Interview: Hill

Today we’re joined by Hill. Hill is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital mediums. She draws mostly people and dabbles in fanart, though she also enjoys drawing original character. She is currently working on a comic called “AVG” and plans to draw more comics in the future. It’s very clear that she’s a dedicated and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

AVG c1p7 fin
“AVG” c1p7 fin

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly draw people! Faces are my favorite part to draw; it’s all about the wacky expressions! I started at a young age (about 3rd grade) using traditional methods. I tried all kinds of mediums like pencil, inks, paint…but my favorite for a long time was inks. I liked them because you could create a stark contrast. I would draw characters from “One Piece” and “Bleach” in inks all the time.

In high school I started the change from traditional to digital art, mostly because my sister was doing it and so it was cool. I had no idea what I was doing, but stuck with it. I currently use Photoshop Elements 12 and a Wacom Intuos Tablet. Doing digital art allows me to make speedpaint videos set to music! I love creating comics and portraits of my own characters. I have one comic that I’m currently working on, called “AVG” and several more planned.

What inspires you?

Music is my greatest inspiration! I can hardly ever draw without something playing. I feel like it adds more emotional strength to any piece I work on. My best friend is a music teacher and she always inspires me when she shares her knowledge.

I’m absolutely inspired by other artists! There’s so many artists I look up to and have learned from, like: Eiichiro Oda, Tite Kubo, Kohske, and Rebecca Sugar. They’ve each influenced my art style in some way. My friends on DeviantArt have inspired me too! They’re always trying new things and it makes me want to be better!

AVG c3p0
AVG c3p0

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

My sister is the person who got me interested in art! She was drawing long before I ever wanted to. When we were little, we loved playing with paper dolls and you couldn’t buy Pokémon or Digimon paper dolls, so my sister drew them. I picked up art, because there were so many characters we wanted to add and it would take a while for her to draw them all! I wanted to help out! Next thing you know I was drawing celebrities with giant heads and tiny bodies (they were awful)! It was always just for fun, but I really became invested in art when I started reading “One Piece”. I wanted to learn to draw the characters and I needed to practice for an upcoming art scholarship opportunity. It worked out!

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?

My signature is my initials HRH with three lines through it. I wanted to have a cool signature and played around with a bunch of options. I’m not sure when I got to that one, but it stuck!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

What always helps me, especially if I feel art block coming on, is sketching. Sketching has led to some of my favorite pieces. It takes pressure off and can result in some really fun ideas! Always keep trying, because in just a year you can make so much progress!

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Princess Leia (grey)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual. I don’t know where I am on the romance end yet, that one hasn’t quite clicked like being Ace did. I had originally identified as Demisexual, but when I explored Asexuality, I felt it fit me better.

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

I haven’t encountered much prejudice or ignorance in my field. I’ve really only told those I’m close with or potential significant others. The only time I personally experienced it was when I identified as Demisexual and someone I know said they “never heard of it, so it must be fake”. I wanted to cry, so after that, I mostly kept it to myself. Since I’ve identified as Ace, I’ve only had positive reactions from those I’ve told. I’m happy to be a part of this interview, because it is a positive experience for everyone, especially artists, in the community.

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SU Crystal Gems for V 6 fin

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

“If you haven’t tried sex, how can you know you’re Asexual?” I just know. I don’t experience sexual attraction. I don’t mind talking about sex and I am interested in the possibility, but I don’t feel I need it to happen.

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

It’s okay to wonder about it. You don’t have to figure it out, now or ever. It’s about what suits you and your needs and what makes you feel comfortable. Either way, you’re always welcome in this community! You’re valid and you’re loved! 🙂

I’m very proud to be a part of this community! I’m even crocheting a scarf, though I dropped an abysmal number of stitches haha … I hope that if you find yourself in this community, that you can be proud too!

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

You can find me on DeviantArt: https://drawuntooblivion.deviantart.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drawendlesstars
YouTube, where I post short animations and speedpaints: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-RyTP_dlLqlkuF2hBIEAIw
and my comic is on Tumblr: https://avgcomic.tumblr.com/ and my website: (where I also plan to share other comics) https://avgcomic.com/.

