Interview: Jess Renae Curtis

Today we’re joined by Jess Renae Curtis, who also goes by Jess or Pup. Jess is the phenomenal artist behind PuppyLuver Studios. She does mostly fan work at the moment but has also recently branched out into original work. She is currently dabbling with creating an original universe. Jess is mostly a digital artist and creates both fanart and original characters through drawing. Her work is bright and colorful, capturing the viewer and drawing them in. It shows an amazing attention to detail. It’s clear she’s an extraordinarily talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. owl barber
Owl Barber

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m both a writer and a digital artist. My illustrations are generally focused on characters, both original designs and those from fandoms I’m involved in, and tend to use a lot of varied color. My writing is involved in both fanfiction (notable ones I’m working on at the moment include Chronicles of Tajiria, a Pokémon series but with the Pokémon as people with superpowers/magic, and Sonata in Triplicate, a Legend of Zelda AU series) and my original series Theia Historica, of which I have the first entry (titled A Kingdom of Children) published.

What inspires you?

I don’t really have a definite answer for that, it could be just about anything depending on what sort of thing or things it ends up inspiring. I’ve had small one-page comics based on something funny that happened to me while playing a video game, I’ve designed a character because a YouTuber I follow posted a video of himself shaving his beard with a razor that I initially thought looked like an owl, I’ve drawn pieces based on something funny a friend said to me, lots of things. In fact, the general art direction of Theia Historica has its roots in one very specific part in the PS2 role-playing game Okage: Shadow King, but it’s a long explanation so that’s a story for another time.

2. mermaids working out
Mermaids Working Out

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

I’ve been drawing ever since I was a little kid, and while I always liked drawing it wasn’t what I wanted to do with my life for the longest time. Funnily enough, my first career choices were astronaut and veterinarian, before I realized that the things in space kinda scared me and I was squeamish about blood and other bodily fluids, so around middle school I decided to try a career path that I already had some skill and comfort in. I started storytelling shortly after becoming literate, though unlike visual art that was always something I could see myself doing professionally, though more as an “after I’m done being an astrovet” thing than as part of my main career.

3. brunswick manor front
Brunswick Manor front

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?

Can’t think of anything in particular except for the star that I use as my watermark (a five-point star with each point being a different color of the rainbow except for orange). Also in major writing projects I tend to find some way or another to put myself in there. Just…self-insert in the background, there I am.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re feeling discouraged about your skill level, remember to keep trying and that you can only get better. You’ve got wonderful visions that’ve been concocted solely by the processes of your imagination, and only you can bring them to life for the world to see. Also, don’t pay attention to what cringe culture says. Make that multicolor Sonic OC if you want. Write a short story about you getting transported to your favorite fictional world and becoming best buds with the main characters if doing so cheers you up when you’re feeling down. Don’t let anyone stop you from enjoying something that makes you happy and doesn’t hurt others.

4. journey-traveler's hub
Journey-Traveler’s Hub

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a sex-repulsed asexual. I’m not entirely sure yet of where I fall in regards to romantic attraction, but if I were to try dating I think I’d want my first attempts at romantic experiences to be with women.

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

Not specifically in my field, no, and I don’t really know how I would handle it if I were to encounter prejudice that was physical or coming from a position of authority. Most people I’ve told about my asexuality are a bit confused as to what it means at first, but once I explain they’re generally supportive. I have had encounters with people who flat-out refused to believe that I was an adult who didn’t enjoy sex and couldn’t ever imagine doing so, but that one was on me for commenting on a video explicitly titled “Why Does Sex Feel Good?” and saying that I couldn’t understand why sex-havers craved it so strongly (I mean, I technically can, cuz if sex weren’t at least somewhat pleasurable to those willingly engaging in it then the species would die out because then no one would be boinking and possibly making babies) and I thought the whole societal obsession with it was a bit ridiculous. I kinda walked into that one, and I ended up just muting that conversation and moving on.

