Interview: M. Rubio

Today we’re joined by M. Rubio. M. is a wonderful student filmmaker who specializes in short films. His films fall into a variety of genres: comedy, horror, drama, and even surrealism. When he’s not working on films, M. is writing, mostly nonfiction essays. It’s clear he’s a passionate artist with an incredibly bright future ahead of him. My thanks him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I make short films and I write a lot. I guess category wise, I would be considered a student filmmaker. The stuff I publish are usually nonfiction essays about my life or thoughts. In terms of short films, I post occasionally, sometime random stuff, on my YouTube Channel. I intend to release a four-episode miniseries sometimes this summer though.

In terms of the art itself, the stuff leans towards awkward, dry, and self-aware comedy. Occasionally I lean to some drama or just pure surrealist comedy, it mostly depends on my mood or if I am assigned to make something that requires that tone.

My personal favorite work so far is this short where I put a voice over to a college horror film. This film is pretty much my style in a nutshell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ioj8HpSc6k&ab_channel=CannonBlasterakaM.Rubio

What inspires you?

Depends on what you mean specifically. In terms of the stuff I make, I am inspired by the things around me. I have a very Seinfeld mindset in that I write and film what I know.

In terms of inspiration in general. I admire people that have a strong moral ground or are amazingly creative. Bonus points if you are both. Examples include Jim Henson, Fred Rogers, Hayao Miyazaki, Fumito Ueda, and Lemony Snicket.

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

The turning point was watching Roger Ebert’s commentary on Citizen Kane. Citizen Kane is great, but the commentary adds a whole new layer for me. It opened my eyes to a whole new world of storytelling. I watched it when I was a junior in high school, and I thought film was simply pointing a camera at something. The Roger Ebert commentary completely changed that.

I always wanted to be a story teller of some kind (I always had an active imagination), and that commentary convinced me that the film medium is the one I should pursue is film.

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 guess there was always a layer of self-awareness, awkwardness, or dryness to my work, but there was never a unique signature of some kind.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It is okay if you don’t know everything or aren’t good at everything. No artist is an expert on their craft. You don’t have to be perfect, you just have to be good and strive to be better. That was a hurdle that I wished I learned early in my life. Art can be an intimidating field to get into.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as hetero demisexual.

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

No prejudice, but tons of ignorance. Thankfully, it wasn’t the toxic ignorance. But almost everyone I talked to about my sexuality, I had to explain to them what asexuality/demisexuality was. This is not a problem for me, since I love explaining my asexuality. It never gets tedious. Mainly because, I love seeing the light bulbs light up when I do explain it.

That said, I am particular with who I come out to out of fear of prejudice. I live in the South, so certain people have a more hostile ignorance. You can usually tell which ones are which just by having a five minute conversation with them.

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

That asexuals are all frigid. One of common things I have to clear up are the fact that asexuals can be sex positive. I have to explain that there are a variety of spectrums with asexuality, and with sexuality in general. Not only is allosexual/asexual a spectrum, but how we view sex is also a spectrum.

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

Sexuality is an identity and identity is very fluid. That said, there are a lot of people, some of those people aggressive and toxic, that don’t know it or don’t believe it. There will be times where YOU have to clear up misconceptions. With that, you have to be an expert on sexuality.

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

There is my YouTube channel, which I put all of my stuff on. Give it a look: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCha-tfYIjwdzylWfcz1BDGw?&ab_channel=CannonBlasterakaM.Rubio

I also blog on occasion. I usually put it on this site: https://themrubio.blogspot.com/

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

Interview: Eldervine

Today we’re joined by Eldervine. Eldervine is a phenomenal visual artist who enjoys experimenting with different mediums and styles. She is mostly a realistic illustrator, but occasionally dabbles in impressionism and surrealism. Eldervine does both traditional and digital art. She does sculpture/3D modelling and is currently studying game art/design. She’s a passionate artist and obviously has a very bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

amadeus
Amadeus

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve been drawing pretty much my entire life- I can’t remember when I started but (looking back) by the time I started school I was pretty well practiced for a 5/6 year old. Since then I’ve dabbled in almost every art form; painting (and then digital painting) was my staple for a long time but I’m pushing myself to sculpt more now.

