Interview: Senta

Today we’re joined by Senta. Senta is a phenomenal illustrator who works mostly in digital mediums. He does enjoy using ballpoint pen on occasion. He has his own style, but can also adapt to a variety of other styles. It’s clear he’s an incredibly passionate artist who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. CU2

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw, mostly digitally but sometimes I like drawing with ballpoint pen. My personal style is kind of muted colors and darker settings, but I do lots of other stuff depending on the vibe I’m trying to show. I take a bit of pride on the fact that I can cater to people’s interests, that’s especially useful in my line of work, I’m an illustrator 😉

What inspires you?

People inspire me, mostly fictional characters to be honest, but I love to draw people, I love to create characters and create stories for them. I do a lot of fan art of whatever I’m interested in the moment, or whatever catches my eye. Sometimes it’s just a photo or something that gives me a vibe for a character and then I have to draw them.

2. 1

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

I honestly don’t know how I started drawing, but I’ve been doing in since I can remember. I used to draw with chalk on paper when I was a kid cause my kindergarten didn’t have pencils for all of us. I’ve always wanted to work in the field, yes, but I wasn’t sure what would I do exactly, I wanted to be a graphic designer for a long time until I realized what that was and that I couldn’t really draw much, then I went and studied to be an Illustrator 🙂

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 sign all my work as Senta, but someday I will come up with a tiny character or something to hide in all my work, I really want to do that, but I’m not sure what. I follow at least 3 artists that do that and I loooove it, I love to search for the little Easter egg in all their art.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’m not great with advice, but I would say PRACTICE! Practice a lot, and surround yourself with people and things that inspire you to create. Nice supporting friends that share your passion for art are truly special, whether is online or IRL. Also, really practice! Nobody is born knowing how to so stuff, all those awesome artists that you love? Those people busted their butts off to get there.

3. John
John

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as ace and quasiromantic bi (that label is pretty recent 😉 ) but I usually go with queer, it’s shorter.

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

Not necessarily on my field. I’ve encountered it online, where I post my art, or in fandoms I make art of, but it’s never about the art itself (thankfully). Either way I try to let it go and not let it affect me too much. People are ignorant, a lot of people are, and if I offer some education and they deny it by being close minded then there’s nothing I can do about it… That said, it does affect me sometimes, and then I just go and talk to supportive people, I vent a little and then I usually forget why I was upset in the first place.

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

I’ve had a lot of “being asexual is basically being straight”, some “you have to be attracted to someone”, and a few people invalidating queerplatonic relationships and saying they’re “basically just friendships”… As I said, ignorant people ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

Look, I’m the kind of person who loves labels, I looove having a word to explain how I feel, to know that there’s someone out there who feels the same, so I hate it when people say “you don’t have to label yourself, just be you”. But as much as I hate it, they do have a point… cause even if you don’t find a label, it doesn’t mean you’re alone, there’s so many people in the world I’m 100% sure there’s at least 50 more people who feel the same.

Specially in the asexual community, we talk more openly about it being a spectrum, so it’s hard to find your place in it, and it might even move around, but it’s ok, take your time. I’d say don’t rush anything, don’t pressure yourself to know everything, it’s ok not to know. And don’t be afraid to change your mind, that doesn’t mean you’re fake, you’re just figuring things out, and to be honest, we all are… Be patient with yourself, be kind, and don’t let anyone define you, only you can decide your labels (if you decide they’re for you 😉 )

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

I’m on Tumblr: sentaart (and the-doctor-is-ace is my personal blog) and Instagram: senta_art

4. Miranda
Miranda

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

Interview: Tina Speece

Today we’re joined by Tina Speece, who also goes by tinadrawsstuff. Tina is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in pinups and portraits. She mostly does black and white and grayscale. Her work is beautiful and has an extraordinary amount of detail. It’s clear she’s a talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. Pink Pop Dress
Pink Pop Dress

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My name is Tina, and I’m multimedia artist-illustrator with a deep love of stories and storytelling. I love color, but I wind up working in black and white and grayscale a lot for reasons I still haven’t figured out. Pinups and portraits are my bread-and-butter and I take a lot of pride in making things “cute”.

