Interview: Paola

Today we’re joined by Paola. Paola is a phenomenal musician from Sweden who has recently joined a new punk band called Psykonauterna. The band formed last September and doesn’t have an album out yet, but have recorded and played covers of punk and grunge songs. They’re planning on playing some gigs in the summer. Paola is incredibly dedicated and excited about music. She obviously loves music, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am the guitarist, lead singer, and songwriter in a recently formed punk band called Psykonauterna (Swedish for “the Psychonauts”).  We formed in September 2018 and so far, have been playing covers of punk and grunge songs in small gigs, though we hopefully will soon begin working on our first songs and album.  My inspirations, specifically, come primarily from the Manchester music scene of the 70s/80s/90s—things like the Smiths, Joy Division, the Sex Pistols, etc. — but I also endeavor to find my own path when I consider the kind of songs I want to write. I have been playing guitar for less than two years and spend most of my time learning songs written by musicians I admire.

What inspires you?

What inspires me the most, musically, is the punk movement and attitude.  Nearly every punk musician, especially during the early punk years of the late ‘70s, came from poor and/or inexperienced backgrounds. After being inspired by their contemporaries, people would just pick up a guitar or bass for the first time, gather some friends, and weeks later they would be playing gigs together and eventually writing songs.  As someone who has been playing guitar less than two years at this point, this “anyone can do it” attitude of punk is alluring to me and helps me to realize that I do not have to be Jimi Hendrix or Jimmy Page or any of the legendary guitarists of the past 100 years to make it as a musician.  If Peter Hook [bassist to my favorite band] can go from hardly knowing what a bass guitar is to writing amazing songs within a couple years, then I think I may not be in such a bad position.  I feel captivated by learning the stories of these musicians because they make me think, “Hey, this could work!”.

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

Yes and no.  Perhaps everyone has experienced this, but I have always been fascinated by the guitar.  As a child I would daydream about playing the songs on the radio or my iPod that had cool riffs, and from the age of about 15 I remember telling people that I wanted to someday learn guitar (I specifically remember saying I would learn Stairway to Heaven first, which I have yet to do, shame on me).  However, it was not until the past year or so that I seriously decided that I wanted to write my own songs, be in a band, and have a career within music.

As for what got me interested in my field, the short answer is all the music that I love.  I’ve always been passionate about listening to music—everything from punk to new wave to synthpop to grunge—and learning about the musicians behind the music that means so much to me.  I connect better to music than I do to novels and films, despite also being a hungry consumer of those types of media.  When I listen to a song, I often pay attention to every part: the lyrics, the bassline, the guitar, etc., and how they fit together, often getting moved by more than just the lyrics of the song. The right bassline or guitar riff or synth sound can energize me and make me feel things just as well as a well-written lyric. Shortly after picking up my first guitar and learning some of the simpler songs that I enjoy I began to hunger for more. It probably wasn’t a specific moment that this happened, but I eventually began to think, “you know, I want to do this. I want to be like all the musicians I love and admire, going up there on stage and both playing and singing my heart out.” So, I began to write lyrics.  Simple things inspired by my favorite lyricists, Ian Curtis and Morrissey, as well as my own experiences.  By September 2018, this dream started to become a reality when I grouped with several people as a band and prepared for my first gig.

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 haven’t finished any of my self-written songs yet, but when writing lyrics, I keep in mind the thought of writing songs that can touch a variety of audiences.  Of course, I endeavor to “write from my heart”, as in lyrics that mean something to me since good lyrics often come from the author’s experiences and feelings.  However, most of my songs so far have been neutral in that they talk more about the feelings aspect and don’t focus specifically on a certain gender in either the perspective or the subject of the song.  Most are not even explicitly or implicitly about romantic relationships. I have these half-written song lyrics that are about different painful experiences I have gone through—mental illness, losing friends—that have nothing to do with going through a breakup, which is contrary to what many songs of varying genres are about.  Like the late Pete Shelley of the Buzzcocks said, “I enjoy writing songs that do not exclude anyone.  The only people they exclude are people who don’t know anything about love.” In my case, I consider the broad definition of the word love.  Though it may not be as direct a signature as other artists include, it is my way to let my identity shine through and to include people of varying genders and sexualities, much in the way Pete Shelley did.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

My advice? Dare to try. I know it is cliché, but I never would have made it half this far if I didn’t just dare to try.  Emphasis on the dare.  If I didn’t for example dare to attend that club for musicians who wanted to be in a band, instead of listening to the voice in my head saying that the others would be much better than me, then I would still be playing chords by myself in my bedroom. Not only were we all at a similar level, but we also developed and learned so much together—things I never would have learned and experienced if I didn’t take that step.  I think this applies to any artistic field.  Maybe you want to be a cartoonist but don’t feel good enough at drawing to do the pieces in a local newsletter. Well, you never know until you ask.  Or maybe you want to a publish a novel but feel insignificant, unskilled compared to the authors on the bestseller lists.  Sure, they may have experiences, skills, and techniques that you feel you lack, but their skills do not take away from yours.  Dare to send in that art portfolio.  Dare to contact that publisher.  Dare to answer that “band members needed ad”.  I can’t promise you would achieve everything directly, but I also won’t suggest you would “fail”.  When you ignore that nagging voice in your head that says you are not as good as everyone you admire and that you therefore won’t succeed, impressive things can happen.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

It is all a bit hazy for me, but I have been calling myself demisexual/romantic because I’ve only felt those kinds of attractions toward one person (a friend), though since it has been over a year and seems unlikely I will experience it for a blue moon or several, I sometimes consider myself more on the aro/ace side of the spectrum. This doesn’t much have to do with the ace spectrum, but I also like to think I could be pan.