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We Go Everywhere Together 4

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

Interview: Tricia

Today we’re joined by Tricia. Tricia is a phenomenal digital illustrator who does a number of different things. She enjoys drawing fluff muffins, which are like fairy cats. Tricia is also interested in designing various patterns, which makes for some fascinating visuals. Her work is beautiful, brimming with color and detail. It’s very clear that she’s an incredibly 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 love to illustrate whimsical, nostalgic looking things. One of my favorite things to draw are these little creatures I made up years ago called fluff muffins, which are essentially fairy cats. They’re called fluff muffins because at the largest, they’re around the size of one of those giant muffins.

Lately I’ve also been very interested in surface/pattern/textile design. It’s crazy because once you realize artists make everything, you start seeing their art everywhere. Walking through Target was so distracting because I just kept picking up things with illustrations on them and thinking ‘I could do this someday!’ It’s very exciting, though. I hope to see my work on anything from bedsheets to paper plates someday.

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What inspires you?

There’s so much that inspires me. As a little kid, I had a ridiculously strong imagination. I clearly remember this time I went outside to talk to my mom, but it was so windy that the wind picked me up and I was flying in the air for a while until my mom grabbed me, put me back on the ground, and sent me back inside. In reality, the wind just knocked me over a few times, but that’s not how I remember it. I’ve always looked at the world and wondered if there wasn’t something just underneath, something a little bit more fantastical. On a more practical level, I’m fascinated by light and color.

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

I haven’t always wanted to be an artist, and didn’t really draw regularly until I was thirteen. I decided to work towards becoming a professional at fifteen-sixteen.

I do remember being fascinated with tileable patterns as a little kid though. I would spend hours looking up patterns I could tile for my desktop background. I just recently started designing patterns, but it’s so cool to be on the other side of it!

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?

Once I hid the Ninth Doctor into an illustration of my original characters. Can you find him?

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know everyone says this, but truly the biggest advice to give is to just keep going, keep practicing. If you’re passionate about what you’re doing, refuse to give up. You may not be very good now, but you will be! Nobody was ever very good in the beginning, trust me.

Most importantly, keep your eyes open and study. Art is all about utilizing a visual library, and observing the world around you is the best way to build that. You’ll be amazed how much you learn just by paying attention.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as just aspec (aromantic and asexual spectrum), but if I had to figure out something more specific, I would be a romance and sex favorable aroace, with a potential preference for women. It’s a little up in the air, so I just stick to aspec for now.

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

Not in my specific field, but I’ve heard the typical comments here and there, things like “you’ll find the right person some day” and variants of that sentiment. One person told me I “just hadn’t smelled the right cologne yet.” I generally just try to educate and move on.

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

That asexuality is all about sex repulsion and not about attraction. It’s not that asexuality is a lack of sexuality at all, it’s just the lack of sexuality connected to other people.

That said, something I love about the ace community is its inclusive nature. Asexuality can cover those who are sex repulsed, even if they do experience attraction. It covers those who are traumatized, and it covers those who only experience attraction every once in a while. I’m so proud to be a part of a community that is open to all of the in betweens, I just wish more people knew that was the case.

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

You are not alone, and you don’t have to have it all figured out. Orientation is complicated and confusing, I know. But you’re not broken or weird, and labels are just there to help you understand yourself better. It’s okay if they change, and it’s okay if they don’t. Take care of yourself and don’t force anything you’re uncomfortable with.

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

You can find more of my work at notifyneelix here on Tumblr. Thank you for reading!

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

Interview: Mark

Today we’re joined by Mark. Mark is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. They’re mostly into drawing, although they are working on some video game design and do craft work on occasion. They also draw the most gorgeous pride dragons. They’re work is remarkably beautiful, brimming with color and detail. It’s very clear Mark’s an incredibly talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Rexy Female White and Gold

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Umm, I draw things? XD Mostly I like to focus on digital drawing, but I also do some craft work and other things here and there for fun. Right now I’m working on a few different projects, the main ones being pride dragons (and eventually other pride animals), as well as working with a close friend on some game design.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything really. Other artists, movies, books, music, nature, friends… I can’t really pin inspiration down on any one thing.

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

I’ve been drawing pretty much as far back as I can remember, so it’s been an always thing that never went away. XD Honestly I can’t imagine NOT being an artist in some fashion.

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Early Dragon

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really? Nothing that I’m aware of at least.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

(Sorry this part is going to be a tad long.)

