Interview: Allyzah Allene

Today we’re joined by Allyzah Allene, who also goes by Ani or Ani Fangor. Allyzah is a phenomenal visual artist who works with in digital and traditional mediums. They haven’t met a material they didn’t like and work with just about everything. Their work is brimming with detail and a masterful use of lines and colors. 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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Self 2017

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am an artist that likes to dabble in just about everything I can afford. I have worked with traditional mediums like pencils (graphites, colored pencils), charcoals, markers, paints (acrylic, watercolor, oil) and digital mediums (limited photoediting, mostly digital art). My goal is to be able to learn as many mediums as I can because I want to teach art. I also occasionally write, and recently began posting my comic on Tapas.

While many other artists have a “deeper meaning” behind their artworks, or a consistent theme, I find art to be most enjoyable when it is “whatever I feel like.” I don’t like stressing over incorporating hidden meanings and “how it may be interpreted,” but rather getting the idea out of my head. My art blog and my art tag ends up being full of random half done pieces and concepts because it’s not always about finishing, but expressing my ideas. (Perhaps not the best rule to live by, but as a student, it’s enough for me.)

What inspires you?

Most of the time, the deadline. Otherwise it’s usually whatever I find aesthetically appealing enough to draw!

For my writing and my comic, though, that was inspired by the lack of diversity in the media I consumed. I got tired of the same old “boy meets girl” plot/subplot found in most things I read, and especially, the lack of characters who even vaguely looked like me. Growing up, the books I read often degraded characters that shared my race or ethnicity, and I struggled with my identity until I was 16 (a mere four years ago). I hated who I was because I wasn’t white, and I thought that I would only be successful if I were like the white characters in my books—even then, that could be a stretch, as there were very few books with girls as the lead. I didn’t find out that I wasn’t cishet until I was about 15, and by then I barely read outside of the class readings, so I wasn’t as bothered by the lack of LGBT+ positive books just yet. In my junior year, I had my “if no one else is going to do it, I will” moment and decided I would make a comic featuring a diverse cast in both ethnicity, gender identity, and sexual/romantic orientation. It took a while, but I finally decided I had put it off long enough and started publishing pages early July 2017 as my 20th birthday gift to myself.

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

When I was in the second grade, my school’s art teacher brought a guest artist to speak to everyone. I don’t remember the name of the artist, but I remember being so intrigued—it was one thing to learn about Van Gogh and Picasso in class, and a completely different thing to see someone live at work that wasn’t my teacher. The way he worked was by covering a canvas with black charcoal, and slowly erasing it away to create an image. My art teacher later caught me trying to do the same thing while waiting for my dad to pick me up, and asked me if I wanted to be an artist when I grew up. It wasn’t something I had thought of before, but I remember being so happy that she thought I could, and I said yes. Since then, I have been on a quest to learn as much as I can about art so that I can help as many people as possible when I become a teacher.

As for writing, we have a rocky relationship. During elementary school, I had a pattern: I would love writing one year, and hate it the next. I didn’t really take it seriously for a while, even when I started writing and posting fanfiction. I found out about NaNoWriMo in middle school, and became serious about writing original work, although the passion and motivation is not nearly as consistent as with art.

Death Lingers_Allyzah Cabugao
Death Lingers

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 if I’ve been consistent enough with anything to have one of those! The closest thing is the stamp I use to sign my artwork (when I have it). I visited China two years ago as part of an exchange program, and the Chinese students gave me an approximate phonetic translation of my name so that I could have a “Chinese name.” I bought a stamp with that name on it to remember them and the trip, and I use it as half of my artist signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Besides the ever present “keep practicing,” I’d say “if you can’t figure out what’s wrong with it, put it on pause and work on something different; it’ll come to you sooner than if you keep focusing on it.” If it’s art, that one part will still be waiting for you to come back, and if it’s writing, you can always just type in something like “akdguhos” or “[COME BACK TO THIS]” and continue. (Just make sure that you go back to it before you publish it or turn it in!) You don’t have to finish everything in one go. Take a break, let your creative juices recharge.

