Interview: Enzouke

Today we’re joined by Enzouke, who also goes by Enzou. Enzou is a wonderful visual artist who does both traditional and digital art. They’re heavily inspired by anime and a lot of their work reflects this. They enjoy drawing comics, illustrations, and even do some animation. Enzou is a talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

01

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Oh boy, where do I start! I guess one thing that does stand out about my artwork is that it’s all over the place. I enjoy using a variety of mediums, styles and types of art. I can do both traditional and digital artwork, but my passion lies more with digital. I also love drawing comics, making illustrations, and creating animation. There are just so many types of things I want to try, that I end up doing a little bit of everything. My art style is very anime-influenced, and while I draw a majority of “cute” things in my gallery, I enjoy drawing dark/guro content. If I were to describe my art in two words, it would probably be “always changing,” since I can never sit still with what I make and I’m constantly striving to improve.

What inspires you?

Fashion, monster kids, dark themes, and anime inspire me! Most of my character designs aren’t too complex, but I enjoy being inspired by a plethora of clothing that other people wear. Anime and dark themes are pretty obvious, since I’m just really into that stuff (sweats nervously). Anime is pretty broad, but my favorite types include shounen, horror, and psychological genres. I no longer enjoy romance as much as I used to back in middle school, because the protagonist and side characters always had strange logic when it came to falling in love. That’s why I’m making my own drama/romance webcomic, so I can delve deeper into the character motivations and mostly to satisfy myself, haha! Oops, I’m sure I went off tangent there! But I guess things I don’t like/hate also inspire me to make something better!

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

When I was a kid I used to draw a lot and I think I unconsciously did want to become an artist, even when I was telling my friends and family “I want to become a teacher/vet/etc.!” I only continued to draw because all my classmates, friend, and my parents said I was really good. Their praise is what kept me motivated to create and I’m very thankful for that (because looking back at my old art … oh wow … please don’t stare at it for too long … it’s embarrassing…)

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’m a pretty lame artist, so I don’t have anything cool like that (sighs sadly). I think the only feature I include in all my artwork is a 3/4th view of the character facing to the left. These are my true masterpieces.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Jokes aside, practice a whole damn lot, as if your hand is going to melt by all the heat you’re creating, due to the friction of your pencil and paper (or tablet and tablet pen). There are days, or probably every day if I’m being honest, that I just don’t want to draw because I have zero motivation. But if you don’t draw, how will you improve? I’ve already sold my soul to Satan for a lifetime supply of Costco ice cream bars (how dare they discontinue them), so I guess the only way to improve my art is to actually draw daily. Another piece of advice that isn’t practice, is to BE CONFIDENT IN WHAT YOU CREATE and DON’T BE COMPLACENT WITH YOUR CURRENT ART. Keep your head high and keep improving! If you get rejected for certain projects or events, don’t get discouraged! That just means there’s more room for improvement. If you ever find yourself getting stuck, find something NEW to draw! My university professor made us draw dinosaurs one time, and I thought I would hate it but it was fun and now I know how to draw dinosaurs. One last thing, one thing I regret, is not listening to my high school teacher to draw realism. If I had practiced it early on, I would be so much better today. You may find it boring, but you’ll easily see how much your art will improve if you practice realism! Sorry if I blabbered on for too long, but I hope these will help any aspiring artists, like it has helped me in my own art journey.

02

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual. Sex doesn’t interest me, but I do crave love and attention.

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

Unfortunately, I’m a closet asexual and even on the internet, I don’t usually tell people what I identify as, unless I’m asked. Maybe this is one reason why I haven’t encountered or noticed any prejudice against aces. I’m also a very oblivious person, so this could’ve also played a part (laughs nervously).

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

I’ve encountered a lot of people who tell me that “it’s just a phase / I’m too young to know”. It’s very aggravating to hear this, simply because they can’t fathom someone being uninterested in sex. It’s very hard to convince someone otherwise, so I usually just smile and change the topic.

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

There will always be a trial-and-error sort of thing when you’re trying to figure yourself out. Personally, I switched from bisexual, to pansexual, to demi-sexual before figuring out I was asexual. This took me yearsss to figure out, so don’t rush it. Also, since no one around me was asexual, I felt like I had to conform to a sexuality that wasn’t myself, mostly because I didn’t want to be so alone. However, with the help of the internet, I’ve been able to meet so many other asexuals and feel less lonely. Stay true to yourself. Even if it’s not now, later in life you’ll find out you’re not really alone.

