Interview: Kiowa

Today we’re joined by Kiowa. Kiowa is a phenomenal visual artist and jewelry maker. She also makes a few odds and ends with yarn, mostly ropes. For visual art, Kiowa uses traditional mediums, favoring chalk pastels and chalk pencils. Aside from jewelry, Kiowa has also made some cool things for her horses. It’s clear she’s a passionate and creative individual who loves making things, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. Firefly
Firefly

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I dabble in a few different artistic pursuits – drawing, writing, and making jewelry, primarily. I also make all sorts of things with yarn, mostly by braiding it into ropes. I draw the old school way, on paper and board with usually chalk pastel or chalk pencil; I have no idea about all this new-fangled electronic stuff. I mostly work with beads for jewelry, though I’m branching out into working with horsehair a bit; I’ll try whatever I can get my hands on. My yarn crafts began out of boredom; I would braid long chains of yarn to keep my hands busy and keep awake during boring classes in college, and then I had all this yarn, so I used some of it to reinforce a rope halter and then realized I could make all sorts of cool shit for the horses. I’ve made fancy Arabian necklaces, a tie down, some little bits and bobs to adjust tack to fit my weird horses…

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Rio

What inspires you?

Horses, mostly. Horses are definitely the focus of my drawing, and a lot of my miscellaneous crafts tend to be making things for the horses. My jewelry making tends to be more “on a whim,” just making whatever strikes me when I look at the beads. Sometimes my ideas are really vague and other times they’re super specific. You just never know!

As for my writing, I have always had some sort of story or another that’s playing out in my imagination. I tend towards fantasy, and just about anything might inspire me. I’ve dabbled in fanfiction more than a bit over the years but always like to come back to my characters and my stories to see what I might put to paper. I am also quite good at non-fiction and persuasive writing, particularly short form. I can write a mean email.

When I’m creating anything, I have to have some kind of auditory input. It’s usually music, though I will watch/listen to movies or TV when I’m making jewelry. And it has to be the right input – if I’m going to be drawing Kalarime, I have to play the songs of his people (Bastille). If I’m writing particular characters, I want to listen to their favorite music.

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

When I was four, I was asked what I’d like to do when I grew up. I said “artist, writer, horse trainer, and one of the people at the airport that directs planes to the gates with glow sticks.” I have since aimed for slightly different employment but I’ve never lost my interest in creation. I have no earthly idea how I arrived at that but here I am, twenty-three years later, still doing my first three goals. I got to wave glow sticks somewhere else so I can check that off the bucket list.

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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?

Well, most of my drawings are horses. This is not surprising to anyone who has ever met me. For both drawing and jewelry, I naturally gravitate towards cool colors because I like them and I think yellow and orange are ugly colors and I can do whatever I want so there. My stories are often very dark and bloody and someone dies. But we’ll all die one day so there’s that. I really just do whatever I like.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever it is you like to do, do it. No one will do it the way you can do it. You will get better over time – but first, you have to be bad at it. It’s okay to hate what you’ve made, because the act of making something bad is part of learning how to be good. You don’t have to share every single thing you make with the world – art can be just for you. Listen to your teachers, but they don’t know everything either. Work from left to right (if you’re right handed) with chalk pastels and charcoal, and don’t touch anything until you’ve washed your hands; you will have pastel all over you. Don’t drop your bead containers, because cleaning beads up off the floor sucks.

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Fishtail

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aroflux asexual and genderqueer to boot

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

I have not yet and I am grateful. I hope that if I ever do, it comes not to my face but in written form so I can dismantle that ignorance with my words. I am much more eloquent and composed in text than in speech.

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

I’ve been extremely fortunate not to encounter out-and-out acephobia. Most people that I’ve spoken to IRL about asexuality have assumed that asexuality and aromanticism go hand in hand (and they don’t usually have a word for aromanticism). Since I’m just a hair shy of being fully aromantic myself, that hasn’t caused me many issues but it’s also a lack of education that can be confusing to people.

I have had people (including my mom) wonder what made me this way. I’ve always been this way. There was no event or trauma. I’m just… me. I think it’s really disheartening for all queer folk, regardless of identity, to have a piece of our selves be questioned and assumed to be a result of some action or event. No one is ever asked what made them cis or het, yet we all have to explain that our identity is just… part of us. It’s also so hard to say how much of an identity is innate and how much comes to the environment we grew up in and the things we internalized – the gender stereotypes that one person internalizes and performs can cause another person to develop dysphoria and be a part of their trans identity. So who is to say why we have the identities we have or what made us a certain way? That’s not the point. The point is that this is who we are.