5. skull kid and deku tree
Skull Kid and Deku Tree

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

If they don’t outright dismiss the possibility of asexuality/aromanticism existing, they tend to assume all asexual people share my feelings in that sex is something they wish to avoid. While I am not one of them, there are obviously plenty of asexuals who either are indifferent or even enjoy sex as an activity. I’m put off by all the mess that I’ve heard results from a typical sexual encounter to even consider trying it, but I will never knock on any sex-positive or sex-neutral aces.

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

Not having a sexual or romantic attraction is just as normal as having a sexual or romantic attraction to people of a different gender, the same gender, or multiple genders. You’re not broken just because all your peers are ogling “sexy” celebrities and you find yourself feeling indifferent to the whole thing. And don’t listen to all the highly vocal exclusionists plaguing the internet that say a-spec people don’t belong. They are the minority given megaphones, and the majority of LGBT groups and spaces are inclusive of a-specs.

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

You can find my stuff on DeviantART under the username PuppyLuver, and on Tumblr, Twitter, FanFiction.net, and AO3 under the username PuppyLuver256. I also have a Redbubble store and a Patreon.

6. shiny mahina
Shiny Mahina

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

Interview: Sark

Today we’re joined by Sark, who is the 800th artist interviewed on Asexual Artists. Sark is a phenomenal fanartist and writer. He mostly draws, focusing on drawing characters in fandoms he enjoys. Occasionally, he draws people’s original characters. When he’s not drawing, Sark enjoys writing. It’s clear he’s an incredibly passionate and dedicated artist who loves creating, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I’ve been drawing for about four years now, and I’ve been writing since, well, actually since I can remember! I usually focus my work on creating fan content as a method to express my enjoyment of things, but sometimes I draw people’s characters because I like seeing people get happy, honestly.

What inspires you?

A lot of things. One of my main inspirations is the works other people have created, especially music. I have playlists for all of my characters to get my writing and art in character for them. And sometimes I just go outside and see something beautiful. Most of the time I see someone do stupid things and it reminds me how great people are, and why I enjoy writing and drawing in the first place.

2

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

Well, I know it’s probably the tale of everyone ever, but really it was people. When I was younger- I think maybe eleven- I used to watch a lot of YouTube. It was a lot of gaming, all these wildly popular channels that were popular a couple years ago. I enjoyed them a lot, but the idea of making fan content didn’t occur to me until I met someone who became my role model. They made a lot of animations and art of these people, and they wrote stories about them. I thought it was really cool, so I imitated them. I was really bad at drawing and writing, but they were always really nice. They also were my introduction to the LGBT community, which obviously is really important to me now. I don’t know where they are nowadays, I lost track of them along the way, but they’re still my inspiration.

3

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

My art is about as consistent as my memory, which is to say not at all, but my signature is usually a stylized S- I’ll see if I can show an example, I’m really mosh at description. Which is probably bad, considering I’m a writer.

8

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I still consider myself an aspiring artist myself, but if I could look back at some of the worries I used to have about my content not being good enough, or my writing being cliche, I think I’d only say one thing. And that is that it doesn’t matter. If you’re just starting out, you probably think your art, or your music, or your writing sucks. And I won’t lie to you, it probably does. But it doesn’t matter. Anyone who looks down at people who aren’t as practiced as you yet aren’t worth your time. Because we were all beginners. Most of us still are, really. Just keep pushing the boundaries of what you can do until they grow. And then push harder. That’s what I’m doing.

4

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual Panromantic. I’m seriously mulling over my romantic identity right now, so I’m not sure about being pan, which I think is okay, but I’m confident in my sexuality.

