Interview: Li

Today we’re joined by Li. Li is a wonderful and talented aspiring author who has published a couple things in his school’s literary magazine. He writes mostly comedic poetry and short stories that fall under the horror genre. He’s a dedicated and passionate writer, as you’ll soon read, and undoubtedly has a bright future ahead of him. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an aspiring writer and enjoy writing comedic poems and short horror stories. My writing style can be very hyperbolic when writing poetry, while with my horror it can be very uncomfortable. My writing style as a whole still hasn’t fully developed, as I began writing only two years ago (Infrequently, though I’ve been trying to write more as of late), and my writing reflects that, though it’s slowly becoming its own thing.

What inspires you?

A mixture of pop-culture, music, my hometown, and my friendships/acquaintanceships. A lot of my comedy is inspired from my town specifically, where I’ve met a lot of interesting folk alongside a lot of strange ones. I wrote a poem recently about a PTA mother writing to another one named Barbra; Barbra was an actual mother I knew, but I did use a different name for her.

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

I’ve been interested in writing since I was very young, though I became more intensely interested in it about two years ago. I only recently decided I would like to write, as before this I wanted to be an astrophysicist (Admittedly, I’m not that much good at math) but decided that wasn’t quite the right career for me. What got me interested in horror was a mixture of things; artists like Junji Ito and movies like Perfect Blue are what got me interested in writing horror, as I wanted to provide the same intense feelings that they are able to produce. I only just became interested in writing comedy, and no one in particular has inspired me- I write to make myself laugh, not others, though I want to be able to write well enough to write things that others will enjoy besides myself.

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 actually don’t have any sort of thing like that, though as I develop my writing skills, I would like to make one.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There’s always that cliché of working hard, but it’s a cliché for a reason- work on your craft, and try to really make it your own. For writers specifically, there’re a lot of skills you’ll need to learn to help you further your writing and help get yourself out there (A video titled Skills You Never Thought You’d Need as a Writer by Jenna Moreci is a very good in-depth video that I would recommend checking out, as she explains things far better than I could.). It’s important to remember that, in general, to try to not compare your work to others. Where you are with your skills are different from others, and though it’s good to strive to continually better yourself, it’s important that you don’t drag yourself down as “not as good” or “not good enough.” Keep your passion for your art burning, and make sure you have other things you’re interested in to go to when you need a break from your art.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic and asexual. I’m sex-repulsed, and am open for a queer-platonic relationship, but will be perfectly happy if I never end up in one.

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

I haven’t experienced any sort of prejudice, but there’s definitely been a lot of ignorance my way. Most of it has been confusion as to what asexuality is, while some of it has been more vitriolic. Everyone who finds out I’m asexual asks what it is, and the more pleasant reactions included asking a lot of questions about it and what it means and so on, which I am always happy to oblige in. The more negative ones include being offered massages to see if that will “awaken” anything in me, getting sexual advances, butt/boob grabs to see if it will help me “get excited”, and being told I need to go see a psychiatrist to get medication to help “fix” me. For those who physically touch me, I cut off all contact with those people and warn others about them. For those who are just unaware of what asexuality is, I try to answer everything to the best of my ability.

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

One of the most common that I’ve personally received about being asexual is that I’m “a late bloomer” and that eventually I’ll begin to feel sexual feelings, and that I should try to get laid. For being aromantic, a lot of people think I’m just cynical about love and shouldn’t “give up on it” even if I express that I genuinely have no interest in it. In general, for both, people say that I’ll end up “alone and sad” because I don’t want a sexual/romantic relationship, alongside not wanting children. Just because I don’t want none of these, it doesn’t mean I’ll be alone and that I won’t have people who care about me- I’ll have friends and family (Plus my lovely pets), and that’s all I could ever ask for.

