Interview: Hampermarketplace

Today we’re joined by Hampermarketplace, who also goes by Sophie. Sophie is a phenomenal visual artist and fanartist. For visual art, they mostly do digital illustration, both original work and fanart, They also do some photography as a hobby. Aside from that, Sophie also cosplays and writes 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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Homestuck Collage

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Sure thing! I’m mostly a digital artist, though I don’t know if “drawing” or “painting” describes best what I do, but in any case, I have a lot of fun doing it. I draw a lot of Homestuck, (I’m unfortunately rather obsessed with it—and it’s easy to share online), but I also do original work, when the inspiration strikes. Since, when it comes to hobbies, I’m very much a jack of all trades, I’ve done writing (I once wrote a 40k fanfic, several one-shots, and began some original stories I’m probably never going to finish, I’ve got a word doc somewhere full of cringy poetry), cosplay (once again Homestuck—so basically, I’m just really good at putting on grey facepaint), and photography (I take my iPhone and try to take pretty pictures I then post on Instagram so it’s not just all filled with selfies).

Basically, I just like to create stuff, no matter the medium.

What inspires you?

You mean, apart from Homestuck? I’d say my life. Ok, I know that’s vague, but I haven’t quite got a more specific muse. There is a lot to show and tell about the subtleties of everyday life, the things I see, hear, or feel. I’m ADHD, so perhaps trying to put my constant zoning out to good use is my main inspiration after all. I think sunsets are good, too. They’ve got lots of pretty colors, there’s nothing like a rainy autumn sunset to get a good photoshoot full of pinks. The city inspires me, too. The sort of aesthetics born of the layered lives of so many people, written in the concrete and the weed peeking through it, the graffiti’s, the decaying factories and the shiny skyscrapers. In painting, I draw people a lot, too. I think it’s because the figure is so evocative. I like the humanity, the feelings, the fleeting joys and pains of life, and so I try to capture them whenever I’m bored enough. It’s cheesy, but it’s true.

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

Oh boy. Well, I’ve always hung around people who drew, and the envy that I felt at their cool talents pushed me to try my hand at it. Around maybe 11 or 12, I got into manga and anime, and the thing with those, is that they make the human figure very appealing, and yet very simple-looking to draw, for someone who is just starting out. I’ve been a casual artist ever since my early teens, and recently, when I graduated high school and all my friends entered art programs, I started to realize just how much I didn’t know about art, and that’s really what helped me get much better really fast. Just a year ago, I didn’t draw half as well as I do now, because now I draw almost every day, pay attention to the world and put a lot more effort in studying the theory of art than I ever did in any of my school classes, ever.

I’m still in college, and I’m not planning on making a career out of my art, but I’ve still got some ambitions to reach a point where I can paint and draw at a professional level, for myself.

Maybe one day I’ll write an actual book or make money from my art—I’ve been offered to be an assistant photographer once, when I showed my Instagram feed to the woman whom we had hired to take our family portraits, but it didn’t work out. In the end, I take opportunities as they go. Art is just one of the things for which I have potential and interest, it’s a refuge, and I don’t want to ruin that by forcing it into a business perspective.

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

Well, I’m known on most platforms (Instagram, deviantart, tumblr—although only for Homestuck in the last one) as hampermarketplace, and I sign my digital paintings (some of them—I often forget) as HMP. By now, it’s how I sign pretty much all of my artwork. Often, I won’t put it in the lower corner, but try to include it within the drawing, if there is writing somewhere, graffiti or posters in the background. It’s my thing.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You’re going to feel bad sometimes, like you can’t quite illustrate what you want, or like everyone is better than you. It’s important to learn to use that dissatisfaction as motivation, not as a deterrent. The process of improving is an adventure, to be taken one step at a time, so awaken your inner Moana or whatever, and sing about wanting to know how far you’ll go. When you’re stalling, and nothing works, push through by going back to your basics, and putting less pressure on yourself. Take a chill pill. Go watch some Bob Ross. It’s ok to just doodle for 15 minutes sometimes, you’ve got to make art time a time to meditate, to enjoy yourself. If you do it right, it won’t feel like a chore (too much—I can’t make any promises if you decide to make a living out of it). One day you’ll look back and be amazed by how far you’ve come.

