Interview: Maddie

Today we’re joined by Maddie. Maddie is a wonderful fanartist in different K-pop fandoms and anime. They co-run a K-pop fanblog with a friend of theirs. They draw a lot of portraits. Aside from drawing and writing, Maddie also cosplays for anime conventions. It’s clear they’re an incredibly enthusiastic 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 mostly work as a fanartist in the K-pop fandom. I follow a lot of groups and I love to either draw portraits or write short fanfics that are compiled on a blog I run with a friend. I am planning on doing more portraits in the future and will continue to write! Along the fanart lines I also cosplay as a hobby and go to cons whenever I can. I also am going to make a blog dedicated to short comics about my daily life as a nonbinary aroace person, so look out for that!

What inspires you?

I’ve always wanted to write, I’m writing a novel currently but it’s a long process so fanfics are my main ones. My mom actually pushed me to follow my passion for drawing and writing. She has her own poems published so she just inspires me to work hard. Also the groups I listen to inspire me (obviously), but song lyrics and seeing how members act/interact help inspire my stories. Cosplay wise the look of the character is what inspires me to try and portray them, I want to try and capture their personality.

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Suga from BTS

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

I’ve been drawing and writing since I was little. I had an active imagination as a kid so I was constantly coming up with these amazing worlds to write about or drawing them if I could. I’ve always considered myself a “chill artist”, it’s not my main career goal, but it’s a hobby I adore and would love to continue doing- even if it just stays a hobby.

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 that I can think of actually, I don’t know if do anything really “unique” in my works.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep practicing! I know it’s hard and your first pieces might not be good, but you can improve immensely with some practice. I try and doodle something once a day, even if it’s just a doodle beside my lecture notes or something. Try small writing prompts too, just doing short one paragraph writings can improve your writing ability!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a cupioromantic asexual! I’m also nonbinary.

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

A bit, the K-pop fandom in general is very hypersexual and sexualizes members of groups a lot. So being ace making content for the fandom can be a bit tough. Some people think I’m prude for not writing smut or something, but I’ve learned to shrug it off and respond with a simple “I can’t write it.”

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

Probably that it’s just a choice like celibacy, or that I can’t want a relationship. I’ve heard both of these so many times it makes me want to scream. Or there’s always the joke of “are you a plant?” I think it’s hard for people to grasp that there are people who simply don’t see people in a sexual way, crazy right? It doesn’t help that I’m sex-averse and people, especially my mom, will say it’ll happen when I “meet the one.”

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

You are not broken. First and foremost, you are totally normal. I know it’s tough, trust me I felt broken until I found out asexuality was a thing and I wish I would’ve found out about it sooner. Don’t let others put you down for your sexuality, they just don’t understand it- you are valid.

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

I usually post art to my personal blog, which is at timelord-from-ohio, but I don’t post my art often. The fanfic blog I co-run is at 98aroha97bangtan94, I’m Mod Phoenix. Lastly, the blog I’m planning on putting the comics on is at lifeofacupioromanticace!

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Eunwoo from Astro

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

Interview: Caoimhe

Today we’re joined by Caoímhe. Caoímhe is a young fanartist who does a lot of drawing and some cosplay. She started out drawing anime but is currently developing her own style. Caoímhe demonstrates an incredible use of color and line that make her images really stand out. She’s very talented, 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 guess I’m a fan artist really. I do traditional art of shows I watch and fandoms I’m in. I started off drawing anime and I’ve started getting into my own style more recently. I’ve also done some small cosplaying bits for conventions, nothing major though.

What inspires you?

As a fan artist, what I’m interested in really gives me ideas. I’ve been very into musicals recently like Hamilton (I know I’m basic) so I decided to draw my friends as characters from it to help improve my drawing somewhat realistically. I also get random ideas from conversations with my friends so I’ll jot them down in the notes on my phone. I always have little ideas that I want to pursue, it’s more finding time to actually do them is the work.

When I do cosplay, I pick characters I like and/or admire. My favourite cosplay is Heather Chandler from Heathers as I love to act as a bitchy character.

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

I was never really into art as a kid. I was very much a bookworm, so whilst other kids played GAA (football and hurling) I would read books or work on coding. It wasn’t until I started secondary school and a girl I became friends with got me into anime. I started with Ouran High School Host Club and got into a few others. I don’t know why but I decided to draw some of the characters and I’ve been drawing for around two and a half years now.

It’s the same for cosplay, I became friends with people who would go to conventions and I started going to them too. There’s not a major amount of them as I’m from Ireland though, but I try to get to them when I can.

