Interview: Audrey

Today we’re joined by Audrey. Audrey is a wonderful young filmmaker who is just starting out. She has just started posting her films on social media, including on YouTube. Audrey mostly makes films that fall into the comedy genre. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with an incredibly 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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Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an aspiring film maker I guess you could say. I’ve been making short films for a while, but I just started posting some on YouTube and social media. I like making comedy short films the most because they get a message across in an enjoyable way. I’m hoping to learn more about professional film in college next year where I’m majoring in Film Studies!

What inspires you?

Life itself really inspires me. It sounds weird but many of my film ideas come from my experiences in life. I like to put a funny spin on things because if you can’t laugh at life what’s the point! Pinterest also inspires me. I love that app.

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

I actually started high school thinking I was going to be either an Engineer or a Teacher! Needless to say, that changed. I didn’t really realize that I wanted to become serious about Film until last year. I had grown up around it, my dad taught a high school Film class, but I never seriously thought of it for me. It’s when I started making short films that I realized how much I loved it and would actually like to take it to the next level.

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 currently, but if I start to make my YouTube channel more official, which I’d like to, then I’ll probably start to develop an intro/outro that puts my name on my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Art doesn’t have to just be a hobby. If you take what you do seriously, then you should focus on it. The world needs more art and what you do is important. If you’re nervous about your friends and family seeing your work, don’t be. They are almost always going to be the most supportive people in your life. Also, social media is an amazing platform for art. Use it to get your work out there. Even if you don’t think it’s good, someone else will. And who knows, maybe you’ll inspire an upcoming artist to focus on their own art!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as heteroromantic asexual. I say currently, because I’ve never felt a strong connection for a boyfriend so I haven’t ruled out Demisexual in my future. But for now, asexuality is the sexuality that I feel fits me.

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

Not really because I embrace my sexuality so much. In fact, I’m even looking to do some skits about asexuality because it’s so underrepresented in our media today.

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

That it’s just a phase. I’ve been fortunate enough that no one has said it to my face, but it’s definitely been implied when I tell people. When I told my mom she was very supportive. She loves learning about sexuality and gender identity but I know she doesn’t fully understand it so I don’t blame her. Even she implied that my sexuality might change as I get older. Which could be true, but for the moment identifying as asexual has made me understand more about myself and has given me an identity and a group of people who I can relate to.

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

If you think you might be asexual or somewhere on the ace scale, go with it. If you feel differently in the future there’s no problem with that. But for me, finding an identity has made me much happier and I feel like I belong. Many people don’t know what asexuality is and because of that, student can feel out of place and like there’s something wrong with them because they don’t feel sexual attraction. That’s why I really feel we need more representation in the media. The way I figured out I might be asexual was through a Cosmopolitan article interviewing a couple asexual women. Little things like that can do wonders for confused individuals like me who had never heard of asexuality. But if the media won’t represent us then it’s our job to spread the word.

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

You can check out my YouTube channel here!

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCzHaJ97rA4U_tlVnXIEiC4A

(The channel name is audreylee but there are several people by that name on YouTube)

Also check out my Tumblr: audgelee. I’ll be posting a bunch of ace jokes and anecdotes that hopefully some of you guys can relate to!

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

Interview: Tamare Rosemov

Today we’re joined by Tamare Rosemov. Tamare is a wonderful poet who hopes to publish his poetry one day. He writes mostly short free verse poetry and has sometimes posted it publicly. He is clearly a dedicated and passionate writer as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I write short free verse poetry which I sometimes post publicly. I usually only share my poetry with a couple close friends, although I do hope to get published someday.

What inspires you?

My emotions are the basis for my work as well as my greatest inspiration. I love the way that poetry can aid in the struggle against the impermanence of life – a small burst of joy or sorrow can retain its original vigor when expressed in a few meaningful phrases. This urge to commemorate my favorite moments and feelings inspires me as strongly as emotion itself.

