Interview: Morgan

Today we’re joined by Morgan. Morgan is a phenomenal artist who is currently studying to become a fashion designer. When they’re not studying, Morgan cosplays as a hobby and they also draw as well. It’s clear they’re an incredibly talented and dedicated artist with a very bright future ahead of them, 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 am studying to be a fashion designer and also cosplay and draw casually. I have various designs as well as cosplays and art pieces.

What inspires you?

As a cosplayer and artist, I am influenced by shows and characters I love and feel passionate about. For original art and designs I am inspired by issues I care about as well as interpretations of my environment and my own feelings. My gender identity and sexuality also inspire my art.

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

I was always interested in drawing, especially nature and humans. My passion and creativity extended to my self-expression through clothing and led me to create my own clothing.

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 necessarily. When I start to have more clothing designs that I have made and created I plan to name my brand after my grandmother’s last name, because she has always supported my art and all aspects of my identity.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Explore different ways of expressing your creativity and don’t limit yourself to one media. Even if you aren’t as experienced or skilled in other areas, trying different methods opens new ways to interpret your feelings and your art.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual and sex-repulsed.

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

Not yet. Though I feel as though some of my family/friends doesn’t understand why some of my art/designs are more revealing or “sexual” in nature when I myself am not sexual.

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

That being asexual (and/or sex repulsed) means you think sex and people who have sex are dirty/wrong. I believe sex is a very natural thing and if all parties concerned are happy and consenting, then that’s great. Do what makes you happy. Just because there are people who aren’t into it doesn’t mean they are against it.

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

Even if you are worried that you might change your mind in the future or that you should be sexually attracted to others, remember that your feelings and identity NOW are valid, no matter what you have felt in the past or could potentially feel in the future.

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

I have an art Tumblr under the URL mmmdraws and a cosplay Tumblr with the URL maeroncosplays. I also post a lot of my cosplay/cosplay progress on my Instagram irish.i.was.dead. My clothing design Instagram is morrisroe_designs though I haven’t posted a whole lot on there yet.

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Maeron

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

Interview: Phoebe Barton

Today we’re joined by Phoebe Barton. Phoebe is a phenomenal science fiction author who specializes in hard science fiction. She enjoys writing women-centered fiction and has published a few stories online. Her work has a lot of relevant themes and sounds positively fascinating. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Portrait 1-sm [Philippe McNally]
Portrait by Philippe McNally

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write science fiction; people have tended to describe it as hard science fiction, and while I don’t agree with the way “hard science fiction” is often wielded as a hammer to invalidate peoples’ work, I do try to get things as correct as I can with the knowledge I have access to. If I can’t believe the accuracy of something, what business do I have expecting a reader to believe it?

I prefer writing stories that centre around women, and some of my favourites are the ones that include no men at all – even before I knew I was a trans woman, I knew that was what made it more comfortable for me to inhabit the story’s world. Since I started being published I’ve only written from two masculine perspectives, and one of them is a character in my still-unpublished, desperately-in-need-of-redrafting novel. Themes of isolation come up a lot in my work as well, with stories set in places like the rings of Saturn or Earth orbit or the fringes of the known galaxy, which owes a lot to my own isolation growing up on the suburban edge of Central Ontario.

What inspires you?

Thinking about all the wide and diverse possibilities of what the future could hold, of what could become of us if we’re wise enough to know what we’re doing while we reach for it. A lot of my characters are genetically engineered or technologically enhanced in some way or another, and I’ve always been inspired by how the vast canvas of science fiction can allow us to look at new things in new ways, as long as we’re careful to not fall into familiar pitfalls.

I’ve also been inspired to write stories as rebuttals to obscure, nearly-forgotten science fiction stories from decades ago. There were a lot of problems with the genre back then – there still are, to be honest – but I think that building something modern on its foundation is beneficial.

Sometimes, too, it’s just things that jump out at me in the course of ordinary reading that sends me on trajectories I never would have expected. Sentences in Wikipedia articles have unfolded into stories, and Foz Meadows’ Manifold Worlds books got me thinking about new story possibilities I might not have considered otherwise.

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

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in science fiction – I grew up with a library of Star Trek VHS tapes and tie-in novels – and I’ve been writing for about as long. My earliest breakthrough was in high school, when my Grade 9 English teacher gave me a 10/10 for a short story that, honestly, wasn’t very good, but it was the first time I’d ever got a hint that there might be something to stringing all these words together. I never thought of pursuing it in an organized, focused way until fairly recently, though.