1. If you wanna art, then art. Do it because you want to do it.

2. Some people are gonna be assholes. It’s pretty hard to avoid running into them. It sucks and it can be super disheartening, but *don’t give up*. I’ve had my art featured on “look how shitty this art is” sites and have gotten some nasty comments that made me feel super close to giving up entirely. But in the end, I’d refer you back to point 1. If you want to art, *then KEEP DOING IT* Do it because you enjoy it. Do it for you, do it for the people who DO enjoy it.

3. You’re not going to improve overnight, but that’s ok. You’ll have good days and bad days with art and sometimes you might feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but as long as you don’t give up, you WILL improve over time.

4. Going along with that, try not to compare your art to others’ art. You need to compare you to you. Look at some of your old art compared to new stuff. Can you see improvement? Doesn’t matter if it’s just a little or a lot, improvement is improvement! Everyone goes at their own pace so don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting to where you want to be right away.

5. I love stylization. It’s fantastic. All sorts of cartoony styles and what not. But I will say, regardless of how styled you want to make your art, it’s best to learn from life first. If say, you learn how to draw dogs, study real dogs and realistic dog art, because then stylizing them later on will be WAY easier and produce better results.

6. TOTALLY experiment with different things! Maybe you’ll find something you like, maybe you’ll decide you don’t like certain things. But at least after trying you’ll know. Step outside your comfort zone, don’t worry if you can do something “good” or not. Just have fun and play with it! Wanna draw cars but think you can’t manage mechanical things? Draw some cars anyway! You have to start somewhere.

7. While you shouldn’t compare yourself to other artists, it can be nice to look around at numerous other artists’ styles and methods for inspiration. Many artists will make tutorials about their processes and techniques or general art advice and these can be super valuable learning tools. (Just remember of course to be respectful and never steal someone else’s work.)

I could probably go on and on, but I think that covers the basics. XD

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am hella ace. XD Not demi or grey or anything. As for romantic orientation, I’m still figuring that out.

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

Sort of? In general I usually don’t get any of that stuff with just posting art and what not online, though I have had some not so cool things happen in person because of being ace. I don’t want to go too in detail. One of the people who did and said some nasty things is an artist as well, but reasons for their behavior were more on a personal level than because of anything art related. (Though they did rip off a bunch of art related things from me…) Handling it can be hard sometimes, but I’m lucky to have super supportive friends, and the ace community seems to be pretty awesome and supportive as well. Lots of nice positivity posts and comments going around.

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

That it’s not real and aces are just lying or are late bloomers. Also that ace people are doomed to be forever alone or they’re only able to be in relationships with other aces.

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

It can be tough, I sure as heck have some hard times accepting it sometimes. But anyone out there struggling, remember that you are NOT broken or alone! Asexuality is totally a natural thing, it’s NOT something new (we just are finally starting to learn more about it and bring that information to light), and it’s not something to be ashamed of. Whether you want a romantic relationship, or just good friends, or whatever else, there are definitely people out there who will accept you for who you are and who won’t try to change you. (And don’t put up with people who think they can change you or that you need to be fixed. That’s a load of BS.) All you aces are totally awesome as is!

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

I post most of my work on my Tumblr account: http://markaleb.tumblr.com/

And I’ve started putting up a few things on a RedBubble account: https://www.redbubble.com/people/markaleb?asc=u

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

Interview: Shay

Today we’re joined by Shay. Shay is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in a cartoon style. She is a self-taught artist and is currently working to get a degree in animation. Her work has a masterful use of color and a sense of whimsy, which just makes you want to smile. She’s clearly a dedicated 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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Me Windbreaker Teal

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a self-taught digital illustrator and I’m pursuing a degree in 2D animation! I prefer to use a very Western cartoon-like style. Picking out bright or pastel color schemes is my favorite!

What inspires you?

I often draw my favorite YouTubers, my friends, and my two adorable dogs! I also do a lot of self-portraits. Lately I’ve been trying to create my own original characters, but those are all still a work in progress. When I’m not sure what to draw, I sometimes will come up with a color palette that I love and go from there!

amy sick
Amy Sick

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

I’ve always been interested in drawing, but I didn’t set my mind on really trying to improve until about 6 years ago. Growing up I would only consider more “practical” careers like graphic design or marketing. That is, until a year ago when it suddenly occurred to me that real people with real lives actually get to illustrate and animate for a living. And it made me think “Why couldn’t that be me?”

