Interview: Melissa Wilkinson

Today we’re joined by Melissa Wilkinson, who also goes by Art by Little Miss Luna. Melissa is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. She frequently draws cutesy characters. For the most part, she has been drawing anime stuff for artist alleys but has recently branched out and done some drawings of plants. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an unabashed anime fan, so I tend to draw cutesy stuff. I’m working on refining my style and branching out into other areas but I always come back to cute because, ultimately, it’s what I like. I’ve learned I don’t need to apologize for it. I’m a mostly digital artist but lately I’m trying to learn watercolors!

What inspires you?

I draw a lot of fan art so I love taking inspiration from cartoons, especially ones like “Steven Universe” that are mature beyond their core audience. Outside of fiction I take a lot of my inspiration from food. There’s so many colors and textures present in the edible!

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

I took a graphic design class in eighth grade and I’ve liked digital art ever since. I gave up on it to study hospitality when I went to college, but ultimately I came back to it and got a degree in graphic design, too. I didn’t always want to be an artist but I was always interested in creative things like cooking and writing.

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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 used to have a silly little symbol I’d stamp in the corner of all my drawings of a heart with bat wings. Now I just have a logo I use on my business cards.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

The best advice I can give is when you’re working on something and you’re starting to get frustrated, walk away. Take a break, take a nap, breathe. You won’t produce any good work if you’re angry so come back to it when you’re calm again. You can look at it with fresh eyes and try to figure out what’s going wrong.

hamham
Hamham

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I used to identify as alloromantic but currently I’m going by demisexual.

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

Not from other artists, no, but from my family, certainly. Most of what I hear is that I’m confused or I just haven’t figured myself out yet. Ultimately, I just have to accept that not everyone in my life is going to understand me and that’s ok. It doesn’t really matter if they don’t get it so long as I feel comfortable with who I am.

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

That it’s just a phase and that the internet has poisoned my mind and made me think I’m a “special snowflake.”

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

Once, during Thanksgiving break from college, I was hanging out with my friends from high school. They all started talking about their sexual experience from their first semester in college and I felt so utterly uncomfortable that I kept sneaking off into the bathroom, hoping that when I got back they would have moved on to something else. Eventually I left and went home and cried in my mother’s lap. I had no idea why I felt such a disconnect, why I felt so lost. A year later I read about asexuality on Tumblr and I realized that there was a word for why I was the way I was, and that there were other people like me. The internet is your friend. You are not alone. Arm yourself with knowledge and know that you are perfectly normal and there are people who will support you. I’m one of them. Shoot me a message on any of my social media accounts and I’ll be happy to talk things over! Ace artists have to look out for one another.

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

Lately I’ve been mostly using my Instagram (at artbylittlemissluna) but I also upload things to my DeviantArt (Little-Miss-Luna) and my Facebook (at artbylittlemissluna) and Twitter (at art_by_LML). I also have an Etsy store (at artbylittlemissluna) if you want to see the products I make and sell with my art!

yuri on ice cream 2
Yuri on Ice Cream

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

Interview: Xavier

Today we’re joined by Xavier. Xavier is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in digital and pixel art. More inclined toward pixel art, Xavier draws inspiration from various sources. It’s clear he’s a passionate artist who enjoys creating, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My work mainly consists of Pixel Art and occasional bursts of Digital Art, but it’s not known to others online too much

What inspires you?