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

My interest in poetry increased significantly when I was hit with depression. I discovered that poetry could be a wonderful coping mechanism for making sense of the emotions and problems that haunted me. As for being an artist, it was never on my mind until I realized that I need art in my life, and perhaps it might become part of my professional career in the future.

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?

My favorite poems include sea imagery. I grew up in a small European seaside town, and the sea remains to me the ultimate object of nostalgia as well as a metaphor for many parts of my life.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up on art even if you’re afraid of criticism or a lack of creativity. I think we all have that desire in us; the desire to express ourselves, and we all encounter stimuli that inspire us to create. So even if your art does not fit somebody’s standard, if it makes you feel more whole, keep on creating.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a heteroromantic asexual, and until recently I thought I was just an extremely innocent heterosexual. It still shocks me that I’m that different from the person I always considered myself to be.

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

I have not encountered much prejudice, and I acknowledge that I am privileged in that aspect. The worst I’ve encountered is ignorance because I haven’t come out to many people for fear of damaging my relationships.

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

Probably the idea that asexuals don’t exist. It’s annoying when someone seems to accept my asexuality but then proclaims smugly, “You’re just very pure”, “Everyone wants sex”, or “You’re just too shy to express your dirty thoughts”. I know how I feel, and even though I’m still getting used to it, I am an asexual and asexuality is a valid identity.

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

Don’t be ashamed of who you truly are. Sexuality is as deep as the human mind, and the human mind is an enigma. We might never know why our minds work the way they do, but what we do know is that our minds can create, think, analyze, love. So, no matter what your sexuality is, love yourself.

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

I post my bad and good poetry at https://allpoetry.com/BlueCandlelight;

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

Interview: PJ

Today we’re joined by PJ. PJ is a phenomenal actress and a singer/songwriter. She’s also a YouTuber and a former state title-holder for talent. PJ has recently finished filming her first film role, which is super exciting. When she’s not working on her art, PJ is also an asexual and autism self-advocate. She’s clearly a passionate and 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.

I do a variety of things. My strength is definitely music (singing and songwriting), but I also have a passion for acting, YouTube, and modeling. I just recently finished filming my first movie (sorry, no details can be shared yet)!

In music, my strength is opera (even though ironically, I don’t like singing it that often). I’ve also written a song about asexuality/aromanticism, but since I’m not with a record label yet, I can’t really share my music with the world. I have this huge vision that can’t be done without a little help. I hope to be signed one day!

What inspires you?

Coldplay. As an autistic person, they’re my obsessive interest. If it weren’t for me being exposed to Coldplay at such a young age, I wouldn’t be involved in music at all. At 5 years old, I was already mimicking Chris Martin’s recognizable vocals. It’s honestly how I learned to sing. Coldplay inspires me on a daily basis. They’re all I really listen to. Then again, I also really love Owl City. My music is kind of like a mix between the two.

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

I’ve wanted to be a singer-songwriter and actress for as long as I can remember. My interest in YouTube started a couple years after YouTube launched. My dad was also a professional drummer, so I suppose I got some of my musicality from him. I just always knew in my heart that I was meant to enter the entertainment field; even though it’s still a bit of a struggle for me.

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 wish I did!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Here are my 10 rules for success:

1. Go for it and don’t hold anything back. Give it your all. Be confident in your work.
2. Listen to your heart/audience. I’m only here in this position because people kept telling me, “Hey, you’re really good. Have you ever thought about putting yourself out there?” If people believe in me, I’m not going to let them down. It was people encouraging me to be my best that got me this far.
3. As for the haters, just ignore them (which I know, can be difficult). Haters come and go. Followers stick around as long as you do.
4. Be your awesome self! If people don’t like that, too bad. They’re probably missing out on how wonderful you really are.
5. Reach out. Some connections are pretty important.
6. Keep perfecting your craft. Your work can ALWAYS use improvement; even if you think it doesn’t. I’ve surprised myself a lot. I always thought I was done, but then switched a few things up and-BAM! It was even better than before!
7. Keep persisting and working. If you’re having a writer’s/roadblock, don’t let that stop you from working on something else… and then coming back to that block when you’re ready!
8. Stay positive. I know this part is difficult as well, but trust me. It’s important.
9. Learn from your mistakes. Let’s be honest, you’re going to screw up at one point or another. The good news, however, is that the next time you come back, you’re going to be even stronger than you were before.
10. Strive to be YOUR best. I don’t aim for the #1 spot; I aim for the best I know I can be. The only thing I’m good at is being me. Don’t pay attention to what someone else is doing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am heteroromantic asexual, and extremely sex-repulsed (apothisexual, if you want to get technical). Yet, I LOVE kissing, cuddling, etc. Just everything except sex (which makes me physically sick for some reason).

