Interview: Kayla Rose

Today we’re joined by Kayla Rose. Kayla is a phenomenal young visual artist who specializes in a variety of mediums. They mostly use graphite and colored pencils, but have recently gotten into charcoal drawing and they also paint. While they mostly do visual art, Kayla also writes and sometimes dances. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw, mostly using graphite and colored pencils, but I’ve recently started using charcoal as well. I paint as a therapy activity. I have dabbled in clay sculptures, found-object sculptures, foam carving, and ceramic tiles. And I write whenever I have brain power left over. My style is still in flux and I have varying subject matter.

What inspires you?

I tend to take inspiration from a lot of things: life, death, depression, my own experiences, and things I find beautiful or haunting.

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

For as long as I can remember I have been drawing in notebooks and copying pages from coloring books, but about four years ago I started working in theatre and it has helped fuel my desire for skill in as many forms of art as I can manage.

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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?

Right now I don’t have any trademark or signature, though I am trying to come up with one centered around a rosebud.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Since I fit in that category myself, I don’t feel super qualified to say anything, but I would want to remind artists to chase what they are passionate about and fight through all the blocks because you will come out better than before.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a Pan-romantic Asexual, and I fluctuate between sex-neutral and sex-repulsed.

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

I’m in the arts and most people around me are very open-minded and welcoming of any and all, so I can’t say that I’ve run into much prejudice, but there is a lot of ignorance about it. There are people that I’ve had a hard time convincing that Asexuality is real, and it’s vastly unrepresented so I often feel lonely. But I try to keep my chin up and live my own life regardless of other’s point of view.

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

That none of us have any interest in sex whatsoever, or that discussion of sex will make us very uncomfortable.

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

You are valid, you are not broken. No matter what the masses or media try to force on you, believe in yourself and don’t let the haters get you down.

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

I post pictures of my work on Instagram as moonstruckmernerd and my blog at http://thewordsmithysshop.blogspot.com/.

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

Interview: Cyr Pavleszek

Today we’re joined by Cyr Pavleszek. Cyr is a wonderful visual artist who also does fanart. While he mostly draws his original characters, Cyr also draws some fanart for various fandoms. He uses drawing as an outlet and his work is brimming with bright colors and detailed expressions. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Cochlear

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is a mix of original characters and fandom drawings. I tend to draw whatever comes to mind

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from my art teachers and media I watch, such as anime, medical dramas, cartoons, and comics

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

My art started as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and mental illness, but I haven’t always wanted to be a professional artist. It came about recently when I took art classes and my teacher said I had a good chance of making a living professionally as an artist

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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 don’t think I have a unique signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep drawing, keep on doing it. Don’t think about it either! Overthinking your art could lead to you becoming self-conscious about your work and giving up. Don’t give up either!

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Henry Clothed

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I would say asexual, somewhere between asexual and demi-sexual. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

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

I don’t openly share my sexuality because of prejudice, when I do it’s to shut it down. I learned to handle ignorance by reminding myself that the person is usually uneducated. If they’re not willing to learn, I just ignore and move on.

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

That we’re all prudes and can’t stand nudity of any kind. As an artist I look at naked bodies to better understand anatomy, I wouldn’t be able to learn without it!

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Vent Art

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

I know it’s hard, but once you finally accept and understand that you’re on the ace spectrum, and fully accept it as a part of you, it’s rewarding, fulfilling, gratifying. Please keep true to yourself and I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

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

Right now you can find me on a Tumblr-alternative called Writscrib under the username Cryptid, and I have my own website with my portfolio: http://www.cryptidartworks.com/.

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Tiefling!

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

Interview: McKenzie

Today we’re joined by McKenzie. McKenzie is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in sculpture.. She got her start doing 2D art, mainly drawing and painting. She gradually shifted to working with metals, particularly steel and bronze. McKenzie is particularly fond of sculpting bugs. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Most of my work right now is sculpture work, with mostly metal and slowly moving into mix media projects. I used to do only 2D work, with drawing and painting. My sculpture work right now is bugs, in steel and bronze interacting with a mix media environment.

What inspires you?

My own imagination inspires my work, as well as what I have experienced in life. Talking to other artists I find myself thinking of more ways that I could create something that is visually interesting and can tell an interesting story. It’s a little bit of everything from the mundane to even something so complicated at emotions to difficult events in life.

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

I have always wanted to be an artist, there was never a time in my life were I serious considered another path to walk. I find that I can express myself easier in a visual manner. I always felt the need to challenge myself and am willing to take the chance of failure to find my way.

