Interview: Fishtanks

Today we’re joined by Fishtanks. Fishtanks is a wonderful visual artist who also does some writing. They mostly do fanart, but also do original work. When they’re not drawing, Fishtanks is working on a webcomic and also does zines. They’re very enthusiastic, 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 am mostly a fan artist of a company called Rooster Teeth, but I also do Original pieces, Zines, animatics, and you heard it here first, I’m working on creating a webcomic right now!

What inspires you?

My inspiration for a majority of what I do is a mix of determination and stubbornness. If I want to do something someone tells me I can’t I work ten times as hard to do it! I have people watching me every day, and I want everyone who does watch me to know they can do whatever their heart desires.

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

I actually never thought that I would be an artist in any capacity as a child. I was interested in engineering and medicine! What got me interested was in my sophomore year of high school, I started talking to my now best friend. He was always by himself drawing, so to get closer to him, I started drawing! Once I started, and my best friend encouraged me, I was hooked!

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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 sign all my works of course, but nothing particularly special!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If someone says you can’t do something, do it anyway. Prove them wrong. Work harder to get there. Know you can do anything you want when you work harder and look at things from a new perspective.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Regular ol’ asexual

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

I have had a few times I have had to stop talking to people I enjoyed messaging because they either said aces aren’t real, or they don’t belong in the LGBT+ community, as well as left group chats.

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

Me complimenting a person or saying “She’s cute” and someone responding “But you’re ace.” Ace people can think someone is cute or attractive

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

It’s totally okay to be confused and questioning, and I even encourage it! Do not worry about saying you are something and then change it if you think it is wrong. Also, it is okay to not have a label for who you are, you are you, not a sum of labels!

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

I post most on my Tumblr: http://emptyfishtanks.tumblr.com/
And YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UClB2m2taU60U_br8hQ7P4og
But I also have Twitter: https://twitter.com/emptyfishtanks
And Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/fishtanksart/

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

Interview: Myr

Today we’re joined by Myr. Myr is a wonderful writer and visual artist from Germany who dabbles in a few different things. They mainly write as a hobby and are currently working on a novel. They’re a dedicated fanfiction writer who writes a lot of slash in a few different fandoms, which they post on a German website. When Myr isn’t writing, they also enjoy doing visual art and specialize in photography. It’s clear they’re very dedicated to their art, 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 am a genderqueer hobby author and fan fiction writer, I started writing in elementary school and lost passion multiple times on the way to where I am now. I don’t really publish and certainly don’t sell anything but I keep going. Occasionally I also photograph and I used to draw/sketch.

What inspires you?

I mostly write fan fiction and some of my favourite own characters started off as side characters in fan fictions as well as autobiographical characters, so yea. I take inspiration from the original canon as well as my own experiences. I did so even before I grew confidence to talk about myself and my personal history with bullying and depression.

For photography I try capturing simple things in another perspective or engage mostly in documentary photography.

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

Funny enough, I didn’t like reading when I was a child until when my mom bought the Harry Potter audiobooks and I was like a sponge, I even could recite big parts of my favourite (book 3 – Prisoner of Azkaban).

I always was a little artistic, trying to express myself with drawings and a little bit painting but I was told way too often how good I am with words, so I started writing.

My father and uncle and godfather and cousin are all interested in photography and I was drawn to it from young age, always having cameras focused on me when on family gatherings or on holiday.

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?

As afore mentioned I tend to include autobiographic own characters partly resembling myself and partly expressing my goal regarding life choices, character traits and so on.

So it’s likely my newer OCs (since end 2016) are somewhere on the asexual spectrum and every autobiographic OC is gender non-conforming if not genderqueer, when it comes to character traits the characters don’t have that much in common if you don’t look closely, but getting to the characterisation they are very much alike.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

This might seem stupid but: just do it! Honestly I started out with a fairytale in elementary school which I didn’t even research for and it was so… I was 8 at the time and a huge anime-fan, so looking back it was horrible! I wrote something about a Japanese Wadden sea /mudflat and a girl having wings as arms, I think…?