What inspires you?

Stories!  Especially the way themes cycle and recycle and how we relate to those themes.  Cautionary tales disguised as kids’ bedtime stories, campfire scare stories that you know by heart but still a net a scream in the right atmosphere, stories “you think you know BUT” with some aspect changed [anything sympathetic to the monstrous is my favorite in this category]–there are patterns and beats that are older than time, but they still draw us in and we still keep going to those themes no matter what the world is like, and that’s so amazing to me!

2. Flapper Carmilla
Flapper Carmilla

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

Funny story: my 4th grade art teacher told me I had no talent for art and needed to pick a new elective, which as a highly impressionable child pretty much destroyed any confidence I could’ve had at any point as a kid.  I switched to vocal music and theater and didn’t really make any art for a long time after that.  I was still fascinated by visual arts but since I “had no talent” for it, I settled for watching tons of movies and cartoons and writing fanfiction, and telling myself “This is good, this is fine”.

Then I got to college, and was planning to go on as an English major.  My first semester (like most everybody’s first semester) was a hodgepodge of “required” Gen. Ed classes that didn’t have anything to do with what I wanted to be doing but I had to do it.  I had some really good friends in my Japanese class, and to practice both the writing and our vocab, we started making silly little comics with the characters in our book (the illustrations in GENKI! were really easy to copy). Because we were all doing little comics and we were all friends, there wasn’t pressure to be “great” at it? They were just silly little things that we made, that I enjoyed making–that I drew during other lectures because I have always needed to do something while listening to something else so I could focus.

So I was sitting in Philosophy one day, doodling the ongoing love-triangle between Mary, Susan, and Takashi and listening to the lecture when it hit me [we’re talking a metaphorical punch to the face]: I like language, I don’t like it enough to sit and analyse it to this kind of depth for the next four years.  I called my mom, told her I didn’t want to study English, I wanted to study art, no I don’t know what I’m going to do, but it’s more right than anything I’ve thought about studying.

Fortunately for me, my mom was (and still is) super supportive.

I graduated with a BFA in 2013 and after a year of not being sure what to do (because freelancing is hard and art-focused opportunities in my area wanted more degree than I had), I applied and got into the Masters program at Columbus College of Art & Design in Ohio, finished THAT in 2017 and am still freelancing but now with a much better idea of what I’m doing. I honestly can’t imagine having gone in any other direction at this point in my life, and I only regret not drawing for so long between 4th grade and college.

4. Deep Sea [3x3, acrylic pour]
Deep Sea (acrylic pour)
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 try to remember to sign everything, but I like a small unobtrusive signature, so I tuck a TS somewhere in just about everything.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

1. You are going to make some really, really, really ugly things.  Sometimes you’ll be proud of those ugly things for a while, but they’re still gonna be ugly.  And that’s a good thing: you have to make ugly to understand what it is and whether you want to use it actively.

2. Do your best to purge the pop-culture expectation of an artist from your brain.  That way lies the path of disappointment and being really freaking annoying, not to mention it takes a lot of energy to namedrop and fake ennui.

3. Don’t fear the “art block”.  It’s your friend in the long run, because it lets you know something’s not working–either your mental health needs some attention and that’s why you’re not making, or you’ve stopped actively trying to hone your skills and have gotten lazy and your brain is bored and that means you need to get out of your comfort zone for a while, or that you need to take a break from the thing you’re currently doing and go do something else; even if that “something else” has nothing to do with art–everyone needs a break regularly.

3. Glow Up 2007-2019
Glow Up 2007-2019

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a demisexual bi!

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

Oh yeah–I get it two-fold for being both demi and multi-attracted.  I usually get asked if the figures and character I’m drawing are ideal sexual partners or if my conflict and discomfort with another person in my field is because deep down I just want “bang them”.

