Interview: Jana

Today we’re joined by Jana. Jana is a wonderful young artist who both writes and does visual art. Most of her writing is fantasy and historical fiction. When she’s not writing, Jana does a lot of painting and drawing. Her work shows a creative mind and it’s clear Jana is an incredibly dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write stories and also I draw and paint. Stories are usually fantasy or historical fiction, with dark motives, while my drawings are more positive. I sometimes draw illustrations for my stories but that is rare for me. I also draw Harry Potter fan arts, as I am big fan of the story (and also I have written some fanfics but they aren’t in English).

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What inspires you?

I don’t really know. The inspiration just appears out of somewhere. And then it leaves. Sometimes it’s a sentence I hear, sometimes an internet joke or when I see the view from my window. It can be anything. I have periods of time when I see inspiration literally everywhere and then it stops and I don’t have any inspiration at all.

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

I think so. I remember I liked to draw and paint since I was very little and I remember that in kindergarten I was usually drawing, instead of playing with other children. And I still draw when I have the time (also if I don’t have) and usually I choose drawing over chatting with friends in class. With writing, it’s similar. I write stories during lessons in school because it’s fun and teachers don’t tend to notice. They usually think that I’m just taking notes while I really am creating a story.

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

I always put my name on my drawings so no one can steal it from me (if it’s drawn on computer, it’s usually very big). That’s what almost everyone does I think. But other than that I don’t have anything like that. In my writings I don’t think I have something like that. My stories are dark and complicated, as are my characters, but that’s not that rare.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am actually one of them, as I am sixteen, so to my fellow young artist: make art, do what you love and don’t give up. It can be hard but not giving up is worth it. If you love art, make it. Good luck to you (and to every artist here, you don’t have to be young).

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual.

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

Well, ignorance by my mum. I came out to here so I could make terrible jokes and puns but it has gone a bit wrong. Well, she didn’t believe me (she still doesn’t I think) and was quite rude about it, because “I am too young to know” and “I can’t be ace if I have a boyfriend”. A few months later she was trying to understand and was asking questions but I felt really uncomfortable so I just left. But now I think I am starting to be a bit more comfortable around her, like when we are watching some TV series and they mention something sexual or say that someone is hot, I usually make a disgusted face or ask “really??”. Apart from that, I’ve only seen it on social media and it wasn’t directed purely at me but on the whole community.

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

As I said before, it was what my mum said, that I am too young to know or that I can’t be ace if I have a boyfriend. Then of course things said on the internet and not aimed at me directly, like it is a disability or disorder or that we are plants. I like the last one the most.

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

To not try to unconditionally fit into a label. Take time. You don’t have to find it out right now, it’s okay not to know. I know it’s hard, I know it’s easier said than done. But don’t worry, you are not alone. There are many other people who feel the same and there are many people out there who will try to help you. Before I learned I was ace, I thought that I was lesbian (because women are cute), then that I was bi (because the sexual attraction I felt towards the two genders was equal – now I know it was zero).

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

I have an Instagram account but I don’t post much. I also am at Wattpad but I have only one English unfinished work published. I will try to be active on both social media (Wattpad is social media, isn’t it?) but I can’t really promise anything because I don’t know how much time will I have. On Instagram I am as Janethepurpleelf and on Wattpad as Fialová Víla.

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

Interview: Elizabeth King

Today we’re joined by Elizabeth King, who goes by LizzyKingBooks on Tumblr. Elizabeth is an amazing writer and illustrator who specializes in erotica kinky novels. She has created a lot of content she feels is lacking in mainstream media, creating erotic content that revolves around situation and intimacy instead of attraction and lust. Her experience as a kinky asexual informs her work, some of which is darker. Elizabeth has self-published an e-novel about a vampire who captures a girl (which is also in the kinky erotica genre). She is an incredibly passionate individual, 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 write and illustrate erotic kink novels! I began with fanfiction and have branched off from there into my own original content and characters. My work revolves around dark fantasies and kink sexuality. I currently have one novel and several short stories available. The novel is an erotic horror novel about a young girl taken captive by a Vampire Lord, and is more or less the vampire novel I have always wished existed. It is intended to be frightening as much as it is erotic, and in fanfiction terms would be labelled as a darkfic. Each chapter is illustrated with several drawings depicting the characters and scenes. It goes of course without saying that my work and content is intended exclusively for an adult audience and I will not sell to minors.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by relational dynamics, and stories about how one person might relate to another. I am also inspired by kink sexuality and rather dark themes like the relationship between life and death. The Hannibal TV series, for instance, captures such a beautiful picture of dark themes, presenting a compelling world that teeters between the morbid and the vibrant. That is the kind of feeling I would like to evoke with my work.