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Montage

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual, low libido but not sex repulsed per se, and somewhere in the grey areas of romance, probably demi, although I still think of myself as a lesbian because I’ve always had a strong aesthetic attraction to women, and if I were to fall in love, I feel like it would be with a woman, or someone woman-aligned. I identify *mostly* as a woman, although I won’t deny to some gender fluidity as well.

Usually, the womanlier I feel, the gayer I get, then on some days I’m just what is gender and what is love, I want to blog about cats. My main on Tumblr is like 75% cats, 20% beautiful women and 5% ace positivity. I think that sums it up pretty well.

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

The most kind of ace prejudice or ignorance I’ve personally encountered is from myself. I’m usually quite down-low about it, I’ve come out a couple of times, but not to everyone, and I’m pretty sure most people going through my art aren’t even aware of my sexuality—I come off quite gay in real life. Since I don’t do commercial work, I can easily surround myself with people who are OK with my orientation, and anyway, I live in some of the most progressive places, where no one would openly challenge you on stuff like that, even if they disagreed with it. I’m lucky in that regard. I’m always afraid that people will still hold subconscious prejudice towards me, though, I don’t think I’m paranoid, but I need to get over it if I want to be myself, and work towards deconstructing those prejudices. When I’ve actually come out, I’ve been met mostly with love and acceptance—just once a bit of confusion. Also, once I came out to a sex-loving vegan by saying “I don’t like sex, but I do like ice cream” and she just told me “You go girl! Live your best life!” and anyway, she gets it.

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

I think this one is not an explicit, but an implicit misconception that even well-meaning people will hold, and that is this idea that aces don’t like to talk about sex, or be exposed to sexuality, and that the goal of asexual activism is to make a world where it’s possible to ignore the fact that sex and romance exists. I mean, some aces may be uncomfortable with discussions about sex, or don’t want to be exposed to explicit sexual content, but truly, anyone may have these holdups regardless of sexuality. The basics principles of consent, human decency and content warnings should be plenty to cover that. In my experience, most aces I’ve met are more than eager to talk about sex and the different types of attractions, so long as they are allowed to openly share their experiences without feeling like outcasts or weirdos. Unless they tell you otherwise, it should be perfectly fine to share your latest thirst with your friend who came out to you as ace. You don’t have to stop being yourself, and most asexuals don’t want to be treated like little kids with bleeding hearts that can’t handle the sexiness, neither do they want you to stop being yourself: they just want to be allowed to be themselves as well.

This is pretty abstract, I’m not sure if I’m making sense, but I feel like this needs to be said more. Asexuality doesn’t exist within queerness as a form of “Don’t force sex on me”, because, honestly, sex shouldn’t be forced on anyone, but rather as a force of “It’s OK to live in accordance to how you feel, regardless of social norms or whether or not it aligns with the majority around you,” because that represents much better the aroace community as I’ve known it: diverse, open, with a wide range of worldviews and experiences, just wanting to live their truth.

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

It’s not easy to find out who you are. Being asexual is challenging, because it’s probably even only one part of the identities you’re going to have to cope with—asexuality doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with the prejudice of being gay, bi or trans—but it’s also challenging in and of itself. You’re going to have to deal with conflicting cultural ideals about chastity, lust, marriage and family, with a world that you’ll never quite understand despite your best efforts to do so, and which probably won’t even try to understand you. You’ll fidget in your psychology or sexuality class, not quite capable of explaining how you know for a fact the textbook is wrong without sounding like you’ve spent way too much time on Tumblr. You’ll smile, glad, at queer representation in the media, not quite daring to ask for some yourself—afraid it’ll take away some gay or trans kid’s chance to see themselves on screen. You’ll feel like you don’t exist, like there are no historical figures or public personalities who can bear your flag in your name, you’ll doubt yourself.

