Interview: Graham Allen

Today we’re joined by Graham Allen. Graham is an extraordinary visual artist who does amazing things in a very minimalist style. He specializes in drawing landscapes and spaceships. There’s an incredible amount of detail in his work, reflecting the simple beauty of nature. He’s an amazingly talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

butte
Butte

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Lately, I’ve been drawing in black pen in a moleskine notebook that I got when I moved across the country. Some drawings are just pen and paper, while others include a neutral gray copic marker for shading or other tones.

What I choose to draw varies based on the day, but the majority of it lately can be classified into landscapes or spaceships, sometimes both. When I’m drawing, I find that I will keep adding detail until I run up against the lower limits of the details my pen can distinguish. Because of this, I try not to draw large pictures, for fear of how long it would take to fill up the page. This has led me to do a series of what I call “Tiny Landscapes” which are generally around 6 square inches in size.

When I draw landscapes or spaceships, it’s usually without any reference. References are extremely helpful and can teach you a lot about a whole manner of things, but I personally find it most rewarding when I am able to draw something that I enjoy without using any references.

What inspires you?

Personally, my friends are a constant source of inspiration for me, and I try to let them know that as often as it naturally fits into our conversations. They make me want to be a better person, a better artist, and a better friend every day.

Artistically, I find inspiration in many places. To name a few: my immediate surroundings, art from people I follow online, and art I imagine as I’m reading, watching, or otherwise consuming fiction. I live in a city, and it’s easy to spend every bus ride staring at Twitter and listening to a podcast on my phone. When I first starting using Twitter, I followed a bunch of artists whose work I liked and gradually have added more and more thanks to various promotional hashtags. Between fanart, concept art, and sketches, my timeline is full of really inspiring work that I am constantly learning from. That said, I sometimes make the conscious effort to keep social media in my pocket and just zone out during my commute. As I stare out the bus window at the distant skyline, I often find inspiration in observing the ways that the silhouettes of the buildings overlap. My city isn’t built on a perfect grid, and the buildings themselves aren’t always rectangular, so the perspective lines can sometimes become really interesting in places. Finally, I am someone who imagines storyboards unfolding as I listen to podcasts or read books. When I find a new favorite storyteller, the act of enjoying their work — even on the second or third time through — inspires me to the point where I want to pick up a pen.

fly-over
Fly Over

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

I’ve been drawing since as long as I can remember.

In first grade, my art teacher taught us a formula for making branching trees: extend each outside part of a given branch outward like a Y and then in between the two outer edges, draw a V for the inner edges of the branches. In doing so, you’ll go from having one big branch to two smaller branches. I must have followed that formula as many times as I could until the branches were too small to draw anymore, at which point I boxed them off because I didn’t know what else to do. This following the rule got my artwork featured in our elementary school art show, and ever since, my family and friends have been supporting me and telling me that I’m an artist.

Later in elementary school, when prompted to explain what I wanted to be when I grew up, I would regularly answer, “A video game art designer.” To this day, my family doesn’t know where that answer came from. Sure, I played video games as a kid and I was told I was an artist, but I didn’t know or know of any art designers, and Google didn’t exist back then, so it’s still a bit of a mystery as to how I found out that that job title even existed.

In middle school, I discovered flash animation on Newgrounds. I joined the Brackenwood forums, hosted by Adam Phillips, and was in awe of some aspiring artists and animators there. People like Rubberninja and Egoraptor before they became the Game Grumps, among others in the community were hugely supportive of everyone, regardless of skill level. It made me believe for a brief number of years that I wanted to do digital art and animation. Having never done animation before, I did not understand just how difficult and time consuming it was until I had access to flash animation later in middle school. I spent hours trying to animate stick figures and sandbags, but eventually gave up on the whole thing because “art takes too long and I don’t like how it comes out.”

In high-school, I took a couple elective drawing classes because I had artistic friends and the courses sounded fun and interesting. Around the same time, I began doodling in non-art classes as a way to keep myself focused. Usually, the drawings would be of dumb puns or misinterpretations of what the teacher had said during class.

This sort of cartoon doodling kept up throughout college, and then I moved out West for a software engineering job after graduating. Having unpacked and built my bed — the only piece of furniture in the apartment — and having no internet for the week following that, my first purchase with my own money in the new city was a moleskine notebook to draw in as a way to pass the time.

These days, I draw when I have free time and want to relax. I find the act of drawing to be a deeply meditative one, and I find that I like the drawings that I do while in a meditative flow state a lot more than the alternative.

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?