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

I’ve always been artistic, since I was very young. However, my particular field was not on my radar until a few years ago, when I discovered fanfiction.

Fanfiction opened up a world of erotica to me, which inspired me because it was expressive of sexualities and fantasies that are not typically seen in the mainstream world. Here were women and LGBT people writing and expressing and drawing the sorts of things that they found sexy and appealing and what they were creating spoke to me on much deeper levels than any explicit content from the mainstream world. I wanted to try to express myself as well, and as I began to write fanfiction I began to also discover things about my own sexuality that I hadn’t before.

Marginalized pornography is so important to me, because it brings light to erotic desires that are not generally acknowledged as being valid. What non-ace women want is not even typically represented, but what ace women want or find appealing is even rarer depicted. And what kinds of things kinky women think about? Again, even rarer still. Kink is a genre dominated by men and male fantasy, and I found it so inspiring to see authors writing kink from the perspectives of women.

I decided that I wanted to craft stories that spoke to my deepest and darkest desires and fantasies, because nothing else was. One of the things that I find so inspiring about fanfiction’s approach to erotic content rather than the mainstream world of published erotica, is how fanfiction focuses on characters first, and the sexual content second. The tropes and focal points of fanfiction are so very unique, and I wanted to bring that form of writing over into my original erotic fiction.

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

My work is all BDSM and kink related. Every story I write has a Dominant character and a submissive character, and I focus heavily on the power dynamics between the two of them. Although my stories feature a lot of explicit sexual content, the core of my stories is the power exchange within that sexual content, and how those experiences shape and mold the characters. A few of my own personal kinks tend to pop up again and again, of course!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep going! Whatever you do, no matter how down you feel, keep making things. Life is about doing things, and experiencing things. Even if something you do objectively flops, doing that thing is better than not doing it. The act of creating will enrich your life. Express. Don’t compare yourself to others. Don’t worry about success or failure. Just do things.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demi-sexual, although I have recently been considering that perhaps grey-sexual may be better fitting. I do not experience sexual attraction based on physical features or looks (although I do experience aesthetic attraction) but rather based on personality traits and situations. I identify as a submissive, and within the context of the ace spectrum, that means that I am only sexually attracted to dominance, whether that be in a person’s mannerisms, or a power imbalance situation. So, while I can experience attraction, it is rather rare and does not happen in the same way as for most people. I am also pan-romantic!

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

I am happy to say that I have not (yet) experienced any ace prejudice, either in my field or out of it! Ignorance, perhaps, but not of a willfully cruel nature. Many people have questions about my sexuality which I am happy to answer. In general as long as someone is respectful I have no problem answering questions. I hope that I will be gracious as well if I ever do encounter hate.

What I do, however, encounter is people assuming that I cannot be ace, or even that I must be more sexually promiscuous, because I write erotica. Many men assume that I will be open to sexting with them because of the content I write. These assumptions frustrate me, but I try to correct them gently whenever I can.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality I’ve encountered personally is the misunderstanding that all asexual people hate sex. A lot of people cannot understand how you could enjoy sex if you do not experience sexual attraction. In reality, many ace spectrum people are still interested in having sex with their partners! Many ace spectrum people may be sex repulsed, but that is not a requirement for being ace!

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

Don’t be afraid to try labels on for size and see what feels right. Your identity is not invalid if you decide to change your label later. Your journey is unique, and you don’t have to justify it to anyone!

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

You can find my work at LizzyKingBooks.tumblr.com! Please come and follow me and even shoot me an ask. But please remember, my work and my blog are 18+ only!

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

Interview: Will Hernandez

Today we’re joined by Will Hernandez. Will is a phenomenal and versatile visual artist. He specializes in drawing, both in traditional and digital mediums. Will does both illustrations and comics, as well as regular drawing. When he’s not drawing, Will also dabbles in sculpting, photography, and even animation. It’s clear he has an admirable amount of passion as well as talent, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a visual artist. I enjoy drawing, inking, and watercolor painting both traditionally and digitally. I illustrate as well as make comics from time to time, and I mostly enjoy doing so in a more “cartoony” style. From time to time I’ll sculpt, photograph, and even animate, but just plain ol’ drawing is where my heart’s at.

What inspires you?

Honestly, science is what inspires most of my work. Nature, robotics, physics, astronomy, all these concepts and more are what really interest me. When you look closely at them you can really come to appreciate the universe we live in a little better. You learn that reality really is stranger than fiction. And you also realize that some of the biggest surprises are a lot closer than you think.

