Interview: Gigi

Today we’re joined by Gigi. Gigi is a phenomenal and versatile artist who does a bit of everything. She writes a bit of poetry and she also has a running fan comic set in the Kirby universe. When she’s not writing, Gigi does a bit of visual art. She mostly does fanart, but she also does self-portraiture and some abstract drawings. It’s very clear that 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.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to write mostly, and I’ve started with fanfiction. Ever since late 2010 I’ve worked on a fan comic called 20 Times Kirby, and my story with it is kinda funny. I started it just ’cause, literally, I had no expectations for it and I was only working on it due to boringness, but soon I grew attached to it, to a point where I actually started putting effort into it. The results are a pretty complex story with multiple characters, almost 1000 pages, and almost 7 years of work, with constant updates! In fact, the comic became more my own thing rather than just me exploring the Kirby universe; the elements of the series are there, but they aren’t extremely important. Looking back, this all is insane! But I love it; working on this comic is my passion. I even plan on rewriting it in the future, since I’ve made some mistakes in the past and I’d like to fix them.

I also like writing poems, both in English and in my first language (Brazilian Portuguese). They are literally about anything, and I write them when I suddenly feel inspired. I haven’t really published most of those, but I’m starting to think I should.

Another art thing I do is drawing, usually fan art, but sometimes self-portraits and some abstract drawings. Most of them end up as sketches only, however. I’ve also more recently started to learn to compose, but for now it’s mostly experimenting and trying to learn stuff.

What inspires you?

In general, videogames and music inspire me, but any kind of art may do the trick as well. When I see something that I can tell that was made with care and attention to detail, that motivates me to do something similar. Also, whenever I find something I really like in any kind of fiction, I try to make something similar to it happen in my stories, if possible of course.

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

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a huge imagination and I would make countless stories in my head about literally everything. I would never write them down, however, apart for one or two Pokémon fanfictions I only drafted the beginning. Only when I started working in 20 Times Kirby, and got so attached to it, I stopped to think that maybe writing had be my secret passion all this time. That’s when I actually started to write stuff down, even if it’s just bullet points of a story. Seeing friends and other people do other art stuff like drawing motivated me to try these too, but writing will always be my main passion.

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

Not really I think? Although I do love giving a meaning to everything that happens in any story I work on, and connect all events whenever possible too.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up! Whatever the field of art you want to work with, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be a master at it on your first tries, and this goes for everyone! I know that when you start, you already want to be very good like the artists you see around, but it’s actually a long road, and those people have travelled it. And you can do it too!

Also, don’t be afraid to rewrite stories, redraw drawings, remake your songs, and so on. If you think you can improve something you’ve already finished, you probably can, and you’ll learn more in the process!

Finally, don’t be afraid of criticism, it only helps, no matter how much it may hurt. Take it and try to learn with it, whoever commented about your work like that only wants to help you. However, if you notice someone commenting about your work only giving negative thoughts, looking like they aren’t trying to help, ignore them. Giving constructive criticism is one thing, giving hate is another, and learning the different between the two is very important.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic and asexual. Well, at least I think I am; these are the labels I identify with right now.

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

Not really directly, and I guess this is more aro related, but I do notice that lots of people comment a lot about shipping and have gotten disappointed when I didn’t really do any real romance in my comic (yes, even in a Kirby fan comic). Honestly… I just ignore them for most part. I don’t avoid romance completely but I rarely use it, I don’t think this kind of stuff is mandatory in a story.

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

The misconception that Asexuality is just a “phase”, and that it will change when you “find the right person”. That’s like telling a straight person they are going through a phase, and will realize they are actually bi when they find the right person of a gender they claim to not be attracted to. It makes no real sense and it’s just trying to erase who we are.

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

First of all, no matter what others say, your orientation is valid. You are valid. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.

Also, feel free to explore labels, if you think one doesn’t fit you completely. If you asked me a year ago what my romantic orientation was, I would have told you grayromantic, not aromantic. That’s because it took me a while to truly identify as aromantic, and identifying as grayro for a while helped me do that. Really, you don’t have to pick a label once and never change it, change your labels whenever you feel it’s the right thing. These labels exist to help us find more about ourselves!

