Interview: Gwyneth Ochsner

Today we’re joined by Gwyneth Ochsner. Gwyneth is a phenomenal artist who is incredibly versatile. They haven’t met a field they don’t like: writing, visual art, and music. Gwyneth is an artist who does it all. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Most of my work is in illustration, and I do original and fan art. I prefer to work traditionally, with paper and pen, but I sometimes draw digitally in MS Paint. I’m also a writer, and have already finished writing one book, and am working on publishing it. I do write fan fiction, but I tend to write more original fiction stories. I hope to work professionally as an actor, with a focus on voice work. I also write music and sing, and have performed several times for my schools in the past.

What inspires you?

In terms of illustration, I am inspired a lot by comic book artists like Kris Anka and the like, as well as various artists online. However, I do often draw inspiration from filmmakers and animators, like Wes Anderson and Tim Burton, especially in regards to staging and colour schemes.

For my writing, I think two of my biggest influences are Douglas Addams and Laurie Halse Anderson, the former for his humour, the latter for her realistic and inclusive writing style.

My main inspiration for wanting to be a voice actor, if I’m being honest, is to be the voice of some child’s favourite character. I enjoy doing impressions, and nothing makes me happier than the absolute joy on a kid’s face when I do the voice of, say, a Disney character.

As for music, I draw my inspiration from various places, but an embarrassingly obvious influence on my original work is definitely the jazz music my dad always listened to while I was growing up.

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

I’ve always been interested in illustration, ever since I could hold a pencil, but I didn’t really start focusing on it until a friend introduced me to anime in third grade. I’ve been drawing like a maniac ever since.

Like illustration, I’ve always been interested in writing, but my interest in it has been pretty consistent, mostly spurred by my mother and Oma, my mother being a poet and screenwriter, and my Oma having been a librarian. Not to mention my whole family are bookworms.

I’ve always been a theatre kid, but what really made me want to be a voice actor was seeing an interview with Rob Paulsen, one of my favourite voice actors.

Also with music, I’ve always been interested, my whole family having been musically talented growing up, and my mother has a degree in music history and used to write songs for me and my brother when we were children.

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 particularly. In all aspects of my art, I still tend to experiment with my style.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever it is that inspires you, whatever it is you want to do, you hold on to that, never forget where your love of art comes from. There is so much you can do with your craft, and if more people put their all into what they care about and makes them happy, the world, I think, would be a much nicer place to be.

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A Rose by any Other Name

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am Aromantic Asexual.

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

Not much in voice acting, but plenty in illustration, and especially writing and music.

There are very few ace characters within visual art, and we seem to be non-existent in major comic books. It’s a similar case with fiction and music. There are next to no ace characters in popular fiction, and you would be hard pressed to find an openly-ace, popular musician, or any songs written about asexuality. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of romance heavy novels and compulsory heterosexuality, and forget about ace songs, it’s nearly impossible to find a song that doesn’t include sex or romance.

The biggest prejudice I’ve found in all of these is in the fan community. Fan art and fan fiction are very much driven by shipping culture, and a lot of fans refuse to accept any ace or aro headcanons lest they interfere with their ships. It’s really disheartening.

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

Well, the one that I’ve personally had directed towards me is the idea that I’m too young to know, that I haven’t met the right person, that I’ll change my mind someday. Basically that I’m wrong, that asexuality is a type of immaturity or that it’s just plain not real.

Although, while I’m on the subject of reactions to telling someone I’m ace: Don’t ask ace people if they masturbate! Seriously, I’ve been asked this, it’s just rude. If you wouldn’t ask a gay person that, why would you ask an ace person? Honestly!

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

I’ll tell them what I wish someone had told me before I went through years of discomfort and confusion: Asexuality means not experiencing sexual attraction. Aromanticism means not experiencing romantic attraction. Asexuality is a completely valid orientation. Aromanticism is a completely valid orientation. We exist. I exist. You exist. You are not broken, weird, or inhuman for not wanting to have sex, not finding anyone attractive, not wanting to date anyone, no matter what your classmates might say, no matter what your family might say. You are real. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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

The best place to look would be my Tumblr: zeddpool. Other places are DeviantArt: 6ForgettheCookies9, AO3: zeddpool, Fanfiction: Gnoff, and my YouTube: Gwyneth Ochsner.

