Interview: Ria

Today we’re joined by Ria, who also goes by rainbowbarfeverywhere. Ria is a phenomenal character animator and digital illustrator. She has worked on a TV show and does animation for a living. On her free time, Ria loves to draw. She does a lot of fanart and enjoys focusing on friendships between characters. It’s clear she loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. Ace Week 2018
Ace Week 2018

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I part time as a character animator in an outsourcing studio, Toon City Animation. I’ve only been working there for a year and I’ve worked on the television series Big Hero 6. Though I’ve been animating for a while now, I haven’t really made any personal animations though I hope to do some someday.

I mostly draw fanart in my free time. I’m a digital artist and I mostly use Clip Studio Paint and Adobe Photoshop. I love drawing for anime and other animated series or films. I’m not as active as the average fanartist but I love drawing for fan events like fandom weeks or big bangs. Although I used to be a big shipper and drew my pairings all the time, now I like to focus on individual characters and friendships.

What inspires you?

When I fall in love with a work, a character, or a relationship, I want to convey my love for it through art. When I appreciate something, I want others to appreciate it too and I can do that either by exchanging ideas or thoughts, or by making fanart of that something. It’s my little way of giving more love to the series.

I also get inspired by other fanartists. Their skills become a goal I want to work towards. When I see an artwork that stops me at my feet, I become driven to also touch someone like that.

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

I’ve been drawing forever. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t draw. Even as far back as preschool, I already remember when I drew my favorite cartoons. Art is a part of me and I can’t imagine myself without it. When I thought about what I wanted to do in life, it seemed like a no-brainer to be an artist of some kind.

Becoming an animator came later in my life. I, at one point in my childhood, wanted to be an animator since that was the only field I thought I could work in as an artist. But I let go of that dream pretty early on. I had to be practical and while I liked my drawings, I didn’t think they were exceptional.

The opportunity to learn animation and become an animator only came late into my university life. I had taken a leave of absence and my cousin told me about an animation workshop that happened near me. I fell in love with animation instantly.

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 special cat symbol that I always included in my drawings when I was young. I used it as a sort of artist signature. I did realize later on that it would be hard to identify whose signature it was unless you were already familiar with me. In the end, I just use my artist handle when I want to sign my work. It makes things easier for my audience.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Love both yourself and your work. It will be hard to get far and stay far in life if you don’t.

You will never be satisfied if you don’t love your work and people can feel the emotion you put into your work. Without love, it will be hard to touch other people’s hearts. You also need to take care of yourself. So many artists have fallen sick or died because they didn’t care for themselves. There can be no art if there are no artists. Be kind to yourself.

2. Yamakage (march 13, 2016)
Yamakage

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic asexual.

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

I don’t share my sexuality to a lot of people. Only a handful of people in real life know that I’m ace and none of them are people I know from work.

On the other hand, I’m open about my sexuality online. I have it in my description and I occasionally talk about it in my posts or tweets. Still, I only interact with an intimate amount of people online. While I don’t hide my asexuality, only the people I interact with would know. And I make sure that the people in my internet circle are accepting.

I’ve never been outright attacked or singled out, but I’ve seen hate for my sexuality in different parts of the internet. I simply choose not to engage in them because I feel they won’t listen to me either way.

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

The two most common misconceptions about asexuality is that it’s only temporary (that it’s a phase or asexual people just haven’t found the right person yet) and that there’s something wrong with us for us to feel this way. People think that we’re just misguided and need to be taken to the right path.

But asexuality is just a part of us. Just because we’re not attracted to other people that way doesn’t mean that we’re broken. It just means that we care more about our friendships and families. There’s nothing missing in our lives just because we don’t have a significant other.

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

No matter what anyone says, you and what you’re feeling are valid. There’s nothing wrong with you and you’re not broken just because you don’t feel that kind of attraction for other people. There’s more to life than romantic love or sex. It can be just as fulfilling with the people you have in your life.