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

If you actually enjoy my work (or my personality based on this interview winkwink), consider visiting my website: enzouke.com! My social media can be found through there, too~ I’m a lot more consistent with my comic updates (shameless plug incoming), so if you want to see more art from me, consider checking it out here: https://tapas.io/enzouke! Thank you very much for reading! I’m sending you all my warm, abundant love. Please allow 2-3 business days for it to arrive. ❤

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

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: Mirella

Today we’re joined by Mirella. Mirella is a phenomenal fanartist who started out writing fanfiction in the Doctor Who and Sherlock fandoms. She has recently gotten into drawing and draws a lot of art in the Celtic Thunder (a musical group) fandom. Her work is beautiful, brimming with vivid color and detail, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí (1)
Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Historically I have always written fan fiction about Doctor Who/Sherlock, but recently I have taken to drawing on Adobe Sketch. I’m still very much in the process of developing my style and skill, but I’m working on making it much more realistic.

What inspires you?

My art is all fan art inspired by a show called Celtic Thunder: Storm. Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group who normally perform just their songs in any random sequence with anecdotal bits every few songs – basically just a normal concert, but for this one show did a musical theatre style performance. Each member of the group played a character and each song – either a solo or group number – developed a story, but there was no dialogue. I’ve been working on a fan fiction based on Celtic Thunder: Storm so the fan art is also just productive procrastination for that. I develop potential story lines through the drawings, but the more I draw, the less I write.

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

I became interested in fanfic through Tumblr. I always wrote stories and poems for competitions, so writing stories about already established characters was a really easy step to take. I’ve always wanted to write, and am trying to write something good enough to be published professionally, or even just self-published on iBooks or something like that. I became interested in drawing through a friend of mine who was always drawing at school. I wanted to be able to draw like her so as soon as I got a decent iPad, I started experimenting. She’s been really helpful in giving me general tips and encouraging me even though she’s far beyond my level.

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?

Because I’m basing my drawing off Celtic Thunder: Storm, I try to stay as true as I can to the original characters I’m using (I add a lot of original characters due to expansion of my fanfic) while adding a lot of Irish and generally Celtic motifs. The colour green is a nice colour to draw with so I use a lot of that and add Celtic knots or symbols to my drawings.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep doing whatever you enjoy, even if you feel you’re terrible. Don’t feel like you need to master seriously advanced techniques that the professionals are using early on to try and improve the quality of what you’re producing. Even if you do the same thing the same way 1000 times, you will improve noticeably in your confidence and style.

Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí (2)
Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as both asexual and aromantic.

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

I’ve encountered general ignorance about asexuality on Tumblr, but not in the circles where I draw art or write fan fiction. God, sometimes people really have no idea what asexuality is and when in that ignorance, they bash it within an inch of its life, I get quite upset. I’m thankful for all the brave people online who speak calmly and logically about it, so that the truth can be told, rather than spreading misinformation.

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

That we hate sex, and that by refusing sex to a potential partner, it’s a form of abuse. This one gets me really upset. I’m entirely sex-repulsed, so the thought of even holding someone’s hand is not a pleasant one, but I know that it’s entirely within the realms of asexuality to have sex and enjoy sex but still identify as asexual. So people who argue that asexuals are inherently abusive towards any partners because we refuse sex have not only mis-identified what asexuality is, but also seek to do us harm.

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

Find a group of people who can support you, even if they’re strangers online or some looney people on kik, and try and find a way to be confident in what you identify as. I thought for a while I was demisexual, and I might still be, but without ever having had a relationship it was too hard to tell at the age of 14 or whatever I was, so I went with asexual. It’s okay and perfectly normal to have a bit of fluidity in your sexuality. Even if in 20 years you go, “oh wait, I’m actually *insert different sexuality here*”, that is seriously and honestly okay. And if your support group doesn’t like that you’ve changed, screw them and get better friends. You need real people who will support you in all stages of life, not just when you match their narrow view of you.

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

You can read my *horrible, horrible attempts at* fan fiction on Archive of Our Own (AO3) under whovianlord and view my art on Tumblr under celticfangirl.

Princess Alaidhrm Ó_Braonáin and Rowan Caleraine Character Reference
Princess Alaidhrm Ó’Braonáin and Rowan Caleraine Character Reference

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

Interview: Murkrowzy

Today we’re joined by Murkrowzy. Murkrowzy is a wonderful visual artist with a unique style. She does both cartoon-style with realistic proportions. Her work is fascinating, with a remarkable amount of detail. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Uhm, well, I wouldn’t know how to describe my art well! Alright, let’s see … I’d say it’s a mix of a few different styles of cartoons. I took inspiration from shows like Ed, Edd’n Eddy, Danny Phantom & some comics like Scott Pilgrim. It’s mostly “I’m gonna draw this & not care about how it looks” & then seeing where it goes. It’s mainly cartoony with some realistic proportions I guess.

