Interview: Brittany L.

Today we’re joined by Brittany L. Brittany is a wonderful visual artist I met at Indy PopCon. She does a lot of traditional visual art, specializing in acrylics and watercolors. Brittany also does a little digital art too. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

_Father Sky
Father Sky

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I think my favorite medium is paint. I’ve used acrylics and watercolors, but I’d like to learn how to use other types of paint like oils. In high school I started learning how to do digital art using the Adobe Cloud and it is a blast, so I want to get better at that too. Basically, I’m interested in a whole lot of things and would like to just keep trying new things and getting better at what I love to do.

What inspires you?

I seem to be inspired by random things. I’ll just be going about my day and then think of something. It can be a bit stressful because I can randomly forget things just as easily, so I have to make sure that I write things down as I think of them.

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

Art has always been incredibly important to me for as long as I can remember. I always wanted to make things and what others might’ve called junk I would find some sort of craft to give it a purpose. Over the years I have gotten involved in different kinds of art; as a kid it was visual art, but in middle school I got involved with theatre and writing then in high school I joined show choir and developed an interest in graphic design. That’s how I ended up where I am now.

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 usually sign my work as “Blu” because it takes the first letter of my first name and the first two letters of my last name. And blue is one of my favorite colors!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s cliché, but my advice is to keep practicing if art is something you really love. But practicing does not just mean doing. Of course, you will have to actually make some art. However, if you are becoming too frustrated with yourself and over criticizing your work then you can take a break from doing and absorb art. Watch videos of art tutorials. Read books about art. Find artists with styles you like to gain insight for what you want to do with your own. And just remember while you are growing that it is okay for your work to not turn out exactly as you expected. That’s completely normal.

_Oceans of Neptune
Oceans of Neptune

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Finding how I wanted to identify myself was really difficult for a long time until a really close friend of mine just casually told me that if I wanted to, I could use asexual and heterosexual to identify myself simultaneously. I had thought of it before that conversation, but I felt like I couldn’t do that because I figured most aces would just call themselves heteroromantic asexual or a gray ace. For some reason those terms just didn’t work for me personally.

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

I started wondering whether I was asexual during my freshman year in high school. This was also when I developed my first crush. Both of us grew up in religious families, but his environment had different ideals than my own. When I brought up my questions to him he said he would have to break up with me if that was the case because it went against what he believed in. I was so head over heels for him at this point that I forced myself to say that I wasn’t asexual at all so that he would stay with me. Unfortunately, this wasn’t the only change I made for him. It was all really damaging to me as a person. We ended up breaking up a couple months later anyway and I was devastated for a long time. But thankfully we have both grown so much from this experience. He apologized for the way things were and how things ended, and we are actually friends now. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that experience. Even though it was hard for a while, I’m grateful for what came out of it.

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

That aces just haven’t met the right person. I feel like that idea comes from a very basic idea of asexuality. Not all aces are the same; it’s different for everyone! Some like to have sex and others don’t. Some experience romantic attraction and others don’t. So, while some aces may meet someone that they’ll date, have sex with, marry, etc., others won’t because that just isn’t for them.

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

Be brave! Even though we make up a small percentage of the population, out of 7 billion people that’s a lot of individuals. None of us are actually alone. I went to my first pride festival recently and I meet other asexuals, which was something that had never happened to me before. Since then I have continued to find resources and spaces online for asexual individuals (such as this blog!) or to spread awareness about asexuality. I’m even in a subreddit called r/asexuality, and people post questions in there all the time to get help trying to become comfortable with their orientation. Find ways to talk to other people in your situation. If you are religious and are struggling with that aspect of it, try to find someone you trust who is safe to talk to about your journey. I talked to so many other friends who are also religious after my first boyfriend told me it was wrong, and they helped to reassure me that it is okay. You do not have to suffer in silence. I am open to having a conversation too if it will help a fellow ace in need; my Instagram is at brii.the.blu.bird. And please, please remember to be kind to yourself while you are on this journey.

