Interview: Hana Golden

Today we’re joined by Hana Golden. Hana is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art but also works in traditional mediums as well. She does character design, capturing expressions and emotions through a masterful use of detail. Hana also frequently draws canines and her ability to capture dog’s personalities with color and lines is amazing. She’s an incredibly talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

eighth

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m mostly a digital artist, but still work with a variety of traditional mediums. I enjoy watercoloring, spraypainting, stippling, and simple illustration work. I like to focus on expression cartooning, character design, and heavily enjoy fanart as well. Canines specifically have also always been a go-to for me and is one of the things I’ve always been known for. I also like to create my own custom Funko Pop figures as another side hobby.

For my art, I’d say that I like to focus heavily on expressions and making you feel what the character is feeling. When someone feels the same emotion I’m drawing by looking at it, that’s the best thing. Either way, I love drawing faces and just sketching in general.

fifth

What inspires you?

Let’s see … kinda tough question cause there’s so much that inspires me. From an early age, my oldest sister was an artist, and my biggest inspiration and drive to improve. Now, I’d say that Disney/DreamWorks is my biggest inspiration. Watching certain films and shorts just make me want to push myself more and more. From the character design to the emotional feelings you get when you look at a scene, that’s what I want to create. I want to capture that one moment that made my heart pound, where I pause the scene and just stare at the characters face for a long time. It was that face that gave me a feeling, and I have to be able to do it too. I can get pretty obsessed about it actually, haha. I’m just super into animation, and hope to animate again. I use to do it a lot as a kid.

seventh

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

Like I had stated above, my oldest sister was the one who got me into drawing. I wanted have that one thing in common that we could do together. Watching anything animated/cartoon pushed me to draw those characters constantly. I remember being in my room drawing the covers of old VHS Disney movies, drawing Pokémon cards, really anything I could get my hands on. I was just drawing all the time.

I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, like most everyone else, but I’m not sure to be honest. It never really occurred to me that I could partake in making these movies, or designing these characters. I’m not sure why, I guess it was never pushed on me or talked about as something I could potentially be a part of, not even by my teachers.  I knew I loved to draw and wanted to do it all the time, but I never pursued it the way I feel like I should have. My mentality about it was all wrong compared to how to feel about it now, and I wish I had pursued it more seriously. For the simple short answer, yes, I have always wanted to be an artist.

first

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?

Honestly, there’s really nothing this deep in anything I do haha. I have a simple signature that if it’s not out in the obvious, then it’s small and hidden in the picture. I’ve never been a fan of putting my signature on my work, but since I had multiple works stolen, I’ve gotten to the habit of hiding it in the picture so it couldn’t be erased haha.

When I work on commissions, I really try to pull the person’s personality (or animals) out on paper. I want people to see their pet, s/o, or themselves in my work. I want them to feel like their personality is right there. That’s really important to me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Please, just don’t give up. I know it’s what everyone says, but it’s so true. Too many people I know who use to draw and loved it, don’t do it anymore cause they said they were intimidated by other artists, or just got too down on themselves and came to a stop. It takes work, and you just have to push past all that stuff and focus on you. Compare your work to your own, not someone else’s. Look at how far you’ve come and embrace that. Just keep going.

Also, don’t be afraid of referencing/copying when starting out. That’s how you’re going to learn such a variety of things and all the different styles and types of art out there. You’ll develop your own style eventually by dropping things that don’t work for what you visually like, and picking up parts of others that you do and adding it to your own. Drawing from life is important though to learn proper proportions, lighting, color, etc. Don’t rely fully on cartoons or anime to teach you that stuff haha. It’s okay to copy other people’s work as long as you’re not claiming it as your own, just give credit where credit is due. A good rule of thumb I always worked from was if you copied it, keep it to yourself. If you had help from another artist’s work, credit it.

sixth

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual. I’m not super sure if I lean towards gray or not, but I’m comfortable just using the term Ace. Finding out there was a word for how I was feeling, and that others were like me, was one of the most important parts of my life. I can still remember how I felt the minute I typed that word into Google and discovered its meaning haha.

