Interview: Lex

Today we’re joined by Lex. Lex is a wonderful writer who mostly writes fanfiction although they are getting back into writing original fiction as well. When they’re not writing, they love to sing and also write songs. They’re incredibly passionate about their creative endeavors, 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 write fanfiction and am trying to get back into general fiction writing; I have a short story I’ve been wanting to expand for a while now. I also write songs and sing.

What inspires you?

A lot. With music, I’m inspired by lyrics, God, other artists, and strong emotions. Emotions are probably my biggest inspiration since I write to either express myself or the emotions of someone else. With writing other stuff, I’m inspired by life in general and situations I and friends/family have been through. I pay attention to either unique phrases people say or anecdotes about their lives (and even mine) and wind up putting those in the stories I write.

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

I’ve always loved music. When I was younger, I would loudly sing the Gospel songs my mom played in the car (or attempt to; I didn’t understand all the words, which my mom found hilarious); I’d even dream of singing in front of huge crowds. I’m not sure when I started to love writing, though. I remember writing random poems during class in middle school and getting excited whenever there was a creative writing assignment. I guess I have always wanted to be an artist (although I’ve mentally changed career paths many times), but I didn’t really know for sure until college. My passion for music really surged when I joined choir my senior year of high school, and songwriting kinda came along with that. My passion for fiction writing got stronger in college, too.

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?

Not really. I guess the unique features of my art would just be how I tell the stories I write/how I word the songs I sing.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop or start now. It doesn’t matter if other people have years of experience in your field; there’s only one you. You have a unique story to tell/work to create, and no one else can do it the way you can. If you have a passion for art that just won’t go away, don’t ignore it. Pursue it. We need more beauty in this world, and you can definitely add to it.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a heteroromantic asexual.

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

Personally yes, but not really in my field. There’s definitely a lack of positive ace representation in fiction, though, which is probably due to ignorance. As far as dealing with that, I spread awareness on my blogs (mainly my ace-centered one). I haven’t written really written anything with ace characters yet, but I’ll be sure to present them positively when I do.

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

I think generally people just expect everyone to either have or want sex at some point in their life. Some of the people I’ve told were shocked and thought that something was wrong in a way because I don’t want sex. It’s like you’re abnormal for not wanting something supposedly everyone wants.

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

Remind yourself that your asexuality is valid, wherever you fall on the spectrum. It’s okay not to want sex. It’s okay if you become sexually attracted to someone later in life. It’s okay for your orientation to fluctuate at times. You don’t have to figure your sexuality out right now. You’re enough. Learn to love and accept yourself for who you are. You matter, and being ace is okay. You’re not broken, and nothing’s wrong with you. You’re just ace, and being ace is pretty great.

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

You can find me on Tumblr at musewriter777 (personal blog) and at theacestofspaces (Christian ace blog I run). My fanfics can be found on fanfiction.net and AO3, both at Musewriter777 (my better fics are on AO3). I haven’t published my songs yet, but following either of my Tumblrs is a pretty safe bet for any updates on that. I also have a personal website that showcases some of the other works I’ve done; you can check it out at lexicolelewis.wixsite.com/muse-writer.

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

Interview: Ursari

Today we’re joined by Ursari. Ursari is a phenomenal artist from Slovakia who does both visual art and writing. For visual art, she loves to draw and frequently draws original characters, animals, and concept art. She’s also interested in photography. Ursari enjoys writing fantasy and writes both original stories and fanfiction. She is an incredibly enthusiastic and dedicated 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 focus mostly on visual art – which is a fancy way of saying I like to doodle. But I also (would) like to write and take photos. As for those doodles, I like to portray my, and others’ characters – also animals! – And I also do illustrations and concept art of sorts. I prefer a simple style and find backgrounds too challenging to try to get done despite me being lazy – which might or might not be the real reason why I don’t. And as for writing, both original and fanfiction focuses on fantasy, that is my genre of choice. And some sci-fi on the side.

What inspires you?

Other people’s art – I use stories and pictures to fuel my own muse, and music is also a huge help, it lets me imagine mostly action scenes. Feedback also provides a drive. Any artist would be happy to receive more than just a heart on their work, I think – but even that is great!

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

My family says my grandfather’s genes from my mother’s side and my father’s are responsible for my creative indulgences, but my interest started when I saw my mother drawing a baby for me. That was, I think, when I realized you can put whatever you want on paper. I was so happy when I managed to draw the baby, Kubo, myself, but also disappointed, because that meant I could not ask my mother to do it anymore 🙂

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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 don’t. And as for my style, well, that still needs polishing. In drawings, you might notice I am trying for realism and use softer tones, and in writings I have a lot of dialogue and no descriptions. I think. It is hard to judge my own work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It is OK to never be satisfied with your work – or love it and then not get any likes or notes or positive reviews – it is ok if they say you are doing it wrong, because you are not. Embrace your passion, hear people out, but ultimately, your art is yours. You share the art with people, you are not creating it for them. Let your art show what you feel very passionately about, what you love and what you hate – and also what you just don’t know how to wrap your head around. Let it bring joy, hope and inspiration to you and the others. I mean, these are easy to say… but worth it. Also chill. I know you are pouring a lot of yourself into your work and words can hurt, but they mean nothing. Your art is yours, but the opinions of others are not worth being upset about.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual in general – and demisexual specifically. I am not sex repulsed, but I need to feel the emotional or romantic connection before sexual attraction. I am also biromantic and I just love how the flag colors go together 🙂