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

Fortunately, not, though that could be in part to the fact that I am not completely out to the “real world”.  Only a few close friends and some LGBT+ friends/peers that I have met in real life know my identity, and with my friends/peers/contemporaries/etc in the music industry the topic of dating or sex has never come up, so I haven’t had the opportunity or necessity to share. However, the people I associate with seem welcoming to LBGT+ people and I would expect them to be understanding of me.

I will perhaps face more difficulties as I gain more experience in this field, considering how sex is typically seen as an essential part of music industry.  It is almost expected that musicians would have sex with their “groupies” and indeed I jest about wanting a “rock n roll” life first when faced with questions from friends I am out to about marriage/dating.  But so far, most ignorance has come from coworkers pressuring me about having a boyfriend and have had nothing to do with the music industry.  I will just continue being unapologetically myself no matter what prejudice or ignorance I may someday face.  In a way, it will feel truly punk, standing up to the stereotype of musicians being male and getting with their groupies, solely by being myself.

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

Gosh I come across so many all the time I scroll through the internet, more so when it comes to being demi specifically, but I think by far the most common is that asexual is a label used by people who want to feel special for being celibate and/or for not being interested in having sex.  It frustrates me to no end! We are not just people who are celibates, or prudes, or uninterested in sex who want to be “holier than thou” because of that.  We do not feel sexual attraction or feel it rarely in some cases.  Some aces are even the opposite of those labels and have sex with their partners as an act of intimacy, even if they do not feel attraction.

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

Take your time and don’t be afraid to try different labels that may or may not fit.  It is okay to not be sure of your exact identity and to change from different labels if you realize one does not fit anymore. It is also okay to not have a label or not want one and to just consider yourself aspec, because that is a catchall term that will always be there for you. Remember also that you are not lesser or immature for not feeling sexual attraction or for feeling it less than your peers, no matter what they say to the contrary.  You are a loved and precious individual.

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

My band does not have an Instagram account or anything yet, but if you want mini updates you are welcome to follow either of my personal Tumblr blogs, at winterknightdragon and at thequeenisstilldead where I sometimes post my cover songs and will eventually share the link to our band Instagram.  You are also welcome to dm me if you want a link to something. My work is all over the place now so that is the easiest way.  You don’t have to be shy! I’m not scary just because I am in a band.

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Thank you, Paola, 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.

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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.

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Quothe the Raven

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

Interview: Emma Tyler Kantt

Today we’re joined by Emma Tyler Kantt. Emma Tyler is a wonderful artist who does both music and is also a cartoonist. They’re a very versatile musician who dabbles in a number of different genres. They play the guitar, sing, and write songs. As a cartoonist, they write and draw little comic strips with pen and pencils. They’re incredibly dedicated, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do two kinds of art! I’m a singer-songwriter and a cartoonist. Music-wise I play guitar and sing and write songs. My songs are kinda all over the place; I have ones about obsession, and conspiracy theorists, and anime, and a podcast called The Adventure Zone, and just…a lot of stuff.

My comic strips are little pencil/pen things. There’s no overarching plot or anything; it’s mostly little anecdotes or a look inside my mind. A lot of self-depreciative and dealing-with-anxiety stuff.

What inspires you?

I’m kind of the mind that everything I consume (media-wise) inspires and influences me in some way. Music is a big overarching one because it’s a big part of how I process my emotions. Comics, graphic novels, podcasts, and TV shows too. I’ve also gotten some comics ideas from stuff I see scrolling through Twitter.

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Talking Head

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

I’ve always had an inclination towards music; I remember singing a lot and coming up with little bits of songs when I was a kid. I realized I wanted to be a musician in high school, maybe? Not long after I started learning guitar. The cartoonist thing is more recent. I’ve always loved comics and I used to draw some in middle school but I’ve only recently started doing it again. It’s just a really effective medium for me to express my thoughts, I think.

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?

Uh…I don’t know if this counts but a lot of my comics take place on couches or in beds? There’s not really a special meaning to it though; I just spend a lot of time lying on the couch or lying in bed.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’m gonna kinda bastardize an eloquent quote from Ira Glass: Make a lot of stuff. Not everything you make has to be good! A lot of what you make will not be good, actually. But the more stuff you make, the more good stuff you’ll end up making. So just keep making stuff. And to back it up with personal experience, I’ve written probably about 90 full songs? And probably less than a third of them are truly good. (Wow I apologize for the overuse of the words “make” and “stuff”)

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Todd

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual! Alloromantic…I’ve attempted to say “heteroromantic” but since I’m technically non-binary that’s hard to define… So let’s say asexual and romantically attracted to guys.

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

So far no, thank god. I imagine it’ll happen eventually, though.

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

Probably the two big ones I’ve had to deal with are A) lack of awareness that asexuality is even “a thing” and B) conflation of asexuality with aromanticism.

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Pit

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

That’s tough, cuz I struggle a lot with it too. What I can confidently say is, whatever struggle you’re having, you’re not the only one. There are dozens of other people who have been/are going through what you’re going through, so you’re not alone. You’re never alone.

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

Oh boy. My comics Tumblr is https://crappylilcomix.tumblr.com/. My comics Twitter is https://twitter.com/crappylilcomix. My YouTube, which has my music and some other stuff is emmacan or https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGWqmYQEXrT7VpCQG-WTCPw . Some of it is also on https://www.soundcloud.com/emma-kantt. I also have a music Instagram? Which is https://instagram.com/emma.has.a.knife, and a music Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/emmakanttmusic.