The other people on social media, Anime and Cartoons I used to watch, Comic Books I’ve read in my lifespan

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

Ever since 4th grade, when I got into anime, I fell in love with the various styles, and wanted to draw like that, however I wasn’t doing it online until around 2016 when I was in 6th – 7th grade when I started posting my art to Google+

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 make a small XH in the corners of the illustration

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

“Even though you may consider your art to be bad now, just keep trying, try to find any inspirations, and use that as, something to get better, and ask some people for tips, and maybe they’ll help you out, because in the long run, it’ll pay off”

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual since I don’t have any feelings for any given gender

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

Since Asexuality is not having any attraction to any given, I tend to ignore a lot of people around me as if they were possibilities for relationships

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

I told people I was straight because I didn’t think that they would understand the whole concept of being asexual, however there are a few people that I share the same sexuality that are also asexual, so only a few people truly understand

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

“Don’t let anyone out there get to you about being asexual, you are yourself, and you don’t worry about the others because you’re not living their lives, and it’s not like they’re gonna do anything about it hurtfully if you don’t let it get to you”

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

Twitter – Check out Jay at AdudecalledJay
Tumblr – adudecalledjay.tumblr.com
Google Plus – Xavier Henry.

Thank you, Xavier, 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 visual artist who works with both digital and traditional media. A lot of their work is experimental or abstract. They have a particular affinity for the strange and enjoy drawing monster people. Their work is interesting, with muted colors adding a sense of eeriness to it. It’s clear that they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

bleedingheart
Bleeding Heart

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Oh man, what is there to tell? I draw original works and a lot of abstract and experimental ideas. Be they my own or friend’s characters, ideas, scenes, bad puns, you name it. I am constantly challenging myself to improve and draw all the strange ideas that come into my head.

I do have an intense interest in monster people though.

What inspires you?

It’s more along the lines of “What doesn’t inspire me?” Being disabled I’ve spent a lot of time inside my own head; built species, characters, worlds, ideas. A bit of music, a bit of nature, a phrase, a person in a state of emotion, smells even can get my brain working and thinking; ‘Who does this remind me of, what would this character do in this situation? How would this species interpret this?’

I’ve ended up creating entire characters after waking up after a rough night in the hospital from drug fueled dreams, desperately pleading with the nurses for some paper and pen so I could get it out of my head before I forgot all of it.

Myself
Myself

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

I always drew but didn’t always want to be an artist. I remember my duotangs in elementary school being filled to just an inch short of the brink with doodles, shapes, silly cartoons, puzzles, patterns and a lot of dragons. I remember then never hitting the edge of the duotang because I used the work paper inside to hide the fact that I used drawing to pay attention to my lessons.

It was honestly my paternal grandmother that really got me into art, she paints but never had a knack for drawing things from her imagination. And when she found out I could and did, she actively encouraged me, often getting me to draw fantasy creatures for her to use as references for her own art.

I didn’t start doing digital art seriously until a few years ago when the arthritis in my hands started to make using pen and pencils difficult to use for long periods of time. Its been a fun learning process that I’ve been lucky to have other artists that inspire and encourage me along the way.

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 sort of do but I tend to forget to put it as a watermark on my art. I designed a crest for myself that is in desperate need of an update. (My digital art skills have evolved a lot since then)

Other then that, maybe intense colours and lots of flowing lines.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As dumb as it sounds, practice the basics. When you find yourself frustrated with your art go back to doing basic gesture pieces and pages of doodles. Once your ready to draw something big that practice will be ingrained into you and will make things easier in the long run.

And don’t be afraid to fuck up! Making mistakes is how you learn, its allowed, and sometimes you end up finding out how to use those mistakes to make your art even cooler!

Newface
New Face

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual in a polyamorous relationship. I’m also a transitioning agender person. Two months on hormones now, woot woot!

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

Not overly, I’ve faced more backlash for being non-binary transgender then I have for being asexual. Most of the time my sexuality doesn’t come up when I’m drawing for someone, and the few times it has those I’ve been working with have been openly curious or even relieved because WOW there are a lot of Ace artists out there.

Redemption by Blood
Redemption by Blood

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

‘You can’t be asexual, all humans have sexual urges, you’re not a plant’ –Said to me by my abusive mother at 15 when I was trying to explain why I wasn’t really okay with identifying as just bisexual.

Another big misconception people seem to have is that I won’t have a raunchy as hell sense of humour. Admittedly my humour tends to go from raunchy to ‘wtf’ in seconds flat because I don’t view sex as anything but funny, so see no issue mixing it with other things I find absurd and funny.