The subject question is easy to displace, I just start ranting about the lack of variation in character design and that kills almost all follow-up.  The second question I usually just shut down with a face-melting stare because sometimes it’s not a judicious moment to ask someone if they’re a friggin idiot.

5. Penguin [3x3, acrylic pour]
Penguin (acrylic pour)
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That it’s something that can be “fixed” by an encounter with “the right person” and you’ll know in an instant

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

1. How you feel does have a name, and there are other people who feel the way you do.

2. You’re not alone, and that’s important.

3. You’re not broken, you’re not stupid, and you can’t just “pretend to be normal” because there’s nothing abnormal about you.

4. Most of the people you try to explain this to probably won’t get it, and they’ll say things that hurt because they mean well.  You have every right to correct them, you have every right to defend yourself; don’t feel bad when you do, because you deserve that respect, even from people who generally mean well.

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

My portfolio
My studio Instagram
The Facebook page
Ownable, hard copies of work here, here, or here!

6. Valentine [Silicone] 9x12
Valentine (silicone)
Thank you, Tina, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Chloe Charlton

Today we’re joined by Chloe Charlton. Chloe is a phenomenal visual artist. She’s a student who is currently studying graphic design and illustration. She enjoys playing with various styles and themes. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art:

My art is a mixture of different things really. There’s no theme or particular subject to it. Sometimes it even changes styles, but that’s one of the things I love about my work and art in general. How free it is.

My art is the passion I put into projects, the thoughts and feelings I can’t put into words, the having an idea and making it into something special. Something I can proudly call my own, that I can show others and hopefully inspire others.

What inspires you?

What doesn’t inspire me. It’s anything and everything. Art movements, comics, other artist, (old and new) portraits and landscapes. It could be a holiday, what someone said, something I’ve read, a song I’ve heard, a movie I’ve watched. It could even be about a dream/daydream I’ve had. It’s whatever makes me feel, which I find very important when creating. To take that feeling and the make it through art. As one of my favourite quotes goes, “The principles of true art is not to portray, but to evoke.” By Jerzy Kosiński.

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

Family is what got me into drawing when I was young. My Dad and my Nan are great at art. I loved watching them draw when I was younger, especially my Dad, who I would always want to draw with. Obviously, I was not as good as them at the time, but they were encouraging. All my family were, which I am still grateful for.

However, I was not always into art. For many years, I fell out of it. I didn’t have much interest in art, especially in school. I think this was because I couldn’t see me going anywhere with it at the time. I was about 14 years old when I got back into drawing. I had friends who liked to draw, and it was mostly them who got me back into it.

I’m glad they did. I’m now 20 and very happy that I am continuing to do art.

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 anything specific? Right now, my art has been described as a mix of realism and cartoonish? However, it could change. I’m still learning, still developing, still discovering.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Go crazy! You want to try drawing? Do it! Painting? Sculpture? Collage? Poetry? Performance? Do it! Want to try all of them at least once? DO IT! It’s a great way to develop yourself as an artist and as a person and finding out what you enjoy best.

Notebooks! Have an idea? Write it down! Want to doodle something first to see how it would look? Jot it down! Scribble, mind-map, capitalise, highlight and underline. Whatever you may do with your notebook, keep it close. Make it your own personalised journal. It can hold ideas that you don’t want to forget, come back to later or reflect on in years to come.

Don’t throw away/hide failures. Own them! Be proud of them! Accept and learn from them.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Pan-Asexual? I’m pretty sure that’s the name. I can confidently say as my sexual orientation I’m Asexual. As for my romantic orientation, I’m sure it’s Panromantic. I’ve always thought that I wouldn’t really mind who I am with, as long as they’re happy and I’m happy.

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

Nothing too bad. (Thankfully) I think the worst experienced is mostly people not knowing what asexuality is/never heard of it before, so they either have misunderstandings of the meaning or are unsure of whether it’s a real thing.

