Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily. Emily is a phenomenal visual artist who does a lot of 2D art and fashion design. She’s a fashion designer and illustrator who is currently studying both, Aside from fashion design, Emily draws and paints. The gowns she designs are gorgeous (the green one is one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever seen). She obviously has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Drapingfinal
Draping

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I enjoy making both 2D art- mainly drawing and painting- and fashion design. When I do a 2D piece, the subject matter can range anywhere from facial portraits to abstract works. I enjoy the challenge of attempting to render something as realistically as possible, as well as the expressiveness of working freely with color and shape to portray certain ideas or emotions without specific subject matter. As far as fashion design goes, my taste is quite out there and fun, I think. I like to design clothes for someone who wants to look unique, as well as feel confident and elegant. Gowns are my main base of inspiration.

What inspires you?

Anything really- it can be as typical as elements of nature, or as random as the shape of some books on a shelf. Often I find myself inspired by something I had overlooked in the past, but suddenly catches my eye in a different way. I also take a lot of inspiration from elements of fantasy story telling- dragons and other mythical creatures, battle armor, historical garments worn by past royalty.

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

I’m not entirely sure, really. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon, and I remember drawing clothing based on my own ideas as early as five years old. I think I’ve always liked that you could take a blank page and put anything you want on it. I also really enjoyed looking at the different ways characters on TV and in movies were dressed- I liked that you could further emphasize who a character was through their clothing.

I do remember in fifth grade realizing that fashion design was a huge field that someone could go into as a career, and since then the idea has pretty much stuck.

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 – but I should, that sounds awesome!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I became more and more enthusiastic about making art when I could see improvements from my past work. Keep a sketchbook, even if it takes you two years to fill it, you can look back to the older stuff and see how you’ve grown. Try not to be ashamed to make mistakes- anyone who points them out with bad intentions is likely insecure about their work as well. Anything that gives you joy is worth doing- try not to let it be something that gives you stress. The more positive it is to hone your craft, the more you will want to practice, and the more rewarding it will be.

Titania
Titania

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual, possibly demiromantic.

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

In the particular fields of art and fashion design, no. But in life, sure. I try to remember that asexuality isn’t commonly heard of. Unfortunately, it’s often human nature to fear and reject things we don’t yet understand- often, others’ problems are not with me personally, and I try to bear in mind that my sexuality is just one part of me as a whole. Just because someone is unwilling to rearrange their understanding of something doesn’t mean that thing doesn’t exist.

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

That asexuals are just scared or repressed. Particularly for me, that demisexuals simply don’t want to have a physical relationship until they’re connected, rather than literally not feeling attracted until then. I’ve also been told, by a non-ace, that asexual representation doesn’t matter. I cannot communicate enough how much less stressful and anxious I would have felt about life and relationships in the future had I known early on, or even found out in Sex Education, that asexuality was a thing.

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

Honestly, I’m not sure- I felt relieved when I heard about asexuality. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to accept it about myself extremely quickly and easily. I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t an outlier. Maybe that’s some advice right there; you are part of a community that, though it seems small, is much larger than you know. You are not now, nor will you ever be alone in this. There’s no shame in taking time to learn about yourself. Research often helps me feel less anxious about something- stories from other aces, reading about common experiences. Making friends who are asexual online is very comforting to lots of people as well.

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

My Instagram is a good place to start: at Emvilyse. Soon, I’ll have a portfolio website, which I will link in the bio of that account when it’s ready.

Violin
Violin

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

Interview: Michelle

Today we’re joined by Michelle. Michelle is an amazing artist who specializes in character and fashion design. She’s also a dedicated fanartist and she writes as well. Michelle has just started to study video game design, so she’s quite a versatile artist with a variety of interests. If her work is anything to go by, she has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

acecollection3
Ace Collection

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

It’s kind of a mess. My earliest passion was Fashion Design, I try to think up a new mini collection for each Season (I will confess I often let Resort fall by the wayside). I also really enjoy designing characters, since I feel like you can really tell an interesting story through clothes. Pokemon is my one true love (besides Persona of course) so I do a lot of fanart in the form of Gijinkas (really it’s another excuse to make more cool designs). I changed my major from Fashion Design to Video Game Design, right before I started college so I’m starting to learn more about all of the art forms that contribute to making a game.

Outside of visual art, I also do a lot of writing (it’s my job actually), however it’s been a long time since I posted anything. I used to have novels and fanfictions out the wazoo, but most of my projects just end up getting absorbed. I started writing a novel about 7 years ago. It started as a hobby, but ended up being a sort of coping strategy. The past 7 years have been some of the toughest in my life (go figure since I’m 18 now), and throughout all the changes that story and those characters have remained a constant. It’s grown as I have, a lot of my experiences end up influencing the world and stories. It started as the cliché “we’re all high schoolers with super powers and some of us have amnesia” and now it’s “we’re all 6-48 year olds who are in organized crime secretly fighting an extremist groups out to eradicate people with super powers on the side”. I’m actually really proud of the current plot and hope that I can release it someday.

What inspires you?

