Interview: Gigi

Today we’re joined by Gigi. Gigi is a phenomenal and versatile artist who does a bit of everything. She writes a bit of poetry and she also has a running fan comic set in the Kirby universe. When she’s not writing, Gigi does a bit of visual art. She mostly does fanart, but she also does self-portraiture and some abstract drawings. It’s very clear that 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.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to write mostly, and I’ve started with fanfiction. Ever since late 2010 I’ve worked on a fan comic called 20 Times Kirby, and my story with it is kinda funny. I started it just ’cause, literally, I had no expectations for it and I was only working on it due to boringness, but soon I grew attached to it, to a point where I actually started putting effort into it. The results are a pretty complex story with multiple characters, almost 1000 pages, and almost 7 years of work, with constant updates! In fact, the comic became more my own thing rather than just me exploring the Kirby universe; the elements of the series are there, but they aren’t extremely important. Looking back, this all is insane! But I love it; working on this comic is my passion. I even plan on rewriting it in the future, since I’ve made some mistakes in the past and I’d like to fix them.

I also like writing poems, both in English and in my first language (Brazilian Portuguese). They are literally about anything, and I write them when I suddenly feel inspired. I haven’t really published most of those, but I’m starting to think I should.

Another art thing I do is drawing, usually fan art, but sometimes self-portraits and some abstract drawings. Most of them end up as sketches only, however. I’ve also more recently started to learn to compose, but for now it’s mostly experimenting and trying to learn stuff.

What inspires you?

In general, videogames and music inspire me, but any kind of art may do the trick as well. When I see something that I can tell that was made with care and attention to detail, that motivates me to do something similar. Also, whenever I find something I really like in any kind of fiction, I try to make something similar to it happen in my stories, if possible of course.

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

Ever since I was a kid I’ve had a huge imagination and I would make countless stories in my head about literally everything. I would never write them down, however, apart for one or two Pokémon fanfictions I only drafted the beginning. Only when I started working in 20 Times Kirby, and got so attached to it, I stopped to think that maybe writing had be my secret passion all this time. That’s when I actually started to write stuff down, even if it’s just bullet points of a story. Seeing friends and other people do other art stuff like drawing motivated me to try these too, but writing will always be my main passion.

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 think? Although I do love giving a meaning to everything that happens in any story I work on, and connect all events whenever possible too.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up! Whatever the field of art you want to work with, it’s extremely unlikely you’ll be a master at it on your first tries, and this goes for everyone! I know that when you start, you already want to be very good like the artists you see around, but it’s actually a long road, and those people have travelled it. And you can do it too!

Also, don’t be afraid to rewrite stories, redraw drawings, remake your songs, and so on. If you think you can improve something you’ve already finished, you probably can, and you’ll learn more in the process!

Finally, don’t be afraid of criticism, it only helps, no matter how much it may hurt. Take it and try to learn with it, whoever commented about your work like that only wants to help you. However, if you notice someone commenting about your work only giving negative thoughts, looking like they aren’t trying to help, ignore them. Giving constructive criticism is one thing, giving hate is another, and learning the different between the two is very important.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic and asexual. Well, at least I think I am; these are the labels I identify with right now.

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

Not really directly, and I guess this is more aro related, but I do notice that lots of people comment a lot about shipping and have gotten disappointed when I didn’t really do any real romance in my comic (yes, even in a Kirby fan comic). Honestly… I just ignore them for most part. I don’t avoid romance completely but I rarely use it, I don’t think this kind of stuff is mandatory in a story.

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

The misconception that Asexuality is just a “phase”, and that it will change when you “find the right person”. That’s like telling a straight person they are going through a phase, and will realize they are actually bi when they find the right person of a gender they claim to not be attracted to. It makes no real sense and it’s just trying to erase who we are.

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

First of all, no matter what others say, your orientation is valid. You are valid. Don’t let others tell you otherwise.

Also, feel free to explore labels, if you think one doesn’t fit you completely. If you asked me a year ago what my romantic orientation was, I would have told you grayromantic, not aromantic. That’s because it took me a while to truly identify as aromantic, and identifying as grayro for a while helped me do that. Really, you don’t have to pick a label once and never change it, change your labels whenever you feel it’s the right thing. These labels exist to help us find more about ourselves!

