Interview: S.R. Hunt

Today we’re joined by S.R. Hunt. S.R. is a phenomenal fanartist who creates art for a variety of fandoms. She specializes in hand-drawn sketches and animatics, which I highly recommend visiting her blog to check out because they’re really cool (some examples: Guns and Ships, Farmer Refuted, Coco animatic, Coco animatic 2, It’s Quiet Uptown). Her work is brimming with color and an extraordinary amount of detail. It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented 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.

I’m a fan artist, mostly. I create hand-drawn sketches, comics, animatics, and occasionally I dabble in photography and cosplay. I strive to improve my craft every time I get inspired by a different piece of medium, often times stepping outside my comfort zone just to get better (I mean, how can you get better if you don’t step outside your safe, artist bubble?).

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What inspires you?

Tons of things! Most recently, I’ve created fan art for Pixar’s Coco, Hamilton, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and the occasional Pokemon drawing. But if I had to pinpoint a specific inspiration, I’d have to say the animated works of Disney and Pixar. I grew up with those movies, I was born a hop, skip, and a jump away from Disneyland, and Finding Nemo was the first movie I saw in theaters. When I was 15, I sent a letter to Pixar, telling them that I wanted to work there when I grew up, and they actually replied back! They sent me a letter telling me to become an intern when I reached college, and they included an autographed photo of Finding Nemo signed by the film’s director, Andrew Stanton, and the film’s producer, John Lasseter! I carried that letter with me every day for the rest of my high school career as a reminder of what I want to do with my life; create something that moves people. So, I draw, I create storyboards and comics, and I try to improve so that one day I can walk into that building and create something that’ll inspire and move millions of people.

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

I started drawing in elementary school. Just simple comics drawn on notebook paper starring Pokemon and Neopets. I was never much of a writer (I’m still not), but it gave me something to do when no one wanted to talk to me. My doodling habit continued all throughout  junior high and high school, and even though I wasn’t as good as the other young artists in my class, I just kept chugging along. When I decided I wanted to join the animation field, I didn’t really have a specific job in mind. I wanted to animate, but I lack the nifty wacom tablets and photoshop tools that every other animator on YouTube has. I’m also not very detailed when it comes to my drawings (I’ve described my drawing style as “glorified stick figures”). That’s when it hit me; storyboarding, the blueprint for animation. So, with a pencil and sketchbook in hand, I began making animatics. I began by making animatics set to songs from Hamilton, then silly little gags with the cast of Coco. They aren’t as polished as other animatics, but they get the job done.

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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?

Oh…that’s a toughie…I’ve never really thought about it…I guess it’s that my drawings are very round. There aren’t many sharp edges. Even my signature is very round.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw what you want. Don’t let people tell you what to draw. If they request something you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s your right as an artist to say “no”. Don’t worry about the number of likes, comments, notes, reblogs or whatever. If people like what you do and it gets popular, great! Just don’t let that be the driving force for your art. When I create, the thought of “will this be popular?” or “gotta keep the fans happy!” never crosses my mind. I make it for me, and I make what I want to see. And finally, work with what you got. I wanted to create animatics, but instead of sighing and saying “I don’t have the technology to do such a thing…” I worked with what I had. And what I had was a pencil, a sketchbook, an iPhone with a free movie editor app, and an idea in my brain. Don’t let your financial situation hold you back.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m not sure what the technical terms are (my apologies), but I’m interested in having a partner with no sexual interaction. Kissing is fine, but no…ya know. I’ve never had a boyfriend or girlfriend in order to learn my boundaries, so that’s where I stand at the moment.

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

I haven’t, actually, because it never really comes up. I can only think of one moment where I brought up that I was asexual to a classmate in high school, and he was very supportive. He said that he never met someone like me, and that he was interested that such people exist. I’ll show my support for my LGBTQ friends and fellow artists who are open about their sexual orientation, but I don’t bring up my asexuality that often.

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

Probably that I’m not interested in a romantic relationship. Like, I’m not interested in dating or getting married. That’s not really the case. I would like to date, and I’d like to get married, but only with the right guy (or gal, ya never know). I’m just not comfortable with…ahem “getting it on”. There’s sort of a reason behind that, but I’ll spare you the details.

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

Don’t listen to the people who tell you being single sucks or that being a virgin is dumb. It’s your body, and your life, and it’s okay if you aren’t interested in a sexual relationship.