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Just Draw

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

Interview: Kate Adams

Today we’re joined by Kate Adams. Kate is a wonderful young songwriter from Northern Ireland who has recently begun writing poetry as well. She posts singing videos to her Facebook page. Kate has such an admirable enthusiasm and is incredibly engaging, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve recently started writing poems and songs. I’ve always loved music so eventually I just started putting piano accompaniments with the words, the first poem I ever tried putting music to wasn’t my one, it was “Solar” by Philip Larkin.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by Philip Larkin, I really admire how honest his work is and how he was always true to his beliefs. I am also very inspired by my friends. They are also creatives who are LGBT+ and they encourage me so much. We always share work with each other and give feedback, they are very important to me and I write a lot about them.

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

I took English at a higher level at school and really fell in love with the poetry section. I went to a few poetry readings in local bookstores and it really inspired me to start writing. I have been singing from a very early age with my granda, my dad is also very musical and it kind of rubbed off on me. My brother and I took piano lessons for a few years and he really succeeded at it, but I stuck more to singing.

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, I haven’t really thought about a sign off or signature to be honest. I just tend to write my initials.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To any young aspiring artist reading this interview I would say: Even if you don’t like what you have created, it’s probably good you made it because it furthered your talent and ability. Everything you do is part of a creative journey you are on. Be proud of what you and always keep true to who you are and what you believe. Be respectful of others and their work and be you 😊

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a HetAce as of right now, but I might be BiAce.

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

I have had a few people who are part of the LGBT+ community tell me that I don’t belong in “their” community. I have dealt with it by saying stuff like “I mean, here is some material you could read that may sway you…” and then linking them to posts and articles on the topic. It’s infuriating to be oppressed by being excluded and demonised by a group of people who aim to fight oppression.

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

I had a conversation very recently with somebody who thought that all asexuals were repulsed and opposed to kissing, masturbation and sex, I explained that that isn’t always the case and that it varies from person to person.

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

I am still figuring out my own orientation, some people don’t figure it for a very long time, orientation and sexuality are very fluid things and labels can change as you grow as a person. Don’t feel that you should fall under one label either! It’s totally okay to just be you and like what you like. As long you are mindful and respectful of others you’ll go far.

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

I’ve recently started posting videos of me singing on my Facebook page, no original songs yet but you never know what the future holds! Most of the people who like it don’t know about my being asexual, I’m still trying to tell a few people aha.

The link to my page is: https://www.facebook.com/KateAdamsMusic

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

Interview: Sturm

Today we’re joined by Sturm. Sturm is a wonderful musician from Germany. He plays with a band that sounds as though they play quite an eclectic assortment of music (a mix of Rock, Punk, Metal, and Core). He’s an incredibly passionate musician, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

Currently my art is the music I put out with my band. I write all lyrics, as well as the music. Our style is hard to grasp, even for us. We describe it usually as “music with distorted guitars” therefore something between Rock, Punk, Metal and Core. Since my band mates are apparently not really interested in the topics of the lyrics, I’m free to write whatever I like to. Therefore many of the songs are LGBTQ-related or in one case explicitly ace-related.

What inspires you?

Basically everything. I believe that not the topic, but the situation makes the inspiration. If something touches me on “that certain level” it might be a piece of inspiration for me. Social, politics, personal, it’s all more or less a part of the life you live, and a part of your art.

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

I started playing guitar after a friend introduced me to the metal scene, as well as the guitar as an instrument. While staying in the metal community, different styles of guitar music influenced me and formed my musical progress. After many years also Jazz and Prog-music got me.

Since I started early to dream the dream of being a musician, the idea behind it is just as old. I mean “Playing music and make money” is  just THE dream. Being an artist is better than sitting in a regular company all day.

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 try to keep the songs groovy and catchy. Even though we do not play a very hard style, we use 7-string guitars to have a heavy sound for the guitars. Maybe that is a signature move.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. There are bands being successful with more or less bullshit. Whatever your style is people will listen to it, and like it. The first step is always to bring your music out.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, but with the possibilities of being gray- and /or demisexual

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

Unfortunately way too often. It’s usually the old stereotypes. I can laugh them off, mostly because the people, who make those jokes don’t know one thing about asexuality or the LGBTQ community

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

Basically the general stereotypes. “You hate sex” “You have to find the right partner” “You seem like a lost child.” Stuff like that. And of course that I’m “faking it’.’ Why would I do that?

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

First of all. RELAX

And then, take your time to be, to discover, and to realise yourself.

Yes this might take some time, but it’s your time, and therefore, so important.

You and yourself are more important than any ideology, i.g. religion.

So: Be always sure that millions of people stand with you, and know exactly what you feel right now

Or short

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

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

Currently not at all, but soon our FB page will be active

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

Interview: Silivrenelya

Today we’re joined by Silivrenelya. Silivrenelya is a wonderful singer and songwriter who sings with a pop/rock band. She’s been performing with her band since 2012 and they’re currently working on their debut album. We’ll likely be seeing quite a lot more of Silivrenelya in the future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Hi! I am a singer-songwriter in a pop/rock band. We’ve been playing together since 2012. We are currently recording our debut album, as signed artists, since 2015. Our main influences are The Killers, The Beatles, Paramore, Arctic Monkeys, Queen, The Kooks, and The Struts.

What inspires you?

Beautiful and powerful stories inspire me. Everything that can make me feel something strong inspires me. Soulful and talented people inspire me. Soothing landscapes and music made with passion inspire me.

