Interview: Cyr Pavleszek

Today we’re joined by Cyr Pavleszek. Cyr is a wonderful visual artist who also does fanart. While he mostly draws his original characters, Cyr also draws some fanart for various fandoms. He uses drawing as an outlet and his work is brimming with bright colors and detailed expressions. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Cochlear

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is a mix of original characters and fandom drawings. I tend to draw whatever comes to mind

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from my art teachers and media I watch, such as anime, medical dramas, cartoons, and comics

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

My art started as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and mental illness, but I haven’t always wanted to be a professional artist. It came about recently when I took art classes and my teacher said I had a good chance of making a living professionally as an artist

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

I don’t think I have a unique signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep drawing, keep on doing it. Don’t think about it either! Overthinking your art could lead to you becoming self-conscious about your work and giving up. Don’t give up either!

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Henry Clothed

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I would say asexual, somewhere between asexual and demi-sexual. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

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

I don’t openly share my sexuality because of prejudice, when I do it’s to shut it down. I learned to handle ignorance by reminding myself that the person is usually uneducated. If they’re not willing to learn, I just ignore and move on.

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

That we’re all prudes and can’t stand nudity of any kind. As an artist I look at naked bodies to better understand anatomy, I wouldn’t be able to learn without it!

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Vent Art

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

I know it’s hard, but once you finally accept and understand that you’re on the ace spectrum, and fully accept it as a part of you, it’s rewarding, fulfilling, gratifying. Please keep true to yourself and I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

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

Right now you can find me on a Tumblr-alternative called Writscrib under the username Cryptid, and I have my own website with my portfolio: http://www.cryptidartworks.com/.

Tiefling!
Tiefling!

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

Interview: Eliza

Today we’re joined by Eliza. Eliza is a phenomenal visual artist who also writes and does some performance art. Most of what she does is writing and fanart, including cosplay. Eliza also does some dancing and acting too. 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 work in multiple genres of art. I do visual art, fan art, cosplay, writing, dancing, and acting. Specifically I do fanart and writing.

What inspires you?

What inspires me is seeing other artists my age doing amazing things, which gives me the hope to be like them.

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

I actually got interested in art by accident, but it still happened. I’ve been an artist since I was 7 years old.

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?

Sometimes I put DS in my art

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Criticism is necessary, but don’t take it if it doesn’t help you. No matter what people say, you will get better in art.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an asexual aromantic

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

I actually haven’t yet. Except for the occasional ‘asexuality isn’t real’ comment. I usually just ignore the comment or delete it.

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

The most common misconception I see is that asexuality is just an excuse for not getting laid.

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

Don’t let other people tell you what you can and cannot be.

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

Other than Tumblr, where my art is at either at Unis-Trash-Stash or at xthe-space-rebels, I am also on IFunny as Uniway.

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

Interview: Kai Collart

Today we’re joined by Kai Collart. Kai is a phenomenal fanfiction writer who writes fics in the One Piece fandom. He particularly enjoys writing Zosan fics. While he mostly writes short stories, Kai also has a few multi-chapter fics too. It’s clear he loves to write, 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 mostly write fanfics for the One Piece fandom, specifically Zosan. They’re mostly just short stories but I have a few multi-chapter fics in mind that I may create someday. I do also make my own short stories and what not but I keep those for myself and my close friends. I’m not as active as I used to be, as I’m spending more time editing other people’s work rather than making my own.

What inspires you?

The thing that inspires me most is music. I can’t write unless I have music in the background, usually set in the mood of what I’m writing. Going outside on walks also inspires me and helps me create new ideas, as well as brainstorming with my fiancée also helps.

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

I’ve always been interested in writing and storytelling since I can remember really. My grandpa used to make up these elaborate stories for us and get us to add onto it with him and since then I’ve been hooked. I can’t go a day without creating my own little world and making little stories along the way.

Reading fanfics is what got me into writing them as I wasn’t always satisfied with the content, or the lack thereof that I had access to. I wanted to provide my own ideas for others to enjoy in their own time without having to pay for 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 don’t really have anything that I can think of that’s unique to my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

No matter what anyone says to you, good or bad, just keep creating. There will always be at least one person that will love and be inspired by your work and that in itself is worth it. But even then, create your art for you. Be your own inspiration when you can.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a sex repulsed asexual, panromantic. I also happen to be a transgender male and also polyamorous.