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

I have a Tumblr (judgechaos), a DeviantArt (JudgeChaos), an Instagram (s.r._hunt), and a YouTube channel (S.R. Hunt). Those are the main places I post my art and animatics, so feel free to say “hi!”

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

Interview: DarkChibiShadow

Today we’re joined by DarkChibiShadow, who also goes by DCS. DCS is a fantastic visual artist, writer, and game developer who specializes in erotica comics. They are very interested in erotica and sexuality, which informs much of their work. DCS strives to make things that everyone can enjoy, but are particularly dedicated to making things ace people can enjoy. Their stories include a wide variety of ace and aro spectrum characters. DCS also makes a copious amount of SFW comics and games as well. They have recently started SofDelux with their friend Nami, who was interviewed yesterday. The pair of them are a powerhouse, collaborating to make some truly awesome visual novels and games. It’s clear DCS is a passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Hey! I’m DCS, otherwise known as DarkChibiShadow!

When it comes to my art — it’s my life! It has been for so long, ever since I was little.

I would say I mainly make comics with a heaping side of visual novels right now — as well as a ton of different kinds of commissions! I’m basically always working on something!

Right now my biggest focuses are my webcomic, Space School, and my various erotica comics! I update both once a week; with my erotica comics rotating between a cast of characters and stories.

Good ‘ol Space School has been going on for a long while now — and it’s had it’s ups and downs cuz of that. It started out as a really silly RP idea that I then grew super attached to and wanted to make a comic of. (Little did I know at the time just how attached I’d get, haha!)

The main character, Zeggy, is a reflection of me as a teenager struggling to find acceptance among people my age — I was rowdy and way outspoken about my interest in sexuality and I think it drove some people around me batty. (Sorry everyone I hung out with!) Needless to say I uh, understand boundaries a lot better now and am always glad seeing when readers of mine relate to Zeggy in the same way. Plus, it’s got a great ‘lil ace bird boy named Joe, who is very outspoken and a lot of fun. Oh! Alkaline (the love interest) is demisexual as well — with a few other background characters also being on the ace spectrum but they don’t get into it as much during the main plotline.

The comic is very old now — with the beginning being…made by me in my late high school years; but I still love it, and want to finish it one day even if it takes me another five years, haha.

1. DCS Space School [2017]
DCS Space School [2017]
My other passion is my Erotica Comics! They focus on a few different stories and set of characters; and right now it’s featured me and my girlfriend’s characters, Dennis and Booker.

I’ve made a ton of erotica comics thanks to my Patrons (Love ya! You know who you are!) and I’m always super excited to explore new worlds and characters and see how they fall in love and get down ‘n dirty.

Porn and sexuality have always been a huge thing for me; and something that I always wanted to create. There was just…not a lot of porn out there that made me feel good — despite my interest in it. I’ve just always wanted to create my own little corner of the internet where I could enjoy fun porn and invite people in to enjoy with me.

I’m always really excited and happy when there’s ace people who reach out to me and say they like my porn. Knowing my stuff can help other ace people feels great, honestly! It’s all I ever wanted! I just want to make stuff that’s fun and focuses on characters and romance and having a good time, having a laugh!

Agh — if I go on I’ll definitely write a whole essay about it. Needless to say; I really enjoy erotica and I’m passionate about making more comfortable and fun stuff for me and my fans.

2. Solanaceae, Ch.2 (2016)
Solanaceae, Ch.2 (2016)

And lastly — but certainly not least — I make visual novels now too!

I believe I started making visual novels in 2016 (around this time of year, actually) with some short fan-games and then went from there.

I had dabbled in making games a bit when I was a teenager but never thought I would be fit for finishing any? I guess I just never thought I’d have an idea that would fit — but once I started thinking of ideas specifically JUST for games; it became a lot easier.

Going from comics to visual novels was actually pretty easy since both involve lots of pictures, and lots of words — but there were definitely things in either that were easier or harder to do depending on the medium.

It’s only been 2 years but I’ve already released or help release a bunch of VN’s! It’s been awesome!

The ones I’m most proud of are Tomai, Disaster Log C, and Mermaid Splash: Passion Festival!

3. Sofdelux Studio, Disaster Log C (2017)
Sofdelux Studio, Disaster Log C (2017)

They were all collabs and all super fun and I’m so proud of the final product — check ‘em out if you like stuff that’s goofy, romantic, and not-too-long, haha.