Don’t. There is nothing to doubt about it, there is nothing to be ashamed about. You’re on the frontline of progress, of our growing understanding of love and sexuality, as a society. Asexual people have always been there—the world just didn’t have a box to place them in until recently. Before that, we erred like bohemians among dandies and spinsters, bisexuals, pilgrims and nuns. But today, there are words for it, for asexuality, for aromanticism, for all the maybes and in-betweens. We are many, more than you would think, and we are solidary—to one another, and to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans people, and to all other minorities, and it is our strength. Through sharing our experiences, through creating new words to define how we feel, we help people from all walks of life define themselves. So maybe, really, we’re something like great.

You can be proud.

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

My main blog on Tumblr is chaoticintellectual, though, like mentioned previously, it’s mostly  filled with cats and pretty women.

I have a Homestuck blog where I post art frequently, called Hampermarketplace, for all the filthy Homestucks out there

I write on AO3 under the name miki_and_company

Hampermarketplace is also my DeviantArt, though I don’t post much on there, but I do show my original art there more,

And finally, my Instagram, still hampermarketplace, where I post a lot of my photography.

My inboxes are open to talk, I’m quite friendly and impishly verbose, however I’ll be gone and inactive for most of the summer, sadly, but I’ll be back without question next fall.

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

Interview: Morwenna Greenleaf

Today we’re joined by Morwenna Greenleaf. Morwenna is a wonderful writer who specializes in poetry and fanfiction. She also dabbles in music, mostly song covers, and visual art. Morwenna takes inspiration from subjects that aren’t often talked about. It’s clear she’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mostly written word, though I occasionally draw, and sometimes post covers of songs on my YouTube channel, and I have had dance lessons, though I don’t really showcase dancing and don’t really do much anymore. I occasionally write poetry, but the majority is fanfiction written in prose, usually with a theme of fantasy and they can cover really heavy, or not commonly talked about, subjects.

What inspires you?

Well, I guess that events in my life have inspired my stories, but also the stories of others. For example, I’ve always loved watching crime shows with one of my personal favourites being Law and Order S.V.U. and I think that inspires me, because they go into subjects such as rape, kidnapping, and human trafficking. These subjects intrigue me, so I find myself researching them to add into existing stories, or I piece together new stories featuring things like them, which results in a lot of half-finished stories, some of which aren’t yet published so the public can’t read them.

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

What got me interested? Well, I’m not sure. When I was younger, I would always make up stories, whether they be epic sea battles with phoenixes, all from a cluster of clouds, or fanfiction, before I realised it was a thing. I always used to just insert myself into the shows/movies/books and tweak the storyline slightly to involve myself. Drawing? I kind of just slipped into it, like with the writing. I was always drawing over my books and scraps of paper, pretty much anything I could find. Dancing, I think one day when I was about three or four, I saw a ballet on TV, probably Swan Lake, and fell in love. After about four years or so of pestering my mum, I ended up doing four years of classical ballet classes, including character, and two years of jazz classes. Singing has been a part of my life as long as I can remember. I’d sing around the house as a child, and my dad started taking me to karaoke at bars in town when I was about seven or eight, I think, and I’ve recently turned eighteen, so that’s about ten years of karaoke.

Have I always wanted to be an artist? I think I have, somewhere deep down. I love writing stories and singing, and have always, in the back of my mind, wanted to do something artistic. True, it was always performing, like singing/dancing/acting, but it’s all artistry anyway. I even have the small amount of acting experience that comes from primary school plays, hehehe. I love what I do, but I also have no clue exactly what I’m going to do once I leave high school, because I also love things like science (chemistry and physics), ancient history, and learning languages (I’m currently monolingual, but who cares?).

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?

In most of my stories where I use an OC, her name is generally Jessica McCarten, which is my real name outside of the internet. She’s basically me, but with different hair and sometimes different backstories depending on age, situation, and things like that, which are usually dependent on the story. If she isn’t the protagonist, then she’ll usually appear as a secondary character, but pretty close to the protagonist. Also, my profile pic tends to be the same on all platforms except for Tumblr, and if there’s a running obsession for another fandom or a certain type of music, it’s because that’s most/all of what I’m listening to at that time, or obsessing over when writing the parts of those stories.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Advice to young aspiring artists? Technically you could say I’m one of them, *insert awkward/exhausted laughter here*. I would say to keep doing whatever you’re doing and always, ALWAYS, look back over your old work to see how you’ve changed, grown, and evolved. I personally hate doing this, because my voice recorded, to me anyway, sounds terrible, and I cringe as I read over things like my first story on Wattpad. However terrible you think you were, always go back over your work, and you might find something better. Hell, I’m still looking for a story I started in year 4 or 5 because I want to read over it and build on it! The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. Just keep practising and looking over your old work. Maybe if you’ve finished a story, wait at least a year or so then, keeping the original, rewrite it, edit it, do what you need to to make it fit your current style, or to correct grammar and punctuation errors, because I can almost guarantee that you will have them, no matter how much you think you don’t.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