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

I have indeed encountered plenty of ace prejudice in my time, mostly by my ex-boyfriend. At first I tried to educate him on it but when he seemed uninterested I just distanced myself from it. If a person isn’t willing to learn about or accept who I am, there is only so much I can do before I just have to walk away and take care of myself.

More often than not, people will accept it and move on for me.

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

Mostly I have encountered people saying that asexuality isn’t a thing and I just need to find the right person, that I’m picky, or even that I’m just afraid of sex because I’ve been hurt. Most people who have said these things tell me that it’s impossible not to be attracted to a gender and that I just need to choose something.

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

Just be yourself. Find people that will accept you, reach out to other aces if you can and talk to them. Share your story if you feel comfortable doing so. Don’t let people pressure you into doing something you don’t want to do, if you’re in a relationship with a person who is guilt tripping you over not having sex or not being sexually attracted to them, maybe it’s time to get out of that relationship if you can’t work it out. You’re not alone, we stand with you.

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

https://archiveofourown.org/users/Torchi_chan is where I post the work that I’m comfortable sharing. Some may be NSFW and most are pretty sad.

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

Interview: Sweety Aurore Mutant

Today we’re joined by Sweety ‘Aurore’ Mutant. Aurore is a visual artist who does a bit of everything. They draw and paint, both digital and traditional. When they’re not drawing or painting, Aurore is writing and while they haven’t had anything published yet, they’re working on a number of stories. Aside from that, Aurore is also into crafting and writing fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as  you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is quite diverse. I would say that my “main” medium, as in the one I spend the most time on, is writing. I am working on two novels and a short stories series right now (none are ready to be published yet because I am a perfectionist) and in the meantime I work on a lot of fanfictions (I have been writing a fanfiction about a 60s movie since July 2016, it’s about 75k words long now and not yet finished. Not yet published either, because it needs to be perfect, by that I mean good enough). I am also writing on a few Larp and video game projects right now. Yes, I multi-task. When I write, I am mostly obsessed with the concepts of subjectivity and points of view. How reality can change depending on who you are. (This must be why I love Larping so much)

I also draw/paint, both digitally and traditionally. Fanart and original art alike -plants, people, original characters, commissions…-  I like pencil drawings and watercolour the most, even though I try my best to draw with ink, because it looks so gorgeous! Also Photoshop is my best friend, I spend several hours in a row often to paint on photoshop the details of something.

I also like to take pictures -mainly of plants and people, but sadly my old camera is dead and I haven’t yet found the money to buy a good one again. I have a few filming ideas too (mainly co-ops) but again, lack of material.

I also knit, crochet and sew, mainly costumes but also a few clothing items for myself or friends. I did cosplay long ago, but decided to leave the community,

Lastly, I also do happenings, of which there are rarely any picture. My next one with involve old domestic objects and plants, I will try to record its process.

What inspires you?

So many things! The people I see in the street, the world around me, my friends and their awesome ideas (I remember painting Henry David Thoreau as a hispter because of a university friend…), the Larps I play, the video games I play, the books I read, the shows and movies I watch… I have no shame about doing fanart and fanfiction, it is as worthy and honourable for me than any other form of “original” art. (Yes, I am a proud believer in the monomyth and the fact that there is no real “original” idea, and that the re-telling and the ways of representing is the only thing that matters, hence the important place of fan-work in my conception of art). Another source of inspiration for me is also the social and environmental context (I am working right now on an environmentalist happening).

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

What got me interested? Oh what a difficult question! I began drawing and painting as soon as I could hold a pen, and writing once I knew how to. I was a very curious child/teen, so I learnt to knit, crochet, sew, embroider, and I soon made my own costumes and cosplays. Taking pictures and filming came later, when I was in High School because I studied cinema and arts then, and had access to good quality material. Writing for larps came also later, when I was more inside the community but I remember writing roleplaying games in middle school already.

I have always wanted to be an artist, yes. I tried to convince myself that I wanted to do other things as jobs to earn money, but yes, even studying for a Linguistics Masters like I do now, I know that in the end, I am meant for art.

