Interview: Anila

Today we’re joined by Anila. Anila is a wonderful fanartist and jewelry maker. They write in a variety of fandoms and enjoys writing fanfiction. They aspire to publish some original work some day. When they’re not writing, they enjoy making jewelry. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. 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’m primarily a creative writer – mostly fanfiction but I’m working hard to finish my original works. It’s a dream to be published someday.

Other than that I make wire jewelry.

What inspires you?

To be honest, it can be anything from a long-forgotten scribble in the margins of old lecture notes to something a passer-by might be wearing. On one hand that means I’m lucky because I can draw from most things but on the other hand all these WIPs can get me down.

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

I’ve always been good at writing – and when I started showing it to other people they were interested and, more importantly, they were affected. That made me want to write more.

As for jewelry, my mum bought a jewelry making book when I was a teenager and it seemed to stick.

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 writing tends to have an overabundance of commas, an abuse of semicolons, and a tendency for things to come in threes. Just like that previous sentence ;D

It’s hard to have a signature when it comes to wire jewelry, since it’s so freeform.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Try not to put yourself down too much, though I understand it’s easy to do so.

Having friends act as cheerleaders is a blessing and can be one of the few things to keep you out of a slump.

Also, specifically for writers, if you understand the importance of receiving feedback in your work please be the change you wish to see the world – when you read online works, leave comments you yourself want to receive.

jewellery

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a biromantic grey-ace. Basically I can have feelings for just about anyone regardless of gender, but wanting to be intimate is not necessarily included in that.

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

While writing there is a big lack of ace representation. And of course there are the people who insist that so-and-so character simply cannot be ace because there’s no evidence that that is so – to which the reply is that this is fanfic, everything is possible, and ace-spectrum people do exist. There was also one person who tried to tell me that I couldn’t be grey-ace because of my smutty works, which… still makes me sigh.

On the outernet, where I’m closeted anyhow, there is very casual prejudice – the expectation that of course everyone has sex and you’re some sort of deviant otherwise. I do my best to educate when I can, though admittedly I tend to get defensive and annoyed very quickly.

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

That people need to have sex to live. Nope, bzzt, wrong, try again.

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

Take your time. There’s no rush to find out who you are. Do your research because knowledge is power. And, if you ever decide down the line that your orientation on the spectrum isn’t exactly what you thought it was, then that’s okay too.

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

My writing’s on AO3 (http://archiveofourown.org/users/diemarysues), and I do yell about writing on my personal blog (http://diemarysues.tumblr.com).

Jewelry stuff is on my side blog (http://rustypliers.tumblr.com) though I am currently taking a break while I take better photos and edit them.

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

Interview: Isis E. Prosser

Today we’re joined by Isis E. Prosser. Isis is a phenomenal writer and jewelry maker who I met at Indy PopCon. I was blown away by the gorgeous jewelry she made and then she told me about the web novel she was working on entitled Lamenting City (chapters are posted on her main blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/). Not only does it sound positively fascinating, but it’s an ownvoices work. The main character of the series is an ace lesbian named Axel and there are also two minor asexual characters. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate author, 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.

I’m a writer and a jewelry maker. When it comes to my writing, I tend to focus on humour and emotions, lots of humour and emotions. Sometimes I write purely humourous stories and sometimes I write purely emotional (whether angsty or uplifting) stories. Longer stories tend to swing between both extremes and I like to think the more I write, the better I become at blending the two together. I write a mix of fanfiction and original stuff, and I’m also not the greatest at updating either in a timely fashion (sorry!), but I am trying and getting better at that.

My jewelry is something I also do with my mom (she’s my teacher!) and currently I’m focusing on Pride jewelry and fandom jewelry (currently, Harry Potter-inspired pieces with some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic-inspired pieces coming…. eventually). I’m very new to this craft.

In the future I’d like to make video games, too. I’ve written scenarios/concepts and dabbled a little in RPG Maker over the years, but haven’t yet finished a thing. Maybe one day soon I’ll have something to show. In the meantime it’s likely the characters of those ideas will be introduced in short stories or novels.