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

Remember that there isn’t anything wrong with you. Granted, there aren’t as many of us as there are gay, straight, or bi people, but that doesn’t mean your sexuality isn’t as real as anyone else’s and that you’re in any way dysfunctional because of it. Just because you don’t feel sexual/romantic attraction doesn’t mean you aren’t perfectly capable of being a whole human being, and as worthy being treated as well as everyone else.

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

I suppose the easiest place to find it would be my DeviantArt, Hid3AndS33k, as that’s the only place where a lot of my writing can be found.

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

Interview: Ella

Today we’re joined by Ella. Ella is a wonderful visual artist and a prolific writer. Xe do a number of forms of writing including short stories, poetry, and novels. When xe are not writing, Ella loves to do visual art. Xe are a versatile visual artist, doing everything from painting to graphic art to ink illustrations. It’s clear xe are an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to xir for taking the time to participate in this interview.

cursedknight
Cursed Knight

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write novels, short stories, freeform poetry and songs as well as ink illustrations, graphic art, paintings and concept art.

What inspires you?

Both the natural world and much of architecture. I draw from the westerns, horror, steampunk, fantasy and post-apocalyptic genres for concepts, palettes and settings.

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

As soon as I was able to hold a crayon I’ve been drawing, and when I was able to write I began writing. I’ve been doing this for almost my whole life, and I’ve always wanted to make it my career.

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Dante illustration

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?

None that I can think of, which is a shame. I should come up with some.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice your craft. Get the basics down, know the bones of what you’re doing, and you have to know the rules before you break them. Once you know them? Go wild. Everything takes time to learn, and nothing is going to be completely how you want it at first.

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Hunter

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, though I’m probably closer to demisexual or grey-asexual.

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

I’m insulated enough that I haven’t dealt with it as a confrontation thing, but I do experience the vast misunderstanding and ignorance about asexuality a lot.

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

Either the celibacy misconception or just not knowing what it is.

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

It’s okay to be like this. You aren’t broken, or flawed, or sinful for being like this.

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

You can find me on Tumblr at blackcatwhitewolf.tumblr.com, my art blog, or on Deviantart, also blackcatwhitewolf. My AO3 is potato_being.

quothetheraven
Quothe the Raven

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

Interview: Isaiah

Today we’re joined by Isaiah. Isaiah is a phenomenal writer and visual artist who does a number of things. For drawing, they mostly do digital art and enjoy drawing and designing their own characters. For writing, they focus on fanfiction, poetry, and short stories. They’re currently working on a short story featuring an ace main character. It’s clear they’re a very dedicated and talented artist. 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 primarily do digital art of my original characters, but I also write poetry and fanfiction and short stories (though none of them are finished.)

The story I currently put the majority of my effort into is (somewhat ironically) a hodge-podge romcom/coming of age/ self-acceptance story about a gay demisexual cis boy who fell in love with his best friend. It features a lot of religious themes and internalized homophobia so I understand it definitely isn’t for everyone! The main storyline is about him, but it also branches off to tell the stories of the other cast members, who are largely queer and neurodivergent. My fanfiction is pretty standard mutual pining stuff and my poetry is largely about mental illness.

What inspires you?

I’ve had a lot of bad experiences with very queerphobic content, so oddly enough I’m kind of inspired by the very strong desire to give other queer youth a story to latch onto!! I really want to put media into this world that folks who aren’t usually represented can see themselves in. I’m also really inspired by my friends & the kindness they show to me. They’re all amazing artists and people and they help me do better.

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

I haven’t been doing this for long but… honestly I just thought art looked pretty, and I really wanted to be able to create it too!! I started when I was twelve so I’m a bit behind other folks my age, but I’m not too worried.  I used to want to be an author before I’d ever even wrote books. I liked ELA and besides that it was… largely due to J.K Rowling and the attachment I had to her story and characters, though she’s fallen out of my favor in recent years.

