Interview: Connor

Today we’re joined by Connor. Connor is a wonderful artist I met at ACE Comic Con Chicago. He’s a visual artist who specializes in character design, both original characters and fanart. He works in mostly traditional mediums. It’s clear he’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art consists of characters both original and already existent ones. I enjoy creating things from video game or fandom characters, to more animated self-portraits and original characters with unique traits. I’m fairly skilled in creating sad pieces, though I also like making happier ones with two or three characters, too. I’ve stuck almost strictly to traditional art, but I have done a few digital on a preloaded desktop application. Traditional is more preferable, though.

What inspires you?

Things that inspire me may vary, but sometimes my inspiration comes from boredom, emotions I’m feeling at the moment, or even from random thoughts. I can sketch blankly, but the higher quality art comes from the things I think more thoroughly of. If I’m extremely dedicated to one of the pieces, I will take hours to add detail and make sure it looks decent at the very least. Sometimes others inspire me as well! Something they say that’s funny or neat could give me a click to create something.

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

I believe I’ve always wanted to be in some sort of art field, though I guess it’d be more of a hobby than a job. I’m not sure about selling commissions just yet. I’ve done art since quite a young age, so that may tie into the progress I’ve had with tuning and bettering myself with what I draw.

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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 used to create my signature with large first letters for my first and last name, but lately it’s either been a mixture of all capitals or simply small cursive. I’ve been told that my cursive is small enough to resemble chicken scratch, which I do find pretty funny! But, even that’s honed to look better over the years. Once in a while I’ll add tiny hearts or a smile next to my signature, but it varies.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

For advice, I’d like to tell young artists that guidelines are important! No matter what you draw, try to make it mandatory that you plan your piece! It may take some time to try and get used to it, but it will help with proportions and spacing. It’ll look pretty neat in the end, I’m sure of it! Be sure to make guidelines softly on pages (or in a light colour if using digital) so as not to see them as much whenever you go over it with a better outline.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

As of now, I’m currently a questioning, panromantic, transgender male!

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

Sadly enough, I have. I try to tune it out unless directed towards me. Then, sometimes I’ll ask them about why they’ve said what they did to try and understand them. If they become ignorant, I try to leave it at that.

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

The most common things I’ve heard would tie into the biology topic with the whole “you cannot multiply with yourself” or “you have to like one or the other, that’s how it is.”

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

I would try to get them comfortable with themselves and mention that I’m willing to support them. I’d try to also remember to let them know that their orientation is okay to be and that they’re fine the way they are.

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

In regards to art, I post mainly on Instagram on my art/cosplay account (timaeusterror0), though I haven’t managed to keep a regular posting schedule. I have some older works on my Tumblr (frickonfanta), too!

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

Interview: Raven Jay

Today we’re joined by Raven Jay. Raven Jay is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying at uni. They mostly draw fanart and original characters. They currently have a fascinating webcomic entitled Anthrel, which is summarized as follows: “A comic series following the lives of the Anthreligions; immortal personifications of the world’s religions, sects, and other spiritualities.” (It updates on Fridays). It’s clear Raven is a very creative and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Cover

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a visual artist and illustrator, and most of my work is cartoonish. I draw a lot of both fanart and my own original characters and ideas. I have a few webcomic ideas in the works, and my current one is named Anthrel!

What inspires you?

My current favourite shows to draw from are Voltron: Legendary Defender and Boueibu, but most of my inspiration comes from religion, magic, and art history!

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist since primary school! I remember spending most of my time ignoring chances to socialize so I could sit and draw. My drive to draw – especially comics and illustration – became a lot bigger in high school because of friends I made and my supportive art teacher.

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?

A lot of my original work centres around religion and mythology and the beauty I see in it, and my webcomic is about personified religions, so I guess that’s a recurring theme I have?