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

Not really to be honest, at least not to my face. If anything, with some people I just got a feeling that they didn’t truly believe me or fully understand. It’s tough, because I want to have a family someday. I’ve always wanted children, and people who know me, know that. When I told them that I was ace, most of them will point out “You know how to get children, right?” I hate when people say that because I’m not stupid, yes I know about sex, I understand how it works, but I don’t like it, and don’t want it.

I even went to go see an Endocrinologist (a hormone doctor) cause I do actually have an issue with my hormones. I asked her about my libido and stuff like that (before I identified as ace, I thought my hormones were the problem) and she told me that with the way my hormones are, I should have a high sex drive and crazy libido. I laughed and cried the whole way home, because that wasn’t me, and I still got no answers.

second

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

That we don’t want a family, a significant other, or refuse to have sex in general. That’s not true for many people who identify in this orientation, and for some, it is. There are many asexual people who want their own children, want to be in a relationship, and even like having sex. All of that is okay, being Asexual just means that you don’t feel sexual attraction.

For me personally, I still struggle time to time. I want to be in a relationship, cuddle, hold hands, and I want a family. I just don’t want to have sex so it’s tough when I tell people that cause they don’t understand. Most people just tell me that when the time comes, I just need to “suck it up and do it” if I want kids.

third

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

Don’t just ignore your own feelings and please teach others. I went to great lengths to get an answer as to why I was afraid to be close with my boyfriend, or why I didn’t feel anything when it came to kissing or avoiding situations that would make the other feel like we could take the next step in our relationship. It was awful, and not fair to either of us. It was hard to admit to people I get more of a love feeling walking into an art store or watching an animated movie, and then I got going on a date. In the end, it wasn’t a doctor that helped me, but a person that I follow online who just happened to use the word asexual in a sentence, and I decided to google it. I wish that I was exposed to the idea that you don’t need to have sex. It can be scary when all of your friends and people you are exposed to daily are all talking about something you just can’t relate too. You look at your own life and see how old you’re getting, and you haven’t had sex yet. It’s normal, and it’s okay to not want that in your life.  Just talk, educate others, and be open about it! It’s important to teach people to listen to your own body, and don’t do something because you feel you have too.

You’re valid and important, talk about it openly, because it will help you to be more comfortable with who you are.

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

Sorry this got lengthy! I like writing. I post my art mostly on my Instagram! You can also follow me on my Facebook page, Sebatticus, and my Tumblr Sebatticus as well 🙂

fourth

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

Interview: Amy

Today we’re joined by Amy. Amy is a wonderful visual artist who does digital painting and is also a cartoonist. She mostly draws people and characters. Amy enjoys art that tells a story. Her work is absolutely beautiful, filled with vibrant colors and expressive faces. She’s clearly an incredibly talented artist with an amazing eye, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

tumblr_o7pkm4oZXR1r60dxko1_500

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoonist and digital painter interested especially in figural works — characters and people. I like paintings which tell a story, or maybe just hint at one; the sort of thing that might become someone’s character inspiration. When I’m doing relaxing doodles in my sketchbook, it’s usually faces making a variety of expressions.

What inspires you?

Colour and light; humans. I love the visceral reaction to a painting which uses colour and light boldly. I am also a habitual people-watcher and am inspired by the people I see every day. As an artist, I have a habit of seeing beauty and interest in everyone. I’m not great yet at capturing that, but it’s an inspiration for sure!

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

I’ve always liked drawing, but when I was around 15 years old I decided to get serious and start really practicing and investigating. The internet especially helped me with my art — all of my early favourite artists were people sharing their work online, like Vera Brosgol and Emily Carroll.