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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, honestly? People say that the way I draw lips and eyebrows is pretty recognizable, but I think for the most part my art isn’t like, at all that unique. Which isn’t a great selling point I know but I just kind of… scribble until something happens!!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you’re feeling uninspired, or frustrated, it’s okay to take a little break. Don’t push yourself too hard. If drawing is making you unhappy, you don’t need to do it. There’s a lot of pressure to pursue art like a hound and draw every day, but everyone is different!! Find your own balance and treat yourself kindly.  Don’t compare yourself to other artists, even if they’re your friends and you feel compelled to. Have fun & be yourself and it’ll come to you!!

Also; if you know you’re sitting down to draw for a while, get yourself some water!!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m quoiromantic & autochorrissexual asexual.

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

To be honest, I feel like most people who take in my art don’t know I’m asexual, though I definitely see a lot of acephobia & other queerphobia in the community I post in. It’s unfortunate & really bums me out, but I’m not really one to get into arguments. Personally, I tend to delete any rude comments that reference sexuality on my work because I worry about queer kids stumbling onto them and internalizing that hatred.  If they do get to me, I’ll vent to my friends about it, but a lot of it just inspires me to work harder and be even more visible. At the end of the day, I think that your work bothering a bigoted person is an achievement.

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

A lot of people think we’re either just celibate, or that we have absolutely no libido at all. The concept of someone being both asexual and having a consensual, voluntary sex life is bizarre to them, but in a way that they almost refuse to process most of the time no matter how many times you attempt to explain.

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

You aren’t broken, and there isn’t anything wrong with you. Humans are multifaceted and strange, and being asexual is as normal as any other way of being. I know it can be difficult living in a society that prioritizes sex and romance so highly but you aren’t alone, and you don’t need to experience relationships the exact same ways as allo people do. You’re allowed to feel this way and don’t have to justify it to anyone.

Also: it’s okay to try out a label, you don’t have to be positive. You’re allowed to change your mind and learn new stuff about yourself. Just hang in there!!

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

DIGITAL ART:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/blahruto/
Tumblr(s): blahrutocs.tumblr.com & blahruto.tumblr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blahruto/
Toyhou.se: http://toyhou.se/blahruto
Twitter: https://twitter.com/blahruto
DA: http://roblobliotical.deviantart.com/
Picarto.tv: https://picarto.tv/blahruto

WRITING:

Fanfic: https://archiveofourown.org/users/blahruto
Poetry: http://sobliotic.tumblr.com/
https://www.wattpad.com/user/sobliotic

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

Interview: Ella

Today we’re joined by Ella. Ella is a phenomenally talented artist who specializes in designing creatures and props. She works as a graphic designer and also writes, both original work and fanfiction, and bakes. Ella is most passionate about making creatures from movies. They’re exquisite, as you’ll soon see. Ella is a passionate and dedicated artist, which really shines through in her work. 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 do lots of things! I’m a graphic designer, I bake, I write stories … But I think my creatures are the things I’m proudest of, so I’m gonna talk about them.

Have you ever sat in a movie theatre and went: ‘that animal is the most adorable thing I have ever seen and I want to hug it!!’

Me, too. Sadly, most of the animals on films and series are either lethal, imaginary or trained. So you’ll have to live out the rest of your life, knowing you would never get to hug that little critter.

I refuse to live out my life that way. That’s why I make the animals myself.

I have made a Toothless costume from How To Train Your Dragon, a BB-8 from Star Wars, two creatures from Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy, and a plaidypus and the pig Waddles, from Gravity Falls.

My greatest joy comes from bringing the creatures to a convention, so other people can hug them, too.

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What inspires you?

The movies the creatures are in, mainly. But never underestimate the reaction other people have to your creations. People keep me going. People going “He’s so CUTE! Where did you buy him?” And then I can say: “Oh, no, I made him!”

Then again, everything can inspire me. A walk through the dollar store is very helpful, for instance.

The thing that inspires me the most is that sometimes, kids believe that my creatures are real. To me, that’s the best compliment I can get.