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

20 Times Kirby can be found here: http://www.smackjeeves.com/comicprofile.php?id=91583

I also have a Tumblr where I sometimes post art, although I haven’t done that in a while. Either way, you can find it here: http://gigithoughts.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art. If I ever get around to post my other art stuff, I’ll post about it in my Tumblr, but let’s see.

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

Interview: Nicole Blanchard

Today we’re joined by Nicole Blanchard, who is also known as nicoledraws online. Nicole is a wonderful visual artist who does quite a bit. They do a lot of sketches and drawings, as well as some fanart. They’ve recently gotten into cosplay and are currently studying Media Arts and Animation. They are obviously quite passionate about art, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Visual Artist here who mainly dabbles in sketching and drawing. Painting is on my list as well, but is done much less often due to the fact I do not get a lot of time to sit down at home where all my supplies are.

I also double as a FanArtist. I just recently got into the cosplay game and don’t possess “professional” photos, but I have been drawing fanart for at least the last six years of my life. It’s good practice and gets your name out there.

And occasionally, I do animate. Media Arts and Animation is currently what I am in school for so there’s that as well.

What inspires you?

There is no one specific thing that gives me inspiration. It comes and goes from many different places.

The only mildly consistent aspect of it is that it usually tends to be from real life. Whether it be from long talks with one of my closest friends or experiences I’ve had.

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

Memories of my childhood, in all honesty, are blurry at best. So I can’t say what got me interested in art—just that it happened.

For as long as I can remember, I have always found joy and comfort in drawing. It’s not only therapeutic but I feel I am most myself when doing it.

If nothing else, the one thing I do remember was the fact that I did always have a desire to grow up and be an artist. However, thanks to career counselors and other adults, it never seemed like a realistic goal and dream to have at the time. The whole “starving artist” myth is legitimately terrifying to a child from an already struggling household.

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. At least, not that I have personally noticed or consciously done.

Though I am hoping to fix that. I want to get to a point talent-wise and artistically where someone can immediately identify my work as mine without having to look at my name.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There is always going to be someone better than you in some way. However, don’t let this lead you down the road of a quitter—instead use it as a motivation to improve.

With any form of art, the only way to get better is to keep doing it. Don’t ever stop, because stopping might as well be you giving up.

Some people need to work harder to get to a certain level of mastery and that’s okay. Not every person in the world has a knack for picking things up easily. Every person learns at their own pace. At least a decade worth of drawing and I’m still learning.

Another important aspect to any form of art is constructive criticism. You, as a producer of content, need to listen to the criticism of your audience. The input they can provide can be very insightful and point flaws out that you might have never noticed on your own. And this goes for not only basic theories and principles of your art form, but potentially offensive topics.

However, also keep in mind that you cannot please every single person you meet. Simply be open-minded and kind.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

The sexual identity I am currently most comfortable with and feel fits the best is “asexual” itself — not a branch of it.

However, my romantic identity remains an oddity to even myself. I am currently coming to terms with the fact I reside somewhere on the aro-spectrum, but am also hesitant to label myself fully as “aromantic” despite never experiencing the feelings in question.

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

My sexuality isn’t exactly an aspect of myself I have made common knowledge in my daily life and to the people in it. So needless to say, the answer would be an overall “no.” Very few people, even within my circle of friends and acquaintances, know about it. It just isn’t something I tend to talk about, though it’s not a fact about me that I purposely hide either.

The topic of sexuality as a whole isn’t something ever brought up at the college I attend or the places I work, so it might just be a matter of “ignorance is bliss.”

There was a misconception of “being ace means you don’t like sex” once or twice, but that’s about as far as it went.

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

In person, definitely “being ace means you don’t like sex.”

On the internet, it’s been quite an ugly mix of comments. The two worst being “aroace people are just Straight People wanting in on the LGBT+ community and its resources” and “cishet aces are Straight.” Both of which mainly come from members of the LGBT+ community and enforce heteronormativity in the process.

What many LGBT+ people on the internet fail and refuse to realize is that The Straights don’t see us as straight. In their eyes, we are not one of them.

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

Life is too short to hate yourself. There are things about you that you can’t change; so instead of letting the world make you feel bad for it, embrace and accept it even if it is difficult to do so.

Do not change per the request of anyone (partner, family, or otherwise), because I can guarantee that you won’t be happy in the end.

And if one moment you find your ace label (whatever it may be) does not fit like it did before, don’t fret. Sexuality and gender is a spectrum. Labels are meant to help identify yourself, but are not inherently permanent. Do and use what you feel is best in that moment.

