Interview: Natasha

Today we’re joined by Natasha. Natasha is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying art in college. They mostly do painting, drawing, and printmaking. Their work shows an incredible use of color and a vivid imagination. They’re an amazingly dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Road Closed (Abandoned)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m currently a student, so most of my work right now is from the classes I’ve been taking. I’ve been doing a lot of painting, drawing and printmaking, but I’m interested in just about anything that keeps my hands busy. Honestly I’ll probably spend far too long at this college, taking all the classes I can before moving to a 4-year art school.

What inspires you?

Nature, small details, everyday moments … but mainly contrast. Not only literally (I actually love working with a still life) but also the integration of contrasting elements, such as color and texture, and with subject matter. The one I like to play with most is real/imaginary.

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

When I was very young I wanted to be an artist, but I’ve always had many interests, and I never thought I was good enough to “make it” as an artist. I toyed with the idea of careers such as biologist and architect, where my analytical mind would be of use, but I soon realized I would be just as happy with a job that didn’t require as much training, and art was what kept me alive. I didn’t care if it was my day job, but I wanted to learn more. I wanted to be good. And I didn’t want to go back to school for 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?

A lot of my work has a strong idea, emotion, or memory attached to it that really doesn’t make sense without context. Sometimes I give clues to it, but sometimes I don’t. It’s unlikely that someone else will “get it”, since so much of it is connected to my memories and experience… I do love to hear other’s interpretation though, and it’s exciting it when people get close.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t worry about your subject matter or style too much. If you only draw birds, or maybe cows, that’s OK. If you don’t feel like you draw enough of something, don’t worry. If you’ve had the same style for a long time, or even if you have a different style every time, that’s OK. Create what you want, what inspires you, no matter if it’s the same thing you’ve done a million times before or if it’s nothing like what you’ve done before. You don’t need to keep a style, or a series, unless you want too. “Artist” is not some mold you need to fit, every single one I’ve met is different in so many ways.

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Skeleton Hand

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

For most purposes I’m aromantic and asexual, although I have a rather confusing orientation (and my non-binary gender makes it harder) so I also use cetero/skolio-greyromantic/alterous/platonic… but that’s confusing so depending upon who I’m talking to and the information they’re looking for, sometimes I just say gay.

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

I don’t really out myself to people unless it’s necessary, or I feel like know them well enough. My orientation has been well received by those I’ve voluntarily come out too, but they’re all LGBTQ+ too. To those I’m forced to come out to, I just say that I’m gay, because the information they need is “Go away I’m not going to date you”, and I really don’t want to give a vocabulary lesson in that moment. Even that’s usually not respected, so I don’t think asexuality is something I’ll ever start with.

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

That it means that I don’t love at all. Since I’m also aromantic, it’s an easy misconception. But that’s just not true. I want companionship. I want stupid jokes, domestic drabble, and old TV shows late at night. I want little adventures and silly arguments that end in laughter. I love plenty, I just don’t want the sex, romance, and 20 years of marriage to get there. Even if I was aplationic though, I love my friends very much, though they’re few and far between. I love my family, I even love random strangers. Love is a funny word, it can mean so many things, but people only seem to care about one.

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

It’s OK. It’s not your job to please anyone with your orientation. It doesn’t matter what other people think about it either. If you feel like it describes you, that’s good enough.

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

I have an art blog on here, awkward-asexual-artist. I’m not super active on it at the moment, it’s mostly just what I’ve been doing in my classes, but I hope to do more in the future.

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Whales

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

Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily. Emily is a phenomenal visual artist who does a lot of 2D art and fashion design. She’s a fashion designer and illustrator who is currently studying both, Aside from fashion design, Emily draws and paints. The gowns she designs are gorgeous (the green one is one of the prettiest dresses I’ve ever seen). She obviously has an incredibly bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Draping

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I enjoy making both 2D art- mainly drawing and painting- and fashion design. When I do a 2D piece, the subject matter can range anywhere from facial portraits to abstract works. I enjoy the challenge of attempting to render something as realistically as possible, as well as the expressiveness of working freely with color and shape to portray certain ideas or emotions without specific subject matter. As far as fashion design goes, my taste is quite out there and fun, I think. I like to design clothes for someone who wants to look unique, as well as feel confident and elegant. Gowns are my main base of inspiration.