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K Family

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 signature I have been using since I was 13 or so, and writing this I realise how long ago that was, oh my! It’s a “R” in the right corner of the drawing/painting/picture, and at first I decided to use it for three reasons: it is the only consonant of my first name, it is a homophone of “air” which is my element, and it is the first letter of the pseudo I was using back then. As time went on, I also realised it was the initial of the first name of my idol and the rébus of the fictional character I relate to the most (Grantaire in Les Misérables)… two things I had not thought about at all when I chose that signature, and because of that I like it even more!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Work, work, work. Fail, hate your work. Work again, be proud for a day or two, hate it a week after. It’s normal to be proud of something and then to hate it, it’s normal to be envious of other people’s work, it’s normal to be discouraged, and it does not mean that you are not good. There will always be people who are better than you, and people who will be worse and jealous of you. Just keep working, and work for yourself. Do it for the fun, for the art. No one will be mad at you if you can’t finish something, if you abandon a drawing or a draft. If they are, they did not deserve you in the first place. Your art should be made for your own enjoyment first. Be selfish.

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Marika

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as panromantic grey-asexual, or as I like to say it, I love everybody too bad I don’t like them. I really need to be in a very “special” relationship with the person to consider having sex with them, and I noticed that is had a lot to do with how much I find them interesting on the intellectual side of things.

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

I have, mainly ignorance, incomprehension and the same old clichés than everywhere else. When I face an ignorant person in my field that is open-minded, I handle it by helping hem understand what asexuality is. If the person is, forgive my vocabulary, an imbecile that just want to cling to clichés and not learn, I handle it with a raised middle finger,

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Silver

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

The old “you haven’t found the right person yet/it’s a phase” bullshit. What hurts the most for me is that I see such misconceptions about aces in communities like feminists or LGBT+ that, I hoped, should have been more open-minded than your usual human. I most of the time get this feeling that people just don’t try to understand aces.

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Teach

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

I would say… labels don’t matter, as long as you feel good. You don’t have to fit into a category, what you feel and how you live it -alone or with how many partners you wish- is the only thing that matters in the end. Sexuality is fluid, don’t be afraid to change, as long as you feel right about yourself. Also, you’re the only one who know yourself, don’t let toxic people influence you towards anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

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

Mainly my Tumblr for my drawings/paintings: The Artful DodgeR’s Tea Rooms (http://sweetymutant.tumblr.com/) because my DeviantArt has been dead for too long. I will probably create a YouTube and Twitch channel soon, but have not yet found the time to! To read me, there is my AO3, Sweety_Mutant: (https://archiveofourown.org/users/Sweety_Mutant/pseuds/Sweety_Mutant)

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

Interview: Sierra Sonora

Today we’re joined by Sierra Sonora. Sierra is a wonderful visual artist and fanartist. She specializes in nature photography, taking pictures of local flora and fauna, showing the beauty of life in vivid color and detail. When she’s not taking picture, Sierra dabbles in fanfiction and fanart. She’s also currently endeavoring to write a novel. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art consists of a variety of mediums. One includes the photography of natural landscapes as well as nature, such as local Flora/Fauna. It also includes writing of both original work and Fanfiction. I also draw in what can be considered an Anime/Cartoon style of me, my friends, pets, and Fanart on mostly regular sketchbook paper with pencil/pen and colored pencils, or I will digitally upload my art and work on it with a paint program. I thoroughly enjoy singing, and write poetry, but have yet to compose any original songs-although I have written at least 3 parodies that revolve around different favorite pairings of characters from TV shows I watch.

What inspires you?

The need to create and channel my emotions inspire me to do all of the above. I often struggle with verbally expressing my emotions, but through art I can slow down and think things through-especially when I draw. The joy of others also inspires me, as I find happiness in making other people happy with my art. I find that when I share my art, whatever the medium, I feel a meaningful and spiritual connection with the ones I am sharing with and that connectivity is vital to me.

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

Ever since I was little, I enjoyed watching cartoons, reading books, and drawing. It’s hard for me to say that I’ve always wanted to be an artist, because what I do doesn’t really feel like “art” to me; I see it as a coping mechanism and a way to make others feel happy. Put simply, I view my art as a tool, and that prevents me from seeing it as what I feel “art” actually is.