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

My artwork can mainly be found on Tumblr under a side-blog with the url nicoledraws.

However, I do also have a Twitter account that has some artwork that never sees the light of day on Tumblr. As a warning though: the twitter account is a lot less organized and also has a lot of non-art related topics attached to it. You can find me currently at mokamazing there.

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

Interview: Syd

Today we’re joined by Syd. Syd is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in cartoon-style images. She has a great eye and the images she creates have a sense of whimsy to them. It’s very apparent that Syd loves what she does, 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 mostly just do sketches and doodles but I occasionally line and color them if I like them enough. I don’t really do much realism, just my cartoony style ^w^

What inspires you?

Inspiration to draw just kinda hits me randomly, like while I’m listening to a good song or walking back from class.

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

What inspired me to start drawing, during middle school, was a really good friend of mine who has always been an amazing artist. She was always drawing or doodling cute and funny things and it always made me really happy to see so I decided to try it for myself.

I’m not exactly professional artist material, though I love doodling in my free time, so I’m actually going to college to get a degree in biology.

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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 really have a signature haha

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If it’s something that you’re passionate about, don’t be afraid to do it. No one starts out perfect, so don’t feel discouraged if it doesn’t turn out like you had hoped at first, and keep on trying! Try not to compare yourself to other artists too much; just because what you make doesn’t look like theirs doesn’t mean it isn’t just as amazing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I haven’t put a lot of thought into specifically where I fit on the spectrum. All I know is that I’ve identified as asexual since I was 15 (almost 4 years ago) and I’m perfectly comfortable with that. UwU

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

Fortunately I’m currently living in a fairly friendly and accepting community. When I came out to most everyone this year not a single person tried to convince me that I was just confused and some even went out of their way to understand more, and that meant the world to me. When I encounter people who don’t really understand what asexuality is or what it means, I will just try to explain it to them as best I can.

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

I’m sure every asexual person ever has heard the “oh so you reproduce by yourself lol” but along with that I’ve had a few people tell me “well maybe you’d like it if you tried it” or “you just haven’t found the right person yet”. All of these are frustrating to have to listen to -_-

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

No matter how you identify yourself, you are valid. Starting to really think about your orientation can be scary, just know that you don’t have to put a label on anything until you feel ready. Give yourself time to figure yourself out. You’ve got all the time in the world.

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

I post all of my art on Instagram at sydmyrs.

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

Interview: Cassandra Wolfe

Today we’re joined by Cassandra Wolfe. Cassandra is a phenomenal artist jack of all trades. She’s predominantly a fantasy writer who is working on a novel that sounds absolutely fascinating. When she’s not writing, Cassandra enjoys photography, particularly wildlife. She’s incredibly passionate, 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 bit of a jack of all trades really but my main focus at the moment is my writing (funny considering I’m trained as an art teacher). I work mainly in the fields of urban fantasy. I am currently working on the final drafts of what I hope to be my first novel featuring a bunch of werewolves living in modern day Australia along with a few short stories that I’m working on getting published in some online anthologies.

Outside of writing I’m trained in painting but I find that these days most of my work tends to utilize photography as a medium, with wildlife being one of my favourite subjects. I’ve also dabbled in both ceramics and sketching.

What inspires you?

I get most of my inspiration from the natural world and folklore. I grew up in a family that loved nature so I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time in the African wilderness which made me fall in love with the wonder that is wildlife. There’s a certain thrill that comes with getting up close to wild animals and it hasn’t faded now that I’m dealing with kangaroos instead of springbok. I’m rather proud of the fact that I can and have gotten within meters of hartebeest, bat-eared foxes, snakes and lizards. Reptiles are my absolute favourite subjects to shoot simply because they’re so chill that it makes approaching them a piece of cake.

The folklore that inspires me comes through mainly in my writing where it combines with my love of the natural world in the form of critters that are closer to that world than most people are. I tend to include a lot of shape shifter lore in my work and the fae are never far behind! I also enjoy including aspects of my religion into what I write in terms of how I shape the magic and witchcraft that is 99% guaranteed to be a part of my fictional work.

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

I was the kid who always wanted to sit down and write stories when asked what I wanted to do; it used to drive my sister up the wall. I actually entered a writing competition when I was pretty young and got to meet a whole bunch of authors at the close of it which helped drive my passion even if my story for it wasn’t what you’d call great. I still own the signed copies of one of Fiona McIntosh’s series and every time I feel disheartened by my writing I find reading that ‘keep writing’ on the front page keeps me going. Reading that little handwritten quote inspired me to be published one day when I was all of ten years old and that dream has yet to die on me.

