Interview: schattenmitternacht

Today we’re joined by schattenmitternacht. schattenmitternacht is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in ink drawings and watercolors. They have recently started working with gouache as well. schattenmitternacht draws inspiration from many different places and are clearly very passionate about 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 do simple ink drawings and occasionally paint with acrylics and watercolors. Recently, I have started to use gouache as well. Subject to my art can be anything; people, animals, things. I love to illustrate feelings and emotions as metaphors.

What inspires you?

The world around me. I believe that beauty is everywhere and I try to capture it for me and for others in my drawings and paintings. The works of fellow artists are also very inspiring.

I do create things inspired be my personal experiences (my diary is mostly drawings) but those are things I’m not always fond to share with people.

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

I remember spending a lot of time at the drawing desk in kindergarten and going to exhibitions with my best friend’s grandmother. But only in middle school did I start to take art more seriously, when I got into manga thanks to a classmate. That’s when I wanted to get better at it.

To be honest, I never wanted to be a professional artist. It was always other people suggesting it to me and at one point in my life I thought it’s the only option available. I mean, I am an artist and I love being one and creating things but there are some aspects of being a professional artist that leave me uncomfortable with pursuing this career path. I’m afraid I won’t like drawing anymore when it’s what I have to do for a living.

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?

There is a set of symbols that I use in my more personal artworks. Arrows for example. But you don’t really get to see a lot of them. Because personal.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Challenge yourself and set yourself a goal. I for example want to create more “finished” works this year and not just elaborate sketches.

I love to do challenges or make lists of projects I want to realize because when I don’t know what to draw, I already have some to work on and don’t have to spend time thinking of something.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aro ace.

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

Not much actually.

My boyfriend asked me once if I was sure I am ace as he couldn’t understand that even though I like physical intimacy, I am still asexual. I explained to him that even if I don’t feel sexual attraction, I still like how it feels and that I think it’s fun.

I myself have never actually experienced prejudice or ignorance against aromanticism, but my friend has. Their mother keeps pressuring them to find a romantic relationship. So that’s something.

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

That

  1. I don’t have,
  2. don’t want or enjoy and
  3. am not able to have sex.

A lot of people don’t have sex. This doesn’t make them automatically ace though.

Second, I can understand how someone could think that this is what it means being asexual, as it was something that kept me from calling myself ace for some time. I don’t really know how to put this in words but you can still want to or enjoy it to sleep with someone without finding them sexually attractive. Sex is something very intimate and wanting to share this intimacy with someone does not in any way conflict with being ace.

The last one… What has my lack of sexual attraction to do with my body? It’s just another way to say that we are “broken”.

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

You are not broken. Your needs are as valid as those of allosexual people and your boundaries are to be respected, don’t ever think they are not.

If you have a hard time telling different attractions apart, look up their definitions or people describing them.

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

I am the most active on Instagram. Then of course on Tumblr and on Amino. Actually, you can find me everywhere under schattenmitternacht.

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

Interview: Skye

Today we’re joined by Skye. Sky is a fantastic visual artist who specializes in drawing heads with colored pencils. She’s starting to work on drawing landscapes and nature. Skye is also planning to branch out into digital art as well. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and 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.

I use Prismacolor Colored pencils currently, but I just got a Huion tablet so I’m hoping to begin digital art soon. I’m best at drawing people (mainly headshots) but I’m trying to do more landscapes and animals.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by aesthetics and moodboards, as well as random people I see on the street and other artists’ work.

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

I honestly don’t remember. I just remember always loving to draw and it’s always been a big part of my life.

I’ve always wanted to draw, but I’ve only just began to have the confidence to begin sharing about a year ago.

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 still developing my style, so I definitely do not have and special features yet, but I have a few ideas in mind.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Accept that you probably won’t like everything you make, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing, because it is.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I don’t know the exact label, but I am definitely on the sex-repulsed side of the asexual spectrum and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum. I’m currently doing research to find my exact place.

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

Not specifically in my field, but I have with family and other people. I usually just say that they can’t change who I am and that if they have that big of a problem with it then they have a problem with me and should just leave me alone then.

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

That people on the asexual/aromantic spectrum are that way due to a mental illness or traumatic past experience and that we should see a therapist to be “fixed” like we’re broken.

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

You are not broken. All throughout life until I learned about asexuality I would hear people talk about who they had a crush on and who they wanted to date or have sex with and I never felt that. I never had a crush or a desire for a relationship and I felt so broken and different until I learned there were more people like me and I was normal.

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

I post WIPs on my Snapchat (skyberson4) and completed works on my Instagram (skyberson). But I do post other stuff on both, not just my art.