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

I think I have always liked singing and telling stories. Growing up, I went through crucial moments in my life that strengthened my desire to do this as a job. I remember feeling so good and like I belonged when I first sang in front of people, and when they expressed their enjoyment, I felt great. I managed to make people feel something, and that was it. I loved this feeling and I wish to keep it for as long as I’m able to provide it.

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 particularly! I really like to write stories that have a double reading or “double entendre” in them though. I personally love it when a song has different meanings, like levels of understanding, and the deeper you search the deeper the meaning is, and thus the song becomes even more relevant.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would say, if you’re really passionate about your art, about what you’re doing, then burn your bridges that would take you backwards and go forwards, always straight ahead. Have a goal, no matter how tiny or huge it is or seems. One step at a time. Never regret what you’ve done, only learn from your mistakes, there is no such thing as failure, it’s only new data to analyse and try to avoid or improve for the next time. Try to be indulgent towards yourself. It is always the hardest part, but it can actually save you from so many dark times. And sleep!

I am still a young artist myself though, so it is just what I gathered along the way. I still have a lot to learn.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify myself as asexual (and panromantic).

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

I realised only recently that I belonged to the Ace spectrum, so I am not out to everyone, but my closest friends know. At first they were just really confused because I used to be very active in relationships – but they didn’t realise I was doing this to try to figure out what the hell I truly felt about all this. After then they all didn’t know what was asexuality, so I tried to explain to them, using some quotes from different aces’ testimonies, and also with the 4 sides of attraction: that proved to be the most efficient and clear explanation so far for ignorant people.

I always try to remain calm and open when explaining it, because in my country (France), it is still not very well known and clarified, and all I wish is for asexuality to be better understood and handled.

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

The common misconception about asexuality that I’ve encountered is that of the sexual trauma or sexual hate. While it may be true for some, it is not for all. And people often think that you are ace because of some awful past experience, or because you haven’t found where you really belong. But… That’s not how it works. At all. They often don’t understand why you wouldn’t have any sexual attraction or intercourse. Sex is such an inherent part of society – it forced itself so hard in it – that for us to say that we are not receptive to this side of the system is often seen as a form of – rebellion? Weirdness? Marginality even. People simply don’t understand (yet) why we are like this. But they will eventually, I have hope!

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

Just like “It’s okay to be gay”, it’s totally okay to be ace! And it’s okay to be afraid of who you are at first. I mean, it’s frightening when you don’t know what you are, why you’re feeling what you’re feeling. And even if you’re not 100% sure about what you are, guess what? It’s ALSO okay. And, please, don’t worry about whether people will still like/love you if you’re ace. They will. The right people will always love you, no matter who you are.

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

For now there is nothing public that I can give away, but as soon as there is, I will let you know!

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

Interview: Alice Marie

Today we’re joined by Alice Marie. Alice is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying sculpture at uni. When she’s not sculpting, Alice enjoys singing and songwriting. She’s got a wonderful enthusiasm and love for her art, 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 sculpture student currently in my second year at Camberwell, UAL. My practice has always been a bit sporadic – with the constant thread of connection being my sense of humor, and my habit of making elements a little cryptic, often leaving sculptural pieces as an in-joke with myself, and moving recently into outright baffling video works. I also earn sporadic money as a singer/songwriter, pandering to different fandoms at different times, but ultimately it was Destiel that taught me to write about love.

What inspires you?

I look very much to my own experiences, largely being media that I consume – be it an actual television show, a Netflix original, a meme, but then also folktales and Shakespeare, anything that I’ve found funny or engaged with on a more intense level will ultimately end up included somewhere. My music started off literally written for and about fandom, could literally not be divorced from the original content, but in the last few years I’ve moved on to more mythological themes, which are much more socially acceptable for some reason.

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

I’ve gone from singer, to chef, to actor, to comic book artist, to fashion designer growing up. But creativity is a real part in all of those careers, so I knew from early on that the creative process was an innate love. Ultimately it was my parents’ support that meant I could choose GCSEs and A-Level qualifications for purely what I enjoyed, and not what I thought necessary to succeed in a specific career, and I could never get away from Fine Art.

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 always like having humor, if a project isn’t amusing to me in some way then I tend to drop it very quickly and move on to something more entertaining. My art is very self-indulgent, it’s a purely selfish process of ‘what do I want to do?’ and never what I ‘should’ do, because that gets very boring very quickly.

I also like there to be levels – either by different things combining in strange ways, or different intellectual levels to understand something – though I always talk about them on the most accessible level in public, because sometimes a floral plushie stingray pushing a shopping trolley full of tuna is literally just that.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Look at art, talk about art, just sit and work on your practice, and build up a file of images or text that grabs your eye! Even a blog, instagram, any form of documentation of ideas is invaluable because when you are lost you can always look back at something to reflect where you started from. But also, be open minded about everything – having a position is an attractive thing in any discussion, but learning is more important.

screen-shot-2017-02-26-at-18-50-06

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual, hetero-romantic… But with the added bonus of not being terribly attached to my gender, but not with strong enough feelings to go through the hassle of talking about pronouns, so I’m just staying under the umbrella of the female binary for now. Which means that yes, still hetero-romantic. I want to lean back into someone with more masculine body temperatures when having a movie-marathon.

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

My field so far has been as a student, and studying any Fine Art at Uni means that absolutely nobody cares as long as anyone involved is a fully informed and consenting adult. Ignorance, yes, because not every student arrives at Uni fully educated about the ace spectrum, but no prejudice. I’m normally quite patient with people worth the time, but I’ve been known to say ‘please Google it, sleep on it, see me in the morning’.