At the moment, as it could change when I’m older and such, I identify as asexual, but I am not aromantic. I still haven’t figured out my romantic orientation, properly, but that doesn’t really matter.

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

No, I haven’t. However, this could be due to the fact that aside from Tumblr and Quotev (my original platform) and about four people IRL, I haven’t really come out, as I’ve been hesitant about it, and I’m not really sure how people will react. The few people that I’ve come out to IRL have been really nice about it, and not made a big deal. I have to admit though, that I have a plan on coming out to my entire high school if a certain event I wish to partake in (public speaking) occurs before I leave, a term afore the other years. *Spoiler* If I do manage to, I’m doing a speech about asexuality, and will hopefully have a homemade flag to show people before I wrap it around my shoulders. As far as everyone that I haven’t come out to knows, I’m just a straight white girl.

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

Well, probably that asexual people don’t like sex, or don’t have sex. I know that this is true for possibly the majority of aces, but it’s also false for a certain percentage of aces. This has come from people that identify as bi/pan and do a subject that requires presentations on the LGBT+ community, though I’m not sure if any have included aces. As an eighteen year old female ace, I have never understood how sexual attraction works, or had a partner, romantic or otherwise aside from an occasional partner in science/chemistry. However, I have always been intrigued and curious about what the act of sex feels like, just never felt the attraction to anyone pertaining to it. Whenever I’ve heard this one, I stay quiet and just get silently annoyed/irritated/mildly mad, because I’ve learnt if I speak up about things that I’m interested in/passionate for, I tend to receive a lot of shit from people, and this is mostly to people I’ve known since year seven but haven’t come out to as I don’t really consider them friends.

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

Do your research, read the stories of other aces, watch videos on YouTube, whatever you need. I actually procrastinated for at least a year before I decided Yes, okay, I think I’ll identify as asexual now. It doesn’t matter how long you take to figure it out. Take your time, and remember that no-one other than you can tell you who you are or what your sexual orientation is, and don’t feel bad if it changes because sexuality is fluid. For example, here I am identifying as asexual, when for all I know, I could be demi-sexual or grey-asexual, but I haven’t explored anything that would let me know, so until anything changes, if it does, I identify as asexual.

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

People can find out more about my work by looking me up on different platforms. My *main* email is crush.girl.101.at.high.school@gmail.com because I made it in year nine when I was seriously crushing on a guy. My Quotev, Wattpad, Deviantart, and YouTube are all under the name Morwenna Greenleaf, and I have a Facebook page by the name Morwenna Greenleaf, managed by my actual account, and you can message me through the page. I also, obviously, have Tumblr that people can feel free to message me on, and I have Instagram under my actual name, though, like YouTube, I don’t really post often (at jess_mccarten). In fact, you can message me on any of the sites, though there is a high chance that the majority of videos on my YouTube may have their comments turned off, due to fuckheads being, well, fuckheads. When it comes to any of them, I do requests for things, songs, stories, whatever. Feel free to request some things, because, while I procrastinate pretty much everything *Hello! Procrastinated my sexuality!*, if I enjoy the request, I will, eventually, get around to fulfilling the request, and, just feel free to talk to me. I can be really awkward, and drop a lot of terrible, terrible, puns, jokes, whatever the fuck I’m in the mood for, on you, and just be extremely weird in general. Live long and prosper, aces, and remember, Barty Crouch Jr stopped drinking because it was making him Moody! 😉

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

Interview: Brit

Today we’re joined by Brit. Brit is a wonderful fanartist who is mostly active in a few different fandoms. She enjoys writing fanfiction as well as drawing her characters from her favorite fandoms. Brit is most active in the Undertale, Homestuck, and Hiveswap fandoms. It’s clear that she’s an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Icon

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am mostly a fanartist, be it with drawn fanart or with written works (fanfiction). I’ve been mostly active in the Undertale fandom, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a Homestuck/Hiveswap kick. I also do a lot with original characters (OCs). The biggest project I’ve had going on for a long while now is a fanfiction titled With and Without, a Sans/OC fanfiction that now has 59 chapters.