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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?

Not particularly. I do sign my work and date it, so I can look back and see where I’ve improved more than anything.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever area of art you are in, practice. It’s the only way to improve. I say this as someone who is still a young artist trying to work on her art. But also try not to compare yourself to others too much. Yes, you’ll always feel like there are those who are better than you, but by constantly criticizing yourself, you’ll only make yourself feel worse.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual and bi/panromantic (haven’t really figured it out yet). In regards to my asexuality, I’m open to intimacy just not sex, though I’m not outright repulsed by it, I just know it’s not for me.

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

I personally haven’t experienced anything like that in real life, though I have met people who don’t get asexuality which I kind of expect. Online, I have seen a lot of ace hate, especially on Tumblr and Instagram, where there have been ace hate pages and just so much abuse thrown at the community.

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

That all ace people hate intimacy. Obviously some do, but many of us are fine with and enjoy things like cuddling, kissing and such. There are even aces who do have sex, but I feel like it’s not really shown as much in the little representation the ace community has.

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

You don’t need to have it all figured out. I’m still trying to figure out my own identity, but once you are ok with who you are you’ll be fine.

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

I’m not particularly active on Tumblr, my Instagram is really where it’s at:
https://www.instagram.com/caoimhedraws/

I also post updates as I draw on my Snapchat CaoimheDraws

I don’t always post what I’m doing so if you want to shoot me a DM to see what I’m working on or to talk, feel free!

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

Interview: Mady

Today we’re joined by Mady. Mady is a phenomenally versatile young artist who hasn’t yet met a medium she didn’t like. She specializes in music, playing both the flute and the piccolo, though she does play other instruments as well. When she’s not making music, Mady enjoys drawing, photography, and baking. She clearly has an enormous amount of passion and enthusiasm, 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.

So I do participate in a few different artist outlets. Music is what I am most skilled in as I’ve been practicing and performing for about 10 years now. Flute and Piccolo are my main instruments, though I do occasionally mess around with others! My favorite pieces to perform are usually from a movie score or a stage musical. I love how easily the emotional flows from them since they are designed to illicit a specific emotional response from an audience while a composed piece on its own is more open to interpretation.

As for other things I do a lot whenever I have free time! I like to write, cosplay, bake, take photos, doodle, etc. Honestly most artistic outlets have become a hobby of mine even if I’m not that good at it!

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What inspires you?

Gosh I feel like there are so many things. Honestly, I tend to find most inspiration in the people around me. I’ve met so many people over the years that are so dedicated and passionate about their craft that I can’t help but also want to be the best I can. That sounds so cheesy to say, but it is how I feel!

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

Well for music I would almost be tempted to say it was in my blood. Kind of like a destiny thing! Everyone in my family is musically inclined. I mean literally everyone. To be honest at first I very strongly strayed away from anything musical. My dad is musician and plays in a band on his off days from work so for some reason when I was a younger that caused me to shy from it.

In fifth grade I joined Orff Orchestra to get out of sitting in the gym in the morning and that was kind of the end of that line of thinking. The middle school band teachers came and did a presentation on beginning band and the rest if kind of history!

Everything else was something I picked up along the way. There was no specific moment like with music. They were hobbies that I just came to enjoy.

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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 can’t think of anything that really that stands out to me. I think everything I do just kind of has a look or sound to it that relates back to me in a way? Which I do think is true of most artists. There isn’t something tangible for my art; it’s more of a feeling if that makes sense?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Try not to compare yourself to those around you and never give up! This is something I personally have a problem with and always need to remind myself. It’s okay not to be at the same level as someone else, no matter where they are in life. You’re allowed to go at your own pace and that isn’t a bad thing!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Panromantic Asexual! (Though I’ve found I tend to lean more towards ladies than fellas)

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

Mhm personally I haven’t dealt with too much as I’m not very vocal about my sexuality. It’s kind of on a need to know basis so I’d be willing to bet most people I know, excluding my friends, have no idea I’m ace. I did have a friend once brush me off and patronize me, but after talking with them they came to understand a bit better. I, of course, have also had the general stupid comments about being a plant or partaking in mitosis.

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

Probably that it doesn’t exist in the real world and that it’s only a “Tumblr Thing” It’s frustrating to hear because for me personally without Tumblr and the internet as a whole making information about sexuality so accessible, I wouldn’t have realized I was ace. I spent a long time confused and unsure of what was wrong with me. I never really had physical crushes and was never able to relate when my friends would point out someone and gush about how ‘hot’ they were. Tumblr helped me start looking further into terms and information and has led me to where I am today. It’s not a perfect site and definitely has its faults, but I really do think it has the potential to be a wonderful place for spreading information.