I’ve been rather lucky so far. Usually any problems I’ve had are quickly resolved through explanation. As for other things like posts that say Asexuality isn’t a real thing, blah blah blah, I ignore them and carry on. These people are not me. They do not know who I am and how I feel. They do not get to decide that either. I know who I am and that’s all that matters to me.

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

Mostly being mistaken for not feeling anything at all.

Most people who I have told about my asexuality thought it meant I wasn’t interest in anything to do with a relationship. Which isn’t true. Luckily though, this is usually resolved by an explanation of what asexuality is.

Though it’s not always easy to do. For example, I had to explain to my Mum twice what asexuality meant before she finally understood what it was. At first, my Mum mis-heard the word ‘asexual’ and heard it as ‘a sexual’, which she assumed it meant someone who’s really into sex (the forbidden word). However, after trying to explain to her what it meant, she calmed down. Though, she still didn’t quite get it, not until many years later where she asked me about it again. After my first explanation years ago, she thought it meant I didn’t feel any romantic feelings at all and would never want a relationship ever. Now I’ve explained it better that yes, I can be interested in a relationship, it’s just sex I’m not interested in, she finally understands it better now.

To be honest though, that probably was the worst of it. I’ve had friends also think it meant I felt nothing at all, but it mostly took a quick explanation of what Asexuality meant and it would be resolved.

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

Don’t let people doubt yourself or bring you down. Don’t let them second guess who you are with their views. Don’t conform to what people want you to be instead. This is your life, not theirs. Your world doesn’t revolve around them and you do not exist to appease them. Be proud of who you are!

If you are still unsure whether you are an asexual, that’s alright. You can research, read and communicate. It’s okay if you don’t have all the answers, even later on in life. You can take your time discovering yourself. It’s your life! You grow, change and learn! Ultimately, you’re going to okay. You’ve got this!

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

You can find me on Instagram and Tumblr. Though, most of my art can be found on Instagram.

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thecharlton99
Tumblr: www.thecharltonarts.tumblr.com

Thank you for reading!

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

Interview: Noel Arthur Heimpel

Today we’re joined by Noel Arthur Heimpel. Noel is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in illustration and comics. They have a couple webcomics out, one of which is completed and the other is currently being posted. Both sound like fascinating stories and have multiple ace and ace-spec characters. When they’re not working on webcomics, Noel also works on Tarot and Oracle decks. The guidebook for their Tarot Deck (the Numinous Tarot) has ace inclusive interpretations. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

artist-portrait
Artist Portrait

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoonist and illustrator—in particular, I do webcomics and illustrate Tarot and Oracle decks, although I also do book covers and such once in a while. All of my work is done traditionally in watercolor and ink; the process is just so absorbing and fun. I absolutely love vibrant colors and so my art ends up being very rainbow-y no matter what I’m making.

I currently have one finished webcomic, Ignition Zero, and a new one that just launched recently called The Thread That Binds. Both are stories about trying to understand yourself, your emotions, your relationships to others, and how to heal the hurts we all carry. And magic, of course! Ignition Zero has faeries and The Thread That Binds has magical bookbinding and a giant magic library. Both stories have ace- and aro-spec main characters who are comfortable with themselves and get to be happy and have happy relationships.

My Tarot deck, the Numinous Tarot, came out earlier this year. It’s a very personal take on the Tarot made to be a tool for healing & for marginalized people to see themselves in—I tried my best to include as many gender expressions, orientations, races, body types, ability levels, etc. as I could. The card titles and guidebook all use gender neutral language to make it as accessible as possible, and the interpretations are ace-inclusive as well, of course!

IgnitionZero_pg98
“Ignition Zero” page 98

What inspires you?

My own life experiences and those of my friends inspire me the most. I want to tell stories that I haven’t seen before, or don’t see enough of, so that people like me and my friends can find ourselves in them. Stories are such an important way we figure ourselves out, whether we’re the creator or the reader. I’m also very inspired by nature, especially flowers, and all the magical things I do and experience as a witch. I like to think a lot about the nature of the universe/reality and put that curiosity into my work.