When I was a teenager, I read the Writer’s Handbook 1998 Edition over and over, as if it contained all the secrets for success I’d ever need to know. My original copy disappeared in a move, so I bought a used copy a little while ago and still read through it occasionally. I think it’s good to be aware of your personal journey, where you started and how far you’ve come.

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 enjoy building puns into the framework of a story, but mostly the sort that don’t immediately present themselves as such. The entire concept behind my story “One to Watch,” for example, was derived from a multilingual pun.

Beyond that, all my stories take place in the same setting, in different points of space and time. There’s something calming and focusing about gradually building something intricate out of ordinary parts. The unifying threads can be hard to see sometimes, but they’re usually there.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t wait until everything feels perfect. Press on with what you have, and keep pushing. Some of it will taste pretty sour after you’ve been at it for a while, but that only means you’ve learned and grown as an artist.

Be curious, and be aware of the context your art lives in! I didn’t even know that there were markets for short science fiction when I was just starting out. The more you know, the more you’re capable of.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a sex-repulsed grey-asexual. It took me a long, long time – we’re talking decades – before I realized that, no, this is not the way everyone is. Most people don’t think of sex the same way as that Fear Factor challenge where they put you in a giant tank and then fill it to the brim with wriggling mealworms.

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

I’ve been fortunate to not encounter very much of either. Granted, it’s not something I talk about much either, so it may be that my luck comes from not bringing it up.

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

That it’s not a thing that exists.

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

You are valid and you are not broken. As much as this culture might want to justify it as “being a late bloomer,” sex is not the be-all and end-all of life. You are not the only one going through this, and you don’t have to justify yourself to anyone.

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

I’ve recently opened an author website at www.phoebebartonsf.com with a bibliography, links to my online fiction and non-fiction, and some other bits of interest. Some of my stories are available to read for free online at www.curiousfictions.com. I also maintain an older blog, www.actsofminortreason.com, where I run a couple of science fiction review series, among other things. Additionally I’m active on Twitter at aphoebebarton.

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

Interview: Isis E. Prosser

Today we’re joined by Isis E. Prosser. Isis is a phenomenal writer and jewelry maker who I met at Indy PopCon. I was blown away by the gorgeous jewelry she made and then she told me about the web novel she was working on entitled Lamenting City (chapters are posted on her main blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/). Not only does it sound positively fascinating, but it’s an ownvoices work. The main character of the series is an ace lesbian named Axel and there are also two minor asexual characters. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate author, 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’m a writer and a jewelry maker. When it comes to my writing, I tend to focus on humour and emotions, lots of humour and emotions. Sometimes I write purely humourous stories and sometimes I write purely emotional (whether angsty or uplifting) stories. Longer stories tend to swing between both extremes and I like to think the more I write, the better I become at blending the two together. I write a mix of fanfiction and original stuff, and I’m also not the greatest at updating either in a timely fashion (sorry!), but I am trying and getting better at that.

My jewelry is something I also do with my mom (she’s my teacher!) and currently I’m focusing on Pride jewelry and fandom jewelry (currently, Harry Potter-inspired pieces with some My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic-inspired pieces coming…. eventually). I’m very new to this craft.

In the future I’d like to make video games, too. I’ve written scenarios/concepts and dabbled a little in RPG Maker over the years, but haven’t yet finished a thing. Maybe one day soon I’ll have something to show. In the meantime it’s likely the characters of those ideas will be introduced in short stories or novels.

I’m very passionate about storytelling in general.

What inspires you?

Many, many things! From real life experiences to other fiction, and to the beauty of the natural world and that of architecture, as well as mythology (Egyptian mythology is my fave). I’ve also been inspired by vivid dreams I’ve had. And my inspirations tend to shine through in my work, whether original or fanfiction. For example, my current web novel project, Lamenting City, was initially inspired by a dream I had that came about when I was marathoning every Zoids anime with a friend. The dream introduced me to Axel and offered a tantalizing glimpse of her world, and afterwards I knew I had to write it. And often times I’ll have scenes or entire stories inspired by music I listen to.

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to find inspiration looking at gemstones or browsing jewelry supply shops. Sometimes I also get inspiration from media, hence the Harry Potter bracelets.