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

I think the only thing that I could think of is my signature which is my initials. I write out MJ with a crazy flourish in the “J.”

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just make art. If your stuck take a break and get your hands into something you don’t have to think about. I find that if I’m stuck on a piece a nap helps, or a walk too. Its okay to want to try a wide range of things but finding the media that works the best with you is a great place to start, because learning the inside outs of that area will make your work get just that much better. I still have a lot to learn, I’m not even broken into the business side of the art world yet.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an asexual. I used to think that I was a Demi but after thinking critically about myself I found that the title didn’t fit with me.

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

I find that it can be subtle sometimes when talking with artists about their work when it’s solely focused on sex and I don’t always understand their reasoning. Most people I know and work around don’t bring up their own personal sexualities so I haven’t either.

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

That we asexually reproduce. Though I wish I could clone myself, because that would be more hands working on a project. Then more work could be done… but then I’d have to feed more of my selves and that would get far to complicated.

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

I’ve never been one to overthink what I am, for a long time when people asked what I was I would say a question mark. It wasn’t something that mattered to me until I was a bit order and around people that already understood themselves to such a point of having a label. When I was in high school it rather overwhelmed me when I started to do reach, and that was the same time I first found the title of Ace. I quickly forgot about it, finding that I wasn’t ready to think to much about who I was. In college, I am in a period of self-reflection so it fit. I found the title and am slowly getting used to wearing it. I love having a label now, I enjoy having a flag and a community of close friends that I can be around. I would suggest having a support net work if you can, or even one online if that’s the safest option for you.

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

My Instagram is the best place to follow my work! I do a lot of things and would love to share it with more people: Jerofkm.

Thank you, McKenzie, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.

Interview: Domonick

Today we’re joined by Domonick. Domonick is a wonderful self-taught visual artist. They started out drawing characters from Transformers: Animated and have since begun drawing their own comics and webcomics. Their work shows an incredible amount of detail and is brimming with bright vivid colors. It’s clear they’re a passionate 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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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve been drawing for eleven years, and almost all I’ve drawn since I started has been robots. I started to watch Transformers: Animated and that’s what inspired me to draw in the first place. Since then, I’ve been trying all sorts of tutorials to improve for the past few years, but for the most part I am self-taught.

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What inspires you?

I want to tell stories that make people happy through my art! Because that’s almost all I know how to do. All I want is to make it so that at least one person’s day is made when they look at what I make.

I also take much inspiration from the songs I find, and I listen to them all the time.

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

I drew my first piece that made me feel like I could draw forever in 2007, when I drew a picture of Prowl from Transformers: Animated, and since then I’ve filled sketchbooks, notebooks meant for schoolwork, and dozens of sheets of printer paper with sketches and doodles. I always draw whenever I can, on whatever I can, and nine times out of ten I’m storyboarding for my comic.

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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 usually jot down a lower-case “d” and the date on all of my art, but I also sometimes use the “B” heart from the title of The Bar Bots, my webcomic.

Other than that, I usually add a thick outline to all the characters I draw, and I digitalize my inked drawings through Medibang.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You are good at art. Everyone is good at art in their own way and we’re all still learning. I’m still learning. And if someone says your art is bad, then they have a lot to learn themselves.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m fairly sure I’m sex-repulsed, because the idea of it has always scared me and made me very anxious, but I’m still discovering new things day-to-day.

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

Not necessarily prejudice, but I’ve had a bunch of ignorance around me. A few of my friends still don’t understand the concept of asexuality, and they don’t get that romance and intimacy doesn’t have to be inherently sexual, but I’m trying to explain it to them eventually.

Besides them, I haven’t really encountered a whole lot of confusion.

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

That I don’t love anybody enough or that I won’t be committed to a relationship. I’ve loved before, and I didn’t need sex for that.

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

You’re you, and you’re the one and only person who can interpret how you feel. And if you feel asexual, then you can be asexual. However you discover you is the best way to do it.

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

I’m glad you asked! I have two blogs on Tumblr where you can see my work: thebarbotscomic.tumblr.com and pickle-rocket-art.tumblr.com

I’m also constantly updating my Patreon at patreon.com/picklerocket!