I like to write porn (my favourite people to write it with are other Asexual people or Demisexual people) and think dildos are the funniest things on the planet. Just because I don’t want to hear about my friend’s sex lives or be physically involved myself in sex doesn’t mean I can’t see how it can be important in other people’s relationships.

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

Its okay to be unsure, its okay to question things. But know this, no matter what anyone else says, you know you the best. You always will.

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

I’m mostly active on Tumblr: bohgeyboss.tumblr.com

Or at my Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/agentboss.

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Water Raven

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

Interview: EpicRosalina

Today we’re joined by EpicRosalina. EpicRosalina is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. While she mostly does digital art, she also dabbles in traditional art, using mostly alcohol markers. Her style draws its inspiration from anime. EpicRosalina mostly draws her own original characters (she also dabbles in writing), but has drawn her friends’ characters on occasion. It’s clear she’s a very passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Aki Lumi
Aki Lumi

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work with digital and traditional art but I much prefer digital over traditional. When working with traditional art, I use alcohol markers. I work using an anime style as it’s what I’m most comfortable with. I mainly draw my own characters however I sometimes also draw some characters belonging to a friend of mine. I’m trying to get back into writing by starting a new book soon.

What inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from my characters’ personality and backstories. Some have pretty messed up pasts. I turn those moments into illustrations which is fun since I get to experiment with different poses and backgrounds. Other times, inspiration just comes out of nowhere. Some doodles that I do get turned into illustrations.

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

I would casually draw starting from the age of 11 mainly because of a close friend of mine who is skilled with her art. I aspired to be as good as her and so I started taking art more seriously. It was around that time when I discovered anime and so I also took inspiration from that sort of art style. I only wanted to really be an artist when I saw that my art was improving and had people complementing it.

Aki Suki
Aki Suki

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 think I do have anything special that I try to include in my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t think that to be an artist, you must be “Born with artistic talent.” I wasn’t talented at all but I kept practicing and practicing till I reached a point where I could say “I made this and I’m proud of this.” Use whatever you need whether it’s references or models. Do whatever you need to keep you motivated and constantly finding ways to improve.

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Luna’s Breakdown

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual Demiromantic though I do find myself questioning it sometimes

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

I have encountered some ignorance. I have been told that I just need to find the right person and I don’t belong in the LGBTQ+ community but I try my best to ignore it my surrounding myself with people who support me.

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

People who confuse Asexual with Aromantic. I’ve encountered people who think that just because I’m Asexual, it means I don’t want to be in a relationship however it’s quite the opposite. I’m fine with being in a relationship however I don’t want to have any sexual relationships

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

If you’re struggling then give it some time. Some people figure out their orientation much sooner than others but that’s ok. If you need to experiment to find out what you identify as then go ahead. Don’t think that you have to abide by a label.

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

You can find my art on my DeviantArt, Instagram, and sometimes my Tumblr at EpicRosalina. My upcoming story will be posted on my Wattpad which is also EpicRosalina.

Luna LN Final
Luna LN

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

Interview: Erik Soriano

Today we’re joined by Erik Soriano. Erik is a wonderful visual artist from Miami, Florida with a very unique style. An emerging artist, he takes his inspiration from the Pop Art movement of the 60s and artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Having recently discovered his own asexuality, Erik has used his art to explore human bodies and sexuality through a visual medium. He started out doing mostly digital art but has recently branched out into acrylic paints. It’s clear he’s a dedicated artist with a bright future ahead of him. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WARNING: Some images in this interview contain nudity.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Ever since I re-discovered myself as an artist last year, I have been fascinated with the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, which in a way, is still prominent in our contemporary time. So far I have explored everyday objects, as well as sexuality and the human body as subject matters. I also have a fascination with typography as I am a graphic designer, and I love seeing typography on the human body. I’ve mostly worked with digital software, but I recently took on painting with acrylics, but I’m open to experimenting with other idea as I keep discovering myself.