I’m very passionate about storytelling in general.

What inspires you?

Many, many things! From real life experiences to other fiction, and to the beauty of the natural world and that of architecture, as well as mythology (Egyptian mythology is my fave). I’ve also been inspired by vivid dreams I’ve had. And my inspirations tend to shine through in my work, whether original or fanfiction. For example, my current web novel project, Lamenting City, was initially inspired by a dream I had that came about when I was marathoning every Zoids anime with a friend. The dream introduced me to Axel and offered a tantalizing glimpse of her world, and afterwards I knew I had to write it. And often times I’ll have scenes or entire stories inspired by music I listen to.

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to find inspiration looking at gemstones or browsing jewelry supply shops. Sometimes I also get inspiration from media, hence the Harry Potter bracelets.

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

I’ve wanted to be writer for as long as I can remember. I’m not entirely sure where it started, but I know it did start in some form with kid me’s obsession with Beatrix Potter’s stories and later stuff like OT Star Wars and Disney’s Gargoyles. I would also read a lot and then read some more, and the more I read, the more I wanted to write.

As time went on, I also noticed more and more that there weren’t a lot of characters like me in fiction. There weren’t a lot of diverse characters and author voices in general. So, a lot of my writing is me creating the stories and characters I wanted to see, and to give myself a voice.

With jewelry, I played around with plastic beads as a child but then the hobby faded for many years. Earlier this year I got interested in it again after looking at pride jewelry and deciding I could make the types of bracelets I wanted… and then a lightbulb turned on and I realized that, hey, if I wanted jewelry like this, other LGBTQIANP+ folks might want it, too. And then my love for fandom made me start slowly getting into making fandom jewelry as well.

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?

Well, looking at my writing as of 2015, dream and nightmare sequences seem to be a pretty big thing. They appeared in my (currently unposted) Metroid fic that I wrote for my first NaNoWriMo (2015), appeared again in my Camp NaNoWriMo project, a Legend of Spyro fanfic (I haven’t yet posted the chapter with the first dream sequence however), and then they’ve appeared in every NaNo project since…

I find dream and nightmare sequences really fun to write. They’re a good way to explore the character’s mind without having to worry about realism or even my own canon.

In general, I like to use dreams/nightmares to introduce concepts and foreshadowing in ways that (hopefully) aren’t immediately obvious.

With my jewelry, it’s a bit hard to say since it’s all so new to me. But I like to add a touch of whimsy to everything I create!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To not be discouraged, and to get your art out there. It can be very daunting, yeah, I’ve been there (and in many ways still am), but your voice is needed. Perhaps some people won’t get your story, but for the people who do, it could mean the world.

Understand that you have room to grow, but to also be you. Improve and become the best you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Homoromantic/demiromantic asexual. Also sex-repulsed.

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

More times than I’d like to count, especially offline. I try to clarify things for people who simply don’t know, but find it’s easier on my mental health to avoid actually prejudiced people who are unlikely to change their mind. Sometimes both of those things are easier said than done.

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

The most common seem to be “Asexuals are incapable of love in any form” and “Asexuals can’t have sex/be sex positive”. Trying to correct either misconception isn’t usually a fun time for me, especially the latter (where being a sex-repulsed ace with no intention of having sex gets thrown back in my face as if it’s some kind of gotcha).

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

That you’re not broken, and that you’re ace enough.  You’re loveable and amazing as you are, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

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

My main home of operation is on my website/blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/

There I post short stories, chapters of Lamenting City, and blog posts where I yell about video games and music.

And while there’s not as much content as I’d like (I’m working on it!), you can find my newer fanfiction on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/MetroidReploid/profile

I will be updating my Legend of Spyro fic (well, the first one) soon and will be adding a Metroid fic and a Star Wars fic at some point this year. I like many fandoms!

And you can check out my jewelry here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StormDragonsWares

More designs coming soon!