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

Really no one in real life that I’ve worked with that are in the LGBT community has treated me any different than they would treat a gay man, or a lesbian, which is to say I’ve been treated really well offline. My works are, for better or worse, not really well known online, which I don’t really mind that much. It means I haven’t had anyone here really target me for my identity, though from other cases I’m well aware how nasty people can be when they can be anonymous. I’m trying to keep my hopes high that I’ll be able to make it in the art and writing world without too much backlash right now. I think as long as I keep thick skin, I should be able to do it.

5

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

Really that we’re all one flavor. People really don’t seem to realize how a diverse of a group we are. Aces come from all walks of life, and we have all kinds of identities. I’m a trans man that lives in the suburban south, but I’m far from the only ace experience. It’s cool. Aces are a cool group of a lot of people, and I really like it. I wish more people thought about that before talking about us the way they do.

6

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

Really, whether or not you’re Ace is something only you can discover. But if you stay away from people who will try and influence you and just explore your identity, it can help you get into touch with how you feel about people. Don’t let people tell you who you are; only you get a say in that.

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

My writing is over at Sarkshine on Wattpad, and my artwork can be found at sarkiesark and at fantrolbs as well as Sarkshine on DA.

7

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

Interview: EpicRosalina

Today we’re joined by EpicRosalina. EpicRosalina is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. While she mostly does digital art, she also dabbles in traditional art, using mostly alcohol markers. Her style draws its inspiration from anime. EpicRosalina mostly draws her own original characters (she also dabbles in writing), but has drawn her friends’ characters on occasion. It’s clear she’s a very passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Aki Lumi
Aki Lumi

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work with digital and traditional art but I much prefer digital over traditional. When working with traditional art, I use alcohol markers. I work using an anime style as it’s what I’m most comfortable with. I mainly draw my own characters however I sometimes also draw some characters belonging to a friend of mine. I’m trying to get back into writing by starting a new book soon.

What inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from my characters’ personality and backstories. Some have pretty messed up pasts. I turn those moments into illustrations which is fun since I get to experiment with different poses and backgrounds. Other times, inspiration just comes out of nowhere. Some doodles that I do get turned into illustrations.

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

I would casually draw starting from the age of 11 mainly because of a close friend of mine who is skilled with her art. I aspired to be as good as her and so I started taking art more seriously. It was around that time when I discovered anime and so I also took inspiration from that sort of art style. I only wanted to really be an artist when I saw that my art was improving and had people complementing it.

Aki Suki
Aki Suki

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 have anything special that I try to include in my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t think that to be an artist, you must be “Born with artistic talent.” I wasn’t talented at all but I kept practicing and practicing till I reached a point where I could say “I made this and I’m proud of this.” Use whatever you need whether it’s references or models. Do whatever you need to keep you motivated and constantly finding ways to improve.

Luna's breakdown final
Luna’s Breakdown

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual Demiromantic though I do find myself questioning it sometimes

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

I have encountered some ignorance. I have been told that I just need to find the right person and I don’t belong in the LGBTQ+ community but I try my best to ignore it my surrounding myself with people who support me.

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

People who confuse Asexual with Aromantic. I’ve encountered people who think that just because I’m Asexual, it means I don’t want to be in a relationship however it’s quite the opposite. I’m fine with being in a relationship however I don’t want to have any sexual relationships

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

If you’re struggling then give it some time. Some people figure out their orientation much sooner than others but that’s ok. If you need to experiment to find out what you identify as then go ahead. Don’t think that you have to abide by a label.

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

You can find my art on my DeviantArt, Instagram, and sometimes my Tumblr at EpicRosalina. My upcoming story will be posted on my Wattpad which is also EpicRosalina.

Luna LN Final
Luna LN

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

Interview: Ale

Today we’re joined by Ale, who also goes by Silveranchor online. Ale is a phenomenal illustrator who specializes in traditional mediums. She mostly does fanart and portraits. Ale’s work is bright and remarkably detailed, showing an artist with an amazing eye, as you’ll soon see. It’s clear she has an incredibly bright future ahead of her and is definitely an artist to watch. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. The Sun Summoner Alina Starkov from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
The Sun Summoner: Alina Starkov from “The Grisha Trilogy” by Leigh Bardugo

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an aspiring illustrator. I do traditional art, mostly fanart and portraits. I draw characters from books and some TV series. I work with graphite, coloring pencils and I’ve recently started trying with watercolors.