Something specifically for visual art: we tend to hyperfixate on the small area that we’re currently working on. Every now and then, remember to step back (or, if digitally, zoom out) and look at the piece as a whole. Something might look okay while zoomed in… and then you look at the whole picture and realize that it’s completely misaligned or maybe the color palette doesn’t match the rest. I’ve worked on several semi-realistic pieces and realized that the “perfect nose” was too far right, or that it looked like the neck didn’t come from the same body as the head, because I didn’t look at the whole picture as much as I should have.

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Lumos

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual sex-repulsed, and demi-panromantic. (As well as agender/non-binary.)

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

I’ve been lucky enough not to encounter any prejudice in my major related classes yet, but that’s partially because I don’t know anyone well enough to actually care what they say, partly because I have headphones in during class almost all the time. I have had people try to get “creative” with their flirting though, automatically assuming that because I’m an artist, I draw nude people, and that I’d want to draw them … How I respond to them depends on how rude they’re being.

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

Ohh boy, there’s so many that I spent three years researching asexuality in order to academically debunk misconceptions and presented speeches about asexuality to just about any academic platform I could reach. (I’m no longer doing competitive speech as I switch to the coaching side of things, but I’m still ready to spread asexual awareness.)

The one that I hate the most is when people think asexuals are being childish if they state that they have no sexual attraction, especially if they say that they’re a sex-repulsed ace. I’ve had people say that I’ll eventually “grow up and want sex,” and when I literally had an anxiety attack due to a class assigned movie (marked UnRated and with no CW/TW in the film description, nor from the professor) that featured multiple explicit sex scenes and nudity, I was told to grow up and realize that “sex is an art form. You’re an artist, why can’t you appreciate that?” It’s frustrating that sex is seen as a major turning point in your life, the time you’ve “finally reached adulthood,” when there’s plenty of us who can live without it.

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Southern Belle

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

Most importantly: you are not broken. Your orientation doesn’t make you any less valid than anyone else! Remember, for every person that takes you down, there’ll be many ready to help lift you back up again.

Also, it doesn’t matter if you fit some of the stereotypes or misconceptions of asexuality or not, you can still identify as ace. Things like “you can’t know if you’re ace if you’re a virgin,” “it’s just a hormonal imbalance,” “it’s because of PTSD/similar,” it doesn’t matter if these are true or not for you. If you feel like asexuality is the best label for your orientation, then you’re ace.

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

I post my work on Tumblr with the tag “#ani amount of art” on both aniamountofart.tumblr.com and aniamountofsketches.tumblr.com; on Instagram/Twitter tagged #aniamountofart on artisticAllyzah; and my comic can be found at tapas.io/series/OMNI!

Marco the Mallard
Marco the Mallard

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

Interview: Sarah

Today we’re joined by Sarah. Sarah is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital mediums. She draws mostly characters and famous figures. There’s a remarkable realism in her work and some of her drawings are incredibly expressive. She is clearly very talented and has an amazing eye for detail, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WARNING: One picture in this interview contains nudity.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw art mostly of characters and famous figures. Occasionally I draw a subject of my own creation as a representation of an idea, but almost all of my art features recognizable subjects. Although I can draw realism using traditional mediums of pencil and paper, it’s frankly easier, more fun, and less expensive to draw digitally in a far less realistic style.

What inspires you?

Because my drawings are mostly fan art for things that I like, the love for those things is what drives me to want to produce art for it. I like the feeling of contributing something to the fandom. By no means am I a famous fan artist, but a few of my pieces have amassed some good recognition from blogs from that fandom.

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

Somewhat embarrassingly, although not uncommon, I became interested in art in sixth grade when I saw an anime-style drawing. I’ve always loved to draw, but I think that was the moment where I became a die-hard art fanatic. In high school, I realized that I should try my hand (literally) at styles other than anime, and branched into realism. However, my “style” is by no means realistic.

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. The only kind of recognizable element to my art is that I use very vibrant color pallets, and (usually) do line art in a non-black color.