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

20 Times Kirby can be found here: http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=91583

I also have a Tumblr where I sometimes post art, although I haven’t done that in a while. Either way, you can find it here: http://gigithoughts.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art. If I ever get around to post my other art stuff, I’ll post about it in my Tumblr, but let’s see.

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

Interview: Brie

Today we’re joined by Brie. Brie is a phenomenal young aspiring artist who specializes in visual art. She enjoys drawing people, including some original characters, and dabbles in fanart as well. Her work shows an incredible attention to detail and a sense of whimsy as well. Brie is a very enthusiastic and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Horned Beauty
Horned Beauty

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mainly people because, well that’s really what I know I can do. I like to draw specific people as well as making up and drawing my own characters!

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by the pits of hell I called my brain as well anything I see around my school and in my everyday life

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

To be completely honest when I was little I really wanted to be a fashion designer but I have always loved drawing and up until last year I hadn’t really done any drawing but then I got really bored in my math class and I started up again! I have honestly never been more thankful for a really boring teacher!

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?

The only thing that really comes to mind is that I always put my signature somewhere in my drawing, but other than that I can’t really find anything else.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Some advice that I could give any young artists would be, and although it sounds very cliché, but honestly don’t give up on what your working on, if you feel as if you have no good ideas just draw or write about it anyway, even if it turns out bad, DO IT ANYWAY!

Ophelia
Ophelia

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a homoromantic asexual

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

Sadly, I live in a very Christian family and my grandmother is quite homophobic, so I haven’t really told anyone save some of my close friends. Whenever I bring up any form of conversation about asexual stuff, I get told “no you’ll find someone” and stuff like that and honestly I have never had so many quick change conversations about food in my life.

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

The biggest misconception I find about asexuality is that most people think that people who are ace have no emotions, and anytime anyone askes me so you don’t have emotions right I just have to stare at them so a minute, then morph into a purple dragon and fly away form the stupidity.

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

Some advice I could give would probably be just go with what feels right, go with the one that makes you genuinely happy and see where it goes from there!

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

My art handle is mainly my Instagram at weirdonamedbrie. I’m planning on also posting some work on my Tumblr at weirdonamedbrie-art!

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

Interview: Renessa Jones

Today we’re joined by Renessa Jones. Renessa is a wonderful crafter and visual artist. She does knitting, perler art, and charm making. When she’s not crafting, Renessa enjoys drawing. She has filled out a number of sketchbooks and has a great deal of passion, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

furry video games
Furry Video Games

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do several mediums of art. I knit, make charms, perler art, and draw. Drawing and knitting are probably my favorites. I started both to assist with my anxiety and both have helped greatly. I have a large stack of sketchbooks climbing half way up my bed room wall.

What inspires you?

Let’s see, TV mostly. Television, movies, and characters I love. I draw cartoons mostly. Now with knitting, I’m inspired by who’s getting the knitting project, their favorite colors and things. I make cute things because cute things are adorable!

hipster tad
Hipster Tad

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

Like I said I took up knitting to help with crippling anxiety.

However, when I was little we were so poor we couldn’t afford to pay for electricity one month. My mom taught me how to draw cartoons since there was no TV. She taught me how to draw a bear head, a dog head, cat head, and Mickey. I practiced because I wanted to be as good as my mom. Then when I was in high school my mom told me she wanted to draw as good as me and this made me happier than anything.

I loved drawing since I was a kid. I was never paying attention in school because I was drawing. There is nothing better than seeing an empty page then almost like magic there was a drawing.

jesse and matt
Jesse and Matt

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 especially, I do sign my digital art with my initials RJ.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

PRACTICE! I didn’t think I was any good when I was little. I drew pictures ALL the time and over time I got better. I practice drawing faces and hair a lot so I can get better. I need to practice drawing hands cause you practically have to sell your soul if you want to draw nice hands.

owlly 2
Owlly 2

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteroromantic asexual.