In 2018 I’m expecting to release the first of four games in my “One-Eyed Lee” series of games, titled, “One-Eyed Lee and the Dinner Party” as well as helping release, A Werewolf Oppunirty, Obviously; which has a massive 30k word count demo out right now. As you can tell by the name, it’s a queer werewolf dating sim and it’s awesome. Check ‘em out!

And as a side note — I always try to include PG-13 options in any game I make so that people who are not comfortable with sexual stuff can avoid it entirely!

I’m really excited to be making visual novels and I’m pumped to make more in the future.

Shout-out to Nami who has taught me basically all there is to know about making games in Ren’py and is probably the sole reason I can keep making them. Love you!!!

What inspires you?

There’s so much that inspires me! My friends, nature, animals, mythology, games, comics, movies, shows — so much!

I’ve always been big into the look of PS2 games and am always kind of searching to emulate that in my style — I think. Games like Shadow of the Colossus, Okage: Shadow King, the Katamari line of games, Dark Cloud, Space Channel 5, Kingdom Hearts — all of those things really inspired me when I was young and still continue to do so!

Right now a BUNCH of indie-games inspire me! Just seeing other game devs go for it and make stuff is…so awesome! Whenever Nami shows me her WIPs I always get excited to work on my own games — and vice versa! Any game that really feels like it was made by a team or person who is really passionate about it shine through to me so much…it’s such a good feeling!

Not to mention all of the good comics out there!

I’ve always been a huge fan of Full Metal Alchemist and for a long time Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure was a huge influence too. (I got into it back in…2008? I think? I was a Junior in High School and BUDDY, was it hard to get back then. Anime fans have it good right now!)

And then as I got into my twenties I finally got into One Piece and it’s soooo good! Plus it’s great that Luffy is basically confirmed as ace-aro, hell yeah!

Other comics like Mushi-shi, Franken Fran, Nana to Kaoru, and a hand full of smaller or one-shot comics have also been a huge influence.

Not to mention all of the doujins and porn and movies and TV shows I like…there’s so much!

It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, Overwatch, a BUNCH of documentaries — AGH! It’s just all so interesting and exciting!

Every new thing I see and learn about just gives me another fun idea for something to work on! Again, if I keep writing I’ll never stop — there’s too much fun stuff! It’s all so good! I’m so glad people create things!

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

I’ve always been an artist — and I don’t remember a time I wasn’t drawing?

I’ve been making comics more “seriously” since the 5th grade and I started posting my comics online when I was a freshmen in High School. Back then, I had a comic I used to update every day! I don’t know how I did it. I was wild.

For a while I wasn’t convinced I could do art full-time just because (at the time) the internet wasn’t where it was right now for freelancers and because so many people around me told me that being an artist wasn’t viable.

So I originally went to community college thinking I would maybe go abroad — but once I saw my girlfriend, Niku, going to art school and doing her best I thought, “If I don’t at least TRY to do what I love for a living won’t I end up regretting it later on?”

So I said fuck it and started on my way to full-time art!

I was really lucky though. My parents are together still and I’ve got a great support system of family and friends — and not to mention I already had a following from posting my comics back in High School — so I think the stars were just aligned for me. I’ve still got a long way to go!

I think anyone can do what I do! All it takes is working a lot, honestly! As long as you’re finishing work and communicating with people; I think it’s possible!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep at it! If you’re feeling like your art will never find it’s audience — just keep at it!

These things take time — so much time!

I’ve struggled for so long to find people who connect with my art, but I know even more are out there and I just gotta work even harder to find them.

If you draw it…they will come…

You can too! You can make your thing, you can find your people!

Also; try not to be a perfectionist, mmkay?

Finishing your thing is more important than it being “perfect” and often times people will not notice the flaws you do — so just look at that finish line and get to it.

Getting your thing out there and in front of people will make it that much easier to get working on your next project and get better and better.

You got this!

To inspire you, here’s some of my first Webcomic art from 2007:

4. Wires
Wires

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am demisexual~! I also identify as queer, since it’s a nice blanket term for “not straight” and because I’m interested in so many types of people and bodies.

(I’m also genderfluid; but my gender has always been much harder for me than my sexuality, ugh.)

For me– knowing a character, knowing a person is…it’s everything.

