Interview: Joey

Today we’re joined by Joey. Joey is a wonderful visual artist and singer who does both drawing and painting. He uses art as a kind of catharsis and his pictures are filled with gorgeous colors. When he’s not creating visual art, Joey enjoys singing. He has a particular fondness for showtunes and opera. It’s very clear he’s a passionate 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.

This is a complicated question because I’m involved in many forms of art. As far as visual arts are concerned, I enjoy drawing and painting. I use these as ways to express my emotions and interests when others are unwilling to listen. The other artform that I am heavily into is singing. I prefer singing showtunes or opera, but any singing makes me happy. Sometimes I go busking with my friends, and my voice alone can make a lot of money. I’m currently training to become an actor, and I dream of being famous one day for my talent.

What inspires you?

As an aroace people might think that I’m cold or uncaring(not to throw “cold or uncaring” aces under the bus of course!), but my inspiration for much of my art comes from my love of life! Some of my art is from a darker time in my life where I had to use my art to vent, but I’ve always tried to use my art to make sense of the world. This carries over into my singing as well when I pick songs to sing. I naturally feel connected to the music, and songs have always been a great way for me to communicate feelings.

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

I have always been an artist. When I was younger I would create houses out of paper for my stuffed animals until I had a whole village. Eventually I started to take drawing more seriously, and that evolved into a love of painting. Within the last 2 years I gained an interest in musical theatre, particularly singing. Although singing and drawing are my two main creative outlets, I’m a lover of all forms of art. I’ve always been a thoughtful person, and art helps me to feel calm and joyful.

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?

In my visual art I often end up sneaking pride flags into my work! Admittedly I more often put in the trans flag than the aro or ace flag into my work though. This is because being trans, while being a tough journey, is something I often feel more validated in. Recently I’ve been on a kick to feel more confident in my aroace-ness, and I know I’m gonna use my art to accomplish this. Time to make all of my art in purple, white, grey, and black!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

One mistake in my thinking as an artist has been that there’s an age where it’s too late to try. I was so nervous to get into serious singing, because I thought it was only something I could do if I already had experience since childhood. When you’re an artist you will see people who have more skill than you, but the best way to prove yourself is to keep trying anyway. If it takes until you’re old to master your skill then so be it!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identified as aroace for years up until about 1 year ago when I kind of broke and gave up on identifying as such. Being aroace, but receiving no validation or help other than through the internet coupled with my other emotional issues made me internalize it, and for almost a year I identified as straight. I’m not sure why I choose that out of any identities (awfully heteronormative), but I was so tired of constantly questioning my own identity that I wanted an easy lie. This lead to almost dating one of my friends that I really cared about, which lead to me panicking and breaking up before it even started. A few months ago I got myself in a good enough place where I was finally able to realize again that I was aroace! Trying to forget my identity did a lot of damage, so now I’m just trying to get comfy with the label for good.

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

To me, I feel like artist spaces are usually more open to queerness in general, but I often feel disconnected to these communities. It was one of my friends that happened to collaborate on lots of my art that refused to understand why I didn’t want to date my friend I cared so much about. Other than rude/ignorant comments, the rest of the prejudice is more implied. In theatre, almost every single has romance. As a soprano, almost any role I could possibly be assigned is the love interest! Of course this is what acting is for, but I think there’s an idea that romance is put into stories because it’s relatable to all. As an aromantic, singing songs over and over again about the inevitability of love can be heartbreaking.

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

I think a lot of people assume that alterous love has to be accompanied by romance and sexual attraction. The thing is, I think allo people experience alterous attraction too, but they can’t tell because it’s mixed in with those other feelings. We may not experience more alterous attraction, but I think perhaps it’s easier to identify something if it’s not mixed in with other feelings. All my theory aside, people really do misunderstand when I want a platonic life partner. It might be what has made me so anxious to identify as aroace too!

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

I would say that accepting yourself can be hard, but all of us aces are in it together. Sometimes it can feel like you’re going in circles with your identity, but I believe that your value is great no matter whether you find the right identity immediately or not. I would also say to not be afraid to go outside the box. Sexuality is a strange thing, but I can promise that having a strange or unidentifiable identity is a-ok! If you wanna use a rare label, or maybe step outside the SAM model? I say go for what makes you feel at ease.

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

I do not use the internet as much as I should to get myself out there, but I do have an Instagram (smallbirdboy) that is mostly my art!