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Feminine

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, and don’t get hung up on how “good” you are. Art should be about the fun of creating something, not the end result. Even if you think that something sucks, there will always be someone who thinks it’s really cool.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Well, this is a question I myself am still wondering about. For a long time I identified as asexual biromantic, but now I think I’m demisexual biromantic.

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

In the field of art, there is usually a bit more acceptance about someone’s self-identity. I will say that although I myself have been privileged enough to not experience them, there are some issues with asexual intersectional representation. Asexual POC aren’t represented well enough.

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

That asexuality just means you haven’t found the right person yet, and that demisexuality just means you’re not a slut (although most of us know that there is no such thing as a slut except those who take back and own that label). For me, personally, I did think I was asexual until I dated some (for a long time) and I developed sexual attraction for that person. One friend in particular has used that as “See? You just needed to find the right person!” justification, but the fact is that just because it was the case for me, that doesn’t automatically make it the case for everyone who identifies as asexual.

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

Some people really feel the need to label themselves so that they have a sense of belonging, and that’s okay. But if you’re stressing yourself out over what label fits best, just remember that asexuality is a spectrum and its okay to use the word “asexual” as your label no matter where specifically on the spectrum you’re trying to find out where you fall.

At the end of the day, the greatest sense of belonging you can have about your sexual orientation is not from a label, it’s not from other community members, it’s not from friends and family. It’s from knowing yourself, being kind to yourself, and accepting yourself.

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

They can follow me at pohlarbearpants and search the “my art” tag.

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

Interview: Ceta

Today we’re joined by Ceta. Ceta is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in drawing cetaceans (whales, dolphins, porpoises). Her work has an extraordinary vibrancy and is remarkably detailed. Ceta has a real love and passion 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 mostly do cetacean (dolphin, whale, and porpoise) art; it is a mix of traditional art and digital. My traditional art include sketches, pointilism art, and completed works in a sketchbook using a 2B pencil, standard pen, and/or Prismacolor Scholar brand of colored pencils. For digital, I use either a Nintendo 3DS with Colors 3D or a Wacom Intuos tablet with the program GIMP. Nothing too flashy but it gets the job done. My art journey started in August of 2005 as a preteen when I started cramming as many poorly drawn dolphins as I could on paper. And now, almost 12 years later, the works shown are the result of those days. I am currently attempting to expand my subjects to other animals.

What inspires you?

I had grown to love the form of whales and dolphins. How they swim elegantly. And seeing the result of what I draw brought me personal joy and satisfaction. Lately though my motivation and inspiration have been dry but I’m still trying to better myself. I want to one day be able to make extra money off of what I do.

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

As a preteen around the time I first started drawing, I read a series of fictional books called the Dolphin Diaries. The covers were beautiful, the stories of travel and adventure were great. As a kid it must’ve impacted me enough to start drawing. As such, from what I recall, I never really saw myself as that big of an artist while going through middle and high school. It was just a hobby that I did in my free time. And as of now, I see it being a side career once I improve myself enough; something to do to earn extra money on top of a main career.

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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?

All I do is my general signature, either my online name or first name. However, I recently discovered an art thief on Twitter took one of my older pieces and claimed as their own so I’ve cracked down harder on the signature, adding my username, real name, and date strategically placed in a way that’d be difficult to remove without ruining the entire pic.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

DON’T STEAL OR TRACE OTHERS’ ART!!! Seriously, it takes years and years to get art to look decent. By thieving, you’re taking away those years of frustration and hard earned work in a matter of moments. If you want to establish yourself as a good artist, start now and have incredible patience. Artists aren’t made overnight. Professional sports players aren’t born. Anything good you want in life you have to work for it yourself and take no shortcuts.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am fully asexual, but not repulsed or averse, and aro spectrum, somewhere between aromantic and heteroromantic (I think).

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

I prefer to stay away from conflict so I haven’t had anything firsthand. But I have seen posts on Twitter even just last night where posters say stuff like “I’m done with men/women, I’m turning asexual” and every similar post makes me roll my eyes and think to myself that that’s not how it works. I tend to ignore it though and move along.