And my next phase… I am not that proud about it but when I started writing again at age 11 or 12 I was writing PWP – “plot what plot?“ – which is… it’s erotica basically.

At age 15 (2014) I created a small Facebook page which is deleted since 2014 and published bits and pieces of romantic and adventurous one-shots.

I was used to writing erotica, I didn’t know how to do action or crime… and I didn’t start reading regularly until 2014 when I first discovered the German website fanfiktion.de

By now my longest work online is 52 pages and 29,900 words long (fan fiction to BBCs Sherlock).

So yea, keep going, no matter where you start off, no matter where you pause and pick up again, keep doing what you enjoy!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am aegosexual (I feel not connected with what arouses me and prefer consuming erotica over actually engaging in sexual acts) and grey-biromantic

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

I was told I couldn’t write smut and border on very explicit erotica since I am ace and shouldn’t care about such things otherwise I would invalidate myself.

I mostly laugh it off despite being able to get very vocal when I am upset, frustrated or angered.

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

That no asexual is sexually active, I personally needed a sexual relationship to realise I am asexual. Attraction doesn’t equal action, sweethearts.

And we are no innocent little honey buns, not in general.

Never generalise about any group, okay?

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

Reach out, get to know the community. I was uncomfortable, too.

I was certain “I must be greysexual, I mean… I can not not feel attraction, I am enough of a freak, I can’t be this strange!“

Reaching out and getting to know people on Tumblr and Facebook helped, we are all perfectly normal (as far as anything ever is normal at all) people and we are diverse like every other group.

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

I suppose my profile in fanfiktion.de is the way to go. It’s fanfiktion.de/u/Kayli+Talis

With a good translator-plug-in for your web browser you will be able to read my works without knowledge of German.

I am also working on translations (as you can see in the attached photos) and will publish at least my 52-page-work in an English version once I completely translated it.

Thank you for having me.

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

Interview: Fran

Today we’re joined by Fran. Fran is a phenomenal musician who plays a variety of instruments and also participates in her school’s marching band. When she’s not playing music, Fran enjoys doodling and is currently writing a novel, which sounds like a fun adventure (a superhero rom-com, how can you not love that). She has also written some poetry and short stories. It’s very clear that Fran is a dedicated and versatile 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 just graduated high school and plan to attend university as a double major in music education and music performance. My primary instrument is flute, but I also play saxophone and a little bit of piano, ukulele, and clarinet. I really enjoy playing classical music, but a lot of my passion lies in jazz, and I am a member of my high school marching band and a future member of my college marching band. I also doodle a little bit, and I am writing a rom com superhero novel about a meteorite that wishes that she can become human and the stars grant her wish. It is a wlw romance, but mostly it consists of humor and superhero action. I also write poetry and short stories.

What inspires you?

My hero is Michael Giacchino and other movie soundtrack writers like him. Ever since I was a kid, I’ve loved getting inspiration for my music from soundtracks. Because of this wonderful music guiding my life, I plan on inspiring others to pursue music by teaching, and maybe even continue my talents into the professional field. For my visual art, I mostly get inspiration from my friends. We all draw together as a hobby so we get inspired by each other often. For my writing I am inspired by my favorite authors, J.K. Rowling, Brandon Sanderson, David Leviathan, and Rick Riordan. I love writing books with positive outlooks and messages about love and peace.

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

I have loved music and art ever since I was a child. I started playing flute in 4th grade and I have been obsessed with band ever since. I loved watching movies and playing games almost solely for the excellent musical track. It was only a matter of time until I decided it would be my career. I’ve drawn and written for just as long. I wrote many short stories when I was young, and drew in that stereotypical 6th grade anime style that all artists cringe at later in life. My writing and drawing styles are a little bit better now, though I look back at my childhood doodles and stories with fondness.