None at the moment

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw often, and be willing to accept feedback from teachers, mentors, artists, etc. Learn about how your ability to draw and your ability to critique work oscillate and how that affects the lens through which you view your work. There are so many free resources online that can help, and so many artists that want you to succeed and have compiled these into helpful threads or lists on social media. Also, draw often. Even a five-minutes-a-day prompt every day for a month can make a huge improvement because it trains you to make time to make art, which is often where I personally fall short as an artist.

hillside cave
Hillside Cave

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

On the asexuality spectrum, I identify as demi-ace.

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

I’m extremely privileged as a creator. I went to a pretty well-off suburban public school that had enough money to fund multiple art elective classes each year. I went to a private liberal arts college that had art studios whose opportunities I squandered. Now I live in one of the most progressive cities in the US and have more queer friends than straight friends, especially among friends who also do art. I have been straight-passing all my life and didn’t even consider introspecting queer parts of my identity until after college. Because of all of this, almost everyone who I have come out to is extraordinarily supportive and inclusive of my identity, and I can’t say that I’ve experienced any prejudice or ignorance in my field.

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

In my experience, the most common misconception people make is when they think asexual means “against sex” or “zero sex”. It’s ok to identify as asexual and enjoy sex, have sexual thoughts, and like sexy things. As with many other parts of identity expression, asexuality is an umbrella term, and there’s no one way to define every asexual person in terms of their asexual identity. In addition to the spectra for “is not interested in sex” to “is very interested in sex” and “is not interested in romance” to “is very interested in romance”, asexuality can define the speed and manner in which you progress through stages of sexual relationships, and I’m constantly learning, so I’m sure there’s more than just what I’ve said, too.

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

It’s OK not to know how you identify, and it’s OK for your identity to change over time. You’re constantly growing and changing and learning and adapting. There are other people out there that are asexual, and there are other people out there that aren’t. You’re valid, no matter how you identify. There’s no right or wrong way to be asexual. It’s a word that people use to express an idea about part of their identity.

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

You can follow me on Twitter at iamgrahamallen or on behance at https://behance.net/iamgrahamallen.

new growth
New Growth

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

Interview: Skye

Today we’re joined by Skye. Sky is a fantastic visual artist who specializes in drawing heads with colored pencils. She’s starting to work on drawing landscapes and nature. Skye is also planning to branch out into digital art as well. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and talented 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 use Prismacolor Colored pencils currently, but I just got a Huion tablet so I’m hoping to begin digital art soon. I’m best at drawing people (mainly headshots) but I’m trying to do more landscapes and animals.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by aesthetics and moodboards, as well as random people I see on the street and other artists’ work.

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

I honestly don’t remember. I just remember always loving to draw and it’s always been a big part of my life.

I’ve always wanted to draw, but I’ve only just began to have the confidence to begin sharing about a year ago.

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’m still developing my style, so I definitely do not have and special features yet, but I have a few ideas in mind.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Accept that you probably won’t like everything you make, but that doesn’t mean it’s not amazing, because it is.

image1

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I don’t know the exact label, but I am definitely on the sex-repulsed side of the asexual spectrum and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum. I’m currently doing research to find my exact place.

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

Not specifically in my field, but I have with family and other people. I usually just say that they can’t change who I am and that if they have that big of a problem with it then they have a problem with me and should just leave me alone then.

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

That people on the asexual/aromantic spectrum are that way due to a mental illness or traumatic past experience and that we should see a therapist to be “fixed” like we’re broken.

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

You are not broken. All throughout life until I learned about asexuality I would hear people talk about who they had a crush on and who they wanted to date or have sex with and I never felt that. I never had a crush or a desire for a relationship and I felt so broken and different until I learned there were more people like me and I was normal.

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

I post WIPs on my Snapchat (skyberson4) and completed works on my Instagram (skyberson). But I do post other stuff on both, not just my art.

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

Interview: Megan Olson

Today we’re joined by Megan Olson. Megan is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in painting. She’s currently a student and is working towards a degree in art. Megan enjoys painting natural scenes and even paints canvases that reflect her emotions. Her work is brimming with color and detail, making it absolutely stunning to look at. It’s very clear Megan has an incredibly bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon 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 have been doing art for a little over 2 years now, while going in and out of phases of different mediums I was fond of. I have finally settled on painting to be my favorite medium, but that is subject to change as I grow as an artist. I usually paint with acrylic on stretched canvas, but I’m in College to Major in Studio Art and Art history, so oil paints are in my very near future.

The subject matter I use in my art is landscapes, there is something I love about the wildness of nature, how it does as it pleases and lets itself be what it wants. I paint scenes that reflect my emotions, I have a difficult time expressing those emotions in words to my peers or to myself so I paint until what is on that canvas matches how I feel inside while I’m painting it.