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

Interview: Olivia M.

Today we’re joined by Olivia M. Olivia is mostly a hobbyist and an incredibly productive one at that. She does a bit of everything including traditional and digital visual art, game art and programming, and jewelry and accessory crafting. Her main focus is zines and she has made quite a few. This is an artist who is incredibly passionate about her art and it definitely shows in her art and in her interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

ailenncoloredweb
Ailenn Colored Web
acenecklace
Ace Necklace

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a student and a hobbyist when it comes to art. I work in a wide variety of mediums, including traditional drawing and painting, digital art, graphic design, zines, game art and programming, and making jewelry and accessories. Right now my main focus is on making zines, which are self-published, small run booklets that can be about just about anything. Most of my zines are personal writing, but also include some art and fiction. I do the layouts in a cut-and-paste style by hand or create them on a computer. Then I print them and sell them online or trade them with people around the world. Making zines allows me not only to write creatively, but also to do graphic design work.

neurometaphysicalrecursionflat
Neuro Metaphysical Recursion Flat

So far I’ve made 12 different zines. Most are in three different series. One is called (meta)paradox, and is a perzine (personal zine) series. Another is called Anecdata, a mini perzine series. And another is Psychometry, a found object zine/perzine hybrid. I’ve also made a minicomic, a science fiction zine, and two micro zines. I also help run a website called the Ace Zine Archive that documents zines that talk about asexuality, and I talk about asexuality in my zines, so my art intersects with my asexual identity.

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When it comes to my drawings, paintings, and digital art, I mostly draw people, preferably using a reference for realistic work or working in a cartoon style. I’ve taken several art classes, including a figure drawing class and an experimental drawing class. I also like drawing comics. One of my zines is a minicomic, and other zines include some of my short comics. A lot of my drawings are of characters that I write about. I write some fiction, but mostly just plan out characters and stories without ever getting any writing done.

I’m a computer science student, so it makes sense that my art intersects with my interest in programming. That’s why making games is so appealing to me. Making games allows me to combine programming, art, and storytelling. I’ve never finished one of my game projects, but I’ve dabbled in RPG-style games and visual novels. My current visual novel project is set at a school for people with supernatural powers and features queer romances and an asexual character. I make an effort to include diverse characters in my game and writing projects, as well as in my other art.

visualnovel1
Visual Novel 1
visualnovel2
Visual Novel 2
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Visual Novel 3

Lastly, I also make jewelry and accessories and sell them online. I haven’t been doing this as much lately, as I’ve built up enough of a stock for my online shop, but every now and then I make something new. One thing I enjoy making is LGBT+ pride jewelry. All of my ace pride jewelry has sold out! One of my favorite types of jewelry to make is cast resin pendants. Resin casting involves mixing two liquids and adding in glitter, beads and other bits and pieces before it hardens.

alondra jacket print
Alondra Jacket Print
cutenecklace
Cute Necklace

What inspires you?

I find myself highly inspired by science fiction, fantasy, and other speculative fiction, whether it is in TV, books, movies, or video games, as well as YA fiction. My characters and stories tend to come from these genres, and even my zines and jewelry are somewhat inspired by them. When it comes to zines, I get a lot of inspiration from other zines that I collect and read. Some of my favorite zines that inspire me include: Taking the Cake (an asexual zine), No Missing Pieces, No Better Than Apples, My Aim is True, Pieces, Deafula, Collide, All in Your Head, Everything. Is. Fine., The Real Ramona, Julia Eff’s zines, Dig Deep, Seawitch, You’ve Got a Friend in Pennsylvania, Last Night at the Casino, The Emeryville Ethereal, asexual zines, queer zines, POC zines, disability zines, and mental health zines. My asexuality and other aspects of my identity, such as my Latina ethnicity, my atheism, being autistic, being chronically ill, being a skeptic, and more all provide inspiration for my zines. People also inspire me. A lot of times I find myself sketching people around me to practice drawing. I love working from references. I also have a wall of my room where I post up art and ideas that inspire me. I like to keep up with new books, indie video games, zines, and handmade jewelry styles for further inspiration.