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

Interview: Sweety Aurore Mutant

Today we’re joined by Sweety ‘Aurore’ Mutant. Aurore is a visual artist who does a bit of everything. They draw and paint, both digital and traditional. When they’re not drawing or painting, Aurore is writing and while they haven’t had anything published yet, they’re working on a number of stories. Aside from that, Aurore is also into crafting and writing fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as  you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

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

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

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

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

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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K Family

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

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

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

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

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Marika

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

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

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

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

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Silver

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

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

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Teach

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: Sierra Sonora

Today we’re joined by Sierra Sonora. Sierra is a wonderful visual artist and fanartist. She specializes in nature photography, taking pictures of local flora and fauna, showing the beauty of life in vivid color and detail. When she’s not taking picture, Sierra dabbles in fanfiction and fanart. She’s also currently endeavoring to write a novel. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a bright future ahead of her, 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.

My art consists of a variety of mediums. One includes the photography of natural landscapes as well as nature, such as local Flora/Fauna. It also includes writing of both original work and Fanfiction. I also draw in what can be considered an Anime/Cartoon style of me, my friends, pets, and Fanart on mostly regular sketchbook paper with pencil/pen and colored pencils, or I will digitally upload my art and work on it with a paint program. I thoroughly enjoy singing, and write poetry, but have yet to compose any original songs-although I have written at least 3 parodies that revolve around different favorite pairings of characters from TV shows I watch.

What inspires you?

The need to create and channel my emotions inspire me to do all of the above. I often struggle with verbally expressing my emotions, but through art I can slow down and think things through-especially when I draw. The joy of others also inspires me, as I find happiness in making other people happy with my art. I find that when I share my art, whatever the medium, I feel a meaningful and spiritual connection with the ones I am sharing with and that connectivity is vital to me.

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

Ever since I was little, I enjoyed watching cartoons, reading books, and drawing. It’s hard for me to say that I’ve always wanted to be an artist, because what I do doesn’t really feel like “art” to me; I see it as a coping mechanism and a way to make others feel happy. Put simply, I view my art as a tool, and that prevents me from seeing it as what I feel “art” actually is.

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 do have one thing in my art that I include; it’s a simple necklace of mine that I’ve had for about 8 years now; a simple black nylon string with a silver eagle talon pendant holding within its three claws a white marble. This necklace is a special possession I hold, and I like to include it when I draw myself or a main character from one of my original works.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As cliché as it sounds, I am going to say it anyway because it’s true: Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your art, whether it is photography, mixed medium, paintings, writings, drawings, fandom related, etc. Don’t give up. You, as a unique individual with your own perspective on life, your own unseen and secret views, have so much to offer to the art world. Whatever it is, it may not turn out quite the way you want it to the first time-this is only reasonable; you are new at things, and with novelty comes practice.

It may even take a long time to feel comfortable where you are on your journey in creation. I still have 10-year-old art lying around that makes me cringe every time I see them, but I keep them to remind myself of the journey it took to get where I am, and to propel me to work hard and push myself further. I highly recommend you do the same-keep your art, every scrap. You’ll be glad you did so later on down the road.

Another piece of advice that is repeated over and over again for good reason is this: Don’t compare yourself to other artists if it is only going to result in self-loathing or any form of negativity. It’s not worth it, and it won’t help you become better at your passion. Trust me, I know. I’ve done it, and it only made me want to quit art altogether and it would make me feel inferior/jealous. How terrible is that- to want to give up on something that brings you joy because you feel you are not adequate? To feel negative, nasty feelings towards others because I was not secure enough in who I was as an artist? It’s terrible, and unfair to yourself and the other person.

So I say this: don’t compare. Just create. If you must compare, try to do so with humility- recognize that you aren’t where you want to be yet and have patience with yourself.

My last piece of advice is this: Be kind to yourself and be kind to others; you’re not the only one struggling. Reach out to one another with love, offer emotional support when possible, and practice constructive criticism on yourself and others. You, as an honorary member of the art world, are here to uplift, inspire, create, and comfort through your works-whatever they may be. We need you, and you belong here. My sincerest hope is that this advice has been useful/helpful and uplifting to those who read it.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an Aromantic Asexual. Personally, I find that when I am in a relationship, I can adapt to the other person and provide physical intimacy such as hand-holding, kissing, cuddling, even if I don’t necessarily feel a desire to do so, and when/if I marry, I am willing to provide them with the sexual intimacy that I know my partner will deserve if they are not Asexual themselves.

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

I’ve encountered, blessedly, a little amount of ace prejudice/ignorance. Generally, it was from people asking me how I could not want sex, and I generally would deal with it as such; I’d tell them I just didn’t find sex interesting, or I’d tell them I found things to enjoy out of life that was more fitting for gaining pleasure than sex, such as books, or video games, or eating. I was never called a freak, or anything of that nature, which is a blessing and I hope my experience helps others. Mostly the people who I have talked to were rather open-minded and just curious, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. For those of you who have experienced ace prejudice, my heart goes out to you.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve encountered is the notion that Asexuals just don’t want sex. Which isn’t true as we know- our orientation is about sexual attraction, not the actual desire for sex. Like other orientations, it varies for everyone. Personally, I don’t want it, but that doesn’t make me any more Asexual than someone who does.