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Chica

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not typically, but when drawing myself I often include daisies somewhere in the illustration just because I really love them, and four-leaf clovers because I have a knack for finding them and they just seem to appear everywhere in my life. And it couldn’t hurt to have a little luck on my side!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to try out elements of a style from artists you look up to. As long as you’re not tracing or essentially/literally claiming their work as your own, it will certainly help you discover your own unique style. Everyone’s signature style is just a conglomerate of things they saw and just thought to themselves “Wow! I really like that! I wonder if I could replicate that!” Trying out styles like that really helps you come into your own with time.

ethan peace
Ethan Peace

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual and heteromantic!

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

Not really, mostly just those that have never had the concept of asexuality explained to them. People tend to associate sex with something artistic, and therefore assume that all artists want that in their lives, which is not the case at all!

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Jack and Mark Dudebros

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

That it’s just being picky or that an ace person just “hasn’t found the right person yet.” If you’re asexual you don’t have any interest at all. I have never once in my life looked at someone and fantasized about having sex with them, and I’m in college. That has nothing to do with not finding the right person.

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

Please don’t stress about it too much! You may face some prejudice and ignorance about asexuality in your life, but at the end of the day you know how you feel, and nobody else can change that about you no matter how much they want to. You are not broken!

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

I’m most active on my Tumblr blog, but you can find me on these social medias:
DeviantART: https://sorrelheart.deviantart.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/sorrelheart_jpg
Redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/shaytastic

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Baylee Happy

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

Interview: Lawton Braun

Today we’re joined by Lawton Braun. Lawton is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in a unique form of self-portraiture: he works with fiber and makes fabrics. He has a degree in fabric design and uses bold colors to create self-portraits. Lawton also does quite a lot of digital illustration, which range from digital fabric repeats to text based designs and artwork. His artwork is gorgeous and he’s incredibly passionate, as you’ll soon read. 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 work mainly in fiber and digital art, have graduated from the Lamar Dodd School of Art, and am currently working a full time teaching job. My art is inspired by different interpretations of what it means to experience self-portraits. I remember being in the first years of art school when we were told to draw self-portraits and I would feel so bummed because I’m not a very photorealistic type of artist, but as I started to figure out what I enjoyed and what I was interested in I came to understand that a self-portrait can be anything that you want it to be. Capturing a person’s image can be a literal picture of the person, or a stylistic work that describes them through different aesthetics.

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What inspires you?

I take a lot of time to look at the intersectionality of my race, gender, sexuality, and my privileges in many ways and how they interact with the world. I am also really into skate culture and looking at the way that I feel and experience love. I navigate towards bold colours and high contrasting situations because I’m colour blind, and bold and neons are the colours I see the best.

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

I always enjoyed art when I was growing up and I love building things. I was originally concentrating in ceramics with a focus on sculpture when I sort of got invested in cartoons and drawing funny things. I decided to branch out and see where I could put my cartoons in places other than just on pots or cups or slabs of clay. Because of this I ended up falling in love with fiber arts and how it can be both industry focused and fine art driven; it was basically the best of all the things I wanted. When I got into weaving I fell in love with the skills and having to take the time to work at mastering the process to make fabric. Then it became all about, “how do I work to make fabric unique and tell the story of who I am using materials that I find interesting.”

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Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Not really a signature, but most people that know me and are familiar with my art recognize the colors that I use. They are bold and vibrant and not combinations that many would pick. I love neons and mixing them with neutrals along with blacks and dark tones.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just make a lot, honestly art is just a skill like anything else, it does not come down to talent, it’s just about how much time and practice and effort you put into it. If you don’t think you’re good at it, fucking welcome it and live in the fact that you’re not good at it and just find the small things that make you laugh or smile about what you are making. You can make it for a certain audience or just for yourself, just make a lot and think about what you make a lot.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and demiromantic. I am sexually active, but I only have or enjoy sex under very specific conditions. BDSM allows me to have sex within strictly defined parameters outlining what will and will not happen. This allows me to have sex in a way that lets me set the limits and feel relaxed while being able to enjoy the pleasure and fun of the session without having to get into a debate about me not feeling sexual attraction.

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

I’ve had plenty of partners and people tell me that I can’t be ace because I have had sex and do enjoy sex in the right environment. Most recently this came from a past partner breaking up with me because I refused to say that I wasn’t ace.

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

I’ve honestly heard people compare asexual people to sponges. Asexuality is a spectrum and it’s fluid for some people just like any identity.