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

The public Instagram account that I mentioned before (at brii.the.blu.bird) is a separate account I made in hopes of starting to share my work more. There isn’t much there right now, but hopefully I will be able to start uploading more work soon. I also have some writing on Wattpad under the username at brii_the_blu_bird.

_Rings of Saturn
Rings of Saturn

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

Interview: Jaem

Today we’re joined by Jaem. Jaem is a phenomenal visual artist who works in traditional mediums. She does a lot of painting and a little crocheting. Their paintings are large vibrant pieces, which often fit together. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist who loves to create. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. P80911-110958

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I paint on paper or canvas using mainly acrylic paint in select shades for each piece

What inspires you?

Horror movies are great inspiration, and using subtle ways of that, such as cables, skeletons, syringes, or just background images and motifs is very interesting

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

I took art as a subject in high school, general at first then moved on to painting, and just enjoyed it and loved it so much I continue to do it

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 use arrows and mountains a lot, whether in the background or as a focal point, I also use three (give or take one or two) shades in a series of work so they all have a good link and you can see how the story develops

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just continue with it, spend as much time as you can working at it, and if you don’t want to spend time on it find a medium that you do want to spend time on.

2. P80911-110945

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Currently as Demi, but I have previously identified as fully asexual

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

I am not out as such to anybody in my field, but I have been told/overheard people talking about sexuality and how “having sex/sexual thoughts is intrinsic to being an artist” I usually say something about how ignorant the person who said that must be or just ignore it

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

That people who identify as asexual are prudes/don’t like to talk or mention anything vaguely sexual – there are probably people who this applies too, but there are many others that it doesn’t apply too

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

Read up on it, do some research, and see how you are going to let it affect or change your life, you don’t have to let it become a major part of you and effect your everyday life, but if you ignore it or try to shove it away, it will negatively affect your self-perception and how you feel about life

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

I am not currently displaying or selling any of my work, but in future I am hoping to sell on etsy or a similar website, and maybe if I can, have my art displayed in a gallery.

3. P80911-111642

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

Interview: Mika Babineau

Today we’re joined by Mika Babineau. Mika is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in painting, both traditional with acrylic paints and digital. She is currently finishing up a series of portraits about the ace experience (having completed 6 out of 8 large paintings). Mika has also painted landscapes and her digital paintings mostly consist of demon girls and fanart. Her work is inspired by impressionism with her own flair. She’s obviously a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. draculaura
Draculaura

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Yo yo my name is Mika and I’m a Sheridan college graduate living in Toronto, Canada. I do all sorts of things but my main focus is acrylic painting and digital art! I do portraits and landscapes with my paintings and fanart and demon girls with my digital art so you’ll get quite the mix of everything coming from me haha but that’s the way I like it. My paintings focus on colour energy and an impressionistic style while my digital art is more simple with pastel colours. The art I really want to talk to about today though is my “Ace and in your Face” series of self-portraits. Upon realizing that I was asexual during my college years I felt the need to educate and shed some light on the topic, a topic seldom, if ever, discussed. My “Ace and in Your Face” series does just that. By painting portraits of myself I explore various topic and themes pertaining to asexuality and answer commonly asked questions. Both my frustration at the lack of understanding as well as the pride I feel towards my asexuality are displayed in this series covering a wide range of emotions

2. sakura
Sakura

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from music, media and the people around me. Music brings out great creative energy in me that keeps me motivated or sets the tone of how I want the piece of art to go. Consuming all sorts of media helps inform me of new ideas and ways to create art. I fully believe that one of the most important parts of creating is being exposed to other people’s creations. Finally I would not be able to do what I do without my amazing and inspiring friends who are always working so hard and creating wonderful things. They are truly an incredible group of people.

3. hiragana yo
Hiragana Yo

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

I did always want to be an artist but for a long time I thought animation was going to be the direction I went in. I really disliked painting in high school believe it or not. Then in college I was exposed to so many different kinds of art and teachers who saw potential in my paintings. I switched gears and now I’ve had art in all sorts of galleries and art fairs. It goes to show you never know where life will take you.