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

My primary account is at Twitter and you can find me here: https://twitter.com/rainbowbarf_/

I’m also at Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rainbowbarfeverywhere/

You can support me through Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/rainbowbarfeverywhere

3. Galaxy (april 16, 2016)
Galaxy

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

Interview: Kailey Lewia

Today we’re joined by Kailey Lewia. Kailey is a wonderful young hobbyist writer and visual artist. She’s currently working on a couple different novels that deal with pretty heavy subject matter. When she’s not writing, Kailey enjoys doing visual art. She paints, sketches, and does digital drawings. It’s clear 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.

 

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a hobbyist writer in high school and I’m currently working on two projects. The first is a novel that focuses on rape trauma, identity, sexuality, and race which is currently on hiatus, and the second is a novella about the concept of Stockholm syndrome. I also do some painting and digital drawing in my free time, just little sketches for fun.

What inspires you?

The idea of creating characters that stick with people. You see all these characters in pop culture that everybody loves and looks into: I want people to take my characters and bring them to a point where everybody is dissecting my work and figuring out what, exactly, my point is.

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

I was always an avid reader and after reading stories like Harry Potter in second grade, I instantly knew I wanted to write. I’ve been attempting to write stories since I was eight, it’s just that I’ve never really had a solid idea that I can follow through with. I think I do now, though!

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?

Nope, sorry.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. It doesn’t matter if there’s someone ‘better than you’- you have to push for a chance for people to see what you can do, and you have to strive to improve. Never give up and make sure that you’re happy with what you’re creating, so what you want to.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a biromantic asexual but I prefer not to label myself as biromantic simply because I don’t think that’s set in stone.

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

Not necessarily in ‘the field,’ but I know I’ve certainly experienced ignorance at school for my identity in general. I know for me being part of the GSA has reinforced the way I feel about myself and my identity because it puts me next to several other people in the LGBT+ community who I know are willing to listen to me and speak up with me if there are problems with other students.

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

Personally, the most common misconception would be that someone of my age is too young to consider themselves asexual. I’ve known I wasn’t straight since I was eleven and spent two years figuring out I was asexual and I’ve obviously stuck with that since and believe I always will- but people think, despite my personal journey of finding my identity, that I’m either just saying I’m asexual for attention or because I’m too young to experience sexual attraction.

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

If you have friends telling you it’s just a phase or doubting you when you’re figuring out your sexuality, drop them. If they can’t support you through such a tough time then they’re really just going to make it worse.

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

I just recently created a Tumblr so there’s only one digital sketch on it right now, but I plan on posting more sketches on it and sharing my writing/ updates on my work on it! At actual-brontosaurus.

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Thank you, Kailey, 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.

Rexy Female White and Gold copy
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.

earlydragon
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: EJ Anderson

Today we’re joined by EJ Anderson. EJ is a wonderful writer and visual artist who is the creator of Gecko Jehovah, a webcomic that prominently features a m/m couple. The webcomic has been running since June 2015. EJ is an incredibly passionate and dedicated artist who has been drawing for years. Her enthusiasm is admirable, 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’ve had a lot of different projects but right now I write and draw a long-form webcomic called Gecko Jehovah, which I’ve been publishing since June 2015. It’s my very first adventure in digital drawing and also my first exercise in drawing (almost) every day since high school.

What inspires you?

Good comedy, good dialogue, observational writing in general. And then lot of the basic concepts and main characters in my ‘verse come from dreams because I used to be very diligent about writing down my dreams, but I’m less consistent with that these days.

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

Yep. I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid and I went to an arts magnet high school and then majored in art at university ever since then. I’m impaired in math so I wasn’t able to pursue any of my more scientific interests because of that.

I’ve only been drawing “seriously” – as in, almost every day and with the explicit goal of improvement – since August 2014, though. And I started doing this at the encouragement of a dear friend who thought I might have a grain of a cool story in the universe I’d created when I was much younger.