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

I’ve never struggled with it, even before I had a word, I just always assumed that since this is how I am, that’s okay. So, to anyone lost or confused or unhappy – you are how you are, and that’s okay. Even if it doesn’t feel okay now, it will be okay. Your sexuality is a part of you, as much as your eyes and your fingernails and every other bit of you. Don’t fight with yourself – learn about yourself. Seek acceptance and understanding both internally and externally. You cannot and should not force yourself to be anything you are not. Authenticity is the best trait, so be authentically asexual and authentically you.

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

I have a Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/littlehorsedesigns, where I post all the stuff I’m making and offer jewelry for sale. I also take art commissions (particularly if you have horses). Little Horse Designs pretty much just goes straight into paying for my three horses, Kalarime, Geronimo, and Gabe. You can also find me at nolivingunderstarlight.tumblr.com and message me either place.

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

Interview: Hanna

Today we’re joined by Hanna. Hanna is a wonderful artist who mostly crochets. She also writes and does photography as a hobby. Hanna loves to crochet and has crocheted a bit of everything, including fandom-inspired plushies. 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 do a little of a lot of things. I love to write and am an English major at UC Davis. I love taking photographs, though that’s mostly a hobby right now, and I love tinkering in the kitchen and making spoonie friendly or food restriction friendly recipes. My main focus tends to be crochet though. I started teaching myself to crochet something like 7 years ago give or take a year. I started with the standard terrible scarf and moved on to plushies and blankets mainly. I work with free designs from various internet sources or create my own. I’ve made a lot of fandom inspired plushies, a few headbands, some wall hangings and even a bag.

What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me. I started tinkering with baking and cooking because I have a lot of food allergies and a lot of my family members are diabetic. I started to love photography because it lets me capture a moment or show my point of view on things. I started writing because I’ve always wanted to tell stories. My mom says that when I was a toddler she’d try and put me down for a nap, but I’d insist on telling my own stories and she would be the one to fall asleep instead. I started crocheting as a way to cope with a lot of new pain (I have several chronic illnesses that only started showing up around that time in my life.) It also helped me cope with anxiety and depression, I could put all my feelings into the crochet and disappear into it for hours at a time. A lot of my fandom-based projects were created in bed or on the couch while I binge watched shows or listened to podcasts and audiobooks because I couldn’t really do anything else.

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

I have to give credit to Diane Duane, specifically her Young Wizards books. They are all about fighting entropy and doing your best to improve the universe. That’s what I try to do with all my art. I write to make people happy, sometimes it’s just me, other times it’s a friend who’s had a bad day, etc. I create safe foods so that I and those I love can experience a little extra pleasure and it always makes me happy to feed people I care about. And I crochet because a- it lets me create new things in the world rather than destroying anything (as a teenager I was a little too destructive in my worst moments.) and b- I can give things to people, tangible things, that make them happy. I’ve always wanted to be a writer or a creator of some sort, I’ve always wanted to make the world a better place and that has always been closely linked to being creative for me.

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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 say that I do have anything quite so specific. A lot of my photographs end up featuring my pets though. I often use one of them as a model or background when I’m photographing new crochet designs too. I guess you could call that my unique signature!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep trying. It is always, always, always hard to start. It does get easier. But here’s the thing, I’ve been writing for 20 years now, I’ve been cooking since I was 3, I’ve taken photographs probably for nearly the same amount of time, and I have been crocheting for almost a decade. I still struggle with all of those things. Mistakes happen, failures happen. My best advice is go ahead, take a moment to mourn the failures, then learn from them and move forward. I take breaks from various things when I have to for health reasons, but I never give up on them.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual. I can find people aesthetically pleasing sure, but I do not experience sexual attraction to anyone, never have. Maybe one day I will, and at that point I may change how I identify, and that’s fine, sexuality is fluid, but right now, I am ace.