I went to university for Fine Arts, and realized after I got my degree that I was happier doing art as a hobby than as my every day job. I’m an extrovert, and after a short stint working from home doing backgrounds for animation, I realized that almost all art jobs are solitary and would drive me totally batty if I did them as a career. It’s hard balancing art with working full time, but I’m working on learning how.

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 hide a lot of symbolism in my art, but if I look at all my paintings side by side I realize that I very much have a palette that I like to work in: pinks and teals. There’s just something about the contrast between pink/coral/peach and teal/blue/robin’s egg that appeals to me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Look at everything and practice everything! Remember that what you put into your head influences what comes back out, so seeking more diverse stuff to look at and enjoy will help your art grow and expand. Then draw, draw, draw. When I was learning to draw hands I filled pages and pages and pages with sketches of hands while sitting in front of the TV; now I’m confident in drawing hands and enjoy including them in my work. Not every piece has to be final: go ahead and just try stuff out and see what happens.

tumblr_owfgqqOCUZ1r60dxko1_500

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a bi-romantic or pan-romantic ace. I usually use bi since it’s easier for people to understand, but I’m romantically attracted to men, women, and non-binary or genderqueer people.

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

I’m not extremely vocal about being ace in my field IRL as I have dealt with a lot of general ignorance and prejudice already. I’m much more open about my sexuality online, though, because I know that seeing other ace people has helped me and I want to pass that on when I feel able to. Over time, I hope to become more vocal about it in real life so that I can help people that way too.

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

That it “doesn’t exist” or I “don’t know what I’m missing out on”. Both are really frustrating to encounter! Everyone seems to think they know better than me about my sexuality and attraction and want to tell me how I should feel or identify. I’m doing my best to tune them out.

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

I first realized that I was ace when I was around 20; I didn’t actually accept it and start identifying as ace until I was around 30. It’s hard to be a part of an orientation that people either completely don’t know about or think isn’t real. It’s also hard to fit into a world that thinks sex is the be-all end-all when it just isn’t a priority or interest. I guess my advice would be: it’s okay to struggle; that doesn’t make you any less valid as an asexual person. And it’s okay, too, to decide that you’re done struggling and you’re happy being you regardless of what society thinks! I think it’s a process getting from the first to the second, and we’re all working our way along it; give yourself time.

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

I have a blog where I post my art — I’m not the most active poster, but I’ve got a good long archive of simple sketches, pen and ink work, and full paintings. You can check me out at amy-draws.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: Taylor Cruse

Today we’re joined by Taylor Cruse, who also goes by Triscribe. Taylor is a wonderful up and coming writer who also does some visual art as well, including character design. She has recently become really interested in world building and has begun to create her own fantasy world, where her novel is set. She has this admirable love for art and the written word in particular, which makes for an engaging interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Crant - Wolfen's Rage Cover
Crant – Wolfen’s Rage Cover

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Hold onto your hats, then, ‘cause this might take a while!

To start, I’m both a visual artist and a writer, as the two are often intertwined with me. A lot of my stories start out as drawings of characters who then receive names, backstories, places to live, adventures to experience, so on and so forth. I consider the world-building to be just as much a craft as the physical art of sketching and coloring my characters or planning out plots – having a wealth of little details to be able to include in even simple dialogue can be so important to making the story come alive for my readers. This holds true even in the realm of fan fiction, where I also spend a fair amount of time.

I’m also proud of how my recent experiences in college have opened my eyes to greater realms of diversity for my characters to take part in – not just visually, as I’ve done in the past, but also mentally, emotionally, and of course, romantically. When my Stories from Sarant, starting with the Turning Point trilogy, are published, I want them to be a beacon to marginalized categories of readers – the ones eager to read books with asexual main characters who don’t need romance to fulfill their plot, female leads who are strong in more ways than just being able to punch the bad guys, and characters of color who get to be more than the sidekick or comic relief. (Point in fact, the mainest of the main characters in my above-mentioned trilogy, Crant, is all three of these things, and also goes on to become a hero to everyone in her war-torn and race-divided world. She’s the greatest of all my creations, and I hope when the book eventually comes out that readers adore her just as much as I do.) This is the kind of art I’m eager to share, because it’s the sort of stuff I’d have loved to see more of when I was younger, the kinds of things we need more of nowadays too.

