Interview: Elaina Lee

Today we’re joined by Elaina Lee. Elaina is a wonderful up and coming filmmaker. They’re currently writing a webseries entitled Nyte’s Edge, which is a fascinating spin on the superhero genre. It sounds intriguing and I’m definitely going to check it out when it’s released. Elaina is a passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mainly describe myself as a writer. I went from attempting novels, to writing and completing screenplays for film. My favorite genres are sci-fi, action, suspense, adventure, and I mostly write in those categories as well.

I’m currently working Nyte’s Edge, a webseries about a superhero who must save his alcoholic ex-boyfriend from the grips of an elite crime organization that has taken over their city. It explores good verses bad, and the grey area between. It also explores forgiveness and redemption.

What inspires you?

In the least cheesy sense possible, people inspire me. My favorite part of the writing process is probably creating realistic characters that people can empathize with. I love listening to people’s stories, big or small.

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

I originally wanted to write novels, but I didn’t have time patience to sit down and write over 50,000 words. Instead, I turned to film. It’s funny because it turns out that I don’t have enough words to fill a novel, but I have too many words to fill a script so these last few months working on Nyte’s Edge has also been about finding some kind of happy medium between the two.

But I’ve always known that I was going to create and be creative. Nothing else stuck, especially in school. I thought I was doing something wrong in not picking a “practical” career, until I chose a creative field. Since then, I’ve never felt more on-track in my life, and that brings so much peace of mind to me.

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 currently, no.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Stay true to yourself, and don’t follow a path that’s going to make you dread waking up each day.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, somewhere between sex-neutral and sex-repulsed.

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

Thankfully I haven’t yet. It’s not necessarily something that you just bring up on set at any time, but the people who work closely with me know about me being ace. I’m not necessarily “out”, but I’m also not hiding it and am fairly open about it.

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

That I can’t be asexual because it’s not scientifically correct. Or that I just haven’t found the right person yet, so I can’t be asexual.

I did have some guy tell how I had a kind of superiority over allosexual people because my mind isn’t focused on sex, and therefore able to focus on other things more acutely. Still, I couldn’t help but laugh, and be kind of weirded out.

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

I think what’s helped me the most is knowing that I identify as I do for myself, not for anyone else. Keep allowing yourself to grow, and if you grow out of one identity and into a new one that you feel is a fuller explanation of yourself, then embrace it.

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

I’ve got an official Facebook page, which is where you can find updates about Nyte’s Edge. I share all my film endeavors on there, so if you’re interested in seeing the short films I’ve been involved in, that would be the place to look. I’ve also got my film Instagram that anyone and everyone can follow. As for Tumblrs, I’ve got my film one at raggedybun, and a specific one for at nytesedge, but neither of them are particularly active currently.

Thank you, Elaina, 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 writer who specializes in poetry and is currently working on a novel. She has also dabbled in short stories and nonfiction. She plays around with different forms and genres of poetry. Amy also enjoys writing in a variety of genres when it comes to prose. She’s clearly a dedicated and talented author, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Thanatos Hear Me
Thanatos Hear Me

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer. I write mostly poems, and I’m working on a novel, which will hopefully be finished in a few years, as well as short stories, and one-off pieces. I write in lots of genres, mainly fantasy, occasionally sci-fi, with some non-fiction thrown in every so often to mix it up. The poetry I write varies between rhyming and not rhyming, and basically wanders across all the poetry structures like iambic pentameter that we all learnt about in school.

What inspires you?

Whenever I read something really good, I sometimes have to stop and let my world shift for a few moments afterwards – I’m sure lots of people have felt the subtle shift in their thinking that happens after reading an amazing piece of work. The idea that that could someday be me – that I could change people just with my words, is mostly what keeps me going.

In more prosaic, day-to-day terms? Anything? Bits of books I’ve read, things I’ve heard or seen, random thoughts that get stuck in my head and won’t leave – all of this gets added to the mixing bowl, and sometimes art comes back out. I mostly draw from my own experiences with poetry, and my prose pieces tend to be more imaginative, drawing on things I’ve read or heard about.