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

Yes. As an English Major I have taken a lot of English classes, both literature and creative writing. So many of these classes have had a lot of sexual content and a very heteronormative focus. It gets tiring and it gets uncomfortable, and there have been classes where I just had to leave the room because the discussion was too much for me. I try and take a read of the professor, I always try to approach all of these professors and explain asexuality at least once, but some of them refuse to listen and I have to back down in order to continue to feel safe in the class. My favorite professors are always the ones who start things off with offering pronouns at the start of the term and have an open-door policy to discuss any issues with the way they teach the class. Unfortunately, those professors are not as common as I’d like, but I have a feeling that might change as the next few generations step up to the playing field.

5

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

I think it is ‘so that means you can’t ever have a real relationship’ which is incredibly inaccurate and hurtful. I am in a relationship with another ace person, we have been together for 4 and a half years now and we are very happy together.

6

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

I know it can be strange and painful to not fit in with so many of your peers. It can feel like you are broken or sick or like something else is wrong and if only that one thing would change about you, you would be Normal. You are not broken, you are not wrong. I highly recommend reaching out to other ace people and talking. You are not alone.

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

Well, I have a Tumblr (Devieklutz and Deviecrochet), though I do not use it very often these days. I am frequently on the Slack for the Young Wizards fandom (youngwizards.slack.com) and we have an incredible ace community there. This fandom is the most supportive group of people I’ve ever encountered, and we have an unusually high percentage of ace members (I think it was nearly 50% as of the last survey!) I also help run a convention for the fandom: CrossingsCon (crossingscon.org) our next convention is in Montreal in June of 2019, we have plenty of badges available if anyone wants to come and hang out and meet a lot of very cool, very supportive people.

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

Interview: Anne

Today we’re joined by Anne. Anne is a phenomenal artist who specializes in crochet. She crochets the most extraordinary things: from dishcloths and scarves to actual sculptural crochet. Anne enjoys making things that make people smile. Her work is beautiful and adorable, filled with gorgeous vibrant colors. It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented artist, 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 crochet as a hobby, mostly small pieces like amigurumi (sculptural crochet) dishcloths, potholders, market bags, scarves and hats. I like to create things that make people smile or bring people comfort.

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What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people most often. I see a pattern and think of someone who could use that. I love the feeling of something coming together in my hands, stitch by stitch.

My mind becomes so engaged through my hands and my tools, that even if a project sits in a drawer after I finish it, I can pick up that piece and remember something. I love that feeling.

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

A therapist suggested I take up a hobby at a time when I was unemployed and unhappy. I had been working with one of those Nifty Knitters you find in craft stores, but I never thought of myself as a crafty or creative person. Since she crocheted, she suggested I try that; the supplies and instructions were right next to the Nifty Knitter looms, so I grabbed a book and taught myself. I never expected to succeed, but I was determined to get out of my depression.

4

I tell people that it took a lot of swearing and frustration, but I sure had the time and the stubbornness. I did the basics for a while, making plenty of mistakes (I still do) Right as I was getting confident, my friend got me interested in Bloodborne. I watched Let’s Plays and chatted with him about it a lot. (Spoiler Alert) I ended up creating the Moon Presence infant from the game, a black, slug/squid like creature (it’s cuter than it sounds!) It’s the first pattern I ever drafted myself. I had to learn Amigurumi techniques first, and then prototype a bunch of different ways to create the shape. I even gave it a little sweater. In the end, he said it was a good neck pillow and his cats liked it. I knew from then on that I could create anything I wanted.

5

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 often have a chance to “sign” my work, so I don’t have a maker’s mark as such, but every piece feels unique. Even if I’m working off a pattern, I get to choose the yarn color and style, I have my own way of doing things and modifying it to fit my needs and desires. In the end, it’s my hands that have created it, and no one else’s hands could do it quite the same. I know every inch of that piece and it’s mine.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Play! Play is how you discover your next project, or the next skill you need to develop. Play will often inspire you to something you didn’t imagine before. The pressure to make money and produce value can often take us away from the freedom to experiment without consequences. I take a very loose philosophy with life and crochet. If there’s too much tension, you won’t be able to work with it, or the thread may even snap.

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If you feel you’ve lost your spark, it will come back, perhaps differently than before. If you get stuck on something, then maybe it’s not the time for that project to happen. The whole reason I crochet is to relax and be happy, if I get away from that, I can’t do it. Don’t loose sight of the reason you create.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and aromantic, because the basic definitions feel right to me. Beyond that, it’s complicated. I’m a fan of the word queer, because attraction is strange. I grew up with very clear, heteronormative expectations to marry and have a family, and now I have a very different concept of what that “family” could look like.