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Forest Walk

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

I honestly hadn’t considered pursuing art as a career until I entered high school. Earlier in my life art was nothing more than a personal endeavor, more of a hobby. It wasn’t until I enrolled in a video class, and met my video teacher, which was when I really started to pick up art as a life goal. He was very kind and supportive to all his students, especially when it came to those who showed artistic ability. He suggested I look into doing cartooning or animation as a career, which was the first time I had even though about my artwork as something profitable. But aside from that, I’ve always loved to draw, paint, sculpt, and just create in general. I just hadn’t considered myself an “artist” until later.

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Forest Walk

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?

Aside from my main signature (which is present on most of my artwork) not really.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you ever ask anyone how to get better at art and they tell you to do a lot of it, that really is the answer, the one and only answer. Do a lot of art, and never give up if you really love it. Also, be sure to look for like minds, make friends with other artists because it will really help you stay motivated. It’s a long and often times difficult road to travel, but what you get out of it in the end makes it all worth it. And be sure to keep past artwork, you’ll want to see how much you progress as time goes by 😉

Mermay (COLOR)
Mermay

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual, though I’ll develop romantic attractions from time to time depending on the person. Also I’m not really sex repulsed, it’s actually a curiosity of mine, but more in a science way than in a “do it” sort of way. But in general I try to use my labels lightly. We’ve all got our own unique point on the spectrum of things, a place that nobody has or ever will again occupy. For the sake of explaining an experience labels are great, but I don’t think that we should be confined to them because subtly that separates us from each other, which simply isn’t the case. I’m asexual yes, but more importantly I’m me and I’ve got my own unique experiences.

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Mmm

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

Luckily for me most people have been so kind and understanding whenever I choose to bring it up. Though from time to time there may be some misunderstandings which I can typically explain away with ease (yes I know what “the sex thing” is)

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

Like I said, I know what sex is, it’s not like I don’t…

Robot Aestetic (Color)
Robot Aestetic

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

DUUUDE! DO WHAT YOU’RE LITTLE QUESTIONING HEART FEELS IS RIGHT! AND BE THE BEST YOU YOU CAN POSSIBLY BE! I know that’s kinda blunt but it’s really what it all boils down to 🙂

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

You can find my work on my main art blog at willhernandezdraws
Or you can find my slice o’ life comics at willhernandezcomics
And if you like you can support me at https://ko-fi.com/willhernandezdraws

I can’t wait to meet you all!
See you around 😉

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Watch Me

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

Interview: Edea

Today we’re joined by Edea. Edea is a wonderful visual artist who is most passionate about photography. When she’s not out capturing the world in pictures, Edea also does a little visual art. She prefers working in digital media, but does dabble in traditional media as well. She’s an incredibly dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My primary art form is photography actually but I also enjoy drawing very much too. Where photography is more seriously performed (school, courses etc.) drawing is more of a hobby really. Both I do more in the digital field but I also once in a while use traditional ways of creating photos and illustrations.

I also write a little but not very well, it’s just never been as natural as for example drawing.

What inspires you?

Other people for the most part. Although, this depends on which one I’m doing. When I draw its mostly other people’s art that motivates me to draw myself. When it comes to photography it’s more likely that the moment I’m in inspires me to take the shot. I see something pleasing so I take a photo of it.

Also my family is a big motivator; all my siblings are very talented musically, one of them even artistically so they always make me strive for better art.

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

To be honest I’ve always drawn but photography became a part of my life when I got depressed in high school. It was a way of releasing stress; beauty has always had a positive effect on me.

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

Not really, but I often use black and a vivid shade of red (blue) in my paintings. They are very recognizable – or at least that’s how I like to think about it-.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t improve. Do you! Try things that seem difficult. Challenge yourself.

And please do not worry about likes/follows/reblogs. They are not that important, the main thing is that YOU are happy with what you’re doing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a biromantic asexual.

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

Well, I don’t talk about it that much but when I do people mostly tell me how sad things must be for my boyfriend and that they couldn’t be with someone like me. Many have also told me to get “professional” help.

I’m bad at ignoring it but also too fed up to educate everyone on the issue. Mostly it gets to the point where I have to but sometimes people who have no will to even try to understand just make me so angry that I leave the matter be.

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

That one is somehow sick or that too immature and that’s why they identify as asexual . Often people also think that one is incapable of love.

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

If you have somebody that you can trust, then try to talk with them if you’re insecure or afraid. It might take some time that you yourself are comfortable with who you are so in the meantime try to make things as easy as possible. Just remember, you aren’t broken, there’s no need to ‘fix’ your sexuality.

It’s going to be okay.