My passion for Visual Arts came later in life even if, like most kids, I liked to draw when I was young. I actually originally planned on going into the equestrian industry with hopes of training race horses one day and even got a job as a groom at a show yard but unfortunately I had a bit of a tough time of it there. I ended up being rather over worked and on top of a couple of injuries I received I was slowly wearing my body out. I found that at that time the one thing that got me through it all was my art. I was doing some writing at the time but what really distracted me from my sore legs, ankle and back was painting. I bought a couple of canvas boards and some acrylic paint and Bob’s your uncle, I was falling in love with art all over again.

When I finally accepted that working in the equestrian industry wasn’t going to be possible going into art was the obvious choice. And since I had no desire to try and live purely off of my art I felt that being an art teacher was a perfect fit for 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 so much in my drawings and photographs per say but I do have a few in my writing. One of the big things is ‘circles’, I love having little tidbits here and there that circle back and link to another part of the story. Half the time they’re completely irrelevant to the plot and very subtle in their implementation but I just love including them. Eyes would another one, I fully believe that eyes are the window to the soul and as such the eyes of my various critters tend to tell a tale in themselves. It’s one of the reasons why all of my shifter characters retain their human eye colour when in animal form.

On a larger scale you can expect to see a bunch of diversity in what I write, half of my characters end up being some version of queer (often less well known sexualities) and I try to limit the amount of cis, straight, white males in my writing since they’re over-represented in fiction.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to experiment; try different mediums and genres, play around, try something that might not work for the hell of it. It’s the only way to grow no matter what your field is. And above all, persevere. It doesn’t matter if what you made didn’t come out the way you wanted it to, you still made it and the next time it will be even better. Even your worst mistake is better than not having tried in the first place.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demisexual and homoromantic.

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

Most people haven’t heard of it to be honest, I’ve only heard it mentioned once. That time there was a bit of confusion about it but I didn’t exactly feel comfortable explaining more since I was just a prac student at the time. As a whole the Australian education system is generally anti-LGBTQIA+ with a recent program designed to teach high school students about the various genders and sexualities and why it’s wrong to discriminate being muzzled and defunded by the government over fears that it was sexualizing children. I find that being an art teacher makes it easy enough to get around that prejudice however as half of the artists I teach experienced some form of discrimination.

I haven’t really encountered anything in terms of my writing but if I get published it’ll only be a matter of time considering Wolf Moon and its sequel currently feature at least two lesbians, an ace-aro, and two non-binary folk.

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

That it’s the same as being straight. That’s the big one online at the moment and it drives me demented considering that most of the people spouting it refuse to be swayed from their position by the experiences of actual ace and aro people. It’s especially frustrating because of the impact it has on the ace (and aro) communities as both are made to feel unwelcome in both straight and LGBTQIA+ spaces.

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

Ignore the current online discourse; it’s not reflective of real life LGBTQIA+ spaces at all. Most of the people in those spaces have no issues with aces or aros and those who do aren’t worth giving a damn about if you ask me. Whatever your orientation you are valid, it doesn’t matter if things change down the line or if you don’t have the exact word to describe your orientation, you and your experiences remain valid. Just hold your head up high and be proud of who you are.

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

Those interested in my writing can find it at http://cassandrawolfe.tumblr.com/ I tend to post drabbles, and writing advice there as well as keeping people updated on the progress of my bigger works there. My art can be found at http://thepaintedwolfe.tumblr.com/ with the vast majority of it being wildlife photography.

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

Interview: Keelan

Today we’re joined by Keelan. Keelan is a wonderful visual artist who hasn’t met a medium he doesn’t like. Right now, he’s focusing mostly on ace pride/positivity and autistic pride/positivity, both of which are greatly needed in today’s world. His work is so beautiful, brimming with color and life, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mostly fanart, sketches and positivity/pride drawings. I have also done a bit of costume design and costume making for some local theatre. I’ve experimented with a variety of mediums such as oil paint, acrylics, chalk/charcoal, photography and ink + bleach but I mostly stick to pencil and digital drawings because it is what I am most comfortable working with, and what I have the most access to. In the past year or so my art has been focused mostly on asexual/a-spec and autistic positivity because they are both important parts of my identity and I want to express that and my love for the two communities. I’ve been drawing with pencils for a long time, but digital art is still very new to me because I only started exploring it last year.