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

Interview: Cat

Today we’re joined by Cat. Cat is a young and incredibly versatile artist. She does a bit of everything, from visual arts to performance art. Cat has a wide range of talents and seems to enjoy just the act of creating. Judging from her enthusiasm, this is an artist we’ll be seeing a lot of in the future. 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 do a lot of different types of art. I paint and draw, I write stories (fanfiction and short stories) and poetry, I compose and arrange music, I sing and play multiple instruments, and I’m an actress (mostly voice acting). And I’m a photographer. I do all of these, but I’m no expert. I just do what I love.

What inspires you?

Music, people, places, and events.

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

Well, I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember. I started writing somewhere around first grade and I never stopped thanks to a really great teacher. I started composing music in 2014, but I don’t remember why. I’ve sung forever and been in band for almost three years. I started taking theater last year but I think I’ve been acting for i-dont-know-how-many years. I started taking pictures back in … Oh, 2013? Probably. I just love capturing the beauty of the world in a moment and being able to let everyone else see it the way I do.p

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?

In my art, I have a really cool way I sign my name. I don’t always use the same name, but the ‘C’ always looks the same.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Considering I’m also a young aspiring artist, I’d say “If its something you want to do, don’t let anyone stop you. It could be great, but even if its not, as long as you enjoy it, then it’s worth it to you.”

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Sex repulsed asexual, panromantic

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

There was once. I was drawing some ace-pride themed picture and my friend asked what asexuality was. I (and my other ace friend) tried to explain. They just said something like “but you know one day when you’re married…” and it hurt more than it should. Actually, maybe that happened a few times. I don’t get a lot of hate yet, considering I’m mostly still in the deck and I have supportive friends, so when I get it, I don’t do very well. I try to leave the room and cool down emotionally instead of starting an argument.

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

“But one day when you’re married, you’re going to have sex.” or “But god made us to be fruitful, you’re going to have kids and sex some day. Its just how it is.” I get those a lot.

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

If you’re ace, you’re ace. And sometimes that sucks, because people don’t get it. However, its not going to change, or rather, it might, and that’s okay too, but you should treat it like it won’t in the moment. Like, when someone says its just a phase; in this moment, you’re ace, and it isn’t a phase. You can’t predict the future. Neither can those who try and tell you you’ll change.

I hope that’s good advice…

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

I just made a new Tumblr for stuff I’ve done! ace-of-all-trades.tumblr.com
Also, I have fanfics on Ao3 at ThatNerdyCat15 and poems and short stories and the like on Wattpad at ThatNerdyCat15

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

Interview: Epril SiDragon

Today we’re joined by Epril SiDragon (who also goes by Eppy).  Epril is a very versatile and talented artist who works in a number of mediums.  She does a lot of visual art, but also writes and composes.  Her pictures demonstrate a very unique 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 draw, write, and compose, and sometimes paint, make digital art, and photograph.

What inspires you?

Music and stories inspire me, giving me characters and events, plots and words to give a picture.

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

I’m not sure where I started, I’ve been creating art most of my life. I’ve been drawing since forever, writing since 2nd grade, and composing since 1st.

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?

The only thing i can think of is how i tend to include text in my art, whether it be lyrics or my own quote, used as a caption or background.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up on your dream, and don’t let anyone tell you its unrealistic. Use other’s art as a motivator, and draw every day, whether it be a few lines or a complete piece.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, though I am still slightly questioning.

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

I haven’t met any, other than people taking my anatomy studies sexually.

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

They think I’m a plant. Every time.

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

Don’t feel pressured to have to decide on something solid now. Sexuality is fluid, and it’s OK if your feelings change, or if you don’t know your feelings.

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

My art blog is eprilsart.tumblr.com, my deviantART is Epril-SiDragon, my Wattpad is RitualofDeadDragon, and I also have a separate blog which is eprilsidragon.weebly.com. My YouTube is Epril SiDragøn.

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