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

It’s okay to be unsure and afraid. You don’t have to have all the answers. Even just recently I had to make some adjustments to how I see and refer to myself. Life is constantly a learning experience and that’s okay! Have fun being yourself!! No one else can do it better!

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

I post anything I create that I’m proud of on Tumblr at venasven. Any and all of my cosplays and photography can be found on Instagram at the same name! Venasven!

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

Interview: R

Today we’re joined by R. R is a phenomenal makeup artist who does a lot of character makeup. They’re also starting to do Harry Potter roleplay as well and dabble in photography. They’re very passionate about makeup, 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 currently do character makeup/cosplay, but I am starting to do Harry Potter roleplay on my Tumblr blog. Most of my makeup is also Harry Potter, but I have tried Supernatural stuff as well. I enjoy photography, and I am currently in the process of improving my makeup application skills. This is a fairly new hobby, so I have a lot of room to improve my work.

What inspires you?

I’ve always enjoyed using makeup to create different characters, and I also enjoy acting, which is why I have started RP. My main inspiration is the HP RP community on Tumblr, as I follow many of their blogs and I really like their work. Makeup gives me the confidence to do things I wouldn’t normally do, and using it to portray characters is really exciting for me, because it allows me to express my support for my fandoms.

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

I haven’t always wanted to do this. It is a fairly new thing I’m doing, but I am enjoying it immensely. I have done character makeup in the past, for Halloween and fancy dress events, but I haven’t shared it on social media or made it a regular thing.

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, actually, unless you consider my face to be a special feature in my work? I do use my face a lot for my art.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just do what you love. Seriously, even if you don’t get any followers or any likes, do it anyway. If you truly enjoy it, then make the most of it, because it’s really, really fun. Even if you aren’t any good at first, keep trying because you will get better and better. It’s about the effort and time you put into things. People will see the passion in what you do, and they will ignore the little flaws.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual and aromantic.

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

I haven’t experienced anything like that (yet) but there is a lack of ace representation in this field (from what I’ve experienced at least).

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

That we’re heterosexual. I know some people want to call themselves heterosexual when they are asexual, but to me this isn’t who I am.

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

Um, I don’t really know. Being ace is always something I’ve been proud of, so I don’t know if I can give anyone any advice. What I will say is that you are all super valid and good people and you are wonderful. Be proud to be you, even if you don’t want to label yourself. Also, please don’t force yourselves into situations that make you uncomfortable, because that’s not good for anyone, especially you.

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

I have Tumblr, which is where I post my RPs and makeup pictures: amateurcharactermakeup42.

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

Interview: Chloé

Today we’re joined by Chloé, who also goes by Chloek3. Chloé is a phenomenal cosplayer who specializes in cosplaying video game characters. She is incredibly enthusiastic and absolutely loves her art, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Photo taken by Emykitteh, Art & Cosplay (https://www.facebook.com/emykitteh.cosplay/?fref=ts)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a cosplayer. I cosplay mainly characters from video games. I’ve been cosplaying since 2014, making one cosplay a year. So far, I have cosplayed Link and Sheik from The Legend of Zelda/ Super Smash Bros, Levy from Fairy Tail, and Henry from Fire Emblem. My next cosplays are going to be Kaden from Fire Emblem and Dead Hand from The Legend of Zelda. I cosplay for fun and have no intention of making a living out of it.

What inspires you?

I get my inspiration from the games/shows I cosplay from! When I enjoy a character and its design, I get the urge to cosplay it. Then I make plans to do it. I also get a lot of motivation from the cosplay community and the fandoms.

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

I’ve always gotten very excited about Halloween, sometimes planning two or three costumes a year for the different Halloween events. At one point I saw a cosplay of Link on the internet and really wanted to dress as him for Halloween. While I was volunteering at a Help Center, I saw some green fabric and fingerless brown gloves and thought: ‘That’s it, I’m making this costume!” A few years later I heard about anime/comic conventions and asked a friend if she wanted to come to one with me and make matching cosplays. She said yes but I ended up making my cosplay and going to the convention alone. I still had a blast and I’ve been going every year since then.