I find myself totally not caring about a character until I get to know them, see them, fall in love with them in a way? Then suddenly I’m SO invested in all of the little things they might like to do in bed. Stuff I wasn’t even remotely interested in before I can become interested in because it’s what that character is into — and for me, that’s everything…

When I found out what being demisexual was — it was such a relief; because it perfectly described me and how I felt towards other people and characters. I wish I had known about it when I was a teen!

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

Hmm, in the past I’ve gotten some hate from random people but I think every artist has that to some point. Some people just don’t like your work and…well, that’s really that!

It sucks, and I hate it, but knowing it happens to just about everyone makes it easier!

Otherwise — I have had people question whether “being ace is a thing” in terms of some of my characters; which is annoying but hey!

I’ve also seen some rather un-kind things said in articles about ace-focused media — it sucks!

Typically I tend to keep to my own lane and just focus on my work; that tends to be the easiest way to go about it all.

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

That every ace person ever hates sex and anything to do with it!

Being ace, like being anything, is a spectrum! There’s a ton of ace people who like porn and there’s a ton who don’t and I think being able to make spaces for either is a good thing!

I’ve personally had some friends who weren’t interested in porn at all (and were actually kind of repulsed by it) turn a new leaf because they found out porn ISN’T ALL just the typical hentai stuff — it’s a whole range of things! Seeing someone find their kind of porn is so sweet!

It sucks for me knowing that there are people struggling balancing being ace with liking porn or liking sexuality — because I think those two things can totally live in harmony!

Nothing breaks my heart like seeing someone who is ace get asked questions like, “You still like porn? Aren’t you ace?” and “Are you really ace if you like porn?”

Because of COURSE SOMEONE IS STILL ACE IF THEY LIKE PORN! AAAAH!

I’m super interested in porn, in the sexuality of a character — but I am just not that interested in having sex. When I’m super in love with someone — there’s interest — but even then, not that much?! And I think a lot of people feel this way and think maybe it’s not right?! But it’s totally fine!

Also; it’s tough when people expect everyone who is ace to also be aro. It’s seperate!

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

Don’t let anyone tell you it isn’t real and don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t be loud and proud!

And don’t let anyone tell you it’s a “PHASE” either — even if you eventually find the label isn’t for you — someone saying this to you is bullshit!

Yell you are ace as loud as you want! Put it all over your profile if you want — dye your hair like the ace flag — do it all! BE LOUD, BE PROUD, BE ACE! YEAH!

I’m so proud of you for being you!

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

I’ve got a lot of different sites — some include R18 work and some STRICTLY DON’T so I will organize them as such down below:

PG-13/SFW:
SFW Art Blog
Deviantart
Space School Comic
Sofdelux Studio

R-18/NSFW:
R18 Art Blog
Weasyl
Furaffinity
Comics Masterpost

A mix of PG-13/R-18:
My Itch.io
(My Itch.io includes stuff that is R18 but nothing explicit is shown and everything has a content warning before downloading.)
My Twitter
(I don’t post anything NSFW, but sometimes I like suggestive things and with the way Twitter currently works– that can sometimes be a problem!)

Or, if you want to support me monetarily, here’s some ways!

My Erotica Patreon My Space School Patreon My Ko-fi

Commission me!Hire me for your game!

Any follows, reblogs, retweets, anything like that– always help a ton and keep me making new free stuff for everyone!

Thanks a ton for reading my interview! I hope you found something new you liked!

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

Interview: NomnomNami

Today we’re joined by NomnomNami. NomnomNami is a phenomenal game-maker and author. With her friend DarkChibiShadow, a fellow ace, she has a game studio SofDelux. NomnomNami makes a number of games with numerous ace characters in them. She specializes in wlw characters and is very passionate about greater visibility for aces. NomnomNami is an incredibly talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Clever Fox Moxie

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I make stories about girls who like girls! I mostly like designing femme and androgynous characters who are all excessively adorable. I’m currently doing a variety of visual novels and RPG maker games, but I’ve also done comics and some animation every now and then.

What inspires you?

Gotta say the Disgaea series! I’ve been a huge fan since childhood, and a lot of my storytelling is really just me trying to emulate the feeling I get from those games. Looking back, the series is actually really ace-friendly so it’s no wonder I fell in love with it so easily, haha.