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What inspires you?

As I mentioned earlier, Pop Art, the work of the masters, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, and Everyday objects, such as food, videogame characters, ya know things that aren’t seen as “fine” art. But given that I am asexual (like everyone else here I suppose lol) I am not afraid to explore sexuality visually through art. I love the idea of sex, fetishes, or deep desires, I think we shouldn’t be afraid to address those topics in general.

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

I’ve always been a creative, and I’ve always been good at sketching and drawing since I was little. I remember always drawing my favorite cartoons while watching tv or playing with my Nintendo games, but I also remember very vividly creating a huge art supplies case out of an empty pizza cardboard box! I used to watch this art show on Disney channel called “Art Attack” and I got crafty and creative with that pizza box, good memories indeed. Too bad my mom threw it in the garbage a month later. Eventually I didn’t do art until last year when I came back to it and started doing graphic design and sketching, and here I am now. Still growing and learning but eager and committed.

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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 experiment a lot, so I wouldn’t say I have a signature style yet, but I have found myself using the colors hot pink, green, red and back and white a lot. I do have a logo that I used to brand myself as a graphic designer but I don’t really include it in my art, nor do I tend to sign anything. I let the art speak for itself haha.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to follow your dream of being an artist of whatever media or field you choose. Time passes by way too fast and you don’t want to end up older and saying “what if I had tried it” the hardest but most important part is actually starting instead of just saying “I will”. Also it may sound overrated and cliché but always practice, experiment, until you discover who you are and where you want to be. But most importantly, have fun while doing art, or better yet, don’t do art- but be Your art.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m sorry for repeating myself but, Like I said. I re-discovered myself in 2017, both as an artist and as a person. And after careful research and finding AVEN, I now identify as a Homoromantic Asexual.

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

So far I haven’t really experienced anything bad since I rarely speak or get asked about my sexual preference. But I would handle it normally and instead of getting mad if I am mistreated, I would educate those people on what sexuality is and what it isn’t.

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

The few people I’ve spoken to about my asexuality, just think that this is a passing phase and that I just haven’t “met the right person” if you know what I mean. They believe that it is impossible for a human being to not be attracted sexually to anyone.

blue-portrait
Blue Portrait

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

First, get to know and love yourself, if you ever feel weird or that there something wrong with you for not experiencing sexual desire like “normal” people do. Just remember that in your life, what you are and want matter first, and also research online about what asexuality is, the aven website is in my opinion the best source of information wherein you can actually join forums and ask questions and there are answers, you can also chat with fellow asexual people and such. But don’t feel bad for who you are, always love yourself first and take things with patience.

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

I am emerging so it’s not like my work has yet showcased at any gallery (I’m hoping it will happen soon) but you can find me on Instagram at erikgsoriano, or my main website: www.eriksoriano.com.

Thank you for having me! It has been a pleasure, and I’m looking forward to reading other artists interviews on here.

Hylian-Hero-2X
Hylian Hero
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Snake Kiss

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

Interview: Sweety Aurore Mutant

Today we’re joined by Sweety ‘Aurore’ Mutant. Aurore is a visual artist who does a bit of everything. They draw and paint, both digital and traditional. When they’re not drawing or painting, Aurore is writing and while they haven’t had anything published yet, they’re working on a number of stories. Aside from that, Aurore is also into crafting and writing fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate 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.

My art is quite diverse. I would say that my “main” medium, as in the one I spend the most time on, is writing. I am working on two novels and a short stories series right now (none are ready to be published yet because I am a perfectionist) and in the meantime I work on a lot of fanfictions (I have been writing a fanfiction about a 60s movie since July 2016, it’s about 75k words long now and not yet finished. Not yet published either, because it needs to be perfect, by that I mean good enough). I am also writing on a few Larp and video game projects right now. Yes, I multi-task. When I write, I am mostly obsessed with the concepts of subjectivity and points of view. How reality can change depending on who you are. (This must be why I love Larping so much)

I also draw/paint, both digitally and traditionally. Fanart and original art alike -plants, people, original characters, commissions…-  I like pencil drawings and watercolour the most, even though I try my best to draw with ink, because it looks so gorgeous! Also Photoshop is my best friend, I spend several hours in a row often to paint on photoshop the details of something.

