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: CJ

Today we’re joined by CJ. CJ is a wonderful artist who does a lot of work relating to the Hawkeye Initiative, which encourages artists to draw male characters in the ridiculous poses women are often in on the covers of comics. When they’re not drawing, CJ is also brushing up on their writing skills and hopes to be published one day. Their work is pretty amazing and really creative, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art? It’s low-quality garbage I produce in my free time.

The first art, writing, is a skill at which I am no means a master, though I am truly attempting to learn and improve.  I have several 200-page manuscripts that (thank God) will never see the light of day, but I am currently working on one that I think shows a little promise and a little improvement in my skills.  Someday I hope to publish and establish myself as an author.  For the moment, there is schoolwork in my way.

I guess I can include a sample of my writing for reference?

———–

“When did you find out?”  I ask.  I thought I’d hidden it so well.  I covered my tracks, deleted my emails and texts, and came up with clever excuses for every one of my absences—but now here she is, telling me she already knows.

“July, more or less.  And yes, I know you thought you hid the truth from me.  But you disappear for a day or two multiple times a month, you come back with a bunch of minor injuries and dirty laundry, and you’re wearing the necklace with the symbol of your bounty-hunting gang.  It’s not hard to figure out.”

Oh, Lord, be with me.  She knows.  She already knows too much.

I hang my head as if ashamed.  “I’m sorry.  I’ve been lying to you for so long, and that was wrong of me.  Can you forgive me?”

“Of course.  I wouldn’t want anyone to know either, if I was you.”

I try to make eye contact.  “Do you think you can…could you ever understand why I am like this?  Who I am? What I do and why I do it?”

She takes a deep breath, but she finally nods. “Yes.  I can understand what drives you to this.  And I want you to know that I still care about you, I still want to be friends, and yes, I do forgive you for everything I know you’ve done.”

The condolence is a nice thought, but it won’t stand.  I know her, and I know what she’s like.  It’s a miracle she’s managed to keep it quiet for this amount of time; I know no binding pledge could hold her.  Eventually the weight of the secret would crack her, and I would be ruined.

No.  She must fall, for I cannot.

I draw my pistol from the back of my belt and set the barrel on her forehead.  “Then I hope you can forgive me for this as well.”

———–

The other art I do is drawings for the Hawkeye Initiative.  If you haven’t heard before, it’s a project where authors take the ridiculous costumes and poses in which female characters are placed and swap them onto the male characters.  The point is to prove that sexualizing female characters isn’t empowering them but is instead demeaning them and removing their agency.

I do all my drawing pen/pencil and paper, as I have neither the programs nor the budget to do digital art yet.  Someday I will, but until then I’ll continue with traditional methods.

Below is one of my preliminary sketches, a drawing of Captain America in a Danger Girl pose.

And next is one of my finished pieces, a DC “Bombshells” cover where the girls are swapped with Iron Man, Captain America, and Hawkeye.

As you can see, I have a lot to learn about, including drawing backgrounds, drawing swishy fabrics, and shading.  I decided to go with more basic colorblocking for this one rather than accidentally ruin it by failing the shading.  Someday I’ll redo this and it will be better.

At one point, though, I did have PhotoShop access, and I came up with an asexual Captain America shield.

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The love that Tumblr aces found for this image was a beautiful thing.

What inspires you?

The impact I have on other people is really what keeps me going.  I believe the Hawkeye Initiative has been really eye-opening for a lot of people, especially guy nerds.  We’re so used to seeing all the ladies being sexualized that we barely think of it, until all of a sudden there’s Hawkeye or Wolverine or Thor or Hulk or Iron Man in that same costume and we realize that there’s a huge difference between a usable superhero suit and the glorified underwear the ladies have been crammed into.  We’re so used to the binary gender standards in our society that we don’t even notice it anymore, and we have no thought for how harmful it must be to all the girls out there who are watching these same movies and reading these comics.  We’re teaching the little boys that it’s okay to see women as a piece of sex in spandex, and we’re teaching little girls that their value comes from how sexy they are.  Both of those teachings need to be demolished and spat on.

Of course, it’s not good to sexualize anybody.  I understand that my art walks that fine moral edge.  But I also believe that the absurdity of seeing these guys in bikinis points out the fact that this is how we’ve treated women for years.  Women are amazing human beings who have so much more to them than their body parts. It’s high time we started treating them as equals.

