Interview: K O’Shea

Today we’re joined by K O’Shea. K is a wonderful writer who has completed a fascinating sounding graphic novel. Anytime someone mentions The Maltese Falcon, I perk right up (I’m a sucker for noir). K’s novel is entitled The Ghost Army of Atlantis and it’s currently being illustrated. It’s clear they’re very passionate about the project, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I currently have an unpublished but fully written graphic novel called The Ghost Army of Atlantis: A Millie Buckle, Ace Investigator Adventure. It is currently being drawn and colored by the artist, who is an equal partner on the project.

Millie Buckle was a project I began while I first was working out what being asexual meant to me, and is a reflection of what I always wanted in literature – awesome women, zero romance, and skeletons fighting ghosts in a two-page spread splash panel. Millie is a private investigator in the 1930s who often gets called for some of the weirder crimes – the elevator pitch is basically “What if The Maltese Falcon also summoned ghosts?”

I also write the occasional editorial and review on a website created by friends.

What inspires you?

A lot of my inspirations come from experiences or shared stories with my friends, but I do take a lot of influence from the books and movies I had growing up. There’s a little bit of Stephen King in me, but also some K.A. Applegate and Terry Pratchett.

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

Honestly, I always have ideas for stories, but I get the most excited when I get to share them with friends and family.

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?

That would probably be a good idea, huh? Probably my love of the semi-colon, which gets used far more than grammatically should be allowed.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to shove things back in the vault if it’s not working. You might get to it later when you’ve learned more. It’s okay to let yourself stop and move on to something else if you’re just not feeling it. If you force it, it’ll come out forced.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Sex-neutral, alloromantic, asexual. It’s never been that important to me as it has been for my partners – I get intimacy from emotional bonds and physical closeness.

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

Not personally, but I’ve seen more published authors struggle with it.

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

That my marriage is not as valid as it otherwise would be. My spouse and I love each other, and sex doesn’t factor into it. We’re no less married than we were before I figured this out.

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

You’re not broken. You are absolutely not broken.

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

My reviews, editorials, and former podcast (I have since given it to my former cohost who continues to produce it) are at Made of Fail Productions (http://www.madeoffail.net). When Ghost Army is nearing artistic completion and ready for publishing, it will be there as well.

I’m also around at Twitter and Tumblr under the username osheamobile.

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

Interview: Cin

Today we’re joined by Cin. Cin is a wonderful young artist who hasn’t met a medium they didn’t like. They do a lot of visual art and writing, but they’re also quite interested in music and dance. They demonstrate a wonderful passion and enthusiasm for art, as you’ll soon read. This is definitely an artist with a bright future. 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’ve really just been intensively drawing since about April. I’ve been doodling for a very, very long time though. I mostly draw fanart, from Steven Universe and Homestuck. I have many OCs that I continue editing and creating. I occasionally draw real people too, like this drawing of Thomas Sanders (at thatsthat24 ) I recently did.

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I write and I’ve been writing for about 3 years, and surprisingly, I’ve stuck with one story and it’s about 100 pages long by now. It’s called The Portal Guards.

I also dance, sing, and act, all three of which have been for 9+ years. I take dance classes and voice lessons too. (Tap, jazz, ballet, and lyrical, and I’m an alto/mezzo-soprano)

Finally, I play both the viola and piano. I’m a novice piano player, having started a month or so ago, and I’ve been playing viola for 4 years. I recently started writing sheet music for strings too.

What inspires you?

I guess, other artists, and my friends. If I find something interesting to myself, I research intensively then draw or write.

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

Hmmm… I’ve really never thought about how I started… I mean, none of my art hobbies really had a backstory. I sorta just got interested…

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 mean my signature is pretty special, but I mean there’s not very much significance behind it…

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am an aspiring young artist! But if anything, be your own critic. Let others be critics. Don’t let people’s bad critics get in your head. I guess what I mean to say is, don’t compare your work to others.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just ace! I guess I’m sex neutral hehe

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

Yeah, kinda, I mean, if you count me getting overly uncomfortable when some friends are making sex jokes and stuff ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

That an asexual has to be virgin. I mean, I am a virgin but gosh

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

Accept yourself as who you are. What other people say can’t and will not change you. I completely know the utter feeling of dejection, and I just had to take it as it was and roll.