I could write essays on what I’ve seen online, but it’s only ever been observed as petty discourse squabbles. Everyone in direct communication with me has been at worst ignorant, and never malicious unless I already knew they were rotten eggs to begin with, in which case they’d be malicious about any personal information I revealed. So, Tossers.

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

The assumption is either that I have no sex drive and can’t get turned on (which hey, is one hell of an assumption to make after knowing me for the duration of one conversation) or that I am happy to be alone, completely solitary in my existence, for the whole of my life.

It gets so old, so fast, as I’m sure anyone else has said before and will say again. I now just, when asked about my sexuality, say ‘nah’ and make vague shrugging gestures until they take the hint.

The amount of times people have asked ‘do you wank?’. I normally ask ‘Does your mother?’ and go from there.

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

Just remember that any healthy relationship, of any kind, should be based on a mutual trust and respect. If you don’t have that, then nothing will work. But also that you don’t have to know – you can just agree to yourself to do what feels right if and when the time comes. If you want to go on a date, or kiss someone, or just hold hands, or just hang out, then do it, because if you are honest with yourself and the people around you then any crap they give you is their crap, not yours. Don’t play a part and then be confused when you feel like it’s not real, because you can’t make feelings happen, they just do.

One day you might – like I did – find a word on tumblr that resonates with you, and makes you think ‘oh, yes actually, darn, yes very much, the whole of 2010 -15 makes sense to me now, oh gosh, so many interactions could have gone so much better if I knew’. I never would have asked that guy to prom.

Even then, don’t worry about finding a word/label if none of them fit. You are a complete individual. Have a cup of tea. Pet a dog. You’re good.

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

I have a Tumblr where I post music related things at Alicemariemusic, I have a more personal Tumblr where I reblog funny things at Plamplamp.

I also have an Instagram when I remember that photography is fun at Alicemaarie

I also have a YouTube that has some songs, some educational videos, and some art videos at Hitstereo, but you could find it under Alice Marie too.

I have a Soundcloud at alicemarie-e, and my Bandcamp is alicemariemusic.bandcamp.com!

And then, because the social media presence and links never end, I have an official website (shiny, new, never been used) at goodsardine.wixsite.com/alicemarie.

Please, if you have any ideas you want to share for collaboration, music or art or literally anything, I always love to hear from people! Even if you want to chat about Diabetes or having a cleft lip, asexuality or the weather, I’d be happy to see a new name in literally any inbox from any of these sites, except maybe soundcloud ‘cause I’m rubbish at checking that fellow.

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

Interview: Georgia Evans

Today we’re joined by Georgia Evans. Georgia is a phenomenal musician. She’s most passionate about singing, but she also plays the piano, violin, and guitar. Georgia also composes music and is a very dedicated songwriter. She’s got an incredible enthusiasm for music, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

georgia-evans-img_0809

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a musician so my art is incredibly versatile and eclectic. I play piano, violin, and guitar all self taught but I am, above all else, a singer. Vocals were the first thing I trained myself in and I have been singing longer than I have been playing any instrument. I am a singer songwriter and a performer. This means that I write my own songs and then I perform my own work at any opportunity. I have posted a few online but in the last six months I have gone into pre production for my first CD in the hops of getting my music onto platforms like iTunes and Spotify. This means that not only have I written the songs themselves but that I am now in the process of writing all the other instrument parts for them, including bass, drums, strings and harmonies. Adding dynamics, adding effects and filters and writing out the parts for other musicians to play when it comes time to take the songs into the studio. This stage of making an album can take months and months. It is all of the preparation of setting everything up just so, so that you have to spend minimal time in the studio. Because here’s the thing, studio time, costs a lot of money and session musicians (the guys and gals who come in and play the parts written for instruments I cannot play myself) have to be paid for their time as well. Then you have to pay the tech who runs the desk and the techs who set up the rooms and the producer who mixes and masters your tracks for you. It gets expensive if you’re still writing parts in the studio, so you get it all done before you go in.

When I’m not working on this though I like to learn new instruments and do covers of songs that I like. I have a Facebook page where I post videos of some of these, which has gotten me a lot of positive attention as an artist. I gained an invite to the Wollongong RAW festival this March and an invite to a sit down with the creative director of Fire Entertainment in the Surry Hills.

The most important thing about this art form for me though, is that through it I can reach out to people and make them feel something. I can make people feel less alone in their mental illness with my songs. Music is my safe place, my release and I can use it to impact people in a positive way which I think is beautiful.

What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me, to be honest. Some of the time I write songs about my own feelings and experiences. Other times I write about my family and their experiences and how they make me react emotionally. Then there are the days when something happens or I see a friend struggling and I am inspired to write something that tells them that they are not alone and that I am here and I understand and I see them. A lot of people with mental illnesses (like myself) I think feel invisible and unseen by the music industry, which is so focused on love songs and sex and fighting the establishment. That’s what sells you see. It was Jared Padalecki and his AKF campaign that helped give me the courage to start writing songs about a subject that’s, thus far, still quite taboo. No one talks about it and so those of us fighting these kinds of things end up feeling isolated and alone. I want to write music that brings us into the light again, humanizes us and unites us so that we no longer feel so alone or forgotten or like we have to blend in in order to be a part of the society that we live in. I want to make people with mental illnesses, young and old feel like they are seen and heard again finally. We have been silent and invisible for so long. It’s time for a change.

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

I cannot remember a time when I didn’t want to be a famous singer. I used to get told off for singing along when my mum sang lullabies because I was supposed to be sleeping. I grew up, luckily, with a mother who was incredibly supportive of this dream and who did everything in her power to give me the tools to make it come true.