My physical artist signature comes from a messy stylisation of my deadname; I just kept it because I’ve been using it for so long and it doesn’t really look like a word anymore. That being said, I forget to sign half of my art anyway.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It might sound cliché but don’t give up on art because some people think it won’t amount to anything; instead, keep making art because they think that. My father used to tell me I’d never make a living out of art, and his girlfriend’s friend once laughed at me for wanting to be an artist as a job. But now I’m at uni studying a creative industries degree and building art into a career, so the joke’s on them!

Also, don’t forget how important art theory is. Not only does art history tell you where you came from, it can inspire you too.

roman standoff
Roman Standoff

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m just asexual. I’m also sex-repulsed but don’t mind talking about/drawing sexual themes within certain boundaries.

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

Though I’ve experienced ignorance from peers, I haven’t experienced much prejudice, as most of my network is my university cohort and close friends. Normally I deal with ignorance by just politely explaining what asexuality is! Most people understand after that.

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

The most common misconception that I’ve encountered, I think, is that all asexuals are by default sex-repulsed. Though I am, I know not every ace is, and we all have different comfort boundaries for any sort of physical affection.

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

Always remember you’re valid in your asexuality. Maybe you’re questioning where you sit on that spectrum, and that’s okay, and maybe you’ll wake up tomorrow and realise you don’t identify as ace at all! We learn more about ourselves and about sexuality all the time; what matters is knowing that identifying as ace or aspec right now is a valid thing to do, and you don’t need to prove yourself to everyone.

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

You can find my art at draweththeraven on both Tumblr and Instagram! I also have a website, draweththeraven.com, which I try to update regularly (aka, I never update it). My webcomic Anthrel is at https://tapas.io/series/Anthreligion.

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

Interview: Sara

Today we’re joined by Sara. Sara is a phenomenal visual artist who I met at this year’s Indy PopCon. I was so excited when I realized she was ace and made sure to hand her a business card for the blogs, because good heavens she had such beautiful art. She draws mostly fantasy and original work, favoring a stylized look rather than realism. The result is her work has a wonderful dream-like feel with vibrant colors and soft lines. It’s clear she’s an incredibly talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Little witch_new
Little Witch

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw a lot of fantasy pieces, whether it’s sketching or digital paintings. I like painting/sketching in a stylized style instead of realistic one. I mostly paint my own characters but I love to do fanart of characters in my own style just to see what they’ll look like.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is music. I love listening to classical or instrumental music when I draw/paint. Music helps art flow and it opens up new ideas for me. I hear a melody playing and think I can turn that into something. I paint a lot of fantasy pieces and nature also helps add to my inspiration especially flowers.

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

When I was little I wanted to go into animation. Traditionally animated Disney movies were some of my favorite things to watch as a child and I always wanted to know how they made everything move. Now that I’ve gone to school for animation I’ve gravitated more towards concept art and illustrations.

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?

As of right now, no I don’t have a special signature. But maybe some day I will.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know this has been said and done many times but Practice, practice, practice. Having raw talent is the start of being a good artist but honing that skill and perfecting it will make you an even better one. That there are gonna be days where you second guess your art, style or your skill but always remember there are ups and downs in all aspects of life even art. Many talented artist out there still have those ups and downs. So don’t quit and don’t lose hope in your abilities.

Veil of Stars_new
Veil of Stars

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual/aromantic.

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

Towards me, personally, no I haven’t. But one of the things that does irk me is that there is barely any representation in media. Sure sometimes they have hints that a character is Ace but then they sweep it under the rug as if it wasn’t an important part of a character or that Asexuality is a disease that needs to be cured (I’m talking about the House episode that centered around that).

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

“How do you know if you’re Asexual if you haven’t had sex yet?” or “You haven’t met the right person yet.” These questions drive me up a wall and make me feel uncomfortable since I don’t necessarily wanna be in a romantic/sexual relationship with people. So when these questions are directed at me I feel a bright glaring spotlight put on me and it absolutely embarrasses me.

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

Take your time with your orientation it’s not a race to figure everything out in one night. It took me maybe 3 years to final except what my orientation was. Talk it out with people you trust and do research (it’s what I did). You are not broken because you don’t want to have sex or be in a relationship.