What inspires you?

Anything really- it can be as typical as elements of nature, or as random as the shape of some books on a shelf. Often I find myself inspired by something I had overlooked in the past, but suddenly catches my eye in a different way. I also take a lot of inspiration from elements of fantasy story telling- dragons and other mythical creatures, battle armor, historical garments worn by past royalty.

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

I’m not entirely sure, really. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon, and I remember drawing clothing based on my own ideas as early as five years old. I think I’ve always liked that you could take a blank page and put anything you want on it. I also really enjoyed looking at the different ways characters on TV and in movies were dressed- I liked that you could further emphasize who a character was through their clothing.

I do remember in fifth grade realizing that fashion design was a huge field that someone could go into as a career, and since then the idea has pretty much stuck.

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 – but I should, that sounds awesome!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I became more and more enthusiastic about making art when I could see improvements from my past work. Keep a sketchbook, even if it takes you two years to fill it, you can look back to the older stuff and see how you’ve grown. Try not to be ashamed to make mistakes- anyone who points them out with bad intentions is likely insecure about their work as well. Anything that gives you joy is worth doing- try not to let it be something that gives you stress. The more positive it is to hone your craft, the more you will want to practice, and the more rewarding it will be.

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Titania

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demisexual, possibly demiromantic.

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

In the particular fields of art and fashion design, no. But in life, sure. I try to remember that asexuality isn’t commonly heard of. Unfortunately, it’s often human nature to fear and reject things we don’t yet understand- often, others’ problems are not with me personally, and I try to bear in mind that my sexuality is just one part of me as a whole. Just because someone is unwilling to rearrange their understanding of something doesn’t mean that thing doesn’t exist.

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

That asexuals are just scared or repressed. Particularly for me, that demisexuals simply don’t want to have a physical relationship until they’re connected, rather than literally not feeling attracted until then. I’ve also been told, by a non-ace, that asexual representation doesn’t matter. I cannot communicate enough how much less stressful and anxious I would have felt about life and relationships in the future had I known early on, or even found out in Sex Education, that asexuality was a thing.

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

Honestly, I’m not sure- I felt relieved when I heard about asexuality. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to accept it about myself extremely quickly and easily. I was relieved to find out that I wasn’t an outlier. Maybe that’s some advice right there; you are part of a community that, though it seems small, is much larger than you know. You are not now, nor will you ever be alone in this. There’s no shame in taking time to learn about yourself. Research often helps me feel less anxious about something- stories from other aces, reading about common experiences. Making friends who are asexual online is very comforting to lots of people as well.

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

My Instagram is a good place to start: at Emvilyse. Soon, I’ll have a portfolio website, which I will link in the bio of that account when it’s ready.

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Violin

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

Interview: Britani Palazzolo

Today we’re joined by Britani Palazzolo. Britani is an awesome artist who is incredibly versatile and works in a variety of mediums. She does a lot of papercrafts and other visual arts. When she’s not drawing, Britani does a lot of writing and some baking as well. Her work shows a fascinating sort of surrealism. It’s very clear she’s an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, 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 do a little bit of everything! I write, draw, sew, bake, papercraft, paint… If there’s an art medium out there, I’ve probably tried it haha! I usually jump around from one to the other, so right now I’m working on papercrafts mostly (my current project is making one for each Overwatch character) but I’ll probably drift back to drawing or writing soon. I mainly draw my OCs or myself, and I love drawing cute but gross stuff and object heads. I draw traditionally sometimes, but most of the time I use Adobe Illustrator because I love how it works with my style. I’ve been doing art since I can remember, and I’ve watched my style change over the years and it brings me a lot of joy just doing something with my hands. There’s really no telling what I’ll come up with next.