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

Pretty much! I come from an artistic family, so I’ve been making art since I was very little, and my interest only grew from there. I wanted ways to put all the stories in my head onto paper. At first that meant writing and drawing separately, but eventually I combined them into making comics. I started reading Tarot when I was 13, and being an artist, of course I knew I wanted to draw my own deck one day. The deep and complex symbolism of Tarot is very much like storytelling to me, so it also falls under that desire to share my stories and imagination with people. Stories have always been important to me, especially growing up in a difficult home I needed escape from (and hope for the future), and I want to give that back to others.

IgnitionZero_pg309
“Ignition Zero” page 309

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?

There are certain themes that almost always appear in my work, the biggest one being healing from trauma and loss. I’ve been through a lot of that myself and my art is one way I’ve worked through it—by sharing it, I hope it can help others as well. I also use flowers symbolically in my work on a regular basis, deciding which ones to draw based on the Victorian flower language or common magical associations that go with the story/piece.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep going! Follow your passion and make what you want to make. A lot of times we second-guess ourselves and say “I’m not good enough to make this great idea yet, so I’ll wait,” but a) the best way to get better is through experience, and b) you’ll have more amazing ideas later, I promise, even if it doesn’t seem like it. Also, as much as we all want to improve our skills, try to focus on having fun and enjoying it! There will always be times when we’re frustrated or doubting ourselves, but if you don’t like making art most of the time, why are you doing it? The enjoyment of the process is a reward all on its own.

NuminousTarot01
Numinous Tarot 01

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demisexual, although it has taken me a long time to figure that out and find the label I feel suits me best! I’m also grey-aromantic and agender.

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

Not any more than I’ve encountered everywhere else. I feel lucky that when I marketed Ignition Zero specifically on having ace characters and an ace romance that the response was overwhelmingly positive. Otherwise it’s usually just that people don’t know anything about asexuality and need it explained to them, which I typically do as patiently as possible. I know I’m not obligated to be an educator, but currently I feel comfortable doing that in most cases. Or just ignoring it if it’s not worth my time!

NuminousTarot02
Numinous Tarot 02

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

Probably the one where asexuality gets conflated with aromanticism. I myself knew the word asexual since I was 17, but I didn’t use it for myself until I was 20 because I didn’t know about the split attraction model and assumed the romantic attraction I experienced meant I wasn’t ace. I see this misconception around a lot still, years later, although it’s getting better. I also often struggle to get people to understand demisexuality—the response is often “that doesn’t exist because that’s just how everyone feels and it doesn’t need a label.” It can be difficult to explain to people how my experience of attraction is different in a way they understand…or maybe there are way more demi people out there who just don’t realize that the label could fit them!

ThreadThatBinds_pg038-039
“Thread that Binds” pages 38 – 39

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

Find like-minded people who you can talk to. Meeting other ace people was how I began to question and understand myself. When they shared their experiences, I found stories, feelings, and words I could relate to that I didn’t even know I was missing. Being part of a community made me feel less alone and more empowered and certain in my identity. Also, sometimes this exploration can take a long time. I started identifying as ace when I was 20 and over the last eight years I’ve readjusted which label on the spectrum I use several times. And that’s ok! Sometimes it doesn’t feel great to be constantly wondering and changing, but every time I’m glad I went through the process.

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

You can see all of my work on my website, noelheimpel.com! I’m also very active on Twitter and Instagram, where I post my art and the occasional ramble. I have a Patreon with tons of fun content, and the Numinous Tarot is currently on Kickstarter to fund a second print run. Lots going on!