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

Luckily, no. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Some people praise me for figuring myself out at such a young age. I actually receive more prejudice and ignorance for my autism than my sexuality (and I’ve been openly asexual for years). I’ve been dealing with the autism stigma and stereotypes my whole life, so at this point, I’m pretty much immune to any hate. It doesn’t bother me at all. I actually think it’s quite hilarious.

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

“It’s just a phase.”

I first suspected I was asexual when I was 14, found the term at 17, and still identify this way at almost 21 years old. I don’t think it’s a phase if it lasts for several years.

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

Ask yourself, “Has this always been me?” I’ve had many things happen to me that further confirm that I’m asexual. Most of the time, I’ve just felt out of place. What was this “sexual attraction” that people kept talking about? Why do I only feel the need to hug, kiss, and cuddle someone? Instead of being “turned on”, why do I experience nausea? There were just too many things that lead to me finding asexuality.

If you’re struggling about coming out, I feel you. I was once there. If someone doesn’t like you because of your orientation, again, that’s too bad. Your orientation does not define you; you define it.

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

I highly encourage anyone who may have questions about asexuality to message me on my ace blog: at theapothisexualace. Other than that, my Instagram is at peytonjustine, my personal Tumblr is at peyton-justine, my YouTube channel is Clodplaye; named after my original Coldplay-themed Tumblr: at clodplaye and my Coldplay-themed Instagram: at clodplaye. Lastly, my Twitter is at Clodplaye as well. I have other social media accounts, but I don’t really post to them that often.

Thank you, PJ, 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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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: Tatiana

Today we’re joined by Tatiana. Tatiana is a phenomenally talented photographer from Uruguay. She is currently working on her thesis to graduate from the Visual Arts University. Tatiana has taken part in exhibitions and experimented in various types of photography. Her work is remarkably beautiful, showing an amazing vividness and capturing the beauty and uniqueness of life. She’s a remarkably talented artist with an incredibly bright future, 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.

I’m a photographer, simple as that. I love going out on a cloudy day to capture pictures but I also love experimenting, I’ve tried pinhole photography, black and while film photography, color film photography, lab processing in the traditional and in the experimental way, digital photography (of course) and now I’m developing an interest in conservation and in color management. Many times people ask me why don’t I try to do graphic design or filmmaking but I think photography is broad and interesting enough for me.

What inspires you?

I think mostly light and nature. Photography IS light, is amazing how you can start to understand the light and to not take it for granted, light is an extremely cheeky thing but when you got to work well with it you can create amazing things.

To explain how nature influences my work in a few words is difficult; I grew up surrounded by nature, rocky beaches and a beautiful botanical park around the corner.

I think modern society is so humanist and so stressed by the pressure of productivity that we forget that we ARE nature and that we should give time to ourselves to just enjoy the silence and realize that we are the same as a flower or a snail.

I also found so much inspiration in the concepts of “mono no aware”, “wabi sabi” and in the work of Claude Monet, Duane Michals, Banana Yoshimoto & Piet Mondrian but I don’t want to write a Bible so please look it up if you are interested.

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

Until I was 14 I wanted to be a marine biologist, I grew up watching Discovery documentaries and as I mentioned, I visited every year a beautiful beach where I would pick different types of algae to “investigate it” hahaha. One day I started to hear that I wouldn’t go too far studying biology and that I would end up enclosed in a lab 24/7. After that I wanted to study publicity as my sister but I started a free photography workshop and I got completely hooked, I left the class the first day and I though “I want to do this for the rest of my life”.

