too!

Also, other artists. Who isn’t inspired by looking at or listening to other peoples’ art, y’know?

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

Other artists, really. Artists like Jhonen Vasquez or Craig McCracken (my main inspirations while growing up) are what made me REALLY interested in cartoons.

As for always wanting to be an artist… I’d say more or less, yeah! I’ve always wanted to be an artist or a musician. Art just seems like a more… stable route. (Sad, ain’t it? Haha)

Also, for music, Joe Strummer (lead singer of The Clash and many other bands) is what got me interested in becoming a musician. I could always sing, but he’s what made it feel possible to make something of it (if I ever choose to.)

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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?

Mmm… I’m not so certain. I think the most reoccurring “feature” is that I have all of my protagonists be Native American. I, myself, am Plains Cree, and I know us natives don’t really have much representation, so I do my best to help fill that gap.

But, of course, that’s not really a unique symbol or anything. Though, sometimes I have a few characters in different projects that look or act the same– and that’s for a very top secret reason, that isn’t (always) coincidence!

Nothing for my music, though. Other than the fact I don’t know many chord progressions and try to desperately hide it!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep going. There are some people out there that will be better than you or be younger and have a similar skill-set as you — etc., etc. Don’t let that hold you back. What you perceive as “better” is just… different. There is no “better,” only different. What you can do is unique to you, whether you know it or not. What you have to offer is worthwhile — just sometimes it takes a lot of work. Often, too, a lot of time. But anything worthwhile is worth working and waiting for.

This goes for any type of artist.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an Asexual Demiromantic! (as in… not sexually attracted to anyone, but I can be romantically attracted to anyone if you give me a little time to get to know ya on a deeper level!)

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

I think aces encounter ignorance no matter what, truthfully. I’ve faced a lot of ignorance both in and out of my “field” — though the prejudice I’ve faced hasn’t really been relevant in what I do.

I’ve gotten some flack from a past band for wanting to avoid sexually charged lyrics in some covers they wanted to do… being told that I was overreacting, and all that. (Being looked at in a sexual way makes me extremely uncomfortable, but this didn’t matter to them.)

I handle it with aggression, mostly. It’s caused by anxiety. I tend to snap at those who don’t understand, which isn’t really the healthiest way of handling things. If it’s in a situation where I don’t feel threatened, then I’m better at calmly explaining things. Those who purposely try to be contrarian or disrespectful, however…

They don’t get my “nice” way of handling things.

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

That we’re all just robots. That we’re less human. That even if there are aces that are really into sex, that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t matter. There’s a common misconception that we have to fill a quota to be “normal”. A lot of people use the “well some asexuals are fine with sex and love it!” which detracts from the issue at hand. Many of us don’t, and that’s OKAY. We don’t need to find these little loopholes so we’ll be accepted. A misconception in and of itself is the fact that we’re not “normal”. So what, you know? So what.

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

Don’t let idiots tell you who you are and who you have to be or should be. Whatever. That’s none of their business. You know yourself better than anyone– even if you don’t know yourself very well at all! What you feel is what you feel. Stick to that. Even if it’s ever-changing– that’s fine! Let it change.

If you’re young and identify as ace or anything of the like– don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong. Don’t let anyone sexualize your preferences. That’s wrong of THEM, not you. You don’t always get to choose how you feel, but you DO get to choose how you handle it. If you feel comfortable in a label, then label yourself that. Even if it doesn’t necessarily fit you perfectly. For most of us, there is no “glass slipper” label. They’re not always going to fit perfectly. That’s okay.

Just don’t let anyone tell you that you’re something you’re not. Don’t let people dictate that for you.

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

My Tumblr is Gunkers, so is my Instagram! If you wanna catch me on DeviantArt, then my handle is YouEatBugs

You can catch my music in the “gunk sangs” tag on my Tumblr blog as well!
I draw a hodgepodge of stuff, so if you don’t have any really specific interests, feel free to come find me!

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