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

Interview: Dancey

Today we’re joined by Dancey. Dancey is a wonderful artist who has been drawing for going on five years now. They enjoy drawing in a cartoon style and dabble in other forms of visual art like clay figures. When they’re not drawing, Dancey is very into game development. They currently work with RPGs and visual novels. It’s obvious Dancey is a very talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a variety of creative activities, but the main ones I do are game developing and drawing. I was never really interested in making my own art look realistic, so I usually go for a more cartoonish look in my drawings. My art style is pretty simple, it usually doesn’t have any shading in it, though I am practicing shading my art. As for game developing, I usually make RPGs and visual novels, and I’m currently doing everything on my own, because why not? I’m also planning to improve on animating, which is hard to do with my slightly low patience and being unable to finish the first frame.

What inspires you?

A lot of things, actually, sometimes from other games and drawings, but I also get inspiration from things you generally wouldn’t expect to get inspiration from. Though, one person I have to mention is my sister, who is also an artist. She inspired me to start drawing myself, so I had to thank her for that. There were also people who inspired me to try to get better at art, and because of these people, I got to where I am now. That doesn’t mean I’m going to stop there, though, there’s always room for improvement!

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

As I said with who and what inspired me, my sister was the one who got me into drawing. She draws quite a lot, and I decided to follow in her steps, and found that I really enjoyed drawing, so it started turning into a hobby. I didn’t really think much of drawing until I was 7 years old, in which I started drawing more, and I started to put effort into improving, then that’s when I wanted to become an artist.

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

I do, though I don’t really put it on my work often. If you’re wondering what it looks like, think of the letter ‘D’ turned to the round-side down, then put an upside-down ‘W’ on the top of it. It should look something like a cat.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Be passionate about your work, if you’re not drawing because you like to draw, then you don’t have to draw if you don’t want to. If you want to draw, then you can, and you shouldn’t let people stop you. Ignore the people who put you down, and cherish the people who support you!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a panro ace.

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

Only once, and it was while I was talking to my so-called friends, who I actually don’t see as friends anymore after thinking about things. When they asked about my sexuality, I said I was asexual, in which they didn’t know what it meant. I told them what it means to be asexual, and they replied, “It’s not possible to not have a sexual attraction, you have to be attracted to someone.” It did annoy me, but I decided that they weren’t worth my time if they were just going to say that. So I would just ignore people when they say things like, “It’s impossible to be ace,” or, “You just haven’t found the right person.” My ‘friend,’ I can live life my way, and you don’t have to control it, so mind your business, and I’ll mind my own.

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

That asexuality doesn’t exist, and/or that aces aren’t LGBT+. They are, people just don’t believe it, which I find upsetting.

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

Well, likewise with art, ignore those who put you down, and cherish those who support you. Those who don’t support you aren’t worth your time. You get to live your own life your way, and they can’t control the way you live.

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

My main account on Tumblr is Danceykitty, and my game/comic/etc. development side-blog is Cat Pause II. I also post my artwork on Deviantart, my account is Danceykitty, likewise with my main Tumblr account. Also look out for art in the Cat Pause account, as I post art there as well, which are often previews to the characters and story in the form of drawings, though I also post character references and concepts, sprites, and sometimes just random drawings. I also post updates about my games, and their progress. There’s not much, but there might be more soon.

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

Interview: Maeden

Today we’re joined by Maeden. Maeden is an awesome cosplayer who is perhaps best known for her wonderful Supergirl. She puts a lot of time and effort into her cosplays and it shows. When she’s not working on cosplays, Maeden also enjoys drawing (both digital and on paper) and does some graphic design. 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.

I love to draw both digitally and on paper, but my main artistic medium is cosplay. I started off by doing characters who wore “street clothes” that I could just approximate and wear as-is, but have recently grown my skills to make heavy modifications to base pieces. I strive for accuracy and am always looking for ways to improve.

I also run a YouTube channel that is mostly centered on cosplay, with occasional fandom rants and tip videos.

What inspires you?

Honestly, Supergirl. Specifically, as played by Laura Vandervoort. Seriously though- when I first discovered the character, my life was really awful. But striving to embody her helped to keep me from becoming bitter and angry. I saw someone who had lost everything and was severely displaced, but was still kind, and hopeful, and strong. I decided I wanted to be like that. And I wanted to pay tribute to her, starting by writing her and adopting her bright, bold aesthetic, to eventually bringing a full-fledged portrayal to life.

I don’t agree with all the ways she’s been depicted, as I’ll mention more later, but aiming to be more like my ideal version of her keeps my head held high.

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

I just love creating. With cosplay, I went to my first con without cosplaying and just realized I’d enjoy it more if I were playing a character. A few months later at my second con I cosplayed for the first time, and haven’t stopped since.

As far as my drawing, it just started as something to do when I was bored. Over time I improved and realized I was pretty OK at it, and wanted to share it.