I also make costumes & other little accessories sometimes! I work mainly in traditional art, sometimes digital.

What inspires you?

Other people’s art! Animation! Seeing other artists do the thing! Seeing creativity! Movies! Music! Really, just experiencing stuff other artists put out is what inspires me. Whimsy, never before imagined stuff!

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

I was drawing since I could remember. I don’t remember any specific movie or franchise or whatever that made me think “Shit, I wanna draw like that someday”. Maybe it was Disney or anime? I’ll say yes. I’m also autistic; I guess this was one of the many ways I would fidget creatively with. I just always had a pencil & paper in my hand during school. I never stopped drawing & that meant my grades suffered for it! No regrets. (Don’t be like me, alright?)

Have I always wanted to be an artist? Friend, all of us are artists. We take lines & force them into recognizable shapes. We are gods! Rulers of the pencil! Ancient deities of craft & world making! Without our god powers, our world would not be as bright as it is! Bow down to our unbelievable powe-… okay, I’ll stop.

chester cup sleep 4 copy
Chester Cup Sleep

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 symbol, but it fell away into some deep space void. Now I don’t have a special symbol. I just use text & put in ways to find me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

(Can we curse here? I’m gonna do it.)

There will *ALWAYS* people out there who are going to think your art is absolute fucking garbage, that it’s the worst thing they ever saw. Those people will compare it to artists who had more time & experience, & then turn to you & tell you to stop drawing because “it looks like shit”. If you want to get better & for those comments to stop, you *have* to keep going. You will hit blocks, you will run into haters & you will run into people who will reject your art because “it’s not good enough”. That’s reality. You know what is also reality? Not giving up. You got 13 hateful comments? People are saying your art is shit? Here’s how to handle those comments; take them & use them to your advantage by not listening to those people & KEEP MAKING ART. I don’t care if it’s macaroni & cheese latte hearts at Starbucks. Your art will always improve & get better if you keep at it.

The reality is this: you will not understand anatomy, perspective & color theory in 5 minutes. Talent & skill isn’t something that is served onto a plate where you just eat it up & suddenly you get better. It’s years, YEARS, of hard work, trial & error to understand the art of art.

Here’s one more thing: try not comparing yourself to other artists. I find that’s very draining on one’s self-esteem, & that bottle is quite difficult to fill back up. You should: admire their art, use the “I WANNA BE THAT GOOD holy fuCK” feeling to propel yourself forward to get better in art.

So just fucking make ART! Don’t stop! Only stop for food along the way! & sleep. & maybe a shower.

cupstress mugstress copy
Cupstress Mugstress

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Gray ace! Gray aromantic as well. I pretty sure it’s fluid because it changes a lot. Somedays I’m like “hey, that person is really cute!” & other days it’s “you’re so goddamn aesthetically pleasing to my eye holy shit”. Many days it’s “CAN WE HANG OUT. PLZ”. It’s never been “omg hotness I wanna bang you”. I just don’t see how people are like that! How the hell are people attracted to genitalia anyways…

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

Many times. Sometimes, it’s best to ignore it. Although I believe it’s best to talk things out & educate people. I have a friend who thinks sex is the ultimate expression of love. Being ace, I disagreed & we discussed it. He didn’t understand how it was possible to be asexual & still date someone. I told him what I knew: sometimes people just want to cuddle & not have sex. Some people enjoy the act of sex while not being attracted to the person.

I love to explain it to people like this: Do you see a flower? Do you think it’s pretty? Do you want to fuck the flower?

To many people, they would answer: yes, yes, no. I then draw parallels to asexuality: we see a person, we think they’re pretty (aesthetically) & we don’t want to sex the person.

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

“ACE PEOPLE CAN’T/DON’T WANT SEX. ACE PEOPLE CAN’T/DON’T WANT LOVE.” That’s pure fucking bullshit & me & my ace friends will gladly give a fuck about that. I don’t blame a closed mindset; some people literally cannot fathom asexuality & what it’s like! It’s at that point in time we throw some education in their direction & try to get them to understand.

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

Ace people don’t give any fucks, that’s what I say! You aren’t broken, you don’t need fixing. Accepting yourself is hard as bricks … you can break through that wall. You will hear people who will say “Maybe you’ll find somebody. Maybe you’ll change your mind”. I once found those words troubling; I stopped once I gave them my own meaning. I realized that even though I am ace, I can still love someone! I can still have sex, have feelings & do the things. I just don’t experience them as often, nor do I want to.

Maybe I will find somebody who will love me for who I am. Maybe my mind will change; after all, sexuality is fluid. Like fluid, it changes. I’m going to be hitting my 30s soon & I haven’t had my first kiss or first sex. I don’t care if it never happens.