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

My mom tries to understand but I know she thinks I have something physically wrong with me. She thinks I will get over it when I’m older. My friend says once I’ve had it I’ll change my mind. I haven’t met any prejudice yet luckily, but then again I haven’t told many people.

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

That you just need to have it to like it. That doesn’t seem right to me. Even if someone has never had sex they should be able to say whether they are interested or not. I’m not interested, in fact the idea of myself doing it makes me physically nauseous some times.

stanley and sakura kissy
Stanley and Sakura Kissy

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

It’s OK to not like it. You are not broken or alone. You are not any less of a person. You can still fall in love if you have romantic feelings. You can have a relationship with love and not have sex because sex does NOT equal love. If you’re with someone who just loves you because they will get sex they are NOT worth your time. You are better than that.

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

My Tumblr is sosospoopy, feel free to send a message and say howdy ^ ^ I tag my art renessadraws and renessaknits

wirt and beatrice wings
Wirt and Beatrice Wings

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

Interview: Ty Jordan

Today we’re joined by Ty Jordan. Ty is a wonderful young illustrator who is just starting out. He’s experimenting with a few different styles. He specializes in what he describes as a “trippy realistic style.” Ty is currently trying to make his drawings resemble monochromatic oil paintings. He’s a very passionate artist who has a great amount of enthusiasm as you’ll soon read. 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’m currently writing a novel where two of the central characters are ace, but I won’t be done for a few months because it’s very complex. I’d love to get it published so you could read it! That’s all for my writing.

My art is usually very busy looking, but the style depends on my mood. I split my works into a main series of related pieces and “pastime scribbles,” which are basically anything I make that’s not in a series. The series I’m working on at the moment is called Illusions and its main goal is to show the viewer a distorted reality that has vaguely familiar things, while also being very disorienting. There’s usually no specific message that I’d want the viewer to get because I want them to come up with their own answers and not rely on one definitive answer. It tends to be that what you see in these drawings says more about you than it does about me. Since people will always come up with their own meaning for things even if the actual meaning is explained, I decided I’d have a little fun and not give a viable answer at all.

One quick mention before we’re off to the next segment: One of my drawings looks like it’s clearly supposed to be upside down but it’s actually not. It’s made that way specifically to irritate that human tendency to want things to be easy to understand and well aligned with everything else we see.

What inspires you?

This changed a bit over time. In the beginning I wanted to be good at drawing because one of my cousins is amazing at it and I always thought he was cool. Around middle school I wanted to be famous, then I wanted money, then I just wanted to get better. Recently my life’s been a storm of s…sauerkraut. I think about my life a lot and the impact I want to leave behind, so that finds its way into my art. Life’s been really stressful and it seems like nothing’s working, and that along with a lot of discouragement and berating really put a dent in my self-esteem. I’ve been in this rut for a few months where I have a really hard time wanting to draw and unfortunately I’m still there. In mine own life it feels like there’s no point in trying when I have so much opposition and nothing seems to be paying off, but I don’t do it for my own sake anymore. The knowledge that there are other people like me in situations like mine makes me want to keep trying with everything I’ve got. I dedicate my art to them. The people like me who are around right now, the kids of the next generation, and all the one’s I’ll never live to see; I’m doing this for them.

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

Whoops, I already answered some of this one! I’ve been drawing since I was four, which as long as I can remember. My drawings were terrible for a while, but I kept at it because I really enjoyed it. Like I said, seeing my cousin’s work made me want to take art seriously. Comic books definitely influenced my style, specifically any issue drawn by Jack Kirby or Steve Ditko!

Nerd tidbit: Jack Kirby and Steve Ditko both drew covers for Amazing Fantasy#15, but Kirby’s was the one used in 1962. Ditko’s cover was used as a limited variant for The Amazing Spiderman#700. Kirby also drew my favorite superhero: Black Panther)

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?