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

I just sort of… ended up in it. My job is graphic designer, but I only went to that school because it was close to home. I started working on Toothless when I was 18 or so. I always thought I wanted to be a comic artist, or just an illustrator. Or maybe an actress. Or maybe something with languages! Then it turned out that my drawings are not that good, I don’t have patience to practice and I didn’t like languages all that much.

But, man. I started work on Toothless, and it just flowed. And then I started to work on BB-8, and that flowed as well. Writers tell about it, too. As if a book wants to be written.

I guess my creatures just want to be made.

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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?

For some reason, I love the number eight. I usually try to put it somewhere in my writing, art or creatures. Or I incorporate something of myself. The lines on the hands of the big white ape-like Dougal are the same as the lines on mine. And I love special effects. The eyes of Dougal light up, the Niffler has a pouch in which bells are glued so he rings when he is shaken. BB-8 rolls and makes sounds. Toothless’s wings could go up and down.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t force yourself to do anything that you deep down feel you don’t want to. If drawing secretly isn’t your thing, try clay! Try writing!

If you wanna do something like the things I do, buy a glue gun. It’s the best tool ever.

Stay kind to the other artists. They started like you did. And above all, stay weird. Find that one small spot inside yourself that screams “this is me!” and hold on tightly.

Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you aren’t good enough. If they do, hot glue their fingers together. Trust me, it hurts.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Straight and Asexual Until Further Notice.

That basically means that I have no sexual interest in people, but I don’t know what happens when I actually do get a relationship at one point.

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

My colleagues don’t often understand it. They ask questions like “But if your partner wants to, and you don’t, what do you do?”

The answer is “We don’t do the do.”

I don’t have much prejudice or ignorance, really. I guess people already see me as a strange person and are like “well, we’ll just add that up to the total picture”

Most people just want explanations on How It Works. Here’s my tip on that:

Ask if they have pets. Most people do. Then ask them if they think that their pet is the most beautiful thing in the world. Most people say yes. Then ask them if they would like to have sex with their pet. The people go “NOOO EEEEW”

Then you go: ‘That’s how I feel about everyone’

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

That you can get rid of it.

“Oh, no matter. Once you meet the right person…”

You can’t get rid of it. It’s like your spine. Sure, you could try to get rid of your spine, but that would take immense force and possibly trauma.

Please don’t get rid of your spine. (unless you medically need to or something)

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

Relax. Sexualities change. At first I thought I was completely and utterly asexual, now I’m thinking I might just be demi. Your atoms and molecules replace completely every seven years or so. Who says you can’t?

If you don’t want sex, don’t have it. And if you are struggling with anything, do some research. Talk to people. Talk to your partner, for goodness sake.

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

My stories: SleepingReader on AO3
My cosplays: EllaFixIt on Facebook or FixitCosplay on Instagram.
My Tumblr – feel free to talk to me about anything- SleepingReader.

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

Interview: Jessica Suphan

Today we’re joined by Jessica Suphan. Jessica is a phenomenal author who has recently published her debut novel, a psychological thriller entitled Perfect World. Jessica hasn’t met a genre she doesn’t like and writes in a variety of them. She’s an incredibly passionate and dedicated writer, 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.

Gladly! I’m an author, I write psychologically based stories, romance, historical fiction, science fiction, fantasy, any genre that pops into my mind. I write novellas and novels and short stories; just like I write whatever genre is needed for the story, I write whatever length is needed for the story I’m telling. Though most of them tend to be really long. It was very recent that I became a published author instead of an unpublished writer; my psychological thriller Perfect World came out in June. In a sentence, it’s about a young government agent who shoulders the burden of his utopia’s secret origins and has to struggle against psychosis because of those secrets. Just like all my other work, it’s extremely diverse. Perfect World features LGBT+ and ethnic as well as racial diversity. But I give all forms of diversity to my stories; it’s something that’s very important to me, and something I’ll never stop.

What inspires you?