What inspires you?

Other artists and their work are a huge inspiration to me. Seeing the beautiful work other artists create inspires me so much and motivates me to keep on practicing and improving. Sometimes they inspire me to try new things as well. I probably wouldn’t have begun to explore digital art if I had not seen and been inspired by the progress of other artists on social media. I am also inspired a lot by the communities I am a part of, such as the online asexual and autistic community. They have given me the confidence and inspiration to express myself more through my art and take pride in my identity through it.

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist ever since I was little, and I began to put effort into learning and improving my art when I was around eight and wanted to be able to draw my original character properly. That goal from when I was a kid has been motivating me for years to keep on trying. Unfortunately, because my main focus was being able to draw a character that meant that for years I didn’t explore anything outside of drawing people in pencil and pen. I only began to pick up exploring other things such as colour and different mediums when I chose to do Art in GCSE when I was fifteen. Even though my career goals are a little different from when I was younger, I still want to continue being an artist as a hobby.

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 used to have a habit a few years ago, of signing all my art with my initials. I don’t do it as often anymore; however, I try to keep it up (inconsistently) with any art I post online. In all my autistic art I make an effort to include the neurodiversity symbol; a rainbow infinity symbol.

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Dai Li Agents

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep on trying. It can be difficult and very frustrating but the thing about art is that you are always learning. Even those artists who seem to have mastered it all are still learning and making mistakes and improving. Art takes practice and time so its fine if you struggle with and take a long time to learn something (such as how to draw hands or animals). Looking back on your old art might make you cringe but that’s only proof of your progress. Its proof that you have grown a lot and will probably only continue to grow and become more skilled.

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Proud Ace

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am panromantic asexual, though I also identify with demi-romantic.

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

I have encountered a little. In my life offline I experience it less because not as many people know I am asexual. I have received some ignorant and slightly insulting comments from people who do know, or from people who don’t know I am asexual but have heard of it. It always hurts and frustrates me a bit to hear it. I tend to either speak up about it or let it slide depending on the situation and how well I know the person. I don’t handle confrontation well so I admit I tend to avoid it even when it might be best to speak up.

I have definitely experienced more prejudice and ignorance online. I am fairly open about my sexuality online and I post most of my asexual positivity art on my blogs and it has caused me to receive some unpleasant comments as a result. I find it is best to delete the messages, block the sender and not let it bother me. In fact it usually motivates me to draw even more ace positive art.

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

That asexuality is just a lack of interest in having sex or a form of celibacy. It’s a misconception that frustrates me a lot because I have seen it be used against asexual people to invalidate them or make incorrect claims based on that misinformation. It is also, I suspect, where the comments from my family that I “just need to meet the right person” or that I am a “late bloomer” come from.

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

You aren’t broken and you are not alone. There is nothing wrong with being asexual and there is a wonderful community out there for asexual and aromantic people. It’s okay if it takes you a long time to come to terms with being asexual and it’s okay if you aren’t sure of your orientation.

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

I post a lot of my art on my Tumblr main: keelan-666.tumblr.com under the tag #keelan-art and on my side blog: autistic-space-dragon.tumblr.com under the tag #space-dragon-doodles. However neither blogs are purely art blogs so a lot of other stuff is posted there too. I also have an Instagram: keelantheace.

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Ace Positivity Post

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

Interview: Elliot

Today we’re joined by Elliot. Elliot is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. He’s working on developing his own style and shows a great passion for vibrant colors. He’s obviously quite enthusiastic about visual art, which you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Del

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly do digital art, though I have a handful of sketchbooks around my room right now. I’m trying to develop a cartoony style and portray a lot of colors, but for the most part I really just do my own thing and whatever makes me happy! Fanart is pretty rare, so most of my art is original characters or just random folks I happened to scribble down.

What inspires you?

Sometimes everything, sometimes nothing. Watching other artists (speedpaints, doodles, sculpting) inspires me a lot of the time. Music is a pretty big one as well! Every Saturday I get a rush of inspiration from Arin Hanson/Egoraptor’s #cutiesaturday on Twitter.

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

Watching anime as a little kid helped a lot. Both of my parents were artists in their own right (my dad was a musician, my mother a… whatever she felt like that week), so that helped. I specifically remember watching Sailor Moon with my big sister every day after school and that really got me into art.