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 big on Easter eggs and I slip them in whenever I can, and it’s not really important to me whether anyone finds them, it’s just a fun thing that keeps the process interesting.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep plugging away, I know it’s cliché but it works. And sometimes you’re going to feel like you’ve plateaued or even that your skills are getting worse. This is a normal part of the process, because seeing and actually drawing are two separate skillsets that can sometimes get out of sync with each other. So sometimes you’ll be better at seeing your mistakes than you are at correcting them, and when this happens you just have to keep drawing and eventually your brain will sort itself out.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just asexual.

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

Within my artistic field? Nah, not really. In fact I think every time I’ve asked if asexual artists are included in calls for LGBT-produced comics, the answer has been yes, which is wonderfully refreshing.

Outside of comics, on the larger internet as a whole, though? There’s a lot of it. I typically handle it by using filters and blockers to hide upsetting content from myself but honestly I’m quite bad at that and I get into arguments pretty regularly.

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

That asexual people with opposite-sex partners are “just straight”. I’d say this isn’t so much a misconception as it is an informed opinion that I fundamentally reject, though.

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

First off, that it’s okay to shed the asexual label if you find it no longer applies to you. Labels are tools and it’s perfectly fine to stop using them when they stop working. I say this because I’ve known very young people who assumed they were asexual when in fact they were just developing an interest in sex at a later age than their peers, and this can create an identity crisis. So know that it’s absolutely fine to change your label at any time and it doesn’t mean you were faking or lying before, it just means you’re learning new things about yourself.

And second, and this is a big one: know that you don’t have to have sex. Ever. You don’t have to go skydiving, you don’t have to climb Mt. Everest, you don’t have to hike the Appalachian Trail, you don’t have to kiss the Blarney Stone, and you don’t have to have sex. Just because it’s on most people’s bucket list doesn’t mean it has to be on yours.

And if you’re romantic but sex-repulsed, know that it’s absolutely possible to have a happy, healthy, long-term relationship where sex is simply not on the table. I know it’s cheesy to say “there’s a lid for every pot” but the human species is insanely diverse, the internet has given us access to so many types of people, and you (yes you) can meet somebody. Don’t give up hope.

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

I publish my comic at http://geckojehovah.com/ and my other doodles and side projects can be found on http://sideshowratt.deviantart.com/. Thanks for looking!

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

Interview: May Barros

Today we’re joined by May Barros. May is a phenomenal Brazilian artist who does both visual art and writing. She has published a book in Portuguese, which has a short story about an ace princess. When she’s not writing, May does a lot of digital drawing. Her pictures are brimming with vibrant colors and beautiful characters. 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 very focused on original stuff, even if I like to interact with fandom, my own imagination has a bigger pull on me. My drawings tend to be character-driven, be them from my own stories or friends’ or even rp characters.

My writing, though, can go both ways. Sometimes it’s more metaphorical and emotional, even if there are characters in the tale I’m telling. Other times, I focus on characters and their struggles and it really makes me happy when people relate to them.

What inspires you?

Fantasy, all the way. I love anything magical. Be it full blown dragons-in-the-sky or small town witch shop stories, it just pulls me in. I have a collection of other artists drawings I save on my computer for inspiration, when I’m out of ideas, I browse the folder until something clicks (I never trace or copy anything, that’s just wrong).

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

Being a writer has been my dream ever since I was little, but it was Harry Potter that really made me consider it as a career. The drawing part came from watching anime and cartoons. I had a group of friends in high school that got together to learn how to draw manga style and I just never stopped.

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Witchsona

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?

If I do, I haven’t noticed. The only thing that I have to be careful not to do every time is draw girls with big thighs. I even forget to put my signature sometimes, one of the many things I’m trying to get better at.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up. If your art seems bad to you, it just means your inner critic has more practice than your inner artist and you have to work hard to catch up, but it’s not impossible. Also, never compare yourself to other artist, if you want to see how much you’ve improved, compare your work to your past works. Your journey as content creator is your own, no one can do the things your imagination can.

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Galáxia

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m demisexual / demiromantic.

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

I can’t say that I have because it’s not a topic that comes up often. I’m not hiding anything, I just don’t feel the need to bring it up. My personal life though is another matter entirely.