It’s a dumb answer, but I’d have to say everything. I adore worldbuilding so cool tidbits from various cultures get tucked away into my mind along with science facts (mostly space) and psychological phenomenons. I’m a counseling psychology student so I learn a lot in the latter most’s area. Tumblr’s a great place too. I’ve gotten ideas of things to add to stories, ideas for characters, phrases that leap out. Perfect World actually has a scene inspired by a Tumblr post that asked why we never learn about other cultures in dystopian stories, and a character inspired by another post about how we never see a man sleep his way to the top. My friends do too, along with nature. Have you ever walked outside when it’s raining? Not a downpour, just raining. If you look at flowers and leaves then, it feels like the world is a fuzzier and gentler place. That’s a feeling that really sticks with me. And injustice.

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

I’ve been a writer as far back as I can remember. My first finished story happened when I was in fourth grade. It’s the first story I recall writing, but my parents assure me that it went on beforehand, and I’m not surprised. Like many writers I was a voracious reader; how could I not want to add to the number of worlds in the universe, even as a young child?

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?

Hm. I’m not sure if it falls under it, but I do love putting exact onomatopoeia in. Exact though. It’s such a delightful yet challenging thing to write if you want to get the true sound of what just happened. A metal fan’s blades don’t go rrrrrr, they go brrirrrr, a rock doesn’t grind sssssss against another rock, it grinds ssszzzzzt!, but you have to stop and listen and focus only on the sound in order to get it. I’ll spend easily an hour trying to figure out the spelling of something that isn’t even a word.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just write. A lot of advice will tell you to copy how great authors write, and you totally can if you want. But I’ve never seen the point of it. Write like you. That’s how you find your voice, something else writing advice frets about, because your voice is how you naturally tell a story. Not only that, but write what you know doesn’t mean you’re stuck writing high school stories until you graduate. Good heavens, can you imagine how awful that’d be? You can write anything you want because, for me at least, that phrase is about emotion. I will hopefully never experience what it’s like to have my child go missing. But I’ve experienced the emotions of panic and dread and frustration at my own helplessness. I haven’t gone to another planet (yet). Still, I know the thrill of exploring, that tight stomach and fizzy head that comes from embarking out into something I couldn’t possibly know. And don’t write for word counts. I’ve found that sitting down to write a scene gives you a lot more success than sitting down to write ______ words. In the latter you’re pausing to count words, focused on those instead of the story. When you sit down with the intent to write a scene you’re honed in on the story and moving it forward, and we all know scenes can be very long. So if you write one you can look back on pages instead of a paragraph that leaves you wanting more.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m homoromantic asexual! A girl who has romantic interest in other girls but no sexual attraction or urges whatsoever.

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

Everything I’ve experienced has been ignorance. Since I hang out with other writers who also know the importance of diversity that’s slightly less common than it otherwise might be, but it’s still very much present. I personally really enjoy teaching people things. So if something comes up, I take pleasure in patiently but (if needed) firm explanations. The vast majority of the time, people just need to be treated with respect and not attacked for their ignorance, and they’re happy to learn and respect. Of course you have to be more aggressive with some people though, it can’t be helped. I do experience compassion fatigue though with all the activism I do (where your brain is so overloaded and so tired from caring so much about everything you could read the most heinous article title and be unable to feel anything about it), so sometimes I let a comment pass. With those though, they have to be both ignorant and not harmful in a large way.

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

That asexuality = aromantic pops up, but the most common one is absolutely that asexuals don’t have sex ever. Some don’t. But some, myself included, have. Asexuals might like it on an intellectual level, because they crave physical contact that much, because they enjoy the emotional intimacy that comes from it, or any number of other reasons. It’s very common for me to get nothing but crickets when someone says that I just need to try sex and I tell them I’ve had it several times and am still asexual. That’s my truth, it’s the truth of many people, and there’s nothing wrong or “lying” about it.