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

http://why-nyello-i-am-trash.tumblr.com/
http://blubberfish23.deviantart.com/

Thank you, Cin, 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 genderfluid writer from Australia. They sent me one of the nicest emails I’ve ever read. They’re currently studying creative writing and judging from their passion, they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

So far, I’m only a student writer taking a writing course. Though, once I’ve got the time, I hope to publish novels, short stories, poetry, and so many other forms. I don’t have any particular genres I’m going to restrict myself to, but there is one genre I’m definitely avoiding as a stand-alone: romance. That genre is the bane of my existence, especially in young adult literature.

I would say my favourite genre has to be either sci-fi or detective fiction, so I definitely hoping to write under those categories in the future. The possibilities of world-building is breathtaking and terrifying at the same time, so having the chance to construct my own world excites and scares me. Normally, I hate feeling scared, but this is a good kind of scared… You know what I mean?

I try to give my stories good representation on all fronts, especially for the LGBTQIAP+ community — in fact, I manage to get a short story published about a girl moving into a haunted house, who met her girlfriend through the ghosts there. I do worry about a character falling into a stereotype, so I keep myself informed on what to avoid.

What inspires you?

I can get inspiration from anywhere, such as unusual moments — like strange dreams or listening to music or even reading other stories — the little what if… chimes in my mind and starts to sprout from there. It’s starts off with the basic plot, and as it grows out, I decorate it with details and organise key events for it to follow. It’s such a delight to wish for a story to exist, and then realise that there’s nothing stopping you from writing it yourself!

But to be specific, what drives me to write is this urge to tell stories. Naturally, I’m a very shy introverted person who has trouble expressing themself through everyday speech and often what I say isn’t heard because I talk too quietly. So writing is one of the ways to help me express myself — I would even say that it’s the most fluent method. My writing is the only skill of mine that I’m confident in.

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

From a young age, I’ve always wanted to be a storyteller. I had this forte whenever something along these lines would be set as classwork, and I found the written word much easier than my peers. My teachers and my family would praise me on my talent, and through that I became more confident and passionate. My Mum was my best supporter when it came to my writing — she would always be willing to read my stories, give me advice, and encourage me to keep at it. Though, I can’t really show her my work anymore considering that I now write less “innocent” works.

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?

In most of the stories I write, a red ribbon will appear at any point; it doesn’t matter how relevant it is, I like to add that one repetitive detail. Why I choose to include the red ribbon is a little inside joke with my younger self and me — for most of my childhood, I never had proper bookmarks (because I’d either lose them or they’d be accidentally ruined by my clumsiness) and instead, I would use a red ribbon. In a way, I’m honouring and thanking my younger self for being so interested in reading.

Another inside joke/detail would be owls. This is in a way a tribute to my favourite band, Owl City, who I would even go as far to say helped me figure out my identity. His music has a sweet innocent love to them, and it was refreshing to listen the beautiful imagery it produced. When everyone around me was “coming of age” and discovering the world of puberty and sexuality, I’d felt left behind and alienated on that front. Being already an unpopular kid as it was, I was so desperate to fit in that I pretended to have crushes (god forbid on the guys who hated me the most), and boy, was that a mistake! However amongst the flood of hormones and sexual desire, I remember being in class one day with the radio on, ignoring the music because they were about romance and/or sex. Then on comes a song, and it’s not about either — it’s about fireflies.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, practice, practise! You can’t climb a tree by only imagining the canopy — you have to start somewhere. Trust me, this is advice from someone who doesn’t take their own advice and really should because it makes sense.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m not sure at this point. I believe that I’m sex-neutral and have some element of autochorissexuality, but apart from that I haven’t figure it out. I haven’t had any sexual or romantic experiences. I’ve had one crush in the past, but I couldn’t act on it and I haven’t had one since. It’s weird to think about, and I’ve run in circles trying to determine my identity.

I tell people that I’m demiromantic asexual to make it easier, but it doesn’t sit right without any experiences to refer to.

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

Mostly I’ve come across ignorance — like stereotyping ace characters or aces in general. If it’s a person I’m talking to, then I would try to inform them on their mistake. But other times, I’m not courageous enough to go out of my way to contact them, and I hope the ace community can forgive me for that.