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Photo taken by Emykitteh, Art & Cosplay (https://www.facebook.com/emykitteh.cosplay/?fref=ts)

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 always include a lot of hot glue and love, but I doubt that counts as a special feature, haha!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Have fun with your art! I had no knowledge in arts and crafts when I started making my own costumes. I was absolutely not prepared to make a costume, but I did it anyway because I loved the character. I had fun and as long as you have fun, that is all that really matters. Don’t let anyone tell you that you shouldn’t cosplay for any reason. Creating is so gratifying, don’t let them take that from you.

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Photo taken by Yadonashi (https://www.facebook.com/yadonashi/?fref=ts)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual. I don’t really know about my romantic orientation, but I do not feel the need to label it.

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

I don’t really go around telling other cosplayers ”Hey, by the way, I am asexual. How do you feel about it?” Some of my cosplayer friends know and they are pretty cool with it. The only rude thing that has been said to me related to both asexuality and cosplaying was when I was making my cosplay of Henry from Fire Emblem. I had made a post on Tumblr saying that I had just realised that this character’s costume had all the Ace Pride colours and that it somehow made me happy. Someone reblogged it and commented ”When you look too deep into something’.’ That was kind of rude. Can you just let me enjoy the small things that make me happy?

How I handled it? I ignored it. Those people are not worth my time. If happy people make them unhappy, that is their problem. I’ve encountered more ignorance with people who weren’t artists than with people who were. But even then, I’d say people are usually chill about it. It’s just that a lot of people don’t know what asexuality is.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve encountered is that if you’re asexual, you will not have/want sex. Asexual does not mean sex repulsed or a nonexistent libido. It simply means that I am not sexually attracted to other people. An asexual individual can decide to have sex for a variety of reasons, and they might even *gasp* enjoy it. Now, some asexual individuals decide not to have sex and that is also OK!

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

You are perfectly fine, and you are not alone. What are your worries? Are you worried that you can’t live a satisfying life without sexual attraction? Because you absolutely can. Are you worried that you are going to end up alone? If you want to be in a romantic relationship, you can be! You can reach out to the asexual community for a potential partner, and a lot of allosexual people are open to having a relationship with an Ace person. Those who are not are just not worth your time. You absolutely don’t have to have sex if you don’t want to. If you don’t want to be in a romantic relationships, that is also totally OK! Your life will not be less meaningful, either way. You can achieve amazing things and impact people’s lives in the best of ways without sex or romance in your life.

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

I have a cosplay page on Facebook. That’s where I post pretty much all things related to cosplay. It’s at Chloek3 Cosplay: https://www.facebook.com/chloek3cosplay

I am at Chloek3 on WorldCosplay: https://worldcosplay.net/member/584050

I am also on Tumblr: www.chloek3.tumblr.com
But this is my personal blog where I post about anything and everything, including cosplays. If there is ever enough interest, I might make a blog only for cosplays.

I have made an Instagram not too long ago at chloek3official where I will post my Cosplays but also landscapes and dogs.

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

Interview: Nicole Blanchard

Today we’re joined by Nicole Blanchard, who is also known as nicoledraws online. Nicole is a wonderful visual artist who does quite a bit. They do a lot of sketches and drawings, as well as some fanart. They’ve recently gotten into cosplay and are currently studying Media Arts and Animation. They are obviously quite passionate about art, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Visual Artist here who mainly dabbles in sketching and drawing. Painting is on my list as well, but is done much less often due to the fact I do not get a lot of time to sit down at home where all my supplies are.

I also double as a FanArtist. I just recently got into the cosplay game and don’t possess “professional” photos, but I have been drawing fanart for at least the last six years of my life. It’s good practice and gets your name out there.

And occasionally, I do animate. Media Arts and Animation is currently what I am in school for so there’s that as well.

What inspires you?

There is no one specific thing that gives me inspiration. It comes and goes from many different places.

The only mildly consistent aspect of it is that it usually tends to be from real life. Whether it be from long talks with one of my closest friends or experiences I’ve had.

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

Memories of my childhood, in all honesty, are blurry at best. So I can’t say what got me interested in art—just that it happened.

For as long as I can remember, I have always found joy and comfort in drawing. It’s not only therapeutic but I feel I am most myself when doing it.

If nothing else, the one thing I do remember was the fact that I did always have a desire to grow up and be an artist. However, thanks to career counselors and other adults, it never seemed like a realistic goal and dream to have at the time. The whole “starving artist” myth is legitimately terrifying to a child from an already struggling household.

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 really. At least, not that I have personally noticed or consciously done.