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What’s the best thing you’ve experienced through your art?

Being able to bring my ideas to life. I’m so often disappointed by how the character I love is represented, but by both drawing and cosplaying- especially the latter- I can realize what I would like to see, ranging from queer headcanons, to creative and unique stories that respect my muse.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Pursue what you’re passionate about. People may call it an obsession- and that’s fine! Be driven and proud of your work.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual Panromantic. With most people I just say Bi though, and even that’s wild or complicated to some.

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

In the cosplay community, most are very accepting of everyone. I also don’t introduce myself as Mae the A-spec, so I haven’t had occasion to tell many people. But those I’ve happened to mention it to are perfectly accepting.

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

That it’s a medical/psychological “condition” or that it simply means a complete disdain for sex. To me, it means that sex is never my imperative with anyone when meeting or getting to know them.

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

It’s OK to not be sure. How I identify has changed more than once as I’ve grown and learned about the spectrum. There’s no rush or need to pick a label if you don’t know; just be yourself!

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

I’m everywhere, man. Most of my cosplay photos go on my Instagram and Facebook:
https://www.instagram.com/maedencosplay/
https://www.facebook.com/maedencosplay/

My YouTube:
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4nKr6HiN6bdNGwIgC0c9-w

I also have a TeePublic shop: https://www.teepublic.com/user/maeden

And I post some stuff on my Tumblr, at Maeden.

I’m also a partner with fandom culture site Cosplay Spotlite – http://cosplayspotlite.com

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

Interview: Ale

Today we’re joined by Ale, who also goes by Silveranchor online. Ale is a phenomenal illustrator who specializes in traditional mediums. She mostly does fanart and portraits. Ale’s work is bright and remarkably detailed, showing an artist with an amazing eye, as you’ll soon see. It’s clear she has an incredibly bright future ahead of her and is definitely an artist to watch. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. The Sun Summoner Alina Starkov from The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo
The Sun Summoner: Alina Starkov from “The Grisha Trilogy” by Leigh Bardugo

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an aspiring illustrator. I do traditional art, mostly fanart and portraits. I draw characters from books and some TV series. I work with graphite, coloring pencils and I’ve recently started trying with watercolors.

I also dabble a bit in writing and singing, but they’re not my main focus.

What inspires you?

Apart from books, people. I find inspiration in faces, bodies, features, and clothing. I love looking at different people around me and think about how I would draw their noses or their hair.

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Ale Style

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

When I first started getting into fantasy books, I spent a lot of time looking for fanart and I always felt moved by it. That made me want to do fanart of my own and that’s how I discovered that I liked drawing. It took a while for me to start doing original art and even more for me to realize that I wanted to pursue a career in illustration. I’ve only recently started looking into art schools, but I’m excited about the future.

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 still trying out new things and finding my style, so the only things my pieces have in common are that they’re all of people and they have my actual signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To never give up or stop trying. Artistic talent is something you develop over time, so never feel discouraged if a piece doesn’t turn out exactly how you wanted. Getting better requires practice, so never stop creating.

3. Isobel masquerade
Isobel in her masquerade gown from “An Enchantment of Ravens” by Margaret Rogerson

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual. I’m pretty sure I’m on the aromantic spectrum, but I’m not 100% positive where do I fit, so I label myself as aro flux.

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

Not really. I’ve found that other artists are more open minded and accepting than most other people.

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Karol Sevilla

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

Probably that it isn’t an actual orientation. Most people think asexuals are just confused or repressed, or maybe even traumatized.

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

To love themselves and take it easy. Figuring yourself out is a process and it comes with time. I took a long while to figure out I was asexual and an even longer time being comfortable with labeling myself. It’s okay if you’re not there yet, a long as you feel good with yourself.

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

I post my pieces on my Tumblr and Instagram.
http://silveranchor.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art
https://www.instagram.com/silver_anchor4/

Also, some of my older work is in my DeviantArt
https://thatrockingfangirl.deviantart.com/.

2. A Butterfly on the Nose
A Butterfly on the Nose

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

Interview: Mirella

Today we’re joined by Mirella. Mirella is a phenomenal fanartist who started out writing fanfiction in the Doctor Who and Sherlock fandoms. She has recently gotten into drawing and draws a lot of art in the Celtic Thunder (a musical group) fandom. Her work is beautiful, brimming with vivid color and detail, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí (1)
Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Historically I have always written fan fiction about Doctor Who/Sherlock, but recently I have taken to drawing on Adobe Sketch. I’m still very much in the process of developing my style and skill, but I’m working on making it much more realistic.

What inspires you?