What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me. But everything inspires me in different ways. Other artists inspire me to never give up, because those artists didn’t start out amazing, and neither will I. My mother inspires me to follow my dreams and pursue my passions for art; despite everybody that says art is a “difficult market” she has always had my back. My emotions inspire me to paint the way I feel, so that those emotions don’t stay bottled up due to my lack of ability to express myself in words.

Nature inspires me in the way it makes me feel, A sunset that bathes not just the sky but the entire earth in a pink ambiance, makes me feel like I am seeing things for the first time. A grassy meadow with a small stream nearby with the sun glistening off of the water makes me feel like everything is okay, and calm, at least for that moment. The ocean, raging and storming with deep, dark, never ending clouds above, makes me understand the tightness in my chest, and the horrible thoughts in my mind, and it makes me feel content that for a brief period of time, I am not alone.

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

I’ve been interested in art sense I was a little kid. Although as I got into my early teen years I was told I basically wasn’t good enough, and so I stopped doing art except, I thought I wanted to do a lot of different going through middle school and high school. I wanted to be a psychologist, a businesswoman, an author, an editor, a teacher, a child psychologist, a police officer, and even a sleep scientist at one point. But the spring before my junior year of high school, I signed up for an art class in the fall, sense I needed it to graduate (at first I was very pissed because I wanted to take music appreciation instead), then over the summer I started doodling and drawing in little bits in an itty bitty sketchbook. I had some art supplies from previous times I had been consumed with my love for art, so I didn’t need to go out and buy too much. That art class changed everything, I re-fell in love with everything to do with art and I haven’t deviated from that love sense!

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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 sign my work with the same signature, it’s my initials, MO, but the M is circled by the O like an @ symbol.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anybody tell you that you aren’t good enough, and that you should just quit. If you’re not immediately amazing (which nobody is) the only way you’re going to get better is by practicing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a Panromantic Asexual

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

So far I have not experienced ace prejudice or ignorance in my field. Although I am rather new to the identity and I expect that to change.

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

That asexuals are prudish and can’t stand talking about sex, and if somebody talks about sex around them then the ace gets mad at them.

Also people saying that asexuality isn’t a thing, or you’re just looking for attention and have “special snowflake syndrome”

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

Don’t let other people, friends, family, or romantic partners tell you that asexuality doesn’t exist and you haven’t “met the right person.” I identified as asexual for about half a year my freshman year of high school, but then I started dating somebody and they made me think I wasn’t asexual, and then I didn’t reconnect with the identity again until my freshman year of college. So don’t let anybody manipulate you.

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

So far, I don’t have my work up on any place except Instagram, at megan.olsons.art, but if you would like to ask me questions about my art or would like to commission anything from me you can email me at Megiboo99@gmail.com!

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

Interview: Juliet Kovacs

Today we’re joined by Juliet Kovacs. Juliet is an author who is currently working on getting published. She specializes in dystopian fiction and has written a novel with an asexual girl as the main character. Aside from writing, Juliet also enjoys musical composition and nature photography. Juliet is obviously an incredibly passionate and enthusiastic artist, 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.

Well, I write, compose, and do photography. I write mainly dystopian and apocalyptic set short stories, along with some just about asexuality. As for my composing, I use mainly do symphonic type, as well as occasionally my voice or a friend’s. The style is very mild, not too hard-core. As for photography, NATURE, NATURE, NATURE! I love photographing nature like trees and animals and the sky. It feels so raw and perfect. Photography is really a side thing, which I do at weddings and events for a little extra money, or when I have free time.

What inspires you?

I don’t think I really look for inspiration. It usually just comes to me. I sit down in front of my computer and let stuff just happen. Sometimes I do not even realize what I am writing until I am four pages in! Same thing with music. I play around on GarageBand and put together stuff that sounds nice.

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

Not really. I wanted to be a doctor for a long time, until I discovered the power of words and music. You can express yourself however you want to, and it can be all yours or you can share it with the world.

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?

That’s a bit difficult. I tend to put a certain melody in all of my music, a little violin and bass combination. It’s always hiding in there. For my pictures, I just use a watermark is all. Writing… it’s a little funny, but I always use the phrase, “Can we go feed the hippos?” as a joke, alluding to an experience I had when I was younger.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do whatever feels natural! Go with your gut instinct 🙂  no matter what people tell you, however much they say you will never make it, follow your dreams.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and honestly am not quite sure about the romantic part. Maybe demi, maybe quoi, who knows.