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

I’ve wanted to be writer for as long as I can remember. I’m not entirely sure where it started, but I know it did start in some form with kid me’s obsession with Beatrix Potter’s stories and later stuff like OT Star Wars and Disney’s Gargoyles. I would also read a lot and then read some more, and the more I read, the more I wanted to write.

As time went on, I also noticed more and more that there weren’t a lot of characters like me in fiction. There weren’t a lot of diverse characters and author voices in general. So, a lot of my writing is me creating the stories and characters I wanted to see, and to give myself a voice.

With jewelry, I played around with plastic beads as a child but then the hobby faded for many years. Earlier this year I got interested in it again after looking at pride jewelry and deciding I could make the types of bracelets I wanted… and then a lightbulb turned on and I realized that, hey, if I wanted jewelry like this, other LGBTQIANP+ folks might want it, too. And then my love for fandom made me start slowly getting into making fandom jewelry as well.

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?

Well, looking at my writing as of 2015, dream and nightmare sequences seem to be a pretty big thing. They appeared in my (currently unposted) Metroid fic that I wrote for my first NaNoWriMo (2015), appeared again in my Camp NaNoWriMo project, a Legend of Spyro fanfic (I haven’t yet posted the chapter with the first dream sequence however), and then they’ve appeared in every NaNo project since…

I find dream and nightmare sequences really fun to write. They’re a good way to explore the character’s mind without having to worry about realism or even my own canon.

In general, I like to use dreams/nightmares to introduce concepts and foreshadowing in ways that (hopefully) aren’t immediately obvious.

With my jewelry, it’s a bit hard to say since it’s all so new to me. But I like to add a touch of whimsy to everything I create!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To not be discouraged, and to get your art out there. It can be very daunting, yeah, I’ve been there (and in many ways still am), but your voice is needed. Perhaps some people won’t get your story, but for the people who do, it could mean the world.

Understand that you have room to grow, but to also be you. Improve and become the best you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Homoromantic/demiromantic asexual. Also sex-repulsed.

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

More times than I’d like to count, especially offline. I try to clarify things for people who simply don’t know, but find it’s easier on my mental health to avoid actually prejudiced people who are unlikely to change their mind. Sometimes both of those things are easier said than done.

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

The most common seem to be “Asexuals are incapable of love in any form” and “Asexuals can’t have sex/be sex positive”. Trying to correct either misconception isn’t usually a fun time for me, especially the latter (where being a sex-repulsed ace with no intention of having sex gets thrown back in my face as if it’s some kind of gotcha).

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

That you’re not broken, and that you’re ace enough.  You’re loveable and amazing as you are, and there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

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

My main home of operation is on my website/blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/

There I post short stories, chapters of Lamenting City, and blog posts where I yell about video games and music.

And while there’s not as much content as I’d like (I’m working on it!), you can find my newer fanfiction on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/MetroidReploid/profile

I will be updating my Legend of Spyro fic (well, the first one) soon and will be adding a Metroid fic and a Star Wars fic at some point this year. I like many fandoms!

And you can check out my jewelry here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StormDragonsWares

More designs coming soon!

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

Interview: Brit

Today we’re joined by Brit. Brit is a wonderful fanartist who is mostly active in a few different fandoms. She enjoys writing fanfiction as well as drawing her characters from her favorite fandoms. Brit is most active in the Undertale, Homestuck, and Hiveswap fandoms. It’s clear that she’s an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. 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 am mostly a fanartist, be it with drawn fanart or with written works (fanfiction). I’ve been mostly active in the Undertale fandom, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a Homestuck/Hiveswap kick. I also do a lot with original characters (OCs). The biggest project I’ve had going on for a long while now is a fanfiction titled With and Without, a Sans/OC fanfiction that now has 59 chapters.

What inspires you?

It’s difficult to say what inspires me…but I think, more often than not, anything that gives me an idea of an emotion, or makes me experience that emotion, then I get inspired. That’s part of what I always aim for in my written work, too, to make people feel something.

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Grubby Grub

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

I’ve always had an interest in being an artist. I’ve always done well with creative writing in school, and that’s what really got me started with writing fanfiction.

