Today we’re joined by Jason. Jason is a fantastic artist who loves to knit. They run a small business selling their knitted creations, which is all LGBTQIA+ themed. Their work is absolutely gorgeous, brimming with color and demonstrating an amazing craftsmanship. It’s clear they love what they do, 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’m a knitter! I was taught as a child but seeing as I’m ADHD it didn’t go to well. I began knitting again after I had wrist surgery as a form of gentle rehab and fell in love with it all over again! I now knit several hours a day and am working on my first sock, but I prefer making small soft toys and such. I also run a small business selling my pride flag related knitting!
What inspires you?
Every time I get a message from someone saying, “I never knew I had a flag!” or “I’ve never seen my flag mentioned or sold!” it makes my day. The ace flags was one of the first I added on and I still get happy messages when people find it. Also, after my surgery I was so scared about what it would mean about the usability of my hand, so I keep knitting to make sure it stayed working.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I took part in a project to raise money and awareness for the LGBTGIA+ community in Australia around the time my country held a vote on legalizing same sex marriage. I began knitting rainbow flags and selling them to raise money for charity. Looking back now, they were awful, but people loved them! I began expanding; got new yarn, got a website and now I have a popular Instagram account, a growing business and 130 sales under my belt! Due to chronic illness I can’t work, so this business has become my main source of income. I’ve always wanted to create things as long as I can remember but I never thought I’d get this far
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 but this has me thinking I should create one!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Whatever you do, enjoy it. Even if the other style looking better, gets more likes, or whatever, the important thing is that you truly enjoy your art. My first creations were hideous. I wish I was kidding but they were truly awful. However, I was having a blast! The fact I was having so much fun with it lead me to continue. Also, likes are great and it fine to be sad if you get less than usual (I freely admit that I do!)/that you hoped, but the amount has no bearing on your skill.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Plain, 100% asexual. I’m still not convinced sexual attraction is real 😉
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
People seem to think that the fact I stock the ace flag is the most horrifying, soul destroying heinous crime that exists. Before I was able to source the yarn for the lesbian flag, I was regularly the recipient of slurs because “ugh you don’t have the lesbian flag but you have the ace and non-binary flags and those aren’t even real!!!!!!!”. As a non-binary ace that wasn’t the nicest thing to experience. I did my best to explain to people why I had the flags I did and if they wouldn’t listen, I’d disengage completely. When I was really sad, id post photos of my ace and aro products in my Facebook groups and they’d hype me u and remind me that good people exist. Knitting is my happy place and gives me independence so I do my best to only share it with those that respect it and me.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Either the pure innocent child myth (completely false, my aroace friend and I are filthy minded) or that all aces/aspecs hate sex
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I know that feeling. I know the pain. You are NOT alone. You have a whole community behind you and if you figure out that this isn’t your community, we’ll send you on your journey with a smile and a hug. Give yourself time and be kind to yourself.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Thank you, Jason, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.