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 think the signature is the content and the actual sound of my voice… I’m not sure how I’d share that aside from saying, have a look on my Tumblr for some of my videos. There might even be a link there for my Facebook page if you’re lucky.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Being a professional musician is hard. It is rewarding and amazing and it can be great fun, but it’s hard work. You will be turned down for gigs, you will be sent away from labels. There is no talent scout just waiting around the corner, you have to go out there and perform, and practice, and learn new things. You are the only one who can make yourself successful.

People will tell you, you have to have talent to be a musician. They’re wrong. You have to be strong, and determined and willing to work immensely hard.

And above all else, you need to love what you do and have faith in yourself. Be a musician for the love of the music and the people who hear it. Make music to bring joy and music will bring you joy in return.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m not actually sure how to answer this. I only learned what asexuality is a year ago during my recovery from a relationship that had turned abusive. I hadn’t realised that I was allowed to feel the way I do. That it was normal and dint mean there was something wrong with me as my partner at the time inferred regularly. I have always felt that if I am in a relationship then the other person is going to want sex and I’ll have to give them that because society taught me that love=sex. In the last year I have started to learn that they are two very different things. I can love someone and never want to touch or be touched in that way and that is OK. Because I was ignorant I allowed terrible things to happen to myself, which means that I am still confused about where I sit on the spectrum and where I belong. I know I will figure it out eventually but at the same time even if I never do I know I can still identify as ace and take each situation as it comes to me. I have met a lot of lovely people who are in different places on the spectrum and they have all been lovely about helping me to recover and understand myself a lot more.

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

Most people try to tell me I just haven’t met the right person yet and then once I explain that I have had encounters and decided I still identify this way they try to convince me it’s because the other person was doing it wrong. Men regularly seem to think that they have magic in their genitals that will make me like sex if I just try it with them. I try to stay calm but often I end up laughing in their faces and walking away. Sometimes they follow me which means I have to find a crowd (which I hate, crowds are scary) or find someone I know to scare them off. Other times people are less aggressive and more ignorant. “So… you’re like a plant?” is a common phrase. So I try to educate them. It’s like this; imagine that sexuality and sexual attraction is a fridge full of fruit. Lets stick with apples and oranges for now, (I know there are more genders but the metaphor will get too messy to understand.) Some people like apples, some like oranges and some like both. Someone who likes apples can go to the fridge, get an apple and be satisfied. Someone who prefers oranges can go over, get an orange and that’s that. Someone who likes both is spoiled for choice but they can pick either one and be satisfied. Now imagine staring into the fridge only to realize, you don’t like apples or oranges really. Even worse, imagine you’re hungry and realizing this fact.

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

That it’s not a real thing and that there aren’t many of us. I have met dozens of aces from all over the place. Admittedly that’s mostly online here on Tumblr but the point stands, we are out there, we are real and we are valid.

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

It’s OK to be unsure. You are allowed to take your time with this kind of thing and it is 100% OK no to realize that you might be asexual till later in your life. It is also 100% OK to know and be sure from a young age. As we grow up and learn new things our perceptions of ourselves change. I went from straight to lesbian to bi before I realized that it was OK to not really be attracted to either. Now I am proudly asexual and Bi romantic. The label doesn’t define you, you define the label.

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

The easiest place to find my stuff is on my Facebook page
https://www.facebook.com/georgiamusicofficial/

Alternately you can search the tags #music #original #songwriting and probably a few other music terms or song names on my Tumblr, heck even message me and ask for a tag and I’ll find the posts for you.
https://keepingcalmisoverratedgoddamnit.tumblr.com/

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

Interview: Noxaura Cille

Today we’re joined by Noxaura Cille. Noxaura is an incredibly young ace who has an enthusiasm for writing. Xhe writes both stories and songs and also sings a bit. Though xhe is young, Noxaura is serious about art. Xhe submitted a story to a competition in xhyr state, where xhe wound up winning second place. My thanks to xhyr for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, alright. I’m a writer/authoress and singer/semi-songwriter (I use authoress because I prefer to deviate from the norms and it sounds more sophisticated, don’t you think?). I write stories, usually what I call/consider “Tragic/Dark Sci-fi”, though I am also working on a satirical story. Tragic Sci-fi is sci-fi, but it messes with the feels so badly that it can’t even be considered normal sci-fi any longer. I am proud to bear the title of the only Tragic Sci-fi writer, as I am the one who made the term up. I prefer to write alone, though I will sometimes ask for the opinion of a family member or classmate. I am my own editor as of this point in time (OCD helps with that), though I suppose I will have to have a professional edit my work once it is completed. Oh, that’s another thing about me: I only have fanfiction and unfinished works as my claim to the title. I get bored easily (I happen to have ADD), so almost as soon as I start a project, I get another idea and move on to another, leaving a trail of unfinished/unpublished works that I worked hard on.

If someone could give me a prompt I could have a pretty decent story written in a few minutes if anybody is interested? I am willing to look through comments/responses to find any.

Anyway, because of this, I am currently unpublished, but that doesn’t make me any less of a writer/author.

On to my second field: singer!

I have been singing since I was three and could form the sounds properly. Fun fact: up until I was nine years old, I literally listened to nothing but country music. When I was nine, I was on Charter On Demand and looking through the music, and I have a strong memory of Beyoncé. That’s right. Beyoncé.

My parents were shocked and exasperated. It is an odd sight to behold, the mix of exasperation and shock.