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

Mostly ignorance. If I go to knitting and crochet circles, I’m often the only queer person there, and the only single person in my age group.  Crochet is included in the “homemaking” arts, and I have zero interest in that field. People will ask, “Who are you making that for?” And more often than not, the answer is, “myself” because I don’t have a partner or kids. It can also be a good conversation starter if I’m making something in ace or gay pride colors, I get to explain why I chose them. I see more assumptions about gender when it comes to fiber arts, myself included.

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

Most people assume that it’s a function of my anxiety. It’s not. Most people assume I’m never interested in sex, or I have none of the accompanying desires. I often have to remind people that I do experience attraction, but not the way most of them are used to it. I guess the biggest misconception is that I don’t have feelings for anyone, and that I’m somehow innocent or that I’ve given up. I haven’t given up on love or people, I’ve accepted who and how I love, and I have learned to love myself and my curiosity.

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

If you’re struggling with your orientation, find other people who talk about it. Read about their It’s not always going to be a clear and fixed thing, and that’s okay. Respect that part of yourself, and you’ll learn a lot about it.

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

I’m on Reddit, u/theta394 where I post my progress and finished objects. I’m also on Pintrest at anelysis and Ravelry at SailorArtemis collecting patterns.

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

Interview: Chip

Today we’re joined by Chip. Chip is a phenomenal visual artist and fanartist who uses both traditional and digital media. While she mostly does fanart, she’s hoping to do more original work. Though art is a hobby, her drawings show an extraordinary attention to detail and a vividness that is truly amazing. The use of bright colors draws in the viewer. It’s clear she’s an artist who loves what she does, 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 always loved arts and crafts of all sorts but I usually share drawings on my blog (both traditional and digital). I tend to make more fan art than original but I wish to change that in the future

What inspires you?

Other artists mostly. I take my inspiration from Tumblr, Tapas and Webtoon. I love the way they show their personality in their work.

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

My earliest memories are of my mum painting with watercolors. She used art as a way of self-healing and reflection and I always watched. I think I’m trying to do the same now.

Also one of my favorite memories is when my primary school invited Nicoletta Costa to talk with us about how she wrote and illustrated her kids books (which I adored)

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 think I’m too young of an artist as of right now 😉 stay tuned to find out

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’d tell myself to try out and practice the new stuff as I learn it

To not buy beautiful sketchbooks I’m too afraid to ruin (get really ugly ones for practice)

To take a picture/scan/make a copy before you color in the lineart so you don’t have to worry about ruining it

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I fit in the spectrum and I don’t wish for a more specific label. I used to think I HAD to find my super specific custom “term” to be valid but I realized it’s just not the case. For some people it’s important but I’m happy with just knowing the direction I’m going instead of the coordinates y’know?

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

I keep myself away from the discourse online and I’m only out to 2 friends irl so I haven’t faced any hardship. I do feel somewhat invisible and unwelcome in both worlds at times but I’d say my insecurities are the only “prejudice” I faced so far.

When I’m lonely I come back to this blog

When I feel unlovable I remind myself it’s a lie and when I feel like too much of a snowflake I tell myself that everybody is one

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

That we’re prudes (not true), that nobody will date us without sex (also not true) and that we’re just trying to hop on the “queer train” one way or the other (…no)

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

No experience is like the other. Do your research, listen to as many stories as you can and then just step back for a minute. You don’t have to figure it all now. Go for what feels right and allow yourself to change

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

You can find me on both Tumblr and DeviantArt at c0uchpotatochip! Feel free to tag along

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

Interview: Jason

Today we’re joined by Jason. Jason is a fantastic artist who loves to knit. They run a small business selling their knitted creations, which is all LGBTQIA+ themed. Their work is absolutely gorgeous, brimming with color and demonstrating an amazing craftsmanship. It’s clear they love what they do, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

ace
Ace

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a knitter! I was taught as a child but seeing as I’m ADHD it didn’t go to well. I began knitting again after I had wrist surgery as a form of gentle rehab and fell in love with it all over again! I now knit several hours a day and am working on my first sock, but I prefer making small soft toys and such. I also run a small business selling my pride flag related knitting!

What inspires you?