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

You exist. You’re okay. I promise you are, you’re not broken and you’re not wrong. There hasn’t been a term for us until now because there wasn’t a safe space for us to be heard, talking about sex was taboo, and the expectation was that it was a necessity not a pleasure. That’s why it’s “new”, not because it’s made up. We’re real.

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

Right here on Tumblr! My blog is scripturient-manipulator, and you can find Perfect World as a print book, as an ebook, or for your kindle. Feel free to message me to talk as well!

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

Interview: Mia

Today we’re joined by Mia. Mia is a fantastic up and coming writer who also dabbles in music. She writes fanfiction but also has a number of original stories she’s working on. When she’s not writing stories, Mia composes pieces for the piano. It’s very clear that she’s an incredibly dedicated 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’m a mostly unpublished writer who also happens to dabble in composing pieces on the piano. I write anything from short stories to poetry, I have too many novels in the works to count, and most of my composing is inspired by my writing. The vast majority of my writing is YA fantasy, but I’ve recently gotten back into writing fan fiction again, too. My two biggest current projects are a fairy tale rewrite (featuring gay kings!) and a novel for National Novel Writing Month that features (among others) a female, Ace protagonist.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration in a lot of different things. The people around me tend to inspire me most. I’m constantly borrowing little things like names, traits, quirks, etc. from people I encounter in real life.

If we’re talking people, I drew a lot of inspiration from my favorite authors as a kid, especially Brian Jacques, C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Christopher Paolini.
My writing inspires my music, to an extent.

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

I started writing and taking piano lessons both around the age of six. My mom even has a poem I wrote around that age still saved somewhere. It’s just always been a part of 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 officially, but, and this is something I don’t tell a lot of people: Any time you see a goddess called Thelbriza in any of my stories, that’s actually me, keeping an eye on my characters from their own world, instead of from my own.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice makes perfect, but never feel bad for not Doing The Thing. Art takes time, and art takes effort, and nobody got to where they are without constant work, practice, and, yes, really awful art. But it’s okay to take a break from practicing. Art isn’t about being the best, it’s about putting something that no one else could make into the world, whether or not someone else sees it. If it’s not fun, what’s the point?

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Demisexual (and have since I found the term about four years ago).

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’ve experienced it in my field specifically. I’m not sure if it could be considered “prejudice or ignorance” but the almost total lack of any sort of representation in written media is really jarring sometimes.

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

That we’re all prudes who don’t like sex. I’m a sex-positive ace who has a long-term partner and an active sex life, and honestly, seeing how many people think that aces don’t like or don’t have sex, I occasionally feel Not Ace Enough.

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

It’s okay to question, and it’s absolutely okay to change your labels or how you identify. I’ve personally gone from Straight, to Bi, to Demisexual, to Demisexual/bi-romantic, to Demisexual/pan-romantic, to Demisexual/pan-alterous to Demisexual, Demi/pan-alterous! Questioning just means that you’re still learning about yourself and growing, and personal growth is never a bad thing.

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

I (used to) post a lot of my work on my personal Tumblr: http://once-upon-a-lyfetime.tumblr.com/
This is also where you’ll find one of the pieces I’m most proud of (any fans of mermaids? It’s under the short story tag!)

I’ve started posting somewhat frequently on AO3 under the name Mistress Dandelion, too! This is where you’ll find my fairy tale rewrite.

Anyone who wants to watch my progress in November as I write my Ace Representation NaNo novel can find my profile on the NaNoWriMo website here: http://nanowrimo.org/participants/lady_eemia

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

Interview: Red

Today we’re joined by Red. Red is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in digital mediums. She is also an aspiring author. Red also happens to be a first for Asexual Artists: she’s a pet stylist who specializes in creative grooming. It’s clear that she’s an artist with an admirable amount of passion and enthusiasm, 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’m a digital artist (Hobbyist) and an aspiring author. I draw monsters and Pokémon, and I write short horror stories mostly. Also not sure if this is considered an art, but I’m a pet stylist who focuses on creative and Asian Fusion grooming (Non-contest grooming). That’s what pays the bills)

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me. I find inspiration in things that happen in my life, colors I see in the world, or even just random thoughts. Music is the biggest inspiration, though. When it comes to my digital art, I can’t draw unless there’s music that goes with whatever piece I have in mind playing!

