Today we’re joined by Zen. Zen is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in watercolors. They mostly paint landscapes. Aside from watercolor, Zen has been dabbling in a number of other mediums and fields, including fashion design. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Primarily I am a watercolour artist, and I usually create landscape paintings. I also dabble in digital art. Currently, I’m working on a 5 painting series titled ‘Night in London’.
I am also trying to get into fashion, designing and making my own clothes. I have an ace shirt up for sale in my Etsy store, and I’m working on creating more asexual merch.
Aside from that, I am attempting to get a full-time job in games design, amongst other ventures.
I’m probably biting off more than I can chew, but surrounding myself with work motivates me to do said work, so I’m not planning to stop.
What inspires you?
Life. Music and nature. Pretty much everything to be honest.
I once got an idea for a piece (that is waiting in a queue to be made) while tying my shoelaces. The night in London series came to me while walking around London in the evening. I have another series called Shangri-La (unfinished) that was inspired by a song called ‘Shangri-La’.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I started at a very young age because a close friend of mine started taking art classes, and I didn’t want to be left out. In the subsequent years, I kept going to classes even after we moved countries.
I am ashamed to say that after developing depression at the age of 12, I stopped doing art unless it was for homework. I still kept picking art electives and going to art studios after school, but I never really put much effort into it. I only did it because it was expected of me.
It was in year 12 (I was 17) that I started to get back into painting. I realised how nice it is when my paintings made other people happy. I really got into it while in college (not uni), which is when I started posting on Instagram.
I now create not only because I want to make other people happy, but I am also starting to regain the enjoyment I felt while creating.
Honestly, I’m still not sure if this what I want to do with my life, but I’m only 21, I’ve got plenty of time to figure it out.
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?
Aside from my signature, unfortunately, I don’t have anything like that.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Keep going. Keep creating. Observe the universe.
However obviously don’t force it, don’t push yourself to the brink. Take breaks if you need to.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am asexual and currently questioning my romantic orientation, I currently identify as biromantic
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I have been lucky so far not to encounter anything like that.
If I did, I’d probably try to explain it once and if that didn’t change anything then I’d just ignore them.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Most of my friends identify as members of the LGBT+ community, with only a couple being straight. While they are very accepting of me, they do however always mistakenly assume that because I’m ace, I don’t want to have sex, ever.
I feel like I should just print the explanation on a card somewhere because explaining it, does get annoying.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You are valid and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.
If you are not certain, that is perfectly fine. If your label ends up changing over the years, it is OK. You are valid no matter what.
I went from being lesbian to bi and then pan, to then finally learning about asexuality. It’s a journey. You’ll get there.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My main Instagram where I post my watercolour work: https://instagram.com/paperstaradventure/
My fashion Instagram where I post fashion sketches, thou currently it’s mainly just selfies: https://www.instagram.com/straystarlights/
Art Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/paperstaradventure
Fashion Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/paperstaradventure
Thank you, Zen, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.