I sing in a high soprano (I prefer a neutral tone. You’ll know what I mean if you ever hear me), though I can always go higher, to the pitch of a tenor. My mom tells me my voice has a “tinkling/bell-like quality”. I sometimes have trouble finding the correct octave for a song, especially country songs, because my brain says “GO LOWER” while my voice says “DUDE I CAN’T DO THAT LOW! THE LOWEST I CAN GO IS, LIKE, G-FLAT/F-SHARP!” (Fun, fun fact: my vocal cords are 2 ⅓ inches tall/long) and the argument ends up kind of in-between, where I go from, like, G-flat to E-sharp, and it sounds funky because I keep switching. Sometimes I have to completely drop out because the singer goes below C4 and I can only go up to A5 because I’m a soprano. Duh.)

Oh, I just remembered something. When I was around six, my cousin (she was around 5 at the time) said she had a passion for singing. I told her that, no, she can’t have a passion for singing because that’s my passion and she wasn’t gonna steal it.

Ah, six-year-old me was still a little chienne.

I have been writing songs since I was about nine. Now, I’ve always dreamt of writing my own songs and playing guitar and being a famous singer. Well, I can’t play guitar, but I’m alright at piano.

Back to the topic at hand.

I used to think that I couldn’t write songs, simply because every attempt came out unorganized and unending.

At one point, I gave up completely.

And then my grammy told me that I could actually do it.

So I tried again… and failed.

However, I started asking myself what I was doing wrong. I began looking at song structure, and soon, I could write a song that seemed decent to me.

But my mom told me it sounded like I was going to commit suicide.

And I, being me, took that personally.

And began working and working.

And now, I can write songs with semi-ease and they make sense. I’m proud that I’m closer to my dream…

Maybe. But America is full of dreamers.

(A little-known fact about me is that I am great at memorizing songs. All it takes is hearing it once or twice and it is forever engrained. I also do this in my sleep. I am not joking.

I remember hearing a song on the radio that I thought I’d never heard before, and then proceeding to sing along, word for word.

It can get pretty freaky sometimes)

What inspires you?

The only answer is anything and everything has the ability. I can, however, assure you that the result of my inspiration will be dark. Sorry that I’m not sorry.

Oh wait.

No I’m not.

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

As a child, my parents would read me stories, as some parents do.

However, even at age three, I had a decent grasp on the English language.

Sometimes, I would take the book from my parent and read the book.

As for singing, well…

I was a troubling child. I didn’t eat anything but oatmeal, I was severely malnourished… (my birth parents’ work. My grandparents raised me and are, essentially, my parents. Oh, and they adopted me around two years ago. So…)

So I would have a radio playing country music (the only music my then 40-something year-old parents liked) every night.

Now, I don’t sleep well without it. Or some other form of music.

And, actually, the first thing I wanted to be was a paleontologist. Three-year-old me could pronounce that, too. She—my agender identity is a very new and fresh thing. Younger me identified as she, so she was she—could also read books with words like dinosaur and she could count all the way to one hundred, just like a big girl! Aren’t you proud, person I’ve never met before?

I stopped wanting that when I turned around seven and realized I would have to go outside and work with bugs (I have entomophobia. It’s actually pretty bad).

But I have always loved to sing, and my imagination is still so wild. It helps me write, but doesn’t help me sleep, if you catch my drift.

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?

Besides my sign-off? Um… Let me see…

I already mentioned how it is tragic, yes? Well, another key point in my work is that I am both a poet and a narrator.

I use metaphors a lot. And I mean, a lot. Most are very, very extensive and last a long time.

Oh, and character names are usually something unusual and unique for the first name, followed by something completely normal for a surname, but sometimes with an odd spelling.

I like using animals, and nature.

I just really like these things.

Oh, and femininity is a prevalent factor. Despite my agender identity. I also enjoy writing about children. Small, small children…

And storms. And snow. I LOVE writing about snow. You don’t want to know what I can do with the simplest prompt of “snow” or even “rain”. *evil laughter*

I’m tempted, so tempted to show you…

It’s on Wattpad, if you care enough. *sticks tongue out*

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You can do it.

Probably.

I’m not gonna lie; you will have to actually get off your cul and do stuff. Maybe learn a new language or two.

Expand your grammar a bit. This works in both writing and songwriting, which is a subcategory of writing, in my opinion.

Oh, and don’t plagiarize. That isn’t cool and nobody likes it.

Be original or you can just give up now.

And it’s probably gonna take a while for anything to happen.

But quitters don’t make it in this field. You have to have the drive to create and then you have to have the guts to act on that drive.

And always keep trying.

If at first you don’t succeed… by God, you keep at it until success hunts you down and hands you a pure diamond plaque that doesn’t have sparkles, but shines in the right lighting.

(Yes, I did pull that quote right out of my brain. Thanks for noticing)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as an agender female aromantic-biromantic sex-averse asexual with an apathromantic mindset.

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

Weeellllll… no, not really. And there is a simple reason for that: my fields are very specific but also very inclusive at the same time.

Acenegatives hardly ever find me because… I’m a writer, a singer and songwriter that goes (mostly) unnoticed, and an unpublished authoress. I don’t broadcast my asexuality to the world (in my field). Heck, I barely go into the world. I can do my job right here from my bedroom.

Well, at least I didn’t broadcast it until I started writing my latest (and only) satirical nonfiction book. *wink*

However, I have a feeling that the backlash will be large (or at least significant).

Now, recently, I posted a rant to my Tumblr about the ace discourse and my writing style just so happened to leak through… And I dealt with the acenegativity the way I deal with all people that get on my nerves.