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 have one thing in my art that I include; it’s a simple necklace of mine that I’ve had for about 8 years now; a simple black nylon string with a silver eagle talon pendant holding within its three claws a white marble. This necklace is a special possession I hold, and I like to include it when I draw myself or a main character from one of my original works.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As cliché as it sounds, I am going to say it anyway because it’s true: Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your art, whether it is photography, mixed medium, paintings, writings, drawings, fandom related, etc. Don’t give up. You, as a unique individual with your own perspective on life, your own unseen and secret views, have so much to offer to the art world. Whatever it is, it may not turn out quite the way you want it to the first time-this is only reasonable; you are new at things, and with novelty comes practice.

It may even take a long time to feel comfortable where you are on your journey in creation. I still have 10-year-old art lying around that makes me cringe every time I see them, but I keep them to remind myself of the journey it took to get where I am, and to propel me to work hard and push myself further. I highly recommend you do the same-keep your art, every scrap. You’ll be glad you did so later on down the road.

Another piece of advice that is repeated over and over again for good reason is this: Don’t compare yourself to other artists if it is only going to result in self-loathing or any form of negativity. It’s not worth it, and it won’t help you become better at your passion. Trust me, I know. I’ve done it, and it only made me want to quit art altogether and it would make me feel inferior/jealous. How terrible is that- to want to give up on something that brings you joy because you feel you are not adequate? To feel negative, nasty feelings towards others because I was not secure enough in who I was as an artist? It’s terrible, and unfair to yourself and the other person.

So I say this: don’t compare. Just create. If you must compare, try to do so with humility- recognize that you aren’t where you want to be yet and have patience with yourself.

My last piece of advice is this: Be kind to yourself and be kind to others; you’re not the only one struggling. Reach out to one another with love, offer emotional support when possible, and practice constructive criticism on yourself and others. You, as an honorary member of the art world, are here to uplift, inspire, create, and comfort through your works-whatever they may be. We need you, and you belong here. My sincerest hope is that this advice has been useful/helpful and uplifting to those who read it.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an Aromantic Asexual. Personally, I find that when I am in a relationship, I can adapt to the other person and provide physical intimacy such as hand-holding, kissing, cuddling, even if I don’t necessarily feel a desire to do so, and when/if I marry, I am willing to provide them with the sexual intimacy that I know my partner will deserve if they are not Asexual themselves.

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

I’ve encountered, blessedly, a little amount of ace prejudice/ignorance. Generally, it was from people asking me how I could not want sex, and I generally would deal with it as such; I’d tell them I just didn’t find sex interesting, or I’d tell them I found things to enjoy out of life that was more fitting for gaining pleasure than sex, such as books, or video games, or eating. I was never called a freak, or anything of that nature, which is a blessing and I hope my experience helps others. Mostly the people who I have talked to were rather open-minded and just curious, but I know this isn’t the case for everyone. For those of you who have experienced ace prejudice, my heart goes out to you.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve encountered is the notion that Asexuals just don’t want sex. Which isn’t true as we know- our orientation is about sexual attraction, not the actual desire for sex. Like other orientations, it varies for everyone. Personally, I don’t want it, but that doesn’t make me any more Asexual than someone who does.

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

You’re not broken. That is the most heartfelt advice I can give. You are not broken, and you’re not alone. The love songs will say you’re incomplete without that “special person”. It’s a lie. If you can find someone who is whole and spend the rest of your life happily with them, then wonderful. But you are not broken and you are not incomplete. You are you, and you are not alone- we’re here with you, flying under the same purple, grey, white, and black flag and we’re proud to stand with you.

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

You can find out more about my work through my Tumblr account, my username is “Willchild”. I don’t post much art or works there, to be honest, but I think after this interview I will if it can help bring joy to other artists and help them feel more secure about posting their own art. Please feel free to tag me in your art, I would be ecstatic to see it; or message me/ask me, from one artistic Ace to another.

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

Interview: Hannah

Today we’re joined by Hannah. Hannah is a phenomenal fanartist who writes fanfiction. She has dabbled in a number of fandoms including Miraculous Ladybug and Voltron. When she’s not writing fanfiction, Hannah also has a few original novellas that she’s working on. She’s clearly a dedicated and passionate writer, 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’m a fanfiction writer, but I’ve kind of put that on hold for a while as I work on my university senior thesis, and my other original ideas. My earliest fandom was the anime One Piece, but I’ve written for Detective Conan, Miraculous Ladybug and Voltron: Legendary Defender, too. My original story is still in its early stages, only about five chapters in, but it’s coming along.