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

The most active I’m on Twitter, Patreon, and Instagram.

But you can also follow me on DeviantArt, YouTube, and pixiv.

Oh and Tumblr too! I’m always happy to talk with you about art and everything else so don’t hesitate to contact me!

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

Interview: Emily Pendergraft

Today we’re joined by Emily Pendergraft, who also goes by EmilyParagraph online. Emily is a fantastic writer who has also recently gotten into visual art. For writing, she writes both fiction and poetry. Emily has been dabbling in both traditional and digital mediums. She draws a number of things and has even begun experimenting with comics. Her work shows an incredible imagination and that’s always wonderful to see. 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 am a longtime writer, fairly recent visual artist, who works in both traditional and digital art. I write a lot of fiction and some poetry, and I draw mostly illustrations and portraits. Lately I’ve been experimenting with comics.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by all sorts of thing, but I think I really get into creatures. Jim Henson’s Dark Crystal, Labyrinth, and the Muppets were really huge things when I was younger. But I also felt very attracted towards creepy things, and wondered why they were supposed to be scary. I’m also really, really into steampunk.

SandWatch
Sand Watch

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

I got into writing when I was nine. I had an awesome teacher that year who showed me how fun creating my own word concoctions could be. I doodled a lot over the years, but never seriously got into drawing until high school when I re-met my best friend, who has drawn her entire life. Since then, I’ve just been practicing and trying all sorts of new things.

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Children

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 made my own signature/stamp some time ago. It’s a combination of my username’s (and real name’s) initials. As for any sort of recurring theme, I’m not really sure. I just like drawing and writing about creatures and steampunk.

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Speaking of Stars

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

1) If you attempt a long-term project, there will be times when you have to force yourself to push through. It’s tempting to set it aside until inspiration or your Muse strikes again with that awesome rush of productivity, but chances are it’s not going to happen in a timely fashion. So, force your way through. It’s probably not going to be your best work, but to get from point A to point G, you have to go through points B, C, D, E, and F, even if they’re not as interesting.

2) Don’t be afraid to do fan works! If you want to practice a new technique, solidify a style, or just pass the time, fanart and fanfic offer an amazing, low-key, low obligation means of doing so.

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Elf Person

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I mostly just say I’m Asexual and be done with it, but I’m more specifically Panromantic Asexual. Although, I’m questioning if I could be demisexual/demiromantic.

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

I’ve been lucky that I haven’t really encountered much. Mostly just ignorance and an unwillingness to learn more because they think the word “asexual” is self-explanatory. I try to correct where I can, but I’ve mostly kept my sexuality to myself until I know I can trust someone.

TrWi
TrWi

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

I think the most common one is that asexuals are just nervous virgins. Or that sex can “fix” them and they just don’t know what they’re missing. Another big one is that there’s no spectrum, just aro/ace or not.

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Mushroom 1

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

1) You never, ever, EVER have to fake a crush. Just because everyone else is feeling feelings doesn’t mean you’re missing out on something or not caught up to them.

2) Feeling aesthetic attraction does not necessarily mean you’re having a crush.

3) Just because someone admits attraction to you does not mean you have to go out with them. It’s not a “Step 1: someone finds you attractive, Step 2: date!” thing. The steps we’re presented in media are overblown and sped up. Maybe you will go out with this person, maybe not, but you can take it slowly if you’re unsure.

snouse(SnailMouse)
Snouse (Snail Mouse)

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

My main blog is right here.

I have a few sites that I house my visual work on:

Deviantart

Art Tumblr

Undertale Comic

Not as much of my writing is online, but I do have some excerpts up on my Weebly site. I also have a Patreon, and I am open for commissions.

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Echo Flower

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

Interview: Tikaka

Today we’re joined by Tikaka.  Tikaka is an amazing comic artist who writes and publishes they’re own comics.  Tikaka recently made a short comic about their own personal take on asexuality and they have this wonderful love of drawing.  Their enthusiasm for their work shines through and their work is gorgeous.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a comic artist and an illustrator. Creating comics has been a passion of mine for 14 years now and I’ve made 11 self-published comics so far, and plan on making many more!

What inspires you?

Human interaction and feelings. What makes you feel certain things? How to make another person you’ve never seen before feel sympathy for a character they can never meet in real life? How do people get through with rough times, how do they act when they’re happy and how do they express anger and deal with it? I am endlessly fascinated by the variety human emotions can have, and the individual strength each and every one has. I want to create stories that’ll awaken all kinds of feelings, from all across the spectrum.

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

I’ve always loved drawing! When I was a kid the best way to keep me amused was to give me paper and pens and I’d draw for hours straight. At younger age I wanted to be a writer, but later realized I could combine my love for drawing and telling stories by making comics!

