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.

roadclosed(abandoned)
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.

skeletonhand
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: Kodiak Rain

Today we’re joined by Kodiak Rain, who also goes by Kodi. Kodi is a phenomenal visual artist who does a bit of everything. Ze enjoys colored pencils and watercolors mostly, although ze has worked with clay, acrylics, and oil paints as well. Kodi also illustrated a graphic novel written by zer son entitled Trayvalle Tales (it can be found on Amazon, here). Ze are incredibly passionate about art and zer work shows a remarkable amount of depth and complexity as well as a phenomenal use of color, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to zer for taking the time to participate in this interview.

73400_487542684660252_1863659746_n

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I work with a variety of mediums from oil paint to acrylic to watercolors, sculpting with clay, drawing in pencil, ink or colored pencil or a combination of those, pastels, charcoal, using a Wacom drawing pad to create digital art, woodcuts and printmaking. Of all those things, I think my current favorites are colored pencils and watercolor paints. I like how those methods are easy to use so that I am able to work quickly without a lot of set up or clean up.

298813_165399070207950_1201130218_n

What inspires you?

Nature is my biggest inspiration. I wish to capture its beauty while also offering a perspective on it that reminds others that we are part of nature and that nature is alive all around us. Even more alive than we tend to give it credit for on a daily basis. Emotions also inspire me. I want my images to evoke feelings although I don’t always want to determine ahead of time what those feelings will be. And finally symbolism inspires me. When working with images, there are so many ways to express different ideas, emotions and messages through symbols both ancient and more modern. It is fun to think about what symbols are universal and what may be very individualistic.

300098_165271860220671_1888868413_n

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

My mother was a professional artist all my life so I was exposed to art from the beginning. It wasn’t what I dreamed of being, it was just something I loved to do and found myself doing most, in fact with every opportunity I was creating something. I was fortunate that I had access to so many materials and was encouraged by my mom. I eventually discovered that I simply cannot live without making art. It has been many things for me. It has been my saving grace, my therapy, a way to tell my own story and the stories of others, a way to communicate my character and a way to express things I find hard to say in words.

307397_165395806874943_912506696_n

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 often include spirals because the spiral is found in the double helix of DNA and also in the vastness of a galaxy. It has mathematical qualities and just seems to be the most magical of symbols to me. I also like to draw eyes in my trees (not always but sometimes) to symbolizes that nature is watching us and judging our actions. I guess I am a bit of an agnostic pagan.

316601_165399850207872_1893755414_n

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw every day! Try every medium! Find what you love and don’t stop. Develop tough skin so that if you are criticized or critiqued, you will hear what is beneficial to you and toss out what hurts. Do it for YOU.

308462_192709014143622_54775140_n

378450_192710880810102_1123962643_n

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I guess I am somewhere between asexual and demisexual and often sex repulsed.

382639_218664528214737_807894994_n

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

I find more prejudice about being agender than asexual because I think people haven’t wrapped their heads around the idea that someone can be genderless. I think though that my sexuality doesn’t come up often enough for me to experience prejudice, although I know that some people think that it means something is wrong with me. I even had someone take it personally as if it were a judgment about their sexual ability when in fact it has nothing to do with other people and is simply all about me.

387779_219815518099638_142382256_n

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

I guess that being asexual means that there is something wrong with me physically or that I just haven’t been with a good lover or found the right person. Also that I am a prude. I am not a prude and can talk about anything regarding sex with an open mind AND my asexuality is not about other people. It is all about me, what I feel and how I identify.

11064722_10153200296892309_490169291102213186_n

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

Just be true to yourself and know that you are healthy. What matters most is what makes you happy, what makes you feel good about yourself and your life. Nothing else matters as much as that. Remember that most of the time, people are projecting their own experiences and ideas onto each other so know yourself and don’t worry about what other people think.