Funny you ask; there’s a character I put in most of my drawings called Peppermint Pete. He represents me and his location and actions in my drawings gives a glimpse into how I was feeling when I drew that piece. Bonus: my signature and handwriting are pretty cool.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You’re good enough! Keep at it! You won’t be at 100% all the time, but that’s okay! Take breaks! Don’t push yourself too hard! Your physical and mental and physical health are more important than the art you’re making! You can’t make art if you’re not alive, so take good care of yourself! Be consistent with your work! Make art and post on your platform(s) it even if it seems like nobody cares about what you’re doing; do it for you! Stay true to yourself. Even though you won’t get as much fan-fare in the beginning, there’s no other feeling like people being interested in your work solely because it’s your vision!

Kiki’s Delivery Service is a movie that really helped me get motivated again. It’s a movie that artists should definitely see! I’d love to talk about it more, but that’s not what here for, is it?

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual, but I’m cool with having sex. Some would say my pursuits are promiscuous, but that doesn’t invalidate my lack of sexual attraction. If someone told me I had to choose between sex and cheesecake, I wouldn’t even hesitate to give up sex for the rest of my life. As my romantic orientation — I’m not sure if I’m aromantic or not, but it’s not that big of a deal to me. Maybe I’ll figure it out one of these days.

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

A few artists I’ve had to work around have been very ignorant about more things than asexuality and the LGBTQIA+ community. However, people generally know better than to try and say things that could get me upset. To put in short; I’m not the kind of the person it’d be a good idea to fight.

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

I’ve heard the tired arguments of “sexual attraction is what makes us human”, “But you’re so good looking”, and “That’s not even real”. Apparently, since sexual attraction makes us human, I’ve transcended humanity a long time ago. As for the other ones, I don’t care. People will be ignorant from sunrise to sunset. Unfortunately, being black in the U.S means you’ll probably be fetishized at some point in your life. Sure, I don’t have it as bad as black women, but if I had a dollar for every time I’ve been fetishized, I’d have enough to pay for college and an apartment in New York. Seriously, can somebody set up that deal for me? I’m gonna get fetishized anyway, I’d at least like to be paid for the inconvenience.

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

You’re valid. Whether you’re sex averse, you’re like me and it’s nice to you, or if your experience is anything in or outside of those bounds, you’re valid. Know who you are and trust in that; it’ll carry you through any storm. If you like the same sex and you’re ace, you’re valid. If you like the opposite sex and you’re ace, you’re valid. If you like men and women and you’re ace, you’re valid. If you like any gender and you’re ace, you’re valid. If you don’t subscribe to the idea of gender at all and you’re ace, you’re valid. If you’re ace, you’re valid. Not experiencing sexual attraction or very little is the only thing that it takes to be on the asexual spectrum. None of your other identities will obscure or invalidate your (a)sexuality. I wish you all the best in life!

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

At the moment I just have a Tumblr: ty-jordan-ty. I’m working on a website right now, so whenever I have that up I’ll put a link in my description. I don’t have other forms of social media yet because I’m trying to focus more on my work rather than the platform I’d be using to present it. However, when I do get other forms of social media then I’ll also put that in my description.

You can also email me at tybrown099@gmail.com if you want to go that route. See you around! I hope you have a spectacular day!

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

Interview: Isaiah

Today we’re joined by Isaiah. Isaiah is a phenomenal writer and visual artist who does a number of things. For drawing, they mostly do digital art and enjoy drawing and designing their own characters. For writing, they focus on fanfiction, poetry, and short stories. They’re currently working on a short story featuring an ace main character. It’s clear they’re a very dedicated and talented artist. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

adrian (6)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I primarily do digital art of my original characters, but I also write poetry and fanfiction and short stories (though none of them are finished.)

The story I currently put the majority of my effort into is (somewhat ironically) a hodge-podge romcom/coming of age/ self-acceptance story about a gay demisexual cis boy who fell in love with his best friend. It features a lot of religious themes and internalized homophobia so I understand it definitely isn’t for everyone! The main storyline is about him, but it also branches off to tell the stories of the other cast members, who are largely queer and neurodivergent. My fanfiction is pretty standard mutual pining stuff and my poetry is largely about mental illness.

What inspires you?