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

My dreams and ambitions are all over the place—in fact, I still don’t know what I want to be. The artistry thing has never been a dream—I just came across the Hawkeye Initiative and went, hey, this is a good thing that needs doing.

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 almost always someone or something in the appropriate ace colors in every piece of art I do.  My pride is hidden, but it’s there.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t ever let anyone rain on your parade.  Don’t let anyone tell you you’re inferior, that your work is worthless, or that you’ll never succeed.  Don’t let anyone mistreat you like that.  And that “anyone” refers to you yourself, too.  You are your own worst critic.  While the other people are going “holy COW that is beautiful and I love the lines and the style,” you’re going “oh ew that color is wrong and I didn’t want that to look that way and the eyes are uneven ugh this is awful.”  That’s not accurate.  You’re not an accurate judge of your own skill.  You are almost always better than you think you are.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I just go by asexual.  I feel no need to break down my personal attraction any farther, because I simply swing in no particular direction and that is that.  I’m not straight, I’m not gay, I’m not bi, pan, skolio, or anything else. I’m ace.

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

The Tumblr “Ace Discourse” is a terrible thing that should never have started, ever. I’ll admit I didn’t handle it well at first—I picked fights, yelled, and was suicidal for a while.  Now I ignore it.  Like any hateful ideology, eventually it must collapse under the weight of the pain it causes.  There are other people who can fight it; I can’t sacrifice myself like that right now.

I also face prejudice from my church—they’ve openly told me they’d rather I be gay, anything but ace, because then I’d at least be having sex and obeying the Lord’s commands.  And my family at large would happily disown me if they knew I was anything but straight. They wouldn’t care even if I was a “cishet ace”—any deviation from “marry straight and procreate” and any ties to the queer community, and out I’d go.  Running this blog is dangerous for me, which is why I go by initials and can’t out myself.

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

Most common? I’m not sure.  There’s a lot.  I’m not so much bothered by the plant jokes and asexual reproduction puns—I’m bothered by the stuff that’s there to legitimately harm, scare, and hurt asexuals.

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

You are fine exactly the way you are.  Exactly. The way.  You are.

You’re not broken, confused, a fake, a poser, an attention whore, or whatever else you’ve been called.

And whatever labels seem to fit you now, use them.  You can change them.  They’re not set in concrete.  I’m not judging you for however you change now or in the future.  It is fine to change and fine to stay the same.

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

I run a Hawkeye Initiative sideblog at cj-does-art, where I post preliminary sketches and pieces of work as I inch toward completion.  I also have a main blog at hi-def-doritos, where I post garbage and entertain myself.  I have no particular writing blog, as I don’t want my writing stolen.  If you’d like to get in touch with me, feel free to drop a line!  I’d love to talk and I promise I don’t bite.

Thank you, CJ, 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.

bom

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! (:

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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 😀

Screenshot (29)

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.

Screenshot (32)

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.

Screenshot (33)

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: Erika

Today we’re joined by Erika, who also goes by one-true-houselight online. Erika is an awesomely versatile artist who dabbles in a few different fields. They do a lot of writing. Erika specializes in poetry, much of it focusing on mental health and their experiences. They’re currently working on an original story, which features three main characters who are ace and the fourth is a dragon. When they’re not writing, Erika dabbles in fanart and has written a few comics. They have also been in the theater too. It’s very clear they’re a dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

D&Dcomic
D&D Comic

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I have a couple of thing I do. For a while, the only thing I did was write poetry because when I tried to write other things, I never liked what I started and never finished. So I wrote poems on many things, gravitating towards my struggle and life with mental illness. It became a coping mechanism for me. I started drawing for the first time in a long while because again, I felt like I couldn’t. But I drew a comic of a moment in the D&D campaign I am a part of because I wanted to, and I recently sent in a comic as fan mail to Rhett and Link. I also have been getting into more narrative fiction! I’ve written two fanfics: a tiny one about Rhett and Link as children, and one Psych one where I explore Shawn being aro-spec. I’m also working on an original story with three ace main characters, one of whom is non-binary. So that’s fun. I’ve also been doing theatre for years, and I’d like to think I’ve created some art there as well.

What inspires you?

I love that I get to create things in ways I feel comfortable doing so, and I love that doing so can help me understand things better. Like, when I would write a poem about my anxiety, I could use interesting turns of phrase to define what before was just unintelligible screaming in my head. Drawing my and my friends D&D characters made the game feel more present. I explored my fear of heights and the demiromantic part of myself in my fics. I had just recently figured out I was non-binary when I started my original piece, so I got to write a character going through similar things. And my time in theatre has let me see the human condition in so many ways.