What inspires you?

What doesn’t inspire me? The mountains surrounding my college campus, the utter insanity of family stories I hear from my mom and her mother, even the amount of time my dad poured into his World of Warcraft blog, Need More Rage, when I was younger.

It’s quite common for me to create a new superhero character based off of a friend of mine, or incorporate something funny I heard in ordinary conversation into a story scene. Even my pets will gain representations of them in the things I write, especially my wonderful golden retriever, Athena – she’s an inspiration all by herself, even if my animal-drawing skills aren’t enough to do her likeness justice!

I’ll also mention the more famous figures I’ve been inspired by: J.R.R.Tolkien, first and foremost, because that man went and built an entire world for his books, starting with the languages and working outward. Pretty obvious how he’s influenced me, yeah? The other big author was Anne McCaffrey, simply because of the sheer volume of fantasy stories she wrote, taking place at all different times and places. That’s what I want to accomplish as an author – I might be starting small with a single trilogy, but I’ve got more than fifteen other books I plan to write that happen all throughout the 70,000 years of history I’ve crafted for my world of Sarant, and then all my other projects of high, modern, and science fiction fantasy.

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

Heh, well, you see, my parents were big on bedtime stories when I was little, using them as enticement to get me to want to go to bed rather than fight to stay up longer. Dad did an especially great job reading them, using all different voices, and went for a wide assortment: everything from Dr. Seuss classics to the Chronicles of Narnia to a children’s version of The Odyssey (Mom gave him a few weird looks over that last one, but then I became a huge fan of Greek Mythology and she gave up trying to interest me back into Amelia Bedelia).

As for my becoming a writer/illustrator… Apparently, at four years old, I wanted to get down some of the adventures I imagined during playtime. I dictated them to Mom, who dutifully wrote down every word in these blank booklets, into which I then drew all the corresponding pictures. I’ve still got a few of them in a box of old toys, and occasionally go take a peek to remind myself on the bad days that, yes, I do have greater writing and drawing skill than a four year old.

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?

Three! Literally, the number three finds its way into most things I work on. (Once again, I blame all the Greek myths I read as a child.) The leader of my Jr. Team superheroes is called Trihunter; when it comes to coloring my black and white sketches, I usually incorporate at least three colors, whether they’re all different or just varying shades of the same one. Even my signature makes use of all three of my initials, TRC, rather than a first initial and last name.

Although, really, I think I don’t use that other option because I happen to have the same initial and name as my grandpa Tom… Was very awkward on the occasion when a friend of my grandmother’s visited their house, saw a watercolor of mine hung of on the wall and signed ‘T. Cruse,’ and asked in a startled tone if my grandfather was following Grandma into being an artist, as she makes and sells oil paintings for fun. After that, I decided it was a necessity to develop my own symbol, which I sign nearly all my art pieces with.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t. Stop. Practicing. Seriously, I’ve compared recent pieces (whether drawings or short stories) to stuff I made as recently as a year or two ago, and can see marked improvement because I spent so much of the time in-between getting in as much practice as possible. And feel free to mix it up, too! Dedication is good, but not to the point you become sick of the material you’re working with. Writing for superheroes and fantasy characters sometimes get stale, and I feel so much more invigorated to keep going after taking an hour’s break to write a journal entry or jot down some insane piece of family history from my maternal grandmother’s days as a professional juvenile delinquent. Same goes for visual art – when I can’t stand sketching one more skin-tight outfit or piece of armor, I take a while to go sit in my campus cafe and draw some of the people I see, or head partway the local hiking trail to paint the landscape around me. It all goes a long way to restoring my frayed sanity, and I highly recommend the same to anyone else dealing with the same issues.

