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: Jasmin Dreyer

Today we’re joined by Jasmin Dreyer. Jasmin is a fantastic freelance illustrator from Germany who does a lot of children’s animation and games. She hopes to draw a webcomic some day. Judging by her art, that would be an amazing venture. Jasmine is a great artist with an amazing eye for detail and color, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Beast

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a freelance digital illustrator, currently working mostly for children’s animation. So far I have mostly worked for animation and small game projects. I am also working on a bachelor’s degree for illustration right now.

A dream I have for the future is to maybe someday draw my own webcomic. We’ll see about that heh…

What inspires you?

Oh so many things. Mythology, animation, children’s books, trashy scifi movies, comics, cool fashion, just pop culture in general. The list goes on and on!

A lot of influences also come from the cool people I study with at my university. It is really nice to be surrounded by so many incredible artists with so many completely different styles.

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Hedonism

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

I have actually been drawing as long as I can remember. When I was little I was pretty obsessed with drawing all kinds of animals and my MLP toys! I was also super into Disney and other animation movies and cartoons and I guess I already had some vague idea that I wanted to do something like that.

I never stopped drawing, but for a long time I just didn’t think I was good enough for art school. So right after school, I actually started studying jazz/pop music to become a professional musician but I quickly realized that that just wasn’t for me at ALL.

After that I went to university for comparative religious studies and anthropology for a semester, which was, well … interesting but also not what I wanted to do really.

So somehow after all these detours, I finally worked up the courage to get a portfolio together and apply to art school.

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Maxwell

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?

Nothing like symbols, no. I do tend to use a lot of the same colours or colour combinations though.

Working in the media, I am very aware of the way women, POC, MOGAI/LGBTQIAP+ people are stereotypically portrayed (if they are portrayed at all!), especially in the games industry.

Since I almost always draw female or femme characters, I always try to give them some sort of agency of their own, if that makes sense. Like they don’t exist as mere objects to please a male gaze but for their own sake. I know I am still not perfect in this, but I also try to always challenge myself in avoiding “same face” syndrome and to try and make my characters more diverse.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know it’s easier said than done (and sounds cliché) but still: never give up. As you can see, it took me a long time to finally decide to pursue art professionally.

I personally think that talent is pretty overrated. Talent will only get you so far. Really one of the most valuable things I learned in art school is to be persistent and passionate about your art. Find something that you are REALLY interested in, a medium, a topic (I think this can also be applied to virtually any kind of art). Something you can spend hours and hours doing. Because if you have something like that, you will inevitably get better at it! And ultimately, I think people can always see if an artist is really enthusiastic about their work and will resonate more with it.

Use reference if you need it, it’s OK, we all do it. Don’t be afraid to copy art that you like for study purposes. But when you work on your own stuff, don’t try to blindly copy trends. Try and analyze why and what exactly you like so much about it and then try to translate those elements into your own style.

Knowing your fundamentals like anatomy, composition etc. is great but also know that you don’t have to be able to draw perfect realistic pictures if you want to be an artist. There are professional illustrators for example who don’t care a bit about exact anatomy but the pictures still “work”. Maybe you are more interested in telling a story or making people laugh with your art? Just find out what works for you.

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Sigils

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I usually just identify as ace. I am probably somewhere on the aro spectrum as well, but who knows? Sometimes I just use queer when I don’t want to actually explain asexuality.

I do think it is great that we have such specific language and microlabels to describe ourselves and our experience nowadays. I just found that I personally tend to identify with too many labels at once (sometimes even contradicting ones) and get overwhelmed in trying to parse them out. So, for now, I have found it more useful to just use broader terms.

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

Not in my current field luckily.

When I was still doing a lot of music and theatre though, I always felt very alienated. Everything was so incredibly centered around romance and sexuality. Like 99% of the songs probably and even stage directions I was getting. I could barely relate to anything at all. I still love singing and performing etc. but that was probably one of the main reasons I had to quit most of it sadly.

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Teamwork

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

Probably that aces are cold, unfeeling and not passionate about anything. This is mostly about media representation, but I think a lot of people still don’t understand how important that is. I know that it is getting better right now. But it also still hurts a lot when you only get to choose between robots or serial killers, as far as ace representation in mainstream pop culture goes.

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

I would say that your experiences and what you are feeling are perfectly valid. That only you get to decide what you are feeling. That you are allowed to feel good about yourself and have pride in your orientation. Know that you don’t have to change, for anything or anybody. That you are not broken or abnormal.

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

You can find my artblog here: http://eulenstadt.tumblr.com/
Or my personal blog: http://theimpossumblepossum.tumblr.com/
(mostly just inspiration/fandom stuff)

And I just started posting on Instagram too: https://www.instagram.com/jasmindreyer/

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Halloween

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

Interview: Luna Tiny

Today we’re joined by Luna Tiny. Luna is an amazing visual artist who writes a comic entitled Anonymous Asexual. It’s about the trials and tribulations of being queer and it’s really freaking cool. I highly recommend checking it out. Luna also does other sorts of visual art such as character and creature design. It’s very apparent they’re incredibly passionate about their art and it shows, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Anonymous Artist

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a digital illustrator primarily, and mostly create comics, fanart, and creature/character designs. Most of my work, particularly my comics, focus on issues of gender identity and sexuality.

What inspires you?

Personal experiences from my life.

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist from a very young age, but digital art came to me after watching speed paintings on YouTube. I didn’t realize what I specifically wanted to do, illustration, until much more recently through schooling.

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

I almost always include my signature somewhere in my art.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up trying to make art- no matter how hard it may seem, anyone can learn from it and be inspired to create. Follow and make what you love, regardless of what others think about it, and you’ll go far as an artist.

girlfriend girlfriend
Girlfriend, Girlfriend

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a sex-repulsed asexual, but I also identify as panromantic.

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

I have; people often question how I can be in a relationship if I am unwilling to have sex, or that I just “haven’t found the right person” to have sex with. I’ve received hate for how I identify, particularly as anonymous messages online, and have been rejected as a possible romantic interest because of my orientation. I handle these comments calmly and try to respond by educating the person insulting me to the best of my ability. It doesn’t always work, but I find it’s more effective than losing my cool.

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

“You can’t be in a romantic relationship without having sex”

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

It’s OK to be confused about it, and it’s OK to not be sexually attracted towards anyone; your identity is what you make of it, and you shouldn’t let other people try to convince you that you are someone you’re not.

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

You can find me at anonymous-asexual.tumblr.com, where I have links to a few of my other blogs as well. Just look up Luna Tiny, and you should find me pretty easily!

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Poses

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