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

Most of the time, I started by just fooling around with the field until I realized I really liked it.

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

I have a weird symbol I draw that combines my first and last initials. You can see it in the last panel of the comic attached. That’s just for the small amount of drawing I do, though. Beyond that… I don’t think so?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Hello young artist! I will repeat the advice you often get: keep practicing, you are good enough, don’t give up. All that. And also: do the art that makes you happy. Do the art that makes you feel things, that means something to you. Yes, if/when it becomes a career, that isn’t always possible. But understand what you want to do, what makes you feel whole. Then, even when you don’t have a ‘dream’ project, you know why you are where you are. If that makes sense.

IMG_2568

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual and akoi-demi-bi romantic. I know. I don’t find it any easier to understand than you do.

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

Um. I mean, there is the ever-present ‘entertainment must have sex to be good/wanted by a lot of people’, but since I am a hobbyist at best, I don’t get too much problem with it? And obviously my coworkers sometimes don’t understand everything, but I have been so lucky to have people who do their best and listen to me.

Handling it for me is either just explaining or sarcasm. Again, I am in a position of privilege where I can do that without fear from most people I encounter.

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

Probably just ‘how’. A lot of people can’t wrap their heads around how it is possible. I also get people assuming it means someone just doesn’t like sex, but since I am sex repulsed I generally try to explain that while I might be like that, not everyone is.

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

Hello friends! Guess what? I love you in the least creepy way possible. And for real, you are fine. It’s hard. I felt so amazing when I figured out I was ace, and I still sometimes get crippling self-doubt and fear. We live in a world where our identities are erased, ignored, joked about, misinterpreted, and so many other things. But we are who we are, and we will be ok. If you want to find someone, you can. If you don’t want to, you will be fine. You deserve to be happy and loved in a way that you are OK with. Don’t let people tell you that you deserve less of anything.

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

You can find me on Tumblr and AO3 at one-true-houselight. I tagged everything about my RandL comic as ‘comic’ (I know), and some D&D stuff fell in there as well. My writing tag is ‘I write sometimes’. Ask me theatre stories if you want a fun time. Have a lovely day!

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

Interview: Maddie

Today we’re joined by Maddie. Maddie is a wonderful fanartist in different K-pop fandoms and anime. They co-run a K-pop fanblog with a friend of theirs. They draw a lot of portraits. Aside from drawing and writing, Maddie also cosplays for anime conventions. It’s clear they’re an incredibly enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Image-2

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly work as a fanartist in the K-pop fandom. I follow a lot of groups and I love to either draw portraits or write short fanfics that are compiled on a blog I run with a friend. I am planning on doing more portraits in the future and will continue to write! Along the fanart lines I also cosplay as a hobby and go to cons whenever I can. I also am going to make a blog dedicated to short comics about my daily life as a nonbinary aroace person, so look out for that!

What inspires you?

I’ve always wanted to write, I’m writing a novel currently but it’s a long process so fanfics are my main ones. My mom actually pushed me to follow my passion for drawing and writing. She has her own poems published so she just inspires me to work hard. Also the groups I listen to inspire me (obviously), but song lyrics and seeing how members act/interact help inspire my stories. Cosplay wise the look of the character is what inspires me to try and portray them, I want to try and capture their personality.

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Suga from BTS

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

I’ve been drawing and writing since I was little. I had an active imagination as a kid so I was constantly coming up with these amazing worlds to write about or drawing them if I could. I’ve always considered myself a “chill artist”, it’s not my main career goal, but it’s a hobby I adore and would love to continue doing- even if it just stays a hobby.

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 that I can think of actually, I don’t know if do anything really “unique” in my works.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep practicing! I know it’s hard and your first pieces might not be good, but you can improve immensely with some practice. I try and doodle something once a day, even if it’s just a doodle beside my lecture notes or something. Try small writing prompts too, just doing short one paragraph writings can improve your writing ability!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a cupioromantic asexual! I’m also nonbinary.

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

A bit, the K-pop fandom in general is very hypersexual and sexualizes members of groups a lot. So being ace making content for the fandom can be a bit tough. Some people think I’m prude for not writing smut or something, but I’ve learned to shrug it off and respond with a simple “I can’t write it.”