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

I have a two Tumblrs and an Instagram. You can find them both here:

http://the-lady-saron.tumblr.com/
https://sarahartart.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/sara_hart_art/.

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

Interview: Ashley

Today we’re joined by Ashley. Ashley is a wonderful visual artist and writer who enjoys drawing mostly original characters from her books. When she’s not drawing, Ashley loves to write thrillers and fantasy. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist who loves what she does, 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 love to draw and write. I love drawing people, primarily my book characters. I write many different genres, but the biggest ones are fantasy and thriller.

What inspires you?

My passion for writing inspires me the most. I want to make a difference with my work by including many types of characters. My goal is for my readers to be able to find themselves in my work, or see their specific traits represented. This goal is what inspires me to keep writing and to keep putting faces to my characters.

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

When I was younger, being an artist had never occurred to me. Later, however, I began to love to read, and I soon realized how many different types of people can be represented through fiction. As for drawing, my love for animation is what sparked that interest. So, I guess you could say I became interested because of books and cartoons.

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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?

The closest thing to a symbol I can think of would be in my writing: I always try to include a little piece of myself into any one of my characters. It can be anything from a personality trait, a sexuality or gender identity, or even traits I wish I had.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

My advice for aspiring artists is to always keep going. Keep pushing forward and doing what you love. It also takes time to improve, but as long as you keep going, you’ll see yourself getting better and better. Believe in yourself.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m demiromantic asexual, but I might be biromantic as well. Not entirely sure on that front.

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

I haven’t, mainly because I’m not out to anyone besides my close friends and a few family members.

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

That just because we experience no sexual attraction, it means we are never willing to do anything sexual.

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

It may take time to get used to your identity, and that’s totally okay. Also, never let anyone tell you your sexuality isn’t real; you are valid.

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

I have a Wattpad where I post my books, however I’m mostly drafting right now. My username is PandoraOfficial.

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

Interview: Iranka

Today we’re joined by Iranka. Iranka is a phenomenal artist who does a bit of everything. While art is mainly a hobby, Iranka has a variety of talents that she enjoys using for her creative pursuits. She does a lot of visual art, mostly drawing and painting. She depicts a variety of subjects, both fanworks and original ones. When she’s not doing visual art, Iranka enjoys playing music or writing. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate 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 do a little of a lot of things. Mainly, I paint and draw fanart, original characters, or real life people or things such as flowers and scenery. I’m also a pianist and flautist, and I also like to write – particularly short stories or just creating characters/worlds.

What inspires you?

It could be anything really, often a film I have seen, other artists, or nature.

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

I can’t remember how I got interested in drawing actually, I just know I’ve been drawing for fun since I can remember. As for music, I got jealous when my sister was learning piano so I wanted to learn too. I haven’t always wanted to be an artist, and I still am not quite sure what I want to do, but I really enjoy doing it. I also really love the idea that something I create could touch someone or make something happy, so that’s what I aspire to do. I think that realisation hit me while watching some Studio Ghibli movies, because they’re so beautiful and explore such amazing and important themes. So yeah, although art has mostly just been a hobby to me, if I could do anything it would be that.

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, I don’t have one.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep trying! The more you do it, the better you will get, so don’t give up! It’s okay if you get a block sometimes and can’t seem to create anything; it will pass. Some of your art will be bad too, and that’s okay too, because no one has to see the bad stuff, you just learn and improve from it. No one is perfect on their first try.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am definitely asexual but I’m still not 100% certain. At the moment I’d say I am pan/demi romantic asexual.

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

Personally I haven’t experienced any prejudice. I’ve had the odd few people not believe me, or tell me I “just haven’t found the right guy yet”. One person said they thought I can’t be asexual because I “dress like a girl.” Yet to understand how that relates to my sexuality but yeah

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

That we are all prudes, all hate sex, that we just haven’t found “the one”, or that asexuality means you just don’t want sex. Oh, and that asexuals are just “special snowflakes on Tumblr” or something.