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

I’ve had people think it’s a choice or that it’s no different than “waiting for the right person”. I’ve also had asexuality be mislabeled / mispronounced and the person dismiss my correction.

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

Know that you are valid. Understand that whatever you are feeling is justified and you have every right to self-discovery. Your orientation and identity is your own and only you can define it.

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

I publish my writings on Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/user/MayFPBarros), though most of it is in Portuguese, my native language. My drawings are on my DeviantArt account (http://mayhigurashe.deviantart.com) and on my Tumblr (http://mayarab.tumblr.com). I also have a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/May_Higurashe/) and an Instagram (http://instagram.com/mayhigurashe)

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Unicornio

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

Interview: Jessica

Today we’re joined by Jessica. Jessica is a phenomenal and versatile artist who is currently studying for a degree in graphic design. She mostly does digital drawing although she has done quite a few different forms of art. It’s very clear she has an incredibly creative spirit and a love for her art, 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 mostly draw, both traditionally and digitally, and write, but I also knit, am learning bass, did dance (tap, ballet, dance team, mostly jazz) from the time I was two until last year (with some breaks in between), and have dabbled in photography. A lot of my life revolves around some kind of art. Currently, though, I mostly draw digitally and will be getting a major in graphic design.

What inspires you?

Music (anything from classic rock to pop to alternative to punk pop), coffee (thank God for Starbucks), real-life events, fandoms, and staring off into space

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

I used to draw on MS Paint during school (I’m homeschooled!), and my dad introduced me to GIMP, which was the big start of my digital art obsession. In middle school, I took a photography class, which introduced me to Photoshop. In ninth grade, I took a graphic design class, and since then, I’ve played around with all kinds of digital media, from photo editing to drawing, and I just feel like it’s what I’m meant to do with my life.

As for the second question, yes. I’ve been drawing since I was little. The style of art has changed (from illustrator to author to artist to graphic designer), but art has always been what I wanted to do.

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 mostly draw horses (as that’s all I can draw; guess that’s the curse of being the horse girl), and the eyes are cartoonish, so I guess that counts.

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I’ve Been Thinking Too Much

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

The usual stereotypical advice: practice like there’s no tomorrow. If you draw, keep drawing until your fingers are calloused. If you’re a musician, lose your voice or make your fingers bleed. Practicing is the only way to get better. Also, if you have a way to sell or commission your work, do it! A little extra pocket money is always nice.

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Scaled Dragon

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an asexual panromantic

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

Well, my parents basically told me I’m a late bloomer (it was implied more than anything). I doubted myself for a few months to a year before decided the joke’s on them and I’m ace af

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

Well, I haven’t come out to many people, but almost none of them knew what it was, so I had to explain. Once they had it figured out, that was it.

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Stay Alive

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

It’s okay to experiment with your orientation. I went from asexual heteroromantic to biromantic to finally panromantic in about six months total.

Also, there will be people who reject your orientation just because they don’t know what asexuality is. Just brush it off and keep shining bright. 🙂

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

DeviantArt: http://jlryanhorses.deviantart.com/
Wattpad (pretty inactive): https://www.wattpad.com/user/_hawkstorm_
Art Tumblr (also pretty inactive): http://thewinterartist107.tumblr.com/
Non-Tumblr Blog: https://jlrstories.wordpress.com/

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

Interview: Jo

Today we’re joined by Jo. Jo is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying art and she does a lot of visual art. Jo specializes in photography and realistic painting. She has also started to dabble in digital art and enjoys drawing. Judging from her work, Jo is an incredible talent and one who really loves what she does. 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 am doing A level art and Photography so I have to do realistic painting that kinda thing for coursework but I also like doodling and doing Digital drawings too in my free time.

I recently managed to decide on a style of digital art that I really like working in which is quite a simplistic pastel line art style.

What inspires you?

I am very inspired by anything fantasy related but I find a lot inspiration in the woods by my house so I like to walk there when I need inspiration. I am also very inspired by my girlfriend and her illustrations, she has an energy that just makes me feel very inspired to draw.