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

Believe in yourself and just do you. Try your best to find other people to talk to, learn more, and take the time to experiment with the label that fits you best.

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

You can find my Tumblr at middleboi.tumblr.com and find me on Facebook here and my Redbubble shop for some stickers if you want HERE

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

Interview: Red

Today we’re joined by Red. Red is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in digital mediums. She is also an aspiring author. Red also happens to be a first for Asexual Artists: she’s a pet stylist who specializes in creative grooming. It’s clear that she’s an artist with an admirable amount of passion and enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a digital artist (Hobbyist) and an aspiring author. I draw monsters and Pokémon, and I write short horror stories mostly. Also not sure if this is considered an art, but I’m a pet stylist who focuses on creative and Asian Fusion grooming (Non-contest grooming). That’s what pays the bills)

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me. I find inspiration in things that happen in my life, colors I see in the world, or even just random thoughts. Music is the biggest inspiration, though. When it comes to my digital art, I can’t draw unless there’s music that goes with whatever piece I have in mind playing!

As far as the dogs go, I’m completely inspired by cuteness. I groom to make the dog look as adorable as possible!

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

As far as writing, I always used to want to be an author. I was an avid reader since I could read, and I had such a vivid imagination that writing just came naturally. It’s something I’ve always loved.

Drawing, on the other hand, I got into later on in life, honestly I started drawing because I used to play on Neopets as a kid, and I wanted to draw my pets. I also did a lot of roleplaying back in the day, and I didn’t feel comfortable using images from google to represent my characters, so I wanted to start drawing my own art to represent my characters. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to be an artist on a professional level, especially since my confidence in my art is pretty low, but I’m always improving, and someday I might even open up my work for commissions online!

I’ve also always wanted to work with dogs, but grooming wasn’t my first choice. I exhausted other options, like being a veterinarian and dog trainer, and found art and inspiration when I tried grooming dogs. It’s a great way to work with dogs and be creative as well, and I’m excited to actually work at a school now and teach creative grooming!

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 not really sure if I do… As far as writing goes, I tend to stick to horror and scary stories, and a lot of my stories come from daydreams, or actual dreams or nightmares…

Other than that, I couldn’t think of anything that is special or unique about either of my mediums of art. I just do this because I enjoy it.

(Jokingly, my coworkers say they can always tell when I groom a dog because the hair that hangs over the eyes is left long and the muzzle is always very round, while everyone else takes both of those short)

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t compare yourself to other people’s art, unless you’re actively trying to develop your style and you’re looking at different examples of that style. Even then, your style will never match up 100% to anyone else’s, because everyone has their own way of doing something. Even if you don’t think your art is that great, in whatever form it may be, just remember that not only do you have to start somewhere, but there’s honestly probably people out there worse than you at whatever you’re trying to create. Just do art because it’s fun, not to compare yourself, because you’ll only make yourself feel bad if you’re constantly trying to measure up to someone else instead of working on your own style.

And really, there’s art to be found in a ton of places, so if you’re a creative type but don’t feel that professional writing or drawing is for you, there are tons of jobs that can tap into that creative potential in sucha fun and unique way!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual, and I’m not really sure what my romantic orientation is.

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

Not in the art community, and really I haven’t delved too far into the professional writing area of the world yet to have that come into play.   As far as being a pet stylist goes, I’ve had only one person who has been truly ignorant, but she is super sweet and tried to understand. She just doesn’t get orientations that aren’t gay, straight, or bi. The rest of the grooming industry is pretty diverse, and really accepting!

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

That asexuals don’t love their partner. (I guess to some allos, sex is the same thing as love)

Honestly I feel like my love for my partner is stronger because not only does he understand my asexuality, but I get to focus on other things in our relationship that build a sense of love, trust, and comfort than just sex.

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

You. Are. Not. Broken! And you are not alone! There’s a surprising amount of people in the world who are either somewhere on the spectrum, or really understanding/know about asexuality! When you’re struggling to define yourself and your orientation, it’ll probably be tough, and you’ll think something’s wrong with you, and people might even say there’s something wrong with you, but I promise you there isn’t! Don’t buy into the negativity, and just focus on what you feel in your heart.

