Interview: Matthew Maione

Today we’re joined by Matthew Maione. Matthew is a phenomenal visual artist who also writes and creates fanart. He enjoys drawing faces and also does quite a lot of fanart. When he’s not creating visual art, Matthew enjoys writing and writes both fanfiction and original work. He’s particularly fond of historical fiction and crime suspense. It’s clear he’s an incredibly dedicated artist who loves to create as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. bg3

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a virtual artist and creative writer. I enjoy drawing faces and fanart.  I like playing with colour and texture a lot. I write almost entirely fanfiction and fiction. Historical fiction and Crime Suspense novels are some of my favourite to write.

What inspires you?

Music is a huge inspiration in my life, it can get me in certain moods that are perfect for writing. My fiancé often inspires me with the little things she does, dances around the house that make me want to write romance. Nature gives me a breath of life, revitalizes me and makes me want to draw.

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

It was actually my older sister, she is a cosplay and traditional artist. She is 5 years older than me and I, being a younger sibling, was jealous and decided I needed to be better than her. Now I do it because I love it, of course.

2. korok

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 used to but since I lost most of my sight I’ve just been trying to re-explore what my art is. Playing with styles and shading to recreate it so I can still actually create, I used to sign my older works.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up! Make your weaknesses your strengths! There is no reason why you can’t pursue art if it’s what you love. Always do what makes you happiest, not what others want you to do.

3. yeet2

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Grey-ace. I don’t really experience sexual attraction, but if I have a strong romantic connection with someone I am able to connect with them in that way as well. But it’s more of a, I do it because I love them and want to make them happy. Not to say that is the only way to do so, there are many ways to connect with your partners and sex is never a mandatory part of a relationship, but it can enhance your romantic connection. Simply put, while I don’t experience sexual attraction, for me, being intimate occasionally makes me feel emotionally closer.

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

I haven’t really in my field. It’s not something that just casually comes up in conversation but those I have told have all been very understanding. A few people I told were even comfortable enough with me after the fact that they were able to come out to me as well. In my daily life a few people have said that it’s because I hadn’t met the right person, or claimed they could fix me, very common things to run into. I mostly just ignore this and do my best to stay safe.

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

That I’ll never be able to have a permanent partner or that it’s a phase. I have a fiancé who has no problems with it, we have been together for two years. She is always very understanding if I’m having a repulsed day, because there are good and bad days. Some days I’m totally okay with the idea of sex and others I can’t stand to watch movies with implied scenes in them. But if you’re worried about finding someone who will love you, of course you will. There’s somebody for everyone.

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

Being asexual, while it is a way to identify, does not define you. If the thought of it is new or uncomfortable, it’s just another part of wat makes you, you. It’s not something to be ashamed of or hide, there are so many people out there who will accept you for exactly who you are.

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

My Tumblr is Naoki-arts, I have AO3, Ammarettu. I’m currently working on getting my first novel published so any news on that will be found there as well!

4. symcolour

Thank you, Matthew, 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: Mick Greene

Today we’re joined by Mick Greene, who also goes by fiyhi.  Mick is an amazingly talented visual artist who works mostly in digital mediums.  They have a unique style and their work is stunning to look at.  The expression on the faces is absolutely remarkable.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

cfggfh

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

If I had to describe it, I’d say it’s a big mish-mash of colours, textures, and wacky expressions. I tend to exaggerate features and use a lot of different ways to highlight different characters like coloured noses, cheeks, fingers, and elbows/knees. Big curly hair is always fun. And of course a lot of anime sparkles. Sometimes there’s big bold lines, sometimes none, sometimes it’s coloured, sometimes black and white. People tell me they can tell it was me who made the art, that they can “see” me in it, but I certainly hope I don’t literally look like the characters, haha. I almost always work digitally with an intuos tablet and photoshop but I try to keep a painterly style when I can.

What inspires you?

My art has evolved so much throughout the years. It started off as a horrible lovechild of Johnen Vasquez meets Tim Burton. Then I went through my Homestuck phase (a four year long phase) and imitated popular fanartists. When I started drawing from life, I realized that I didn’t need to take directly from other artists to be a good one, I just needed to look at the world around me and try to inspire myself! I really love stuff with bright colours like flowers and succulents, and underwater things are also a huge inspiration. The one thing that’s never changed from the beginning is how much space inspires me (which is why my upcoming webcomic is set there!). I still take inspiration from other artists I love like Magnolia Porter, Michelle Czajkowski, Shelby Cragg, and Maya Kern to name a few.

dfsgdsf

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

Well, when I was really little I was convinced I was going to be a marine biologist (I thought dolphins were aliens and thought if I could just get close enough they would adopt me and take me to space). As I grew up, though, I realized that making art was something I really enjoyed and I just . . . kept doing it. I hope I’ll be doing it for a long time.

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

I like to use a lot of star shapes in my art when I can fit them in and include varying little easter eggs for people to find. If you’re talking more along the lines of illuminati/conspiracy theory stuff then [RE҉DA̢C͢T̨E͘D]͏.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Oh gosh where do I begin . . . I’d say the most important thing is, if you really want to be an artist, if you know that’s what you want to do, then you can’t give up. You may hate your art and everything you do, other people may seem way better than you, but you can’t stop trying. You have to be like a steam train. As far as style goes, you can’t compare yourself to others at all. If you learn from studying life, your style will emerge on its own. It may take time but it will happen. And another good tip: try your best to thrive off negative critique. Let it inspire you to work harder, keep trying, and achieve your goals, rather than bring you down. It isn’t something everyone can do, but it will help you a lot in the art world if you can manage. Overall: learn from life, don’t let negativity knock you down, and keep trying!

ffgnfdgdfg

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I consider myself grey asexual and panromantic. It took me most of my life to figure out why other people seemed so focused on sexual attraction while I felt like it just wasn’t a big deal in my life. I’m glad I found a word for it, and that the info is out there for other people to find too.

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

I’m lucky to never have experienced any kind of ace-specific prejudice in my field or otherwise, mostly because it’s not usually something I talk about on Tumblr, let alone in real life. Most people find it “too complicated” so I just stopped trying to explain. Personally I’m comfortable enough to do this, but I feel like a change is really needed. People need to take the education on themselves instead of relying on others to do it for them. Remember: knowledge is power!

gdrhdj

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

There’s a mile long list… People think you’re incapable of love, that you’re some kind of cold unfeeling robot (or b*tch especially if you’re dfab), that you reproduce like plants, or that you’re straight up a mean person because of your asexuality. This frustrates me beyond belief, especially considering what a simple concept it is!

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

You are valid. You are needed. You are loved. People may be confused, disgusted, or even hateful of you because of your asexuality. People may try to “convince” you, change you, tell you that you’re “too good looking to be ace” or that you’re wasting something by not wanting sex. You will come out of this struggle and be happy with yourself one day. You will find people who accept you and love you wholeheartedly. I love you and I don’t even know you! Everything will be ok. ❤

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

You can check out my art blog or my art tag on my personal blog!

tumblrportait

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