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

It was my favorite subject as a child and has always been my way of expressing myself. I love how there are so many different styles and endless possibilities with art and I aim to try as many as possible.

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?

To be honest (as cheesy as it is) I most work from the heart. I might sometimes just start drawing as see where it takes me. I don’t have any specific symbols or anything yet, I change my style too much XD

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice makes perfect and don’t be afraid to fail. Doing bad artwork is a stepping stone towards doing good artwork, you just need to be patient.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just kinda generally asexual, not any of the specific types of asexuality.

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

I personally haven’t really but that’s mainly because I only recently figured out I was Ace and not many people know yet. If I did I would probably just roll my eyes and ignore it or try my best to explain it to them.

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

So many people think it’s just cause someone is ‘too young to know’ and that they’ll change their mind when they ‘grow up and meet a nice young man’

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

Just know that there is nothing wrong with you. It’s your body and your life so don’t let someone else make choices for you and never let anyone do anything you’re uncomfortable with. It’s no one else’s business but yours.

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

I have an art Tumblr but I keep forgetting to post on it XD at astronyx-art
My main blog is on Instagram astronyxart
I also make YouTube videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjeU2EvH_Ewx3Wcd5MV4rcw

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

Interview: Marthe Ney

Today we’re joined by Marthe Ney. Marthe is a phenomenal and incredibly versatile artist who works in a variety of media. She’s from England and currently attending university where she’s studying Costume with Textiles and it sounds fascinating. She does a number of character-based textile drawing, character designs, costume and clothing illustrations, constructs costumes, and creates character-based textiles art. As if that’s not impressive enough, Marthe also does fanart and character art on her blog. Her work demonstrates an imaginative individual who enjoys her work. It’s clear that she has a genuine passion for art and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her work in the future. 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 work in quite a variety of ways and media. The more casual work I do, for myself or for my Tumblr blog tends to be character-based fanart, usually pretty rough sketches using pencil, occasionally adding colour and detail with watercolour ink and fine liner. I am also beginning to experiment with digital drawing and colouring.

I use an even wider range of media in the work I do for my degree- Costume with Textiles- for my illustration module I use largely the same media as for my personal work, mixed in with collage, markers, pastels and sculpture. The other work that I do tends to be fabric based, I am specialising in embroidery so I do drawings to inspire this using loads of mark making techniques and different media, based on the research and inspiration for the characters I’m designing for. When I am creating textiles samples I use different techniques of stitching, cutting, folding and embellishing (depending what we’re covering in workshops) on different combinations of fabrics to create samples based on my drawings and characters.

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What inspires you?

Usually stories and characters. Although I’ve been drawing for a long time, I really began to hone my skills and learn to draw properly through fanart, and drawing my favourite characters is how I’ve gotten all of my practice. Ironically enough a lot of my art is based on fandom ships, usually because the emotions of characters are what inspires me about them. The work for my degree (and hopefully my career one day) is based on characters as well, the script, the subtext, everything I can find out or theorise about the characters and then visual research that comes from that. Though I usually try work in some of my personal interests into it to give my own personal spin.

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

I have for a very long time actually, I think originally I wanted to be vet, then a journalist, and I settled on fashion design when I was about 10. I went to stay with my auntie for a while and didn’t bring any toys so I made myself a paper doll, and I kept working on it and adding to it for years, I stopped working on it a few years ago, it must have over 200 outfits and 15 different hairstyles. I did a GCSE in textiles, then an extended diploma in fashion and clothing and an AS Level in theatre studies, while I was at college I decided that the fashion industry just wasn’t for me, and that I wanted to go into costume instead. The drawing and fanart kind of came along side it as I started to experiment with art that wasn’t clothing based.