Lots of things. I tend to have a few ‘muses’ at a time. People (real or fictional) I can just look at or listen to, and suddenly I’ve got an idea. Right now my main muse is Myoui Mina (from the girl group Twice). Other than people, inspiration often comes in random objects (I once was inspired to make a 15 piece collection based off of a cool lightbulb). Most prominently though, is atmosphere. I’ve found that in different periods of your life or experiences/occasions the atmosphere is most memorable. How the air felt, what I smelled, the color of the sky. Remembering how a time in my life felt is often the best way for me to get those creative juices flowing.

cirra5
Cirra

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

I’m not really sure what made me take the leap, but I didn’t always want to be an artist. I was ready to be a Doctor until I found out that I have horrible Hemophobia (just the mention of it used to make be dizzy). I doodled absentmindedly a lot, and it wasn’t until someone asked me if I wanted to be an artist that I realized you could be one. Overtime, art just became something I couldn’t live without. The only issue I had, was that I couldn’t fully dedicate myself to one discipline, as a result I’m, a jack-of-all-trades-master-of-none. But that’s alright, because the other thing I love about art, is that you never stop improving. Even though I’m not terribly good, I know that I will be eventually.

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

No, not really I’m afraid. I know that I have a penchant for high collars, but outside of that nothing.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep going. Your art will grow with you, even if it doesn’t look how you want it to now, it will someday if you keep trying.

perry
Perry

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

It’s a bit convoluted I must admit. The short answer I use in most conversations is Bi-romantic asexual. The long answer is Demi(questioning)-Multi-Romantic Autochoriflux-Asexual.

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

YES. Absolutely. Honestly, I just kind of let it happen nowadays. If you’re ignorant enough to tell me that I don’t exist/don’t have a place in a specific community to my face then you’re probably not going to take anything I have to say to heart. I have a bad habit of letting people rile me up when I get into arguments, so I just let them think what they’re going to think and continue my business. This is not the case however if I see someone picking on another Ace Spectrum person. Hell hath no fury such as a pissed off Ace, I swear.

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

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been working on something when someone looks over my shoulder and says something to the effect of “Oh! It’s so risqué/mature. But I thought you were Asexual?” or “You said that you were Asexual right? Then why are you making outfits like this? What a fake.” A lot of people are thrown off by that fact that the clothes I wear/design aren’t just a bunch of glorified potato sacks.  Like why show my thighs or wear a low cut shirt if I’m not trying to get some. A lot of people don’t seem to get that I dress for myself. That if I’m showing a lot of skin it’s probably because I’m trying to be more confident about it (or it’s like 110 degrees outside). I’m not here to have sex, I’m just here to design some cool clothes and look good doing it. I’ll admit that my personal style has often been described as “chapstick-grandma” (I’m not super thrilled with that particular name), and that I hate it when people are pressured into dressing sexy, but being asexual doesn’t necessarily mean you have the fashion sense of someone from the 1700’s.

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

Don’t worry about the haters. You are exactly who you’re meant to be, even if that’s a work in progress. Our world isn’t always the most ace-friendly place, but you aren’t alone in it. You’re just as valid as any other orientation, so don’t let people make you feel that you’re not. And remember, you decide how you live your life.

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

My Deviantart is Childofaeolus3.

winter2016
Winter 2016

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

Interview: Kathryne Taylor

Today we’re joined by Kathryne Taylor.  Miss Taylor is an incredibly talented visual artist who works in a number of mediums.  She’s a fashion designer who makes a variety of costumes.  She’s also an illustrator.  When she’s not illustrating fandom jokes, she enjoys working on eerie pen and ink illustrations.  Those are particularly interesting, as you’ll soon see.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

il_570xN.708737463_pber

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

It’s difficult to say at any given point what I primarily do. One week I’ll spend hours a day on a dress. the next week I’ll split my time between writing and drawing. I can safely say that what income I get from my art primarily comes from sewing, but the drawing gets the most attention. Especially fanart. I’m also working on a novel, but these days, who isn’t?

What inspires you?

History, especially for my work in fashion, Music. Whenever I listen to music I imagine a music video in my head, sometimes it’s just images and sometimes it has coherent story I want to write down. A lot of my fashion design is inspired by my friends saying they don’t feel pretty, and I just want to draw something that’s based off of styles they like adjusted slightly to flatter their bodies. Take lolita fashion for example. Not many lolita brands go into plus sizes, but a chubby girl in a well-fitted dress and a full petticoat just looks like a perfect angel. I want to help people realise that. Anyone can look beautiful, but the problem is that not everyone can be quite the kind of beautiful they were aiming at, which makes them think they’re ugly.

team_imbecile_s_lodge_by_kittywitchthesecond-d89ybeq

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

My mother is a portrait artist, she did several naïf-style portraits while I was growing up. I was sewing simple dresses and starting embroidery in first or second grade, but to be honest I didn’t really get the patience for it until I left high school. Once, someone who didn’t know that we even knew each other noticed the similarity in my art style and my sister’s. Of course, there are clear differences and you can tell them apart, but I think that my mother’s, my sister’s, and my styles look related, even today. Rather like ourselves.

