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.

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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!

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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!

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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!

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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?

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!

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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 😀

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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.

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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.

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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! 🙂

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

Interview: Orla

Today we’re joined by Orla. Orla is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in traditional mediums, painting specifically. She works with a variety of paints: oils, acrylics, and watercolors. Her work demonstrates a vivid imagination and a masterful use of color and lines. Orla is also a spoken word artist and her spoken word art deals with a variety of topics. She’s an incredibly dedicated 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.

Oh I always find this question so difficult.  I’m a visual artist and a spoken word artist. I love life drawing and portraiture and I work with oils, acrylics and watercolors. My favourite medium is oil pastels. My visual art deals with themes like nature and dreams and my personal mental health. My spoken word deals with relationships, (cultural) politics and mental health among anything and everything.

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What inspires you?

I like narrative poems and telling stories and I love spoken word that is really heartfelt and uses personal experience to relate to political issues.

I’m really interested in disability politics and justice and the work of community art with oppressed groups.  I guess I’m inspired by the idea of art as a tool for social change and personal narrative as a tool for empowerment.

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

I was a constant doodler in school. I was always confused about what I wanted and still am somewhat am. Hard to say what got me interested, it was always natural and almost compulsive to draw. I had a great art teacher too. I also had friends who did art and this all had an influence on me. I wanted to study art but was swayed by other opinions like it would never amount to a career so I studied politics and now I’m trying to combine the two. It’s only dawning on me in the last few years that art and spoken word are truly what I want to spend most of my time doing and I’m trying to work on that. I got interested in spoken word when I became unemployed after university and joined the Dublin Writers Forum. They were an inspiring bunch of people and introduced me to open mics in the city. I didn’t even know spoken word existed before then! However I love helping people and have a certificate in adult health and social care, my last job was in a kindergarten and before that I worked with adults with profound multiple learning difficulties. I hope to continue working in social care perhaps with homelessness until I save enough money to do a masters in art psychotherapy.

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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?

No. Although I go through thematic phases. I did a series of poems on free speech and I went through a phase of putting starry skies everywhere in my art because of a dream.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am one of those lol!

Do it all the time!  I wish I could take my own advice though as I get lazy and miserable often lol.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I spent quite a while trying to figure this out but I can pretty firmly say I’m gray-sexual now. Sex isn’t a big factor for me in relationships, the only thing I find ‘hot’ about people are their personalities and I’ve never had a sexual fantasy, I just fantasize about conversations haha. I’m hyper-romantic though if that’s such a thing and fall in love with everyone like a lunatic. I’m cisgender.

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

So so. I’m sex positive, enjoy sex and have a long term partner. People find it very difficult to get their heads around having sex and being on the asexual spectrum and don’t understand the difference between a need for sensual intimacy and experiencing other varied forms of attraction and not sexual attraction. I guess because the majority tend to experience sexual and romantic attraction simultaneously whereas I tend to only experience romantic attraction and very rarely sexual attraction with it.

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

As I mentioned people find it hard to differentiate between romantic and sexual attraction probably as I said because they experience it simultaneously. As it’s outside their realm of experience they don’t understand the concept of fancying someone without wanting sex. Also people seem to think you can’t be sex  positive or have sex at all if your on the spectrum. Basically it all boils down to taking the feeling of sexual attraction as a default and thinking sex is impossible without it.

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

That’s me lol. Do research and talk to queer friends.

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

www.sillical.tumblr.com

I also run a creative mental health magazine distributed free to mental health services, which you can find on: http://www.facebook.com/anomaliemagazine

And: www.anomaliemagazine.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: Heiden

Today we’re joined by Heiden. Heiden is a young artist who loves to draw. They mostly draw fanart, though they’ve started branching out into realistic figures and forms. It’s very obvious they have a lot of enthusiasm for their work, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Avengers Bookmarks Sketch

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Please, tell us about your art.

