Today we’re joined by Anna. Anna is the phenomenal visual artist and writer behind the webcomic, Last Living Souls. Her webcomic is about a man who wakes up with no memory of what happened to him and journeys to the nearest town for help, but instead finds a town of the living dead and he’s one of them. It’s an intriguing premise and definitely worth looking up. Anna has also recently gotten into creating visual novels. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Hey there! I’m a webcomic artist and I’ve been writing and illustrating Last Living Souls since 2011. During that time I’ve been also picking up visual novel development as it’s a great way to tell other stories without the huge time commitment.
As a webcomic and VN dev I have to wear a lot of hats; character design, script writing, backgrounds, and more. I think that’s what’s my favorite part about those two mediums is you get to personally bring your entire story to life in a bunch of different ways, not to mention I get to grow as an artist that much more.
What inspires you?
I’m a huge fan of the horror genre, especially indie or older horror games. If a work is able to simultaneously make you so uncomfortable that you don’t want to continue yet you’re so intrigued about the story you WANT to continue, that’s the incredible sweet spot that makes me want to create myself. I really enjoy emotional or interesting pieces in general even if they aren’t horror, I like Shonen anime and sci fi movies.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I got into drawing as a child because I loved drawing silly joke comics or doodles starring some of my favorite characters from video games or cartoons. There was something so fun about making something that could make my friends laugh and a way I could express things I liked. Eventually, it developed into trying to draw more of my own characters and stories and I simply never stopped since, comics were an especially interesting field for me given they allow you to create such dynamic scenes and tell entire stories. While my career path never took me towards being a professional artist, I think I was always going to have art somewhere in my life.
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?
Haha, some might joke that “Way too many of my characters are missing an eye, or some body part,” which is an unintentional detail choice that crops up from time to time. But, one I’m more aware of or more direct about is my desire to include subhuman characters in my works. Things ranging from monsters to robots to mutants, there’s a lot of interesting moral dilemmas and character interactions that naturally develop from including characters that are different from ourselves. I suppose these types of characters also lend themselves well to the types of stories I like to create which usually feature some kind of horror theme or some scary situations.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
You’re probably going to find a lot of art boring and hard and intimidating especially the “ART” that your high school teacher is making you create. But art doesn’t have to be only about that; practicing, learning, observing, if you make it into homework it’s going to feel like homework. Find that part about art that seems the most fun to you: is it building giant worlds? Drawing lots of different outfits? Setting up scenes with your favorite character? Coloring in a big page of lineart? Find that part of art that excites you and focus in on it, let it fill you with that energy to draw and draw and draw. Because you will be practicing, and learning when you’re drawing a whole lot! But you won’t feel like it, and that’s when art is amazing!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am a demisexual individual, with a fairly low libido. I will experience some sexual attraction to those that I’m very emotionally close to.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Thankfully, most of my artistic peers are understanding (and sometimes ace themselves) and growing up my friends just thought of me as “naive” and never really treated me disrespectfully.
Joking or prejudice was fairly mild, to my fortune.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Asexuals hate sex, or must have had some kind of traumatic experience with sex previously. Allosexuals seem to make it into an us vs them situation, where asexuals “hate” sex and any sexual individuals.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It may feel like you’re a “late bloomer” and all your peers seem to be a part of some kind of club you’re not in, with talk about porn and sex and all sorts of things that just don’t interest you. It’s okay if you never become interested in it. It’s okay if you find that only that special person becomes interesting. You’re not slower than anyone else to mature, you know exactly what you like or don’t, and you might just need to find the right word to describe that and suddenly it’ll all make so much sense!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
If a comic about undead creatures regaining their souls and trying to adapt to their new existence sounds right up your alley feel free to read Last Living Souls!
Thank you, Anna, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.