Interview: Freya Murphy

Today we’re joined by Freya Murphy. Freya is a phenomenal dancer from England who does ballet with a bit of contemporary thrown in. She has been dancing ballet for fifteen years. When she’s not dancing, Freya enjoys doing visual art and has worked in a wide variety of mediums. She mainly does charcoal drawings, oil paints, sewing, and ink painting but has also recently gotten into nail art. It’s clear she’s an extraordinarily passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mainly twofold: dance and the more traditional art of creating physical pieces.  When it comes to dance, I’m mainly a ballerina with a little bit of contemporary added in here and there.  My physical art is a mixture of all sorts – charcoal drawings from Life Class, clay sculptures, ink paintings, and some sewing.  My main and most favourite medium however is oil paint.  Oh, and I love doing my nails – I’ve done the ace flag on my nails several times whenever I’m attending LGBTQ+ events.

What inspires you?

Mainly my problems or difficulties in life haha.  I find it so much easier to create based upon my own personal experiences, as I find it more interesting and like it’s my own. So far, I’ve done projects on insecurities (more as a concept than any one specific insecurity), my eczema, my less than usual sleeping position (and my lack of sleep), and my bad eyesight. Seeing all of the amazing art that other artists have created and seeing what new and exciting directions that they have managed to push their art, certainly inspires me to try ideas even if I’m not certain of the results.

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

When it comes to ballet, I’ve been doing it for just over 15 years, since I was three years old.  Over time, I’ve come to realise that it helps me with my social anxiety – I can perform in front of anywhere from 3 people to 400, and I only get the normal nerves, rather than the crippling anxiety I would normally get doing anything in front of any number of people.  I also just love the beauty of ballet, and the free feeling I get when dancing.  It has become such an intrinsic part of me.

For my physical art, I have taken it throughout school, all the way to A-level.  It was only at GCSE that I realised I had such a love for it, as that was when we were given so much more freedom to do what we wanted and make it very personal. However, looking back, I’ve always been creative in some way, and I have a very vivid imagination – often too vivid! I’ve also loved museums for as long as I can remember, always needing to visit at least one museum whenever I went to a new place.  In the past four years or so this has expanded to include art museums and galleries as well.

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 so far, as I’ve just started to explore all the many possibilities of art that are out there, when you’re not restricted by trying to get the most marks in the exam!  I’m excited to find out where it goes next.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Experiment! Try things out! Art is one of those special places where you can try whatever you want, just to see what happens! Also, write down any ideas you have, or anything you find interesting.  In school we were given ‘visual diaries’ to write down anything relating to our art.  I have found it massively helpful, sometimes to just visualise your ideas, or sometimes to come back to when you’re struggling for an idea, or just to be nostalgic. I write everything in it, from the numbers of photos I want to print out, to artists I want to research or just like, to sketches of final pieces or about what materials or techniques did or didn’t work.  When your brain is always going 1000mph like mine and many others’ are, it helps to have something written down that you can physically flip back to, so that you don’t have to stress about forgetting it.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a biromantic asexual.  I’ve identified as asexual for the past three or four years, but only just discovered about myself that I was biromantic in the past two or three months, so that part of me still feels very new to say and acknowledge.

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

I’ve never experienced any when it comes to my art, thankfully, but then again, my work has never involved my asexuality – maybe that could be what my next project is about…

In my personal life I’ve experienced more ignorance than prejudice.  Most people tend to be accepting once they understand it, but it takes some people a while to wrap their heads around the idea for some strange reason.  Luckily close friends who don’t understand it have been accepting straight away, even when confused!  And I encourage them to not be afraid to ask me questions about it, as I always love to help people in any way – and I’d rather they asked me, than sat there confused and accidentally said something rude or ignorant to someone else.

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

That we don’t want romance, or that a romantic relationship with me would be ‘boring’ (direct quote from a close friend).  Not all asexual people are aromantic, just as not all aromantic people are asexual.  Actually, a lot of people don’t realise that your romantic and sexual orientation can be different, and not just amongst aro/aces.  I should hope that a relationship with me isn’t boring (my boyfriend seems perfectly happy!), or if it is, then it’s due to my personality or something, and not my asexuality.