Website: http://noelheimpel.com
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/noelarthurian
Instagram:
http://instagram.com/noelarthurian
Patreon:
http://patreon.com/noelarthurian
Ignition Zero:
http://ignitionzero.com
Numinous Tarot:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/noelarthurian/the-numinous-tarot-2nd-printing

ThreadThatBinds_promo-banner
“Thread that Binds” promo banner

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

Interview: Robin Luigi

Today we’re joined by Robin Luigi. Robin is a wonderful visual artist from New Zealand. He’s currently studying in art school. Robin does both traditional and digital art. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist with a bright future ahead of him, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Art-Selfie

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

So, I’m a Visual Arts student and I make art that ranges from: Traditional illustrations and Paintings to Digital works. I try to include LGBTQIA+ themes and content when I can.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from a range of different sources, most often from something I see in the world. I have a fondness for colour theory and I usually get inspiration from a colour I see. Sometimes it can be a number of colours and I use them as a starting point for the tone of my work. One of my favourite places to get inspiration is from the people in my life (be it in person, or over the internet via selfies or photos) and if I meet a new friend, making art of this person helps me to understand them better.

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

I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands and because I find it a lot easier to draw/illustrate things, than I do with writing/calculating things and that became quite obvious to me, that this was where my strength was.

Having said that, I never really considered myself as an Artist and, though I guess there isn’t really a better description than that, I don’t always considered myself as one. I like the term Art Student as I identify with the idea that I am always learning about bigger and better things. Often, when I refer to myself as an artist it’s only because most people know the context of my ideas and interests.

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 don’t think I do? If I do, I don’t do it consciously or intentionally. I really like that idea however and I always admire artists that have their little mark or feature. I personally don’t have the capacity to be so consistent. Unfortunately.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Oh, man. I am not really the most eloquent person but I’ll give it a wack:

The best advice I could give would be, Go for it – unapologetically, Art is what you make it. And I don’t just mean you should be making stuff from nothing, I am saying if you see something/a concept that you think isn’t working or you can see a way to improve it, go for it, change it up. That’s an important and valid creative endeavour. Reminds me of a quote, from a great movie from my childhood:

“When something’s not working right, the best thing to do is tear it apart to make it better” – Drop Dead Fred.

Long-Day
Long Day

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a Trans-guy and I don’t experience sexual attraction/identify as asexual.

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

I personally haven’t had to deal with ace prejudice or ignorance as I usually don’t disclose my sexuality to people often because I don’t view it as a major part of my life. If I did, I would assess the situation and perhaps educate whomever it was that needed to be enlightened.

Although I do make art related to sexual themes, there is a few times where I have made (in my opinion) regular pieces of work and people have given feedback about the sensual undertones, to which I apologise, or ask for further explanation. It’s not really ignorance but I felt that it was an interesting point to add because quite often, art means different things to different people and it always surprises me when people make that association.

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

As I mentioned previously I am kind of a closet asexual to mostly everyone I know so It’s not often a topic of discussion, but I remember in high school we weren’t educated on non-heterosexual issues (this was 2009 or so) and during health class, while the teacher wasn’t in the room, we all talked about what we knew about gay and lesbian activities. Because I had previously researched into queer issues, I had to give a small talk on asexuality. Which got some comments of “that’s not a real thing” and “just means they can’t get it up” but that’s the extent of it.

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

As I say, I am not the best at advice but I am going to go with:

You have all the time in the world to figure yourself out and don’t feel like you owe it to anyone else to do so. Also, if you don’t want to fit into a box at all, that’s fine too. Be yourself, Love yourself.

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

I have an art-based Facebook page that has a lot of my work on it. I also have a Tumblr and Instagram where I post art sometimes, however, these are my personal blogs and I may also post personal things and other unrelated things. Most of the time, it’s just things I like or think is funny. Anyway, so the Facebook page is probably the most saturated place to view my art.

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

Interview: Lexi

Today we’re joined by Lexi. Lexi is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in illustration. They enjoy drawing mostly lighthearted images and characters. Their work shows a beautiful use of line and color and the characters they draw are adorable. It’s clear they’re a dedicated artist who loves what they do. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Inktober Monster Kids 2019
Inktober Monster Kids 2019

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art style changes a lot depending on what sort of mood I’m in, but usually consists of silly drawings that I do for myself or friends and evolve into bigger projects. I love making patterns and stickers a lot as well.