I mainly draw anime figures and fanart but lately I’ve been experimenting with different body types, poses, and realistic faces.  I also love to write/draw different fonts.

What inspires you?

Seeing other artwork that makes me think “I could do that!” and seeing/hearing people overcome obstacles in their lives and succeeding.

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

I think I mainly got into drawing because my big sister was doing it, but other than that I’m not sure.  I’ve been drawing for most of my life.  I don’t want to be a professional artist, to be clear, but I have always had fun seeing what I could create on paper.

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Chibi Dragon Age Inquisition

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 normally just sign my name on the front and write the date on the back.  It’s a habit my parents got me into so I could see the progress I’d make.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice what you want to, not what someone else thinks you should.  If you are satisfied with how you draw something, stick to it.  Also, I find Pinterest to be very helpful when looking up references.

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Mermaid Skeleton

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

You could call me gray-asexual, but I think I’m attracted to feminine anime characters.  I’m not really sure where I lie on the spectrum but I do not get aroused at anything else.

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

I haven’t really encountered much, mainly because I don’t have a lot of people to be out to, and I think that my romantic intention over weighs my lack of sexual attraction, so I tend to tell people that I “like all genders” rather than “I’m asexual”, so they don’t think I’m also aromantic like many people do.

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

That asexual people all have the same opinion on sex.

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

You’re not broken, you’re different, unique.  I find that a lot more interesting than being what the society calls “normal”.  If you’re having a hard time finding acceptance in real life, turn to the internet. There are so many supportive people on there.  It’s also likely that if you post issues about asexuality on occasion, your mutuals on Tumblr will know accept your sexuality.

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

I have a Deviantart account called “gloomymercury” and my Tumblr username is “gloomymercury98

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Dance Tale

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

Interview: cxxxxxxxx

Today we’re joined by cxxxxxxxx. cxxxxxxxx is an incredibly versatile artist who has dabbled in almost everything but has most recently focused on zines. She has a great love for art and it’s very apparent this love has transferred into making zines, which are fascinating. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Lately I’ve been experimenting with a lot of stuff it feels like—poetry, fiction stories, nonfiction and more personal writing, drawing and painting with different kinds of pens and paints and pastels, making collages—but this summer I got into making and putting together zines and I can put all those things inside of a zine on a given topic, so I’ve been having a lot of fun writing and drawing for zines on dancing, creativity, my gender identity, romance stuff. I get stuck a lot when it comes to my art and writing but I’ve made a lot of things this year especially that I like to look back at now.

What inspires you?

I don’t follow a lot of artists but this semester I’ve been watching a lot of documentaries about Dada and the Beat Generation and learning about those movements and reading their writings/looking at their art/collages and I feel really inspired by these artists and writers that look at a given society and create art to oppose it and express their own views. I like to put on films about stuff like that or just political movements in general and spend the whole time sitting at my desk painting and drawing. Watching Stranger Things really inspired me to draw some cooler stuff, too.

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

I’ve been writing since I was a kid and started drawing my first year of high school because a lot of my friends were into it and I really kind of idolized them. I’ve always felt like I had a lot to say but I’m abysmal at talking to people, so I’ve always liked being able to express myself and my thoughts in writing; there’s something special about it, I think.

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, to be honest. I’ve never been really consistent with that sort of thing.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I spent years drawing not because I enjoyed it but largely out of a desire to improve so that I could enjoy, and I don’t think that’s the right way to go about creating things. Make what you like, and if it doesn’t turn out how you wanted it to, find things about it that you like anyway. Draw because you like to draw, not for the sake of other people. Something like that.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic and asexual, although technically slightly gray-asexual is probably most accurate.

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

Not really? In everyday life a majority of people I knew up until college didn’t even know it existed (me being one of them for a long time, too). I’ve seen people make prejudiced comments online and expressed some of my anger about such comments in poems I’ve written about being ace.

