Interview: Laura

Today we’re joined by Laura. Laura is possibly a first for Asexual Artists: she’s mostly a street artist. Her passion is making stickers to put up in various public places. Aside from street art, she also enjoys doing sketches in her sketchbook. Laura is an incredibly dedicated artist who truly loves what she does, 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’m mostly interested in street art at the moment. I love making stickers, I occasionally make stencils and would love to learn how to do freehand graffiti someday. I’m also learning how to use a tablet, but that’s a weak field at the moment for me. Working with a regular sketchbook and pencils seems to be my forté.

I love making stickers because it’s something non-logical for a person to do. I don’t receive any money for doing it, most of my stickers get removed, I don’t make any publicity for anyone but myself, etc… For me it’s just the coolest thing ever to see someone put up a little drawing for someone else to see. I don’t see a lot of people doing it where I live so I decided to be that person.

What inspires you?

Drawing:

Any sketch done (well) directly in black ink marker. (see Creature13’s DeviantArt sketchbooks)

Dynamic, bold and edgy lines in sketches. I don’t like overly rendered pieces with like a million colors.

Street art:

Anyone with a distinct visual style. Almost like a trademark. I love Skam (he’s a sticker artist).

In a more wide sense I guess anything cool I come across on the internet with a nice aesthetic, mostly pictures. I have a folder full of images like that, and when I’m not inspired, I just flip through them until I see something I want to draw.

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Kylo Ren

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

I was an angsty twelve year old kid in an almost dictatorial high school, and just needed to get out. I don’t know if it was depression, but my mom definitely noticed and decided to pull me out and get me to another school. She gave me a pamphlet of the school before I changed schools (obviously) and I saw an art program. I couldn’t draw AT ALL back then, but I was sold immediately. So, I finished my year at my old school (that’s when I started drawing) and then went to the new school and it was a life changer. I love my mom for helping me make that decision.

So no, I didn’t always want to be an artist, I just needed to get out of a bad place, art just happened to be in my path.

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?

Yes! I tag everything with “Varya”

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you want to do this, don’t half-ass it. It’s possible, but only if you really commit. I’m not there yet either. Progress is like being in the middle of the ocean, sailing towards the shore, you can’t see yourself getting closer, but you have to keep going no matter what.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Fully asexual and fully aromantic. I love my friends!

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

OKAY, funny thing that happened JUST NOW. I asked my sister to convert this file of the interview to a pdf file because I’m cheap and don’t have word, and she was like “But you’re not asexual.” Sigh

Okay, now to the messed up stuff:

I once had to report a guy to the police, because I had to reject him. After I explained why I rejected him, he proceeded to send me death threats and such. On Facebook, he tagged me in a status saying that if anyone saw me in real life, they should beat me up (and he would if he saw me) I kind of laugh at it now cause it seems so ridiculous, but then I remember I had to report a guy because his fragile ego was so badly damaged he wanted me to die. I was called less than human, heartless,…

Also, I once explained my situation to my best friend and some of my other friends during a very relaxed class of sculpting, and they all told me I was wrong. That I would want it someday, that that’s just anatomically impossible, etc.

I don’t mind the death threats as much as what my friends said though. Because I know the guy was mentally atypical? (I’m sorry if that’s offensive, English isn’t my first language)

I was more hurt by what my friends said because they said it in such a way that made me feel weird, like they were more educated, and I didn’t know what I was saying. Now I have this subconscious idea that I can’t tell anyone because I’m weird and that’s weird and inappropriate

I’m still working on accepting myself. I’ve self-harmed, I’ve dealt with depression, and have cut off some of my loved ones completely because I couldn’t deal with a romantic relationship. Every time the topic of asexuality arises I just can’t bring myself to casually mention that I am asexual (even though my best friend now knows). I just cringe? I guess? Because of all the embarrassment instilled upon me by past experiences

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

That we’re wrong.

I’m so sick and tired of people “knowing better”. “You’re not asexual” is a thing I’ve heard quite a lot (no, not just my sister who said that)

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

It’s okay to not have to put a label on yourself all the time. And it’s also okay to do so anyway!!! A name to what you are can be a relief to some, to make sense of what you feel, so that’s cool. I just want you to know that some people can be very hurtful about asexuality because they don’t know about it and think you’re making something up (seriously, my mom get confused after gay and lesbian, the rest of the acronym doesn’t exist to her). Those people’s opinion doesn’t matter because who knows you better than yourself, right??

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

http://cucumberwhale.deviantart.com/

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Professor Brand

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

Interview: Marthe Ney

Today we’re joined by Marthe Ney. Marthe is a phenomenal and incredibly versatile artist who works in a variety of media. She’s from England and currently attending university where she’s studying Costume with Textiles and it sounds fascinating. She does a number of character-based textile drawing, character designs, costume and clothing illustrations, constructs costumes, and creates character-based textiles art. As if that’s not impressive enough, Marthe also does fanart and character art on her blog. Her work demonstrates an imaginative individual who enjoys her work. It’s clear that she has a genuine passion for art and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her work in the future. 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 work in quite a variety of ways and media. The more casual work I do, for myself or for my Tumblr blog tends to be character-based fanart, usually pretty rough sketches using pencil, occasionally adding colour and detail with watercolour ink and fine liner. I am also beginning to experiment with digital drawing and colouring.