What inspires you?

Reading other people’s fanfictions, actually. Whenever I’m in a slump I go and reread my favorite OTP fics and tell myself that if they can publish a 50k fanfic, for free, then I can eek out a few more pages of a chapter. Also going back and reading comments on my older stories; I occasionally get a comment on my old stuff on fanfiction.net and every time I’m stunned that someone dug around and found this unfinished Detective Conan fic in the depths of an ancient website, but it still makes me happy whenever I look at those comments.

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

I guess read a lot when I was a kid, and wrote short (and honestly very bad) stories on notebook paper. I went abroad with this program called People to People, and I met a girl there with whom I would roleplay this kind of Avatar: Last Airbender-esque game. The story was so good I wrote it down. It never went anywhere, but the 15 or so chapters I still have it on a flash drive somewhere haha. Around that time I was really into cartoons and anime, and discovered fanfiction.net. I read other people’s stories and AUs, and started to create my own. I didn’t start writing original stuff until high school, and though I have a lot of dropped projects, I think the one I’m working on now will be a keeper.

I don’t really want to be a writer in the future though; I’m planning on going into linguistics and East Asia Studies, so anything I do publish will likely be academic. But just because I’m publishing non-fiction doesn’t mean I can’t write fiction for fun!

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?

Hehe, none that I can think of!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

READ. I don’t care if it’s novellas, classical literature, or more fanfiction, just read. It will constantly give you new ideas and ways of thinking and describing, and you might find yourself adopting and adapting ideas, which is totally okay (as long as it’s not blatant plagiarizing lol).

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a heteromantic asexual, though I’m kind of somewhere between demi and ace. I have little to no sex drive but might be willing to do some things with someone I’ve been with for a while without actually doing it, y’know?

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

Luckily my parents were accepting of my sexuality, though my Mom frets sometimes that she feels like I’m “missing out,” and I tell her in return that “I can’t miss what I never had.” My university is also very accepting, so no problems there.

It’s when I try to get into the dating world where I find a lot of trouble. Whenever I tell a guy I’m interested in that I’m ace, the most common question I get is “So are you a virgin,” which is honestly one of the worst things to ask a person. I actually have an Asexuality FAQ note on my phone that I send/show to people to avoid going through the same “What is asexuality?” conversation again, lol. I have yet to find an asexual guy in my area though (Ay, near Milwaukee, WI!)

Some of the guys think they can handle the whole “no sex” thing, but end up leaving after about two weeks. It’s routine, but also quite hard on me emotionally. Handling and re-convincing myself that I am valid is the hard part: Am I that unattractive that this person doesn’t want to even try? No, you’re beautiful. Do I wish that I wasn’t asexual? Sometimes. But I think that being asexual has its perks, like communities like this online.

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

Speaking of my Asexuality FAQ, one question on there is pretty common (besides the virginity one): does everything work? And it just makes me laugh at this point. I can have sex, I just don’t want to. (A funny question I got once was: “So do you reproduce by cloning like plants?” and I responded “That makes about as much sense as saying your nose is running when it has no feet.”)

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

It’s normal. Maybe no one label works for you. I’m almost 22 years old now, and only just last year understood that I was floating in between demisexual and plain ole asexual, so really there’s no shame in calling yourself one thing and deciding later that something else makes more sense, no matter how long it takes you. Take your time. It’s hard to be on the aspec in a world that is obsessed with sex, but you come out the other side stronger for it. Don’t feel pressured to have sex because it’s what society expects of you. I almost fell victim to that kind of mentality, and really screwed with my mental health the first few years of university. Raise your ace flag high!