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

Mainly the one that I can’t be happy in the future without a partner, but I don’t think that’s true. I experience depression and anxiety frequently but dating someone/etc. wouldn’t change that, and I do feel happy and excited about enough things (poetry, history, playing guitar) that I don’t feel I’ll be missing something when I’m older. There are a lot of things I want to do someday and I don’t need another person to do them or in order to feel happy and fulfilled, I think.

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

I have a tendency to over-think things of that nature and make myself anxious wondering how I’m supposed to look and be and identify, but my best friend advised me to try not to worry like that and just accept myself even without labels and I think she was right about that. For me, anyway, it’s easy to get caught up in anxiety when I don’t identify with any known labels for gender identity or sexual/romantic orientation, but lately I’ve just been trying to be the person I like being and feel comfortable being and I think maybe that’s helping. So I think I’d recommend trying that, just going with the flow of things and how you might feel.

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

My zines are online to read here.

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

Interview: Becky

Today we’re joined by Becky. Becky is a wonderful artist who enjoys doodling with pens and pencils. She does paint occasionally, but it’s clear she prefers pens/pencils and paper. Her work shows her vivid imagination and it’s very obvious that she pours her heart into her drawings. 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 is mostly pen/pencil and paper, I rarely start with a plan when I begin my projects. I just sorta let my hand do what it wants! I seldom work in realism, I prefer my scribbles and rough movements, but there’s always room for improvement! I’ve really been trying to improve my anatomy. I like my style, but I know each time I draw, I’m getting a little better. Even though they all seem nonsensical and meaningless, I pour my heart and soul into each little doodle.

What inspires you?

Art is food for my soul. As I’ve grown, I’ve come to realize that I can’t starve myself. I need to create! I always feel so much better after hashing out a vent art, or putting time and effort into a more detailed piece. I’m heavily inspired by the things outside of the visual realm. Reality is great, but I love giving life to the weird little things that live in my mind.

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Cabin

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

I’ve been drawing ever since I could remember. At first, I was really driven by cartoons and wanting so hard to be part of that reality. Growing up wasn’t easy, so I’d escape into my imagination as often as I could. It was my safe haven, nothing could hurt me there. And so, I’d draw what I “saw” at first. Then it turned into moving beyond that and really diving into my mind and trusting my hand to show me what it was trying to portray. As far as wanting to be an artist, I can say I always was. I still am, even though it isn’t my career.

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?

Oh gosh, I don’t even know. I just use my initials most times if I can remember. I guess my drawings aren’t really ever “smooth..” I pick up me pen/pencil a lot and use short strokes. I know you aren’t “supposed to” but anarchy.

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Derek

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s okay if it doesn’t look like what you had planned! The important thing is that your creation is yours, your imagination is yours, and NO ONE can take that away from you! Feed your soul, even through those days when picking up a pencil is the last thing you want to do, you’ll really surprise yourself!

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Pretty

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m more on the Gray-A side.

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

Since art isn’t really my career, I can’t say I’ve dealt with it so much in that regard. My dating attempts in college though, boy that’s another story.

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

Well, I’m married (happily, I might add.) And my husband and I have agreed to remain childfree for the foreseeable future. I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve heard with a smug chuckle, “You say that now…” or, “Just wait, you’ll change your mind.” Someone even bothered to tell me that it was my purpose and responsibility as a vagina owner to repopulate. Are you kidding me??? So I always just say snide like, “oh well you’re free to have a baby for me, in the meantime I’m going to enjoy not destroying my body.”
And I don’t need to mention reproducing by budding… But in college, my romantic interests just assumed “Oh, you’ve just had bad sex.” Or “Try it with me, you’ll change your mind.” UGH…

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Purple

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

YOU. ARE. NOT. BROKEN. Read that again and again because I know how hard it is living in a world where “sex means love” and “love means sex.” IT DOES NOT. You are asexual enough, and you are loved and valid by me and this community, okay? If you’re sex positive, or sex repulsed; you’re still valid and cherished. If you like sex but don’t have a sex drive, you’re still valid. If you hate sex and the very idea of touching, you’re still valid. Don’t let anyone ever police your identity because for some of us, it’s important.