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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, I have my own style of illustration and drawing, which I guess has certain features and attributes but there isn’t anything that I consciously add and include.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Well, I still kind of am a young aspiring artist, but I’d say to work with references, find artist styles that appeal to you, and look to places like Tumblr or Pinterest for guides and tutorials, and keep practicing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as completely aromantic and asexual, though I would like some form of relationship I guess? I’m not romance or sex repulsed, just a bit confused and weird about the whole thing. I have a preference for girls though so if I did have a relationship it would be with a girl.

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

No, not in my field. I’m out on the Internet, but there are only a few references to it on my art blog, and not many people in real life know. Not that I try and hide it, it just doesn’t seem to come up. Since a few people I’ve told haven’t reacted all that well, I don’t always like bringing it up if no one asks. Not that I’ve really faced prejudice, just some ignorant comments that could be kind of hurtful.

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

I’ve had pretty much everything on the ace bingo card. Pity, confusion, hurtful misconceptions about my ability to feel love. A bizarrely threatening insistence from a classmate that she was “going to come to your wedding when you get over this and tell your husband what you said and see how he likes it” which I didn’t really appreciate. But yeah, I’d say that the whole “unable to feel love” thing is the most common thing I’ve heard.

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

This is a tricky one, because I do still struggle with my orientation myself. One thing I do that really helps me is things like this interview and this blog, things that raise awareness and promote positivity. Because helping other people who may be struggling with their orientation or may not be aware of asexuality even though it applies to them always really helps me when I’m struggling in a kind of “fake it till you make it” way.

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

I have a personal blog at http://marthe-with-an-e.tumblr.com that is a bit of a random collection, but has quite a bit on asexuality, aromanticism and my experiences and awareness. But to find out more about my work and see more of my art see my art blog at http://teafortheheart.tumblr.com I’ll try and put up some more examples of my degree work to show some more examples of different media.

Thank you so much for featuring me and thank you for reading.

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Wildest Dreams

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

Interview: Brenna Pryor

Today we’re joined by Brenna Pryor.  Brenna is a phenomenal cosplayer and an extremely talented digital artist.  She does a lot of fanart and judging from the quality of her work, she’s an incredibly passionate 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.

My art is inspired by things I love and what goes on around me. I draw things that come to mind and I draw fanart from fandoms I’m very active in. Cosplaying is also another big part of my life. I’m always finding new characters to cosplay as and the process of making the costume and wearing it proudly at conventions knowing I crafted it myself is probably one of the best feelings in the world.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by many things. I’m inspired by my friends, my boyfriend, fellow artists, my emotions, my fandoms, etc. These things keep me going with art and motivating me to never stop. My fandoms inspire my cosplaying. Every time I enter a new fandom and find a favorite character I immediately want to cosplay them and I get to work. I have many cosplays and fanart of many characters that I love.

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Bipper

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

I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I don’t really know what got me started on drawing but I could just never stop. I would draw and draw and fill up many sketchbooks. I began cosplaying when I discovered it at age 12, around the same time I discovered anime. I cosplayed L from Death Note and I really enjoyed it! My family wasn’t too keen on it though, especially since the character I was cosplaying wasn’t my gender. I was pretty torn up about it, considering my family made me quit cosplaying. I made a revival when I was about 16 and started getting serious about it at age 19. I have been an avid cosplayer ever since and have made costumes!

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

I have my artist’s signature which is a PR, the initials of my tumblr URL “punkrockula”

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. Even when you feel like you should. There will be times where you may feel inadequate. You may want to quit art because you aren’t at the skill level you want to be. I’ve been there. But always keep trying. References are your friend, and practice. I know it seems like it doesn’t help, but trust me. You WILL see the difference!

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Juliet

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am Grey-Asexual. I had a hard time figuring it out, first speculating if I was Demi-Sexual, or just fully Asexual, but discovering the existence of Grey-Ace really helped my final decision of knowing where on the Ace spectrum I belong.

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

I have encountered prejudice from my family and coworkers. My father told me that asexuality wasn’t real, that I was making it up or that I just wanted attention. Coworkers would just roll their eyes at me and laugh at me, saying I was only claiming to be Ace because I am still a virgin and no one would sleep with me. I’ve encountered a lot of backlash for who I am, but as far as I can tell, what they say doesn’t matter. They may think my sexuality is fake but, hey, I’m happy. And their opinion doesn’t mean anything.