What inspires you?

It’s difficult to say what inspires me…but I think, more often than not, anything that gives me an idea of an emotion, or makes me experience that emotion, then I get inspired. That’s part of what I always aim for in my written work, too, to make people feel something.

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Grubby Grub

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

I’ve always had an interest in being an artist. I’ve always done well with creative writing in school, and that’s what really got me started with writing fanfiction.

mimel bee plushie
Mimel Bee Plushie

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 necessarily have a special signature…but this has made me think about it, and I might start making one from now on!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

My advice would be to keep going. I know that sounds cliché, but no matter what, you’ve got to keep going. That doesn’t mean go nonstop, though! Sometimes I’m just not in the right mood to write or draw, so I don’t. I take a break, play a game, or do something else. I feel that it helps me be able to come back to it with a fresh mind and renewed motivation. But you can’t give up on it. I used to draw using bases off of DeviantArt and tracing, and with all the effort I’ve put in, I’ve gotten to the place where I am now. (Which isn’t that far, compared to other people, but that’s the other thing. You can’t compare your journeys to one another because each one is unique.)

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Mituna

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a mostly sex-repulsed pan-romantic asexual. It’s difficult, and I say mostly sex-repulsed, because on some days I’m repulsed and suddenly on others I’m not. It can even change by the hour. It’s very frustrating at times, but I’ve come to accept that that’s just how I am.

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

I don’t know about prejudice, but I have been asked how I can write NSFW content if I’m asexual (especially being mostly sex repulsed). I just explain that the two aren’t really related, and that usually clears it up.

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Sad Mimel

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

The most common misconception I’ve encountered personally is that all asexuals don’t like sex, which just isn’t true! Even though I personally don’t always like it, I’ve met others who have a high libido.

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

I would say to definitely surround yourself with people who are accepting, and have patience with the people who have been in your life if you’ve only just now come out. To those who aren’t asexual, it can be difficult to understand. But yeah, keeping away the people who are negative or unsupportive will definitely help with accepting your orientation. If someone who’s unsupportive is someone you can’t avoid (i.e. family) then you can always try limiting your contact with them if at all possible. But seriously, surround yourself with support and love and kindness. It’ll help more than you’ll ever know.

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

I mostly post on Tumblr these days, so you can find me here (https://life-sans-sin.tumblr.com), but I also post on DeviantArt (https://life-sans-sin.deviantart.com). I have an archive account here on Tumblr as well, where more of my older stuff is posted. You can find that here (https://life-sans-sin-archive.tumblr.com). For Tumblr, my tags are #brit writes and #brit arts.

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Sans

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

Interview: Kir

Today we;re joined by Kir. Kir is a phenomenal artist who does a little bit of everything. They write, draw, voice act, and design games.They have a voice acting demo reel, a Steven Universe comic dub, and an author-approved full-cast narration of the first chapter of The Order of Odd-Fish. 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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Ace Design

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I dabble in a lot of creative areas, like writing, drawing, voice acting, and making games! If it’s an art, I’ll probably try it at least once.

What inspires you?

Lots of things! Podcasts, cartoons, video games, my friends, my pets, weird bugs I see on the sidewalk. I conceptualized a whole cartoon series based on a cluster of garbage cans on the side of the road once.

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Chris Derp

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

Honestly, probably Pokémon. I’ve been obsessed with that since I was a kid. It’s what first inspired me to draw, then to write, and it’s definitely been a big inspiration for making video games.

I’ve wanted to be an artist in some form or another since I was at least 12 (before that I actually wanted to be an ornithologist and study birds all day, haha). For the longest time, I wanted to be a novelist, and it’s only been the last few years that I’ve been really exploring other writing styles and other fields of art.

