Interview: Cipher

Today we’re joined by Cipher. Cipher is a wonderful writer and digital artist who specializes in fantasy and supernatural stories. She’s currently working on a couple different stories at the moment, all of which sound absolutely fascinating. When she’s not writing, Cipher does some digital art, mostly character design. It’s very obvious that she’s a very dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. rheet1ttt
Rheet

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m primarily a hobbyist writer, but I draw stuff on occasion, usually when I have an exam coming up or an assignment due. I tend to write stuff geared more towards fantasy or supernatural, as I love a story with something magical in it.

My current WIP is about a pretty gold merman, pirates, and fairies (in the background). The main character is of Middle-Eastern ethnicity, and is asexual! His merman boyfriend is whatever the merman equivalent of pansexual is, and one of two primary antagonists specifically a sex-repulsed asexual man. The story features characters of many different nationalities (as far as I can make that happen with a fantasy world) such as African, British (Scottish and English), Irish, Indian, Middle-Eastern, Caribbean, and French! It deals with some potentially triggering themes at times, but it’s also a story about accepting people for who they are, and accepting that your first impression of someone may not be that accurate. Also pirates!

I also have a vampire story planned, which will contain a single father main character with a tiny child because why not! I have a secret “other account” that I use to write self-indulgent fanfiction because I have to entertain myself SOMEHOW. My niche tends to be more in writing gay romantic relationships or very close platonic friendships with a kind of found-family vibe.

Any art I draw tends to be really ridiculous and silly, or it’ll be art for my own stories or someone else’s.

2. Felix2
Felix

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. My own experiences and emotions, music, my friends, other content I view. Sometimes I just really want to indulge in a particular thing, and if I can’t find it out there, I write it myself! With the merman story, I kind of inspired myself? I had originally written a short series of novels which I wanted to do a spin-off for. And I was getting really into merpeople at the time, so I wanted to include one in this spin-off. The merman character I created and his human boyfriend wound up being way more interesting than what I was already writing, so I scrapped the spin-off and started telling their story instead! I have specific songs I listen to for this story, and I also tend to watch YouTube videos (check out Stella the Siren!) of people in costumes swimming around as merpeople.

One of the big themes in this story is being trapped somewhere and not being able to leave, even though logically, it should be easy. Another theme is prejudice, another is acceptance (or the lack thereof, in some cases). I drew these themes heavily from my own life, and I feel that in some roundabout way, some of the themes in this story are an accurate metaphor for the experiences some people have with their asexuality. This wasn’t my intention when writing it, but this has wound up being the result.

3. Iris
Iris

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

I can remember wanting to be a writer when I was younger. I had big dreams of wanting to be a best-selling author like J. K. Rowling, I wanted to be famous for it, I wanted to earn lots of money! And it was primarily the Harry Potter books that got me interested in that. My first story ever was a (badly) illustrated retelling of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (ha, I’ve come full circle!). As I grew up, I made friends with similar interests. We all wanted to be writers, we all liked to draw. Since then, I’ve decided I actually NEVER want to be published as I’m content with sharing my works for free online where I can interact with readers on a more personal level. And my digital art is really just a hobby. I’d love to develop my skill enough to do graphic novels or webcomics, maybe open up a Patreon. But again, it’s nothing I want to pursue professionally.

4. Penelope1
Penelope

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 that I know of? I guess when I write, I throw a lot of myself and my own emotions into the writing, and I NEVER intend for this to happen. It can sometimes make me feel very exposed when posting a new chapter, as I realise (though readers may not) that some of my deepest emotions and thoughts are out there for everyone to see.

5. azandkaensfinal1222
Az and Kaens

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Of course it’s important to improve your craft, whatever it may be. But NEVER let anyone tell you that your work is “cliché” or “unoriginal”. Guess what? NOTHING is original. Everything has been done before in some way at some point. What matters is that you have fun creating it, is that you enjoy what you do. You should have fun coming up with plots or ideas for drawings, you should have fun creating characters and giving them tragic backstories or smart mouths or the perfect physique, or whatever else it is that people like to make fun of others for. Indulge in yourself. When people constantly criticize you, and make you feel like you aren’t good enough to the point where you no longer want to create your art, THEY are in the wrong. You can’t please everyone. I once had someone complain that my 18-year-old Middle-Easter male character’s facial hair made him look less cute, and she would rather he didn’t have it. Like, I’m sorry my boy doesn’t fit your ideal “uke” aesthetic. My best friend drew a picture of him with a full giant beard and moustache as retaliation for me 😀

So first and foremost, make sure YOU are happy with what you create. Create primarily for yourself and not for others. Constructive or polite criticism, take it with a polite smile and a “thank you”, but learn to recognize when someone is genuinely just being mean. Remember that everyone advances at different speeds, and not everyone is perfect at everything.