Every time I get a message from someone saying, “I never knew I had a flag!” or “I’ve never seen my flag mentioned or sold!” it makes my day. The ace flags was one of the first I added on and I still get happy messages when people find it. Also, after my surgery I was so scared about what it would mean about the usability of my hand, so I keep knitting to make sure it stayed working.

keychains
Keychains

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

I took part in a project to raise money and awareness for the LGBTGIA+ community in Australia around the time my country held a vote on legalizing same sex marriage. I began knitting rainbow flags and selling them to raise money for charity. Looking back now, they were awful, but people loved them! I began expanding; got new yarn, got a website and now I have a popular Instagram account, a growing business and 130 sales under my belt! Due to chronic illness I can’t work, so this business has become my main source of income. I’ve always wanted to create things as long as I can remember but I never thought I’d get this far

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 but this has me thinking I should create one!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever you do, enjoy it. Even if the other style looking better, gets more likes, or whatever, the important thing is that you truly enjoy your art. My first creations were hideous. I wish I was kidding but they were truly awful. However, I was having a blast! The fact I was having so much fun with it lead me to continue. Also, likes are great and it fine to be sad if you get less than usual (I freely admit that I do!)/that you hoped, but the amount has no bearing on your skill.

kitty in an ace cape
Kitty in an Ace Cape

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Plain, 100% asexual. I’m still not convinced sexual attraction is real 😉

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

People seem to think that the fact I stock the ace flag is the most horrifying, soul destroying heinous crime that exists. Before I was able to source the yarn for the lesbian flag, I was regularly the recipient of slurs because “ugh you don’t have the lesbian flag but you have the ace and non-binary flags and those aren’t even real!!!!!!!”. As a non-binary ace that wasn’t the nicest thing to experience. I did my best to explain to people why I had the flags I did and if they wouldn’t listen, I’d disengage completely. When I was really sad, id post photos of my ace and aro products in my Facebook groups and they’d hype me u and remind me that good people exist. Knitting is my happy place and gives me independence so I do my best to only share it with those that respect it and me.

rainbow2
Rainbow

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

Either the pure innocent child myth (completely false, my aroace friend and I are filthy minded) or that all aces/aspecs hate sex

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

I know that feeling. I know the pain. You are NOT alone. You have a whole community behind you and if you figure out that this isn’t your community, we’ll send you on your journey with a smile and a hug. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself.

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

Website/store- www.proudknitting.info
Instagram- https://www.instagram.com/proud_knitting/
Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/proudknitting/
Etsy- https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/ProudKnitting

wristbands
Wristbands

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

Interview: Melissa

Today we’re joined by Melissa, who also goes by Wolfish Arts online. Melissa is a phenomenal artist who does cross stitch. She creates beautiful works using needlework. She’s currently working on a large project and updates can be seen on her Facebook page and Tumblr. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

A Home Without A Cat
A Home Without a Cat

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do cross stitching, which is a type of needlework. I started stitching in September 2017 or so.

What inspires you?

My friends to be honest. Most of my friends are very artistic and talented, and seeing all the hard work they put into their art makes me want to do better with mine as well.

Blue Butterfly
Blue Butterfly

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

Cross stitching is something I’ve always been fascinated by. When I was really little, I saw someone cross stitching and thought it looked interesting and wanted to try it myself. My family was super poor though, so it never happened. I finally picked it up last year after talking to my grandma about it.

I’ve always been surrounded by artists. My grandmother does pastels on sandpaper, and she always encouraged my desire for art. I’ve been a writer since I learned how to write – I wrote my first book in 1st grade and haven’t stopped since. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I’ve always wanted to do something to bring my characters to life. Unfortunately my drawing skills are terrible. So I suppose the long answer is yes.

Dragon Series 1
Dragon Series 1

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 actually don’t. Cross stitching is such an interesting craft. I don’t know if it would be compatible with such a thing.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep trying and practicing. If you find you’re not good at one kind of art or craft, then don’t be afraid to try another kind. I was so set as a kid on writing and drawing as the only art forms available, I never bothered trying anything else. Cross stitching never even crossed my mind as a possibility until my grandmother mentioned the needlework that HER mother did when she was a girl. If you find something or see something that sounds even remotely interesting, don’t be afraid to try it. You never know what you’ll be good at or passionate about until you try.