I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with very queerphobic content, so oddly enough I’m kind of inspired by the very strong desire to give other queer youth a story to latch onto!! I really want to put media into this world that folks who aren’t usually represented can see themselves in. I’m also really inspired by my friends & the kindness they show to me. They’re all amazing artists and people and they help me do better.

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

I haven’t been doing this for long but… honestly I just thought art looked pretty, and I really wanted to be able to create it too!! I started when I was twelve so I’m a bit behind other folks my age, but I’m not too worried.  I used to want to be an author before I’d ever even wrote books. I liked ELA and besides that it was… largely due to J.K Rowling and the attachment I had to her story and characters, though she’s fallen out of my favor in recent years.

riley (7)

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 do, honestly? People say that the way I draw lips and eyebrows is pretty recognizable, but I think for the most part my art isn’t like, at all that unique. Which isn’t a great selling point I know but I just kind of… scribble until something happens!!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re feeling uninspired, or frustrated, it’s okay to take a little break. Don’t push yourself too hard. If drawing is making you unhappy, you don’t need to do it. There’s a lot of pressure to pursue art like a hound and draw every day, but everyone is different!! Find your own balance and treat yourself kindly.  Don’t compare yourself to other artists, even if they’re your friends and you feel compelled to. Have fun & be yourself and it’ll come to you!!

Also; if you know you’re sitting down to draw for a while, get yourself some water!!

sanchez (3)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m quoiromantic & autochorrissexual asexual.

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

To be honest, I feel like most people who take in my art don’t know I’m asexual, though I definitely see a lot of acephobia & other queerphobia in the community I post in. It’s unfortunate & really bums me out, but I’m not really one to get into arguments. Personally, I tend to delete any rude comments that reference sexuality on my work because I worry about queer kids stumbling onto them and internalizing that hatred.  If they do get to me, I’ll vent to my friends about it, but a lot of it just inspires me to work harder and be even more visible. At the end of the day, I think that your work bothering a bigoted person is an achievement.

s

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

A lot of people think we’re either just celibate, or that we have absolutely no libido at all. The concept of someone being both asexual and having a consensual, voluntary sex life is bizarre to them, but in a way that they almost refuse to process most of the time no matter how many times you attempt to explain.

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

You aren’t broken, and there isn’t anything wrong with you. Humans are multifaceted and strange, and being asexual is as normal as any other way of being. I know it can be difficult living in a society that prioritizes sex and romance so highly but you aren’t alone, and you don’t need to experience relationships the exact same ways as allo people do. You’re allowed to feel this way and don’t have to justify it to anyone.

Also: it’s okay to try out a label, you don’t have to be positive. You’re allowed to change your mind and learn new stuff about yourself. Just hang in there!!

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

DIGITAL ART:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blahruto/
Tumblr(s): blahrutocs.tumblr.com & blahruto.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blahruto/
Toyhou.se: http://toyhou.se/blahruto
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blahruto
DA: http://roblobliotical.deviantart.com/
Picarto.tv: https://picarto.tv/blahruto

WRITING:

Fanfic: https://archiveofourown.org/users/blahruto
Poetry: http://sobliotic.tumblr.com/
https://www.wattpad.com/user/sobliotic

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

Interview: Lima

Today we’re joined by Lima. Lima is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in drawing characters, both her own and others. Lima is an art student in Germany and hopes to be a storyboard artist. She is currently working on a personal project, which she’s very excited about. Lima’s work is brimming with details and vibrant colors, which make the images pop off the page. It’s very clear she’s a remarkably talented 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.

Well, I love to draw characters the most, whether they’re my own or someone else’s. I love to give them a story, make them act with their poses and expressions! I also really like making little comics or storyboards – which is why I’d love to be a storyboard artist someday!

When I use colors, I love to use complementary contrasts to bring out different sides of a character!

HC 2

What inspires you?