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

I’m still relatively new to discovering my asexuality, so I don’t have any major advice, but probably never let anybody tell you who you are, or that who you are is wrong.  Only you truly know who you are, better than anybody else, even if you’re still figuring it out.  They can help you on your journey by providing advice and support, but at the end of the day it’s yourself that you’re figuring out.  Oh, and don’t be afraid to try out different labels to work out which one fits you best – AND you don’t have to end up with any labels at all, if that’s what feels right to you! I went through a period of about half a year where I tried out different labels internally to figure what felt right, from homosexual to bisexual to demi sexual, to homoromantic to heteroromantic before I finally settled on biromantic asexual, and that might even change in 10 years’ time once I get to know myself even better than I do now!  It’s also fine if it takes you time to figure out who you are, as it can be a complex thing – we are all complicated simply by being human!

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

Well I’ve just set up a new Tumblr blog for my art and ace things (along with newbie witch things and the occasional jacksepticeye reblog) where I’m going to start posting my art in the next week or so. It’s called freya-the-ace-artist.

My art account on Instagram is also very very new, but it’s called freyas_ace_art.

You’re welcome to have a look, it would be greatly appreciated

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

Interview: Kayla Rose

Today we’re joined by Kayla Rose. Kayla is a phenomenal young visual artist who specializes in a variety of mediums. They mostly use graphite and colored pencils, but have recently gotten into charcoal drawing and they also paint. While they mostly do visual art, Kayla also writes and sometimes dances. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw, mostly using graphite and colored pencils, but I’ve recently started using charcoal as well. I paint as a therapy activity. I have dabbled in clay sculptures, found-object sculptures, foam carving, and ceramic tiles. And I write whenever I have brain power left over. My style is still in flux and I have varying subject matter.

What inspires you?

I tend to take inspiration from a lot of things: life, death, depression, my own experiences, and things I find beautiful or haunting.

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

For as long as I can remember I have been drawing in notebooks and copying pages from coloring books, but about four years ago I started working in theatre and it has helped fuel my desire for skill in as many forms of art as I can manage.

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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?

Right now I don’t have any trademark or signature, though I am trying to come up with one centered around a rosebud.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Since I fit in that category myself, I don’t feel super qualified to say anything, but I would want to remind artists to chase what they are passionate about and fight through all the blocks because you will come out better than before.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a Pan-romantic Asexual, and I fluctuate between sex-neutral and sex-repulsed.

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

I’m in the arts and most people around me are very open-minded and welcoming of any and all, so I can’t say that I’ve run into much prejudice, but there is a lot of ignorance about it. There are people that I’ve had a hard time convincing that Asexuality is real, and it’s vastly unrepresented so I often feel lonely. But I try to keep my chin up and live my own life regardless of other’s point of view.

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

That none of us have any interest in sex whatsoever, or that discussion of sex will make us very uncomfortable.

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

You are valid, you are not broken. No matter what the masses or media try to force on you, believe in yourself and don’t let the haters get you down.

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

I post pictures of my work on Instagram as moonstruckmernerd and my blog at http://thewordsmithysshop.blogspot.com/.

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

Interview: DarkNerd

Today we’re joined by DarkNerd. DarkNerd is an awesome visual artist who works mostly in clay sculpture. Recently he has begun to dabble in sprite art and has done work in traditional media. DarkNerd is also an enthusiastic fanartist. His work has a very unique style and it’s very clear he has a great eye for detail. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

AC Gala Friga
AC Gala Friga

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I currently mostly do custom figures with Super Sculpey right now, along with sprites. I’ve been working with clay for around 3 years by now and spriting for around 8 years on and off. I also do traditional drawing and have very recently set my foot in the digital art realm. I mostly just throw stuff around and if something’s working, I stick to it for as long I feel good doing so. I have a really hard time coming up with original ideas I don’t plan on expanding into copyright stuff at some point, so most of the work I do post tends to be fanart, if not all. I have tried painting but I am not exactly the best at that. Though my working on figures is helping that a lot. While I don’t plan on getting a career in art, I do plan on making at least one toy that ends up in a physical store.