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

On my blog: http://beckycause.tumblr.com/ under the tag “beckydoods” 🙂

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Fox

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

Interview: Chloe Rogers

Today we’re joined by Chloe Rogers. Chloe is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in fauvism and surrealism. The imagery in her paintings and drawings demonstrate a vivid imagination and she is very obviously passionate about her art. It’s very apparent Chloe has a wonderfully creative spirit. 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 draw and paint mostly, sort of mixed media. I use oil paints now, I’ve used Acrylic paints and added liquid soap and/or olive oil in abstract paintings. Most of my paintings are fauvist (impressionism with more color). My drawings are usually surrealist.

What inspires you?

Emotions, color, and Florence and the Machine.

I’m very emotional and I’ve had various mental illnesses since I was very young, I express a lot of my mental state in my paintings.

I love color, so, so much. If I had one wish it would be to see more colors other than our visible spectrum. That’s why my paintings are pretty brightly colored. I love it. If I see a particularly vibrant flower, I’ll stop and just marvel at it. “It’s just so… Blue.”

Music is inspiring to me, specifically the group Florence and the Machine. I have a weird painting inspired by the song “Rabbit Heart” by Florence and the Machine. It’s taken quite literally.

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

I liked drawing as a kid and art was my favorite class. But I never wanted to be an artist, I always thought I’d be a scientist like the rest of my family since I liked that too. A physicist for a father, an epidemiologist for a mother and an older brother studying microbiology had a lot of influence.  For years I wanted to be an Engineer. About 2 years ago after some intense depression issues and hospitalizations, I realized that science wasn’t really my thing. Art calmed me down and helped me the most through all of that. That’s why I got into painting, and I’ve known what I wanted to do since.

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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?

Maybe it’s unique that I never sign any of my art?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. Do what you love, and don’t listen to elitists that tell you art is worthless. Art is everywhere, art is priceless. I’m 18 and haven’t been to art school so that might make me a young artist too… But the point is that you should follow your passion. Also don’t be afraid to mess up. To be creative you kind of have to accept that not everything’s going to be perfect.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Grey asexual. Demisexual might be more accurate but I rarely say that because no one really gets it, so I go with the umbrella term since that’s accurate enough.

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

Not in my field, because I haven’t been to art school yet or had any kind of art education beyond middle school, so I haven’t been with other visual art people as such. There’s a lot of ace prejudice and ignorance in my life, but I can’t speak for the field of visual art.

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

People probably 9 out of 10 times think it means that you just don’t have sex. They tell me I’m oversharing. I’m not oversharing! It’s just like saying you’re bisexual or anything else. Like of course that’s accurate for a lot of asexuals, but that isn’t the definition.

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

I myself am still struggling a bit with that, specifically with validation. So I’ll share some advice on that aspect.

I’d say especially to gray aces and demisexuals, or asexuals who are also in relationships that appear to be sexual, or are sexual. Being with someone doesn’t make you any less of who you are. A good analogy that I like to use is about cats, this is also very helpful for explaining gray asexuality and demisexuality to other people. Alright, so say you don’t like cats, you’re not a cat person. But maybe once (or whatever amount of times), you knew a cat that you really liked. But still with every cat you meet, you don’t get along, there’s lots of hissing and whatnot. You just aren’t a cat person. So, would you then call yourself a cat person? No. That’s why I call myself an asexual and not straight or something. I have one cat I like. And it took me a while to warm up to that cat in the first place. Never has any other cat appealed to me. I’m actually talking about a person, sorry. I love cats. I’m a cat and dog person equally. But anyway, do your thing and don’t let people be the sexuality police.

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

You can see more at my website: http://chloerogers.org/

There’s also a link to my Society 6 for prints on there. I’ve had no action on there so feel free to check it out!

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