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

Interview: Jana

Today we’re joined by Jana. Jana is a wonderful young artist who both writes and does visual art. Most of her writing is fantasy and historical fiction. When she’s not writing, Jana does a lot of painting and drawing. Her work shows a creative mind and it’s clear Jana is an incredibly 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 write stories and also I draw and paint. Stories are usually fantasy or historical fiction, with dark motives, while my drawings are more positive. I sometimes draw illustrations for my stories but that is rare for me. I also draw Harry Potter fan arts, as I am big fan of the story (and also I have written some fanfics but they aren’t in English).

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What inspires you?

I don’t really know. The inspiration just appears out of somewhere. And then it leaves. Sometimes it’s a sentence I hear, sometimes an internet joke or when I see the view from my window. It can be anything. I have periods of time when I see inspiration literally everywhere and then it stops and I don’t have any inspiration at all.

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

I think so. I remember I liked to draw and paint since I was very little and I remember that in kindergarten I was usually drawing, instead of playing with other children. And I still draw when I have the time (also if I don’t have) and usually I choose drawing over chatting with friends in class. With writing, it’s similar. I write stories during lessons in school because it’s fun and teachers don’t tend to notice. They usually think that I’m just taking notes while I really am creating a story.

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Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I always put my name on my drawings so no one can steal it from me (if it’s drawn on computer, it’s usually very big). That’s what almost everyone does I think. But other than that I don’t have anything like that. In my writings I don’t think I have something like that. My stories are dark and complicated, as are my characters, but that’s not that rare.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am actually one of them, as I am sixteen, so to my fellow young artist: make art, do what you love and don’t give up. It can be hard but not giving up is worth it. If you love art, make it. Good luck to you (and to every artist here, you don’t have to be young).

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual.

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

Well, ignorance by my mum. I came out to here so I could make terrible jokes and puns but it has gone a bit wrong. Well, she didn’t believe me (she still doesn’t I think) and was quite rude about it, because “I am too young to know” and “I can’t be ace if I have a boyfriend”. A few months later she was trying to understand and was asking questions but I felt really uncomfortable so I just left. But now I think I am starting to be a bit more comfortable around her, like when we are watching some TV series and they mention something sexual or say that someone is hot, I usually make a disgusted face or ask “really??”. Apart from that, I’ve only seen it on social media and it wasn’t directed purely at me but on the whole community.

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

As I said before, it was what my mum said, that I am too young to know or that I can’t be ace if I have a boyfriend. Then of course things said on the internet and not aimed at me directly, like it is a disability or disorder or that we are plants. I like the last one the most.

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

To not try to unconditionally fit into a label. Take time. You don’t have to find it out right now, it’s okay not to know. I know it’s hard, I know it’s easier said than done. But don’t worry, you are not alone. There are many other people who feel the same and there are many people out there who will try to help you. Before I learned I was ace, I thought that I was lesbian (because women are cute), then that I was bi (because the sexual attraction I felt towards the two genders was equal – now I know it was zero).

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

I have an Instagram account but I don’t post much. I also am at Wattpad but I have only one English unfinished work published. I will try to be active on both social media (Wattpad is social media, isn’t it?) but I can’t really promise anything because I don’t know how much time will I have. On Instagram I am as Janethepurpleelf and on Wattpad as Fialová Víla.

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

Interview: Ella

Today we’re joined by Ella. Ella is a wonderful visual artist and a prolific writer. Xe do a number of forms of writing including short stories, poetry, and novels. When xe are not writing, Ella loves to do visual art. Xe are a versatile visual artist, doing everything from painting to graphic art to ink illustrations. It’s clear xe are an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to xir for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Cursed Knight

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write novels, short stories, freeform poetry and songs as well as ink illustrations, graphic art, paintings and concept art.

What inspires you?

Both the natural world and much of architecture. I draw from the westerns, horror, steampunk, fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres for concepts, palettes and settings.

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

As soon as I was able to hold a crayon I’ve been drawing, and when I was able to write I began writing. I’ve been doing this for almost my whole life, and I’ve always wanted to make it my career.

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Dante illustration

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

None that I can think of, which is a shame. I should come up with some.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice your craft. Get the basics down, know the bones of what you’re doing, and you have to know the rules before you break them. Once you know them? Go wild. Everything takes time to learn, and nothing is going to be completely how you want it at first.