Game Map mock-up
Game Map mock-up

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

I don’t really have anything like that at the moment, no!

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Lerald the Bard

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Explore! Create! Learn about different areas of art, whatever interests you, and just try your hand at it! If it’s fun, learn more and continue on! If it isn’t, stop for a while and come back if/when you’re ready.

Combine different fields of art! My writing’s gotten a lot better since I started making video games, and my voice acting’s gotten a lot better since I started doing audio editing!

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Melanie Blink

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

It’s kinda hard to figure out! I consider myself bi-aroflux and asexual, but honestly everything seems to fluctuate quite a bit. Some days I’m 100% sex-repulsed and aromantic, other days I’m more…graysexual and biromantic? It’s confusing, but I don’t really mind it.

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

Not much, luckily! After the game my zucchini and I made for Ace Jam was released, we definitely had some rude comments about asexuality, and people who say that kinda thing aren’t generally open to discussion of the topic, so there’s nothing you can really do except ignore them.

And block them. I’m very liberal with my block button.

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Rooms

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

That it doesn’t exist! Too many people think asexuals are just making it up for…attention, I guess?

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

Take your time and explore your feelings! Learn the terminology used for different areas of the spectrum and try and figure out what fits you best. It might take you a while, and you might change labels a few times, and that’s okay! I identified as aegosexual for a while before figuring out that my sexuality fluctuates fairly often. There are labels out there that would probably fit my orientation exactly, but right now I’m comfortable with just using the ace label. Maybe that’ll change in a few months or years, but for now it fits, so that’s what works for me!

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Screen1 (character busts were drawn by Tumblr user iwouldliketosayhello)

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

I have several blogs dedicated to different creative areas, so you can find me in several places!

For my voice acting, audio plays, etc., you can find me at owlyvoices.tumblr.com or on YouTube as OwlyVoices.

For my games, you can find me at owly-games.tumblr.com or owly-bee.itch.io

For my writing: prucanada on AO3

For my drawing, and for a mix of everything else, you can find me on my personal blog, owly-bee.tumblr.com

You can even buy some of my drawings and audio dramas on my Etsy, AudioAce, if you’re so inclined!

I’d love to hear what you think of my art! 😀

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Gender Shirts

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

Interview: Monica Stuffle

Today we’re joined by Monica Stuffle. Monica is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in realistic drawing and portraiture. She has also dabbled in sculpture. While she prefers realistic drawings, Monica also draws in a cartoon style on occasion. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art ranges from digital to traditional, and even occasionally sculptural. I usually draw as realistically as I can, but my people-pleasers tend to be more simple and cartoonish. My art is almost always portraiture, and my strongest portraits are in plain old graphite.

What inspires you?

People around me, both on and off the internet. I’m drawn to aesthetics, so I’ll be inspired my a pretty face, a lovely themed blog, or another artist’s work.

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

I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. I never really considered my talent and important thing until recently. I’ve been trying to incorporate my passion into my life more and more, including doing commissions (open 😉 ) and posting my work to try and build a career out 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?

I wish! Maybe I should come up with one. Like a tiny ace flag in the corner or something.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Young or new artists should always remember to breathe, taking a step back and looking at where they are. I know I struggled a lot with not living up to my own expectations, so I had to learn to sit back and remember how far I’ve come already in my artistic journey. There will always be someone better than you, and that’s okay. My advice is to take what you can from your experiences. Learn from other artists, acknowledge your mistakes and fix them, and never give in to frustration.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic asexual as far as I know! Still unsure of my romantic orientation but very set on the asexuality.

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

Very little. There’ll always be someone who just doesn’t understand when you come out, but for me they have always grown either accepting or quietly confused yet still loving. I’m very lucky in that sense.

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

That aroaces have no soul! Honestly, there are different kinds of love. We aren’t all apathetic!

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

Take your time. There’s no pressure to find a label, soon or ever. If you feel that you’re asexual or aromantic, that’s your own business and no one else’s. If you figure that you don’t identify on the ace spectrum even if you thought you did, no worries! The LGBT+ community is one of self discovery.

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

I have a Redbubble and an art Tumblr, both at monic-artt. (Again, commissions are open!! It’s dirt cheap!)