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

I have honestly wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. I’ve still got the first story I ever wrote, in shaky I’ve-just-learnt-how-to-write handwriting (it was about a girl that made friends with a spider, if you’re interested), and I’ve been writing ever since. It feels like something I was made to do – like I’ve always had that urge to tell stories, and I always will. The idea that this was something I could make money from (not that I am yet), and that this was something I could devote my life to, was an epiphany for me.

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?

Nothing in particular. My work tends to include a lot of me in it – a lot of what I think and feel gets included, so someone who knows me pretty well could probably pinpoint what was my work, but there’s nothing specific. Greek and Roman mythology sometimes gets a mention, just because I’m really interested in it, but nothing that I would say is consistent across all my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let anyone tell you not to do it. If you want to create something, create it. It doesn’t matter if you never show it to anyone, or if everyone you show it to thinks it’s terrible – you’re still an artist. And also, you’ve got to love it. Even if my writing never gets any recognition – if I never get published – I won’t ever stop writing, because I couldn’t imagine not doing it. If you want your art to take you somewhere, if you want to make money, or a career, from it, you’ve got to put a lot of hours into it, and trust me, that is so much easier when you can enjoy it.

This
This

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as completely asexual, although not aromantic. Absolutely no sexual attraction to anyone, but I would like a romantic relationship.

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

I wouldn’t say I encounter a lot of prejudice. I do get a lot of ignorance from people around me, and I have a very sarcastic sense of humour, so a lot of people would probably think I was joking if I mentioned it. I haven’t talked to many other writers about it, as I’m a kind of private person, but it does seem to me that asexuality is not widely known at all, or represented in novels, which could be caused by ignorance or prejudice, really.

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

That it precludes a romantic relationship, and also that an asexual person would have to have been traumatized by something, or that they would be completely cold-hearted. People think it’s caused by something, not that it’s just part of who a person is.

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

I would say that you can choose what to label yourself. And that you don’t have to decide instantly. It took me ages to realise that I was asexual, and even longer to be comfortable using the term – and that was just in my head. I’m still cautious of telling people about it.

Also that it’s no one’s business how you identify yourself as. You’re not hurting anyone, you’re not doing something wrong – if they don’t like it, that’s their problem. Be okay with yourself as you are. You’ve discovered something new about yourself that is hard to discover (how do you figure out if you lack something? Took me ages). Be proud of yourself!

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

I do have a Tumblr blog – ifthisislifewheresthemanual – and an AO3 account Coruscant, but I do post infrequently, I’m afraid. Hopefully, in about a year, I’ll have a book published that you can all rush to read!

To Be Afraid
To be Afraid

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

Interview: Kit

Today we’re joined by Kit. Kit is a wonderful writer who writes a bit of everything. She writes a lot of speculative fiction with queer characters and aspires to be published one day. When she’s not writing, Kit enjoys fanart and dabbles in cosplay. She’s got an incredible love of her craft, as you’ll read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I write speculative fiction of just about every kind you can think of — high fantasy, urban/contemporary fantasy, occasionally sci-fi or Twilight Zone-style horror — with plenty of queer characters. I have been known to write the occasional fanfiction, and I cosplay as well! I love making cheap/DIY and “closet” cosplays. In this picture I’m playing DC’s John Constantine, with an embarrassingly bad temporary dye job.

What inspires you?

Everything. I’ve gotten sparks of inspiration from everything from my own day-to-day life, to History Channel documentaries and Wikipedia rabbit holes, to binge-watching Shadowhunters. I believe in actively seeking inspiration from the world around me, because it really has so much to offer!

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

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I started reading, which was at the age of 3. It took a little longer before I learned how to write, but in the meantime I made stories with crayon drawings and Little People dolls. I’ve always been a storyteller.

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?

All of my main characters have some kind of physical scar or injury. I’m a self-harm survivor, so showing characters with scars that they don’t hide, that they consider part of their story, is really important to me.

