Today we’re joined by Cheshire. Cheshire is a phenomenal visual artist and an aspiring animator. They do both digital and traditional art, favoring messy materials for traditional art. They absolutely love to draw and doodle, whether on paper or on their iPad. Their work shows a remarkable amount of detail as well as a wonderful use of color. It’s clear they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m an aspiring animator and generally fun-loving digital and traditional artist. I mainly doodle on my iPad (Due to my lack of a laptop), as well as in my sketchbooks (Three of them, lol). I enjoy working with pencils and watercolour paints, and because I tend to do a lot of self-referential and colourful artworks I usually go with the messiest materials (Hence, watercolour).
What inspires you?
Pop culture, Personal experiences, music and the world around me. I’ve been heavily into popular culture since my constant-cartoon watching as a child (Nothing’s changed.), which is why my art style tends to be a mix of both styles close to anime and western cartoons. In terms of personal experience, that all tends to be related to my darker artworks, and the ones inspired by things that have made me anxious or generally feel like crap emotionally. Music is because of my all-over-the-place music tastes, as for instance I could be drawing something completely cute when listening to a sweet love song, or something violent or angry when listening to metal (Which is most of my playlists), or something inspired by a musical. The world around me could just be someone’s outfit, an animal I saw, or the landscapes I come across on my adventures to and from home.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I never really had any role models for getting into art until I got into my junior year of high school. I had always like drawing, and have been doing so since I was five, but I never really wanted to pursue a career in it until I started looking into watercolour art at the start of eleventh grade, and then animation at the end of that year. I wanted to be a music teacher (I am terrible at music), a juvenile justice worker, a youth counsellor, but eventually settled into animation, as I felt that it was the best way to improve my art and share the stories I make up with people.
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?
Nope! It’s not that I have a simple trick I’m not willing to share, but more that I just… don’t have one? I tend to do whatever I want with my art and what people see is what they get. There’s no secret to it.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Your art is unique to you. Your style, your methods, your materials, they are yours. If you spend all your time comparing yourself to other artists you tend to be discouraged, and honestly, that’s the last thing you want. What you do what to do is look at other people’s art and their methods and be inspired, as in ‘Oh, I didn’t know I could do that’. Don’t compare yourself to someone who is probably also in the same boat as you. You’re doing your best, and even though that may not seem like much, it’s enough for you. And even if you don’t like that one piece you did, someone else will, and may even see it in a way that you didn’t.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m pan-romantic grey-ace. I don’t really know where I am on the spectrum. I mean, I’m not attracted to anyone in a sexual way, but I’m not totally against the idea of doing-the-do. I’m not sex-repulsed at all, but I’d only do it if I as completely sure I could trust the person I was with.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
More just ignorance than anything. No one really knows how to understand it and I’m terrible at explaining it. Even then, I don’t upfront say ‘Oh I’m ace”, but more let it out later as I know the person. I honestly find it easier to just say ‘Oh I wouldn’t do a one-night-stand with anyone, and generally just… don’t feel a need to do it at all?’ It’s hard to explain to people when I don’t really understand it myself.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That I’m celibate. Like no, sweetie, I’d do it, but I just don’t feel like it. That’s all it is. I’m not resigning myself to a vow of celibacy because boy howdy smooching people is a nice feeling and I’m lonely and would love an s/o, but I just… don’t care about sex?
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
It’s okay if you’re confused. Your identity doesn’t have to be your defining point, so there’s no pressure to really understand it. It’s also okay to tell people. They may not explicitly understand what you’re dealing with, but telling someone can help you deal with what can be extremely stressful. And if people tell you that the A in the full LGBTQ+ acronym means ‘Ally’, tell them to fight you. The A can stand for Ally, Ace and Aro and no one can take your identity away from you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My Instagram, Art Amino, DA and Tumblr!
I don’t use my Tumblr much lately due to school stress, but it’s serpentine-jellyfish. Between all the memes I post, I sometimes post my art there.
My Insta is where I post a majority of my art, from doodles to fully-completed works. I should get an art account, but honestly? I completely content with posting everything on the one account. My Instagram is serpentine._.jellyfish (temporarily changed for Halloween: https://www.instagram.com/serpentine._.spookfish/)
Art Amino I don’t use too much as it takes up space on my iPad, and is Serpentine Jellyfish. I post a lot of stuff there when I do have it.
My DA is the different one, and is Thoughtful-Melonlord. I don’t post there very often at all, as I’m generally just too lazy to log back in and out, and when I do post, it’s using the iPad app, which has terrible interfacing by the way.
Thank you, Cheshire, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.