I also like to take pictures -mainly of plants and people, but sadly my old camera is dead and I haven’t yet found the money to buy a good one again. I have a few filming ideas too (mainly co-ops) but again, lack of material.

I also knit, crochet and sew, mainly costumes but also a few clothing items for myself or friends. I did cosplay long ago, but decided to leave the community,

Lastly, I also do happenings, of which there are rarely any picture. My next one with involve old domestic objects and plants, I will try to record its process.

What inspires you?

So many things! The people I see in the street, the world around me, my friends and their awesome ideas (I remember painting Henry David Thoreau as a hispter because of a university friend…), the Larps I play, the video games I play, the books I read, the shows and movies I watch… I have no shame about doing fanart and fanfiction, it is as worthy and honourable for me than any other form of “original” art. (Yes, I am a proud believer in the monomyth and the fact that there is no real “original” idea, and that the re-telling and the ways of representing is the only thing that matters, hence the important place of fan-work in my conception of art). Another source of inspiration for me is also the social and environmental context (I am working right now on an environmentalist happening).

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

What got me interested? Oh what a difficult question! I began drawing and painting as soon as I could hold a pen, and writing once I knew how to. I was a very curious child/teen, so I learnt to knit, crochet, sew, embroider, and I soon made my own costumes and cosplays. Taking pictures and filming came later, when I was in High School because I studied cinema and arts then, and had access to good quality material. Writing for larps came also later, when I was more inside the community but I remember writing roleplaying games in middle school already.

I have always wanted to be an artist, yes. I tried to convince myself that I wanted to do other things as jobs to earn money, but yes, even studying for a Linguistics Masters like I do now, I know that in the end, I am meant for art.

K family
K Family

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 signature I have been using since I was 13 or so, and writing this I realise how long ago that was, oh my! It’s a “R” in the right corner of the drawing/painting/picture, and at first I decided to use it for three reasons: it is the only consonant of my first name, it is a homophone of “air” which is my element, and it is the first letter of the pseudo I was using back then. As time went on, I also realised it was the initial of the first name of my idol and the rébus of the fictional character I relate to the most (Grantaire in Les Misérables)… two things I had not thought about at all when I chose that signature, and because of that I like it even more!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Work, work, work. Fail, hate your work. Work again, be proud for a day or two, hate it a week after. It’s normal to be proud of something and then to hate it, it’s normal to be envious of other people’s work, it’s normal to be discouraged, and it does not mean that you are not good. There will always be people who are better than you, and people who will be worse and jealous of you. Just keep working, and work for yourself. Do it for the fun, for the art. No one will be mad at you if you can’t finish something, if you abandon a drawing or a draft. If they are, they did not deserve you in the first place. Your art should be made for your own enjoyment first. Be selfish.

Marika p
Marika

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as panromantic grey-asexual, or as I like to say it, I love everybody too bad I don’t like them. I really need to be in a very “special” relationship with the person to consider having sex with them, and I noticed that is had a lot to do with how much I find them interesting on the intellectual side of things.