What inspires you?

I base a lot of my silly drawings on funny jokes or ideas that me and my friends come up with but I also have lots of other artists that inspire me such as kanahei and ssebong. I watch a lot of cartoons in my free time and those inspire me as well for things like character design.

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

I grew up drawing, honestly. I’ve been doing it so much I can’t even imagine doing anything else. If anything, I can only list here what things have gotten me more interested in my field. I took 3 years of graphics in high school and that sparked my interest in pursuing a graphics related career, however I’m still deciding haha

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 have my signature I guess, but other than that maybe my style?? I don’t include Easter eggs in pieces, as they look out of place to me oops haha

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You’re going to start out bad, it doesn’t matter how quickly you learn, you can only get better. It’s alright to admire artists but don’t compare yourself to them. And always keep practicing, you can never do it enough. One of my favourite examples of practicing to get better is from Malcolm Gladwell’s 10,000 hour rule. (from his book, “Outliers”)

Neo Pets Character Designs
Neo Pets Character Designs

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual!

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

Yah, with people I talk to and even my family. My mom doesn’t really think it exists or it’s just an “fake persona” due to my environment and a few of my friends just aren’t educated on it. If they do say/assume something incorrect I try to correct them but with a few of them, the point just doesn’t get across.. I meet a lot of people who say they thought they were ace but just realized they were around ugly people or something.. :/ Or they consider it an excuse for not being desirable. I try to educate people as best I can, but sometimes I just get tired of re-explaining.

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

That it’s just about waiting till the right time and/or person comes along & that as an asexual I’m not interested in love, physical affection, etc. I enjoy hugs and holding hand just as much as a sexual. However past that I am a bit neutral haha

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

No one should or can tell you how you identify. You also don’t have to come out to everyone you meet, or anyone at all. Do what makes you feel comfiest & safest. It does help to find a place to talk about stuff though, I have friends I talk to when I’m upset about things relating to being ace, and while they’re not all ace they still support me and that’s what good friends will do for you.

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

I’m on Instagram! At candy.shrimp and RedBubble if you just look up “yaytso

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

Interview: Ashleigh Nicole

Today we’re joined by Ashleigh Nicole. Ashleigh is a wonderful young up and coming visual artist who is currently studying illustration at uni. She specializes in character, concept, and storyboard artist. Her work is beautiful, showing an amazing use of color and line. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with an incredibly bright future ahead of her. 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 a second year Illustration student and my work focuses on concept, character and storyboard art, but I also like to create random illustrations of my own. I also want to move into comics at some point!

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by plants, superheroes and fantasy- they feature a lot in my work. But I also watch other people’s work on Instagram and twitter and I enjoy getting inspiration from their work too whether its colour pallets that I didn’t think of exploring or a brush technique.

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

I have always drawn, but I was actually set on becoming a fashion designer since year 7. I changed degrees before I started because I was filling sketchbooks more than I made clothes in my gap year and thinking about selling my art. I still like fashion so maybe I’ll go back to it at some point.

friends girls
Friends Girls

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 don’t! I feel like I should though!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Learn anatomy, perspective and colour theory. I still haven’t done that to be honest but I’m on my way!

rosa signature version jpg
Rosa Signature Version

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I just go by asexual- sometimes demisexual but very rarely.

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

I have encountered people (not in the creative sector just in general.) that think it’s a choice…I have no words. Asexuality is still a bit unknown in the wider world so it’s mostly a general prejudice towards LGBTIA+ people that I’ve seen.

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

Many people don’t seem to understand asexuality as a spectrum. People have different levels, if’s buts and whys and don’t experience things the same as another person.

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

Find people like you! Whether that’s online or in person, speaking to people who share similar experiences is great!

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

I’m on Tumblr, Instagram, and YouTube under the username mashmato!
My portfolio is http://ashleighnicole.myportfolio.com

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