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Mimel Bee Plushie

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 necessarily have a special signature…but this has made me think about it, and I might start making one from now on!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

My advice would be to keep going. I know that sounds cliché, but no matter what, you’ve got to keep going. That doesn’t mean go nonstop, though! Sometimes I’m just not in the right mood to write or draw, so I don’t. I take a break, play a game, or do something else. I feel that it helps me be able to come back to it with a fresh mind and renewed motivation. But you can’t give up on it. I used to draw using bases off of DeviantArt and tracing, and with all the effort I’ve put in, I’ve gotten to the place where I am now. (Which isn’t that far, compared to other people, but that’s the other thing. You can’t compare your journeys to one another because each one is unique.)

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Mituna

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a mostly sex-repulsed pan-romantic asexual. It’s difficult, and I say mostly sex-repulsed, because on some days I’m repulsed and suddenly on others I’m not. It can even change by the hour. It’s very frustrating at times, but I’ve come to accept that that’s just how I am.

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

I don’t know about prejudice, but I have been asked how I can write NSFW content if I’m asexual (especially being mostly sex repulsed). I just explain that the two aren’t really related, and that usually clears it up.

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Sad Mimel

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

The most common misconception I’ve encountered personally is that all asexuals don’t like sex, which just isn’t true! Even though I personally don’t always like it, I’ve met others who have a high libido.

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

I would say to definitely surround yourself with people who are accepting, and have patience with the people who have been in your life if you’ve only just now come out. To those who aren’t asexual, it can be difficult to understand. But yeah, keeping away the people who are negative or unsupportive will definitely help with accepting your orientation. If someone who’s unsupportive is someone you can’t avoid (i.e. family) then you can always try limiting your contact with them if at all possible. But seriously, surround yourself with support and love and kindness. It’ll help more than you’ll ever know.

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

I mostly post on Tumblr these days, so you can find me here (https://life-sans-sin.tumblr.com), but I also post on DeviantArt (https://life-sans-sin.deviantart.com). I have an archive account here on Tumblr as well, where more of my older stuff is posted. You can find that here (https://life-sans-sin-archive.tumblr.com). For Tumblr, my tags are #brit writes and #brit arts.

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Sans

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

Interview: Chimney

Today we’re joined by Chimney. Chimney is a wonderful poet from Germany. He writes mostly for a hobby and his poetry tends to focus on emotions. Chimney mainly writes in German though he has translated some of his poetry into English. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a writer and poet. I write a lot of poems about love and being heartbroken by love, but also other stuff. In my writings I concentrate a lot on the emotional side, like how the characters feel, why they feel that way. I want the reader to understand my characters and feel with them. I really want to have this transparency in my stories and poems.

My poems especially are very personal. And I try to throw as much emotions and pain as possible in them, that’s why it often hurts to read them, because their pure emotions.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by a lot of stuff, actually. Obviously I get inspired by real life experiences, but music is one of those things that inspires and influences me the most. When I listen to songs there are always popping up some lines and ideas in my head. But I also get inspired by other people or artist who achieved something in their life. Seeing them getting from bottom to almost the top inspires me and gives me the courage to try my best. And even if I don’t made it there will be always people who I can inspire and that’s it what keeps me going forward.

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

Honestly at first I hated writing poems, because I never was able to rhyme something good. So I first started with writing stories, because some guy in my class wrote a very funny story and I wanted to write something funny as well xD. But after finally starting to rite I realized how much fun this is to me. I love creating stories, telling  stories and share them with others. Being an artist was never my main goal. It was and unfortunately still is one of my greatest hobbies. But I really hope that it someday will be more than just this little hobby of mine.

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

Not that I’m aware of. I try to change my still very often and I like to experiment a lot. Especially with my poems. I often change the metre and sometimes even use different languages.

But more like snippets or a few specific words. Other than that all I can say is that my writings are full of emotions.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would say: “Have the courage to post your art online!“ Why? Because there will always be at least one person that will like it. Art is very important and it can help people, inspire people etc.

So it doesn’t matter how insecure you feel about your stuff, there will be people who supports you and by sharing it you can grow. Be open-minded accept critique and advice, so that you can grow.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as quoiromantic asexual. And I think more on the sex-repulsed side.

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

Yes I did, from one person actually. Who actually very radical and I don’t want to explain the details. They said horrible things to me. First I tried to have a real in-depth conversation with them about it, but after that didn’t worked I broke contact with them, because in the end it was better for my mental health.

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

From what I’ve heard most people think that asexuality = anti-sexuality. Like that we’re all against sex and everything that has something to do with it. Which is just not right.