angeldemon
Angel Demon

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

I grew up in a family of artists, so it was never strange that I was interested in art. I’ve loved art ever since I was a child since I grew up surrounded by it. I also always enjoyed creating things, like drawing my own picture books, making booklets and family newsletters, which led up to my interest in zines as an adult. When I was 12 I discovered programming through website design and digital art. I was instantly hooked and into the idea of creating games. I knew that I wanted to have a career combining programming, art, and writing. I don’t necessarily want to be strictly an artist as a job, but to combine of all my interests. However, I always want art to be a part of my work.

ceris
Ceris
acenecklace2
Ace Necklace 2

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?

Actually, yes! I have a personal symbol that I include in my zines and some of my art. It’s my logo for the work I do under the name Paradox Creations. The symbol is called the radialemniscate. “Radia” from “radiant” and “lemniscate”, which is the infinity symbol. The radialemniscate is an infinity symbol with a starburst at the center. It originated in a high school project to create an imaginary religion. Mine was called Infinitism, and the radialemniscate was its symbol.

logo
Logo
gummybears
Gummy Bears

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would tell young aspiring artists that as long as they create, they are artists. Even if their work isn’t at a professional level, they should never stop creating art as long as they enjoy it. Never let anyone tell you that your art isn’t “real” art. Art is about creation, not about staying inside of any list of rules.

girl
Girl
finalpose
Final Pose

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as panromantic (gray) asexual, though my primary identity is asexual. This means that I experience romantic attraction to all genders. Also, while there are many reasons to identify as gray asexual, I identify that way because I’ve never definitively experienced sexual attraction, though I’ve experienced some ambiguous attraction.

spanishdoodle017
Spanish Doodle 017

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

I don’t have a job in the arts, at least not one with a workplace. I sell my zines and jewelry online, so I haven’t interacted as much with customers as I would IRL and I don’t have coworkers, so there are less chances to encounter reactions to asexuality in my field. Of the interactions I’ve had with other people who make zines and on my blogs that involve talking about asexuality, most to all have been positive.

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Test Panel

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

From people that I’ve come out to, I’ve mostly had good experiences from people willing to learn, but occasionally I come across misconceptions. One of these is the idea that asexuals can’t have “real” relationships or that asexual relationships aren’t a thing. That is absolutely false! Asexuals can have all sorts of relationships, many of which don’t involve sex, and these relationships can succeed. Lots of asexuals are in relationships!

weirdportrait
Weird Portrait

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

Don’t despair! Society may make being asexual sound isolating and lonely, but community exists both online and in real life. I used to feel like no one could accept me as an asexual, but since then I’ve had many positive coming out experiences and have met dozens of asexuals in real life. So can you! No asexual has to be alone. There are possibilities for relationships and friendships. And there is nothing wrong with being asexual. It’s a natural variety of sexuality and perfectly healthy. Even if someone doesn’t accept your sexuality, there are hundreds more people out there who will.

womansideportrait
Woman Side Portrait
zine
Zine

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

I have a Tumblr blog where I sometimes blog about my work here: http://paradoxnow.tumblr.com/

My zine blog is here: http://oliviaszines.tumblr.com/
It has links to sites I have for individual zines.

My Etsy, where I sell zines, jewelry and accessories is here: http://etsy.com/shop/ParadoxNowCreations

The Ace Zine Archive can be found here: http://acezinearchive.wordpress.com/

Some of my older work can be found here: https://paradox11.wordpress.com/

returntoatlantis
Return to Atlantis

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

Interview: Noah

Today we’re joined by Noah.  Noah is an amazingly talented artist whose passion lies in artisan crafts.  They do a bit of everything and their work is positively beautiful.  Just looking at it, you can tell how much love and care goes into each piece.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Selfie with Mask
Selfie with Mask

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an artist of all kinds! I paint/draw realistic pictures and abstract ones. I have a fondness for expressionism. But the work I’d like to showcase here involves mostly my artisan crafts. They bring me most joy while making them, and I’m most proud of the result. I make patterns for stuffed animals. I sew them both by hand and machine. I also like to do hand embroidery, knitting and crochet. I sell ribbon choker accessories and make certain clothing articles/costumery for the sake of fun. My art is purely autonomous as I cannot create things for commission purposes. That’s just not how my brain works, I want to create art because I love it and for no other reason.

