Interview: Marzy Hart

Today we’re joined by Marzy Hart. Marzy is a phenomenal filmmaker who recently founded a production company with her best friend called Besties Make Movies. She’s currently working on a film that she describes as a “genre-bending ace film” that she wrote and is acting in. She’s currently building followers for the film, so I highly recommend clicking on their links and showing them some love. It’s clear Marzy is an incredibly bright and dedicated artist with a very bright future, 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 an actor and a filmmaker. I recently formed the production company Besties Make Movies with my bestie Stacey Maltin to have more say in the stories we tell and the cast/crew we bring on to bring them to life. We’re currently working on the genre bending short film called 2 Weeks, which is inspired by my experiences with asexuality. Our director describes it as “crazy dream logic about a woman who begins to wake up to who she really is and what she needs.” We successfully crowdfunded the project on Seed & Spark but we are building followers (free) which not only helps us unlock free tools provided by the platform’s partners but it helps buyers see that there is an audience for this content. You can follow the film by going to 2weeksmovie.com and hitting “follow” to the right of the video (desktop) or below the video (mobile).

What inspires you?

Both in acting and more behind the scenes filmmaking, I’m inspired by connecting people. I like to explore topics that are surrounded by shame like asexuality, sobriety, homelessness, mental health. I’m also inspired by thinking of what life could be like so fantasy and scifi are high on my list. I want to make the world a better place whether that’s through laughter or tears.

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

I have to say, I’ve always known, even before I understood what being an artist was. TV & films served as a way for me to travel through time and live lives that weren’t my own. It’s funny that what started as an escape has very much turned into using my experiences and my stories to excel in the industry.

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?

Ahh!! I don’t but now I totally want one!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Be kind to yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t let it stop you. Put yourself out there. There will always be haters but your art isn’t meant for everyone.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Grey Ace/Demi Sexual

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

I’m making 2 Weeks because my field has been very slow to give any representation to the ace community. Most people I’ve shared the project with have been very supportive and curious about it. We’ll see what happens once we film and play at festivals. 2 Weeks really is my coming out. I’ve told some close friends but most people find out when I tell them the film is based on my life. A few people have asked me if I just haven’t had sex with the right person yet.

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

That it’s temporary or that people that just haven’t had sex in a while understand what it feels like.

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

This is one of the most complex identities. You are not alone, you are not broken. It’s different for everyone. You can be ace and have sex. You can be ace and not have sex. You can still have meaningful romantic relationships with/without sex if you want that. The world is not as black and white as society would like us to think that it is. The “A” in the LGBTQIA is for asexual not for ally!

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

Follow me on social media!

Instagram/Twitter: at marzapproved (Twitter)
Facebook.com/marzygotyourhart
Instagram: at bestiesmakemovies
Twitter: at bestiesmovies
Facebook.com/bestiesmakemovies
bestiesmakemovies.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: George-Anne Carnegie

Today we’re joined by George-Anne Carnegie. George-Anne is a wonderful writer who writes mostly fanfiction. They specialize in fantasy and supernatural horror. They’re also working on a few ordinary stories. It’s very clear they’re a passionate writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I write stories on Wattpad, under the username ‘Supernaturalaholic12’. I mainly write fantasy/supernatural horror/fanfic, but I have a few ordinary (non-supernatural) stories coming up, though. I also do edits from time to time, but do not consider it my main field.

What inspires you?

The thing that first inspired me to start writing was J. K. Rowling’s book series Harry Potter. I was forced to read the first book in Year Three (Second Grade) for a book report contest we have. Since then, I have become obsessed with books, TV shows, and movies alike. (Fun Fact: I couldn’t find anything that grasped my interest for two years after Harry Potter, so I just kept reading them over and over. I read them seventeen times in a row!)

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

I first got interested in actually writing down my ideas three years after I began reading. I wrote four chapters more than I was supposed to for a piece of homework in Year Five (Fourth Grade). Shortly after, a good friend of mine (at the time, we now hate each other) introduced me to Wattpad, a writing and reading site he had discovered through a German friend. I started my first story, and it was a train wreck (I deleted it).