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

That it’s celibacy/aces cannot date. Or that asexuals don’t have sex ever. The latter is a common viewpoint even among the ace community, and it kind of dismisses the neutral and favorable aces who do belong as well as demisexuals and graysexuals.

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

Be the asexy hottie that you are! There is a whole world outside of sex. You don’t have to have sex to be happy, and you can have sex and continue having sex even though it does nothing for you if making your partner happy makes you happy too. Having sex does not negate your orientation. Continuing to have sex while asexual means you are still asexual. You can date someone who will love you, those people are out there. And for the aro aces? Being a single pringle rocks! There’s no right or wrong way to be you.

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

I post on various sites, including on Tumblr here. The full list of sites to find my art are below:

Tumblr: artbyceta
Deviantart: cetasoul2
Instagram: art.by.ceta
Twitter: ArtByCeta
Colors 3D (www.colorslive.com): (at) art-by-ceta

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

Interview: Vide Frank

Today we’re joined by Vide Frank. Vide is a phenomenal illustrator from Sweden. They’re part of a group made up of asexual and aromantic individuals. Vide was also on a panel about asexual and aro issues at Stockholm pride. Their work is gorgeous and vivid, evoking an incredible amount of emotion, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a visual artist, which is a very broad term. I paint and draw both digitally and traditionally but have also dabbled around in sewing, sculpting, writing and jewelry making. I mostly stick to painting and drawing though. I use a lot of different mediums, like watercolor, markers, graphite, oil paint, acrylic paint, colored pencils, photoshop and paint tool sai.

What inspires you?

So many things, like music, movies, books, fanfiction, poetry, photos, drawings, paintings and real life. I’m very driven by my emotions though, so it all depends on how I’m feeling in that moment.

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

I guess I always had this fascination with art, I used to beg my mom to draw things for me and I loved to use my hands to create things. Art has always been a part of my life, although I didn’t really try to improve until I was around twelve, and it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I actually thought of making it into a carrier. I don’t believe enough in myself to actually take that leap though, so I’m studying to become an assistant nurse at a gymnasium in Sweden.

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

I don’t really have a symbol or feature, since I think I would grow tired of it and start to hate it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s okay if your art look like crap, your dance can be off or you could have fucked up that seam, and that’s okay. Perfection isn’t necessary, it’s just tiring. Keep practicing, keep making mistakes, keep working and someday someone will say that you did well, and maybe that won’t be enough, but maybe it will. Learn to love the journey, not the result (as cheesy as that sounds).

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demi gray asexual, which means (according to me) that I need to have an emotional connection to a person to feel sexual attraction to them, but it’s still very rare for me to experience sexual attraction.

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

In my field? No, but that’s mostly because I’m not very open about my “queer-ness” around my art. In other places? Yeah, defiantly. I mostly try to keep a calm and open mind when I meet these people, and try to calmly explain my point of view with examples and such. Most of the time they understand or we agree to disagree.

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

That we don’t have sex or that we just need to find “the one”. Both are complete bullshit, I can have sex with a person and still be ace, asexuality isn’t about our actions, but about our attractions.

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

You don’t have a find a label or figure everything out, it’s okay to just be. If the people around you don’t support you there’s always other people in the world, someone out of the seven billion are going to understand.

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

You can find my art on my Instagram at plantrot:
https://www.instagram.com/plantrot/

Or my portfolio http://vide.teknisten.com/

You can also buy some of my works at my Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/videfrank
(or contact me at vide.frankh@gmail.com)

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

Interview: Edea

Today we’re joined by Edea. Edea is a wonderful visual artist who is most passionate about photography. When she’s not out capturing the world in pictures, Edea also does a little visual art. She prefers working in digital media, but does dabble in traditional media as well. She’s an incredibly dedicated artist, 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.

My primary art form is photography actually but I also enjoy drawing very much too. Where photography is more seriously performed (school, courses etc.) drawing is more of a hobby really. Both I do more in the digital field but I also once in a while use traditional ways of creating photos and illustrations.