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

I have not, actually. Yet. I do think I have an issue with writing allosexual characters with average or higher sex drive, though, so it might turn out to be an issue. Or I’ll just have to only write aces 🙂

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

That asexuals are either freaks, jokes, or just sick. I mean, sure, have your hormones checked just to be sure (it’s true that lower sex drive with a cause is different than asexuality, but it can be a symptom and I think that fact should not be erased, as it might be difficult to tell) – but that is nobody’s business but yours. As for the freaks or jokes mentality, it just shows how people refuse to broaden their horizons and still think in the terms of – either you are like me and with me, or you are against me and a threat. That is why good representation is so important for the community. It’s showing people that different people exist, be it in their gender or orientation or sexuality preferences and experiences.

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

Be patient with yourself and with others. Your experience might be different from the experiences of people who you were raised by and around and you might have little to no point of reference, but it’s OK. You can find information and talk to others and not label yourself – or do – and you can wonder. You owe nobody, but you can tell others or use your experience as an inspiration for your work. This is you we’re talking about and you are in charge. No pressure.

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

Well, other than Tumblr I am Ursari on DeviantArt and Ursar on Archive of our own. What can I say, I love bears.

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

Interview: Mel

Today we’re joined by Mel. Mel is a fantastic writer who writes a variety of things. She mostly writes fanfiction, but also writes a lot of original fiction. Aside from those, she also dabbles in songwriting and poetry. It’s very obvious that she’s incredibly passionate about the art of writing. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer who mainly writes fanfiction, original fiction, and occasionally songs or poems. Writing is one of my main hobbies, and even though my anxiety can make it harder to start on a piece, it’s something I adore doing. I’m also a singer, but that doesn’t play as big a role in my life as being a writer does.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by a lot of things. Going to see a movie in theaters almost always gets me going with a brand new ideas or a brand new perspective on the old ones. Reading and watching shows in general also tends to gets me writing more fanfiction!

My main genre is fantasy (urban fantasy especially), so a lot of times when I’m reading or watching other fantasy it helps me fine-tune my own world—what I like, what I want to change, etc. For example, right now I’m rereading Harry Potter, and since my fantasy has a similar concept of magical beings living among humans (albeit a very different execution), it’s really useful for figuring out how the world works for my characters.

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

I’ve always been a big journaler, and I was writing fanfiction before I knew what it even was! The first “real” story I can remember writing was basically a Peter Pan ripoff that’s pretty laughable now, but it was an honest attempt back then. Over the years I’ve had various projects, ideas and characters running through my head. Some of them work, some of them don’t, and all of them are hard to get on paper/document!

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?

Many of my stories tend to take place in one of the two cities I made up, Lilac and Maverick (both of which are somewhere in or near New England, where I grew up). I invented them partly to give myself total freedom over what’s in them, and partly so I don’t have to do any research on location! Lilac is fairly large and somewhat unwelcoming, particularly to anyone involved in magic, while Maverick is smaller, kinder, and easier to blend into, due in part to the many magic-users and non-humans living in it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t worry too much about getting it right the first time. Having a rough draft in front of you, even if it’s so bad it makes you cringe, is better than having it stuck in your head, especially if you want to do something with it. Drafts can always be edited, sliced, diced, and polished til they shine like you want them to. Also, remember that if you never get around to actually using some of your ideas, that’s okay. The important thing is that they making you happy. And if you’re pretty sure you’ll never have any ideas as good as that one, you can A) remember that you’ll have many, many other ideas that are probably just as good as that one, and B), feel very smug because you know something awesome that nobody else will (probably) ever know.

Now if only I could just take my own advice…

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

As ace as can be, and sex-averse. Romantically I’m arospec (really aroflux but not confident enough to use that term whenever I’m feeling more confused than usual), heteroalterous and bisensual. (I only ever want to be in a long-term, semi-romantic relationship with a guy, and I think girls and guys are really, really pretty and I just want to cuddle them a lot)

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

Not that I can think of.

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

Well, going by my real life, that it doesn’t exist. So much so that no one even knows or uses the word.

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

It’s okay to be different. You’re not broken, and you’re not alone. Figure out what labels fit you best if that’s what you want to do; move on if it’s not. Either way, celebrate who you are, right now, regardless of how you may change in the coming weeks, months, and years. You’re amazing just the way you are. 🙂

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

My main Tumblr is alterouspotato if you have any questions. I also just started a sideblog called thewritermelodyjaikes, where I’ll be dumping whatever writing I actually manage to get done. I’m also on Fanfiction.net as MelodyJaikes, and hopefully I’ll be able to get an AO3 someday soon.

Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for the interview!

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