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

Interview: FurvaNoctua

Today we’re joined by FurvaNoctua. FurvaNoctua is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in drawing characters and party members from RPGs and Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Aside from character art, FurvaNoctua draws things from cartoons and games. They draw both in a cartoon style and a semi-realistic style. It’s clear they’re a passionate and enthusiastic 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 really enjoy drawing my characters and other party members from the DnD and Pathfinder RPGs I participate in as well as fun scenarios that happen in the sessions. I have also started to sometimes draw animal mash-ups, I’ve drawn a lot of stylised owls, occasionally do some small comics and sometimes draw things from games and cartoons. I enjoy drawing with my girlfriend and draw stuff for her sometimes.

I do a lot of traditional drawing as well as digital. I often fluctuate between mostly drawing traditionally or mostly drawing digitally. I most often draw in a cartoony – I guess also semi-realistic – style. Sometimes I do some more realistic stuff.

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What inspires you?

Cartoons, webcomics and video games I like, and just a lot of art I come across.

I often get motivated to draw by watching Doodle Date from YouTube. It’s a couple who draw together and it’s just really relaxing and uplifting to watch!

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

I have always loved drawing and been fascinated with the process of creating animated movies/cartoons, comics and video games. Since I was a kid I wanted to make video games, but I thought that couldn’t be a possibility.

I’m not currently actively pursuing making video games, but I plan on trying in the near future. Even if I’m just going to make a small game on my own, for myself, I’m definitely going to do something with video games!

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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 have made signature that looks like a small owl with an F and N for wings (to stand for FurvaNoctua) that I often forget to sign my work with. Otherwise I don’t think so.

Katrine sketch in colours
Katrine sketch in colours

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As someone with depression and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, so ADHD without the hyperactivity) I have struggled a lot with actually getting around to draw when starting any task feels impossible and overwhelming, especially a few years ago. What I found helped was to not beat myself up for not drawing and instead just soak up any information about art that came my way. Even if I wasn’t drawing often I could still learn a lot about drawing while being too low on energy. I watch drawing tutorials on YouTube, read any drawing tutorial I come across, examine the colours/lines/light of any drawings I like and look at how they are build. Besides learning a lot, it might also give you inspiration/motivation/energy to get drawing yourself! But either way you learnt something and probably had some relaxing time for yourself in the process.

I felt this helped my art grow a lot after I got out of (my equivalent of) high school and got more time and energy to focus on drawing. I had gotten a lot of knowledge about drawing and now I could really try it out in practice, which was really nice.

So, focus on getting to a better place, passively take in any art tips you come across, do art if you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. You will have plenty of time to improve.

Another thing I have struggled with which is tied to what I have already talked about, is feeling like I’ve fallen behind and not being where I could have been if I could have just drawn regularly. What I feel has helped me feel happy with where I’m at (but still excited about improving of course) is imagining showing a recent piece to my younger self. Who hasn’t wondered how much their skills will have grown in a few years? If you could actually answer your younger self and show where you are now, they would flip out (for many reasons, but let’s focus on the art)! “Those hands look so good!” “I love this character, they are so cool!!” “I can’t believe I will get this far!” “I’m so glad to see I’ll get better at poses.” You might wish that you were further than you, but I’m positive your younger self would already be very impressed. Knowing my younger me would be happy with where I am helps me be happier with where I am too.

I focused on drawing, but I think both things can apply to about all art and I hope it helps someone.

Mona and Shy Plague Knight low res
Mona and Shy Plague Knight

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aroace and feel zero percent sexual attraction and romantic attraction.

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

Not specifically in regard to being asexual, but being sex-repulsed certainly creates some struggles. I’m not very good with nudity, so learning to draw proper anatomy still feels difficult to me as most common ways to improve is to do things like croquis. A lot of artists I have asked about good ways to learn anatomy that isn’t croquis have almost all told me that croquis is really just the way to go and everyone can be uncomfortable at first, but you quickly get absorbed by the drawing. They don’t tend to get that I wouldn’t just be uncomfortable, but most likely will have a panic attack before I get the chance to draw… I have however gotten some nice resources from a nice fellow ace artist recently (who doesn’t share this problem, but can understand how it’s difficult), and I’m excited to look at them further!