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

My Archive of our Own name is 1004_Angel, and if you want to read my really old stuff from fanfiction.net, that’s 1004-Angel (with a dash instead of an underscore; fair warning, I don’t remember what is on there at all, so browse at your own risk!). I also have some one-shots on my Tumblr at the-noble-idiot (tag: Hannah Writes) and other ace positivity things (tag: acengers assemble). My original stuff isn’t online, but if you like I can send you the first chapter, just message me on Tumblr! ;D

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

Interview: FF2

Today we’re joined by FF2. FF2 is a wonderful visual artist who does a mix of original work and fanart. They’re a self-taught artist and tend to gravitate to fanart. They get inspiration from many different sources, like video games, anime, and movies. When they’re not doing fanart, they enjoy just sketching original characters. It’s very obvious they’re a dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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A Zoe sketch

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Um… Okay! It’s mostly fanart of things I like (video games, anime, movies, etc.), but sometimes I’ll draw and share OCs and stuff! I do a lot of sketches and doodles (school is very energy and creativity-draining, so usually I have just enough to doodle and sketch), but sometimes if I REALLY have the energy for it I’ll make full drawings! Those are usually my favorites! (Example: A screenshot re-draw of one of my favorite Attack on Titan scenes. Took a few days but it was worth it in the end because it came out really well!) But… Drawing sketches is fun too! I also really like drawing my OCs, even if I keep… NOT drawing them! (I get so many good ideas of things to draw with them but then it’s like “Wait that’s beyond my skill level-”)

What inspires you?

Well, it’s mostly anime, actually! Originally I took inspiration from like… Sailor Moon, but now – albeit it’s STILL anime – , I’m taking more references from Studio Ghibli films (specifically When Marnie Was There and Spirited Away), and the anime Attack on Titan. I’ve also been trying to make it look a bit more… realistic. Not, SUPER realistic, but like… (oh how do I explain this…?) just a bit more? Not like… in a way it would make my art style look weird or unnatural, but just enough so it makes it look BETTER? If that makes ANY sense? Plus, whatever I look at more often influences what I draw a lot. Like, say I played a lot of Pokemon recently. Then I’d probably be drawing a lot of Pokemon characters.

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

Uhh… Really, I’ve kind of been drawing for as long as I can remember. Like… We have pictures from when I was three and we had this… thing – I’m not exactly sure what is was – and it has a little marker that worked with water, so when you got it wet, you could DRAW on the mat and stuff, and in the picture I’m just scribbling away. I guess I just really liked the idea of making my own pictures? And I never really dropped it…! I’ve always liked drawing, but I haven’t ALWAYS wanted to be an artist (Right now for example, I want to be an author!), but there was a phase when I did.

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 a special, unique signature, but I do have some things that I think make my art… My own and easier to recognize I guess? I think it’s the way I do eyes? Or at least, that’s what I think and what a few friends have told me…

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Joking aside, please practice, or take a class! Seriously, like… say you wanted to be a professional athlete or something. You’d practice to get better at that right? So… Why should drawing be different? Also, DO NOT ignore guidelines. They can REALLY help. And, another thing… Try tracing guidelines over pre-existing images. Don’t… Don’t POST those or anything, but do that on your own practice, because it can help you get an idea of the anatomy and stuff.  I know there’s this whole mindset of “If I EVER trace anything ever, even for practice than I’m Bad and an art thief!” but like… That’s not true! If you need to practice anatomy and want to trace something for a better idea of how it works, then try that! Again, just don’t post it.

He is not a threat to humanity! ALT
He is not a threat to humanity!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Sex-repulsed ace. (Probably panromantic too? I don’t want to say for sure, though…)

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

In… my field? I assume this means art. If so then no. Though… I have some ace OCs and I’ll probably make a lot of emphasis on that and if anyone is rude because god-forbid someone has ASEXUAL OCS, then I‘ll probably just ignore them?

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

Either… “oh so you don’t have any emotions/empathy/whatever?” (which is blatant lie. And also a really stupid thing to say.), and “that’s not a thing, you’re just making a sexuality up for attention.” (more lies.)

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

DO. NOT. RUSH THIS!!! You don’t HAVE to have a label if you don’t want one! You think you might be ace but then you find out you’re not? That’s fine! It doesn’t make you bad!! You think you’re something else and then find out your ace? That’s fine, too! Figuring yourself out takes a while! Also… For anyone told this because ew ace discourse, YOU AREN’T INVADING LGBT+ SPACES OR “STEALING” RESOURCES OR NOT A “REAL LGBT+ PERSON”. YOU ARE VALID. If ANYONE says otherwise, just ignore ‘em. They are NOT worth it! I know it’s hard but really, what they’re doing is kinda pathetic, you know?

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

My art Tumblr! It’s https://ff2-draws-stuff.tumblr.com/!! I post art and WIPs there, so if you’d like to see more of my art, check it out!

Thank you, FF2, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.