Also, this is more of a recurring theme, but I love writing “roguish” characters — “outlaws with hearts of gold,” as the saying goes. Characters whose hearts and intentions (and hair) are good, even if sometimes they do bad things. I’m a sucker for guys/gals/NB pals like that.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. Seriously. You will think, “Oh, I’m not good enough,” “Oh, no one’s going to read this/like this,” “I’m just going to get rejected,” etc, but don’t listen to that. Yes, you’re going to write stuff that isn’t good, you’re going to write stuff that no one likes, you’re going to get rejected, but you’ll also write stories that people love. That will make it worth it, believe me, and you’ll never get there if you don’t JUST START.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demisexual (I go back and forth between that and greysexual, I’m still questioning, but for now I think demisexual fits best) and bi-romantic.

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

I wouldn’t consider it prejudice, or even ignorance, but there is a very pervasive, and kinda frustrating, idea in modern publishing (especially YA) that a story isn’t ~interesting enough~ without romance, and the sexier the romance the better. I think it’s important for both ace and allo readers to see that, first, you can have a perfectly good story with no romance, and second, you can have a perfectly good romance with no sex!

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

A surprising number of people — including my parents! — don’t really “buy” that I don’t experience sexual feelings (or, more accurately, don’t experience them outside of people I already have romantic feelings for), because I’m a teenager and aren’t all teenagers always thinking about sex?? (Well…no, actually. I have to go with no on that.)

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

No one gets to define asexuality for you except you, just like no one gets to define your romantic orientation, gender identity, etc. Whether you’re completely sex-repulsed or you still want to have sex one day, whether you consider asexuality a huge part of your identity or NBD, whether you experience romantic attraction or not, you are ace and aces totally rule, ergo you totally rule!

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

I write under the name K. Noel Moore at https://www.wattpad.com/user/K_Moore13, most stories there have also been published on inkitt.com, and I sometimes post flash fiction on my personal (well, my only) blog at http://gayamericanoutlaw.tumblr.com. I’m also working on selling my first short story (a ghost story set in the 1930s with a gay narrator), so if you follow any magazines in the vein of Apex or Nightmare (by which I mean fantasy/sci-fi/horror-centric stuff) keep an out for me!

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

Interview: Nikki Hasselhoff

Today we’re joined by Nikki Hasselhoff. Nikki is a phenomenal author who has published two novels, which have ace characters in them. She enjoys writing scifi and fantasy. When she’s not writing, Nikki is also a concert-level pianist and an actor. She also dabbles in visual art as well. She’s an incredibly passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write sci.-fi./fantasy novels, draw (mainly fanart of my favorite books and shows), am a concert-level pianist, and act for both film and stage. I’ve published two novels, played live in open communities, and played the lead role of Cinderella in Game of Tiaras by Don Zolidis.

What inspires you?

I’ve always had a natural drive to create—or to do something productive in general. I love the beauty in art and the freedom of expression that accompanies it. My inspirations come from music, my favorite actors, my favorite shows, visiting new places, and experiencing life in general.

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

I’ve always loved art. Art is inspirational and beautiful and creative. Art molds our culture and can change the way we think. For instance, if I represent L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ characters in my books in a positive light, that representation encourages real people to treat our real community with dignity.

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?

As a person who loves symbolism, I encourage those who view my art to dig for the deeper meaning, not just the textual. Certain numbers, color schemes, and word choices often have double meanings. For instance, if I make a character wear purple, black, gray, and white clothing, that character is asexual.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There will always be people whose art seems “better”. There will always be people who brag about certain styles of art. Don’t be discouraged. Continue to do what you do because you will improve. It took me years to get the hang of my skills, and only by determination and not procrastinating can you achieve the level of skill you desire.

Be patient with yourselves. Nobody is instantly perfect. Some art pieces turn out badly. Some turn out amazingly. Take the good and the bad.

Consider how you represent groups of people in certain lights. Avoid misrepresentation and nonrepresentation.

And last, don’t worry about what other people think. You are who you are. Your art is what it is. Nobody can take them away from you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aplatonic Autochorissexual Aromantic

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

The most common form of prejudice I’ve faced is the denial of asexual issues. As an asexual, I have been told “you just haven’t found the right one yet” and “you’re just gay and waiting to come out”, just to name a couple of phrases.