In style I consider myself a realistic illustrator, even though I slide into impressionism and/or surrealism a bit.

What inspires you?

I’m an unashamed lover of beauty whether it’s found in pleasing shapes, rich colours or lush textures. Animals are the best source for me, particularly horses- they’re made of such beautiful shapes (loads of sine curves) and textures and I was totally that girl at school that always drew horses haha

My first degree ended up being in biological anthropology though (through a weird slide from the art school into the humanities, into the sciences), and that did get me interested in how humans work- that and working at my city art gallery made me more appreciative of human (and cultural) beauty. And it seems weird to me but playing The Sims 3 inspired an appreciation for architecture and landscape. The greatest artistic urge I get remains equine though, so I guess it’s true that old habits die hard.

handsdoodling
Hands Doodling

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

Phew, it’s a bit of a twisty ride!

My obsession with horses lead me into playing a ton of the online text-based horse sim games that abounded during the 90s/2000s; they were good because they were targeted just at people that like horses, unlike the modern ones which also have a clear intended age bracket. Those games all eventually died so I found myself joining a forum that used The Sims 3 (in modded form) as a horse game, with picture shows and breed registries etc. hosted on the forum. That then led me into the world of computer game modding, and I found I really enjoyed retexturing things and became interested in learning how to 3D model.

So starting from last year I’m studying game design/game art, and I think it’s the best career idea I’ve had so far! I previously didn’t think I could make a living doing art, but games is a growing industry with heaps of demand for artists. I’ve also found that games is a field that allows me to apply the biggest selection of my broad interests and skills (I’ve found my anthropology surprisingly relevant too), and offers specialist and generalist opportunities in equal amounts so I’ll be able to try a lot of different jobs and/or specialize in whatever I end up liking the most.

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 know about a unique thing (apart from a signature obvs). I’m guilty of the ol’ scratchy sketching that my new teachers (all animators) hate and are trying to beat out of me haha, but I don’t like leaving much lineart in my coloured stuff anyway. I think I certainly have a style which is very different to what everyone else in my class does- mainly, I think, because my artistic influences come from fine art whereas most of them grew up on comics.

mmsculpture
MM Sculpture

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Stop worrying about having a style, it will happen naturally over the course of your life and if you try and force it you’ll just end up limiting yourself as an artist.

Learn the fundamentals of colour, light and anatomy (yes, I mean realism) BEFORE you start stylizing. If you do it the other way around you’re locking yourself in to only being able to do that style, and often not as well. Anime/manga artists are prone to this; the good ones did heaps of life drawing before translating into the style, whereas you can tell the ones that started out in the style because they do some real janky stuff with anatomy and perspective, and it just doesn’t look as good even when considering style.

Also, be intelligent with your art; always ask yourself why you’re doing something or why something looks good to you. It helps you learn about yourself as well as your craft.

ibex
Ibex

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I knew I was asexual when I was 12, and I’m now 100% again, but there were bumpy bits at 22 and 25 where I thought I could be demisexual (thinking back and being brutally honest with myself, the first boyfriend I wasn’t interested in at all and the second one I thought I had found someone who I could be happy with, but they didn’t seem to get what I said about my sexuality and so I just tried my best to be into him sexually too. Spoilers: didn’t last long with either of them).

As far as the romantic scale is concerned, I have no idea. I do overwhelmingly connect better with women than (heterosexual) men, but I honestly don’t know what exactly the difference is between a close friendship and a platonic romantic one. Because I seem to be missing something, my current guess is that I’m aromantic as well. xD

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

I’ve only mentioned asexuality to a few friends so far in the games field, so I’m going to answer from all the fields I’ve dabbled in.

I am conventionally attractive, and my body developed early- my breasts were already fully developed and large at 12. Both things I have had people try to use as evidence that I cannot possibly be asexual, despite my pointing out that what feelings they get from my body are the results of their sexuality. (That and breasts are not actually sexual organs, they’re just sexualized in many cultures).