In all honesty, I hated the idea of writing and reading for quite a few years. I couldn’t understand the allure, and barely understood the themes. Teachers would get angry at me when I couldn’t read some of the words, or stuttered when reading aloud. This all led to me hating books, until Year Three (Second Grade). After that, I wanted to write something so bad, but my spelling and handwriting were horrendous, and I wasn’t allowed on the computer. In Year Five (Fourth Grade), I was given a tutor in school to take me out of lessons and give me extra English help, as I had fallen behind the rest of the damn school (Note: My school is a very high-achieving school. Currently in Year Eight, three years before our GSCE’s, most of the class have passed old GSCE tests with flying colors.). After this, I became determined to write. I began practicing my handwriting, spelling, and grammar. It took a while, but at the end of Year Six I could join my handwriting, had exceptional spelling, and was better at marking grammar than the high school teachers. My handwriting was still pretty bad, but it was a lot easier to read by that point. By this point my stutter had all but cleared up (it wasn’t all that bad in the first place, but it would act up really bad whenever I was nervous), and I mainly only stuttered when tired or extremely stressed. I was reading almost obsessively, mainly to better my spelling and vocabulary. By Year Seven (Eight Grade), I was top of the class, and was beginning to write my own novel. I later scrapped it. I am writing on Wattpad, though. It was around this time (mid-Year Seven (Eighth Grade) that I found out why I had a stutter, among other problems, both mentioned here and not. I was diagnosed with Autism.

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 guess the only universal feature in all my work is I try to represent all communities/genders/sexualities and so on.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anyone tell you your work is bad. If you love it, do it. Listen to constructive criticism. Take it in to account, and then choose your own way to get better. Believe in yourself. You can do it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Currently as a Grey-Ace.

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

Most ace prejudice I come across is simply because of misinformation. I tend to correct any misinformation I come across, and then leave them to educate themselves with it.

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

The most common misconception would be that we want humanity to ‘crash and burn’ (literal quote from my dad) because we don’t want to continue the human race.

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

Trust yourself. Nobody can know you better than yourself. Don’t force it. You’ll come to terms with yourself eventually.

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

You can find my Wattpad at www.wattpad.com/user/Supernaturalaholic12, which has my Facebook and Twitter. My Facebook has any other platforms you may wish to contact me on. If there are any others you want to know, feel free to message me.

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

Interview: Lizzie

Today we’re joined by Lizzie.  Lizzie is a mostly self-taught artist who displays an incredible amount of talent.  She has been drawing seriously since around 2006.  She’s hoping to get into commissions.  Lizzie is also an otherkin.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

At this point my art is mostly digital, though I still keep plenty of sketchbooks around for doodling on the go! Most of my digital stuff is semi-realistic, and I’ll occasionally do pixel work. I’ve also dabbled in sculpture (clay and lost wax casting primarily) and would like to do more since I haven’t been able to do much outside of Sculpey figures since I graduated.

Subject wise I do a lot of fantasy creatures in the hopes that I can one day be a concept design artist, and I’m working on developing my landscapes and such so that I can be more appealing in that regard to video game companies!

What inspires you?

So much these days can be so inspirational. Other artists with great creature design (like Charles Vincent Wolfe who was featured here a little bit ago), strange creatures in real life, anime, fantasy, trading card art (especially Pokemon and Magic: The Gathering)….and so much more. There’s also some great sculptors that constantly inspire me with their great concepts, and I strive to do unique things with my stuff compared to the classmates I’ve taken sculpting classes with.

It probably also helps that I find a lot of things really cute and so I’m more inclined to draw them!

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

I haven’t always wanted to be a pro artist, and I’m still unsure if I want to stick exclusively to that path since I also love Biology sciences and feel like I could be really good with that, using art as a sort of side hobby. When I was younger before I realized just how competitive and potentially depressing the field is, I wanted to be a veterinarian. That’s certainly changed since then!

I have, however, always been creating art, though I didn’t start drawing seriously until about 6th grade when I got my first actual proper drawing book from a book order (a portion of How to Draw and Paint Dragons by Jessica “Neondragon” Peffer). Since then I’ve been obsessed with drawing fantasy creatures and know entirely too much about dragons since middle school was my dragon phase hardcore. Sculpting happened when I got some Sculpey clay as a gift and enjoyed making little sculptures from it, and lost wax casting happened when I was in a materials science class and we got to make a little copper piece of jewelry. I made a heiroglyph-looking hawk pendant that I’m still pretty proud of, if only I could find it!