What inspires you?

I guess that depends on what I’m doing. If I’m drawing, usually it’s movies or other media because I’ll make a self-insert character or an AU for my OCs and draw according to that. I think my friends inspire my writing a lot of the time because we bounce around ideas and I just have to get them out! I also draw a lot of creepy/gore things, so catch me at Halloween time really inspired! Fandom also inspires me, but sometimes I’m afraid to contribute fanart because I compare myself to others (a bad habit I know, but I’ve been working on it!) and will instead stick with my own characters haha! I also use my own life as a lot of inspiration, including the fact that I’m ace. I make music playlists (I guess you could call that an art?) and I have an “All Your Favs Are Ace” series which are just character playlists based on my headcanons of characters being on the ace spectrum. I’ve written a fic involving a character coming out to their partner as a sex repulsed ace which I based largely on my own feelings and experiences. Music is also a huge inspiration provider, as well as long showers!

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

I can’t remember a time when I didn’t love to be creative and do art projects. Art class was always my favorite thing about school, and I would make things at home all the time. It was really in high school that I started figuring out that this was a real thing that I could do with my life. I learned a lot about digital art in high school, and had some great teachers that helped me along, so I decided to go to college for an Art Education degree. At the time I was working in a fabric store so I was teaching myself to sew and cross stitch, and in school I learned about oil paints and charcoal. I got to try every medium and it was fantastic! The chips fell as they do, and I got into baking and cake decorating. So, instead of teaching, now I bake and do art on the side!

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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 sign everything with my initials, but it’s not very special haha! If I sew anything for someone though, I attach a little tag that I made that says “Handcrafted”. I hand carved the stamp used to make these tags on an eraser, so I guess that’s kind of cool! Other than that I think it’s just my personal drawing style that is pretty unique. I tend to over exaggerate certain features (legs for example) and simplify others (feet).

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do not stop. If someone tells you that you can’t do something, you look them in the eye and you do the thing and you keep doing it until they close their mouth. It might take a while, but if it makes you happy, just keep going. Art is what you make of it. There are no rules!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a sex repulsed asexual panromantic!

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

I haven’t had a lot directed specifically at me (except somebody once didn’t like my ace playlists and called me homophobic for making them, which baffled me), but the first year I went to the pride parade in my area only ONE booth sold ace flags and they were those tiny ones on sticks. When I went to pride this year, I was hoping maybe asexuality had gotten a little more out there, but again only ONE booth sold the full size flags and the people at the booth had very little knowledge on the subject (didn’t know which flag I wanted until I pointed directly at it, didn’t know if they had any more ace merch, etc). Mostly I just ignore it or roll with it. If there is an opportunity, I will attempt to educate people on the matter, but most people spouting ignorance don’t want to learn, so I’ve found there’s not much point in trying.

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

That ALL ace people HATE sex/anything to do with sex/are innocent pure beings who don’t know anything about sex! It makes me laugh because I know so many ace people who are very sex positive, a lot are very kinky in their own ways, and are in no way ‘innocent and pure’. People assume you’re an emotionless robot (especially if you’re aro ace, I’m so sorry to those guys) and it just astounds me.

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

It’s alright to take your time learning about your sexuality, and do lots of research, read a lot of info! I thought I was straight until about the first year of college (19 years old or so), and from there I was maybe bi, but something just didn’t feel right about that. It was only once I started seeing a lot of info about the ace spectrum on Tumblr that I was like “Hold on… this sounds like me!” I identified as demisexual for a while, but did some more research, did some soul searching, and decided to go with full asexual. But just know that this could change too! Sexuality is fluid. Just go with the flow, meet people, make friends, maybe fall in love? Who knows!