Art has always been a big part of my life, but I didn’t decide I wanted to do it professionally until I was almost out of high school. That was because of my mental health, my anxiety had gotten so bad it was clear that if I ever were to be employed out of the house, it would be after a significant amount of therapy.

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 always try and put in a lot of detail, regardless of the medium. Sometimes I’ll go simpler with a dress design; but much of the time my designs aim for over-the-top. In my stories and illustrations, I put as

I draw a lot of comics, most of which take place in the same town, so when I draw one comic, I’ll put characters and locations from other comics in the background.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just about everyone you meet will have some sort of advice to give you on any given subject. Listen to it, and decide whether or not you can use it, and if you can’t, then you can ignore it. Everyone warns you against the mistakes they made, but you’re going to make different ones. You’re a different person.

You don’t have to go along with anything you think is a bad idea, or even just not a good idea to humour someone.

tumblr_n6ey7xztS01rrya97o1_1280

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a sex-repulsed panromantic asexual. Or, as I prefer to explain it, I don’t care what’s in your pants because I’m never going to see it.

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

Nothing big, I mean, my godmother, a bisexual woman once tried training me to “live as an artist”, and part of that included telling me how wonderful lesbian sex was in more detail than I wanted. After I asked her to stop, she contacted my mother and tried to convince her to send me to therapy to cure my sex aversion, apparently very concerned that one day I’d wake up “normal” and regret… I’m not sure what she thought I’d regret. Wasting my youth not sleeping with anyone? Not having children? I like children, and when I feel safe being around them I might adopt or be inseminated, but I have no interest actually conceiving a child in the foreseeable future. Every time I mention that I might have children one day, everyone assumes that I mean I might have an actively sexual heterosexual relationship one day.

I’ve also been told that I’m too pretty to be asexual, and it sounded like they meant that as a compliment, which is a weird thought. And of course the “you’re asexual? I can fix that” coming from both males and females.

Some people get a lot of joy out of my sex aversion, claiming it’s funny to watch me get increasingly distressed right up until the point I have a panic attack. A noticeable one, with screaming and crying, not just hyperventilating and feeling terror. Someone even said that the look on my face made ordering an explicitly sexual commission even more fun. I say, you don’t have to be a sex repulsed asexual to have your jaw drop as someone spends ten minutes describing an anthropomorphic penis.

But really, nothing serious. Handling it usually consists of “I’m asexual. I don’t experience sexual attraction. Yes it’s a thing. No, I didn’t make it up. No, I don’t bud. No, you aren’t the first person to make that joke. It’s a homonym, and I didn’t choose the name.”

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

To be honest, I don’t like the flag. Don’t get me wrong, those are actually my favourite colours and they look beautiful together, but the message that a flag with black, white, two shades of grey and a desaturated purple is that we’re boring or washed out. I’ve never met a boring asexual, our lives are as rich an interesting as anyone else’s, we just don’t waste time pretending that we really are interested in sex if we’re not. Or at least, we shouldn’t have to. Honestly, which sounds more boring to you, a conversation about multiple subjects that the speakers are passionate about, or always going back to that one subject you don’t care about? And I think that the flag really reflects this view on asexuality. That we are somehow boring.

That and I’m almost thirty and I’m still hearing “you’ll change your mind when you’re older”. So what, even if I did that doesn’t mean I should make it part of my life now. In fact, when an allosexual says they don’t want sex yet, they get praised for understanding that they need to be in the appropriate mental and emotional state before they start that kind of relationship.

Other than that, mostly I just hear that it’s not real, or that it’s the result of a mental illness. I know that there are a lot of asexuals with depression and anxiety, but there’s also a lot of homosexuals with depression and anxiety, and those numbers are even worse in time periods or environments that are openly hostile towards homosexuality.

Depression doesn’t cause asexuality, but being told that something you can feel about yourself, something you know for a fact, isn’t real and really screw with your perception of reality and hurt you mentally. I don’t know if there’s been any studies on the link between depression and asexuality.

But I do know that almost all of the asexuals I know are depressed, and I think that growing up in a world that puts so much importance on making one aspect of life the focus of all lives is hurting the people who don’t want that one, ultimately unimportant aspect of life.

tumblr_nnbxlmhUJk1rrya97o3_250

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

A lot of people will probably want to weigh and give you’re their opinion on whatever you’re doing, or not doing. Sometimes, you just have to learn to tell someone that you don’t care. Being polite and nice is good and I highly encourage making a habit out of it, but being nice doesn’t mean you can’t tell people what you’re thinking. Never kiss or hug someone or let them kiss or hug you just because you pity them. Neither of you will be happy about it.

One doesn’t prevent you from doing the other. It will only get easier the more you try it.

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

I have a deviantArt, but that isn’t updated as often as my tumblr. And of course, you can order a dress of your own from my Esty store.
http://kittywitchthesecond.deviantart.com/
http://eatingwordswithkittywitch.tumblr.com/tagged/stuff-kittywitch-drew
https://www.etsy.com/shop/Lolikats

tumblr_nnbxlmhUJk1rrya97o4_1280

Thank you so much, Miss Taylor, for taking part in this interview and this project.  It’s very much appreciated.