Many things! Mostly my favorite shows, like Star vs the Forces of Evil, Steven Universe and my all-time fave: Kim Possible. There’s also a lot of artists I look up to, like Babs Tarr, Stephen Silver, Mergan Ferguson (at littledigits on Instagram) Loish, Pernille Ørum … there are so many! Also Hayley Williams (singer of my favorite band Paramore) never fails to inspire me with her energy on stage and gorgeous outfits!

hmcn + roni

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

I guess I’ve always been a very creative person bursting with way too many ideas. I’ve been drawing ever since I can remember, but only recently I discovered I also love telling/creating stories and making characters interact with each other. I guess the biggest factor is and was my undying love for everything animation and reading a lot of comics growing up that sparked my wish to be part of the creative, pre-production stage. That’s what made me sign up for art school and hopefully my education will help me reach those big goals of mine!

hw

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?

Hmm … I guess I have a thing for drawing big, button-y noses! I have kind of a button nose as well and it’s something that other people pointed out in my art. I also love drawing big, expressive eyes and fluffy, voluminous hair!

ready for s03!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t worry too much about ‘having a unique style’! Style is something that comes on its own over time. Just let yourself get inspired by everything around you, study other people’s art and definitely use a TON of references! References are your best friend!

And remember to take breaks once in a while! Being an artist does not mean working 24/7, surviving on coffee and no sleep. Practice as much as you can, but also take care of yourself – your older self will thank you for it! (:

RSC

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an aromantic asexual, but I do consider myself more of a gray-asexual. I’ve felt very uncomfortable about labeling myself for years, until I researched the term ‘aromantic’ and it’s like a light bulb went up above my head and everything was clear.

The whole story is: we did a personality quiz in school, where we were supposed to prioritize things like ‘love/romance’, ‘money’, ‘fame’, ‘family’ etc. and without even thinking I put ‘romance’ at the bottom of that list and that got me thinking and the rest is history 😀

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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 my field, no. I am very lucky to be surrounded by young, open-minded people and I’ve even encountered another ace person in my class.

Truth be told, I am not that comfortable explaining my sexuality to people who might be ignorant, so I usually keep it on the down-low. If someone directly asked me, I wouldn’t lie, though.

It’s mostly because I feel aromanticism/asexuality is so severely underrepresented that it’s hard to be taken seriously in a society that actively promotes women having sex, having children, having romantic partners etc. that if you don’t want any of these things, you are the ‘odd one out’.

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

Probably that it’s simply ‘being straight without sex’ or that all asexuals have to be aromantic as well, which of course is wrong. I even heard someone say that asexuality can only be caused by some sort of mental/physical disorder and that every healthy person has a sex drive. What people don’t understand is yeah, I might have a sex drive but that doesn’t mean I’m supposed to act on it. Also the fact that I’m aromantic doesn’t mean I’m a cold person without feelings.

I love very strongly – just not romantically. I love my friends, my family, art and many things. I am a very emotional, sensitive person and I’d love for people to realize that romance is not the ultimate life goal for everyone.

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

I’d ask them for a hug and say: you’re not alone.

There’s a lot of false information going around, and not a lot of media representation, which is important especially in these days.

But despite what other people might say: You are 100% valid.

Your feelings are real and you are not weird, or broken. You are a wonderful individual who deserves just as much love and appreciation as any other member of any other (LGBT+) community.

Don’t be afraid to be proud of yourself and take all the time you need to figure out what you’re comfortable with.

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

I am most active on my Instagram: at sparkly_eyed_dork where I post sketches, comics, full illustrations and more (mostly fanart).

There’s also my Tumblr: sparkly-eyed-doodles.tumblr.com (which is still on hiatus, but I’m planning to revive it in the near future.)

Also: I don’t wanna promise too much, but I’m gonna start my very own webcomic soon!

I can’t say too much about its content yet, but I’m working on it non-stop and I can’t wait to share it with everyone, so stay tuned for that!

All I can say is that it’ll involve friendship, music and wacky adventures! 🙂

Yo Girl3

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

Interview: Mark

Today we’re joined by Mark. Mark is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. They’re mostly into drawing, although they are working on some video game design and do craft work on occasion. They also draw the most gorgeous pride dragons. They’re work is remarkably beautiful, brimming with color and detail. It’s very clear Mark’s an incredibly talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Rexy Female White and Gold

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Umm, I draw things? XD Mostly I like to focus on digital drawing, but I also do some craft work and other things here and there for fun. Right now I’m working on a few different projects, the main ones being pride dragons (and eventually other pride animals), as well as working with a close friend on some game design.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything really. Other artists, movies, books, music, nature, friends… I can’t really pin inspiration down on any one thing.