I also dabble a bit in writing and singing, but they’re not my main focus.

What inspires you?

Apart from books, people. I find inspiration in faces, bodies, features, and clothing. I love looking at different people around me and think about how I would draw their noses or their hair.

4. alestyle
Ale Style

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

When I first started getting into fantasy books, I spent a lot of time looking for fanart and I always felt moved by it. That made me want to do fanart of my own and that’s how I discovered that I liked drawing. It took a while for me to start doing original art and even more for me to realize that I wanted to pursue a career in illustration. I’ve only recently started looking into art schools, but I’m excited about the future.

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 still trying out new things and finding my style, so the only things my pieces have in common are that they’re all of people and they have my actual signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To never give up or stop trying. Artistic talent is something you develop over time, so never feel discouraged if a piece doesn’t turn out exactly how you wanted. Getting better requires practice, so never stop creating.

3. Isobel masquerade
Isobel in her masquerade gown from “An Enchantment of Ravens” by Margaret Rogerson

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual. I’m pretty sure I’m on the aromantic spectrum, but I’m not 100% positive where do I fit, so I label myself as aro flux.

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

Not really. I’ve found that other artists are more open minded and accepting than most other people.

5. Karol Sevilla
Karol Sevilla

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

Probably that it isn’t an actual orientation. Most people think asexuals are just confused or repressed, or maybe even traumatized.

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

To love themselves and take it easy. Figuring yourself out is a process and it comes with time. I took a long while to figure out I was asexual and an even longer time being comfortable with labeling myself. It’s okay if you’re not there yet, a long as you feel good with yourself.

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

I post my pieces on my Tumblr and Instagram.
http://silveranchor.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art
https://www.instagram.com/silver_anchor4/

Also, some of my older work is in my DeviantArt
https://thatrockingfangirl.deviantart.com/.

2. A Butterfly on the Nose
A Butterfly on the Nose

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

Interview: Rosa

Today we’re joined by Rosa. Rosa is a fantastic visual artist and fanartist. She mostly does digital art and enjoys drawing her interpretations of characters from fandoms she follows. When she’s not drawing, Rosa enjoys writing fanfiction and has recently gotten into costume making. She also dabbles in cosplay. It’s clear that Rosa is a talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. Fallen
Fallen

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

The majority of my art is fanwork; I get great enjoyment out of creating content for my favourite series and getting to explore how I depict the characters and events in them! I do mostly digital art, though I also love writing fanfiction. I do cosplay on the side as well! I’m still learning with that, but costume-making is an absolute blast to me and I look forward to seeing how my skills with it will grow.

What inspires you?

This has always been a really hard question for me! My inspirations always seem to either be very nebulous or very, very obvious. “What inspires you?” This videogame/book/movie inspires me because I like it! Because I like it, I want to create things with it. The interest in a particular series creates the inspiration to work with it, for me.

I do have some specific inspirations, mostly from nature. Certain environments – huge mountainscapes, the open ocean – always light up my imagination.

The idea that I can create content that others will enjoy or relate to is always a good one. Whenever I make something, I’m often thinking “I wonder what everyone will make of this. I wonder what their favourite parts will be”.