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

I have a DA (CreativeRed), and if you’re interested in some of my writing, you can find a few creepypastas on the wiki, like “For Fear Addicts Like Me” (TW: might cause feelings of dissociation) and “The Lab” (TW: violence, gore. Experimental piece with an emphasis on body horror and gross-out factor).  And keep an eye out for my eventual anthology of short horror stories under the same title “For Fear Addicts Like Me”.

lycanroc_by_creativered-darrxvk

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

Interview: Brennan Stidham

Today we’re joined by Brennan Stidham. Brennan is a phenomenal author who has published two books so far. She writes YA fiction, mostly fantasy and scifi. Her second book features an asexual main character. Brennan is a wonderfully dedicated writer with a passion that suggests we’ll be seeing plenty more work from her in the future, which is always great. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Ace trainer
Ace Trainer

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am primarily an author. Thus far, I’ve published two books with my writing/platonic partner under the pseudonym Eden R Souther. So far, we’ve focused mainly on the Young Adult fantasy/fiction genres.

The first one we published is Angel Syndrome, an urban fantasy with sci-fi overtones. It’s part of a much larger universe that the two of us have been building for the past decade.

The other is Cruentus, which is my passion project, and was published at the beginning of the month. I wrote this one on my own, but he’s helping me with later entries.

I also do some digital art, but I have been woefully behind on that, though.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by other authors that I read when I was younger, and honestly also by my partner. He’s a very creative person and I push myself to do better with every project so that we can make a name for ourselves.

I just want one person to connect with the characters or the story and get inspired by it. The idea that I could inspire someone with my words, just like I was, is amazing motivation.

AS Brighter
Angel Syndrome

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

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but not necessarily an author. My sophomore year of high school I was pursuing my passion for Marine Biology and taking AP Biology and realized … I’m not smart enough for this. I was towards the bottom of the class and hating every single moment. So I took the time to reevaluate what I was really good at.

It was then that I realized that I’ve been writing since 3rd grade, with varying levels of success. The year before I had written my “magnum opus” a 99 page hand written “novel” over the course of 3 months. And I had never been happier than when I was working on it. So I decided that I would focus more on my writing than on the high level academics.

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?

There are actually a couple.

In our work there are very few non-LGBTQ+ characters. In fact, Cassandra, the lead of Cruentus is also Asexual. I really have to push myself to find characters in Cruentus who aren’t LGBTQ+.

Another is that I absolutely love trying to mess with typical or expected tropes in Young Adult literature, and literature in general. One of my absolute least favorite is the “love triangle, how can the girl pick between her two hot boys?” We have fun with that in the sequels to Angel Syndrome, which aren’t out yet, but are currently being edited.

CassieHead
Cassie

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

The advice I’d give to aspiring writers… honestly, just write. It doesn’t matter if it’s good, or if it’s bad. Because writing is both the most fun, and easiest part. Editing is a super long, and time consuming process.

The second piece of advice, don’t edit until you’ve finished the whole thing. You will spend DAYS fixing and adjusting a single paragraph, and it’ll kill the flow. Just let that book flow out, or push that book out if you have to. Just don’t edit til it’s done. I had to make that promise to my mentor years ago, and it’s honestly made the writing process so much more enjoyable.

Cruentus Cover Internet
Cruentus

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an asexual/aromantic. It took a lot of years to get there, but once I found the asexual identity… I felt whole. It was like a missing piece of the puzzle and I just broke down crying. I’m not broken, I’m not wrong, I’m asexual.

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

Honestly, I haven’t in my field because I am independently published. I’m a founding member of the publishing group, and when it boils down it’s me, my mentor, and my QPP.

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

“You just haven’t met the right person yet,” or, “don’t close yourself off for the chance at love.” Those two are seriously annoying. I came out to my boss because she was pestering me about not having a boyfriend and then spent half an hour trying to debate asexuality with me, and how I was wrong about my identity… even though given what she’s said about her marriage and her opinions on sex… she’s on the asexual spectrum.

Kazun Hockey
Kazun Hockey

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

There are always people who aren’t going to get it. And at some point, you have to realize that you can’t let their ignorance get to you. Every single person is unique, and has a different experience. Your experience is beautiful, enjoy every moment that you have, and love yourself. You are amazing.

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

You can find my work on our author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/EdenRSouther/
Our author website: https://www.edenrsouther.com/
Our author Tumblr: http://eden-r-souther.tumblr.com/
My digital art is on DeviantArt: http://black0eternity.deviantart.com/

NyssaHead
Nyssa

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