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

That because someone is ace, it means they don’t have relationships and/or don’t have sex. From what little representation I’ve encountered, this is the most prominent misconception used by allosexuals. Also that aces can’t appreciate people’s beauty. This one is most irritating to me considering I hope to have a partner one day, albeit romantically not sexually.

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

You don’t have to fit under a label perfectly and you have plenty of time to figure it out. In fact, you don’t have to use labels altogether. I’m sorry, but I don’t have much else to say, since I’m still kind of struggling too.

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

At the moment I’ve only gotten one short story published to my name, however I’m not “out” to my family or beyond close friends, so I’m not ready to come out to a wide audience yet.

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

Interview: Martin

Today we’re joined by Martin. Martin is a positively fantastic visual artist who is so incredibly enthusiastic about their work. They do a lot of fanart, but also find great enjoyment in drawing original characters as well. They’re starting to dabble in fanfiction. Their passion for art truly shines through in their interview, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Trigger warning: There’s blood (or what looks like blood) in the first picture.

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Furuta

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art means a world to me because it is the way I spend my free time and let my creativity flow, if I can say. I often complain about my artworks and find them “not so good” but the truth is I can see an improvement and that makes me happy each single time!

I mostly do fanarts to series I am currently into (for this moment it would be Tokyo Ghoul, One Punch Man and Marvel Cinematic Universe in general) but I am trying to write some fanficiton as well! I am not a professional artist, however it would be nice if I were able to publish a book or contribute to an art project one day.

Sometimes, I draw original characters, too! They are part of me, I must say.

What inspires you?

This is a hard question because I often wonder about it and cannot find a proper answer. I think it is everything and nothing all at once. Catchy song I have accidentally found? Inspiration. Heartbreaking fic I have just read? Inspiration. A view from a tram? Inspiration. I cannot list everything, honestly.

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

When it goes to drawing I have been doing it since I was a little kid and I have never really thought about giving it up. Only recently I have started to take it kind of more seriously.

When it goes to writing though, I honestly cannot remember. I guess I was just bored and thought about something like “Hmm, how about writing? Sounds fun!” and then I sunk into it.

It is not like I have always wanted to be an artist, actually, it has never crossed my mind to be a professional until two or three years ago. To this day I do not know what I want to do but giving up art as at least hobby? Never!

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Mariuisel

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

I always put a tiny signature on my drawings! It consists of my initials.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

NEVER. GIVE. UP. Such a thought has came into my mind billion times already but hey, I am still going forward! I do complain, I even cry about “not being good enough” but people around me are supportive which helps A LOT. Even if you don’t have encouraging family or friends let me tell you there are many people out there in the world who silently admire your work and would do anything to brighten your day and help you keep going. Maybe you do not know them yet but trust me, they are closer than you think! So please, never give up on doing what you love.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I find it complicated even to myself but for this moment I go with simple “sex repulsed/sex neutral asexual”

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

In art field? No. In my close environment? Yes. It was actually one or two times when ignorance towards me for being asexual occurred and I think I handled it pretty well, then? I was upset, of course, but everything ended quite well.

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

That I must be sick for “not wanting sex” and that “I will regret my decision because sex is the best thing in this world”. Only a few people know I am ace but only one said nothing about it. The rest, even after my explanation what asexuality actually is, seemed skeptical and indirectly called me “a special snowflake”. Because of that I am closeted to, well, almost everyone.

The most common misconception? That something is wrong with me and that I do it for attention. That sex drive = sexual attraction.

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

To not listen to people who claim to know more about you than you yourself. It may be hard, sure, but why should we listen to people who call us “ill” or “weird” while they do not even understand the definition of the word “asexual”? Try to educate them on this matter and if that does not work, please, do not blame yourself. Keep going, show them you are brilliant and great the way you are, no matter what they say about you and your sexuality! Do not ever let them make you feel as a less of a human.

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

I publish most, if not all, of my artworks on my Tumblr, eroemo.tumblr.com! I sometimes post them fanfiction as well but I mostly publish it on my AO3 account, which is under same nickname as my Tumblr.

I am always open for any kinds of questions so if someone is interested about details, advice or just want to talk about the weather – you know where to find me!

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Thank you, Martin, 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.

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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.

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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.

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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!

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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.

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Cat

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteromantic, sex-neutral asexual.

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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.

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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.

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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/

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Books

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