Interview: Alysha

Today we’re joined by Alysha.  Alysha is an amazingly talented visual artist and cosplayer.  Her cosplays are absolutely incredible and her drawings are also quite interesting visually.  She’s an artist with a really interesting style, which is always welcome on this blog.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Astrid Hofferson (How to Train Your Dragon)
Astrid Hofferson (How to Train Your Dragon)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Drawing: I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember, and whilst I still have a long way to go to get to the level I want to be at, I’ve recently begun to develop my style in a direction I’m happy with. I love both manga and portraiture and enjoy drawing both, and I’m working on combining the two.

Cosplay: I came across cosplay at the first convention I went to, Supanova 2013, and I instantly loved it. Who doesn’t want the chance to become their favourite characters, to see them brought to life? It combines crafting, painting, sewing, puzzle solving and gives me the scope to learn heaps of new and really exciting techniques, and I love the challenge that comes with each character.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by artists that I like, for both mediums, as well as mainly books and movies. I like to draw and cosplay characters and people that I love, usually due to both personality and design. I have to really connect with characters to cosplay them, which is why my cosplays aren’t really of major characters.

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

Art is my hobby, but it is a major part of my life. I’ve always been sure to try and keep my skills from getting too rusty and discovering cosplay over the last few years has been fantastic. It’s something I wanted to do as soon as I saw it and I haven’t looked back. Art is always going to be a major part of my life, no matter what form.

Blind Seer
Blind Seer

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 don’t for my cosplay, aside from wanting to make it as realistic as my limited skills allow, but I sign all of my drawings with the year and then AD, my initials, which worked a lot better before they switched dates from BC/AD to BC/BCE, but I started with it so I’m just going to keep it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep going and stick with what interests you, even if it seems like it’s not going anywhere. It’s so much easier to keep going if it’s fun. If it’s something new that you want to try, give it a shot, and start small. My first cosplays were Misa Amane from Death Note using stuff I had in my closet, and next was the Tardis which was a blue dress with windows badly sewn on it. It looked terrible, but I had fun, and starting small gave me the confidence to move on to bigger and more complicated techniques. And no matter what you are interested in, research, research, research. I cannot stress it enough. It’s possibly the most important thing you can do to improve your skills. That and trial and error. But research is easier and saves a lot of grief.

Hades - Hercules
Hades – Hercules

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Heteroromantic asexual

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

Technically art is my hobby and my field is science, but I haven’t really encountered and prejudice in either, but I also haven’t really discussed it too much with anyone outside a couple of close friends either. Can’t really comment too much.

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

That it doesn’t exist or doesn’t belong on the LGBTQI+ spectrum. Seems to crop up a lot.

Poppet - The Night Circus
Poppet – The Night Circus

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

Research. Find out what options are out there. I only realized my sexuality a few months ago, and that was only because I came across a Tumblr post on Facebook about asexuality and just had a lightbulb moment of yes, that’s me, other people feel that way? It’s hard to get good information, particularly about asexuality, but the more you read the more things begin to make sense. I had no idea that the way I felt was different to most of my friends until I actually started reading about it and talked to my friends. Who proceeded to tell me that they had assumed I was for ages and were just waiting for me to figure it out. Thanks guys. But seriously, having someone to confide in after you read a bit is great, it gets you out of negative thought loops and can help reaffirm what you’ve been thinking. Just make sure it’s someone you know will support you, whether it’s a friend, parent, blogger or whatever. And it’s okay if you don’t feel like you fit into a specific category. The names are just there to help us describe ourselves, they don’t have to be cut and dried labels. You aren’t broken, you aren’t weird, and people will still care about you. It’s doesn’t change who you are. Phew, okay, waffle over.

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

Facebook and cosplay amino: AhriBelle Cosplay
Tumblr: AhriBelle Cosplay for cosplay stuff and Undertaker1892 for randomness that occasionally involves drawings, and a lot of random fandom stuff

Also photography credits go to:
Astrid Hofferson: Steph Doran Photography (Facebook Page)
Undertaker: Bianca Robinson Photography (Instagram)

Undertaker - Black Butler
Undertaker – Black Butler

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

Interview: Tia D.

Today we’re joined by Tia D..  Tia is a wonderfully talented visual artist who dabbles in animation.  Her drawings are quite beautiful and I was particularly impressed with her use of color.  Her images are quite eye-catching as you’ll soon see.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Alison and Conner
Alison and Conner

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I usually draw and animate as a hobby, but just recently I have joined a group of a few other artist, writers, and musicians in making a partly-animated web comic!

What inspires you?

Lots of things! I do really like nature and animals, but I think what inspires me most is all the other artists that I see and meet online. They really help me to keep going with my work!

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

My mom was an artist, and the trait was passed down onto me and my sister. I have been an artist for as long as I can remember! Sadly, my mom doesn’t draw anymore; but she does enjoy seeing my work.

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?

Hmmm… I don’t think I do. 😮

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t feel down about any of your art. Each drawing is another step towards greatness! I made my style by looking at art by other people, seeing how they draw things, and incorporating it into my own art! I would still mix it all up or change things that didn’t work, and I would never completely copy one person’s style. Just grab ingredients from what you see and your art will improve by a lot!

Icon

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a hetero-romantic asexual. I don’t feel sexually attracted to any gender, but I can feel romantically attracted towards the opposite.

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

I tried to come out to my parents, but they told me that Asexuality is a dumb label and that I’m too young to be thinking about it… I couldn’t do anything about it, but everyone else has been very accepting of it!

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

People often think that Asexual means Aromantic, or that Asexuality means just that a person doesn’t feel sexually OR romantically attracted to ANYONE, but that just isn’t right!

Signless Bleeding for Toasty
Signless Bleeding for Toasty

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

We are not broken. Despite the small amount of us there are, despite how many people don’t believe we exist or make fun of us, our pride stands tall. Don’t be ashamed of who you are. Don’t feel that you need to have sex just to fit in or to feel welcomed. You are all special and amazing just the way you are. Hold that pride close to you! Fight no matter how many people try to take your pride away from you! We are strong, we are a family, and we will protect our pride and each other’s pride! We are a community!

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

My art blog is tia-draws-things.tumblr.com, and my Deviantart is talkativetiad.deviantart.com!

Trickster
Trickster

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