Apart from that, whenever I do mention it (which isn’t often) people tend to go “uh” and then gloss over it, clearly not understanding/not believing but not wanting to make more of a deal out of it. Which is fine by me actually, except I’m pretty sure my parents still have their fingers in their ears (some crossed) and are looking the other way as well. (I’ve definitely heard the “you just haven’t found the right person yet” line).

yuki
Yuki

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

Apart from the binary fission joke (which every asexual gets I think) and the one where people get their sexuality mixed up with yours, that asexuality is due to trauma.

I did actually have panic attacks – with my first boyfriend, the first week after we became official I couldn’t eat anything or I’d throw it up. Doctor gave me meds to calm the acid in my stomach and then I was fine. With the second boyfriend I woke up one day in abdominal agony, shaking and sweating (making it rain, but not in a good way!) but as soon as he called the paramedic hotline and I was talking and joking to the lady on the line I was better- when doctors later examined me they found absolutely nothing wrong. I had another exactly a week after (and I still feel awful about this one) where we had finished making out for a bit and he went to start on lunch (or something, can’t remember) and he came back to ask me something, and as he sat down next to me/leaned over me I suddenly felt so ill, had to bolt to the bathroom- didn’t quite make it- and was ridiculously, violently sick everywhere.

It was at this point that my mother helped me set up 6 months of therapy with a well-reputed sex therapist. xD Who was actually really lovely, and I enjoyed those sessions with her! It was really nice to have talks about sex that weren’t charged with expectations, with someone who was relaxed and had actually studied sexual health, critiques of sex ed, etc. She didn’t believe though that anyone with any hint of sexual need was asexual (and I did say that I was fine to have sex with myself occasionally) so I didn’t really get the benefit of that discussion. She also thought that my aversion to men (as she saw it- honestly I think guys being the only issue was because no lesbians ever hit on me haha) was due to my developing early and being sexualized by others before my mind was caught up. That boys would pretend to be friends with me because I had the big boobs, she said, lead to me linking sexual desire with dishonesty and so I distrusted it. Now, I still think it’s a really interesting idea and I do wonder if my sexuality would’ve expressed any differently if a)I got boobs later and b)if the world/how we raise boys was different. It’s been a long while now though and I’ve continued thinking about it and reflecting on myself, and while I do think I am put off a lot by how the world at large treats sex and sexuality (and women), I think 13 year old boys being self-centered pricks triggering asexuality for the rest of my life is giving them rather a lot of credit!

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

I used to get so stressed when I was a teenager because I was taking on everyone’s expectations about me and my future, and felt that a relationship and sex was just going to happen to me and I had no control over anything. Don’t stress- I can’t talk for everyone, everywhere in the world or in every situation, but at least in my case, the only thing that was keeping me from feeling secure and in control was me thinking that I wasn’t. Hopefully, this can serve as a reminder for someone else in a similar situation. You don’t have to do shit if you don’t want to. If you’re not in a similar situation, don’t be scared to go looking for help to get that control. It exists.

Having said that, don’t be scared to revisit what you think and try working yourself out all over again- you are what you are, and labels are tools that we can use to try and make more sense of ourselves, for us and for others, but remember that they are tools crafted from an imperfect world and they are clumsy.

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

My Tumblr that I set up to share my game art/schoolwork is eldervine.tumblr.com (you can also find my Twitter through there, which I use to post arty stuff, game stuff, school stuff, news stuff and feminist rants haha)

If you’re interested in seeing the Sims 3 horse art I did when I was a part of Equus-Sims, you can have a look at eldervinefields.tumblr.com (it’s sadly not active anymore but all my stuff, including mods, is still there).

doodle
Doodle

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

Interview: Chloe Rogers

Today we’re joined by Chloe Rogers. Chloe is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in fauvism and surrealism. The imagery in her paintings and drawings demonstrate a vivid imagination and she is very obviously passionate about her art. It’s very apparent Chloe has a wonderfully creative spirit. 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 draw and paint mostly, sort of mixed media. I use oil paints now, I’ve used Acrylic paints and added liquid soap and/or olive oil in abstract paintings. Most of my paintings are fauvist (impressionism with more color). My drawings are usually surrealist.

What inspires you?

Emotions, color, and Florence and the Machine.