Self portrait, color pencil
Self Portrait, color pencil

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual panromantic, I think? Or perhaps lithromantic. I never had much in the way of romantic feelings or experiences growing up to gauge by, though I would every now and then develop what I thought was a crush on a friend of mine. To be honest, learning that asexuality was A Thing in my senior year of high school was a wonderful blessing I blindly clung to like a liferaft, and didn’t really start looking into all the different types until I came to college and got to meet great friends of all sorts of genders and sexualities. Even now, I’m much more content to spend evenings in writing alongside my fellow ace roommate, a previous interviewee by the username of Knightlychika, rather than attempt to define my unique brand of something-nice-to-daydream-about-but-not-to-the-point-I-want-to-do-anything-to-act-on-it attractions.

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

Heh, yeah, my mom had no clue what I meant last winter break when I told her I was ace. She listened to my explanation and even did some research of her own, coming to the conclusion that I was becoming My Own Person – which is all she’s ever wanted anyway, regardless of what form it took. I did make a point of telling her I wasn’t averse to the idea of eventually adopting a kid of two, in case she was watching any dreams of having grandchildren to spoil go down the drain, but Mom said she wasn’t anywhere near as worried about that as knowing I was happy and content.

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

“Oh, that’s just a phase, you’ll grow out of it.”

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

Don’t feel guilty if you meet someone that makes you decide you aren’t asexual after all. For some people, maybe it was a phase, a defense mechanism against the world of dating and hooking up that becomes unnecessary. It’s fine – you absolutely ARE NOT justifying the ignorant people who think it’s a phase for all of us.

Every person is unique, with their own identity made up of all sorts of different factors, and while you can find groups of others with whom you share one or a few or a lot of those factors with, there’s no one you’re identical to. And if some of your factors change over time? That’s perfectly acceptable, normal, and doesn’t invalidate anything you were at an earlier point in time.

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

I have the same username, Triscribe, on Tumblr, DeviantArt and FanFiction.net, where you can find old and new art, snippets of my current original projects, and of course stories written in all sorts of fandoms (Star Wars, the DC Batfamily, Harry Potter, and Voltron LD being some of my more popular favorites). Hope to see you there!

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

Interview: Berrien Lucius

Today we’re joined by Berrien Lucius. Berrien is a phenomenal digital artist who specializes in digital illustration. Their art is beautiful, brimming with emotion and color, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

a-great-mom
A Great Mom

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do digital illustrations. Sometimes I just sketch, and sometimes I paint.

What inspires you?

Stories inspire me greatly. Usually, it’s passion in the story, of any kind. Either great love for friends, a romantic interest, or utter loathing for an enemy. Sometimes it’s the journey itself, or, more subtle things, like just the mood presented in a scene. In any case, stories have always been my number one inspiration.

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

I was diagnosed with a severe speech impediment when I was only two, and growing up, unable to speak in a way anyone could understand me, I would draw to communicate. I got praised on it so much, I decided I wanted to be an artist when I grew up.

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?

No, but I’ve recently decided to try to get in the habit of signing my works.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Being born with a natural duck-to-water ability to create art, whatever your art is, does not mean you will be automatically successful. Sometimes, people with no natural born skill at art can succeed far above you, just through sheer hard work. Talent can only get you so far. You have to put in the hard work if you want to be any bit successful. You’ve got to learn how to keep at it. So even if you feel like you can’t draw, or whatever the type of art you want to get into is, then don’t despair. You’re super likely to get good if you just work at it. I believe in you.

Also, for those who are sketchers and painters and the like, your eyes are always more skilled than your hands. This means, when you look at your art, it will usually always look bad in some ways. This isn’t because you’re a bad artist, this is just because you’re getting better, and your eyes are getting better, and they’re seeing the flaws. The flaws that your hand can’t make up for but your eyes see. If you’re seeing flaws in your art, that’s a good thing. That means you’re improving.

dazed
Dazed

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual.