First Kiss at a Spooky Soiree

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

Pretty much! I’ve always loved games, cartoons, and comics, so I just ended up drawing a lot to express that. I remember in middle school I told my class I wanted to be a mangaka — and although it turned out comics weren’t really my passion, I still get to do storytelling through drawings! So I feel like I pretty much had the right idea, even back then.

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?

Hmm… just cute girls loving cute girls. Nothing secret about that 🙂

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anyone tell you drawing anime will get you nowhere, and don’t let them stop you from drawing fan art either — HAVE FUN DRAWING WHAT YOU WANT THE WAY YOU WANT TO!

Friendly Bunny Mochi

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I consider myself gray ace!

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

Definitely ignorance, but I’ve never had any kind of negative interaction over it. Anyone I can think of that I’ve had to explain things to has been very open to listen and ask questions in very non-intrusive ways.

Lonely Wolf Treat

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

Hmm, it’s hard to think of any I’ve run into a lot personally. This is gonna be a NSFW answer, but a big one is definitely the idea that ace spectrum folks can’t be interested in porn. Some of us absolutely are!! Sex is a really interesting facet of relationships between fictional characters — there are a lot of people who love exploring those sorts of ideas without any desire to be involved in it themselves. Like, for me, it’s about the strong emotional connection between the characters. There’s a lot of great, really emotional porn out there if you know where to look! Heck, I’VE released a comic like that!! I even got comments from ace spectrum friends telling me it was one of the few NSFW things they’ve enjoyed/felt safe reading. I want to provide more stuff like that. Just, comfortable Yuri!! I’m very passionate about this.

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

IN THE END, it’s up to you what you are. Don’t hold yourself to others’ standards. You’re not weird or wrong for being whatever way you are. Love yourself!! ❤

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

All my games are available free on Itchio: https://nomnomnami.itch.io/
And I have an art blog for doodles and finished works: http://nomnomnamiart.tumblr.com/
And a personal Twitter! For updates and yelling about my favorite things: https://twitter.com/nomnomnami.

Syrup and the Ultimate Sweet

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

Interview: Enzouke

Today we’re joined by Enzouke, who also goes by Enzou. Enzou is a wonderful visual artist who does both traditional and digital art. They’re heavily inspired by anime and a lot of their work reflects this. They enjoy drawing comics, illustrations, and even do some animation. Enzou is a talented and dedicated 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.

Oh boy, where do I start! I guess one thing that does stand out about my artwork is that it’s all over the place. I enjoy using a variety of mediums, styles and types of art. I can do both traditional and digital artwork, but my passion lies more with digital. I also love drawing comics, making illustrations, and creating animation. There are just so many types of things I want to try, that I end up doing a little bit of everything. My art style is very anime-influenced, and while I draw a majority of “cute” things in my gallery, I enjoy drawing dark/guro content. If I were to describe my art in two words, it would probably be “always changing,” since I can never sit still with what I make and I’m constantly striving to improve.

What inspires you?

Fashion, monster kids, dark themes, and anime inspire me! Most of my character designs aren’t too complex, but I enjoy being inspired by a plethora of clothing that other people wear. Anime and dark themes are pretty obvious, since I’m just really into that stuff (sweats nervously). Anime is pretty broad, but my favorite types include shounen, horror, and psychological genres. I no longer enjoy romance as much as I used to back in middle school, because the protagonist and side characters always had strange logic when it came to falling in love. That’s why I’m making my own drama/romance webcomic, so I can delve deeper into the character motivations and mostly to satisfy myself, haha! Oops, I’m sure I went off tangent there! But I guess things I don’t like/hate also inspire me to make something better!

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

When I was a kid I used to draw a lot and I think I unconsciously did want to become an artist, even when I was telling my friends and family “I want to become a teacher/vet/etc.!” I only continued to draw because all my classmates, friend, and my parents said I was really good. Their praise is what kept me motivated to create and I’m very thankful for that (because looking back at my old art … oh wow … please don’t stare at it for too long … it’s embarrassing…)