Dragon Series 2
Dragon Series 2

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual and Aromantic

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

I have, yes. Unfortunately some members of my family have shown some ignorance towards it. My father doesn’t understand it and thinks its just a phase or something, and my brother thinks I shouldn’t label myself and we should all just be ourselves. I don’t know how the rest of them see it since they never really give a reaction. I have friends as well who, while they accept it, they tend to ask a lot of very personal questions about it.

For my family, I try educating them on it when I can, or I just ignore it. My father doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand. He’s too dead set on convincing me to give him grandchildren. (Note: Its not happening Dad.) I love my family, but my family is more than a little disjointed and I’ve learned to pick my battles with them.

As for my friends, I know they come from a good place. They want to understand at least, and they accept me for who I am and don’t try to change it. The questions do get personal very quick. I’m sure anyone on the ace spectrum already knows what I’m talking about.

I don’t tell strangers about my orientation to avoid issues so for the most part the only ones who do know have been accepting or just don’t acknowledge it.

For the most part, if it’s someone I know showing prejudice or ignorance I either try to educate them or just ignore it.

Dragon Series 3
Dragon Series 3

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

Oooh boy. That’s a tricky question. The most common one I’ve encountered is usually related to actual sex itself. Can we climax, or do we even have sex ever? I usually try to answer for my own experiences then throw in a “not every ace is the same” sorta thing.

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

Find someone who supports you. My best friend is also on the spectrum and she’s the one who first brought it to my attention. Without her, it would have taken me a lot longer to discover the ace spectrum. Knowing that I can talk to her about my concerns and questions and whatnot relating to asexuality helps me feel better about myself because I know at least she’ll accept me no matter what. And she understands. Finding someone that understands you or at least supports you and is willing to listen when you need it is amazing.

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

I’m on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/wolfisharts/

And Tumblr: https://wolfish-arts.tumblr.com/

Feel free to follow me on either one or both of them. I’m always happy to answer questions or help out!

Dragon Series 4
Dragon Series 4

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

Interview: Alex

Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a wonderful artist who is a bit of a jack of all trades. He does a lot of visual art, mostly drawing and painting. He also does crafts and enjoys knitting and crochet, particularly long scarves. When he’s not doing crafts or visual art, Alex also makes music and can play the ukulele. It’s clear he’s a passionate artist who enjoys what he does. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I use my art to create things I think the world is missing, whether it’s music, or extra-large scarves, or just a painting.  My art is my outlet, it’s diverse and powerful (even when it’s just for me) and it enables me to express myself.

What inspires you?

The ability to create, to bring something into this world that causes emotion.  When I knit or crochet I am, more often than not, creating a gift to give to someone else.  When I play my ukulele I hope that someone listening can feel the emotions of the music.  I am inspired by the ability to make something that was once missing from the world.

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

I had a friend in elementary school who inspired me to create comics.  They were just stick figures, but I had so much fun coming up with jokes and stories, that even when I stopped creating comics I continued to draw.

At the same time, my family has always been very musical and so, when my nana let me play her ukulele I decided I wanted have one too.

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?

Ah, no haha, I’m too inconsistent to do something that clever.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

At times it may seem tough, but art is an outlet, it doesn’t matter if you think it’s good if you enjoy it. What matters is if you feel good while creating whatever it is you are making.  Improvement will come with practice, for now, just enjoy the ride.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and do not use the split attraction model (SAM).

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

I’m rather isolated, and I do not bring up my asexuality unless it is with people I trust, so as of current, I have not experienced any prejudice from my fellow artists.

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

That asexual means you don’t like sex.  Which is false, different people have different views on sex and just because I experience so sexual attraction does not mean that I have no libido or interest. But like I said, it’s different for everyone.

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

If you decide one that that you are not ace, that’s OK.  If you live your whole life never subscribing to a label, that’s OK.  What matters is your comfort and that others respect you. I thought I was a lesbian when I was younger because if I didn’t like guys I must have to like girls then right? But I allowed myself space to grow and now I know I am trans and asexual. There is always room to grow and explore, so don’t feel stuck with one label.

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

My music is available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHiHayKl58aLduLbGJShFw
And my art can be found here: Lukassskywalker.tumblr.com/tagged/my+art
And I have some things posted on RedBubble :D: https://www.redbubble.com/people/slothguard?asc=u.

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