What inspires you?

It’s very cliché, but the whole world inspires me. What I go through, what concerns me, what I see, what I want to explore. I’m inspired by artists from the past, artists in the now, nature, emotions, everything can inspire me to create something new.

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

I have grown up with a creative mother and grandmother. My grandma is my biggest inspiration when it comes to art, considering she practices many creative skills just like I do.  I think she inspired me while growing up to never be afraid to try something new. Because of this, being an artist is just a natural part of me. Everyone I know that described me always used the word creative. I don’t think an artist is something you necessarily become, but it’s something you are the moment you are interested in creating something. No matter your skill.

Mr. Moth
Mr. Moth

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 actually do not have any kind of special symbolism or signature. I am not an artist that works with a specific way. I like as much variation as possible. My painted/drawn art is either very rough or has very clean lines.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

When you see a piece of art that really amazes you, whether crafted, painted, acted, etc. a lot of work went into it from the artist. You might think ‘I could never do that’, but we mostly think that because it’s as if it takes the artist no effort. That’s not true. They have most likely spent years practicing their talent, and if not years, then they were just really intensely practicing it for a more short amount of time. The true way to getting better is practice. Never look down upon your own artwork, someone is already looking up to it hoping to once have your skill. You might also look up to someone, we will probably always look up to other artists, no matter how talented we are ourselves. So don’t put yourself down because someone else’s work is great. Just because their work is great, doesn’t mean your work can’t be great as well!

I also find it important to mention that most young artists are obsessed with acquiring a personal style. And while having a style is great and all, you will improve much more if you try out as many things as possible, not worrying on whether it’s consistent in style. You can worry about consistency in portfolio once you really want to sell your work. But before you get there, you will just need love and passion for what you do. That’s all it takes to be an artist.

Pom the Bat
Pom the Bat

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual, but I’m still questioning whether I’m not just fully asexual (I’m leaning towards answering yes to that question). This requires more thinking on my part but I am in no hurry.

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

In the field of art? Not at all. I am not one to make much conversation, let alone talk about my sexuality with strangers.

Brown Ollr
Brown Ollr

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

A hard question to answer. Maybe the myth that your partner deserves someone better than you. If you are in a relationship and it’s working out and you’re both happy. Then there’s no reason that you being asexual is an issue. And you can also have relationships with more people than just other asexuals. I’ve been in a relationship with someone sexual for already a year, just to point out how possible it is.

Splatoon Inkling
Splatoon Inkling

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

I know growing up I never fitted in with the crowd because of how focused everyone was on romance and sex. I want people to know that just because you don’t feel that way about others (not yet, or not at all), that does not make you abnormal or disordered. You’re okay. Love is more than kissing and touching each other in private places.

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

I’m really only found on deviantart for my artisan work. NoahCrafts.deviantart.com
And Noah-Art.tumblr.com for any artwork I feel like showing people.

I also have an etsy shop where I sell collars/chokers. They’re just pretty fashion accessories. I put extra care into making these as I’m a perfectionist and don’t want other people to pay for bad quality. https://www.etsy.com/shop/CollarAdoption

Unicorn Embroidery
Unicorn Embroidery

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

Interview: Emily, Moss of the Woods Jewelry

Today we’re joined by Emily, who is behind Moss of the Woods Jewelry.  As the title suggests, Emily is a jewelry maker.  She takes a lot of inspiration from nature and her work is absolutely gorgeous.  Looking at the lovely flowers and plants was really a treat.  My thanks to her for taking the time to be interviewed.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a jewelry artist who works in the medium of resin. In my Etsy shop, I preserve pressed and dried plant specimens in panes of clear “glass” resin. The pieces are omages to herbarium collections, and are themselves meant to be little personalized herbarium specimens. I even go so far as to type out little informational cards, reminiscent of the data sheets included with specimens in herbariums, on my old 1950’s typewriter, complete with information about where and in what condition each specimen was harvested, which I send out with each purchase.