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

You can find me basically anywhere on the internet by the same username: ranebowstitches
I’m most active on Tumblr, AO3, Instagram, and 8tracks.

Pop by and say hi! I love to chat!

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

Interview: Lehenne

Today we’re joined by Lehenne. Lehenne is an amazingly versatile artist who dabbles in a bit of everything. They currently have a book out, which they’re trying to get some buzz for, so please check out their links (their work features prominent LGBT+ characters as well as angels, demons, and maybe even an apocalypse). Aside from writing, Lehenne dabbles in a number of visual arts and even enjoys singing. They’re clearly a passionate 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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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I love every kind of art. I sculpt, I paint, I sing (I’m probably driving my colleagues crazy over this one), I do origamis and engraving, I knit and sew, I also dabble in the art of Bonsaïs…

Ano, dragged out of heaven

But most of all, I draw and I write. Like, an unhealthy amount. It’s my thing, when I do something, I don’t do anything else until I bore myself out of it. And I love the art of words (the puns, spoonerisms and malaphors, oh my colleagues, my poor colleagues!)

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What inspires you?

My dreams! I dream all the time always. To the point where I eagerly wait for any alone time to do so without distractions. And when I’m not dreaming, I’m doing art… Or looking at it. And my dreams are inspired by everything that surrounds me; To the films I watch at the cinema and the TV series I follow, the museums I visit and the images I come across on Internet, the ancient mythologies and the comic books, nature’s work of art and pareidolia I catch on my tile floor, to the medieval choruses and chiptune I listen to.

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

I’ve always been drawing, since I can remember; my oldest memory is of me drawing in kindergarten. And I’ve started to read and write in sixth grade after my French professor (I’m French so the equivalent would be your English professor) gave us this short stories book, and I flashed on it; I mean, a light went on in my head, and I thought to myself “that’s it, I want to write. Create my own stories and share with everyone.” Watching movies and reading books, that’s good and all, but I thought to myself, my dreams deserve to be written down, if only for my own consumption. I have so many plot bunnies in my short stories’ file.

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As to wanting to be an artist, I don’t think I ever had a choice, it’s my life, and I don’t think I could bear going through it without doing art. It’s not what pays the bills right now, but I hope the current book I’m working on will launch me into the fabulous world of paid authors. For now, I share it for free on the site “Booksie”.

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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 do enjoy writing about supernatural characters, going inside their head and change the way I think to show an original point of view. I love drawing winged characters, probably because it’s my dream to fly (Yeah, I know, how original). I’ve also been told my original portraits’ style is somewhat always androgynous. My current book (see link below), regroups all that, I realised just now!

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

DON’T study art. Study whatever else you’re interested in. But always keep art on the sidelines, never give it up. And when you’re set in your life, with what society calls a “real job”, you’ll have every occasion to art and live from it. With your hard-earned money, you’ll buy as much art supply as you wish, and you’ll art whenever wherever.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m relatively new to this part, I’ve found all those amazing descriptions and denominations earlier this year. But I can affirm that I’m asexual and aromantic. I’m also pretty sure I’m agender, but I can’t be certain (I don’t really know what a gender is supposed to feel like, but I suspect, from my fascination with agender characters and my agender dream alter ego I’ve thought up when I was six and still imagine stories for, that that’s what I am).

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

I’ve never come out, so that’s going to be difficult to answer. I don’t feel like saying, “I don’t do that” to somebody, that would just be… odd? Also, I don’t hang out with many people, but! One conversation I’ve had with a lively colleague did stir in that direction. When I bluntly said that I was aromantic and told her what it was, she simply said, “That’s not possible, ‘cos you aren’t a snail!” I’m still unsure what that means, but it did discourage me to ever talk about it again (I’m the epitome of shyness and introversion, so…) It still hasn’t come up again.