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?

Mmm, I tend to jump from one style to the other, having grainy black and white pictures one day to have something minimalistic and pastel the other but I think that something that’s always present is geometry, I love working with lines and seeing how the weight of the composition changes as I change the angle or distance to my object. Heavy diagonal lines and semi circles are frequently present in my compositions; I tend to follow the rule of thirds a lot.

Talking about things that are NOT frequent in my works it would be people, I can’t for the life of me photograph people, I mean I’ve done it and will do it again if I have to but I really dislike it, I’m a very awkward and introverted person so I really don’t feel comfortable having to guide someone and praying that they have patience while I do my work.

Also conceptually I like to show how many things that AREN’T portraits can be photographed, in my class 7/10 people were solely dedicated to portraits and half of them concentrating in sensuality and sexuality. One day this idea struck me “in the times of the vanguards, sex was taboo so the artists depicted sex, now introspection and empathy is taboo so I’ll depict introspection and empathy, the art world fights for who’s more original and daring and scandalous, I’ll protest in a silent way, I’ll show a garden without humans”.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Take your time figuring out what you want to do, read and investigate a lot about art, even if you encounter artists and styles or techniques you don’t like, having perspective is crucial not only to be an artist but also to be a human being.

Try to talk to people and create contacts and networks, I’m not saying this in a manipulative way, is just something that I realized now as time went by, having friends in the field creates a network where information flow and you help each other, eventually creating chances of expanding the influence of your work. Most of my college years I spent them on my own but when I opened up to my classmates and teacher I got a big caudal of information and opportunities I could not have had otherwise.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Heteroromantic Ace.

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

Well to be honest I’m not publicly out. My country is open about LGTB+ in some areas but in other ones different sexualities are still questioned and asexuality is still invisible here.

I tried to come out to friends and some college classmates but I wasn’t specific enough and they just took it as I was being shy or embarrassed.

In college being ace in the closet was actually bothersome since so many of our classes talked about sex and showed oversexualised artists and pieces (at some point I got tired of seeing Nobuyoshi Araki pictures in the lessons). I’m all about expressing our sexualities freely and with no prejudices but day after day seeing sexual pieces and hearing teaches saying my work was not daring enough, was not bold enough really made me tired.

Good lord I remember we were assigned to attend a “performance party” where we had to go dressed as some artist we were randomly given, I didn’t go because I was afraid of what I could see. Said and done, one of my friends told me that someone appeared naked covered in dulce de leche with cookies attached to their whole body and another person went also naked with a lettuce covering their crotch….

Outside of college, high school went smoothly as I wasn’t pressured by my friends to have sex (bless them, my best friends are really sexual but never pressured or made fun of me) and I didn’t even realized I wasn’t your typical straight until my 20’s.

In my family I have low-key been telling them that yes, I want a boyfriend but I don’t have any urges to have sex anytime soon and I’m suspecting they think I’m lesbian but well is not like being lesbian is a bad thing so until they actually realize I’m ace and while they’re not being hostile I’m fine.

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

That ace people don’t know what sex is or that we’re kind of alien/robots who don’t understand human emotions, I make sexual jokes, I know what’s sex between any gender looks like I’m not afraid of sex or losing my virginity, it’s just like filmmaking for me, I know what’s the deal I’m just not interested.

Also that ace people have HSDD or that we must have experienced trauma… Hear me out, the only romantic experience I had was a success and the dude respected my decision to not have any kind of sex, I have never been in a sexually traumatic situation and honestly the aces that indeed have been in traumatic experiences have all the right to still feel ace, if on the contrary they wanted to regain their sexual desire and being ace was a problem, then of course they could seek help for that, but if you found an identity and you’re comfortable with it there’s nothing wrong in that!