14572935_10154041315537309_7572289136576153430_n

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

I used to use Tumblr under a different name but I have forgotten the account info for that so now I have my own blog here on WordPress: kodiakrainblog.wordpress.com. It is fairly new but I plan to share my artwork and my life story there. I hope you check it out and subscribe if you like what you see!

fish2

birdseed

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

Interview: Luke

Today we’re joined by Luke. Luke’s a two-dimensional traditional artist who does a lot of printmaking. In their free-time, they enjoy working with different sorts of pens. Luke is a fellow fan of surrealism (yay!) and draws inspiration from artists like Mucha. Their work is beautiful and bright, reflecting a truly wonderful imagination. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Warning: some pictures contain nudity

Al my boy
Al my boy

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m mainly a 2 dimensional traditional artist. I’m also heavily into printmaking which is something I’ve grown fond of in my college career. I work mainly with micron pens, copic markers and several other kinds of pens and markers for my more personal art that I do in my free time. I really enjoy linoleum cuts and etchings when I do my printmaking work. Much of my free time art is fanart as well as exploring different original characters of mine. As I grow into my college career, I’m focusing more on sexuality and gender issues, LGBTQIA+ issues, relating to my current situation of living in Kansas in the middle of the Midwest. I really dug into these concepts this past year when I created art very central to that subject and last semester when one of my pieces was removed from a show for containing non-sexual nudity.

What inspires you?

I have a very large fondness for the work of Alfons Mucha. I love how woman portrayed in his art, especially his sketches, are portrayed with lumps, bumps and curves. Many of them have double chins and large arms. I am also very fond of Chiara Bautista, who is known for her surrealist illustrations, and Peter Mohrbacher who is the creator of the Angelarium series. There are several classmates in my printmaking class who inspire me to create new and unique ideas.

I’m also very in love with the band Radical Face and draw a lot of inspiration from his music.

Ife drawing
Ife drawing

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

I’ve had the capacity to be an artist since I was a young child. I wouldn’t be where I was unless one of my dear friends taught and pushed me to be a better artist. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who got me interested in becoming an art teacher. However, now that I’ve come to college the idea of pursuing a career as a printmaker has become more and more appealing.

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

I use the same signature across all of my work that combines my first and last initial along with the year to keep track of time. As of this year I added the specific date to my work. Beyond that I can forget some of the little details so a special symbol in my work would be too much to remember lol.

Luke and Michael hats
Luke and Michael hats

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Explore different kinds of art if you can. I didn’t get to that point until college, but it was worth it considering how much I’ve fallen in love with printmaking. Also, references, references, references! I have boards on Pinterest devoted to art and character design to keep my mind fresh and looking at different ideas. It’s not cheating to take inspiration from other artists and examine their processes and end products. If you’re into drawing people, finding stock images of figures or look into specific blogs and DeviantArts created to provide stock model photographs for artists to use. Drawing from life and from photographs is the best deal you can really get.

Owl
Owl

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an autochorrisexual and autochorriromantic

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

Many of classmates are open minded and understand that there are differences in people. There is a lot of casual ignorance and remarks that assume that I’m heterosexual and cisgender. (I am transgender as well: polygender.) I am very open on my college campus, particularly in my art department, so having a certain level of ignorance and misunderstanding is sadly expected. When I do encounter it, I try to educate people the best I can.

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

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

The biggest one came from someone on my campus on an online platform. I casually posted something at an event and checked back on it an hour later to see a whole 50+ comment argument talking about how asexual people are broken, that it’s a mental issue, I should talk to someone about it since it was wrong that I felt that way. (I had in fact been seeing a counselor and I mentioned it once and we didn’t talk about it again since I wasn’t broken to start with.)

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

Asexuality is an umbrella term. I’ve taken this with the idea that words to describe my sexuality don’t have to encompass every detail and nuanced thing about my own attraction or lack thereof. Autochorrisexual encompasses my main and majority feelings of how I experience sexual attraction and lack thereof. Just because you experience sexual attraction once in a blue moon doesn’t invalidate your whole identity. It’s not like you have to be a “gold star asexual” to be an asexual.