I also write a little but not very well, it’s just never been as natural as for example drawing.

What inspires you?

Other people for the most part. Although, this depends on which one I’m doing. When I draw its mostly other people’s art that motivates me to draw myself. When it comes to photography it’s more likely that the moment I’m in inspires me to take the shot. I see something pleasing so I take a photo of it.

Also my family is a big motivator; all my siblings are very talented musically, one of them even artistically so they always make me strive for better art.

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

To be honest I’ve always drawn but photography became a part of my life when I got depressed in high school. It was a way of releasing stress; beauty has always had a positive effect on me.

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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?

Not really, but I often use black and a vivid shade of red (blue) in my paintings. They are very recognizable – or at least that’s how I like to think about it-.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let other people tell you that you can’t improve. Do you! Try things that seem difficult. Challenge yourself.

And please do not worry about likes/follows/reblogs. They are not that important, the main thing is that YOU are happy with what you’re doing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a biromantic asexual.

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

Well, I don’t talk about it that much but when I do people mostly tell me how sad things must be for my boyfriend and that they couldn’t be with someone like me. Many have also told me to get “professional” help.

I’m bad at ignoring it but also too fed up to educate everyone on the issue. Mostly it gets to the point where I have to but sometimes people who have no will to even try to understand just make me so angry that I leave the matter be.

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

That one is somehow sick or that too immature and that’s why they identify as asexual . Often people also think that one is incapable of love.

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

If you have somebody that you can trust, then try to talk with them if you’re insecure or afraid. It might take some time that you yourself are comfortable with who you are so in the meantime try to make things as easy as possible. Just remember, you aren’t broken, there’s no need to ‘fix’ your sexuality.

It’s going to be okay.

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

The most active I’m on Twitter, Patreon, and Instagram.

But you can also follow me on DeviantArt, YouTube, and pixiv.

Oh and Tumblr too! I’m always happy to talk with you about art and everything else so don’t hesitate to contact me!

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

Interview: Adèle

Today we’re joined by Adèle. Adèle is a phenomenal visual artist who does both digital and traditional art. They do a lot of drawing and painting, usually a variety of subjects. Their work tends to have a bit of a surreal flair, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Pretty 3

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mainly produce physical or digital artwork, the subject matter varying depending on whatever I feel like producing at that particular time.

What inspires you?

Inspiration can come from the weirdest places, for me at least. Sometimes I’ll spend weeks smoothing out the composition for just one piece, and sometimes I’ll see a tree or a bird and think “gotta go sketch, NOW!”. I’ll take inspiration where I can get it, which I think is why my pieces can tend to vary so much.

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

I have always enjoyed painting, drawing- producing any kind of artwork, really. Something about the thought of creating something just from my brain appeals to me. Funnily enough, it wasn’t until after I stopped doing art academically that I realized just how much I loved it.

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Salad Ugh

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?

There’s nothing concrete, aside from my signature I think. I did go through a phase of including odd stripy socks in all of my works a few years ago, but they feature much less often now.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you can find the balance between doing artwork to put yourself out there and doing it to make you feel better, there’s very little else you need to know. Also, don’t let anyone tell you that your form of artwork isn’t valid.

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Zombie Briar Rose

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Aromantic Asexual.

For me this means never feeling sexual attraction towards anybody, and never getting romantic feelings towards anybody either. I wouldn’t rule out dating somebody if I ever wanted to, but it hasn’t happened yet.

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

Very little, and none that couldn’t have been avoided with sheer education about asexual people. I tend to handle it by either trying to provide that education, or just accepting that there are always going to be people who oppose me for various reasons: and it shouldn’t be my responsibility to work at pleasing them.

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

That it’s a choice, or that it’s somehow less valid than other orientations.

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

It’s perfectly okay to take your time with figuring yourself out, and coming out after you do. It took me six months and a whole lot of soul-searching to be okay with the fact that I’m asexual, but I’m perfectly happy with it and myself now. I’d recommend speaking out, if you can, so that you’re not alone in it. Also, should anyone want to, my inboxes are always open and I’d love to help in any way I can.