Never let anyone, not even yourself, make your art less fun for you.

Some more writing-specific advice! In my opinion, a story is made up of three components. Writing, characters, and plot. Ideally, you want at least two of these things to be good to make for a story people will like! But in my experience, good characters are what work! They could be walking down the stairs for breakfast in the morning, but if your characterization is strong and done well, people will care about it. Pay special attention to your characters and creating them, and showing who they are in your writing, and giving them reasons for doing the things they do. Plot can be whatever you want it to be. Writing improves with time. Read a lot (professionally published works, really terribly-written fanfictions, the works!). Learn what you like in another’s style and what you don’t like. Utilize and borrow these things in order to refine your own craft.

Be kind to yourself! You’re creating art!

8. 64287995-256-k202908
Book Cover drawn by limey-art (on Tumblr), text added by shirokaneki (on Tumblr)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual, panromantic.

6. azzwefgth
Az

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

Not that I can think of. A fellow writer did once tell me that she really “didn’t get all that crap”, however given her own upbringing and where she’s from, it didn’t bother me too much. I also had a rather rude person leave a comment on my story about sex in the story’s future, and when I explained there would be none because my main character is asexual (and his love interest is half FISH), she became very blasé, laughed about asexuality, kind of implied she didn’t think it was a real thing. I offered to explain it in more depth to her, and how it specifically affects this main character versus the sex-repulsed villain, but she never responded xD

Most of the ignorance tends to stem from people simply not knowing what asexuality is – they’ve either never heard of it, or they have misconceptions about what it is. And that’s fine, because I myself knew nothing about it until only a year or two ago. The best way I deal with THAT is to tell them that it’s okay if they don’t know or understand. I give a little explanation, and offer to go more in depth with them if they want, or I offer to point them to resources. Most people I’ve encountered have been very pleasant about it. Those who aren’t, just don’t talk to them. And remember to use that block button if necessary!

7. Slade
Slade

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

The most common one I’ve personally encountered is that people assume I’m afraid of sex. They assume this is the case, and they think I say I’m asexual so I either won’t have to have sex, or it’s an excuse so I don’t have to admit I’m afraid. Generally speaking, this is not the case at all. I’ve also had people think I don’t want sex, or “there must be something wrong” with me because “everyone wants sex!”. And finally, my number one FAVOURITE – “you just haven’t met the right person yet! That will change when you meet The One!” You know what, maybe it WILL change if I meet The One. Maybe I’m specifically demi-sexual. Maybe I just haven’t met my type yet. But for someone to try to invalidate my current sexuality like that is NOT okay. I never have felt, nor do I think I ever WILL feel sexual attraction. This, however, does NOT prevent me from having relationships, from having sex (physically, thoughts, “alone time”, etc) or from living a perfectly fulfilling life.

9. Az & Kae (Anni)
Az and Kae (drawn by fairygodpiggy on Tumblr)

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

That honestly depends on why they are struggling. The main thing to remember, I think, is that you know yourself best. If you think you’re asexual, call yourself asexual. If it’s dangerous for you to “come out” you are under NO obligation to do so. Ace positivity is everywhere on the internet, which is fantastic! However, you are no less ace if you choose not to participate or contribute, or if you choose never to talk about it. Your pride doesn’t have to be loud. You are no less ace if you only SOMETIMES feel ace, or if you used to not be, but now you are. There are resources out there where you can find a more specific term for your sexuality if you wish, but if you think you are ace, then that is what you are and no one can tell you any differently. There is nothing WRONG with you. Hundreds of thousands of us have thought the same thing. “I must be straight by default” or “I don’t understand why she’d cheat on him” or “sex isn’t that great”.

Asexuality is such a broad spectrum that of course everybody has different experiences. Different circumstances, different emotions, different actions, etc. Just because you’re not like another asexual person, that doesn’t mean you are less asexual. You can absolutely know if you’re ace whether you’ve had sex or not. I knew from about age 11 or 12 that I was ace, I just didn’t know the term for it at the time.