Severus and Stone Ed
Severus and Stone Ed

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

I will frequently post my work to my Tumblr: http://he-sgotthebodforthat.tumblr.com/

And to my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lukle_13/

Ed
Ed

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

Interview: Xanthe

Today we’re joined by Xanthe. Xanthe is an amazing young artist who specializes in visual art and her images are phenomenal. She’s currently in uni where she does a lot of printmaking, but she also does illustration work in traditional mediums and digital paintings. Aside from that, she also dabbles in book binding (which might be a first for Asexual Artists). The amount of detail in the pictures she sent to go with her interview is nothing short of incredible. Xanthe is a dedicated artist who obviously loves her craft. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1_weird dog
Weird Dog

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

At the moment I’d say my art is split between my practice for uni where I’m specialising in printmaking, and at home where it’s a mix of digital painting and traditional illustration. I also dabble in bookbinding.

I have many varied interests, but my style is always fairly realistic no matter what medium I’m using. I’ve always loved drawing animals and supernatural creatures and these tend to make up most of what I create. I also make fan art sometimes.

I’m still trying to find a single direction for my work, it’s all over the place at the moment but I’m hoping to reconcile it this year.

2_prints
Prints

What inspires you?

I get inspired by many things but looking at the works of other artists has always been the greatest help. Seeing the kind of variety that’s out there these days validates my own work for myself, in a way, and helps me to push myself to create more and to try new and interesting things. Other than that I tend to look towards nature, music, science fiction and fantasy, especially concept art for movies and games for inspiration.

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

I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Art has been one of the only things I’ve consistently been good at so it seemed natural to want to pursue it.

3_eye
Eye

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?

Other than my initials, not really!

4_ural-owl
Ural Owl

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you have a passion for it, never ever give up. There will always be people who will try to discourage you from pursuing the arts because it’s not a ‘real career’, but they’re wrong. There’s so much reward in doing what you love. Don’t give in to self-doubt either, because most of the time the only thing holding you back is yourself. Always keep practising! No one becomes good at anything overnight. It does sometimes take years of dedication, but it is always worth it in the end.

5_cat
Cat

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteromantic, sex-neutral asexual.

6_JSE
JSE

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

Not personally, no. I haven’t told many people as I consider it a non-issue, but those that do know are very close friends of mine and they have been incredibly accepting. There have been some occasions where I’ve had some intrusive questions asked about myself from people who didn’t understand what it meant to be asexual, but they’ve always only been politely curious instead of prejudiced or anything like that. I think it’s good to encourage people to do their own research, there’s so much information that’s readily available now.

7_chris
Chris

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

Mostly just the mindset that everyone must want sex because it’s ‘part of what makes us human’. People seem to be confused when I say I just don’t care for it.

8_snail
Snail

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

Always remember that you are valid; you are not broken or wrong, you are important, and you are loved. Don’t ever feel pressured to have to justify yourself to other people either; it’s OK to take time to figure things out and it’s OK if the way you feel changes over time. Labels are only there to help you figure out yourself, they certainly aren’t the be-all-end-all of anything.

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

The only place I put my art online is my Tumblr, http://many-times-over.tumblr.com/

9_books
Books

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

Interview: Phin

Today we’re joined by Phin.  Phin is an amazingly talented and incredibly passionate artist.  They’re currently working on a series of paintings meant to bring awareness to the prejudices against the LGBTQIA+ community.  The images they sent along with their interview are nothing short of beautiful.  This is an artist to watch because they’ve got a really bright future.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Detail of P. Woodward by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Detail of P. Woodward by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is hard to describe, as I seem to have various styles that interact with each other interchangeably. My favorite mediums are intaglio printmaking and watercolors or gouache. My prints are generally black and white linear images that are incredibly detail oriented and more realist/surrealist in nature. The natural world influences my prints a lot and I’ve done prints of insects, birds, and a series with flowers growing out of people Flora and fauna are recurring themes. My paintings are a lot more expressionist and in some I’ve broken a few rules by using oils and watercolors together. I’m currently painting a series of art meant to bring awareness to prejudices against the lgbtqia+ community, and I’m also working on a completely different project to illustrate an educational biology based animal story. My personal art is my life, and I love art so much I can’t even say. I don’t like to define myself by anything, because as people we are ever changing, but art will always be an integral part of my being.