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

Probably that it’s just a choice like celibacy, or that I can’t want a relationship. I’ve heard both of these so many times it makes me want to scream. Or there’s always the joke of “are you a plant?” I think it’s hard for people to grasp that there are people who simply don’t see people in a sexual way, crazy right? It doesn’t help that I’m sex-averse and people, especially my mom, will say it’ll happen when I “meet the one.”

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

You are not broken. First and foremost, you are totally normal. I know it’s tough, trust me I felt broken until I found out asexuality was a thing and I wish I would’ve found out about it sooner. Don’t let others put you down for your sexuality, they just don’t understand it- you are valid.

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

I usually post art to my personal blog, which is at timelord-from-ohio, but I don’t post my art often. The fanfic blog I co-run is at 98aroha97bangtan94, I’m Mod Phoenix. Lastly, the blog I’m planning on putting the comics on is at lifeofacupioromanticace!

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Eunwoo from Astro

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

Interview: Sam

Today we’re joined by Sam. Sam is a fantastic fanartist who does a lot of drawing and also writes fanfiction. When they’re not creating fanart, Sam enjoys baking and hopes to open a bakery one day. It’s very clear they’re an incredibly passionate 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.

For the most part I’m a fanartist. I write and draw, mostly as practice. I enjoy creating original content, and have done so in the past, but currently I find it easiest to take ideas from existing media and make it my own or change it to reflect how I think it should be.

I also bake, although that’s unrelated to my fanart. I’d like to open a bakery at some point, once I have the funds and opportunity. I’ve been told I’m pretty good at it, so I think I’m moving in the right direction.

What inspires you?

For my non edible art, I’ll draw from personal experience, or from ideas I’ve seen in other people’s art. I’m currently working on a story that struck me while I was shopping with my sib, and it made one of my friends mad (in a good way), so I started writing it.

In regards to baking, I’ll usually just make whatever in the mood to eat. A lot of the time, I’ll look up a recipe involving a certain flavor, chocolate for example, and then from there I’ll look for interesting combinations to experiment with

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

My mom and sib have been visual artists for as long as I can remember. Since it was something I was exposed to regularly, I started experimenting with it, too. Writing came a bit later. When I was about nine my dad started participating in online flash fiction contests. My sib and I soon joined as well. For a while I worked exclusively in original content, but more recently I’ve found that fan works are easier for me to create.

When I was little, a babysitter I had would make and decorate cakes with my sib and I. I enjoyed it, but didn’t do it much once my sib and I started looking after ourselves more. Recently, around the middle of last year, I wanted cookies and we didn’t have any, so I made some. From there I started baking a couple times a week.

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 have a symbol, no, but in terms of content, my works are pretty linked. I usually write science fiction with no romantic subplot, usually about a group of teens or young adults defying society’s expectations of their abilities and figuring out who they are as people.

My unifying trait in baking is chocolate. We almost always have cocoa powder at my house, but rarely have chocolate chips, so a chocolate base is always an option and always delicious.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s okay to change media and subject. You’re growing and developing as a person, and that means your interests will change. If for a while you love to draw or paint, but then you prefer to write, or suddenly you’re passionate about photography, that’s fine! You’re going to shift as you figure out who you are and what you want your identifying traits to be.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an aromantic asexual.

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 I’ll change my mind when I find the right person, which is easy enough to ignore. I’ve also had people who accept my asexuality assume that I’m the standard for all aces. One guy I knew told me that he didn’t think aces would dress in revealing or alluring clothing, which ignores sex positive aces and any aces who just like typically attractive clothing. In those situations, the person is usually willing to listen and learn, and it’s nice to have someone who doesn’t disregard your opinions.

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

That it’s a phase. A lot of people are convinced that as an asexual person gets older, they’ll grow out of it. And sometimes that does happen, when a person IDs as ace and later realizes they’re a late bloomer and attracted to people after all. But not every ace changes, and a lot of people don’t realize that.

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

It’s okay. You’re not broken. And you’re not making it up. If you think someone looks nice, that doesn’t mean you’re attracted to them, and if you are occasionally attracted to people, you can still identify as ace or ace spectrum if that’s what fits best. Society tells us what is considered conventionally attractive, so it’s easy for anyone, even those not attracted, to figure out who’s considered “hot”.

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

My Tumblr is: mockingajaybird.tumblr.com

and my AO3 account can be found at: http://archiveofourown.org/users/Mockingajaybird/pseuds/Mockingajaybird

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