4. Aces can still love
Aces Can Still Love

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?

Hmmm not really a symbol per say but I would say my most defining feature is my colours. It is the first thing people notice and I take great care is making that jumble of colour turn into something recognizable haha.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

A lot of people aren’t going to believe in you and a lot of people are going to look down on the path you’ve chosen for yourself as if art is some lessen purpose in life. You can’t let them discourage you. Art is filled with no’s and rejections and hard times but if you want to make it you need to be the one who keeps going. Believe in yourself, believe in your art and never give up. You’ll find your audience.

5. Don't assume I'm straight
Don’t Assume I’m Straight

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I prefer to just call myself asexual plain and simple.

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

Not so much in the art field really. Paintings are always about so many things so asexuality isn’t really a wild out there concept for them I think. A new concept for them yes but not one they would have the audacity to be prejudice about. I provide long explanations with each painting so people are willing to learn. The ignorance I see is more from people on the internet, I know, shocking. All you can do is remember that they are only a small minority of voices and keep doin’ your thing.

6. Hooray! Representation!
Hooray! Representation!

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

I have a boyfriend and people can’t seem to wrap their heads around how that works. It is like the most foreign concept to them. Love??? Without sexual attraction??? What?? It takes a while to explain to them how this is possible but even then I think some people still don’t fully understand.

7. Invisible
Invisible

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

It took me a long time to come to terms with who I am. Self-discovery is a process and you have to be willing to accept who you are. There are tons of people out there who will accept you for who you are and I know it feels like you are alone sometimes but you are never alone. Just know this: you are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you, you are you and that is beautiful. Just get out there, be proud and live your best life.

8. Not gay enoughnot straight enough
Not Gay Enough, Not Straight Enough

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

I have a website: http://www.mikababineauart.com/

As well as a variety of social media:

https://twitter.com/MikachuNinjamon
https://www.instagram.com/mikachu_ninjamon/
https://mikachu-ninjamon.tumblr.com/

9. haha so you're like a plant small
Haha So You’re like a Plant

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

Interview: Ally Mueller

Today we’re joined by Ally Mueller. Ally is a phenomenal painter who specializes in portraits. She paints humans, fairies, and occasionally animals. Her work is so beautiful, brimming with color and detail, creating exquisite images that draw the viewer in. It’s clear she’s a talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

DSC00373

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do watercolor and acrylic of people, fairies, and the rare animal.

What inspires you?

It’s a different thing every time I pick up a brush. Sometimes its just a need to create something with no idea what! I’ll just re-do something I’ve done already. Or I can see someone somewhere and want to paint. Or good afternoon sun. or just a great color somewhere can get me started. looking at other people’s art helps too.

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

I always wanted to be an artist! I drew all the time when I was little and started painting when I was 10 but got really into it when I was in middle school and had an amazing watercolor teacher.

DSC00412

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

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Even if its crap, don’t stop!!! If you keep going you’ll get better at it.

DSC00382

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Grey-demi aegosexual (cause that’s not super confusing and weirdly specific)

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

I haven’t really told many people, the few people I have told literally already knew.

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

That I/we don’t like orgasms. I’m personally not a fan of sex, but (to get really TMI) solo orgasms are fun as hell. Also, tons of aces out there like sex!!! The other big one is that I/we don’t think people are cute! I may not wanna do the do with them, but I like looking at them!!

DSC00413

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

I, personally, struggled with my orientation for years! I was 27 before I had any inkling of that I wasn’t straight. It’s a really weird orientation because its defined by not experiencing something I don’t really experience. So I guess I would say that’s its OK to change the words you use to define yourself, its OK if how you feel changes, there’s no “right” way to be or feel ace, its OK. The most important thing is that you are comfortable with who you are.

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

I’m on Fine Arts America as Ally Mueller in Parker, CO and plan on doing some local art fairs this summer.