I blocked the acenegative.

I also replied, saying that they were a perfect example of what I was talking about.

(The post, their reblog, and my reply to the reblog, are on my Tumblr [noxauracille]. Finding it may take a bit of scrolling, but you should find it within about five minutes, probably less)

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

This is kinda difficult…

“It’s a phase”, “are you sure it isn’t a phase?”, “[you’ll]* grow out of it”, “how do you know you don’t like it?”

The second to last was said by someone I considered an acquaintance, as we sometimes talk about school and other stuff while our parents work.

But she said that with such certainty…

My main problem is that this ties in with “you’re too young to know” and “how can you know it if you haven’t tried it?”, which can also lead to things like corrective behaviors (because I am positive rape is not the only “corrective” tactic) and generally a lot of confusion and hurt.

*Her original words were “she’ll grow out of it”, as she was talking to my mom.

She couldn’t even say it to my face.

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

This is going to sound really cheesy, but…

You are not broken, and you are not alone. Just be yourself and don’t listen to what everyone else tells you about you. In the words of Rihanna and T. I., live your life.

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

Once again, I’m unpublished and therefore I don’t have a lot of places for this. However, I am NoxauraRiddle13 on archiveofourown, NoxauraCille on FanFiction.net, and Noxaura_Cille on Wattpad.

Wattpad is where I post songs I write (most of the time), and my non-fanfiction (and some fanfiction that I can get by with) stories. If you want my “serious” projects, go there. Hopefully, in the future, I can get even more organized, finish my novel, and then I can get my website fixed up.

Man, that sounds so awesome…

Maybe I can even do the coding myself! (Anybody got any pictures they will let me use for it? Heh, I’m kidding. Creative Commons should work… Though it would be really helpful of anybody has a picture of a night sky, preferably with some stars, maybe some moonlight… Perhaps the moon itself, solitary and alone? Just some ideas for what I’m looking for…)

…sorry for the little ramble on coding a website and pictures…

I just love the sound of keys. I love it so much that my Kindle notification is a person typing on a computer.

I’ll wrap this up now. Bye!

~Nox

(I’m also bipolar)

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

Interview: Mel

Today we’re joined by Mel. Mel is a fantastic writer who writes a variety of things. She mostly writes fanfiction, but also writes a lot of original fiction. Aside from those, she also dabbles in songwriting and poetry. It’s very obvious that she’s incredibly passionate about the art of writing. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer who mainly writes fanfiction, original fiction, and occasionally songs or poems. Writing is one of my main hobbies, and even though my anxiety can make it harder to start on a piece, it’s something I adore doing. I’m also a singer, but that doesn’t play as big a role in my life as being a writer does.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by a lot of things. Going to see a movie in theaters almost always gets me going with a brand new ideas or a brand new perspective on the old ones. Reading and watching shows in general also tends to gets me writing more fanfiction!

My main genre is fantasy (urban fantasy especially), so a lot of times when I’m reading or watching other fantasy it helps me fine-tune my own world—what I like, what I want to change, etc. For example, right now I’m rereading Harry Potter, and since my fantasy has a similar concept of magical beings living among humans (albeit a very different execution), it’s really useful for figuring out how the world works for my characters.

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

I’ve always been a big journaler, and I was writing fanfiction before I knew what it even was! The first “real” story I can remember writing was basically a Peter Pan ripoff that’s pretty laughable now, but it was an honest attempt back then. Over the years I’ve had various projects, ideas and characters running through my head. Some of them work, some of them don’t, and all of them are hard to get on paper/document!

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?

Many of my stories tend to take place in one of the two cities I made up, Lilac and Maverick (both of which are somewhere in or near New England, where I grew up). I invented them partly to give myself total freedom over what’s in them, and partly so I don’t have to do any research on location! Lilac is fairly large and somewhat unwelcoming, particularly to anyone involved in magic, while Maverick is smaller, kinder, and easier to blend into, due in part to the many magic-users and non-humans living in it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t worry too much about getting it right the first time. Having a rough draft in front of you, even if it’s so bad it makes you cringe, is better than having it stuck in your head, especially if you want to do something with it. Drafts can always be edited, sliced, diced, and polished til they shine like you want them to. Also, remember that if you never get around to actually using some of your ideas, that’s okay. The important thing is that they making you happy. And if you’re pretty sure you’ll never have any ideas as good as that one, you can A) remember that you’ll have many, many other ideas that are probably just as good as that one, and B), feel very smug because you know something awesome that nobody else will (probably) ever know.

Now if only I could just take my own advice…

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

As ace as can be, and sex-averse. Romantically I’m arospec (really aroflux but not confident enough to use that term whenever I’m feeling more confused than usual), heteroalterous and bisensual. (I only ever want to be in a long-term, semi-romantic relationship with a guy, and I think girls and guys are really, really pretty and I just want to cuddle them a lot)

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

Not that I can think of.

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

Well, going by my real life, that it doesn’t exist. So much so that no one even knows or uses the word.

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

It’s okay to be different. You’re not broken, and you’re not alone. Figure out what labels fit you best if that’s what you want to do; move on if it’s not. Either way, celebrate who you are, right now, regardless of how you may change in the coming weeks, months, and years. You’re amazing just the way you are. 🙂

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

My main Tumblr is alterouspotato if you have any questions. I also just started a sideblog called thewritermelodyjaikes, where I’ll be dumping whatever writing I actually manage to get done. I’m also on Fanfiction.net as MelodyJaikes, and hopefully I’ll be able to get an AO3 someday soon.

Thanks for reading, and thank you so much for the interview!

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