Lauren by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Lauren by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by anything and everything, and since my art is very personal a lot of it is inspired by my experiences. I have two majors, one in animal behavior and the other in studio art, and my areas of studies sometimes do blend together. Many of my prints feature aspects of nature, and lately flora has become much more of a motif in my works than ever before. After doing a series of three portraits of friends and family with flowers growing out of them, I spent a good half of a semester working on an illustration of ‘Ophelia regarding Gertrude’ based off of the infamous and flowery Hamlet scene, so flowers have popped up in nearly everything I work on since then. I was recently inspired by a personal experience of realizing someone I was very close to was very homophobic. Her homophobia has lead to a series of paintings of beautiful lgbtqia+ couples and individuals. She didn’t seem to believe that her homophobia was bad since she didn’t have the power to ‘stop the gays’ or anything, yet she was telling me, a queer individual, that a part of myself I find so wonderful was a sinful choice in her eyes. I’ve found a lot of people have the mindset of there being ‘no harm’ in ‘casual homophobia’, such as bigoted Facebook posts and prejudice religious beliefs. In response I’ve created a series of images I call the Untitled Project. Each painting depicts the beauty of a queer couple or individual to show the glorious population of the lgbtqia+ society, and each painting is titled with the name of a homophobic, biphobic, acephobic, transphobic, ect. individual to show the fights our community is up against every day with the average people we interact with. The colors used in the paintings have varied from colors I just like to palettes based off of the trans flag, the pan flag, the bi flag, etc. I hope to one day run out of names to use as titles, and will continue the project indefinitely. There are currently 8 paintings in it.

I’m also inspired by random occurrences in nature. I ended up keeping a dead bird I found for a while so I could paint and photograph it. His name was Squock-Tadashi and after 3 paintings, a print, and a photo I finally buried him in my yard. I really hope to get his skeleton one day, it would be amazing reference material.

Detail of Ophelia Regarding Gertrude by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Detail of Ophelia Regarding Gertrude by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

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

My elementary school art teacher is the reason I love art.  As I was bullied back then, I used to hide in the art room during recess to draw, and she never made me leave. She was such a creative individual and allowed us to use art in our own ways and often repeated the phrase “Artists never make mistakes”. I was a perfectionist who would become teary and upset if anything got messed up in my artwork, and those words meant a lot to me but it took me years to understand them. At first I thought that maybe it meant that the bad drawings and the eraser smudges are still somehow art, but now I think it’s more about how we can learn from our mistakes as artists. It’s not a mistake if you learn from it. Many of my paintings are painted over again and again and instead of mourning the art that I paint over I acknowledge that I learned from it, but no matter how good bits of it looked it wasn’t right and I can move on. I think I’ve wanted to be an artist ever since I was Ms. Krog’s student in 1st grade. Maybe even before that, but Ms. Krog allowed me to believe it was possible, and art was and has always remained a safe place for me.

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?

I always hide the initials LA in my artwork, LA being the initials of my birth name. Even though now I mainly go by Phin, I still sign with an LA because it’s what I like. As a singer I was happy that my first and last name initials spelled out a commonly sung vowel, and I never wanted a signature longer than one or two letters. I don’t like huge signatures because I feel like it takes away from my work, especially my detail oriented prints, so sometimes I even hide the initials. The L and the A in my Ophelia print look like little flower petals falling in the water. There’s another print of mine where I hide my initials in the image of a bee. In my paintings, I don’t always try to hide the signature.

As for flowers, which are a huge motif in my work (especially flowers growing out of people) I started that after having the image of an arm with a plant growing out of it in my head for weeks. I painted it on my dorm wall, where I kept a large canvas sheet, and shortly after that started doing my print series of flowers growing out of whole bodies, not just arms. Though the inspiration behind the flowers is simply the imagery I found stuck in my head, sometimes I think its my own way of laughing at the first time I heard the word Asexual, when someone said “(Phin) is asexual and will only ever reproduce by budding”. It wasn’t until 4 or 5 years later I heard the word asexual again and learned what it actually meant in terms of sexuality. I don’t plan to ever reproduce, but it would be pretty cool to have plants budding, like floral tattoos come to life. It would also be rather threatening if someone said something ignorant and one could just choke out the acephobia with vines, or perhaps some poison oak. In a self-portrait I made that focuses on my sexuality, I’m covered in flowers and also decorated with a unicorn horn in the center of my forehead.