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

Seriously, the most important part is that you accept yourself how you are and that you understand that you’re fine, lovable and not broken by being asexual. The sexuality is just one small part of you and what really matters is your personality. I can understand that finding out that you’re ace can be frightening, but when someone really likes or loves, they will do it because of your personality, because you make them smile and give them a reason to stay strong.

You’re all valid.

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

So for my German fellas you can always read my work right here: https://www.fanfiktion.de/u/Chimney

For the others I suggest you to follow me on my Tumblr where I’m planning on releasing little English poems and snippets: megahyperchickenwing.tumblr.com (yes, that is my name)

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

Interview: Sierra

Today we’re joined by Sierra. Sierra is a phenomenal poet and dancer. She uses art as an outlet. When she’s not choreographing dances, Sierra enjoys writing poetry. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a great amount of enthusiasm, 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 am a dancer and poet. I write or choreograph what I am feeling and use my art as an outlet for my emotions. I try to address issues and subjects many people deal with such as mental health, grief, etc. I think it is important for everyone to express themselves, and if my art can be used to help someone express themselves, I feel I have reached my goal.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything, but my main inspiration is people. When I see someone being purely themselves, I can see the art in them and want to be able to express that to others. I also get a lot of my inspiration from music of all kinds.

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

I have always loved the arts, specifically dancing. I grew up dancing and felt like it was the only thing I could relate to others through. As I got into high school I discovered a love for poetry and began to write. I have not published any of my work, but it is a goal I have for the future. Art has always been something very close 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?

There isn’t anything special about my work. I just try to capture raw humanity and convey it to others.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do what you love and don’t worry about what others think. You will grow into a uniquely beautiful artist no matter what you do. Not everyone will love your work, but if you reach just one person and help them feel something, you have done the best you can as an artist. Push yourself to your artistic limits and allow your creativity to flow freely.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic-asexual. I consider myself sex-repulsed and between romance-neutral and romance repulsed.

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

Not specifically in my field have I encountered prejudice or ignorance, but in life in general I find a lot of ignorance. So many people can’t understand how something so engrained in their minds can be non-existent in ours, and therefore ridicule us for it. I think as long as you can stand tall and ignore that hate that comes towards you, you can be whoever you want to be. Anyone and everyone is valid.

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

I’ve found the most common misconception of asexuality is what it actually means and that it is different for everyone. Many people don’t understand asexuality and try to decide for themselves what it is. They then have an incorrect idea and/or opinion of asexual people which can be hard to change.

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

If you embrace who you are, you will feel amazing. Its okay if you don’t know what that is yet, you will figure it all out in due time. If you don’t feel like coming out yet, then don’t. Just know that the ace community is such a loving family that is always looking for new members.

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

You can find out more about my work on my Tumblr, at poeticaceinspace. P.S. I’m pretty bad about keeping up with my blog but I’m trying to get better.

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

Interview: Elin

Today we’re joined by Elin. Elin is a phenomenal writer from Sweden who currently specializes in fanfiction. She hopes to publish original work in the future. Aside from writing, Elin went to drama school and acted for a time, but found that writing is where her heart is at. It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. 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 express my art form through writing. While I mainly focus on fanfiction, I’m also currently writing three longer original works, which I hope will be published one day, if I’m very lucky. In the past I have also had a major interest in theatre and acting, and actually went to various acting schools for some fifteen years, starting when I was five, but I’ve recently moved on from that to pursue a different education.

What inspires you?

With fanfiction it’s not that hard to guess: the works I’m basing my creations on inspires me. I love to explore worlds and characters we, the fans, only get to know a limited amount about, and I love to expand on the already known universe. It’s a way of getting to know the characters I love better, and a way to express this love for them.

For my original writing, a number of things inspire me. When you grow up in Sweden you learn about the Nordic gods in elementary school. The memory of these lessons have stuck with me, and inspired me to write about the legacy of said gods in a modern time (hopefully not ripping of Neil Gaiman too much, but I don’t think that will be a problem, seeing as how I’ve never read or seen American Gods ).

All in all, my inspiration comes from things I see and hear; things that give me ideas. It can be anything at all, really. Just anything that makes a thought pop up in my head, like: Huh, I can build something from this.