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

I’ve handled a good bit of it! For any kind of scary encounter, I don’t really know how to handle it, and instead try to laugh it off and avoid it entirely. When it comes to just the mean kind or something, I do my best to be an informant. I feel like it’s my duty to inform people of how that was wrong or hurtful, and hope they don’t continue to be jerks. If they do, then I just ignore them from then on as best as I can.

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

Oh easily that it’s “not real”.

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

It’s chill, my dude. You don’t have to figure everything out at once. It can be hard, with all the new vocab you’ll be learning, being in a religious family, being religious yourself, the way the larger LGBT+ community treats you, how you may get treated at work or school for it, but chin up. You are definitely not alone, and there are so many people who are willing to help you figure out your asexuality, or help you deal with bullies and other harrassers. You’re not wrong for being the way you are. You’re amazing and wonderful the way you are. If one day you think that maybe you’re not asexual anymore, then that’s cool too. You’re okay. No pressure. Take your time and you can get through these hurdles patiently.

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

In advance, thank you for checking out my art!

asexualmew.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art

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

Interview: Amber

Today we’re joined by Amber. Amber is a fantastic visual artist and a writer. She mostly does fanart and fanfiction though she also does original work. Amber loves what she does and it shows in her work. She has a phenomenal attention to detail and color. It’s very clear she has a very creative spirit. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

amber5
Amber 5

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve only been drawing for a couple of years, so I haven’t really developed a certain style yet. A lot of what I draw is fanart, from books or TV shows, but, especially recently, I’ve been drawing more and more OCs and original things. I do most of my sketching on paper with pencil (and a massive, heavy duty eraser) but I do most my Nice Good Pieces digitally!

I write as well, I’ve been writing for a longer time, and I mostly do queer romance or zombie/horror stories, and fanfiction.

What inspires you?

Other artists, mainly. I love looking at other people’s styles and techniques and try to expand my skills that way. A lot of inspiration also comes from art books, like ‘The Art of the Legend of Korra’, movie concept art, things like that. I have an active imagination (blame my ADHD) and am constantly coming up with scenes and images in my head and I try to draw them a lot.

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

I’ve always loved to draw, but when I was younger there was never the ‘I want to get really good at art and make a career out of it!!’ mindset. It was just fun and games, a way to pass the time when I was bored. It wasn’t until my older sibling went to university and I started paying attention to the details, like the behind-the-scenes of movies and shows and games, that I decided that’s what I wanted to aim for. I’ve been seriously drawing for two years now.

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?

Uhh, not really. Most of the time I’ll sign with my Tumblr URL just so people know it’s mine, but I don’t have a special mark. Yet. I’m working on it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am a young aspiring artist, so I’ll say what I keep telling myself – don’t compare your art to others’ work. Compare yourself to your old art, sure, but never to artists with more experience than you. It won’t help. And, tutorials. Tutorials are life, tutorials are great. Always look out for tutorials, especially in the form of speedpaints! It really helps to actually see how things are done.

dreadlocks_by_chelberno1-daid8qz
Dreadlocks

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just plain ol’ ace! Not quite sex repulsed, but almost.

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

Uh, yeah. My family knew nothing about it before I started to talk about, and I live in a small country town where everyone is very old fashioned, so yeah, I’ve encountered a lot of that. I used to try and correct people and explain why they were wrong about whatever, sometimes I still try if I’m in the right mood, but then people started to say that I was too defensive and that I should stop taking everything so seriously and stop trying to upset people. So now I mostly just grumble under my breath and rant to internet friends, and wait for the day when I’ll finally be an Adult and can have my say without getting into trouble.