And for those of you who, like me for a while, wished you WEREN’T asexual, I have this to say: you are who you are. You feel what you feel. I hope you can come to accept yourself and realise that there is nothing wrong with being asexual. There are people out there who love and support you, and fellow ace people like myself are always here to chat should you need it ❤ Remember, the world in general still doesn’t understand a lot about asexuality. We’re still trying to get them to figure out that being gay is a real and normal thing! For many of us, being ace isn’t always easy. But we’ll get there. Just have pride in who you are, avoid Ace Discourse, and live your life!

10. Az (Limey)
Az drawn by limey-art (on Tumblr)

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

You can find my writing here on Wattpad as well as an artbook that I update sometimes: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Ciphertext

I’m also on Tumblr where I sometimes post art, but mostly I reblog fandom stuff, memes, and Vine compilations: https://ciphertext-x.tumblr.com/

11. the future
The Future, drawn by roboticspacecase (on Tumblr)

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

Interview: Mari

Today we’re joined by Mari. Mari is a wonderful aspiring author and dedicated fanfiction writer. When she’s not working on fiction, Mari writes for her school paper and is working toward a minor in journalism. She’s incredibly passionate about writing, 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’m a writer, both FanFiction and for my school paper, but I’m aspiring to be a published author. Writing is a passion. I’m in college for a major in English and a minor in journalism. I write FanFiction for a few fandoms, such as Soul Eater. As for my school paper, it’s just small stuff, like the football game or a fundraiser. But we gotta start somewhere, right?

What inspires you?

My inspiration really comes from my own life experiences. But my real motivation are my friends. I wouldn’t write anything if it wasn’t for them. Especially my Tumblr friends. They’ve gotten me farther then I could’ve imagined.

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

To be honest? Yeah. Ever since I was little, reading and writing was a big love for me. I’d buy book after book. But soon, I wanted to start to write for myself. What I am today, I’ve always wanted to be.

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?

If you asked me, I’d say no. I don’t really notice any unique thing about my writing. But I’ve been told that I make my writing very emotional. I make people feel with the characters.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’d say that what you want to do is completely you. It’s not anyone’s business of what you want, and no one knows what you want except you. Don’t let them tell you otherwise!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a sex-repulsed ace, but I’m also panromantic. At least, I’m pretty sure I’m pan. I’m still figuring myself out. I just know for sure I’m ace.

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

I have, actually. In high school, I had a small column in the paper. I could write anything I wanted. I wrote about asexuality, and other orientations. Though everything was anonymous, people found out who I was. I got bullied a lot. From mean notes in my locker to someone actually peeing on my chair. Stupid, huh? Finally, I went to the principle. A new policy was put in; anyone found bullying would be suspended. The teasing stopped.!

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

I don’t have emotions. I can’t write without emotions. I actually do have emotions. And I love romance books. Crazy!

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

It’s however you feel. Whatever you’re comfortable with. And if you find out that, hey, maybe I’m ace? Then that’s amazing! And if you realize that you aren’t, that’s amazing too! Your orientation is completely you.

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

They could check out my Tumblr, at saucey-and-spicey! All my fanfic work is posted there!

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

Interview: Amy

Today we’re joined by Amy. Amy is a wonderful visual artist who does digital painting and is also a cartoonist. She mostly draws people and characters. Amy enjoys art that tells a story. Her work is absolutely beautiful, filled with vibrant colors and expressive faces. She’s clearly an incredibly talented artist with an amazing eye, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

tumblr_o7pkm4oZXR1r60dxko1_500

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoonist and digital painter interested especially in figural works — characters and people. I like paintings which tell a story, or maybe just hint at one; the sort of thing that might become someone’s character inspiration. When I’m doing relaxing doodles in my sketchbook, it’s usually faces making a variety of expressions.

What inspires you?

Colour and light; humans. I love the visceral reaction to a painting which uses colour and light boldly. I am also a habitual people-watcher and am inspired by the people I see every day. As an artist, I have a habit of seeing beauty and interest in everyone. I’m not great yet at capturing that, but it’s an inspiration for sure!

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

I’ve always liked drawing, but when I was around 15 years old I decided to get serious and start really practicing and investigating. The internet especially helped me with my art — all of my early favourite artists were people sharing their work online, like Vera Brosgol and Emily Carroll.

I went to university for Fine Arts, and realized after I got my degree that I was happier doing art as a hobby than as my every day job. I’m an extrovert, and after a short stint working from home doing backgrounds for animation, I realized that almost all art jobs are solitary and would drive me totally batty if I did them as a career. It’s hard balancing art with working full time, but I’m working on learning how.