I’m very emotional and I’ve had various mental illnesses since I was very young, I express a lot of my mental state in my paintings.

I love color, so, so much. If I had one wish it would be to see more colors other than our visible spectrum. That’s why my paintings are pretty brightly colored. I love it. If I see a particularly vibrant flower, I’ll stop and just marvel at it. “It’s just so… Blue.”

Music is inspiring to me, specifically the group Florence and the Machine. I have a weird painting inspired by the song “Rabbit Heart” by Florence and the Machine. It’s taken quite literally.

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

I liked drawing as a kid and art was my favorite class. But I never wanted to be an artist, I always thought I’d be a scientist like the rest of my family since I liked that too. A physicist for a father, an epidemiologist for a mother and an older brother studying microbiology had a lot of influence.  For years I wanted to be an Engineer. About 2 years ago after some intense depression issues and hospitalizations, I realized that science wasn’t really my thing. Art calmed me down and helped me the most through all of that. That’s why I got into painting, and I’ve known what I wanted to do since.

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Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Maybe it’s unique that I never sign any of my art?

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. Do what you love, and don’t listen to elitists that tell you art is worthless. Art is everywhere, art is priceless. I’m 18 and haven’t been to art school so that might make me a young artist too… But the point is that you should follow your passion. Also don’t be afraid to mess up. To be creative you kind of have to accept that not everything’s going to be perfect.

balloon

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Grey asexual. Demisexual might be more accurate but I rarely say that because no one really gets it, so I go with the umbrella term since that’s accurate enough.

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

Not in my field, because I haven’t been to art school yet or had any kind of art education beyond middle school, so I haven’t been with other visual art people as such. There’s a lot of ace prejudice and ignorance in my life, but I can’t speak for the field of visual art.

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

People probably 9 out of 10 times think it means that you just don’t have sex. They tell me I’m oversharing. I’m not oversharing! It’s just like saying you’re bisexual or anything else. Like of course that’s accurate for a lot of asexuals, but that isn’t the definition.

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

I myself am still struggling a bit with that, specifically with validation. So I’ll share some advice on that aspect.

I’d say especially to gray aces and demisexuals, or asexuals who are also in relationships that appear to be sexual, or are sexual. Being with someone doesn’t make you any less of who you are. A good analogy that I like to use is about cats, this is also very helpful for explaining gray asexuality and demisexuality to other people. Alright, so say you don’t like cats, you’re not a cat person. But maybe once (or whatever amount of times), you knew a cat that you really liked. But still with every cat you meet, you don’t get along, there’s lots of hissing and whatnot. You just aren’t a cat person. So, would you then call yourself a cat person? No. That’s why I call myself an asexual and not straight or something. I have one cat I like. And it took me a while to warm up to that cat in the first place. Never has any other cat appealed to me. I’m actually talking about a person, sorry. I love cats. I’m a cat and dog person equally. But anyway, do your thing and don’t let people be the sexuality police.

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

You can see more at my website: http://chloerogers.org/

There’s also a link to my Society 6 for prints on there. I’ve had no action on there so feel free to check it out!

resamplelanczos_fotor

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

Interview: Luke

Today we’re joined by Luke. Luke’s a two-dimensional traditional artist who does a lot of printmaking. In their free-time, they enjoy working with different sorts of pens. Luke is a fellow fan of surrealism (yay!) and draws inspiration from artists like Mucha. Their work is beautiful and bright, reflecting a truly wonderful imagination. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Warning: some pictures contain nudity

Al my boy
Al my boy

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m mainly a 2 dimensional traditional artist. I’m also heavily into printmaking which is something I’ve grown fond of in my college career. I work mainly with micron pens, copic markers and several other kinds of pens and markers for my more personal art that I do in my free time. I really enjoy linoleum cuts and etchings when I do my printmaking work. Much of my free time art is fanart as well as exploring different original characters of mine. As I grow into my college career, I’m focusing more on sexuality and gender issues, LGBTQIA+ issues, relating to my current situation of living in Kansas in the middle of the Midwest. I really dug into these concepts this past year when I created art very central to that subject and last semester when one of my pieces was removed from a show for containing non-sexual nudity.