Unicorns and unicorn horns are also sometimes featured in my artwork, which is my attempt at reclaiming the symbol of the unicorn for asexuality. In historical artworks dating back to medieval tapestries, unicorns were symbols of virginity and the misogynistic concept of purity. Historically, pictures of young maidens with unicorns were usually images of their “virtue” or, in other words, virginity. I figure we might as well reclaim that symbol as something less misogynistic and sex shaming and more ace, an icon to show that sex really isn’t necessary for everyone, and sexual attraction isn’t experienced by all. Us aces can accept and love our unicorns. I also always loved unicorns, and when I was little I aspired to be one. I suppose I may have accomplished that.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t forget that there are no mistakes in art.

If you’ve drawn something once, you can draw it again, so don’t be afraid to mess it up or sell it or whatever.

Let your art be personal, it’s for you. Don’t worry about certain people not liking it. And don’t forget that you can only improve, so just don’t stop practicing.

Robert M by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Robert M by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual. I’m also gender queer.

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

I’ve encountered quite a bit of it, especially in the animal behavior field, as scientists sometimes mix up sex, gender, and all that jazz. I’ve had one fellow science friend tell me the scientific definition of asexual (unable to reproduce by meiosis) when I tried to come out to them. I asked them to stop trying to reassure me that I was straight, because not only am I not a hetero, I don’t wish I was a hetero, and it really does annoy me when I’m trying to come out to someone and they think they need to save me by telling me I can still be a straight. I am very happily not straight. As for with my fellow artists, there’s Laura, who’s hatred inspired the Untitled Project. It always surprises me how conservative some artists can be. I handled it by naming a painting of kissing lesbians after her, and its turned into a series with 8 works so far. With cases of ignorance, I try to educate. With cases of peer prejudice, I’m careful to surround myself with open-minded individuals. My friendship with Laura taught me I could never be too careful.

Self Portrait with a Dead Robin by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Self Portrait with a Dead Robin by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

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

That it’s repression or celibacy instead of a sexuality, or that its not ‘queer enough’, both of which are absolutely ridiculous. It’s not straight, and it may not be homosexual, but its still queer. It shouldn’t be such an invisible sexuality, that’s quite a shame. I wish I’d learned the true definition of asexual earlier. (Not the meiosis one, the actual sexuality one).

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

Don’t listen to people who tell you labels like sexuality don’t matter. The labels you identify as do matter, and you’re not alone. Don’t be afraid that its “not lgbtqia+” enough, that’s what the a is there for. You’re the a. Also, try not to worry about being the only one. You’d be surprised at how many of us there are, and its wonderful to be ace. In this society it is hard and frustrating and scary, but my asexuality is an awesome thing, and I love who I am, and you should too. Also, don’t be afraid to identify as ace because you think it might change or you might be one the edge of the spectrum. No one will judge you as you figure yourself out, and a great community will be there for you.

I also recently found out about this thing where aces wear black rings on their middle finger of their right hands. It sounds odd but getting a little token to wear as pride has been great. I got a black ring right after I found out and I’ve had a black ring on ever since, and it makes me super happy about who I am.

Self Portrait with a Unicorn Horn by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Self Portrait with a Unicorn Horn by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

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

My actual art website is laartsite.wix.com/color but I’ve had some trouble with it and it sorely needs to be updated.

I have some tumblr blogs, one of which, http://untitled-art-project.tumblr.com, is dedicated to my paintings against lgbtqia+ hate and also sorely needs to be updated.

My instagram is phinn23 and that’s usually either art or pictures of animals. Or selfies, I do post a lot of selfies.

My twitter is checkmeowt23, which my sister made for me but I’ve never used it. I hope to start up with that.

Steve K. by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)
Steve K. by Phin (Lindsay Anibal)

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