Every behavior is all right until it hurts someone, while you’re not hurting yourself or others then you do you.

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

Take your time, no one’s rushing you. This is a personal decision and you don’t even have to make it, if you feel like you don’t need a label then don’t use any, if you find yourself more assured with one then slowly think about yourself, experiment, talk with close friends, search for a community and learn. Also if one day your feelings change don’t feel guilty with the community or yourself, sexuality is fluid and we should not feel pressured to maintain a label if we no longer feel comfortable with it.

Also don’t feel pressured to come out, as I said before I haven’t come out explicitly to many of my loved ones and I gathered a huge amount of courage to do this and expose myself as ace, coming out is your personal decision and you should do it, IF or WHEN you want to and feel safe to do so.

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

This is the social media where you can find my works, you may find thing on IG that aren’t on FB and vice versa. Sorry if my English was wonky, it’s not my first language and thank you for reading until the end!!

FB: facebook.com/HanaFotografia
IG: instagram.com/tatiana.g_ph.

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

Interview: Brandon Chase Howe

Today we’re joined by Brandon Chase Howe. Brandon is a phenomenal up and coming composer who is currently studying music composition at University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. He’s mostly a contemporary composer and he’s interested in composing music for films. He’s a dedicated and passionate artist with an incredibly bright future ahead of him, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I am a composer currently studying at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. My music is best described as the product of contemporary compositional techniques tempered with more-traditional approaches to aesthetic values. I am also extremely interested in writing for film, and I had the fantastic opportunity to compose an original score for UWM alum Nicholas Early’s short film, queue: Memory, in the Spring of 2017.

What inspires you?

I am deeply inspired by the work of Claude Debussy, my absolute favorite composer. His control over timbral color (timbre being the distinctive quality of a given sound) is unparalleled, and the complexity of his music’s structure is utterly jaw-dropping. Pieces such as Mouvement from his Images series, Canope from his Préludes for piano, and the beloved orchestral work Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune are three of his finest achievements, in my opinion. I am also inspired by the Finnish-French composer Kaija Saariaho, a true master of irregular meter and spectralism (a genre involving computer analysis of timbres and emphasis on the harmonic series). She is able to seamlessly integrate contemporary methods with the beauty of Classical- and Romantic-period music. A few of my favorite pieces from her repertoire include Pétales for cello with live electronic processing, Six jardins japonais for percussion and electronics, and Nymphéa Reflection for string orchestra.

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

What got me interested in composition was actually the film music of Clint Mansell, who wrote the score for The Fountain. That particular score made me appreciate film music for the first time, but it wasn’t until years later, when I heard Hans Zimmer’s score for Interstellar, that I realized I wanted to become a composer myself. I’m happy to say that once I began studying music, I was able to enjoy it on a much deeper level than before, and that newfound appreciation convinced me I had picked the right path.

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 think the most recognizable aspects of my music at this point are the lack of rigid tonal and rhythmic structures, as well as the heavy emphasis on timbre. The piece I’ve featured here is a decent example of these aspects within my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Natural talent doesn’t stand a chance against dedicated effort. I’ve never actually met someone who was “gifted,” and it turns out those who are apparently “naturals” actually just worked hard (and intelligently!) until they became masters of their fields. Don’t let anyone convince you that you aren’t naturally talented enough to follow your dreams – study and practice are all it takes!

Brandon-Howe
Brandon Howe drawn by Shane and Natasha (http://natashaneadventures.com/)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteroromantic asexual!

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

Fortunately, I’ve never been the victim of prejudice, but I did meet one person who was convinced that I needed to try sex in order to dislike it. I simply chose to ignore it and avoid the person because, after all, why surround yourself with people who try to invalidate your identity?

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

The one misconception I have encountered is the idea that it’s anything close to HSDD (Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder). Nothing could be further from the truth! Asexuality is not a disorder of any kind because it causes no distress, unlike conditions such as HSDD.

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

I implore you to avoid the toxic people who invalidate your identity and show no compassion, no matter how close you may be to them. You deserve to be surrounded by those who lift your spirit and celebrate who you are! Once you are given the love you need, you will come to understand that you are not broken.