What inspires you?

I have a very large fondness for the work of Alfons Mucha. I love how woman portrayed in his art, especially his sketches, are portrayed with lumps, bumps and curves. Many of them have double chins and large arms. I am also very fond of Chiara Bautista, who is known for her surrealist illustrations, and Peter Mohrbacher who is the creator of the Angelarium series. There are several classmates in my printmaking class who inspire me to create new and unique ideas.

I’m also very in love with the band Radical Face and draw a lot of inspiration from his music.

Ife drawing
Ife drawing

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

I’ve had the capacity to be an artist since I was a young child. I wouldn’t be where I was unless one of my dear friends taught and pushed me to be a better artist. I had a wonderful art teacher in high school who got me interested in becoming an art teacher. However, now that I’ve come to college the idea of pursuing a career as a printmaker has become more and more appealing.

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 use the same signature across all of my work that combines my first and last initial along with the year to keep track of time. As of this year I added the specific date to my work. Beyond that I can forget some of the little details so a special symbol in my work would be too much to remember lol.

Luke and Michael hats
Luke and Michael hats

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Explore different kinds of art if you can. I didn’t get to that point until college, but it was worth it considering how much I’ve fallen in love with printmaking. Also, references, references, references! I have boards on Pinterest devoted to art and character design to keep my mind fresh and looking at different ideas. It’s not cheating to take inspiration from other artists and examine their processes and end products. If you’re into drawing people, finding stock images of figures or look into specific blogs and DeviantArts created to provide stock model photographs for artists to use. Drawing from life and from photographs is the best deal you can really get.

Owl
Owl

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an autochorrisexual and autochorriromantic

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

Many of classmates are open minded and understand that there are differences in people. There is a lot of casual ignorance and remarks that assume that I’m heterosexual and cisgender. (I am transgender as well: polygender.) I am very open on my college campus, particularly in my art department, so having a certain level of ignorance and misunderstanding is sadly expected. When I do encounter it, I try to educate people the best I can.

Self Portrait
Self Portrait

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

The biggest one came from someone on my campus on an online platform. I casually posted something at an event and checked back on it an hour later to see a whole 50+ comment argument talking about how asexual people are broken, that it’s a mental issue, I should talk to someone about it since it was wrong that I felt that way. (I had in fact been seeing a counselor and I mentioned it once and we didn’t talk about it again since I wasn’t broken to start with.)

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

Asexuality is an umbrella term. I’ve taken this with the idea that words to describe my sexuality don’t have to encompass every detail and nuanced thing about my own attraction or lack thereof. Autochorrisexual encompasses my main and majority feelings of how I experience sexual attraction and lack thereof. Just because you experience sexual attraction once in a blue moon doesn’t invalidate your whole identity. It’s not like you have to be a “gold star asexual” to be an asexual.

Severus and Stone Ed
Severus and Stone Ed

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

I will frequently post my work to my Tumblr: http://he-sgotthebodforthat.tumblr.com/

And to my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/lukle_13/

Ed
Ed

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

Interview: Aaron

Today we’re joined by Aaron. Aaron is an incredibly interesting artist who works in ceramics. He runs Aberrant Ceramics and produces work that is inspired by a number of different artistic movements. His unique ceramics bring to mind Dali and it’s really fascinating to look at, as you’ll see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Chamsa

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I use “Aberrant Ceramics” to describe my work.

I work with stoneware clay.  I make hand-built ceramic pottery, sculpture, ornaments, and menorahs.  My style is primitive, grotesque, humorous, literal.  I’ve been working with clay for almost 12 years.  I have very minimal training in hand-building, but I’m mostly self-taught.

What inspires you?

Fossil organisms, especially from the Burgess Shale, Cthulhu Mythos entities, Parallel Botany, insects and arachnids, Star Wars, Dungeons & Dragons, cephalopods, tardigrades, Lewis Carroll, Dada, Outsider Art, Discordianism, Cannabis, eyes, teeth, spikes, tentacles.

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Eye Cup

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

I took a pottery class in 2004 as a social outlet.  It didn’t turn out to be a social outlet, but I fell in love with the medium.