I use an even wider range of media in the work I do for my degree- Costume with Textiles- for my illustration module I use largely the same media as for my personal work, mixed in with collage, markers, pastels and sculpture. The other work that I do tends to be fabric based, I am specialising in embroidery so I do drawings to inspire this using loads of mark making techniques and different media, based on the research and inspiration for the characters I’m designing for. When I am creating textiles samples I use different techniques of stitching, cutting, folding and embellishing (depending what we’re covering in workshops) on different combinations of fabrics to create samples based on my drawings and characters.

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What inspires you?

Usually stories and characters. Although I’ve been drawing for a long time, I really began to hone my skills and learn to draw properly through fanart, and drawing my favourite characters is how I’ve gotten all of my practice. Ironically enough a lot of my art is based on fandom ships, usually because the emotions of characters are what inspires me about them. The work for my degree (and hopefully my career one day) is based on characters as well, the script, the subtext, everything I can find out or theorise about the characters and then visual research that comes from that. Though I usually try work in some of my personal interests into it to give my own personal spin.

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

I have for a very long time actually, I think originally I wanted to be vet, then a journalist, and I settled on fashion design when I was about 10. I went to stay with my auntie for a while and didn’t bring any toys so I made myself a paper doll, and I kept working on it and adding to it for years, I stopped working on it a few years ago, it must have over 200 outfits and 15 different hairstyles. I did a GCSE in textiles, then an extended diploma in fashion and clothing and an AS Level in theatre studies, while I was at college I decided that the fashion industry just wasn’t for me, and that I wanted to go into costume instead. The drawing and fanart kind of came along side it as I started to experiment with art that wasn’t clothing based.

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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?

Not really, I have my own style of illustration and drawing, which I guess has certain features and attributes but there isn’t anything that I consciously add and include.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Well, I still kind of am a young aspiring artist, but I’d say to work with references, find artist styles that appeal to you, and look to places like Tumblr or Pinterest for guides and tutorials, and keep practicing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as completely aromantic and asexual, though I would like some form of relationship I guess? I’m not romance or sex repulsed, just a bit confused and weird about the whole thing. I have a preference for girls though so if I did have a relationship it would be with a girl.

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

No, not in my field. I’m out on the Internet, but there are only a few references to it on my art blog, and not many people in real life know. Not that I try and hide it, it just doesn’t seem to come up. Since a few people I’ve told haven’t reacted all that well, I don’t always like bringing it up if no one asks. Not that I’ve really faced prejudice, just some ignorant comments that could be kind of hurtful.

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

I’ve had pretty much everything on the ace bingo card. Pity, confusion, hurtful misconceptions about my ability to feel love. A bizarrely threatening insistence from a classmate that she was “going to come to your wedding when you get over this and tell your husband what you said and see how he likes it” which I didn’t really appreciate. But yeah, I’d say that the whole “unable to feel love” thing is the most common thing I’ve heard.

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

This is a tricky one, because I do still struggle with my orientation myself. One thing I do that really helps me is things like this interview and this blog, things that raise awareness and promote positivity. Because helping other people who may be struggling with their orientation or may not be aware of asexuality even though it applies to them always really helps me when I’m struggling in a kind of “fake it till you make it” way.

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

I have a personal blog at http://marthe-with-an-e.tumblr.com that is a bit of a random collection, but has quite a bit on asexuality, aromanticism and my experiences and awareness. But to find out more about my work and see more of my art see my art blog at http://teafortheheart.tumblr.com I’ll try and put up some more examples of my degree work to show some more examples of different media.

Thank you so much for featuring me and thank you for reading.

wildest dreams
Wildest Dreams

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

Interview: Shelby Miller

Today we’re joined by Shelby Miller, who also goes by Shubbabang.  Shelby is an incredibly talented visual artist.  She works in both digital and traditional mediums.  The images she sent along are quite intriguing and I have a feeling we’ll be seeing a lot more of her work in the future, which is quite exciting.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Wolf

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work with digital and traditional pencil/colored pencil and have been interested in studying animation as well as doing character designs. A majority of the content I put out are comics, though I still also draw fantasy related characters or creatures. My style ranges a lot from cartoon-ish to slightly more realistic. I used to put out a lot of fan art as well but I’ve been trying to do more original work recently, and at the moment I have a webcomic that’s still in the early stages of the art process that I’m hoping to be able to start sometime next year.

What inspires you?

For non-humor based art I take a lot of inspiration from movies I adored when I was growing up. Specifically the older 2D animated movies that had unique or interesting art styles you didn’t see often like Atlantis: The Lost Empire, El Dorado, Prince of Egypt, etc. My comics however are usually based off of events in my life or everyday things, just with a bit of silliness added in.

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

For as long as I can remember, I’ve been drawing. I’ve still got sketchbooks from when I was in elementary school filled with doodles of random made up animals. It was around the time that I started to get praise for it that I thought “Hey, I think I could do something with this.” Of course I was around five years old and the praise was usually from adults trying to be nice I think, but regardless it helped me decide what to do with my life!