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

“You just haven’t met the right man yet” “Isn’t that just abstinence?” “Once you experience sex you’ll think otherwise” Basically anything that can be said about asexuality, I have heard. Including that I’m a terrible and selfish person and my boyfriend should break up with me because I won’t have sex with him.

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

You’re not broken. If you feel like you could be ace, whether it’s Demi-Sexual, Grey-Asexual, or purely Asexual or Aromantic, you aren’t broken. You’re not wrong for your sexuality, and no one can tell you otherwise. Be proud of it, and don’t listen to anyone who wants to ridicule you.

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Stardust

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

You can find my artwork here on Tumblr at punkrockula.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art

And you can find my cosplays at www.facebook.com/itsalivecosplay
Or at my Cosplay Amino: It’s Alive Cosplay
Or my Instagram: itsalivecosplay

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

Interview: Nico sanchez

Today we’re joined by Nico sanchez.  Nico is an incredibly talented visual artist who favors digital mediums.  They have a style that’s influenced by manga and western comics.  That combination of influences makes for very interesting visuals as you’ll soon see.  Nico does a lot of fanart and their love for art is quite apparent both in their work and in this interview.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Darkstalkers

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a lot of fan work.  I love inking more than actually drawing or coloring and it shows!  I describe my art as a blend of western comics and manga influences.  It borders more on cartoony, but I try to keep some realistic aspects. I love drawing faces and pecs (haha). But I also dabble a lot in body horror. My art itself is still rough and I’m working to get to a level I’m content with.

What inspires you?

Mainly other artists/friends I see on Twitter and Tumblr.  Seeing such a huge collective of artists sharing and having fun gets me pumped to pick up my pen and draw.  More often than not mostly comics I read get me pumped to draw.  But what will always inspire me is a piece of artwork, where the lineart is the focus of the image and it’s lavish and detailed.

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

Actually, I got into drawing in high school, before that I wanted to be a horror writer. I was already into comics, manga, and cartoons (like obsessively). But I never really took interest in drawing till I met a friend, whom I still have the honor of calling my bestie for years now. He started drawing, and when he showed me his art work I was in awe and wanted to give it a shot as well. And as time evolved, I ended up loving drawing more then writing.  In fact, now I’m a terrible writer.

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

I think the only unique feature I have with my art is the way I ink and draw faces. My art is very simple (not in a bad way though).

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s never too late to start. I started drawing in high school and have kept going since!  Also please, never let your perfectionism dominate you when it comes to art! Make mistakes! Step out your comfort zone. I allowed my own perfectionism to hinder me and I’m now working twice as hard to fix years of mistakes because of it.  It’s a constant learning process and failure is just a part of that.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m autochrissexual. I see things that I find sexually appealing, but I feel no desire to have sex at all.  Like I have things I find sexy or hot as hell, but the idea of having sex is uncomfortable to me.  Like I’m okay with drawing or consuming media that has sexual content but I disassociate when it’s the idea of me being physical with another person. If that makes any sense.

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

Not actually. Almost everyone whom I’ve drawn with or interact with have been open and understanding. If they held any prejudice towards me it’s never shown.

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

People treat us as if we’re immature children. Like our lack of a sex drive or interest makes us childish or pure. Which is not the case at all. There are sex repulsed asexuals and there’s nothing wrong with that either. But there’s no need to act like you have to cover my eyes when something in media gets raunchy. Sex does not make someone mature or an adult.

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

You are completely valid even if others in the LGBTQIA community don’t welcome you. Your are not sick or broken. You’re fine the way you are.  It can be tough in a world where media pushes sex and sex sells. But you are strong person.

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

Everyone can find more of my art on my artblog.
I don’t update as much, since my job is keeping me busy with the holiday hours. But eventually everything I upload on twitter goes here. Plus my artblog has links to all my stores and other blogs.
http://ermescostello.tumblr.com/

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