I find it difficult to find good resources on my own. Having something like croquis, but have the models be in underwear so the anatomy is still very clear, would be nice, but I don’t quite dare to search for people in underwear on the internet.

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Nor

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

Probably that aces don’t have sex or that aces and allos can’t be in any lasting relationships because the allos would leave at some point because they would eventually want something the aces can’t give.

Owl lake from dream
Owl lake from dream

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

Take your time and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. The expectations and pressure of society might make it feel like you should just go do some stuff you don’t want to in order to be normal and happy, but that’s not true and it won’t help. So just listen to yourself and take your time.

Veta - First and recent
Veta – First and Recent

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

Anything that I post goes on my Tumblr: https://furvanoctua.tumblr.com/
My Instagram, where I post anything that isn’t digital art: furvanoctua
My Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/furvanoctua.

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Zelda

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

Interview: Allyssa

Today we’re joined by Allyssa. Allyssa is a wonderful author and visual artist. For writing, she specializes in realistic fiction with plenty of LGBT+ characters. In visual art, she does drawing and painting, both in abstract and realistic styles. It’s clear she’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I usually write, paint, and draw. My writing is typically from the point of view of a girl facing deep personal issues or mental health issues. I would classify my writing as realistic fiction. I write characters that are LGBTQ+ and are not considered the norm by society. My paintings are usually either abstract or realistic people. My drawings tend to stay on the side realistic portraits of women.

What inspires you?

People that inspire are Dodie Clark and Luna Lovegood. I love how they are unabashedly different and true to themselves. Dodie’s music is so full of heart and soul and emotion that I can’t help but feel inspired from it. The state of the world also inspires my writing and themes for my paintings. My art typically has undertones and themes of despair and how messed up the word is. On the other side of things, the beauty and complexity of humanity and nature never ceases to amaze me. My own issues with mental health and my poetic sort of view of the world helps me with using my words, choosing colors and shapes, and writing the darker parts of stories. My personal experiences with mental health gives me the ability to portray mental health in a more realistic way.

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

I first got into writing when I read the book Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare. It was written so beautifully and held so much emotion and creativity that I wanted to make something as wonderful. Family members, my older sister and my aunt, also influenced me with their art. I think I have always wanted to be an artist, especially when I look back and see how I was more content making something as a child rather than letting it disappear once playtime was over.

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?

Something that I always include in my writing is a character that is LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, or defies gender roles. My paintings and drawings are also almost always a portrait of a young adult woman that has some kind of physical flaw.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Though I am a young aspiring writer myself, my advice to others like me is to write what you love to write and to write something with feeling. Write what you feel passionate about and that you feel could make an impact on someone, even if it’s just one person, and if that one person is yourself.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as noviromantic asexual. I have never had a crush on anyone and did not want to have sex with anyone now or in the future. My romantic orientation is complicated and a mixture of many different romantic orientations. Some of the basics are hetero and demi romantic. Most parts of my romantic orientation seem contradicting to each other and is hard to describe, so I use novi. Majority of my romantic orientation is part of the aromantic spectrum.

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

I haven’t encountered any prejudice, but that’s mostly because I haven’t told anyone besides my two closest and open-minded friends. I don’t hide the way I feel. When the topic of sexual orientation comes up and anyone asks me, I just say that I’m not attracted to anyone in that way. No one has had an issue with that so far, though I have only used the word asexual to describe myself to the two friends.

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

The most common misconception I’ve seen is that it is cut and clean, that you either don’t feel any sexual or romantic attraction or you do. This is something that my struggles with accepting the labeling I use fed on.

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

I advise anyone who is struggling with their asexuality to not be afraid of the terms and slang used. You can identify however you feel suits you. Once I found a community and people that didn’t criticize my orientation, I felt so much happier and comfortable with myself. Know that you don’t have to use terms you don’t feel comfortable using to please the people around you. Your orientation is for you, not other people. Orientation is fluid, and it’s not your obligation to make other people feel comfortable with who you are.

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

You can find me on Tumblr. I have two separate accounts. I post my writing and artwork on this account. My other account is mostly quotes, art, fandom, and other things I enjoy and inspire me. You can find that account here.

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