Though I am hoping to fix that. I want to get to a point talent-wise and artistically where someone can immediately identify my work as mine without having to look at my name.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There is always going to be someone better than you in some way. However, don’t let this lead you down the road of a quitter—instead use it as a motivation to improve.

With any form of art, the only way to get better is to keep doing it. Don’t ever stop, because stopping might as well be you giving up.

Some people need to work harder to get to a certain level of mastery and that’s okay. Not every person in the world has a knack for picking things up easily. Every person learns at their own pace. At least a decade worth of drawing and I’m still learning.

Another important aspect to any form of art is constructive criticism. You, as a producer of content, need to listen to the criticism of your audience. The input they can provide can be very insightful and point flaws out that you might have never noticed on your own. And this goes for not only basic theories and principles of your art form, but potentially offensive topics.

However, also keep in mind that you cannot please every single person you meet. Simply be open-minded and kind.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

The sexual identity I am currently most comfortable with and feel fits the best is “asexual” itself — not a branch of it.

However, my romantic identity remains an oddity to even myself. I am currently coming to terms with the fact I reside somewhere on the aro-spectrum, but am also hesitant to label myself fully as “aromantic” despite never experiencing the feelings in question.

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

My sexuality isn’t exactly an aspect of myself I have made common knowledge in my daily life and to the people in it. So needless to say, the answer would be an overall “no.” Very few people, even within my circle of friends and acquaintances, know about it. It just isn’t something I tend to talk about, though it’s not a fact about me that I purposely hide either.

The topic of sexuality as a whole isn’t something ever brought up at the college I attend or the places I work, so it might just be a matter of “ignorance is bliss.”

There was a misconception of “being ace means you don’t like sex” once or twice, but that’s about as far as it went.

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

In person, definitely “being ace means you don’t like sex.”

On the internet, it’s been quite an ugly mix of comments. The two worst being “aroace people are just Straight People wanting in on the LGBT+ community and its resources” and “cishet aces are Straight.” Both of which mainly come from members of the LGBT+ community and enforce heteronormativity in the process.

What many LGBT+ people on the internet fail and refuse to realize is that The Straights don’t see us as straight. In their eyes, we are not one of them.

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

Life is too short to hate yourself. There are things about you that you can’t change; so instead of letting the world make you feel bad for it, embrace and accept it even if it is difficult to do so.

Do not change per the request of anyone (partner, family, or otherwise), because I can guarantee that you won’t be happy in the end.

And if one moment you find your ace label (whatever it may be) does not fit like it did before, don’t fret. Sexuality and gender is a spectrum. Labels are meant to help identify yourself, but are not inherently permanent. Do and use what you feel is best in that moment.

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

My artwork can mainly be found on Tumblr under a side-blog with the url nicoledraws.

However, I do also have a Twitter account that has some artwork that never sees the light of day on Tumblr. As a warning though: the twitter account is a lot less organized and also has a lot of non-art related topics attached to it. You can find me currently at mokamazing there.

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

Interview: Katie

Today we’re joined by Katie, who is also known as KatieBug Cosplay. Katie is a phenomenal cosplayer. They have been cosplaying for a few years and take a special delight in bringing characters to life. Katie is awesome and so passionate about what they do, 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 am a cosplayer, and I have been cosplaying for almost 5 years.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by characters that I really relate to in anime, TV shows, movies, and games.

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

Halloween has been my favorite holiday for as long as I can remember because I love dressing up. I have known about cosplay since I was in middle school, but I didn’t start cosplaying and going to cons until I was just about to start high school. I’ve also been drawing and creating art since I was very young. Though as of recently, I’ve turned my creative energy more into writing and cosplay.

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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?

Many family members and friends call me KatieBug as a nickname, and it really stuck, so I decided to use it as my cosplay handle online. While I’m not too fond of bugs, ladybugs are one of the more manageable ones for me, so I don’t mind being associated with them.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep going. Even though it may seem like what you’re making isn’t the best you can do, practice makes perfect. Keep at it and keep improving.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual.

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

I have not experienced any ignorance in the cosplay world, and I hope it stays that way.

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

I have had a few instances where individuals believe that my identity is fake or just a front for attention. This is not something I have chosen for myself, it is who I am.

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

Don’t mind what other people say. There are so many misconceptions about the asexuality spectrum out there, and you just have to prove them wrong. Exist and own it. Go out and be the best person you can be, regardless of your sexual orientation, or lack thereof.

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

You can find me on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook as at katiebugcos and on Tumblr as katiebugcosplay. You can also contact me via email at katiebugcosplays@gmail.com.

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