Interview: Maeden

Today we’re joined by Maeden. Maeden is an awesome cosplayer who is perhaps best known for her wonderful Supergirl. She puts a lot of time and effort into her cosplays and it shows. When she’s not working on cosplays, Maeden also enjoys drawing (both digital and on paper) and does some graphic design. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate 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 love to draw both digitally and on paper, but my main artistic medium is cosplay. I started off by doing characters who wore “street clothes” that I could just approximate and wear as-is, but have recently grown my skills to make heavy modifications to base pieces. I strive for accuracy and am always looking for ways to improve.

I also run a YouTube channel that is mostly centered on cosplay, with occasional fandom rants and tip videos.

What inspires you?

Honestly, Supergirl. Specifically, as played by Laura Vandervoort. Seriously though- when I first discovered the character, my life was really awful. But striving to embody her helped to keep me from becoming bitter and angry. I saw someone who had lost everything and was severely displaced, but was still kind, and hopeful, and strong. I decided I wanted to be like that. And I wanted to pay tribute to her, starting by writing her and adopting her bright, bold aesthetic, to eventually bringing a full-fledged portrayal to life.

I don’t agree with all the ways she’s been depicted, as I’ll mention more later, but aiming to be more like my ideal version of her keeps my head held high.

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

I just love creating. With cosplay, I went to my first con without cosplaying and just realized I’d enjoy it more if I were playing a character. A few months later at my second con I cosplayed for the first time, and haven’t stopped since.

As far as my drawing, it just started as something to do when I was bored. Over time I improved and realized I was pretty OK at it, and wanted to share it.

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What’s the best thing you’ve experienced through your art?

Being able to bring my ideas to life. I’m so often disappointed by how the character I love is represented, but by both drawing and cosplaying- especially the latter- I can realize what I would like to see, ranging from queer headcanons, to creative and unique stories that respect my muse.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Pursue what you’re passionate about. People may call it an obsession- and that’s fine! Be driven and proud of your work.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual Panromantic. With most people I just say Bi though, and even that’s wild or complicated to some.

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

In the cosplay community, most are very accepting of everyone. I also don’t introduce myself as Mae the A-spec, so I haven’t had occasion to tell many people. But those I’ve happened to mention it to are perfectly accepting.

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

That it’s a medical/psychological “condition” or that it simply means a complete disdain for sex. To me, it means that sex is never my imperative with anyone when meeting or getting to know them.

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

It’s OK to not be sure. How I identify has changed more than once as I’ve grown and learned about the spectrum. There’s no rush or need to pick a label if you don’t know; just be yourself!

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

I’m everywhere, man. Most of my cosplay photos go on my Instagram and Facebook:
https://www.instagram.com/maedencosplay/
https://www.facebook.com/maedencosplay/

My YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4nKr6HiN6bdNGwIgC0c9-w

I also have a TeePublic shop: https://www.teepublic.com/user/maeden

And I post some stuff on my Tumblr, at Maeden.

I’m also a partner with fandom culture site Cosplay Spotlite – http://cosplayspotlite.com

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

Interview: Rosa

Today we’re joined by Rosa. Rosa is a fantastic visual artist and fanartist. She mostly does digital art and enjoys drawing her interpretations of characters from fandoms she follows. When she’s not drawing, Rosa enjoys writing fanfiction and has recently gotten into costume making. She also dabbles in cosplay. It’s clear that Rosa is a talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Fallen

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

The majority of my art is fanwork; I get great enjoyment out of creating content for my favourite series and getting to explore how I depict the characters and events in them! I do mostly digital art, though I also love writing fanfiction. I do cosplay on the side as well! I’m still learning with that, but costume-making is an absolute blast to me and I look forward to seeing how my skills with it will grow.

What inspires you?

This has always been a really hard question for me! My inspirations always seem to either be very nebulous or very, very obvious. “What inspires you?” This videogame/book/movie inspires me because I like it! Because I like it, I want to create things with it. The interest in a particular series creates the inspiration to work with it, for me.

I do have some specific inspirations, mostly from nature. Certain environments – huge mountainscapes, the open ocean – always light up my imagination.

The idea that I can create content that others will enjoy or relate to is always a good one. Whenever I make something, I’m often thinking “I wonder what everyone will make of this. I wonder what their favourite parts will be”.