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

I’ve been drawing pretty much as far back as I can remember, so it’s been an always thing that never went away. XD Honestly I can’t imagine NOT being an artist in some fashion.

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Early Dragon

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

Not really? Nothing that I’m aware of at least.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

(Sorry this part is going to be a tad long.)

1. If you wanna art, then art. Do it because you want to do it.

2. Some people are gonna be assholes. It’s pretty hard to avoid running into them. It sucks and it can be super disheartening, but *don’t give up*. I’ve had my art featured on “look how shitty this art is” sites and have gotten some nasty comments that made me feel super close to giving up entirely. But in the end, I’d refer you back to point 1. If you want to art, *then KEEP DOING IT* Do it because you enjoy it. Do it for you, do it for the people who DO enjoy it.

3. You’re not going to improve overnight, but that’s ok. You’ll have good days and bad days with art and sometimes you might feel like you’re not getting anywhere, but as long as you don’t give up, you WILL improve over time.

4. Going along with that, try not to compare your art to others’ art. You need to compare you to you. Look at some of your old art compared to new stuff. Can you see improvement? Doesn’t matter if it’s just a little or a lot, improvement is improvement! Everyone goes at their own pace so don’t be discouraged if you’re not getting to where you want to be right away.

5. I love stylization. It’s fantastic. All sorts of cartoony styles and what not. But I will say, regardless of how styled you want to make your art, it’s best to learn from life first. If say, you learn how to draw dogs, study real dogs and realistic dog art, because then stylizing them later on will be WAY easier and produce better results.

6. TOTALLY experiment with different things! Maybe you’ll find something you like, maybe you’ll decide you don’t like certain things. But at least after trying you’ll know. Step outside your comfort zone, don’t worry if you can do something “good” or not. Just have fun and play with it! Wanna draw cars but think you can’t manage mechanical things? Draw some cars anyway! You have to start somewhere.

7. While you shouldn’t compare yourself to other artists, it can be nice to look around at numerous other artists’ styles and methods for inspiration. Many artists will make tutorials about their processes and techniques or general art advice and these can be super valuable learning tools. (Just remember of course to be respectful and never steal someone else’s work.)

I could probably go on and on, but I think that covers the basics. XD

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am hella ace. XD Not demi or grey or anything. As for romantic orientation, I’m still figuring that out.

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

Sort of? In general I usually don’t get any of that stuff with just posting art and what not online, though I have had some not so cool things happen in person because of being ace. I don’t want to go too in detail. One of the people who did and said some nasty things is an artist as well, but reasons for their behavior were more on a personal level than because of anything art related. (Though they did rip off a bunch of art related things from me…) Handling it can be hard sometimes, but I’m lucky to have super supportive friends, and the ace community seems to be pretty awesome and supportive as well. Lots of nice positivity posts and comments going around.

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

That it’s not real and aces are just lying or are late bloomers. Also that ace people are doomed to be forever alone or they’re only able to be in relationships with other aces.

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

It can be tough, I sure as heck have some hard times accepting it sometimes. But anyone out there struggling, remember that you are NOT broken or alone! Asexuality is totally a natural thing, it’s NOT something new (we just are finally starting to learn more about it and bring that information to light), and it’s not something to be ashamed of. Whether you want a romantic relationship, or just good friends, or whatever else, there are definitely people out there who will accept you for who you are and who won’t try to change you. (And don’t put up with people who think they can change you or that you need to be fixed. That’s a load of BS.) All you aces are totally awesome as is!

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

I post most of my work on my Tumblr account: http://markaleb.tumblr.com/

And I’ve started putting up a few things on a RedBubble account: https://www.redbubble.com/people/markaleb?asc=u

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