The worst has been the denial that asexuals belong in the L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ community. One of my idols said that “ace problems aren’t gay problems. Therefore, ace people don’t belong,” which is ludicrous because gay problems aren’t lesbian problems, lesbian problems aren’t trans problems, trans problems aren’t pan problems, pan problems aren’t bi problems, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. All non cis/het identities belong in the L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ community. To say that “certain identities don’t belong” as exclusive as the homophobes. It’s elitist, hateful behavior, and I call people out when I see them doing it.

I also keep a very friendly environment around me, discussing with the loving parts of the community who know that asexuals are part of the spectrum and that we have our own set of problems, too.

I remember that everyone experiences intersectionality. For example, a person may be heterosexual aromantic, but that person still belongs in our community and should be welcomed because that person will experience discrimination on the basis of being aromantic. It’s like how a white person can experience prejudice for being lesbian, but not for being white. We all must be aware of our privilege and our oppression.

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

That asexuals “haven’t found the right one and are being celibate”.

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

There are whole communities devoted to helping you. If you’re having a hard time discovering your sexuality, don’t be afraid to reach out. We are here for you. There are artists like myself who are creating art to represent the L.G.B.T.P.Q.I.A.+ spectrum to reject our heteronormative society and make life easier for non-cis/het identities.

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

My first book: https://books.pronoun.com/dragon-realm-chronicles-volume-one-the-amulet-of-the-green-dragon/
My second book: https://books.pronoun.com/dragon-realm-chronicles-volume-two-the-silver-key/
Facebook page for my books: https://www.facebook.com/DragonRealmChr/
My artwork: https://www.instagram.com/nikki.hasselhoff/

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

Interview: Mary

Today we’re joined by Mary. Mary is one of the awesome aces I met at C2E2. We had a really great chat about writing and her projects, which sound absolutely incredible. I’m always thrilled to meet a fellow ace who is as passionate about writing as I am. Mary is a very versatile writer, who does both original work and fanfiction. She has worked with different forms of writing as well. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write a lot of speculative fiction, both fanfic and original works. I’m bad at finishing however, but the attempt is what counts right? I prefer writing Fantasy and steampunk to sci-fi, and I write both poetry and prose. On my blog I’ve lately been doing media reviews “I did the thing so you don’t have to,” meta talk, and random snippets of work.

My favorite original projects are a poetry chapbook on Camp Douglas, a Union prisoner of war camp from the American Civil War that was built in Chicago; and a historical fiction/magical realism chapter book about a spy in the American Revolutionary War.

My current Fanfiction projects are “The Salt in the Ashes” an AU of the video game Dragon Age: Inquisition, and a series of one-shots dealing with Madelyne Pryor and Bucky Barnes from Marvel Comics.

What inspires you?

History inspires me a lot for my original stuff, you can make great stories out of little historical facts just by expanding on them. Then blend fact with fantasy and you can come up with something new, or at least something potentially interesting.

With my fanfiction it’s a lot of fun asking “what if?” and then applying that to a setting. Also I end up working though extremely salty feelings concerning how some of my favorite characters are treated by the male writers who have used them.

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

I’ve always had been a reader. The story about me learning to read is that, to all appearances, I was told “you should be reading on your own by now” and so I did. That evolved into an interest in writing, but my brain works weird, so it’s hard for me to write because my brain moves a lot faster than my fingers can. In fifth grade we were given these typing things that could print what we wrote, and that opened up me actually being able to write more consistently.

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 think I do. Maybe it’s that I have a habit of using run-on sentences a bit too much. I could be wrong though, or if I do have a unique feature it’s been so normalized to me that I don’t notice it as unique.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Writing is as hard as it is easy, but you shouldn’t give up on yourself, even when you feel like you’re writing shit that no one will read.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Bi-romantic asexual. Bi over Pan, because I internalize a definition of being bi as “mine and other genders, and “Pan” as attraction regardless of gender. When I like someone in a romantic sense, their gender is part of that make up that is part of why I like them in a romantic sense.