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

Mmh. When I was little, I would ask how I was supposed to know and feel like when I’d fall in love. I’ve always been told, “You’ll know”. But I never did. And I went through my teenage years thinking I would know when I’d want to have sex with someone. But I never did. I don’t think I answered that question correctly, but I don’t really know what to say, we don’t talk about sexuality much, here in France; People just kind of just openly lust over random people, and we don’t go beyond that. So if like me, you don’t lust over people, you just don’t say anything. I do have been called a prude for not enjoying sexualizing strangers, though.

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

Don’t struggle? I have never given it any thought, really, it just seemed like a natural thing to me. I’ve spent a lot of time wondering if I should be (sexually/romantically) attracted to people I found attractive, but the answer has always been “nope”. I’ve just found out it was aesthetic attraction (because I love art so much!) So really, I don’t know what to say to people that don’t feel comfortable with who they are.

Just know that you aren’t alone, there are plenty of good people around to support and love you. With some introspection, you might even come to terms with and enjoy who you are!

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

Here’s the link for my current book (It’s a work in progress): https://www.booksie.com/502306-dragged-out-of-heaven

If there’s any French speakers around, I also have another book here (still free): https://www.404-factory.fr/story/feroces-heros

As for my drawing, I haven’t spent much time on my Tumblr blog yet (I’m still new and haven’t yet completely understood how it worked), but I will make some efforts to post stuff on it in the near future: https://lehenne.tumblr.com/)

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

Interview: Logan

Today we’re joined by Logan. Logan is a phenomenal visual artist who does both traditional and digital art. He uses a variety of materials, but loves to draw. His work is brimming with astonishing detail, imagination, and vivid colors. It’s clear he has a wonderful love of art, 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 is very odd topic, for it ranges in many different forms. Digital, Traditional, painting, paper craft, clay, sometimes even photography. But of course I draw more than anything. Everything I draw is so full of life, as my friends and family put it, and while I’m still learning poses and proportions, I think I’ve found a good art style that’s easy enough to doodle with, but also exaggerated enough to make complex pieces.

What inspires you?

Cartoons and anime really inspire me, as I would like to animate as a full-blown job someday. Some of my biggest influences have to be Welcome to Hell and Gorillaz. The expressions and moods of both inspire me to make more drawings like that, ones that have a mood and can tell a story. Some of my other friends who are also artists inspire me as well. I can think of three people that helped me get better at things I’m not all that good at, such as color scheme and line art. One more thing that inspires me is one of my favorite book series Amulet. The art is so charming and the storytelling is amazing. I hope one day I could make something as great as it.

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

When I was younger, I actually wanted to be an architect. I thought the pay was good and I over designing things. I soon grew out of that when I learned how much things you would need to be one. In fourth grade I got really into Sonic games, as I’ve never had a new game before then and I loved to play the Sonic mega collection. Naturally, I started to doodle Sonic characters in class, I still have some of those drawings too. And like most Sonic fans, I made a lot of OCS as well. This actually got me into making stories and worlds of my own. I remember I had about 27 sonic characters that were all connected somehow, I ditched a lot along the way and now I number it down to about 10. It actually wasn’t until sixth grade that I got really into drawing, and by then, I was also into creepypasta, which got me even more into storytelling. Since then, I’ve wanted to be a cartoonist or an animator and I don’t ink that’ll change anytime soon.

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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?

While I wouldn’t call it special, I do have this small trick that helps me draw different sizes of body’s. (I haven’t perfected it yet though) what I do is nothing but circles for the limbs and give the torso a rectangle shape. This way I can edit how big I want the character to be. It’s a bit hard to explain so I tried my best, but it does help me quite a bit.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop drawing something just because someone doesn’t like it. I became the artist I am today because I drew things that would be considered cringy, emo, or childish. But I didn’t let that stop me from drawing something I enjoy, I kept on drawing, heck, I catch myself drawing my Sonic OCs from time to time still. Don’t let people make you feel ashamed for something you like is what I’m basically saying, keep on drawing what you want to draw, not what other people want you to draw.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a Biromantic Asexual

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

I have a few times, but they weren’t as bad as other ace people might have it. Some teasing and someone asking if I actually loved my girlfriend because I was ace.