I had secretly wished I could be an artist for a long time, but I never had a medium as versatile as clay before.

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Eye Pot

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?

My initials and the year.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I don’t think I’m in a position to advise anyone.  You’re on your own, young, aspiring artists.

menorah32.11
Menorah

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as a heteroromantic asexual.

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

I don’t talk about asexuality with many people, so I haven’t directly encountered prejudice or ignorance.  If I did encounter it, I would probably handle it with the magic of avoidance.

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Psychoeris

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

I don’t know if it’s the most common, but my favorite misconception is the one in which the other party insists that asexual can only refer to organisms that reproduce by fission or budding.

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Rhino

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

Label yourself however you wish.  Or don’t.

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

Blog:  http://www.aberrantceramics.com
http://aberrantceramics.tumblr.com
http://www.etsy.com/shop/aberrantceramics
http://aberrantceramics.deviantart.com/gallery
http://www.facebook.com/aberrantceramics

I’m on various other social media sites under the name Aberrant Ceramics.

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Tardigrade

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

Interview: Christian De Mohun

Today we’re joined by Christian De Mohun. Christian is an absolutely fantastic visual artist who has a number of inspirations (a fellow Da Vinci fan!). His work is incredible and there’s a touch of dark surrealism to a few of the pictures. The wings in some of the pictures are so beautiful. This is an artist with a lot of passion for his medium. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

angelic wishes colour
Angelic Wishes

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art’s very much a mish-mash of things. Though I specialise in people, I pull from varying things I love – from surrealism to pre-Raphaelite to whatever emotion I’m working from at the time. Mostly I’ll draw something spontaneously. I’m not good at planning drawings out and the amount of times a single piece will go through re-dos entirely depends on my level of focus at the time.

bad day for scum
Bad Day for Scum

What inspires you?

Things that have happened to me, music I’m listening to – if I hear a piece of music that immediately puts a picture in my head, I’ll listen to it on repeat until I’ve finished it, for instance – varying roleplays I’m in and games I play. I draw inspiration from my favourite artists as well – Dali, Da Vinci, Hugh to name a few – and also from abstract things like emotions, my own nightmares/personal things, and from my transition.

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

This’ll sound very bad, but my first ‘art’ was graffiti! And not even pretty graffiti at that. I was a ‘tagger’ – someone who scrawled a nickname on a wall – though I’d occasionally do little pictures with it. After I cleaned up and found my now-fiancée, she asked me if I could draw angel wings for a tattoo idea she had. I decided to try, and she encouraged me to keep doodling. I never thought I’d be good enough to be professional, though, until I was accompanying a friend to a college induction and just for the hell of it I thought I’d look into the art courses. I showed my sketchbook to one of the lecturers, and despite not having any qualifications he enrolled me on the spot based off of that.

I took the opportunity with both hands, and I’ve never regretted it.

hooded icicle
Hooded Icicle

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?

If it’s not my initials – CDM for Christian De Mohun – hidden somewhere in the picture, it’ll be some little nod somewhere or – in the style of the old classics – the picture will be full of symbolism.

I like symbolism!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never, ever give up. Remember art is personal, and whatever style you use, you rock it because it’s your style. Never let someone dictate it for you. Learn from other artists – if you see a picture that has a technique you think looks amazing, study it! Don’t be afraid to ask – artists as a rule love to pass on knowledge because someone’s showing an interest. Even if you’re not pumping out masterpieces like you feel you should be, always be drawing – doodle something every day, whether it’s a stupid little face or something you use as a base for something bigger, ALWAYS draw.

jack angel
Jack Angel

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

This one’s a weird one. I’m a hypersexualised Ace, meaning I enjoy sex a lot but have no sexual attraction. At first I thought I was more demisexual as I am attracted to one or two people, then grey ace, but as I searched harder I discovered I didn’t really know what attraction was. It didn’t help I felt bad because I do have sex and I enjoy it a lot and I didn’t want the partner I have it with to think that I didn’t find them attractive, because I do, I’m just … not really bothered if I don’t get it. It’s like chocolate – I like it, if it’s there I’ll have it, but if it’s not and there’s none in the house I won’t go looking for it.