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

Not so much in my field, but I have been dismissed by family and some people close to me. Not that they deny that asexuality exists, but in that they deny that I could be asexual because it is “rare.” Or they just get confused enough that I don’t see a point in continuing the track of conversation.

I end up handling it by not handling it, and finding folks, like my glorious set of internet friends, who understand and help me validate my own feelings about myself.

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

A sort of continuation of the above question, the misconception I’ve seen most is that because asexuality is “statistically rare” then it’s impossible for someone to know another person who is asexual.

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

Surround yourself with a safe space of friends who love you and accept you for who you are. And to remember that you are not broken, and you are not wrong, even, and especially, on the days where everything seems to tell you that you are.

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

I have a Tumblr, (at) mwritesink and I also post work on AO3 under the handle InkSplatterM

Tumblr link: www.mwritesink.tumblr.com

AO3 profile link: http://archiveofourown.org/users/InkSplatterM

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

Where are the Asexual Voices C2E2 Presentation

As promised, here’s my presentation from C2E2 (all the thanks goes to Michi Trota of “Uncanny Magazine,” who was kind enough to record this for those of you who couldn’t be there. Thanks, Michi!).

This was one the scariest things I’ve done and I was so close to chickening out a couple times. But then I thought about how many ace artists there are out there, how many were in a situation to the one I was in just a few short years ago.

I have often written about my years in the closet, the number of toxic friendships I experienced, how I was made to believe I could never be an author because of my asexuality. This presentation was all about asexual artists and getting them the recognition they deserve, about showing that we do exist and we deserve to have control of our own narratives. A small part of it was also about myself, being the proud aro-ace feminist I have become. It was my way of saying “I love who I am, I’m proud of who I am, and I’m never going to let anyone take that from me ever again.”

Because asexuality is nothing to be ashamed of. Being asexual doesn’t mean you lack something, it’s just part of who you are. If anyone tells you differently tell them to fuck right off.

As I say in the description for this blog: “Asexuals deserve to be seen and heard.” And that is something I will always, always fight for 🙂

Interview: Rachel

Today we’re joined by Rachel (who goes by badasszombiespinster on Tumblr). Rachel is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in conceptual art. She has a variety of interests including character and creature design. Much of her work is fantasy and scifi based and she has also done some 3D sculpting. Rachel also happens to be a fellow badass feminist (yay!). Her work is absolutely amazing, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Black Shuck (finished) copy
Black Shuck

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a visual artist, who works mostly in conceptual art! I design characters, creatures and environments (though mostly the two former), in the hopes that I will be able to study Games Art and Design at degree level! I also do my own pieces now and then, including little doodles, that are either fantasy, sci-fi, or animal based (one of my favourite doodles, a cat called Inky, is actually my blog icon). I’ve also done a small amount of 3D work in the programme MudBox.

What inspires you?

My art is influenced and inspired by lots of things, but when it comes to the creatures I design, it boils down primarily to nature. Nature creates some of the freakiest things and some of the most beautiful things you can ever encounter. Nothing I can create will ever match the sheer mass and unique qualities of animals already alive and walking around, but I can draw inspiration from them for my own work. When it comes to characters, well, my and other people’s stances on subjects such as sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, etc. has a definite influence on what characters I create. As my political and moral stances have changed over the years my characters have become more diverse, and furthermore more interesting! I want my characters to be engaging, and to break the mold – not to be the same old white, straight, cisgender and primarily male characters you see everywhere in fantasy and sci-fi art.