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

You can find me on SoundCloud at https://soundcloud.com/brandonchasehowe. (There will be more content in the future!) I have also opted to share a piece of music for solo cello with you all! You can find it here: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1rdfhFq8KlAQwpzQTY4qU8mSsHGLUwVsN/view?usp=sharing.

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

Interview: Mady O.

Today we’re joined by Mady O. Mady is a wonderful aspiring author who specializes in writing short stories, short novels, and plays. Occasionally she dabbles in poetry, but narrative forms are where her heart lies. When she’s not writing, Mady enjoys doing a number of other creative activities. It’s clear she’s a dedicated artist with a bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a currently unpublished writer. For the most part I like writing short novels / stories and sometimes fanfiction, but recently I’ve been writing plays (because my literature teacher really liked a play of mine and asked me to write more). Sometimes I write poetry, but I never put as much heart into my poems as I do my novels and plays.

I do dabble in other things like cosplay, doodling, and origami. Dancing is also fun, but I am in no way good at it.

What inspires you?

Oh man, a lot of different things, but usually songs and paintings. I love listening to music, and I think lyrics are an important part of the experience. At times I hear a line or two of a song and immediately start thinking of a scenario. The same goes for those beautiful painted fantasy posters. They’re always so intricate and busy, yet flowing and well balanced. It’s fun to think of what might of happened to create such a pretty scene. I also like to take my different scenarios and mix them together to make a story.

Most other things I get inspiration from are other arts like books, movies, shows, comics, podcasts, etc. But I also like to take a bit from real life. Like a couple of my characters are like a couple of my friends in some ways. Or, in one case, an event happened to a family member, which helped inspire me to write a story for them.

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

I don’t know what got me interested, but for as long as I can remember I loved to write.  I’ve been told (but I’m not sure how true it is) that I’ve been writing since I was two. Although those first stories were scribbles on a paper that I would show to my mom. I would then tell her the story by translating the scribbles. Since then I have been slowly improving, and I still have a lot to learn.

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?

Ha ha yes I do. To honor my literature teacher, who has helped me rapidly improve my writing more than any other teacher, I have been putting an Easter egg in all my more professional works. It’s also a little in-joke with my friends.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Read good books and write! Write anything! Anywhere! Grab a notebook and describe your lawn. Or maybe write a poem about the silence of your home. Or the craziness of your grocery store. That one idea that’s been floating around in your head? Go write it! Then go read a good book and write it again. If the book is written well, then you will be learning from the author without fully knowing it. Some of my best teachers have been authors that lived long before I was born.

And never EVER stop writing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a heteromatic asexual (with some currant suspicions that I could be demiromatic as well).

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

Thankfully no (but I wouldn’t be surprised if I did in the future). That’s probably because I am still in the slow process of coming out to those I’m close to. Also because I am just beginning to be known more professionally in my field.

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

I haven’t personally encountered much misconception. But a couple times I get the “you may not like it at first, but you’ll get used to it” idea. Which is a pretty dumb idea. It’s like trying to force you to like a color that you don’t like. It’s unnecessary and rude.

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

If you’re unsure, then take the time to think about it. There’s no rush, my fellow human. We’re all learning new things about ourselves every day. If you think you’re broken or too weird, you’re not. As you might have seen from this blog alone you are not the only one who feels this way. And if you feel nervous about coming out to everyone, then you and I are on the same boat. You’re not alone either.

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

Sadly I don’t have any official blog or website for my writing as of yet. But I do have a AO3 account for fanfiction. I’m a new member to the site so there’s not much at the moment, and I am still in the process of moving my older fics from the Fanfiction net account to the AO3 account. https://archiveofourown.org/users/JekkieFan/pseuds/JekkieFan

I also have a personal blog here on Tumblr were I reblog mostly a bunch of fandom things. Feel free to look at it if you’d like:  https://jekkiefan.tumblr.com/.

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