And just to confuse things further, along the way I also discovered I’m quoiromantic too – in other words, what the hell is romantic feeling and what do I do with it, does my best friend have a crush on me or are they just being nice, oh my god are they in love or is it platonic?! About the only thing I know for sure is I’m in love with both my fiancée and my partner (yup, I have two in a happy polyamorous relationship) and they’re in love with me. Beyond that … nope.

jack comic tryout
Jack

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

Personally? No. I’ve had prejudice for being trans, but not Ace. However, I’ve seen the erasure and such and some prejudice towards my fiancée and when I didn’t know better and was – frankly – dumb I was just as bad with said erasure and ignorance. Luckily, through no small part of my fiancée’s patience, I got better.

Oh, there was the fact we aren’t really welcome in Pride marches, being as at the time I was considering myself Bisexual and I’m trans and my fiancée was Ace. That wasn’t really nice.

otterme
Otterme

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

The sodding ‘reproduce asexually’ thing. That and ‘is your partner going to see a shrink about that? You’re really brave, I don’t think I could last that long without sex’. That was quoted from my tattoo artist, but I’ve heard the ‘you can go to a psychiatrist for that’ from too many people. The ‘you haven’t had a real man in the sheets’ was one particularly hurtful one towards my fiancée, as in one fell swoop they’d erased her sexuality and misgendered me at the same time.

phoenix
Phoenix

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

Screw ’em. Remember, they aren’t in your head, they can never know how you perceive and think, what you enjoy or why. It’s not up to them what you identify as, they’re only labeling you against their own desires and perceptions. Do your research, find what makes you comfortable, find your safe place and stand proud. It’s also none of their business – you don’t NEED to ‘come out’, you don’t have to tell them anything.

You are not broken. You are not alone. And you do not need to force yourself to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You are you, and unique, and strong. Be proud of that fact.

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

These days, it’s pretty exclusively found here on Tumblr at http://rimewasted-icequeen.tumblr.com/tagged/mine – though I will warn, I do have NSFW pieces. They’re tagged, though, so if you have Tumblr Savior or a similar blocker that has ‘NSFW’ added they shouldn’t show up. I hope.

remix
Remix

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

Signal Boost: Burning Down Dollhouses

Hello all!

Another signal boost for the weekend. A while back, I interviewed Jai of Madjaw Dolls for this site. I was really impressed with her work: it was incredibly colorful and bright, yet there was also this fantastic touch of surrealism to it. Jai is really versatile and has this fabulous unique style. Her fashion is unique and I just enjoy looking at it. It’s not everybody’s cup of tea, but that’s the same with all art.

Jai recently started a webcomic called “Burning Down Dollhouses” and it demonstrates her unique eye. Here’s the summary from her site:

“Being a newly engaged couple running on a low income is enough to test anyone’s patience. As is being two life sized dolls working in a traveling band for a companies that exploits more than it serves….

Jaimie Little-Bronze and her fiance Ben Wonder had their toys taken away from them long before they were even old enough to decided which toys they wanted to play with. Life since has been an ongoing struggle to feel normal in their own skin. It’s now the late 90s, they recently rented an apartment in downtown New York in order to perform in a band with Ben’s friends. Still, finances are looking dim, families are fighting and the worry of addiction hits closer to home than either are willing to admit.

It’s the toys that take the stage in the world of “Burning Down Dollhouses”. Madjaw Dolls is a growing company where dolls can talk and the babies in the audience just can’t seem to stop smiling. Jai and her love Dyxxin perform in a traveling toy band under the rules of an old woman named Mads. Fighting for a promotion is tough and both are worried that Mads may have some other plans.Securing a stable life in a world without logic may get the best of them

Rated T: Some mention of abuse, drug/alcohol use, mention of sexual content and mild language. Not suitable for a younger audience.

Burning Down Dollhouses

It’s an ongoing series and it’s worth a look. Jai has created a dark fairytale, which really fits with her aesthetic.

For more information:

Personal site: http://www.madjawdolls.com/

Tumblr: http://madjawdolls.tumblr.com/

Again, both sites contain material that is potentially NSFW, so proceed with caution.