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

You’re not broken. That is the most heartfelt advice I can give. You are not broken, and you’re not alone. The love songs will say you’re incomplete without that “special person”. It’s a lie. If you can find someone who is whole and spend the rest of your life happily with them, then wonderful. But you are not broken and you are not incomplete. You are you, and you are not alone- we’re here with you, flying under the same purple, grey, white, and black flag and we’re proud to stand with you.

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

You can find out more about my work through my Tumblr account, my username is “Willchild”. I don’t post much art or works there, to be honest, but I think after this interview I will if it can help bring joy to other artists and help them feel more secure about posting their own art. Please feel free to tag me in your art, I would be ecstatic to see it; or message me/ask me, from one artistic Ace to another.

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

Interview: Bob Josef

Today we’re joined by Bob Josef. Bob is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in Zen doodles, which he puts his own spin on. He draws a number of fandom related things as well. His works show an interesting use of space and lines, as you’ll soon see. 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 think I’m kind of all over the place, and what I do is for my own satisfaction, but in the last like 2 years I’ve been doing a very simple version of what is called “Zen doodles” I say it’s simple because if you Google it what comes up looks nothing like what I do. I also do this squiggly thing that fills up a page and you don’t know where it begins or ends, what part is the object and which is just empty space…I do these the most because coming up with ideas of what to actually draw.

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What inspires you?

Way too many things honestly. Probably my biggest inspirations are the internet (other people’s fanart), books, movies, Podcasts (Welcome to Night Vale), just looking at cool things gets me going. I LOVE taking pictures of sunsets because they are absolutely stunning pieces of natural art.

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

Um…I don’t really know what got me interested in drawing, it kinda just happened when I was in school, and it happened all over my homework and notebooks. Freshman year of HS I specifically dedicated the left side of my notebook pages to just doodling while taking notes. I haven’t always wanted to be an artist but at the moment I really enjoy spending time to create something…actually I hate the process, drawing is super tedious but the result is always worth the work.

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

Well, it’s not something I put in my drawings but I like it’s my style for drawing faces, it’s an ever slightly modified version of the Epic Face. It’s just so simple to draw that I use it for like signatures on cards and things like that and my sketch/notebooks are filled with them.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Let people compliment what you’ve created, you may absolutely hate it because it doesn’t compare to the work of pros on Tumblr or Deviant Art. But to your friends and family it might as well be just as good, so accept their compliments and use them to motivate you to improve and impress them more with the next thing you make.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

At the moment I am Aromantic Asexual, I am totally open to the possibility that it can change should I meet a special person. Or maybe it doesn’t and I’m alone forever…that’s OK too.

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

In relation to art? No not really, I’ve just started posting anything on a dedicated account outside of my personal one, and it’s not really ace-centric. I do however reblog ace positive things in-between my doodles. In real life, when I came out I had a cousin say I was going to hell with the “gays” because instead of liking the same gender, I like none (attraction wise, I’m sure all genders are nice people), and that means I won’t make the babies to “replenish” the earth. It was a real punch in the gut that anyone, especially one of my relatives, could say something so ignorant and (insert sexuality)-phobic.

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

Probably the “you just haven’t met the right person yet,” which may be true, but in my experience I don’t want none of that sexy-time mess. And I don’t feel the need to date people. (Not that I don’t want a partner, cuz I do, I just don’t feel the need to seek it out.)

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

Give yourself time to come to terms with it, there is no rush to figure everything out and then come out, and get all the things ace (or any other orientation) pride. Just slow down, breathe, research, and when you are comfortable with what fits you, feel free to come out. Just be prepared that people won’t understand and you will most likely have to explain yourself over and over. If you ever feel like it’s all too much, search Ace Positivity on Tumblr and just scroll through all the cool things people make and say for/about us.

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

Well like I said before I just started out so I’m only on Instagram and Tumblr. On Insta; I’m at gandalftheace42 and gandalf-the-ace on Tumblr so it’s easy to find me! I don’t post things terribly often but I am in a painting class at my college so I will be posting updates on my projects that we are working on there. But yeah perhaps later down the road I will be super cool and make art and make them into shirts like all the cool people on tumblr.com do! Thanks for checking out my stuff if you do and I’m always open to talk to anyone if you want (desperate for human interaction) okay BYEEEEEE!!

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