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Hunter

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, though I’m probably closer to demisexual or grey-asexual.

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

I’m insulated enough that I haven’t dealt with it as a confrontation thing, but I do experience the vast misunderstanding and ignorance about asexuality a lot.

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

Either the celibacy misconception or just not knowing what it is.

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

It’s okay to be like this. You aren’t broken, or flawed, or sinful for being like this.

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

You can find me on Tumblr at blackcatwhitewolf.tumblr.com, my art blog, or on Deviantart, also blackcatwhitewolf. My AO3 is potato_being.

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Quothe the Raven

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

Interview: Megan Olson

Today we’re joined by Megan Olson. Megan is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in painting. She’s currently a student and is working towards a degree in art. Megan enjoys painting natural scenes and even paints canvases that reflect her emotions. Her work is brimming with color and detail, making it absolutely stunning to look at. It’s very clear Megan has an incredibly bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I have been doing art for a little over 2 years now, while going in and out of phases of different mediums I was fond of. I have finally settled on painting to be my favorite medium, but that is subject to change as I grow as an artist. I usually paint with acrylic on stretched canvas, but I’m in College to Major in Studio Art and Art history, so oil paints are in my very near future.

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

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

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

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

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a Panromantic Asexual

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: Amanda Akins

Today we’re joined by Amanda Akins. Amanda is a phenomenal and versatile artist who does a bit of everything. She does quite a bit of visual art and crafts, including drawing and scrapbooking. She’s also in a band with her sister called Phine Wine (you can buy their EP on Amazon and iTunes). It’s very apparent that art and creativity are a huge part of Amanda’s life, 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 lot of different types of art and creative things. I have for as long as I can remember. I paint, draw, scrapbook, other crafts, sing, write, edit graphics and make YouTube videos

What inspires you?

Music is probably the biggest thing that inspires me. It puts me in a certain mood where I just get motivated. Also past experiences and other people’s experiences, especially when it comes to writing. I get a lot of inspiration from movies and other people’s art as well. I love seeing other artists thrive. I’m one of those people that will see an amazing work of art and then want to go out and do the same thing.

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Amy Winehouse Canvas Painting

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

It’s always just been a part of who I am, I think. I’m still figuring out what I want to do with my life but being creative and creating something for others to see and appreciate is definitely up there.

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 think it’s a really cool concept to have that. Especially if people recognize it throughout your work.

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Bow

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop. Never give up. It sounds really cheesy but it’s incredibly true. I had an art teacher in high school that told me to sketch every day and you will get better and I wish I took that advice. Your motivation needs to be pure. If you’re just looking to make art to get recognized then it’s not genuine. I think you really have to love it because it’s obvious when you don’t.

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Walking Dead painting

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I still am figuring it out but right now I identify as grey ace specifically. But I usually just tell people I’m asexual as a general term.

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

I haven’t thankfully. I don’t usually tell people that I’m ace unless it comes up because it just doesn’t seem important for people to know.

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

That we are all the same and we’re not. Asexuality and sexuality in general is a huge spectrum and trying to fit people in boxes is counterproductive. I also think when talking to people about asexuality you really have to explain and make sure that your perspectives aren’t the rule. That not everyone that identifies as asexual has the same experiences or beliefs I guess you could say. I would say a lot of people don’t actually understand the general definition of asexuality and that’s what I find myself explaining most of the time.

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Paradise Pier

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

That it’s okay not to know right now. That it’s okay to identify one way and then change that. We all change and we all grow so why wouldn’t our sexual orientations grow with us. You are valid and your feelings are valid and you matter. Do research and do what is comfortable for you. For me it was figuring out a word for exactly how I was feeling and even know I still am figuring that out with my sexual and romantic orientation and that’s okay. Maybe you don’t want to identify at all but it doesn’t make you less of a human being. Keep doing you and doing what you love.

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

I have a website where I sell a lot of my arts and crafts at: https://www.mandasscrapcrafts.com/

I also make music with my sister in a band called Phine Wine. We have Instagram, Twitter (linked below), Facebook, and YouTube. And you can buy our EP on iTunes and Amazon mp3.

Twitter: at phinewineband & at mandamargaret7

Instagram: at phinewineband & at mandasscrapcrafts.

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Lily iPad Drawing

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

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.

whales
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.

Titania
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.

Violin
Violin

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