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

Something I hear a lot is that asexuals can’t have partners. That’s kinda bullcrap. While I don’t speak for everyone when I say that, aces could and would totally date someone if their partner was accepting. I’m lucky that my girlfriend is also asexual so we don’t have to deal with that.

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

I totally get it first of all. I remember that I was very confused with myself when people would talk about doing things I had no interest in and people finding it weird, I remember thinking I had some sort of mental disorder that was preventing me from feeling those things. While I don’t think I’m the best at giving this kind of advice, I just want to say to y’all that everything will turn out fine. It’s OK to be confused and it’s OK to think you were this and end up not being that (heck I thought I was a straight cis girl for 14 years) and if you never really figure out what you are, that’s OK as well, nothing is black and white.

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

Well, I have a Tumblr, a Wattpad, and an Instagram all under the same name, Sonicrocks152.

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

Interview: Simon

Today we’re joined by Simon. Simon is a wonderful young artist who is quite versatile and enjoys working in a number of mediums. While he does some writing, Simon prefers visual mediums and does a variety of visual art. It’s very clear that he’s an incredibly enthusiastic 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.

I do a lot of different art. I love writing, drawing, painting, digital art, chalk drawings, minor calligraphy; I do video editing and photography if I have the time.

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What inspires you?

Day to day life style. Especially if I’m just past a hard time like I am now. (A bit of teen gossip and stupid stuff with my “friends”). Long story short I found out who actually cares and dropped those who didn’t and I feel so much happier, and ready to create. I love watching other artists create as well, and even looking at how-to books to get ideas.

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

This is going to sound a little redundant, but I think where my appeal to art comes from is because when I was younger all I got for my birthday was school supplies, and I was never good at sports or anything else, so I said “what the hell, let’s try this,” and it was probably the best choice I’ve made.

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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 do! In all my recent pictures you’ll see a fish with a crown and in the fish it says “Fishermen” and underneath “Prince” in cursive. Made after a character I designed and fell in love with.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re friends we’re like mine, in which there was another artist in the group, or even another artist in general that is “better” than you, do not, under any circumstances allow yourself to be below them. Keep doing what you’re doing because you aren’t doing it for them. You wanted to do this, and one day your stardom will come. No matter how much better they seem, I promise you one day you’ll get there. I promise you you’ll regret giving up and giving into them. I almost did and I could’ve lost it all. You keep working on yourself and if anyone shadows over you, know you will progress and get better. I know it’s hard to not compare yourself to other artists, but believe me, it’s so much easier that way. Just because they’re progressing further doesn’t me they’re better. It just means they progressed further. I’m sure your art is rocking and you’re doing your best. And that’s all you could ever ask.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Oh boy I’m here. I am somewhere between flat out asexual and Demi, I guess. I feel like if I forged a strong enough bond with a romantic partner I could feel sexual attraction, but I know I don’t feel sexual attraction like everyone else does, if that makes any sense. I guess I’m “asexual until proven otherwise”? (I don’t mean any offense I’m just trying to make light of my situation ;))

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

I can’t say because so far I’ve never run into it.

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

Ugh this where I wish I was more active in the Ace community because I can’t answer this either. I guess it’s that they cannot have sex, but like I myself, when I’m older, I’d be willing to do it if my partner wanted it. That’s about all I know, I’m sorry.

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

Goodness child, if you’re asexual, that’s a-okay! I didn’t even know being asexual was a thing until maybe two years ago. I’m glad I know now, because it’s cleared up quite a few things. Such as when everyone fans over someone for being “hot” or “sexy” and I didn’t feel any emotions towards who they were talking about, just that they were somewhat good looking but I didn’t see all the fuss. This also doesn’t mean if your ace you can’t find people hot or sexy. Just if you don’t, that’s okay. If you don’t feel sexual attraction, it’s awesome, it’s all good. You’re okay. Besides if you identify as ace and figure out you’re not, that’s also fine! You don’t have to stay Ace for your entire life.