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

No, actually, I haven’t always wanted to be an artist. When I was younger, I was determined to be a marine biologist and even pursued scuba diving in this desire, becoming a certified Open Water diver when I was thirteen. Then I realized that open water (no reefs or ocean floor beneath) terrified me; that and I barely passed science. I decided then I was more of a creative, and went for creative writing, no hard-focused on becoming a fantastic author. Then after my first year of A Levels I discovered I hated English Literature (which was necessary to do Creative Writing – something which still bamboozles me a bit), and I actually loved Media Studies, where I was learning all about the male gaze, representation and racism in movies, games and magazines. I was also studying Art and Design at the time because, while I wasn’t considering it for a career choice for a long time, I still enjoyed it and wanted to do more (though the A Level Art and Design course was a bit too academic for me, I still managed to pass!). It was through the two of them, and with the support of my Media Studies teacher, that I first learnt of Games Art and Design, though I didn’t consider it seriously until this year, when I started my Foundation Art and Design course.

Now, I’m surprised I hadn’t learnt of it sooner!

Deer
Deer

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?

Unfortunately no! The most I stick on my work is my signature which looks like a weird scribble.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever you do, don’t believe the claptrap that there is no work in Art. This is what I believed for donkeys years and it was actually what made me put off looking into the creative industry for so long! Everyone I knew told me there were no jobs in Art, that people who went on to study it left with no jobs and starved on the street. It wasn’t until I started looking into University with my Art and Media tutors that I realized there was much more diversity of subjects in art that I believed, and all of them could be a possible job, and it was mind-blowing! There is an incredible range of jobs out there for artists – illustrators, graphic designers, costume designers, concept artists, architects, 3D modelers, jewellers; art is such an intrinsic and important part of our culture! It takes up a place in everything from the advertisements on the billboards, to the houses on every street – all of them had an artist at some point behind them, so don’t believe these people who say there’s no jobs there for you! If you’ve got the passion and love for your art, you can find a way to go!

Gold-Crested Tropics Dragon
Gold-Crested Tropics Dragon

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual biromantic! I’m not yet certain how I feel about sexual stuff, but for the moment I stand as sex-responsive.

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

Generally just the ignorance it exists, but I have encountered a few people who have flat out told me it was a made-up sexuality. I’ve only ever had men say it straight to my face though, and I’d say that was definitely coupled with misogyny. Unfortunately my field of art does generally have a higher ratio of men, particularly white, cisgender, straight men who are usually the ones making the decisions. Thankfully, the numbers of people of other genders and sexualities are starting to increase in the sector and I hope it makes a difference!

As to how I handle it? Social anxiety keeps me from ever really having an argument with them, but I do like sticking asexuality jokes all over their monitors and talking over them whenever a conversation comes up about sexism and homophobia in the media – usually a “screw you I studied this for two damn years” sort of attitude.

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

There are quite a few misconceptions that I’ve bumped into about asexuality. For a start, a lot of people seem to assume that the term only comes from the “Tumblrs” and is a way to identify ourselves as “special snowflakes” which is demeaning, patronizing and completely wrong. People outside of the ace community also seem to be completely unaware that asexuality is, like all sexualities, a spectrum with a lot of variety, including a variety of romantic attractions (which they seem incapable to separate from sexual attraction; the assumption is usually that all asexuals are automatically aromantic as well) That or the forever unfunny “so you’re a plant” response.

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

It sounds weird, but the Internet is a wonderful tool. Its how I recognized my own asexuality and gave it a name – and no longer felt like I was weird – and gave me access to a much wider community who are more accepting of asexuality. I’m utterly thankful for it. And, if you’re concerned that maybe you’re not ace enough, there are lots of blogs on Tumblr that are super helpful about asexuality and romantic attraction that might be able to help you figure things out (and believe me when I say, you’re ace enough).

About coming out, I can’t say. I have personally never come out to my family, though I do plan to this year (wish me luck!), but I have come out to my friends. If you’re concerned that maybe they won’t understand you, or be nice to you, or even like you anymore, try to prompt some discussion on it first, get their point of view. If they don’t seem accepting, don’t come out to them. Your safety and happiness is top priority, and if people aren’t willing to be kind or accommodating of that, then they don’t need to know. Take care of yourself loves ❤

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

I currently don’t have one set art blog, but I will be setting one up soon! I do have a more casual Tumblr blog, at badasszombiespinster.tumblr.com, and I will occasionally post my doodles and artwork there.

Tundra Dragon
Tundra Dragon

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