Fuchsia Amiibo
Fuchsia Amiibo

What inspires you?

Horrible/brilliant concepts tend to give me the most inspiration, along with a few games from my childhood and current life. This is pretty much a broader way of saying most of my art is inspired by the Gingerdead Man, Hamtaro, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon. I do look at a lot of artists, but most of them don’t have direct influence on my art style, the only ones I can really think of are a few of my old friends from a Pokémon forum I still hang out on. I did of course have an anime/manga phase, mostly inspired by Pokémon though. In terms of figures, Kaizahr from YouTube is my biggest inspiration, though Giovy’s Hobby, Cristhian Crafts, Nerdy Crafter, AkameruKawaii and a lot more channels, probably too many to list off.

Ham Collection vert
Ham Collection

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

The first figure I can remember doing is a Squirtle I made using Model Magic with Kaizahr’s tutorial. It started off as just me trying something new and kinda liking it. I then realized most of my fandoms didn’t really have accessible merch in the form of figures. So I figured, hey, if no one’s doing anything with this, I might as well. I always wanted to be an artist, but not as my primary career. Way too many people told me how bad of an idea that would be so I eventually developed a different goal for my job. Still doing art though and don’t plan on stopping.

GDC Fig
GDC Fig

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?

Nope. I have experimented with that a lot, though. I even had a logo for quite a few years. I stuck with that for a while, up until late high school, where I figured it wasn’t really that good. I did recently experiment with it again, using the head of my ACHHD character. I did not like it. Might bring it back soon, once I fix it up.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever you do, keep doing it. Drawing? Keep drawing, even if it is tracing, redrawing, using how-to-draw books about specific characters, just draw. Sculpting? Sculpt, whatever you feel like, abstract shapes, YouTube tutorials, etc. Paint? Keep painting, landscapes, figures, 3D figures, etc. Paint. Don’t enjoy doing something even after giving it a try for several months? Try something. Write a bunch of art forms on pieces of paper, put them in a box, shake it, and pull something out. Do that. Like literally, do that. I did. A box with pieces of paper, the perfect decision maker!

Howdys and Papyxter Pacifist
Howdys and Papyxter Pacifist

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

On the ace spectrum, definitely sex repulsed. Not even a fan of the internet’s primary resource. No, I am indeed a sex repulsed ace, never putting that auxiliary organ to use. That said, I have the mouth of a sailor and the mind of a miner. Which is to say my thoughts and words are very dirty and inappropriate. As for my romantic orientation, I’m not sure. Never been in a relationship and currently too busy to get into one right now. I have thought about it, but I have no idea how I’d actually feel in one. For now though, I’m Aro-Ace.

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

I haven’t really spoken to many people outside of friends about my asexuality, but on my campus I did at one bring it up because I was asked and got the typically, “People can’t be ace, you just need to try it!” response. I have never mentioned it ever again. I do however deal with a lot of people who just assume every single human being is anything but asexual.

Jax-O-Bomber S 1
Jax-O-Bomber

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

That we don’t exist. In truth, we do. I personally hang out with Elvis who is still totally alive. I’m also on a first name basis with Gregg, otherwise known as the Sasquatch. But seriously, those are myths people. Asexual people are not myths. We’re people. There are people who see people and do not think about sex. Sex is not the great motivator. People need to stop acting like it is.

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

If you can, ignore it. But I know there’s a lot of people who simply can’t and that’s okay. If you can, try to avoid those people who question who you are. If you can’t do either, you’re not alone. It’s okay. There’s plenty of us, feel free to talk to any of us. I will personally do all I can to help anyone who asks for my help. It doesn’t matter how small or how big whatever it is you need help with is. Sometimes a simple gesture of someone offering help is all you need. Sometimes what you need is someone to help you with the thing. I, and many others, will gladly help you. Even if it’s not directly, even if it’s just moral support, even if it’s just someone to help you deal with not accomplishing something, people can and will help you.

RooneyxChaz
Rooney x Chaz

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

You can check up my art blog, Captain-Waynes-Ship or my main blog, DarkNerd-Crossing. If you have any questions, I’m pretty open about my art, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I will answer it as best as I can.

Zangrief Finished solo
Zangrief

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