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

Haha my Tumblr under (at nest-friends-are-best-friends) #my art or my Instagram at fishermenprince.

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

Interview: Lana

Today we’re joined by Lana, who also goes by Deact. Lana is a wonderful visual artist and writer. She does a lot of portraits of women and girls, as well as mermaids. She uses both digital and traditional mediums. When not drawing, Lana also dabbles in writing and tends to write a lot of short stories. It’s very obvious she’s a dedicated artist who enjoys what she does, 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 predominantly deal in drawn visual art and short story writing. My art is mostly self-taught and usually involves portraits of women/girls and a lot of mermaids. I use both traditional and digital methods (although not together) and I have recently picked up watercolour painting, but I tend to stick with line art and block colour. My writing is very vague and laconic and feedback usually deems it unsettling. I prefer short stories because the reader never really finds out what’s going on (also I can’t seem to stick with a long term story for more than a fortnight).

What inspires you?

With art, I’m inspired by colours, light, and biologically plausible mythology (e.g. mermaids coming in different fish species and the way the human part of the body would adapt to the sea). With my writing, I write mostly about the places I’ve been or have knowledge of, or situations and places that everyone has experienced (e.g. train stations, restaurants etc.). The familiarity of these places and the subversion of safety is a common theme in my work. Writers like Angela Carter, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King all contributed to the short story element of my writing style. The mangaka Junji Ito and the manga Fuan no Tane also inspired me due to their simple-yet-scary art.

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Restaurant Gothic

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

I think I probably got myself into art, and I think my first dream job was ‘novelist’. Not a lot of people around me growing up considered art a big part of their lives. I have always enjoyed creating things and learning new techniques. Handing impressionable thirteen year old me a stack of manga pushed me to copy the style and then develop my own further down the line. I tried to pursue art seriously, but disliked the way my education system taught Fine Art and dropped it in favour of Classics. The story’s pretty similar with writing too, only I have always excelled in literature classes regardless of my interest level, whereas art classes felt a little too restricted. A tiny part of me is always going to want to be a successful artist, though.

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?

Winged eyeliner, and I try to draw different noses!! Noses are pretty cool but it’s easy to fall back into the acute angle shape. In writing I tend to use short sentences and the second person ‘you’.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw what you feel and don’t worry if it doesn’t have a deeper meaning. Also use references and take specialised classes for your art form if you can.

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Reddd

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual. I’m not going to pretend to understand what my romantic orientation is doing, but I’m not worried about it either.

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

I study Translation. The first person I came out to was in my language class, who told me on three separate occasions that I would find someone later in life I’d want to have sex with, that I should wait until I’m twenty to decide, and that they thought I was “just afraid of men”. I wasn’t sure how to handle it as I’m a fairly reserved person, so I just never brought it up again. Another person who previously identified as grayace realised they weren’t (and y’know, there’s zero problem with that), and tried to convince me relaxing in a club would make me want sex. I don’t think I’ve talked to them since, as their insistence kinda pressured me to say I would sleep with someone if I loved them enough (which I felt very uncomfortable saying).

Luckily the majority of people I’ve told have been super accepting (shoutout to my cheer team for accepting me in a pub, of all places), and when they haven’t understood they’ve asked for clarification.

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

That I’ll meet someone and my feelings will change. I think it hurt the most coming from my mother.

Also ‘lol is that like a plant’

A friend once asked me if chickens were asexual as if a) I was an expert on chickens and b) I knew every asexual being that existed. Bless her.

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

Take your time. Try things out if you want, or don’t if you don’t want to. Never let someone else try to dictate your feelings to you. Don’t think there’s some sort of hierarchy amongst ace communities either – whatever you feel is what it is.

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

My Tumblr.
https://imdeactivating.tumblr.com/

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