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

Not really. My signature is just my name in cursive.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you want to be a musician, do it! Don’t let anyone tell you it’s a “phony career” and that you won’t be able to make a living with it. With hard work and a little thinking outside of the box, you can make a good career out of any art form. Follow your dream and don’t let the downers destroy your passion!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an Asexual Lesbian. I experience no sexual attraction, but I am romantically attracted to girls exclusively.

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

I’ve had people tell me that you can’t have a romantic relationship without sex and that I’ll “change my mind”. It used to bother me, but now I just let the words wash over me. I know that I’ll find someone who will understand and love that part about me. I can’t help it that their concept of relationships is so small-minded. I don’t experience that often, though. Most people in my field are very accepting.

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

That I can’t experience a romantic relationship. Many people lump asexual and aromantic together without realizing that they are both different. You can be both, or just one or the other. There are also people who think I’m just innocent. It’s true that I’m a bit innocent in some areas, I don’t like to cuss, I don’t have a dirty mind, I would rather watch Disney movies than anything with too much sex or violence, but that has nothing to do with my orientation. I know how sex works. I just don’t want to have it.

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

Don’t feel like you have to rush into a label. And your label can be fluid and change over time. I know that I may change my label in the future. Just like your favorite color changes over time, so can your label. Also, I know it’s hard living in a world where sex can be prioritized over a healthy and understanding relationship. Be who you are. Because “those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter won’t mind”. Your identity is a beautiful thing!

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

I don’t really have a website or anything. Most of my work is just in my ensembles or in my community.

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

Interview: Kodiak Rain

Today we’re joined by Kodiak Rain, who also goes by Kodi. Kodi is a phenomenal visual artist who does a bit of everything. Ze enjoys colored pencils and watercolors mostly, although ze has worked with clay, acrylics, and oil paints as well. Kodi also illustrated a graphic novel written by zer son entitled Trayvalle Tales (it can be found on Amazon, here). Ze are incredibly passionate about art and zer work shows a remarkable amount of depth and complexity as well as a phenomenal use of color, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to zer for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work with a variety of mediums from oil paint to acrylic to watercolors, sculpting with clay, drawing in pencil, ink or colored pencil or a combination of those, pastels, charcoal, using a Wacom drawing pad to create digital art, woodcuts and printmaking. Of all those things, I think my current favorites are colored pencils and watercolor paints. I like how those methods are easy to use so that I am able to work quickly without a lot of set up or clean up.

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What inspires you?

Nature is my biggest inspiration. I wish to capture its beauty while also offering a perspective on it that reminds others that we are part of nature and that nature is alive all around us. Even more alive than we tend to give it credit for on a daily basis. Emotions also inspire me. I want my images to evoke feelings although I don’t always want to determine ahead of time what those feelings will be. And finally symbolism inspires me. When working with images, there are so many ways to express different ideas, emotions and messages through symbols both ancient and more modern. It is fun to think about what symbols are universal and what may be very individualistic.

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

My mother was a professional artist all my life so I was exposed to art from the beginning. It wasn’t what I dreamed of being, it was just something I loved to do and found myself doing most, in fact with every opportunity I was creating something. I was fortunate that I had access to so many materials and was encouraged by my mom. I eventually discovered that I simply cannot live without making art. It has been many things for me. It has been my saving grace, my therapy, a way to tell my own story and the stories of others, a way to communicate my character and a way to express things I find hard to say in words.

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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 often include spirals because the spiral is found in the double helix of DNA and also in the vastness of a galaxy. It has mathematical qualities and just seems to be the most magical of symbols to me. I also like to draw eyes in my trees (not always but sometimes) to symbolizes that nature is watching us and judging our actions. I guess I am a bit of an agnostic pagan.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw every day! Try every medium! Find what you love and don’t stop. Develop tough skin so that if you are criticized or critiqued, you will hear what is beneficial to you and toss out what hurts. Do it for YOU.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I guess I am somewhere between asexual and demisexual and often sex repulsed.