I haven’t always wanted to be an artist, though. There was a short time where I was in denial of it, even. I completely stopped drawing aside from the occasional doodle and convinced myself I’d never pick it up again. Years later, I still regret not practicing during that time.

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?

Ah geeze, my art is always developing, so not really. Hopefully one day I’ll have something special!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Art is tough! You have to practice all the time, but it’s worth it. Even if you don’t see improvement when you look down at the paper in front of you, try and do a side by side of something you drew months or years ago. It’ll really help to see how far you’ve come! Also, never be afraid to look at references. Everyone does it at one point, no shame in it!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am 110%, black as coal asexual.

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

Oh gosh, yeah. I’ve had people tell me I could never sell my art because I won’t draw nsfw things. I’ve even had the joy of people telling me that it was “unnatural” for an artist to not be hyper-sexual, which is ridiculous. I generally just ignore those people, or roll my eyes, shrug, and tell them that they’re wrong.

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

The biggest? But there are so many!

I think my favorite so far is when people compare me to a plant.

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

It’s alright if you aren’t 100% sure of your orientation. You’re allowed to experiment and change labels, anyone that says otherwise is being ridiculous. Do what makes you happy, as long as you aren’t seriously hurting anyone. Also, asexuality is a pretty big spectrum. So don’t worry if you don’t fit into anyone’s concrete definition.

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

My art blog over at http://slobberingcolors.tumblr.com/ is where I post my art the most often!

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

Interview: Red

Today we’re joined by Red. Red is a fantastic YouTuber and a digital illustrator. Her YouTube channel is called “Overly Sarcastic Productions” and according to the channel, is dedicated to “sarcastic, yet informative, summaries of classic and not-so-classic literature and mythology, as well as major historical events!” Who isn’t interested in that? Aside from the YouTube channel, Red is also a dedicated visual artist who draws some truly adorable characters, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

a-very-asgardian-christmas
A Very Asgardian Christmas

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a YouTuber with plans! My art is mostly digital illustration and comics, but I also write, sing, and am trying to get into voice acting. My channel is separate from most of the other visual art I do, which is mostly sketchwork, comics and illustrations for the worlds I’m writing in at the moment – currently my focus in that dimension is fantasy, but I’m planning on branching out. My YouTube channel is devoted to education, and is an attempt on my part to make stories and texts typically considered “boring” interesting for an audience with my attention span – that is to say, short. It’s also great practice for voice acting, sound design and music, and the number of frames I have to draw for a single video also means I get in a ton of linework and painting practice. I’m currently focusing on improving my digital painting and my voicework, and am planning on starting a webcomic if I ever find the time.

What inspires you?

Mostly other people’s art, heh. It drives me to improve my own work and experiment in new directions. Also cartoons! It’s a great way to learn and absorb a lot of voice-acting.

jttw
Jttw

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

Both my parents are artists – my dad is a writer, and my mom is a painter – so yeah, I’ve pretty much always wanted to do art in general. The voice acting specifically, though – I can’t remember what specifically got me interested in it, but it’s definitely a more recent development.

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

mermaid
Mermaid

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, practice, practice. It’s the only way to improve. Look at other people’s art in terms of what it can teach you, not how much better or worse it is than your own. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and REALLY don’t be afraid to mess up.

And remember – perfection doesn’t exist. Your work will never be perfect, and that’s okay! Just strive to improve, and realize that improving doesn’t mean you were bad before you got better!

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Powerhouse

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual, but pretty solidly romantic. Recently I’ve started questioning exactly what my romantic orientation is; currently I’m sticking with “panromantic” as it seems closest.

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

Er, not really? The closest I’ve gotten is the occasional plant joke.

shard
Shard

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

That it means you don’t want a relationship. It’s a little rough being written off as a non-viable partner just because you’re neutral on the subject of sex. I’m not a robot, I just like cuddling!

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

Don’t be afraid to get it wrong. I went through a lot of labels before I clicked with “asexual” and am currently trying to settle on a romantic one – there’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m not sure yet!” or even “I’m picking a new one!”

the-crew-2
The Crew

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

My YouTube channel is my biggest endeavor right now, so by all means check it out! It’s called Overly Sarcastic Productions (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCodbH5mUeF-m_BsNueRDjcw), and most of it is summaries/retellings of old books and myths.

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The Tempest

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