Don’t worry about “not being normal”. Your sexuality is your normal. Hug it, take it out to dinner. Don’t give any fucks. That’s one thing ace people are really good at.

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

Please send all the lovelies to:

Twitter: Murkrowzy
Tumblr: GlassesCatMurk/MetroCatStudios (for art!)
YouTube: SurvivorMurk

*PTERODACTYL SCREECH*

murk retail
Murk Retail

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

Interview: Jocelyn Lyric Saravia

Today we’re joined by Jocelyn “Lyric” Saravia. Jocelyn is a phenomenally talented visual artist. They do a lot of fanart, using mostly digital mediums to create their art. When they’re not drawing fanart, Jocelyn does a lot of art for school and hopes one day to be a professional animator. It’s very clear they’re an artist with an incredibly bright future, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I usually do the art that is for the fandom such as Ouran High School Host Club, and I also do the art that’s required for school and lastly, the digital art. Also, I am an artist for furry fandom, not the dark side. I just usually draw the cute stuff.

I love to take art classes at any chances I get. You could say that I am kinda like a doujinshi artist and a student artist aiming to be in professional animator field

What inspires you?

My inspiration is around me. It could be my friends, my parents, my disability, or any theme that I am very passionate in. When I usually draw, I feel the sense of the passion to inform people what I felt or thought about in that time.

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

I have to tell the story about that. Haha, when I was in second grade, I had the some unusual dream. It showed the infamous Mona Lisa art in dark black room, and I was standing there in my pajamas. I felt some urge to create the art that could be great as her artist did. But I never finished it in my dream. When I woke up, I knew I wanted to be an artist. I always have been an artist for years. I am still chasing that dream to complete my art until my death.

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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, I don’t usually have the special or unique signature or etc, but I usually hide the subtle theme that people with mental illness or disability could relate and feel that they are connected to me and I want to really connect with them.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Remember, the old phrase worked for me: practice makes the work perfect (not literally, but you know what I am saying!) :D<

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Greyromantic Asexual , that’s where I identify!

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

Yeah, it’s hard. Some people tend to tell me that I am missing out the greatest opportunity that I could create work out of it or something. But that was the thing I ignore continuously.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality is that people feel that I don’t want a relationship, while I am actively look for one.

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

Hey, one thing I thought that I was broken or just had mental illness associated with that, that we are not broken or just have something that influence, that’s okay. That’s something we can try to cope or live in the style.

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

You can visit my work at Instagram in two separate accounts: at kagehime_sama for student artwork and the human stuff that you can totally relate and at lyricmelodysart for furry art and fun things and cute stuff. Or visit me at the professional website that I created on my own to showcase my works I did in school. :D<

Here’s the link: http://the-pragmatic-one-s-arts.webnode.com/.

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Thank you, Jocelyn, 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.

1. Fallen
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”.

2. Moonstruck Blossom
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…)

3. Nebula
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.

4a. She Who Holds the Stars [resized]
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.

5. Teeny Tiny Master
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.

6. Butterflies and Roses
Butterflies and Roses

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

Interview: Elisheva

Today we’re joined by Elisheva. Elisheva is a phenomenal visual artist with a unique style. She does a lot of digital art as well as pencil sketches. Elisheva likes to incorporate Hebrew and Yiddish in her work. Her art captures the viewer’s attention with bright color and a masterful use of line. It’s clear that Elisheva is a remarkably talented artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Lyalke1
Lyalke

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly do pencil sketches and digital art. I’m currently working on creating original characters to work with, but I occasionally also draw fanart or whatever else comes to mind.

What inspires you?

A lot of things. Books, movies -especially horror movies- bugs and plants, and music is a big one. Alternative fashion and art. I also get inspiration from Jewish culture/beliefs as well, and I like using Hebrew and Yiddish in my art.

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

I come from a family of artists, so I grew up around it. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.

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 really have anything like that. I like drawing dolls, but that’s kind of obvious, haha.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice. Talent is a learned skill. So practice as much as you can, try out different techniques, study works you like, and try out different styles for yourself.

Moth01
Moth

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual-biromantic.

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

I’m not out irl, so no, and I’ve never had anyone send anything to me online yet. I have seen some mean people on Tumblr, but it’s easy enough to block them.

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

That ace people don’t have or want sex. And conflating asexuality with aromanticism. Really, asexual people can do and desire whatever they want.

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

Your feelings are real, and they matter, and you’re not broken for having them. Find people that accept you. People who don’t, don’t really respect you or your experiences. So it’s best to stay away from them if you can.

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

On my art blog, thegirlthatdoesntexist.tumblr.com.

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