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 necessarily hide a lot of symbolism in my art, but if I look at all my paintings side by side I realize that I very much have a palette that I like to work in: pinks and teals. There’s just something about the contrast between pink/coral/peach and teal/blue/robin’s egg that appeals to me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Look at everything and practice everything! Remember that what you put into your head influences what comes back out, so seeking more diverse stuff to look at and enjoy will help your art grow and expand. Then draw, draw, draw. When I was learning to draw hands I filled pages and pages and pages with sketches of hands while sitting in front of the TV; now I’m confident in drawing hands and enjoy including them in my work. Not every piece has to be final: go ahead and just try stuff out and see what happens.

tumblr_owfgqqOCUZ1r60dxko1_500

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a bi-romantic or pan-romantic ace. I usually use bi since it’s easier for people to understand, but I’m romantically attracted to men, women, and non-binary or genderqueer people.

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

I’m not extremely vocal about being ace in my field IRL as I have dealt with a lot of general ignorance and prejudice already. I’m much more open about my sexuality online, though, because I know that seeing other ace people has helped me and I want to pass that on when I feel able to. Over time, I hope to become more vocal about it in real life so that I can help people that way too.

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

That it “doesn’t exist” or I “don’t know what I’m missing out on”. Both are really frustrating to encounter! Everyone seems to think they know better than me about my sexuality and attraction and want to tell me how I should feel or identify. I’m doing my best to tune them out.

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

I first realized that I was ace when I was around 20; I didn’t actually accept it and start identifying as ace until I was around 30. It’s hard to be a part of an orientation that people either completely don’t know about or think isn’t real. It’s also hard to fit into a world that thinks sex is the be-all end-all when it just isn’t a priority or interest. I guess my advice would be: it’s okay to struggle; that doesn’t make you any less valid as an asexual person. And it’s okay, too, to decide that you’re done struggling and you’re happy being you regardless of what society thinks! I think it’s a process getting from the first to the second, and we’re all working our way along it; give yourself time.

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

I have a blog where I post my art — I’m not the most active poster, but I’ve got a good long archive of simple sketches, pen and ink work, and full paintings. You can check me out at amy-draws.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: Ash

Today we’re joined by Ash. Ash is a wonderful young baker who has a passion for food. They enjoy cooking, though they don’t do it as much as they’d like. They have such a love and passion for food, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I bake food, generally for my friends. I bake something different each week, generally something sweet, and take them in (if my family don’t get there first!!)

What inspires you?

Finding new things and trying new foods! They give me ideas of what to bake and what flavors work together, for example recently I discovered a recipe for white chocolate and basil mouse, which I was sure wouldn’t work but as intrigued to try it. (it works really well by the way)

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

I used to bake with my mum when I was younger which is what got me started on baking. I wanted to be a chocolatier when I was young, however baking is now a hobby and I will probably go into a maths related field rather than art.

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?

My signature dishes are my vegan brownies and my chocolate orange cupcakes – the recipes are very well guarded!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Sometimes stuff goes wrong. Cakes collapse, you add too much baking powder, you burn them. So what? Make it again. You’re first attempt at something shouldn’t be your last. Keep trying, if you’re having fun it’s worth spending time over.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m panromantic asexual

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

I’ve not experienced any prejudice, as I am at school with some very tolerant accepting people, however there is a lot of ignorance. So many people don’t understand what it is and I’ve had to explain many times what asexual means.

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

That I just haven’t found the right person yet, and because I’m young that I’ll grow out of it.

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

Follow some ace positive blogs; this really helped me to accept that I wasn’t alone, that I was valid and not broken. Know that it’s also ok to change your labels!! I used to think I was bi, then pan, before I realized I was ace. I may find later down the line that I’m demi or something else entirely, and that’s 100% OK!! Let yourself explore and don’t be afraid of being wrong its part of growing within yourself.

Some asexual blogs:

thehumorousace
fuckyeahaseual
goandlivelife
aspecpplarebeautiful
cake-for-ace
aceofbays
hetacesarevalid
aroaceblogging

(these are just a few I know of! There are many more out there)

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

Interview: Anna Perkins

Today we’re joined by Anna Perkins. Anna is a wonderful young musician who sings in their school choir. They plan to study music in college. It’s very clear that they’re a passionate and dedicated musician, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a vocal musician, in choir at school; and in a couple years will be going to college and major in vocal music.

What inspires you?

I’m not really sure. When I see a piece of music I just a this warm feeling inside me, then when I start reading it and singing

it the feeling spreads throughout my body and it’s just amazing.