Scan_0016

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

Interview: Julia

Today we’re joined by Julia. Julia is an incredibly talented painter who is currently studying A level art. She mostly works with oil paints and acrylic paints, which she loves. Julia is an incredibly passionate artist who has a great amount of enthusiasm, which clearly shows in her beautiful work. This is an artist who obviously has a very bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1-final-piece-yr10-oil
Final Piece, year 10

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am currently studying A Level Art and it’s my favourite thing. I prefer to use paints with oil paint being my favourite closely followed by acrylic. At the moment our project is about nature and I have chosen leaves as my focus point, however the attached pictures are works from my GCSE where the projects were Land, Sea, Sky; The Senses; and Past, Present and Future.

What inspires you?

I suppose at the moment I draw most of my inspiration from other artists as that is required for the A Level course, however lots of the time I just get inspired by objects and things around me. I like to work from real life so I mainly choose my focus in a project to be something I can easily work from without the use of pictures from the internet etc.

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

I have definitely not always liked art, I remember being absolutely terrible at it probably until year 9 (age 13/14) until I had a major turning point which I don’t know where it came from. The interest definitely came when I learnt the joy of acrylic paint, I REALLY love to paint, and acrylic was the first proper paint I learnt to use, before then I thought paint was only those awful ready mixed watery cheap paints which are impossible to use well.

2-hands-oil-1
Hands Oil 1

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 have a signature but I think my style is quite recognizable- I use a lot of different colours and quite clear brushstrokes, apparently my drawing style is quite distinctive too.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep at it, because you’ll definitely improve. If you love it, pursue it. Try to work as much from observation as possible, even if it’s hard at first you will get better.

3-hands-oil-2
Hands Oil 2

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Panromantic asexual, kinda sex repulsed

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

No I haven’t really, but I think that’s due to the fact that I’m only out to my friends who are lovely. One of my friends didn’t know what asexuality was so I explained and she was very understanding, I don’t know if that’s particularly ignorance from her, because tbh I think most people don’t know or have the wrong idea of what asexuality is.

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

That we don’t want any kind of romantic relationship, that none of us have had/will ever have sex. Yeah, but with a little bit of explanation its fine (as far as my experience goes).

4-final-piece-yr11-oil
Final Piece, year 11

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

You don’t have to label it right away if you don’t want to. Read around asexuality more if you want. If you feel alone or don’t know any other aces try and join a group if possible or otherwise just follow ace blogs on Tumblr. Doing that helped me a lot and doesn’t may asexuality seem so weird or unheard of anymore. I saw a video on YouTube recently on asexuality which I thought was pretty good called ‘Taking the Cake’ so watch that if you want. Remember that asexuality is so broad so if you see something which doesn’t apply to you don’t worry, you can still identify as ace.

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

Well I have a Tumblr: moundodirt.tumblr.com but tbh that’s mainly cats and memes rather than art, but who knows maybe one day I will include art on it too.

5-exam-piece-toys-oil-and-oil-pastel
Toys, oil and oil pastel

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

Interview: Julia Hernach

Today we’re joined by Julia Hernach. Julia is a wonderful visual artist who also dabbles in writing. She mostly does drawing and painting, but also enjoys photography. Aside from visual art, Julia also writes short stories. She’s an incredibly dedicated artist as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do drawings and paintings, most of the time I doodle a whole page. I always try out different kinds of techniques and styles. I do photography and write short stories, too.

What inspires you?

My environment (nature and people) and Bob Ross.

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

I always wanted to do something creative, even if it were something as simple as designing invitation cards for a small private birthday party. Hey, it’s creative! When I was in kindergarten I already preferred drawing to climbing trees and in school I had the chance to draw/paint and get the opinion of someone who has been working in the field and could actually give me feedback other than “Ooooh, that’s pretty”.

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, no.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Follow your dreams. A lot of people will tell you that any form of art is “a waste of time” or “not a secure source of income. You can’t pay your bills with your drawings.” and it might get difficult at some point. If sometimes you’re not in an artsy or creative mood for a month, then that’s fine. But please don’t let others stop you from doing what you love.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual and panromantic, although I am not 100% sure about my exact romantic orientation. I could also be demi-panromantic.

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

I haven’t experienced bullying or anything, but hardly anyone knows that I identify as asexual.