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

My dad used to always assume that because I was ace, I wasn’t interested in dating and people at all. When I came out as pan shortly after I came out as ace he kept asking how it was possible if I didn’t like people like that, and what would be the point of dating anyone. It took a while to actually get him to understand that ‘asexual’ does only mean ‘no sexual attraction’ and that yes, I am still able to date, and yes, it’s possible to date without having sex. Even at school and everywhere else I go – where I’m not out – everyone automatically thinks that and given up trying to correct them without giving myself away.

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

I’m not the best person for this type of advice, since I’m still struggling with it, but what helps me a lot is just finding and making friends that understand how I feel and friends that know a lot about asexuality and other queer identities. I follow a lot of blogs that have a lot of handy information and a lot of positive posts: (at) rainbow-hotline is a good one, as is (at) ace-big-sis!

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

I have an art blog on Tumblr, over at cheldraws! I also have a Devinatart (ChelberNo1) and an Instagram (at cheldraws)!

I also write, both fanfiction and my own original works, you should be able to google ‘ChelberNo1’ and find where I post things.

you_know_that_you_re_beautiful_when_you_work__by_chelberno1-dam5zel
You Know that You’re Beautiful when You Work

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

Interview: Earl

Today we’re joined by Earl. Earl is an incredibly versatile artist who does a little bit of everything. He does a lot of visual art, pencil drawings and photography in particular. They also dabble in writing, both poems and songs, and they play the flute. It’s very apparent that he’s got a very creative spirit and a truly wonderful eyes, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to do a number of things in the arts like drawing (mostly pencil drawings, sometimes I color with mixed media or draw with a pen), amateur photography, playing flute, poetry, and singing. My art isn’t the main focus of my life right now but I really love the creativity I get from it. I’m kind of sporadic with how often I do any of them but I try to have fun when I do!

What inspires you?

When I was very young inspiration for visual art was almost anything from TV shows to my stuffed animals, now it’s very much fandom-oriented (Steven Universe, Harry Potter, etc.) when I draw. I love to take photos of nature (mostly trees and flowers) and edit pictures with filters and such. Creating music just really relaxes me (I am always constantly inspired by other musical artists) and my poetry has been mostly inspired by my feelings/emotions.

2

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

I never really stopped drawing as I got older, I have always loved to memorize my favorite songs, the crappy editing options on my iPhone got me into photography, flute is my escape from reality, and poetry helps me vent (I’m also a romantic sap when it comes to poetry on the rare occasion I have a crush).

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?

On the majority of my drawings I try to put a little fancy G that with little carrot markings around it that kind of looks like a star.

3

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Try to always practice your art form — if it’s visual art, doodle or something similar, hum under your breath or sing really cheesy songs that you know by heart if you sing — all the little things in your everyday life not only help you improve your art, it’s also a great way to relieve stress.

4

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as demi/panromantic and demisexual (maybe gray-asexual?) and I’m sex-indifferent

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

Nothing has affected me personally concerning the arts, although the fact that so many romantic songs are inherently sexual sometimes makes it hard for me to relate to a song (I guess that’s ignorance/lack of representation?)

5

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

I’ve heard people ask if asexuality pertains to plants (in fairness, I don’t think those people were aware of asexuality in a attraction sense) and one person tried to say demisexuality is what “most people experience”

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

It is always okay to question and explore your (a)sexuality. Even if it seems like no one else close to you knows how you feel, there will be fantastic people that you will meet (whether online or in person) who know. Never think for one second that it’s wrong to not feel sexual attraction — you are all amazing people and I believe in you all!

6

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

I have a drawing sideblog on Tumblr at gsdoodlesanddrawingd and a photography sideblog (also Tumblr) at earlgayteaphotography; my main blog is at pandemic-porl12 — feel free to message me anytime!