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

I try to include LC1279 or my signature in the stuff that I make, though I hope to make a play on my tumblr username heckacentipede and eventually make a centipede watermark to add to things!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Any artist friends of mine have probably heard this a million times from me but it’s one of the best pieces of advice I could give anyone.

“You’ll never get better if you’re not willing to fail first.”

Not to say that you’re going to be bad at something, but so many artists don’t try new things because they’re worried it’ll turn out bad. Well, you have to get through that bad stage to get to the stage where you’re good at the thing. I myself am still working through that for painterly styled things and landscapes and certain creatures, but I’m getting better! If you’re feeling nervous about trying something new like a new technique or something that’s difficult, to quote Shia Labeouf, just DO IT 😀

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

In terms of asexuality I’m a grey ace (I’m mostly asexual in that sex isn’t a big deal for me and not that important in a relationship but occasionally I’ll have sexual urges and want to act on them and will act on them, and I am also sexually attracted to other people) but overall I’m (brace yourself) a cis female grey ace panromantic heteroflexible individual.

Additionally I happen to be otherkin with a multiples system and each of the headmates has their own specific sexuality, with Lamentations the owl being another asexual (he’s homoromantic and in this body, transgender).

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

The only real prejudice or ignorance I personally have encountered is my brother in law insisting that “nobody cares who you’re not having sex with” and that’s why asexuality doesn’t matter, as well as people insisting that labels don’t matter (I’ll go into that more in the next question), but what I really see is online. Asexuality is one of those sexualities that is already marginalized by the general LGBTQ+ community (if I had a dollar for every time I saw a “the A stands for allies!!” I would be rich), and then a lot of ace people see grey asexuality as not really asexuality. Which I suppose it technically isn’t, it’s grey asexuality, but I’m always nervous entering asexual spaces because I always feel like someone is going to tell me I don’t belong.

For the most part I handle it by asking if it’s ok for me to enter the asexual space since I’m a grey ace, and the real life stuff I just try to have discussions on why asexuality at all is relevant.

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

Note for the editor: I’m very passionate about this particular topic and talk about some touchy subjects so if I need to tone it down let me know

Like I mentioned in the question before, I’ve heard time and time again that asexuality isn’t something that needs to be represented or that asexual individuals don’t matter in the LGBTQ+ community unless they’re ace and non heteromantic. That because horrendous things have happened to non-ace LGBTQ+ individuals and groups (like the Stonewall riots, or acts of violence against homosexual or trans individuals, for example), that because asexual people don’t have something to point to outside of the internet as an example of why we matter, that because asexuals aren’t targeted as often as other sexualities, that we simply don’t matter.

What those people don’t understand is that asexuals encounter a lot of silent targeting. Someone who might not realize they’re ace might hate themselves for feeling pressured to consent to sex, or they might experience correctional rape, or the fact that many asexuals (and demisexuals for that matter) find themselves feeling like they’re broken in this incredibly sexual society. How about the fact that it was because of asexual efforts that you can now get a divorce because of marital rape?

The belief that asexuals are less worthy of representation because there’s less of us openly dying infuriates me. That it’s some sort of oppression olympics. That unless we start speaking up outside of the internet that asexuality is irrelevant.

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

First and foremost, sexuality is fluid. You can be ace or grey ace or completely allosexual one day and then your sexuality changes for whatever reason the next. That doesn’t invalidate the time you were ace, nor does it invalidate the time you were allosexual. They’re both equally valid times in your life, so what if it was a phase? There was a phase where I drew almost exclusively dragons and now I don’t as much but it still shaped my identity and who I am today.

Secondly, I personally hold the strong belief that at the end of the day, labels don’t really matter. Yes, the societal ramifications of falling under a certain label can be awful, but I believe that what a label is truly for is being an alternative to the label “broken”. You are not broken, you’re just not the average. Due to sexuality being so fluid, I’ve gone from being straight to bisexual to pansexual to confused panromantic ace to what I am now. In my case it’s not like I changed my attraction, I just got a better label for it.

Use your label as an alternative to broken, and know that if you’re confused on what that label might be? That’s alright. It’s taken me a good solid 7 or 8 years to get a label that specific for myself, and everyone is different ^u^

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

http://lizziecats-art.tumblr.com
http://lizziecat1279.deviantart.com
And I’m always available to talk if you’d like to shoot me a note on dA or an ask to my main blog, http://heckacentipede.tumblr.com/ 😀

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