2. Moonstruck Blossom
Moonstruck Blossom

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

I’ve been drawing since before I could remember! I still have sketchbooks from back when I was four. It’s always been a pursuit I’ve loved dearly, but I’d have to say that one of the very first things that got me into it was my active imagination. As a kid I was coming up with new creatures and mythologies almost on the daily, and drawing was the easiest way for me to manifest them. I’ve always wanted to be an artist, yes – but not necessarily a visual artist! My earliest passion was to be an author, and I still consider that my primary “thing”. (Even if I’m the world’s slowest writer…)

3. Nebula
Nebula

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

I have a lot of creator’s thumbprints in my designs – I’m not necessarily aware of them all until someone comes up to me and says “as soon as I saw that, I could totally tell it was yours”! That said, I haven’t actually had a specific symbol or signature for a very long time. Back when I did, it was a stylised eye. I absolutely love the image of piercing, staring eyes still, so it’s definitely stuck with me!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I hate to give the cop-out answer, but listen: you gotta practice! Everyone knows that though, so I’ll tell you some things I wish I’d learnt earlier.

You really are your own worst critic. I’ll look at a feature on my art – a hand, a shading technique, whatever – and look at someone else’s art where it was drawn exactly the same, and I will still think that my version of it looks worse. Sometimes the best thing you can do is pass your work to someone else and say, “hey, this thing here, how does it look?” You’ll be surprised how often the problem is only in your head. Taking breaks from a piece is great for that; if you’re running up against a wall with something, I can guarantee you that trying to bruteforce it will just exhaust you and make you hate that piece. Step back, do something else, let yourself forget about it for a while.

References are your friend and they will help you mightily. Never be afraid to use them – that’s why they exist! And believe me, there’s a reference for everything. It’s wonderful. Go nuts with it.

4a. She Who Holds the Stars [resized]
She Who Holds the Stars

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aroace.

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

In my field specifically? Thankfully, no, not really. It has almost never come up regarding my art, but sadly, I’ve encountered all sorts of prejudice in other areas of my life. Admittedly, I haven’t really intertwined my orientation with my art until very recently, so I don’t have the most experience.

When it does come up, I tend to just block and move on, or if I feel that the person involved might be receptive to a discussion, I try to engage them. Thanks to my personal experiences and the recent environment around asexuality and aromanticism, I’ve become very scared and cautious about even getting into it. If I even suspect that someone might have something bad to say about us, I tend to shut off to them entirely.

5. Teeny Tiny Master
Teeny Tiny Master

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

Offline, people making the absolute conflation that sex = love/romance. Almost every single person I’ve ever tried to explain asexuality to immediately gets stuck on the snag of “but if you don’t have sex does that mean you don’t love anyone?” It’s baffling and incredibly frustrating. Sometimes it goes as far as the person assuming that a lack of sexual attraction makes me some kind of cold emotionless freak. Just because I don’t do the do doesn’t mean I lack the capacity for warmth, genius.

I encounter lots of misconceptions about asexuality in general. Visibility and resources about it are so low that people genuinely don’t know anything. Even my other LGBTQ+ friends sometimes struggle to come to grips with it. Oftentimes people default to thinking it’s a choice and equate it with abstinence or celibacy.

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

Don’t ever feel ashamed to question yourself and explore what everything means to you. Asexuality can be hard to recognise in yourself – especially if you’re surrounded by media and things telling you that sex is the bomb-diggety. Take your time with it.

Being asexual doesn’t mean you’re “frigid”, “evil”, or “just haven’t tried it”. Anyone who says so is ignorant at best and malicious at worst. Ignore them. You know yourself best.

Just as importantly: please don’t feel ashamed if you find out that you’re not asexual. Identity is a journey and making a few missteps on the way doesn’t render your or your current identity wrong!

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

I’m an awfully disorganised person, so my “portfolio” – as it were – is all over the web! One day I’ll collate it all in a single place, I promise.

The best place to start would be my deviantART, where I post the more finished pieces: https://electrosa.deviantart.com/

I also post on Tumblr! I have a few blogs where I post the rest of my art, which includes all the more “casual” and scribbly things that I don’t port over to my dA. Here they are: http://electrosa-rs.tumblr.com/tagged/my+art and http://queensectonia.tumblr.com/tagged/my+art.