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

It’s okay. There are lots of people either online or in real life who could help you figure out your orientation or come to terms with it. I found out I was asexual only after researching stuff online and finding other asexual people’s stories that I could relate to a lot. Forums like AVEN can be helpful. Also, know that you don’t HAVE to come out if you think doing so would hurt you, like if you know your parents are against the LGBT+ community for example.

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

I am at iranka on Tumblr, and at iranka.art on Instagram 🙂

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

Interview: Cyr Pavleszek

Today we’re joined by Cyr Pavleszek. Cyr is a wonderful visual artist who also does fanart. While he mostly draws his original characters, Cyr also draws some fanart for various fandoms. He uses drawing as an outlet and his work is brimming with bright colors and detailed expressions. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

cochlear new
Cochlear

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is a mix of original characters and fandom drawings. I tend to draw whatever comes to mind

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from my art teachers and media I watch, such as anime, medical dramas, cartoons, and comics

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

My art started as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and mental illness, but I haven’t always wanted to be a professional artist. It came about recently when I took art classes and my teacher said I had a good chance of making a living professionally as an artist

Commission for WhatTheDog Smaller outline

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 think I have a unique signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep drawing, keep on doing it. Don’t think about it either! Overthinking your art could lead to you becoming self-conscious about your work and giving up. Don’t give up either!

Henry clothed ref
Henry Clothed

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I would say asexual, somewhere between asexual and demi-sexual. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

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

I don’t openly share my sexuality because of prejudice, when I do it’s to shut it down. I learned to handle ignorance by reminding myself that the person is usually uneducated. If they’re not willing to learn, I just ignore and move on.

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

That we’re all prudes and can’t stand nudity of any kind. As an artist I look at naked bodies to better understand anatomy, I wouldn’t be able to learn without it!

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Vent Art

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

I know it’s hard, but once you finally accept and understand that you’re on the ace spectrum, and fully accept it as a part of you, it’s rewarding, fulfilling, gratifying. Please keep true to yourself and I promise it will all be worth it in the end.

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

Right now you can find me on a Tumblr-alternative called Writscrib under the username Cryptid, and I have my own website with my portfolio: http://www.cryptidartworks.com/.

Tiefling!
Tiefling!

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

Interview: Elisheva

Today we’re joined by Elisheva. Elisheva is a phenomenal visual artist with a unique style. She does a lot of digital art as well as pencil sketches. Elisheva likes to incorporate Hebrew and Yiddish in her work. Her art captures the viewer’s attention with bright color and a masterful use of line. It’s clear that Elisheva is a remarkably talented artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Lyalke1
Lyalke

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly do pencil sketches and digital art. I’m currently working on creating original characters to work with, but I occasionally also draw fanart or whatever else comes to mind.

What inspires you?

A lot of things. Books, movies -especially horror movies- bugs and plants, and music is a big one. Alternative fashion and art. I also get inspiration from Jewish culture/beliefs as well, and I like using Hebrew and Yiddish in my art.

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

I come from a family of artists, so I grew up around it. It’s something I’ve been doing for as long as I can remember.

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 really have anything like that. I like drawing dolls, but that’s kind of obvious, haha.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice. Talent is a learned skill. So practice as much as you can, try out different techniques, study works you like, and try out different styles for yourself.

Moth01
Moth

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual-biromantic.

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

I’m not out irl, so no, and I’ve never had anyone send anything to me online yet. I have seen some mean people on Tumblr, but it’s easy enough to block them.

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

That ace people don’t have or want sex. And conflating asexuality with aromanticism. Really, asexual people can do and desire whatever they want.

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

Your feelings are real, and they matter, and you’re not broken for having them. Find people that accept you. People who don’t, don’t really respect you or your experiences. So it’s best to stay away from them if you can.

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

On my art blog, thegirlthatdoesntexist.tumblr.com.

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