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

When I was younger I saw some people in their school choir and they looked so happy and the music I heard made me really happy and that got me to pursue music. One of the first memories I have it listening to a choir so yes I have always wanted to.

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 not have one.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anything get in your way. If you want to get to a certain level then work for it. And if you audition for something, or you submit a piece to a contest, or anything where your art would be judged, try your best. If you don’t win then learn from that. Not every piece will be a winner.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a sex repulsed asexual pan romantic Agender human 🙂

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

Not in my field, but in other places I have. Idk if that counts still but any kind or ace prejudice or ignorance, just try not to let it get to you. They do not define you. You do.

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

Well, most people think that I’m asexual because I was sexually harassed and that that means that one day I will want to have sex with my significant other. This is not true at all.

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

Just go with what you feel. If you think that you are asexual then go for it. If you want to change your mind or you think that you’re something else, that’s fine. You define you. Not anyone else.

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

People can message my Tumblr or my Instagram (basementdelusion is the username for both) and ask any question they would like to. I don’t post videos of me singing because I don’t want to post something and then have people try to judge me or tell me what to do with my music so I just keep it for myself until someone asks to hear me then I send a video to them if they like.

Thank you, Anna, 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.

IMG_1331

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.

IMG_1336

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!

IMG_1366 (2)

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.

IMG_1375 (2)

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”

IMG_1508 (2)

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!

IMG_1712

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

Interview: Caoimhe

Today we’re joined by Caoímhe. Caoímhe is a young fanartist who does a lot of drawing and some cosplay. She started out drawing anime but is currently developing her own style. Caoímhe demonstrates an incredible use of color and line that make her images really stand out. She’s very talented, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

IMG_20170826_232318

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I guess I’m a fan artist really. I do traditional art of shows I watch and fandoms I’m in. I started off drawing anime and I’ve started getting into my own style more recently. I’ve also done some small cosplaying bits for conventions, nothing major though.

What inspires you?

As a fan artist, what I’m interested in really gives me ideas. I’ve been very into musicals recently like Hamilton (I know I’m basic) so I decided to draw my friends as characters from it to help improve my drawing somewhat realistically. I also get random ideas from conversations with my friends so I’ll jot them down in the notes on my phone. I always have little ideas that I want to pursue, it’s more finding time to actually do them is the work.

When I do cosplay, I pick characters I like and/or admire. My favourite cosplay is Heather Chandler from Heathers as I love to act as a bitchy character.

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

I was never really into art as a kid. I was very much a bookworm, so whilst other kids played GAA (football and hurling) I would read books or work on coding. It wasn’t until I started secondary school and a girl I became friends with got me into anime. I started with Ouran High School Host Club and got into a few others. I don’t know why but I decided to draw some of the characters and I’ve been drawing for around two and a half years now.

It’s the same for cosplay, I became friends with people who would go to conventions and I started going to them too. There’s not a major amount of them as I’m from Ireland though, but I try to get to them when I can.

IMG_20170730_233003

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 particularly. I do sign my work and date it, so I can look back and see where I’ve improved more than anything.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever area of art you are in, practice. It’s the only way to improve. I say this as someone who is still a young artist trying to work on her art. But also try not to compare yourself to others too much. Yes, you’ll always feel like there are those who are better than you, but by constantly criticizing yourself, you’ll only make yourself feel worse.

IMG_20170826_232832

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual and bi/panromantic (haven’t really figured it out yet). In regards to my asexuality, I’m open to intimacy just not sex, though I’m not outright repulsed by it, I just know it’s not for me.

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

I personally haven’t experienced anything like that in real life, though I have met people who don’t get asexuality which I kind of expect. Online, I have seen a lot of ace hate, especially on Tumblr and Instagram, where there have been ace hate pages and just so much abuse thrown at the community.

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

That all ace people hate intimacy. Obviously some do, but many of us are fine with and enjoy things like cuddling, kissing and such. There are even aces who do have sex, but I feel like it’s not really shown as much in the little representation the ace community has.

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

You don’t need to have it all figured out. I’m still trying to figure out my own identity, but once you are ok with who you are you’ll be fine.

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

I’m not particularly active on Tumblr, my Instagram is really where it’s at:
https://www.instagram.com/caoimhedraws/

I also post updates as I draw on my Snapchat CaoimheDraws

I don’t always post what I’m doing so if you want to shoot me a DM to see what I’m working on or to talk, feel free!

IMG_20170212_154417

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