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Moonstruck Blossom

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

I’ve been drawing since before I could remember! I still have sketchbooks from back when I was four. It’s always been a pursuit I’ve loved dearly, but I’d have to say that one of the very first things that got me into it was my active imagination. As a kid I was coming up with new creatures and mythologies almost on the daily, and drawing was the easiest way for me to manifest them. I’ve always wanted to be an artist, yes – but not necessarily a visual artist! My earliest passion was to be an author, and I still consider that my primary “thing”. (Even if I’m the world’s slowest writer…)

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Nebula

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 lot of creator’s thumbprints in my designs – I’m not necessarily aware of them all until someone comes up to me and says “as soon as I saw that, I could totally tell it was yours”! That said, I haven’t actually had a specific symbol or signature for a very long time. Back when I did, it was a stylised eye. I absolutely love the image of piercing, staring eyes still, so it’s definitely stuck with me!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I hate to give the cop-out answer, but listen: you gotta practice! Everyone knows that though, so I’ll tell you some things I wish I’d learnt earlier.

You really are your own worst critic. I’ll look at a feature on my art – a hand, a shading technique, whatever – and look at someone else’s art where it was drawn exactly the same, and I will still think that my version of it looks worse. Sometimes the best thing you can do is pass your work to someone else and say, “hey, this thing here, how does it look?” You’ll be surprised how often the problem is only in your head. Taking breaks from a piece is great for that; if you’re running up against a wall with something, I can guarantee you that trying to bruteforce it will just exhaust you and make you hate that piece. Step back, do something else, let yourself forget about it for a while.

References are your friend and they will help you mightily. Never be afraid to use them – that’s why they exist! And believe me, there’s a reference for everything. It’s wonderful. Go nuts with it.

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She Who Holds the Stars

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aroace.

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

In my field specifically? Thankfully, no, not really. It has almost never come up regarding my art, but sadly, I’ve encountered all sorts of prejudice in other areas of my life. Admittedly, I haven’t really intertwined my orientation with my art until very recently, so I don’t have the most experience.

When it does come up, I tend to just block and move on, or if I feel that the person involved might be receptive to a discussion, I try to engage them. Thanks to my personal experiences and the recent environment around asexuality and aromanticism, I’ve become very scared and cautious about even getting into it. If I even suspect that someone might have something bad to say about us, I tend to shut off to them entirely.

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Teeny Tiny Master

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

Offline, people making the absolute conflation that sex = love/romance. Almost every single person I’ve ever tried to explain asexuality to immediately gets stuck on the snag of “but if you don’t have sex does that mean you don’t love anyone?” It’s baffling and incredibly frustrating. Sometimes it goes as far as the person assuming that a lack of sexual attraction makes me some kind of cold emotionless freak. Just because I don’t do the do doesn’t mean I lack the capacity for warmth, genius.

I encounter lots of misconceptions about asexuality in general. Visibility and resources about it are so low that people genuinely don’t know anything. Even my other LGBTQ+ friends sometimes struggle to come to grips with it. Oftentimes people default to thinking it’s a choice and equate it with abstinence or celibacy.

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

Don’t ever feel ashamed to question yourself and explore what everything means to you. Asexuality can be hard to recognise in yourself – especially if you’re surrounded by media and things telling you that sex is the bomb-diggety. Take your time with it.

Being asexual doesn’t mean you’re “frigid”, “evil”, or “just haven’t tried it”. Anyone who says so is ignorant at best and malicious at worst. Ignore them. You know yourself best.

Just as importantly: please don’t feel ashamed if you find out that you’re not asexual. Identity is a journey and making a few missteps on the way doesn’t render your or your current identity wrong!

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

I’m an awfully disorganised person, so my “portfolio” – as it were – is all over the web! One day I’ll collate it all in a single place, I promise.

The best place to start would be my deviantART, where I post the more finished pieces: https://electrosa.deviantart.com/

I also post on Tumblr! I have a few blogs where I post the rest of my art, which includes all the more “casual” and scribbly things that I don’t port over to my dA. Here they are: http://electrosa-rs.tumblr.com/tagged/my+art and http://queensectonia.tumblr.com/tagged/my+art.

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Butterflies and Roses

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

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.

yadonashi
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.