My art is all fan art inspired by a show called Celtic Thunder: Storm. Celtic Thunder is an Irish singing group who normally perform just their songs in any random sequence with anecdotal bits every few songs – basically just a normal concert, but for this one show did a musical theatre style performance. Each member of the group played a character and each song – either a solo or group number – developed a story, but there was no dialogue. I’ve been working on a fan fiction based on Celtic Thunder: Storm so the fan art is also just productive procrastination for that. I develop potential story lines through the drawings, but the more I draw, the less I write.

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

I became interested in fanfic through Tumblr. I always wrote stories and poems for competitions, so writing stories about already established characters was a really easy step to take. I’ve always wanted to write, and am trying to write something good enough to be published professionally, or even just self-published on iBooks or something like that. I became interested in drawing through a friend of mine who was always drawing at school. I wanted to be able to draw like her so as soon as I got a decent iPad, I started experimenting. She’s been really helpful in giving me general tips and encouraging me even though she’s far beyond my level.

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?

Because I’m basing my drawing off Celtic Thunder: Storm, I try to stay as true as I can to the original characters I’m using (I add a lot of original characters due to expansion of my fanfic) while adding a lot of Irish and generally Celtic motifs. The colour green is a nice colour to draw with so I use a lot of that and add Celtic knots or symbols to my drawings.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep doing whatever you enjoy, even if you feel you’re terrible. Don’t feel like you need to master seriously advanced techniques that the professionals are using early on to try and improve the quality of what you’re producing. Even if you do the same thing the same way 1000 times, you will improve noticeably in your confidence and style.

Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí (2)
Lady Alaidhrm Gallaher and Rowan Caleraine in Forest of Fir Lí

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as both asexual and aromantic.

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

I’ve encountered general ignorance about asexuality on Tumblr, but not in the circles where I draw art or write fan fiction. God, sometimes people really have no idea what asexuality is and when in that ignorance, they bash it within an inch of its life, I get quite upset. I’m thankful for all the brave people online who speak calmly and logically about it, so that the truth can be told, rather than spreading misinformation.

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

That we hate sex, and that by refusing sex to a potential partner, it’s a form of abuse. This one gets me really upset. I’m entirely sex-repulsed, so the thought of even holding someone’s hand is not a pleasant one, but I know that it’s entirely within the realms of asexuality to have sex and enjoy sex but still identify as asexual. So people who argue that asexuals are inherently abusive towards any partners because we refuse sex have not only mis-identified what asexuality is, but also seek to do us harm.

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

Find a group of people who can support you, even if they’re strangers online or some looney people on kik, and try and find a way to be confident in what you identify as. I thought for a while I was demisexual, and I might still be, but without ever having had a relationship it was too hard to tell at the age of 14 or whatever I was, so I went with asexual. It’s okay and perfectly normal to have a bit of fluidity in your sexuality. Even if in 20 years you go, “oh wait, I’m actually *insert different sexuality here*”, that is seriously and honestly okay. And if your support group doesn’t like that you’ve changed, screw them and get better friends. You need real people who will support you in all stages of life, not just when you match their narrow view of you.

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

You can read my *horrible, horrible attempts at* fan fiction on Archive of Our Own (AO3) under whovianlord and view my art on Tumblr under celticfangirl.

Princess Alaidhrm Ó_Braonáin and Rowan Caleraine Character Reference
Princess Alaidhrm Ó’Braonáin and Rowan Caleraine Character Reference

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

Interview: Elisheva

Today we’re joined by Elisheva. Elisheva is a phenomenal visual artist with a unique style. She does a lot of digital art as well as pencil sketches. Elisheva likes to incorporate Hebrew and Yiddish in her work. Her art captures the viewer’s attention with bright color and a masterful use of line. It’s clear that Elisheva is a remarkably talented artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Lyalke1
Lyalke

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly do pencil sketches and digital art. I’m currently working on creating original characters to work with, but I occasionally also draw fanart or whatever else comes to mind.

What inspires you?

A lot of things. Books, movies -especially horror movies- bugs and plants, and music is a big one. Alternative fashion and art. I also get inspiration from Jewish culture/beliefs as well, and I like using Hebrew and Yiddish in my art.

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

I come from a family of artists, so I grew up around it. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.

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. I like drawing dolls, but that’s kind of obvious, haha.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice. Talent is a learned skill. So practice as much as you can, try out different techniques, study works you like, and try out different styles for yourself.

Moth01
Moth

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual-biromantic.

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

I’m not out irl, so no, and I’ve never had anyone send anything to me online yet. I have seen some mean people on Tumblr, but it’s easy enough to block them.

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

That ace people don’t have or want sex. And conflating asexuality with aromanticism. Really, asexual people can do and desire whatever they want.

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

Your feelings are real, and they matter, and you’re not broken for having them. Find people that accept you. People who don’t, don’t really respect you or your experiences. So it’s best to stay away from them if you can.

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

On my art blog, thegirlthatdoesntexist.tumblr.com.

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