Water Girl
Water Girl

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

Since my art style tends to vary a lot, I don’t have anything consistent other than my usual watermark.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice as much as you can! Look up and gather references to use! No one starts out being amazing and if you get discouraged, try again the next day! You may not see the progress at first but when you look back there will be a huge difference. Another thing that helps especially if you’re drawing human figures is knowing a little bit about anatomy. One of the classes I took in college was anatomy and it wasn’t even art related, but it really helped me learn how bones and muscles move and look. Also, don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone when drawing. Try a new brush, a new technique, a new color, anything you don’t normally do and you might find out you like the result!

Expressions
Expressions

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as heteromantic/asexual. It was actually recently I had figured it out and it helped explain a lot of things for me such as why I wasn’t into intimacy or why sex wasn’t such a big thing in my life. In fact I had no idea sexual attraction was a thing until I started looking this stuff up, because I’ve never encountered it before.

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

Well, not directly towards me. Though it’s because I identify as heteromantic that I haven’t announced it as much where I put my art out, mainly because I know there are people who think that doesn’t count as asexual. For the most part I ignore it because the only person who gets to decide what I view myself as is me.

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

That it either doesn’t exist or that people who are asexual don’t like anything romance or relationship related. I used to be bad about that as well when I first learned about it (which was 3 years ago) and it wasn’t until I figured out what the difference between sexual attraction and romantic attraction was that I actually realized that I might fall into that spectrum.

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

You don’t have to decide right now, and you can change how you feel. There are many different ways to experience the world of romance and sometimes it’ll take a bit to figure out just where you land on the spectrum. Even so, you’re still valid and I’m rooting for you.

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

Right now I post all of my work on my Tumblr at shubbabang.tumblr.com. In the future I’d like to have my own blog or site, but for right now I mainly use that.

Lions
Lions

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

Interview: Puteri Hana

Today we’re joined by Puteri Hana.  Hana is an amazingly talented artist who does a little bit of everything.  She’s mostly a visual artist who works both in digital and with traditional mediums.  Aside from the visual arts, Hana also plays the piano and violin.  This is an artist who has a very bright future ahead of her.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Ace Closet
Ace Closet

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I enjoy drawing! I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a little girl. I’m currently a graphic design student, and I draw for my webcomic in my free time. I draw a lot of characters, be it my own or fan art of cartoons, anime, or games. I like to experiment on facial expressions and different art styles, and I love to use bright colours in my work. I used to only draw animals as a child, but I started drawing humans when I was around 11. I started with an anime style, but now I’m starting to lean towards a more Western style, while also developing my own style. When I’m not drawing digitally, I love to draw with pencils and pens, and colour with markers and/or watercolour paints.

Besides drawing, I also like to sew plush toys and make props, like I did and still do for school clubs and cosplay. I play piano and violin and I used to be in my school orchestra as a violinist. I’m currently taking acting classes as an extra activity in my pastime in order to improve my skills in my voice over work.

What inspires you?

My sister was my first inspiration; she was the one who got me to start drawing at a very young age. The cartoons I watched on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network were and still are a big part of my inspiration for art; not only the shows as a whole but also specific characters and music. I was inspired by a lot of manga to start drawing comics.

Hana in a Skirt
Hana in a Skirt

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

I would have to answer “cartoons” again! Almost my whole life revolved around the animated shows and movies I watch. I even learned how to speak English from the cartoons I watched. Yes, I have always wanted to be an artist, but I never knew which kind, until I started reading “Naruto” which inspired me to become an illustrator.

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, though I always seem to draw myself as a character in a green T-shirt with a yellow star and green earrings. Does that count? :B

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop doing what you’re doing! If it makes you happy, then keep going. Try anything you want and everything you can, and keep practicing to get better and better at it. Just be patient with yourself and your work will all be worth it. When someone says you can’t, you show them you can. Never, ever give up!

Raaaaain for Nandos
Raaaaain for Nandos

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual. I spent six years of my life thinking I was bisexual until just recently when I became very interested in learning more about “people like me” and did a lot of research on the LGBTQIA+ spectrums, heh!

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

Yes, both online and in real life. I tried explaining all I could from my own experience to them and when that didn’t work, I linked them to some websites explaining asexuality in a more detailed manner.

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

“Oh, that means you’re straight and just haven’t found the right man for you yet. You will want to do ‘it’ and bear children when you’re older.”

Skylanaffie
Skylanaffie

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

You are not alone. Sexual orientation is very fluid and nobody can say otherwise. You will be loved and accepted by the right people in your life; and until then, don’t give up. There will always be people who frustrate you, but just be patient. If and when they are willing to learn, give them a chance. If not, they will when we aces take over the world (okay, no). I love you all in the most asexual way (heehee!) ❤

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

You can look at my drawings and other artworks on my deviantART http://flowerbanana.deviantart.com/ and read my webcomic(s) on Tapastic http://tapastic.com/flowerbanana

Trickster Gurls
Trickster Gurls

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