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

“Asexuals can’t be in healthy relationships because sex is essential.”

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

Don’t think you’re weird or that something is wrong with you. There are thousands, if not millions of people all over the world who are on the ace spectrum. Your orientation is valid. Other (sexual) people might want to talk you out of this or say that asexuality is a lie, but again: Asexuality does exist and you are never alone.

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

I’m currently setting up a blog (juliahernach.blogspot.com).

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

Interview: Void

Today we’re joined by Void. Void is a versatile artist, but her first love is poetry. She’s got the passion of a writer and she also dabbles in painting. Aside from that, she maintains a YouTube channel. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a writer mostly; I work with poetry as my main type. I also maintain a YouTube channel along with painting. I really want to find a way to combine these mediums into something great. My writing and art is mainly eldritch because I’m tired of creepy things not getting love they deserve.

What inspires you?

My inspiration will come from completely random places; I mostly get ideas when I am alone in a dark room, in a state between consciousness and sleep. That sharpness of late night when things are both fuzzy and clear is normally where I find my thoughts. I have to be alone and I can’t have any unnatural sound in order to get ideas. That sounds extremely cliché; an artist in isolation walking around at night but it’s true and kind of funny. Lately I have been in such a creative rut that I have been taking prompts on my blog.

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

I’ve always been in love with art, my teacher in kindergarten would show us Van Gogh, Monet, and Picasso. Of course, I clung to Van Gogh, so he’s kind of been everlasting in my life. I always would draw as often as I could as a child and I never wanted to be an academic, but I could never take art classes in school because I am a learning disabled student who was forced into certain classes. Because of this I grew an attachment toward poetry, I could write in class while pretending to work and not have the teacher know. My mother always believed I had a gift with words so I stuck with what I knew. I wish I could work more on my painting but with school and work it is almost impossible to have time.

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 try to include something purple or something from the night. Usually I work with making galaxies and night sky paintings so it isn’t that hard. If I don’t I include this small star like signature in the painting, I think it makes it look like magic.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop. Ever. This will just make it harder for you when you begin to create again. I have had periods where I would stop for years at a time, start again, and have my work be crap. It is difficult to create in everyday life, but if you even doodle in your notebook like I do it’ll help. I also recommend keeping a small notebook with you at all times to write down ideas and what not. And if you get an idea while you are half asleep and you think “I’ll remember it in the morning” write it down. You will not remember in the morning and you will hate yourself. Not saying that has happened to me or anything but you know I’ve heard it is a thing… I recommend keeping eyeliner by your bed or in your bag, it easily writes on skin so you can save your ideas and it washes off a lot easier than sharpie. Also this didn’t happen to me either, I didn’t spend weeks with a gengar doodle on my wrist and had to hide it, no not at all…

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I probably am more on the sex-repulsed side but I have never been in a situation where I have had to know for sure. I am hetero-romantic. Probably.

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

In the field no, I try to keep my orientation out of my work and school in case someone decides to act rash. I don’t hide it, but it is not a major part of what I do. I am ace and that is part of me, an important part of me, but it normally doesn’t help or hinder what I do. I have the hardest time writing love poetry though. I luckily have not gotten any hatred or threats from the online community, but I’m kind of scared I will.

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

That we can’t love. It is true that aromantic asexuals exist but it is not all of us. I’m not out to my family, when I tried to tell my sister that I thought I might be she responded with “no you aren’t you’ve had crushes before,”. I can only imagine the misconceptions my old fashion, conservative parents will have. I try to avoid those kind of issues.

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

It is not a big deal if you don’t know your orientations. I still don’t know everything about my orientations and I am 19. My advice is to just not think about it, overthinking will kill you. It is totally fine to find someone attractive, that doesn’t mean you are attracted them. Fall for whom you fall for and let the pieces rest where they fall. Life is not black and white, there are shades of everything.

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

Voidvoyance.tumblr.com under the tagged “mine”

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCfahembPobWcbAg-xU6u1nA

https://twitter.com/voidvoyance

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