Today we’re joined by schattenmitternacht. schattenmitternacht is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in ink drawings and watercolors. They have recently started working with gouache as well. schattenmitternacht draws inspiration from many different places and are clearly very passionate about art, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I do simple ink drawings and occasionally paint with acrylics and watercolors. Recently, I have started to use gouache as well. Subject to my art can be anything; people, animals, things. I love to illustrate feelings and emotions as metaphors.
What inspires you?
The world around me. I believe that beauty is everywhere and I try to capture it for me and for others in my drawings and paintings. The works of fellow artists are also very inspiring.
I do create things inspired be my personal experiences (my diary is mostly drawings) but those are things I’m not always fond to share with people.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I remember spending a lot of time at the drawing desk in kindergarten and going to exhibitions with my best friend’s grandmother. But only in middle school did I start to take art more seriously, when I got into manga thanks to a classmate. That’s when I wanted to get better at it.
To be honest, I never wanted to be a professional artist. It was always other people suggesting it to me and at one point in my life I thought it’s the only option available. I mean, I am an artist and I love being one and creating things but there are some aspects of being a professional artist that leave me uncomfortable with pursuing this career path. I’m afraid I won’t like drawing anymore when it’s what I have to do for a living.
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 is a set of symbols that I use in my more personal artworks. Arrows for example. But you don’t really get to see a lot of them. Because personal.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Challenge yourself and set yourself a goal. I for example want to create more “finished” works this year and not just elaborate sketches.
I love to do challenges or make lists of projects I want to realize because when I don’t know what to draw, I already have some to work on and don’t have to spend time thinking of something.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m aro ace.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not much actually.
My boyfriend asked me once if I was sure I am ace as he couldn’t understand that even though I like physical intimacy, I am still asexual. I explained to him that even if I don’t feel sexual attraction, I still like how it feels and that I think it’s fun.
I myself have never actually experienced prejudice or ignorance against aromanticism, but my friend has. Their mother keeps pressuring them to find a romantic relationship. So that’s something.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
- I don’t have,
- don’t want or enjoy and
- am not able to have sex.
A lot of people don’t have sex. This doesn’t make them automatically ace though.
Second, I can understand how someone could think that this is what it means being asexual, as it was something that kept me from calling myself ace for some time. I don’t really know how to put this in words but you can still want to or enjoy it to sleep with someone without finding them sexually attractive. Sex is something very intimate and wanting to share this intimacy with someone does not in any way conflict with being ace.
The last one… What has my lack of sexual attraction to do with my body? It’s just another way to say that we are “broken”.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You are not broken. Your needs are as valid as those of allosexual people and your boundaries are to be respected, don’t ever think they are not.
If you have a hard time telling different attractions apart, look up their definitions or people describing them.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, schattenmitternacht, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.