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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?

Just my signature, though in my comics I often hide people I know on the background if that counts.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do what you love, even if it’s hard. Especially if it’s hard. Draw that cool pose you think is too difficult for you. Write that story you’ve been rolling in your head for ages. You might fail spectacularly and you most likely will! But it’s better to try and fail, than not to try at all in fright of failing, and never getting closer to your goals. Embrace your mistakes, learn to laugh at the wonky hands you drew on that one character and the misplaced hip. Now you’ve done that and the next attempt will be better.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual and romantically I’m somewhere between panromantic and aromantic. What is love? No one knows! At least I don’t. Either I love everyone and am very good at containing myself or I don’t love anyone.

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

Other artists I know have been very supportive! Also I don’t talk much about my sexuality to those who I think might object with it so I haven’t had any problems.

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

That it’d have anything to do with your current/potential partner. Most take it as a personal insult, “you don’t think I’m pretty/sexy/attractive? Are you calling me ugly then?” and so on. It’s been hard to try and explain someone that no, they’re not unattractive but also no, I feel no great pull towards their loins no matter how aesthetically pleasing they’d be.

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

It’s a wide spectrum, we got space for you. Also, sexuality can be fluid. There’s no reason to feel guilty if your sexuality has changed in the past or if it’ll change in the future. As long as it feels good right now, it’s OK.

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

From my webpage  http://notrollhere.com or my Tumblr http://notrollhere.tumblr.com (NSFW)!

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

Interview: Nico sanchez

Today we’re joined by Nico sanchez.  Nico is an incredibly talented visual artist who favors digital mediums.  They have a style that’s influenced by manga and western comics.  That combination of influences makes for very interesting visuals as you’ll soon see.  Nico does a lot of fanart and their love for art is quite apparent both in their work and in this interview.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Darkstalkers
Darkstalkers

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a lot of fan work.  I love inking more than actually drawing or coloring and it shows!  I describe my art as a blend of western comics and manga influences.  It borders more on cartoony, but I try to keep some realistic aspects. I love drawing faces and pecs (haha). But I also dabble a lot in body horror. My art itself is still rough and I’m working to get to a level I’m content with.

What inspires you?

Mainly other artists/friends I see on Twitter and Tumblr.  Seeing such a huge collective of artists sharing and having fun gets me pumped to pick up my pen and draw.  More often than not mostly comics I read get me pumped to draw.  But what will always inspire me is a piece of artwork, where the lineart is the focus of the image and it’s lavish and detailed.

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

Actually, I got into drawing in high school, before that I wanted to be a horror writer. I was already into comics, manga, and cartoons (like obsessively). But I never really took interest in drawing till I met a friend, whom I still have the honor of calling my bestie for years now. He started drawing, and when he showed me his art work I was in awe and wanted to give it a shot as well. And as time evolved, I ended up loving drawing more then writing.  In fact, now I’m a terrible writer.

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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 think the only unique feature I have with my art is the way I ink and draw faces. My art is very simple (not in a bad way though).

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s never too late to start. I started drawing in high school and have kept going since!  Also please, never let your perfectionism dominate you when it comes to art! Make mistakes! Step out your comfort zone. I allowed my own perfectionism to hinder me and I’m now working twice as hard to fix years of mistakes because of it.  It’s a constant learning process and failure is just a part of that.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m autochrissexual. I see things that I find sexually appealing, but I feel no desire to have sex at all.  Like I have things I find sexy or hot as hell, but the idea of having sex is uncomfortable to me.  Like I’m okay with drawing or consuming media that has sexual content but I disassociate when it’s the idea of me being physical with another person. If that makes any sense.

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

Not actually. Almost everyone whom I’ve drawn with or interact with have been open and understanding. If they held any prejudice towards me it’s never shown.

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

People treat us as if we’re immature children. Like our lack of a sex drive or interest makes us childish or pure. Which is not the case at all. There are sex repulsed asexuals and there’s nothing wrong with that either. But there’s no need to act like you have to cover my eyes when something in media gets raunchy. Sex does not make someone mature or an adult.

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

You are completely valid even if others in the LGBTQIA community don’t welcome you. Your are not sick or broken. You’re fine the way you are.  It can be tough in a world where media pushes sex and sex sells. But you are strong person.

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

Everyone can find more of my art on my artblog.
I don’t update as much, since my job is keeping me busy with the holiday hours. But eventually everything I upload on twitter goes here. Plus my artblog has links to all my stores and other blogs.
http://ermescostello.tumblr.com/

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