Interview: Hope

Today we’re joined by Hope. Hope is an amazing special effects artist who does incredible work with makeup. She also creates moodboards. Her SFX is eerie and graphic, something straight out of a horror movie. She’s a self-taught artist and is clearly very talented. It’s obvious that she’s an incredibly passionate and creative 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 am a self-taught special effects artist. I learned what I know mostly through YouTube videos but I’m constantly learning more and always improving. I really love special effects because it’s a medium to express myself in a unique cool way. I think that special effects has really helped me to embrace my creativity and my uniqueness because I think that society has a little box that they want girls especially to fit in and that’s just not me.

What inspires you?

I think the things that inspire me most are the amazing creations of other people and often things I read about in books. Special effects is such a rare but amazing hobby and it’s so cool to meet others that share that love that I have. Often I will see a really cool look on Pinterest and then recreate it with my own special twist. I also really like imagining what a wound would look like in a book and then bringing it to life.

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

I first started finding out about special effects when i found this YouTube channel called glam and gore. Before this I had seen SFX in movies and pictures of Halloween costumes but I never really never thought of it as something that was accessible to me. When I started watching this channel it was like a whole new world was opened to me. I thought it was crazy how someone could make a wound so realistically out of cotton, latex and paint. Halloween was right around the corner so I figured “why not it looks like fun” and bought some basic supplies. That why not was the beginning of my new found passion for SFX makeup and an amazing hobby that allows me to be myself.

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?

No

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

The biggest piece of advice I can give is not just to be yourself but to do it for yourself. Because the moment you do things for other people is the moment that you lose a piece of yourself. If it makes you happy do it! If it doesn’t or makes you feel bad stop and figure out why. If you can fix the problem and continue in a healthy way do it. If you can’t then stop. Your health is your first priority. Your happiness is the first priority. Your art is for you. If you love it and other people love it amazing. If it makes you happy even though others hate it continue. There are always going to be haters in the world so that’s why you have to be your biggest fan.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I proudly identify as biromantic. This means that I don’t have sexual attraction to anyone but I have romantic attraction to both males and females. More on the male side lol.

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

Not really in my field but a lot in general. In my personal life my parents are well meaning but they keep telling me that I’m too young to know that I’m ace and I might change when I’m older.

In general there is a lot of stigma about bisexuals and asexuals and whether they are LGBTQIA+ (It’s literally in the name) so being both means double the amount. I think all sexualities are equally important and shouldn’t get hate. I believe the best thing to do is to make your point once calmly and if they don’t listen let them look like the jerk and idiot. Don’t bring yourself to their level.

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

That asexuals will change or need to be changed.

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

You are valid. You are loved and amazing. Don’t listen to anyone who says that you are too old or young or too anything. The only qualification for being ace is not having sexual attraction. That’s it! Having sex doesn’t make you less ace. Masturbating doesn’t make you less ace. Fantasizing doesn’t make you less ace. Having romantic attraction doesn’t make you less ace. There is no such thing as a fake ace. You be you and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

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

My main blog is at thefightingfangirl but if you just want to see my SFX work my side blog is at monsters-gore-andmore.

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

Interview: Skyler

Today we’re joined by Skyler. Skyler is a wonderful fanartist who has written a massive amount of fics in the Doctor Who fandom. She writes fics about the 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler. Aside from fics, Skyler has also created moodboards and 8 tracks. She’s clearly a passionate artist who enjoys what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Jess bday edit

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I have written about 145 fanfics for the Billie Piper and David Tennant fandom. Most of those are Doctor Who, for the Tenth Doctor x Rose Tyler ship (sort of. It’s sci-fi complicated.). I’ve also made some playlists on 8tracks with manips for cover art and moodboards and such for this ship.

What inspires you?

I think since I’m aro ace, I find relationships fascinating, and I love exploring the drama and what-ifs.

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

I started reading fanfic when I was a preteen on a message board and by the time Harry Potter peaked in popularity around my high school and college years, I was reading tons of fic. I deeply wished I could create a Fanfic.net account and start posting. But I was too scared and never did it. I came back to fic after college when I watched Doctor Who and needed to know what happened after the happily-ever-after. I started reading fic and had all these ideas about what I would do with that story. That’s another thing that motivates me: wanting more than we were given about how a plot point or relationship tied up.

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?

Having the voices of the characters in my head, thinking about how the actors would say it, how the character would perceive each other’s actions… if I don’t have that, I can’t write. It wouldn’t be any good. But when I do, people say I have captured them well, so it’s worth the battle to push through.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There are not as many rules as you think there are. We all have insecurity. It is tempting to think of fandom as this cool kid table where you have to get permission to join, but you don’t. Just write. Create what YOU like. Read as much as you want, and yes there will be fanon that people consider sacred or whatever, but some of the best fic is from writers who are new to the scene because they don’t get trapped in the same tropes done the same way. When you’re in a fandom a long time, it’s tempting to write the same thing over and over 100 times that everyone else is writing. But new writers don’t have that sense of conformity. If you can preserve that curiosity and wonder while also gaining experience and growing as a writer, that’s when true art is born.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aegoromantic/aegosexual (aro ace for short)

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

There’s always aphobes on Tumblr, who aren’t worth my time, but my actual community has been hugely supportive. I would say all the prejudice and ignorance from people who matter has been internal. I limited myself because I didn’t think I could be ace if I like writing and reading smut (then I found the aegosexual label!). Then I made a post about it and it still shows up in my notifications years later. I was so afraid to publish my fic for Pride last year about Rose being bisexual and the Doctor being demisexual. It was really personal for me. But people are still leaving comments a about how much that story meant to them. So I think we limit ourselves a lot more than we should.

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

There are so many out there, but one personally is that people don’t understand the split attraction model. Usually it doesn’t both me because I’m both aro and ace, but I do have aesthetic attraction, and people don’t really get that. I like the visual of a “hot” person and can call people “sexy,” but that doesn’t mean I personally want to have sex with them. lol It’s just an expression to explain what type of aesthetic appeal they have. Which probably doesn’t make sense to people who do experience sexual attraction, but when you don’t, it is like a huge lightbulb.

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

First, it’s OK to change labels later if you decide you were wrong. Second, it’s a spectrum so you probably weren’t wrong, just somewhere else on the spectrum than you thought. And third, you can also be sure! Even if you’re a teen, you don’t have to “wait until you get older” to identify as ace. You can be ace at any age. It’s also not a Tumblr thing. People have been ace a lot longer than Tumblr has been around.

Also, just ignore the discourse. It is minimally helpful just to be familiar with the arguments people are using these days, but it’s not worth getting upset about and definitely isn’t worth engaging. Just gather real fellow aces and allies you can count on and support each other.

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

The best place to read my writing is AO3: Skyler10. My Tumblr is Skyler10fic. And here is my edit tag and 8tracks.

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