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 a pretty lame artist, so I don’t have anything cool like that (sighs sadly). I think the only feature I include in all my artwork is a 3/4th view of the character facing to the left. These are my true masterpieces.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Jokes aside, practice a whole damn lot, as if your hand is going to melt by all the heat you’re creating, due to the friction of your pencil and paper (or tablet and tablet pen). There are days, or probably every day if I’m being honest, that I just don’t want to draw because I have zero motivation. But if you don’t draw, how will you improve? I’ve already sold my soul to Satan for a lifetime supply of Costco ice cream bars (how dare they discontinue them), so I guess the only way to improve my art is to actually draw daily. Another piece of advice that isn’t practice, is to BE CONFIDENT IN WHAT YOU CREATE and DON’T BE COMPLACENT WITH YOUR CURRENT ART. Keep your head high and keep improving! If you get rejected for certain projects or events, don’t get discouraged! That just means there’s more room for improvement. If you ever find yourself getting stuck, find something NEW to draw! My university professor made us draw dinosaurs one time, and I thought I would hate it but it was fun and now I know how to draw dinosaurs. One last thing, one thing I regret, is not listening to my high school teacher to draw realism. If I had practiced it early on, I would be so much better today. You may find it boring, but you’ll easily see how much your art will improve if you practice realism! Sorry if I blabbered on for too long, but I hope these will help any aspiring artists, like it has helped me in my own art journey.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual. Sex doesn’t interest me, but I do crave love and attention.

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

Unfortunately, I’m a closet asexual and even on the internet, I don’t usually tell people what I identify as, unless I’m asked. Maybe this is one reason why I haven’t encountered or noticed any prejudice against aces. I’m also a very oblivious person, so this could’ve also played a part (laughs nervously).

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

I’ve encountered a lot of people who tell me that “it’s just a phase / I’m too young to know”. It’s very aggravating to hear this, simply because they can’t fathom someone being uninterested in sex. It’s very hard to convince someone otherwise, so I usually just smile and change the topic.

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

There will always be a trial-and-error sort of thing when you’re trying to figure yourself out. Personally, I switched from bisexual, to pansexual, to demi-sexual before figuring out I was asexual. This took me yearsss to figure out, so don’t rush it. Also, since no one around me was asexual, I felt like I had to conform to a sexuality that wasn’t myself, mostly because I didn’t want to be so alone. However, with the help of the internet, I’ve been able to meet so many other asexuals and feel less lonely. Stay true to yourself. Even if it’s not now, later in life you’ll find out you’re not really alone.

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

If you actually enjoy my work (or my personality based on this interview winkwink), consider visiting my website: enzouke.com! My social media can be found through there, too~ I’m a lot more consistent with my comic updates (shameless plug incoming), so if you want to see more art from me, consider checking it out here: https://tapas.io/enzouke! Thank you very much for reading! I’m sending you all my warm, abundant love. Please allow 2-3 business days for it to arrive. ❤

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

Interview: Baku

Today we’re joined by Baku. Baku is a wonderful visual and fanartist. They mostly do fanart, but have done original work on occasion. They’re incredibly passionate about comics and plan to be a comic artist in the future. Baku is a very gifted artist and their work is brimming with color and life, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. de-er
De-er

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a fanartist for the most part with random original pieces thrown in here and there. I’d say my specialty is comic, but I don’t really think that’s true yet, haha … It is something I’m working towards though. Being a comic artist. Right now it’s just a lot of doodles, illustrations, short comics, sometimes fanfictions, sometimes even more out-of-the-blue fan contents, like song translation for example.

What inspires you?

Naming any specific category of thing wouldn’t seem right, because I kinda draw and write for the randomest thing … I’d say love. Or emotions, in general. My strong emotions for something make me pick up my pen. Drawing and writing has become one of my main ways to express emotions now, even more of use than just proclaiming it sometimes.

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

I’ve always been a fan of things, if my memory serves me well. The first time I tried writing was after I read Harry Potter and thought to myself that I wanted to write something like this. The first time I took drawing seriously was after reading a magical girl manga and being introduced to the “standard manga style” so to said by my cousin. I think I’ve always had that fascination with narratives and stories, and the desire to make them came the moment I was exposed to the possibility. These people who are still alive made these things, why don’t you try your hand too, etc., etc.

The fact that I’m very emotion-driven probably adds to my becoming a fanartist, in that I’m most productive when I feel strongly about something, and that’s one thing that being a fan delivers plentily.

2. street god
Street God

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?

Lampposts, bus stops, electric poles, and liminal spaces in general. I also draw/write about dreamscapes a lot. Dripping/splashing effects are my favourite too.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone goes somewhere. There’s this special brand of nihilism that I find serves an artist well: all our struggles are ultimately objectively meaningless, so what matters is our own perception. If art fits somewhere into your perception, keep it. Do it for yourself. Give it the meaning you want to. Have your fun.