All the plant specimens I use I harvest by hand from the local wilds, and press myself using my own home-made plant presses.

What inspires you?

Without being too obvious… plants! Plants, and, just, naturalism and nature in general. I’m a gigantic nerd hippie and have pretty much just been obsessed with nature and the natural sciences my whole life. I’ve grown near and around the forests of the Appalachian Trail region of Western Massachusetts and meadows and abandoned farms my whole life, and nature has always been very important to me; even since childhood, these natural environments were a place for me to retreat to and take comfort in, both mentally and spiritually.

Additionally, I just love plant anatomy. It’s like a perfect marriage of art and science. I’ve long been fascinated by the morphology of plants and took artistic inspiration from that.

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

This whole journey really started years ago, when I was a young teenager. I was visiting the peak of Mt. Washington, in New Hampshire, with my family. In the main lodge at the peak, hidden behind the gift shop, was a dusty old miniature museum, wherein they preserved alpine plant specimens in a sheet of illuminated plastic, organized by their corresponding mountain ecosystem. I was so enchanted by those pressed plants in that plastic, with the backlight shining through their leaves, their roots splayed and visible, that – as silly as it sounds now – I was moved nearly to tears.

Years later, when I discovered resin, it took very little time for me to put two and two together, and immediately wanted to try to make a little wearable plant specimen for myself. Over time, I made more, took to selling them, and the rest is history.

I sort of always wanted to be an artist off and on. I’ve always done art in some form or another, and my friends, family, and teachers, always urged me to pursue it as a career. But I was also equally interested in science. Years ago, I was on my way through university in the hopes of being a botanist, but life found a way and I needed to drop out for financial reasons. After that, I was working in a grocery store as a cashier for many years, and it was really, really taking a toll on my mental health. One day I was temporarily suspended for a minor infraction, and, in a moment of impulsivity, resolved to just never go back, no matter the consequences, taking my tiny Etsy shop full time. That first year was rough… it was the poorest I’ve ever been, constantly worrying where my next meal was going to be coming from. But by the second year, I was finally able to live comfortably with my Etsy shop, and its pretty much all thanks to the absolutely wonderful people on Tumblr.

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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?

Hmmmm, well, nothing really intentional that I can think of, although I do inadvertently use ferns a lot in my design. I don’t know why, ferns just seem like they go everywhere and on everything to me. Whenever I have a design I need to make for a banner or header for my shop, or blank space on a package or anything, I always slap a fern on there. Ferns make everything better.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I suppose, just keep doing what you’re doing and people will notice you, eventually. Embrace your uniqueness and make what you want to make, not what you think people will want to see. I know it seems generic but that is really all there is to it. Make a blog, or an Instagram, or whatever you feel comfortable with, and just keep posting.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a demisexual bisexual person who is and probably always will be second guessing their gender identity, but probably somewhere around the vicinity of demigirl.

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

To be honest, I have not, but that is because I haven’t dared to tell anyone about my sexual orientation. Asexuality, and asexual spectrum like demisexuality and gray-sexuality in particular, are still not valid identities to so many people, I’ve always been too scared to reveal my orientation openly; I just don’t have the energy to fight with someone who wants to try to invalidate it.

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

That asexual people are delicate snowflakes who are triggered by anything pertaining to sex. Not to invalidate or speak ill of any asexuals who are, of course, but in the past I’ve had people basically treat me like a small child, careful never to make lewd jokes or talk about their relationships in front of me.