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

My Etsy shop is here- https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/AdeleSianArtwork
(use coupon code- ASEXUALART for 10% off)
My art Tumblr (where I try to post my works) is here- http://adelesianartwork.tumblr.com/
My main blog, in case anyone did want to come chat, is here- http://excitablesatan.tumblr.com/

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Pretty 1

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

Interview: Lon

Today we’re joined by Lon. Lon is a fantastic visual artist who also does a lot of crocheting and writing. She hasn’t met a medium she doesn’t like. Lon is an incredibly passionate artist who loves creating, 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.

Well I guess I should start out by saying that I draw primarily in traditional style using pencil, ink, and markers. But I do also dabble in digital artwork. I also crochet everything from blankets to hats to fingerless gloves. I write as well and I am currently, working on a novel which I hope to publish.

What inspires you?

My digital artwork is inspired by stained glass windows and my traditional artwork is inspired by old school storybook style artwork.

As for what I draw, I tend to step outside and look at the area around me or look back over old vacation photographs. I live in Iowa near the Loess Hills on the boarder of South Dakota and Nebraska. It’s an absolutely beautiful area; especially in the fall. I tend to pull inspiration for my crocheting from the colors in nature and what kind of patterns I see among the forested area near me.

For my writing I pull inspiration from authors like C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, R.R. Martin, Brian Jacques, Patrick Rothfuss, J.K. Rowling, and Ted Dekker. Each of them unique in their own right and amazing at how they pull all the pieces together. I strive to create as unique and indepth works as they have.

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

I started out drawing traditionally very young. I would see both of my parents drawing and tried to draw along with them. My mother drew mostly with charcoal or oil pastels and though I grew to dislike both mediums simply because I draw more finely I still admire how beautiful her artwork is. My father drew with pencils and ink. His style of more precise and realistic sketches eventually inspired my personally style, although I kept my moms more whimsical and storybook tone in whatever I drew.

As for my crocheting, my mother taught me. I distinctly remember watching her crochet when I was young and trying to copy her for years until my mom decided ihad enough coordination to handle using the crochet hook and string. From there I took off on my own trying to teach myself as I went and learning her more unique tricks and stitches along the way. The style of crochet I use was apparently invented jointly by my mother and my great grandmother and is unique compared to most stitching styles. I didn’t know this until recently when a stranger made thr observation but I am delighted to know that I’ve continued something unique to my family.

The inspiration for wanting to write in general and my writing is more difficult to pinpoint. I would have to say the roots of it started with my dad reading to b before bed. My dad used to read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and later Harry Potter with different voices and brought the stories to life. I would have to say that looking over that period of my life it must have been then that I realized somedayI wanted to create a story that would bring people together and create fond memories as well.

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?

As I touched on with my crochet work I use a unique stitch that I’m quite fond of but for my artwork I tend to combine a storybook style into everything I draw. I rarely use full realism but rather draw in a very stylized way. With my writing I strive to bring in detail without overloading the story. I try to “paint” the world I see in my head fro my readers to see as they read.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, study anatomy, do your research, and don’t give up. It took me nearly twenty years of constant practice to get where I am on all of my pusuits. Also for crocheting, make sure you’re stretching and holding your fingers/wrists correctly or you’ll hurt yourself.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’ve only recently realized I’m in the asexual spectrum but I’m comfortable in saying that I’m asexual.

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

Mostly I’ve seen ignorance or confusion with the few people I’ve worked up the courage to talk to about it. I’m not “out” quite yet as I’m still learning about it myself.

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

Just from observations on Tumblr and online in general I’ve seen a lot of misconceptions and denial. In person? Again I’m not out yet so I’m admittedly naive of people’s perceptions in my area.

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

Find a community, do your research, and I guess realize ultimately you aren’t broken. You never were.

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

You can find me on DeviantArt at Ecanusiofiel or StarryFeathers. I crocheting stuff will be up on an Etsy shop eventually once I’ve finished a few more pieces to post.

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