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

I have only written a few short stories about asexuality and I constantly got positive comments. I am currently working on publishing a full-length novel about an asexual girl, which I have not yet shared. But I have had to go to quite a few companies, so prejudice may be a factor.

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

That it means that I have been abused, or am ‘broken’. I will admit, I was sexually assaulted/someone attempted to assault me, but that only was part of me becoming asexual. I already had my view of: “hm, why do people feel that way? Or why do people think he is ‘sexy’? I never get turned on or anything. Weird.”

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

You don’t need to give yourself a label. If you can’t find a label which suits you, that’s okay! If you are happy being you, then be happy. Do whatever it takes to be okay with yourself.

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

I post some writing things on Wattpad, under the username Snippy7. For music, my soundcloud has only one so far, with more to come! The name is Juliet Kovacs for that. I will occasionally post stuff on my various Tumblr accounts, which are:  (at) ace-and-proud (an ace positivity and discourse fighting blog), and (at) multiversegalaxygirl (my personal).

Thank y’all for interviewing me! I hope everyone has a wonderful day 🙂

Thank you, Juliet, for taking the time to participate in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Jill

Today we’re joined by Jill. Jill is a phenomenal amateur photographer who has some absolutely stunning work. Her photography demonstrates a keen eye and a love for the art form. While she favors nature and portraits, Jill is versatile when it comes to subject matter. She has a great enthusiasm as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Aceofhearts

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I’m an amateur photographer! I got my first DSLR camera about a year ago and I’ve been doing photography as a hobby for 2 years.  My preferred subject matter is usually nature, portraits, or a combination of the two! I love flowers in particular, just ‘cuz there’s something really delicate about them that really speaks to me.

What inspires you?

Without going too far into detail, memories and time really inspire me! I love being able to capture moments in time through my prospective and preserve them forever, even when I forget those moments eventually (I have a really bad memory, haha).

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

I used to go for walks around my town a lot as a kid, and seeing sunsets and flowers and other “fleeting” things made me really sad for some reason. When I got my first camera, I finally figured out that I was sad because I couldn’t remember these moments forever; and that got me really interested in photography.

I’ve always wanted to be an artist, but not a photographer; I tried drawing, painting, dancing, the whole nine yards before I got to photography.

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, not really! If anything, I take a lot of pictures of flowers, I guess.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it! If you think you won’t be good at something, do it anyways! Nobody starts out great. But if you’re really passionate about something, that’s something you can’t just learn; but you can learn to be really good at whatever field you love. You know? Just go for it!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual, panromantic, and semi-sex repulsed.

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

Not necessarily in my field, since I’m only an amateur and I don’t interact with other photographers all that often. But in general, a lot of people are ignorant to asexuality and don’t respect my boundaries, which really upsets me. Usually I try to ignore it or educate people if possible.

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

I’ve found that a lot of people are under the impression that asexuality is a new thing that only exists on Tumblr, and is therefore “fake” (“how could you live without sex?!”). It can be pretty disheartening at times.

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

Don’t change yourself for anyone. If someone isn’t comfortable with your asexuality, you don’t have to deal with those people. Don’t stay around people who don’t care enough about you to understand you, y’know? And don’t feel like you’re broken or weird. You’re valid. And cool as heck.

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

I have a Tumblr! My URL is http://memoriesofaforgottenplace.tumblr.com/

I also have a Deviantart under Jillipenny, but most of my work is posted on my Tumblr while only some of it is on Deviantart.

rose

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

Interview: Maranda Cromwell

Today we’re joined by Maranda Cromwell.  Maranda is an incredibly talented and versatile artist who draws and writes.  When it comes to drawing, she focuses on the darker parts of nature.  For writing, she’s a sci-fi/fantasy writer who is currently working on series set in a post-apocalyptic future.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Bound to Ashes
Bound to Ashes

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art has many facets. On one side, I am a visual artist that focuses mainly on animal subjects and themes like death, decay, and the darker side of nature. Currently I’m very focused on wild canines, dogs, and opossum. On another side, my written works usually focus on science fiction and fantasy. My current book series, the Altered Sequence, focuses on supersoldiers, surviving in a post-apocalyptic world, and learning to find your place in the world.

What inspires you?

My own animals offer a wealth of inspiration—a lot of my pieces are referenced from my dog, Baldr. I’m inspired by the wealth of diversity the natural world provides. I often take trips to the zoo to sketch and paint to get my creative gears turning. Sometimes, when I’m reading a really gripping story, I have to take moments to jot down storytelling techniques the author uses so I can adapt them in my work.