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

I find more prejudice about being agender than asexual because I think people haven’t wrapped their heads around the idea that someone can be genderless. I think though that my sexuality doesn’t come up often enough for me to experience prejudice, although I know that some people think that it means something is wrong with me. I even had someone take it personally as if it were a judgment about their sexual ability when in fact it has nothing to do with other people and is simply all about me.

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

I guess that being asexual means that there is something wrong with me physically or that I just haven’t been with a good lover or found the right person. Also that I am a prude. I am not a prude and can talk about anything regarding sex with an open mind AND my asexuality is not about other people. It is all about me, what I feel and how I identify.

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

Just be true to yourself and know that you are healthy. What matters most is what makes you happy, what makes you feel good about yourself and your life. Nothing else matters as much as that. Remember that most of the time, people are projecting their own experiences and ideas onto each other so know yourself and don’t worry about what other people think.

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

I used to use Tumblr under a different name but I have forgotten the account info for that so now I have my own blog here on WordPress: kodiakrainblog.wordpress.com. It is fairly new but I plan to share my artwork and my life story there. I hope you check it out and subscribe if you like what you see!

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

Interview: EJ Anderson

Today we’re joined by EJ Anderson. EJ is a wonderful writer and visual artist who is the creator of Gecko Jehovah, a webcomic that prominently features a m/m couple. The webcomic has been running since June 2015. EJ is an incredibly passionate and dedicated artist who has been drawing for years. Her enthusiasm is admirable, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve had a lot of different projects but right now I write and draw a long-form webcomic called Gecko Jehovah, which I’ve been publishing since June 2015. It’s my very first adventure in digital drawing and also my first exercise in drawing (almost) every day since high school.

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just asexual.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: Ema

Today we’re joined by Ema. Ema is a wonderful young artist who is currently studying graphic design. They love to draw and also enjoy working with unusual materials. They’re incredibly passionate, 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.

Right now I’m an art student studying graphic design. I also like to use unordinary materials. For example I collect candy wrappers and stuff like that to make collages. I also make bracelets and will incorporate my beading materials into my art

What inspires you?

Right now my inspiration is mostly nature and the different cartoons I watch. Cartoons inspire me because of the colors and the different art styles and watching the cartoons just gets me in the mood of creating my own artwork

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

I’ve loved drawing since I was a little. Most presents I got as a kid were art sets. As a kid I always saw art as being a hobby that I would have for my whole life. But then as it came to picking out a major for college I couldn’t really think of anything else I would be happy doing for the rest of my life. The reason I chose graphic design is it seemed like the most practical field to go into.

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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?

No but I do usually add a heart at the end of my signature

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know most people don’t give actual art advice for this but this is always the advice I give.  Take a step back from your work. Put your work up on the wall and look at it from ten feet away. This really helps see any issues with piece that you overlook from close up. Also your darks can almost never be dark enough.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual sex repulsed.

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

No but I also have really done anything in my field considering I’m still in school.

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

That being ace makes me automatically not want sex instead of just not finding people sexually attractive. That and finding the right guy will fix that for me.

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

Your feelings are completely normal. And your orientation can change. You don’t need labels, but it’s normal to label yourself if you want to.

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

The only place I have is my Instagram at Emabaes_art.

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

Interview: Nicole Blanchard

Today we’re joined by Nicole Blanchard, who is also known as nicoledraws online. Nicole is a wonderful visual artist who does quite a bit. They do a lot of sketches and drawings, as well as some fanart. They’ve recently gotten into cosplay and are currently studying Media Arts and Animation. They are obviously quite passionate about art, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Visual Artist here who mainly dabbles in sketching and drawing. Painting is on my list as well, but is done much less often due to the fact I do not get a lot of time to sit down at home where all my supplies are.

I also double as a FanArtist. I just recently got into the cosplay game and don’t possess “professional” photos, but I have been drawing fanart for at least the last six years of my life. It’s good practice and gets your name out there.