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

I have, mainly ignorance, incomprehension and the same old clichés than everywhere else. When I face an ignorant person in my field that is open-minded, I handle it by helping hem understand what asexuality is. If the person is, forgive my vocabulary, an imbecile that just want to cling to clichés and not learn, I handle it with a raised middle finger,

silver4
Silver

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

The old “you haven’t found the right person yet/it’s a phase” bullshit. What hurts the most for me is that I see such misconceptions about aces in communities like feminists or LGBT+ that, I hoped, should have been more open-minded than your usual human. I most of the time get this feeling that people just don’t try to understand aces.

teach
Teach

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

I would say… labels don’t matter, as long as you feel good. You don’t have to fit into a category, what you feel and how you live it -alone or with how many partners you wish- is the only thing that matters in the end. Sexuality is fluid, don’t be afraid to change, as long as you feel right about yourself. Also, you’re the only one who know yourself, don’t let toxic people influence you towards anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

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

Mainly my Tumblr for my drawings/paintings: The Artful DodgeR’s Tea Rooms (http://sweetymutant.tumblr.com/) because my DeviantArt has been dead for too long. I will probably create a YouTube and Twitch channel soon, but have not yet found the time to! To read me, there is my AO3, Sweety_Mutant: (https://archiveofourown.org/users/Sweety_Mutant/pseuds/Sweety_Mutant)

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

Interview: Katy L. Wood

Today we’re joined by Katy L. Wood. Katy is a phenomenal writer and visual artist who is from Colorado. She recently debuted her webcomic, which features two asexual main characters. Katy combines her visual art with her writing, frequently drawing character art and cover art. Her webcomic, Gunpowder & Pine, sounds like an incredibly intriguing mystery story. It’s clear that 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.

Gunpowder and Pine_Part 1 Cover
Gunpowder and Pine, Part 1 Cover

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Hi! I’m an author and illustrator, so a lot of my art is very interwoven with the stories I write. I do single illustrations, webcomics, novels, cover art, and character art regularly. My work is mostly digital, but I also do a little traditional work here and there, mostly pen and ink, watercolor, and marker. I’ve had work featured in the Society of Illustrators in New York, I have one self-published book, and I have a webcomic (with two asexual protagonists!) that just started posting!

What inspires you?

I was born and raised in Colorado, a fourth generation native of the state, and I come from a HUGE family. I grew up with so many stories about settling the mountains and growing up off the beaten track, and I grew up a bit off the track as well. It really fostered a sense of adventure and exploration in me, and I try and pack as much of that into my work as possible.

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

It always seemed like the only possibility for me. I’ve always told stories and done art, so making a career out of it was the natural way to go. Admittedly I’m still working on the actual “making money” part, but who isn’t?

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?

Hmmmm… not INTENTIONALLY. People tell me all the time that I have a style, but I don’t see it (which I think is true for most artists, you’re the last one to ever see your style). I do have one character that is in nearly all my novels, though. His name is Kala and he’s my oldest OC, and I always manage to sneak him in somehow. He’ll just be a random café worker or voice on the radio in someone’s car or something. He accidentally became important in one of my projects, though, and now he’s actually got scenes. Whoops.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Make friends. Make all the friends. It doesn’t matter how good your portfolio/novel is, your chances of getting your work out there in the world are 1,000 times better if you have a good network to help you out. Don’t be afraid to introduce yourself to people you admire, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Talk to people and keep in touch.

Bellewood Promo Image
Bellewood Promo Image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual with probably a dash of bi-romantic leaning towards women. Small dash, though. If all I ever end up with is a bunch of cats I’m okay with that.

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

I think the biggest issue I’ve seen is in publishing for novels. The industry has gotten a lot better about allowing queer content, but they still have A LOT of catching up to do. Some people in the industry are stuck in some very old grooves and the refuse to get out of them. At the same time, there’s tons of awesome, forward-thinking people that are fighting incredibly hard to change the system, and those are the people I seek out.

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

That the community doesn’t experience homophobia. I, thankfully, haven’t (in relation to asexuality, anyways). But it does happen to so many people and it can be incredibly harmful both mentally and physically.

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

You’re awesome. You deserve to be happy and secure in who you are and how you love other people, and if those other people can’t accept that it is okay to let them go.

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

My website (which includes my newsletter!), Webtoons where you can read my webcomic, my Tumblr, and my Patreon.

Thanks so much for having me!

Vivian's Kitchen Test Illustration
Vivian’s Kitchen Test Illustration

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