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

When I was little I loved to read. I read so much I knew all the people working at the local library by name, and they knew me. The writing didn’t start to become a thing until I discovered fanfiction at the age of fourteen. That’s when I thought that maybe I could write something like that as well, and that’s when my background with reading came in handy. I used the memory of the books I’d read to see how a story was supposed to be, but it did take me awhile to get there myself, and it wasn’t until senior year of High School when I felt comfortable enough to write original pieces, and create my own universes.

As for the acting classes and drama school, my mother signed me up for the classes so I’d have an activity after school. She had a high maintenance three year old at home and wanted the five year old out of the house for a few hours a week. Frankly I don’t blame her, my sister is a lot of work. I would have done the same. Anyway, I thought it was really fun to be on stage with people my own age, so I stuck with it. We were playing around more than actually acting, but it was really fun. It wasn’t until I was about thirteen when I realized that there are people who act for a living, and that I could be one of them. It sounded like a dream. As I said, I stuck to it for fifteen years, starring in several small stage productions, until I went to college. I’m kind of sad that I don’t act anymore, but I know that I can always go back to it should I want to in the future.

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

Not really. I guess there are some things in my writing that you could consider a pattern; certain things that I write in all my works, particular phrases and words and such. I notice when I write that I sometimes use a wording or a phrase one too many times. I probably use these phrases and wordings in most of my works. Someone who reads them all could probably see the pattern.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Take every step in your own time. Don’t rush yourself, or let anyone else rush you. As in, don’t let the influence of anyone else affect your creative process. You know what’s best for you. You know what you need to do to move forward with your work. Just you, no one else. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, or how much life gets in the way. Do things at a pace you’re comfortable with. It’s never too late to start over, or even to start. Take a deep breath. There’s no rush. You’ve got time. There’s no expiration date on art.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m definitely asexual and sex-repulsed- or at least when it comes to my own involvement. I can read about it, or even see it sometimes, but that thought of participating makes me shiver and feel a bit sick. It’s not just sex that I don’t feel comfortable with, but also the acts leading up to it, i.e. kissing and physical intimacy. As for the romantic part, I’m not sure. I’ll call myself aromantic for now, but that might change, who knows.

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

The first thing that comes to mind is one time when I was in a play and I was supposed to kiss a guy on stage. This was before I identified as ace, and was just incredibly uncomfortable with the thought of kissing someone I didn’t like romantically in general. I told the director that I didn’t want to do it. That I couldnt do it. She said “Yes, you can” in an encouraging voice, like it would help if she believed in me. I almost cried right there, the thought scared me so much, but she still didn’t listen to me. Luckily the script changed and I didn’t have to go through with it, but that is the most clear memory I have of my orientation coming into play, and being ignored, in my creative outlet.

Not so much in my field when it comes to writing. At least not yet. I suppose it might in the future. In my original works I hardly ever write romantic plots, and when I do they are very much in the background. Perhaps, if I get published one day, my popularity increases, I might have to take some complaints about not writing romance, but the fact of the matter is I don’t know how to write romance, or sex, or anything like that. I just don’t think it’s important, so I don’t. If you do see me writing romance, it’s because I’m experimenting and hoping for the best.

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

That we don’t exist. I’ve heard this from people who’ve I’ve just met, people I’ve talked to on social media, and a person I was in a relationship with. They doubted that there was such a thing as asexuality or, if they did believe it existed, they didn’t think it applied to me (because I kissed him, and that meant he thought I would want to have sex with him. Don’t worry, he didn’t force me, but I still feel like I dodged a bullet there).

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

You don’t owe anything to anyone. You don’t owe anyone to have sex with them, or to do anything else physically or relationship-wise, if you don’t want to. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why that is. You don’t owe it to anyone to come out if you don’t want to. I’m out to all my friends. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a proud Ace. However, I’m not out to my family. I don’t know why, it just never seems like the right time to talk about it, and I don’t feel the need to do so.

My advice is the same as I gave about your art: don’t rush it. Take your time, and think about things. What are you comfortable with? Do you want to tell anyone? It might help if you talk to someone, but it’s up to you. Express yourself in whatever way you’re comfortable with. Your sexuality, like your art, isn’t going anywhere. You’re allowed to take some time and figure things out, whatever those things may be.

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

My acting was only on small stages, so that’s a bust. However, you can find my fanfiction on Archive of Our Own. My name there is KingsNeverDie100. Frankly, I think it’s a pretty unsatisfactory name, but I’ve had it on most of my accounts since I was about fifteen, and I can’t be bothered to change it 😛

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