3. frog2
Frog 2

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

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 am lucky to have found a very accepting community in the Mob Psycho 100 fandom around the time I started realizing that I’m as aro/ace, but there are stories told, of course. I myself try to distance myself from that; luckily no problems have wandered to my part yet.

In my personal life I haven’t officially come out to my family yet, but I’ve made my decision to not find a life partner quite clear, and my parents have long accepted (or emotionally dealt with) that. My extended family is another story; some of them don’t believe I can make it out there as an artist either. My mom taught me to consider talking to them ‘diplomatic work’. I’ve never been good at that, but I manage. Most of the comments on my choices come hand-in-hand with those on my appearance (and how I don’t care about it as much as I’m supposed to), so it’s a bit easier to dismiss them altogether.

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

That there are no such thing, mainly. My mom denied the existence of asexuality and aromanticism when I brought it up to her. Most people I’ve met in real life say that one can’t live without love, and that everyone will find their chosen one someday.

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

You are who you are. As long as you hold that belief dear and clear in your heart, there will be ways to work around everything else.

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

My Tumblr is bakanohealthy: http://bakanohealthy.tumblr.com/

And I have an AO3 account for my fanfictions: http://archiveofourown.org/users/BakanoHealthy

Some of my works are up for purchase in my Redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/bakanohealthy.

4. moped
Moped

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

Interview: Alanna

Today we’re joined by Alanna. Alanna is a phenomenal mixed media artist who dabbles in a bit of everything. She specializes in digital art and animation. When not drawing, Alanna enjoys creating comics. Her work is beautiful and eerie, reflecting her enjoyment of the weird and the macabre. She also loves using intense colors and lighting. It’s clear that she’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

BUNBUN
Bunbun

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a bit of a mixed media digital artist; I animate, illustrate, make comics, write, do 3D, and even dabble in music. I never like staying in one style, I always like adopting a new trick or tip into my art and varying it up for each project I choose so I never get stale with what I do. What is consistent is my obsession with the weird and the macabre and my love for intense colors and lighting (and seals!)

Melanistic Seals
Melanistic Seals

What inspires you?

Surreal garbage! Bizarre trash! Anything strange and jarring interests me, fuels my creativity to create something new and unseen. Outside of the strange I really can find inspiration practically everywhere. Anything that tickles my fancy will give me an idea for something unique.

Snow City
Snow City

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

My mom was an artist so I guess it rubbed off on me. I was thinking about maybe becoming a scientist but I kind of had a drive for art since it didn’t require the brainpower haha…

Girl 3D Model
Girl 3D Model

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 thing about my art where colors and objects play a strong role in categorizing things. Certain areas and characters usually have an extremely distinct color or shape to them, so much so it’s bordering onto obsession to keep things looking the same.

Goat Robot
Goat Robot

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, practice, practice! Never ever think little of yourself because you need to improve, many artists take forever to get their art right, being bad is always the first step to being good. Always, always draw from life, photos, anatomy books, etc. CONSTANTLY. I made the bad decision of not doing that as a kid and your work suffers because of that. Also taking art as a profession is something you really need to think about in the long run. Find a field with work in it and decide if its really want you want to do. Make sure to always have a back up plan and understand how this is going to impact you in the long run.

Comic
Comic

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m both Aromantic and Asexual.

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

I usually tell my identity to people I know and trust very well so my colleagues finding out would be happenstance. As for outside of my field I completely understand and know my identity is far beyond anything close to mainstream. Whatever backhand comments I get I understand people have no idea what this identity is and I’m fine with that even if it is a little annoying. I relate this back to my digital art because I know too well people believe I will my art into existence by pressing a button or I can somehow “draw” a 3D model into existence. People just don’t know and that’s fine for me, it’s going to take a many years before being ace is even recognized as much as being gay is. People telling me my identity is fake and that I must have issues on the other hand I don’t take as lightly.

Snow
Snow

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

Oh, damn, too many, both perpetrated by non-aces and aces alike, which frankly scares me. I consider asexuality a lack of an orientation or lack of attraction to genders and many LGBT places do use this too as a definition though still too many asexual sites list asexuality as having to do with sex, libido or interest in sex. Shame because being a non sex-repulsed ace I feel I’m not “ace enough” to be fully asexual because of this stigma. Asexuality has nothing to do with sex but it doesn’t stop people from believing that.