And occasionally, I do animate. Media Arts and Animation is currently what I am in school for so there’s that as well.

What inspires you?

There is no one specific thing that gives me inspiration. It comes and goes from many different places.

The only mildly consistent aspect of it is that it usually tends to be from real life. Whether it be from long talks with one of my closest friends or experiences I’ve had.

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

Memories of my childhood, in all honesty, are blurry at best. So I can’t say what got me interested in art—just that it happened.

For as long as I can remember, I have always found joy and comfort in drawing. It’s not only therapeutic but I feel I am most myself when doing it.

If nothing else, the one thing I do remember was the fact that I did always have a desire to grow up and be an artist. However, thanks to career counselors and other adults, it never seemed like a realistic goal and dream to have at the time. The whole “starving artist” myth is legitimately terrifying to a child from an already struggling household.

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

Not really. At least, not that I have personally noticed or consciously done.

Though I am hoping to fix that. I want to get to a point talent-wise and artistically where someone can immediately identify my work as mine without having to look at my name.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There is always going to be someone better than you in some way. However, don’t let this lead you down the road of a quitter—instead use it as a motivation to improve.

With any form of art, the only way to get better is to keep doing it. Don’t ever stop, because stopping might as well be you giving up.

Some people need to work harder to get to a certain level of mastery and that’s okay. Not every person in the world has a knack for picking things up easily. Every person learns at their own pace. At least a decade worth of drawing and I’m still learning.

Another important aspect to any form of art is constructive criticism. You, as a producer of content, need to listen to the criticism of your audience. The input they can provide can be very insightful and point flaws out that you might have never noticed on your own. And this goes for not only basic theories and principles of your art form, but potentially offensive topics.

However, also keep in mind that you cannot please every single person you meet. Simply be open-minded and kind.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

The sexual identity I am currently most comfortable with and feel fits the best is “asexual” itself — not a branch of it.

However, my romantic identity remains an oddity to even myself. I am currently coming to terms with the fact I reside somewhere on the aro-spectrum, but am also hesitant to label myself fully as “aromantic” despite never experiencing the feelings in question.

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

My sexuality isn’t exactly an aspect of myself I have made common knowledge in my daily life and to the people in it. So needless to say, the answer would be an overall “no.” Very few people, even within my circle of friends and acquaintances, know about it. It just isn’t something I tend to talk about, though it’s not a fact about me that I purposely hide either.

The topic of sexuality as a whole isn’t something ever brought up at the college I attend or the places I work, so it might just be a matter of “ignorance is bliss.”

There was a misconception of “being ace means you don’t like sex” once or twice, but that’s about as far as it went.

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

In person, definitely “being ace means you don’t like sex.”

On the internet, it’s been quite an ugly mix of comments. The two worst being “aroace people are just Straight People wanting in on the LGBT+ community and its resources” and “cishet aces are Straight.” Both of which mainly come from members of the LGBT+ community and enforce heteronormativity in the process.

What many LGBT+ people on the internet fail and refuse to realize is that The Straights don’t see us as straight. In their eyes, we are not one of them.

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

Life is too short to hate yourself. There are things about you that you can’t change; so instead of letting the world make you feel bad for it, embrace and accept it even if it is difficult to do so.

Do not change per the request of anyone (partner, family, or otherwise), because I can guarantee that you won’t be happy in the end.

And if one moment you find your ace label (whatever it may be) does not fit like it did before, don’t fret. Sexuality and gender is a spectrum. Labels are meant to help identify yourself, but are not inherently permanent. Do and use what you feel is best in that moment.

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

My artwork can mainly be found on Tumblr under a side-blog with the url nicoledraws.

However, I do also have a Twitter account that has some artwork that never sees the light of day on Tumblr. As a warning though: the twitter account is a lot less organized and also has a lot of non-art related topics attached to it. You can find me currently at mokamazing there.

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