6. Butterflies and Roses
Butterflies and Roses

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

Interview: Liv

Today we’re joined by Liv. Liv is a fantastic visual artist who specializes in illustration and character design. She draws in a variety of styles and illustrates various subjects. Her work is amazing in its attention to detail and color. She’s a remarkably talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

dragon scene
Dragon Scene

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My work is mainly illustrations. I do a lot of character designs, backgrounds … story boards ‘n such. I like working in pastel shades and bright colors, but I also like making more low-key stuff. Dark blues … greens … Color and design are usually the main focus in my work, even if I’m drawing portraits I try to pay very close attention to color. I don’t know though; my stuff is pretty varied. I make a lot of different types of art. I make semi-realistic work, characters, portraits, landscapes, buildings … I do whatever I can to improve myself as an artist.

What inspires you?

Music. For sure music. I need to right song before I start. The usual music consists of James Blake, Joji, Tyler the Creator … A lot of low key music. Oh! I also love Tame Impala. I’m also inspired by studio Ghibli movies and other artists. Other artists online really push my work to be better.

pointilism portrait
Pointilism Portrait

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

My mom gave me this fairytale book when I was six. It had her doodles in it when she was my age, and I was really taken by them. (They weren’t great, they were made by six-year-old mom) but at the time it was crazy to me that anyone could just … make stuff. I passively drew for a few more years, then got really serious about it when I was 12.

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?

Umm haha I have one thing. I don’t sign my work very often, (which I should do) but when I do, I make it look like a rose. I noticed my initials naturally made this curve that looked like a flower, so I added a little flare for the stem.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I have a few things actually. I’ll bullet them so they’re easier to read.

  • Don’t immediately shut down advice. It can feel like people are attacking your work, your baby, but they aren’t trying to. It helps to hear them out. (if they are trying to put it down though just remember it isn’t about you, it’s about that person trying to be entertaining or whatever) You will get critiques, some harsher than others, always remember that it isn’t meant to be personal.
  • Don’t immediately accept it either. Trust your gut. If someone suggests something, and your first instinct is “that’s a terrible idea” then maybe listen to
  • Don’t be so hard on yourself. I know it’s difficult, but sometimes it’s best to try to ignore that small voice in your head that constantly puts you down. Analyze your work, learn from it. But do not put it down too much.
  • Let yourself make bad art. It’s still practice!! Even if you don’t like it, you’re using those low moments to improve! And that’s always good. Even if you hate making it the whole time because you hate the piece so much, just finish it and learn from it. It helps, I swear.
  • Take time to do things you enjoy. Sometimes you need a break from art. DO NOT feel guilty for needing a break. Drink some water, play a videogame. You’ve earned it.
  • Don’t let anyone say you can’t make a job out of it. Not even your family. I mean there’s a huge industry for the arts, if you care enough and are dedicated to it, you can make a job out of it. Even if your friends or family say you can’t.
portrait
Portrait

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I don’t feel any sexual attraction to any gender. So, I guess just asexual.

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

I’ve only come out to my friends, who are all “SJWs” haha. They’ve been super accepting. I did, however, come out to someone I was interested in. They replied with “then how do you know you like me? Like more than friends?” the question was annoying in my opinion, but I knew it was just his insecurities speaking and not really him. Well… I would mean that if he hadn’t led me on then dated one of my best friends behind my back. I haven’t experienced anything other than that. Almost everyone in my school is pretty cool with that stuff. I just haven’t come out yet because I don’t think it’s that big of a deal. If people wanna know I’ll tell ‘em, but I don’t think advertising it is very… me.

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

Biggest one I’ve encountered is media portraying asexuals as cold, psychopaths. People seem to go along with that portrayal.  That’s why it’s nice seeing characters like Todd from Bojack Horseman. It’s great to see a funny, generous, insightful person in a TV show be asexual.