Spirit
Spirit

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

Be patient and realize coming out of the closet is not a one-time experience; it takes years, maybe even decades to fully realize yourself. Never force yourself into anything, never let anyone decide your orientation for you, its all up to you in the end. If in the end you realize you are ace or not that’s fine too, you’re no less valid no matter what label you find. Also know that it’s even harder for people around you to understand you right away, parents, friends and relatives may take years, decades to understand coming out of the closet is but what matters is they love you even if you feel they don’t “get” what asexuality is. And remember if you feel you’re in an abusive/neglectful home, you don’t have to tell your parents your orientation, tell people you know you can trust and when you can, move out. Safety is more important than wanting acceptance from people who won’t give it. I’ve met people who were kicked out of their homes and this is the best advice I’ve gotten if you’re not sure about your situation.

Swamp
Swamp

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

I have a Tumblr: http://indagold-orchid.tumblr.com/
Various comics I’ve worked on: https://tapas.io/indagold/series
And my Twitter: https://twitter.com/BunSeals.

Girl and Shield
Girl and Shield

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

Interview: Grace Schodel

Today we’re joined by Grace Schodel. Grace is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying in uni. She does both traditional and digital art, drawing a variety of subjects. Her art is remarkably beautiful, showing an incredible attention to detail and a masterful use of color, which draws the viewer in. She’s an incredibly passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. 19 copy

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My name’s Grace Schodel but I go by knittinganarchist online, I use the pronouns she/her, and I’m studying a bachelor in animation. My art is pretty all or nothing honestly! I use both traditional and digital mediums to either spend 3 months working on a series of conceptually similar drawings, or spend 3 minutes smashing out cute and stupid cartoony comics.

What inspires you?

Probably a mixture of a good colour palette, my drawings are all pretty heavily inspired by colour palettes that caught my imagination, and romanticizing everyday life. A lot of my drawings are about making mundane everyday things fun; my uni induced breakdowns are overdramatic and honest, forgotten gift cards are a cause for celebration, and messy hair can be a Look. I love positivity; at the moment I’m working on a series for an art show in February that focuses on the spacy disassociation I felt for most of my first year of uni, but instead of going over old wounds is supposed to represent me working through that feeling.

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

I’ve always loved art, but was never really allowed to think it was a viable option for my future. I did design after graduating school because I thought it was a good balance between creativity and responsibility. But I was miserable, and decided to just follow my heart instead and study animation.

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

I don’t have hidden codes in my drawings, but now I kind of wish I did because that would be rad. The closest I have is that for a while now all my lineart is in two layers, one red one black and the black one is set to a lower opacity. I think it just makes the picture a little softer and adds something cool to the overall look.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to use references. I spent so long feeling guilty for using reference photos or other artworks, that I tried to do everything from my head. In my opinion even tracing something is okay (as long as you don’t try to pass it off as your own original without giving credit) it helps immensely with anatomy, perspective, and developing your own “style”.

6. finee3 copy

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a sex-neutral asexual.

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

In my field? No not really, everyone at my uni so far seems to be fairly open minded and accepting of everyone. But in my personal life I’ve been mostly met with confusion and disbelief, the classic “What happened to you?” and “But you wear short skirts and have dated before” get thrown around a bit. A few deeply uncomfortable conversations about sexual scenarios have happened where someone has said “Well, what if …. happened, would that make you normal?”, but I mostly just avoid that by only telling people who need to know, such as my boyfriend, and the close friends I trust.

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

Of course I can’t speak for everyone here, but personally its either been that I can’t be ace because I like dressing up nicely, and apparently people only do that to seem attractive so they can hook up? Or that aces are afraid of sex? Some aces may be, and that’s their choice to identify as ace, but its endlessly annoying so have to explain no I’m not afraid I’m just not interested.

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

It’s perfectly fine to have no interest in sex. It can seem the be all and end all of relationships and growing up, but honestly if it’s not for you, it’s not for you.

7. bbbb copy

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

Either on my Facebook page where I offer commissions:
(https://www.facebook.com/knittinganarchist/)

Or my Instagram where I post a lot of my personal and uni work!
(https://www.instagram.com/knittinganarchist/)

8. interior copy

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