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

The world is your oyster. Never settle for anything less than what you want. If you’re demisexual and think no one would be willing to wait for you to develop attraction, you’re wrong. If you are sex-repulsed and think that no one will love a person who can’t engage them sexually, you are wrong. If you are aromantic and think no one will ever love you platonically and unconditionally, you are wrong. You deserve to be happy, and there are enough people in the world that you never, ever have to settle for something you are uncomfortable with or a life without the kind of relationship you want. Be confident, and keep looking.

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

For updates, coupons, random pretty pictures of flowers, rants and ravings, follow me here on my Tumblr at (mossofthewoodsjewelry.tumblr.com).

Finally, my Etsy shop (mossofthewoods.etsy.com).

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

Interview: Aria Gale

Today we’re joined by Aria Gale.  Aria is an incredibly talented and versatile visual artist who does a bit of everything.  She sent along some truly beautiful examples of her work to go with her interview.  I can’t wait to see what the future holds for her.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Aria Gale logo
Aria Gale logo

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mainly work with digital art but I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades. I of course draw and paint, I knit and crochet, make jewelry and armor and have dabbled in cross stitching, sewing, sculpting and 3D modeling.

My art used to be an outlet for me, I’ve loved art ever since I could hold a pencil. In the last couple of years I’ve learned how passionate I truly am about it. I could draw all day and never be bored of it, and I’m constantly working to improve my art and learn new ways to go about it. My art shows another side of me, and I’m hoping I can inspire at least one person to do the same.

What inspires you?

That’s a tough question, a little of everything I suppose. Beauty is definitely a main source, and there’s beauty in everything.

Another big inspiration for me would have to be stories, whether it’s fan written for something, original or from a book. I don’t just read the words, I see it play out in my mind and I’d like to be able to share them visually because I know not everyone can see it in their mind.

Fantasy would have to complete my trifecta of inspiration. It’s easy to lose yourself in it, and your problems. Running away from problems is never good but to lose yourself and forget your worries, even if for a little while is nice.

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

I can’t really say anything in particular got my interested. I have always wanted to be an artist.

It was the first real dream I had as a kid, I later abandoned it thinking it was stupid, but I just can’t seem to truly let it go. So instead of trying to go about life “normally” I’m going headstrong after my dreams. I’m not normal by any standard of our society so I’m done trying to be.

I’m determined to make my passions and dreams a reality and I’m helping as many other struggling artists as I can on my way.

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 always add a signature or symbol. Sometimes I’ll put a watermark of a musical note wrapped in a gust of wind, or I’ll put the date I finished the piece in the bottom left corner, with the letters JG above it in cursive.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Artists are always doubting themselves, so don’t let your doubts hold you back. If you doubt it, work more on it. You’ll get it!

Don’t be afraid to pursue your passion. I backed away from it for fear of failure, and thanks to that I lost so much time I could have spent improving what I love.

Believe in yourself and work hard to learn and improve, if you keep at it you just might go beyond what you thought you ever would.

TA Zach gift

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a Demiromantic Asexual. I’m also borderline sex repulsed.

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

I haven’t encountered any prejudice personally, but that’s mostly because I’ve not told those who I know would be prejudicial.

I have encountered ignorance, I simply sit down with them and explain to them what asexuality is. I try to be as informative as I can and patient with them because it’s not easy for some people to understand.

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

That it’s not a sexuality but how some plants reproduce.

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

Don’t worry too much about it. You are the same person today that you were yesterday. The only thing that has changed is that you can better describe yourself to others.

Read up on it, about other sexualities too, that way you know what’s out there and you can find what you feel is the best fit for you. It helps to be able to properly answer any questions someone else might have, and to answer your own.

You aren’t broken, you are you, and you aren’t alone. You cannot be fixed or cured because there is nothing wrong with you. Wherever you may land on any spectrum, you have a friend in me, and others.

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

ariagaleart.tumblr.com

My art commission blog. I also take requests from time to time. I hope to see some of you on there at some point.

Aria sunset
Aria sunset

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