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

Lay low. It’s OK. I swear you’ll get through it. Take some time to figure your crap out… Just slow down a little. Remember you aren’t alone, and take some time to yourself to relax and think over things. Thinking does wonders sometimes.

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

I have an art Instagram account called “living.in.yellow” I post a lot of my work there, though the posting gets pretty infrequent every now and then.

priness mononoke
Princess Mononoke

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

Interview: Amy

Today we’re joined by Amy. Amy is a wonderful visual artist who does digital painting and is also a cartoonist. She mostly draws people and characters. Amy enjoys art that tells a story. Her work is absolutely beautiful, filled with vibrant colors and expressive faces. She’s clearly an incredibly talented artist with an amazing eye, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoonist and digital painter interested especially in figural works — characters and people. I like paintings which tell a story, or maybe just hint at one; the sort of thing that might become someone’s character inspiration. When I’m doing relaxing doodles in my sketchbook, it’s usually faces making a variety of expressions.

What inspires you?

Colour and light; humans. I love the visceral reaction to a painting which uses colour and light boldly. I am also a habitual people-watcher and am inspired by the people I see every day. As an artist, I have a habit of seeing beauty and interest in everyone. I’m not great yet at capturing that, but it’s an inspiration for sure!

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

I’ve always liked drawing, but when I was around 15 years old I decided to get serious and start really practicing and investigating. The internet especially helped me with my art — all of my early favourite artists were people sharing their work online, like Vera Brosgol and Emily Carroll.

I went to university for Fine Arts, and realized after I got my degree that I was happier doing art as a hobby than as my every day job. I’m an extrovert, and after a short stint working from home doing backgrounds for animation, I realized that almost all art jobs are solitary and would drive me totally batty if I did them as a career. It’s hard balancing art with working full time, but I’m working on learning how.

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 necessarily hide a lot of symbolism in my art, but if I look at all my paintings side by side I realize that I very much have a palette that I like to work in: pinks and teals. There’s just something about the contrast between pink/coral/peach and teal/blue/robin’s egg that appeals to me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Look at everything and practice everything! Remember that what you put into your head influences what comes back out, so seeking more diverse stuff to look at and enjoy will help your art grow and expand. Then draw, draw, draw. When I was learning to draw hands I filled pages and pages and pages with sketches of hands while sitting in front of the TV; now I’m confident in drawing hands and enjoy including them in my work. Not every piece has to be final: go ahead and just try stuff out and see what happens.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a bi-romantic or pan-romantic ace. I usually use bi since it’s easier for people to understand, but I’m romantically attracted to men, women, and non-binary or genderqueer people.

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

I’m not extremely vocal about being ace in my field IRL as I have dealt with a lot of general ignorance and prejudice already. I’m much more open about my sexuality online, though, because I know that seeing other ace people has helped me and I want to pass that on when I feel able to. Over time, I hope to become more vocal about it in real life so that I can help people that way too.

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

That it “doesn’t exist” or I “don’t know what I’m missing out on”. Both are really frustrating to encounter! Everyone seems to think they know better than me about my sexuality and attraction and want to tell me how I should feel or identify. I’m doing my best to tune them out.

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

I first realized that I was ace when I was around 20; I didn’t actually accept it and start identifying as ace until I was around 30. It’s hard to be a part of an orientation that people either completely don’t know about or think isn’t real. It’s also hard to fit into a world that thinks sex is the be-all end-all when it just isn’t a priority or interest. I guess my advice would be: it’s okay to struggle; that doesn’t make you any less valid as an asexual person. And it’s okay, too, to decide that you’re done struggling and you’re happy being you regardless of what society thinks! I think it’s a process getting from the first to the second, and we’re all working our way along it; give yourself time.

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

I have a blog where I post my art — I’m not the most active poster, but I’ve got a good long archive of simple sketches, pen and ink work, and full paintings. You can check me out at amy-draws.tumblr.com.

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