As far as the dogs go, I’m completely inspired by cuteness. I groom to make the dog look as adorable as possible!

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

As far as writing, I always used to want to be an author. I was an avid reader since I could read, and I had such a vivid imagination that writing just came naturally. It’s something I’ve always loved.

Drawing, on the other hand, I got into later on in life, honestly I started drawing because I used to play on Neopets as a kid, and I wanted to draw my pets. I also did a lot of roleplaying back in the day, and I didn’t feel comfortable using images from google to represent my characters, so I wanted to start drawing my own art to represent my characters. I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to be an artist on a professional level, especially since my confidence in my art is pretty low, but I’m always improving, and someday I might even open up my work for commissions online!

I’ve also always wanted to work with dogs, but grooming wasn’t my first choice. I exhausted other options, like being a veterinarian and dog trainer, and found art and inspiration when I tried grooming dogs. It’s a great way to work with dogs and be creative as well, and I’m excited to actually work at a school now and teach creative grooming!

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’m not really sure if I do… As far as writing goes, I tend to stick to horror and scary stories, and a lot of my stories come from daydreams, or actual dreams or nightmares…

Other than that, I couldn’t think of anything that is special or unique about either of my mediums of art. I just do this because I enjoy it.

(Jokingly, my coworkers say they can always tell when I groom a dog because the hair that hangs over the eyes is left long and the muzzle is always very round, while everyone else takes both of those short)

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t compare yourself to other people’s art, unless you’re actively trying to develop your style and you’re looking at different examples of that style. Even then, your style will never match up 100% to anyone else’s, because everyone has their own way of doing something. Even if you don’t think your art is that great, in whatever form it may be, just remember that not only do you have to start somewhere, but there’s honestly probably people out there worse than you at whatever you’re trying to create. Just do art because it’s fun, not to compare yourself, because you’ll only make yourself feel bad if you’re constantly trying to measure up to someone else instead of working on your own style.

And really, there’s art to be found in a ton of places, so if you’re a creative type but don’t feel that professional writing or drawing is for you, there are tons of jobs that can tap into that creative potential in sucha fun and unique way!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual, and I’m not really sure what my romantic orientation is.

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

Not in the art community, and really I haven’t delved too far into the professional writing area of the world yet to have that come into play.   As far as being a pet stylist goes, I’ve had only one person who has been truly ignorant, but she is super sweet and tried to understand. She just doesn’t get orientations that aren’t gay, straight, or bi. The rest of the grooming industry is pretty diverse, and really accepting!

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

That asexuals don’t love their partner. (I guess to some allos, sex is the same thing as love)

Honestly I feel like my love for my partner is stronger because not only does he understand my asexuality, but I get to focus on other things in our relationship that build a sense of love, trust, and comfort than just sex.

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

You. Are. Not. Broken! And you are not alone! There’s a surprising amount of people in the world who are either somewhere on the spectrum, or really understanding/know about asexuality! When you’re struggling to define yourself and your orientation, it’ll probably be tough, and you’ll think something’s wrong with you, and people might even say there’s something wrong with you, but I promise you there isn’t! Don’t buy into the negativity, and just focus on what you feel in your heart.

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

I have a DA (CreativeRed), and if you’re interested in some of my writing, you can find a few creepypastas on the wiki, like “For Fear Addicts Like Me” (TW: might cause feelings of dissociation) and “The Lab” (TW: violence, gore. Experimental piece with an emphasis on body horror and gross-out factor).  And keep an eye out for my eventual anthology of short horror stories under the same title “For Fear Addicts Like Me”.

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