7

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

Interview: Sarah

Today we’re joined by Sarah. Sarah is a phenomenal artist who does a lot of original work and fanart. Her art is mostly a creative hobby, but she’s incredibly dedicated to it. She writes, draws, and does some cosplaying as well. It’s clear that she’s an incredibly enthusiastic artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve been drawing for years, and jumping from style to style pretty much randomly. More recently, I picked up writing and making cosplay. I’m not a professional in any capacity, and these are all forms of relaxation and hobbies for me. I love drawing, and it’s something cathartic for me. More often than not I’ll get an idea in my head and draw all through the night (sometimes neglecting my homework or responsibilities). I also draw constantly in school, all of my papers are covered in little doodles and sketches. I’m a disorganized mess, with half full sketchbooks and craft supplies all over my room. I usually just sketch in pencil, and I’ll occasionally ink and color the pieces I like.

As far as writing, I write a lot of fanfiction, but I also have my own ideas all plotted out. I think creating new characters and rich worlds is one of my favorite things to do. Putting together the mythology and culture and history and politics of a fantasy world is so interesting, and it really adds to the story. Needless to say, most of my writing takes place in fantastical settings with a lot of complex background.

image-1

What inspires you?

The work of other artists, mostly. Lost of my art inspiration comes from pictures I see, or from lines from songs and poetry. I take ideas from my stories and apply them to my drawings, and vice versa. I like to draw beautiful or pretty things, and I mostly do portraits of people in various styles. I’ll gather pictures of clothing or hairstyles, and then use those to create new people in pictures.

image-2

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

I never really wanted to be an artist, or considered myself one until recently. I always thought that I was more of a hobbyist than anything. My creation is on and off, because I never want to have to create art on other peoples terms, so I’m stuck writing and drawing in between my other responsibilities. I have loved drawing since my childhood, and it’s something I’ve practiced a lot to get good at. My early style was heavily anime-based, but I’ve really tried to grow out of that. Fanfiction is actually what initially got me into writing, and I got started writing short oneshots of fanfiction. Ive grown since then, and I now have multiple different, long stories plotted out, with tons of world building each. I’m excited for when I eventually compile all the scraps of characterization and plot together, though it might not happen for a while.

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, my art style changes often and I’m prone to experimentation.

image-3

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Doing a little every day works wonders. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing, drawing something you saw, or an outfit you think is cute, or a dog or a pretty flower. It doesn’t matter if you write some haiku’s or just a little characterization or dialogue. You’re always getting better, even on the days when nothing seems to come out right. Make sure that you’re doing it for you, and don’t get discouraged if you’re in a rut, even if you can’t manage for a day or a week, pick back up when you can.

image-4

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an asexual aromantic.

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

I’ve encountered a lot of ignorance, people who generally don’t believe that asexuality is real or that I’m just trying to seem special. I try to explain myself sometimes, but honestly a lot of time I just refrain from being out because I don’t want to have to teach an impromptu class on sexuality. Calmly explaining has actually worked for me a surprising amount, I’m currently out to most of my school.

image-5

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

I’ve seen some people who assume that asexual aromantic is the only way to be ace, which is simply not true, and I’ve seen some invalidation of demisexual and grey-ace people. People are generally just uninformed about what it means to be asexual. I can’t count how many times I’ve said ‘wow they’re attractive,’ and gotten a response of ‘wait aren’t you ace?’

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

For a very long time, I struggled with the feeling that I was ‘broken’ or somehow missing some essential part of the human experience. Sometimes I still feel that way. I find that when I’m upset, I vent to someone (I use websites like blahtherapy a lot) and I read fiction that doesn’t focus on romance. I also try and normalize my sexuality in the eyes of the people around me by bringing it up, making jokes about it, and just generally treating it like a normal part of life. Having people around me who accept my sexuality as something integral to me and natural really helps me to normalize it in my own mind.

image-6

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

Most of my work isn’t published online, but my fanfiction can be found at https://archiveofourown.org/users/Umidunnostuff.  I also have a Tumblr, umidunnothings, (creative, I know) and an Instagram at s_rose_k, where some of my art can be found.

image-7

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