Dichotomy
Dichotomy

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

I’ve been in love with drawing since I was in elementary school. I first developed my skills drawing dragons, Pokemon fanart, and Neopets. When I was little I wanted to be a veterinarian, but as my artistic skills progressed into high school, I found my calling.

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?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice what you want to be good at EVERY SINGLE DAY. It’s okay to produce crap, as long as you’re producing at all.

Opossum Thugs
Opossum Thugs

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a gray-ace. I almost never experience sexual attraction (we’re talking 99% here) though I do enjoy sex. I would just usually go out for ice cream instead. My sex drive usually hovers around the “nonexistent” realm. I appreciate humans aesthetically across every gender.

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

I have kept my sexuality to myself mostly, but those who know me have accepted my identity. My biggest supporter is my fiancé, who helped me identify my sexuality in the first place!

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

That all of us are sex repulsed. People see it as a black and white issue, like people tend to do. Emphasizing that sexuality is more often a spectrum than anything is very important.

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

It’s okay to hold off on identifying yourself right away. Growing up, getting older, experiencing new things and people, all these things can change your opinions and challenge your views of yourself. It’s okay to remain unlabeled as long as you feel comfortable doing what you’re doing! Just do your research and hear from other people in the community and be open-minded.

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

I maintain a website: www.marandart.com. It has my gallery of recent work and opportunities to learn more about my writing.

The Nature of Malice
The Nature of Malice

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

Interview: Amber

Today we’re joined by Amber.  Amber is an incredibly talented photographer, who is also starting to dabble in drawing and painting.  She wrote me an incredibly thoughtful email and as I started looking at the links she sent me, I was amazed at her ability to capture the beauty of the natural world.  Her work is simply gorgeous and definitely worth checking out.  Amber has a lot of passion for photography, as you’ll soon see.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Discovery Cranes
Discovery Cranes

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Most of my artwork is photography, but I’ve recently started doing more drawing and painting. A lot of my work is about nature or architecture. They’re not exactly two subjects that overlap smoothly, but I get a lot of enjoyment and satisfaction from exploring both of them.

What inspires you?

For photography I generally get inspired by looking at other photographers photos, and my own. I always know that there’s more out there for me to capture with my camera, and I don’t have to travel across the world to find new subjects and places to photograph. I also like listening to music while working, which can help me when I get stuck on projects.

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

I’ve always been doing art, ever since I was a tiny kid. While I was High School I did get very interested in Biology and I almost went down the path of Biochemistry, but after many long talks with my mum I went to Art School. Looking back, it was definitely the best decision for me (and I would have been hopeless at Biochemistry because I am terrible at studying!)

Flower 2
Flower 2

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 really have a signature, but generally my architecture photographs they are black and white, and my nature photos are in colour.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’m sure most everything has been said at least once already, so for me what helped the most with making the transition from amateur-ish High School to more serious Art School was viewing my artwork and art practice less as my talented hobby and more like my professional job. It might seem like an obvious thing to say but when I started to take my entire art practice more seriously I became much more focused on improving my skills and finding out more about the art world.

Also, I find it difficult to just spontaneously make art, so setting yourself small challenges or mini-projects can help with getting inspired. Sketching from real life is the most useful in just getting images onto paper.

Looking Up
Looking Up

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual (sex-averse), and aromantic.

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

I wouldn’t say I have encountered asexual prejudice, but within Art School there are lots of people who explore sex, sexuality, romance, love, etc. Many people use their own personal experiences as fuel for their ideas and projects. I don’t have anything against people who explore themselves or these ideas through art, but it can feel very isolating when lots of artworks have these themes that I don’t relate to at all, while everyone else is able to connect to them on some personal level.

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

I haven’t had to deal with anything face to face, but I have heard the general phrases like, “Who doesn’t have sex?” or “We love because we are human” or “You just need to find someone to spend your life with”. I personally hear more heteronormative things about romance and love than about sexuality.

McManus Gallery
McManus Gallery

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

You are as valid as any other person out there. When you first realise that you’re not quite the same as the majority of people around it can definitely be scary, but we are not made up of just our sexuality. There are hundreds of unique things about you, and your sexuality is an important part of who you are, but its not the only thing that you are. If you are struggling with your asexuality, I hope that you can eventually feel a deep sense of contentment and pride with who you are.

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

WordPress blog: https://amberedmondart.wordpress.com/
Professinal Tumblr: http://amberedmondart.tumblr.com/
Personal Tumblr: http://aceingaround.tumblr.com/ (I mainly reblog artwork and photography)

Uni Garden 1
Uni Garden 1

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