Interview: Erik Soriano

Today we’re joined by Erik Soriano. Erik is a wonderful visual artist from Miami, Florida with a very unique style. An emerging artist, he takes his inspiration from the Pop Art movement of the 60s and artists such as Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein. Having recently discovered his own asexuality, Erik has used his art to explore human bodies and sexuality through a visual medium. He started out doing mostly digital art but has recently branched out into acrylic paints. It’s clear he’s a dedicated artist with a bright future ahead of him. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WARNING: Some images in this interview contain nudity.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Ever since I re-discovered myself as an artist last year, I have been fascinated with the Pop Art movement of the 1960s, which in a way, is still prominent in our contemporary time. So far I have explored everyday objects, as well as sexuality and the human body as subject matters. I also have a fascination with typography as I am a graphic designer, and I love seeing typography on the human body. I’ve mostly worked with digital software, but I recently took on painting with acrylics, but I’m open to experimenting with other idea as I keep discovering myself.

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What inspires you?

As I mentioned earlier, Pop Art, the work of the masters, Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Jeff Koons, and Everyday objects, such as food, videogame characters, ya know things that aren’t seen as “fine” art. But given that I am asexual (like everyone else here I suppose lol) I am not afraid to explore sexuality visually through art. I love the idea of sex, fetishes, or deep desires, I think we shouldn’t be afraid to address those topics in general.

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

I’ve always been a creative, and I’ve always been good at sketching and drawing since I was little. I remember always drawing my favorite cartoons while watching tv or playing with my Nintendo games, but I also remember very vividly creating a huge art supplies case out of an empty pizza cardboard box! I used to watch this art show on Disney channel called “Art Attack” and I got crafty and creative with that pizza box, good memories indeed. Too bad my mom threw it in the garbage a month later. Eventually I didn’t do art until last year when I came back to it and started doing graphic design and sketching, and here I am now. Still growing and learning but eager and committed.

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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 experiment a lot, so I wouldn’t say I have a signature style yet, but I have found myself using the colors hot pink, green, red and back and white a lot. I do have a logo that I used to brand myself as a graphic designer but I don’t really include it in my art, nor do I tend to sign anything. I let the art speak for itself haha.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to follow your dream of being an artist of whatever media or field you choose. Time passes by way too fast and you don’t want to end up older and saying “what if I had tried it” the hardest but most important part is actually starting instead of just saying “I will”. Also it may sound overrated and cliché but always practice, experiment, until you discover who you are and where you want to be. But most importantly, have fun while doing art, or better yet, don’t do art- but be Your art.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m sorry for repeating myself but, Like I said. I re-discovered myself in 2017, both as an artist and as a person. And after careful research and finding AVEN, I now identify as a Homoromantic Asexual.

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

So far I haven’t really experienced anything bad since I rarely speak or get asked about my sexual preference. But I would handle it normally and instead of getting mad if I am mistreated, I would educate those people on what sexuality is and what it isn’t.

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

The few people I’ve spoken to about my asexuality, just think that this is a passing phase and that I just haven’t “met the right person” if you know what I mean. They believe that it is impossible for a human being to not be attracted sexually to anyone.

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Blue Portrait

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

First, get to know and love yourself, if you ever feel weird or that there something wrong with you for not experiencing sexual desire like “normal” people do. Just remember that in your life, what you are and want matter first, and also research online about what asexuality is, the aven website is in my opinion the best source of information wherein you can actually join forums and ask questions and there are answers, you can also chat with fellow asexual people and such. But don’t feel bad for who you are, always love yourself first and take things with patience.

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

I am emerging so it’s not like my work has yet showcased at any gallery (I’m hoping it will happen soon) but you can find me on Instagram at erikgsoriano, or my main website: www.eriksoriano.com.

Thank you for having me! It has been a pleasure, and I’m looking forward to reading other artists interviews on here.

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Hylian Hero
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Snake Kiss

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

Interview: Caroline Kowalchyk

Today we’re joined by Caroline Kowalchyk.  Caroline is an incredibly versatile and talented visual artist.  She does a little bit of everything: painting, sculpting, graphic design, video editing, etc.  I was reading through the list of mediums she works with and was left absolutely awestruck.  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 make all sorts of art. I consider myself a visual artists because I try to go for looks that capture your attention visually. I paint, sculpt, do graphic design, video editing, typography, and most recently web design and game design.

My painting is pretty mood based, I just sort of paint how I feel if that makes sense, it’s a stress reliever not a career path. My sculpting is definitely on the weird side, but hey that makes it fun! I’ve sculpted things like elephant heads (yes, just the heads), a giant ear, a miniature rotisserie chicken (I don’t even know why), and just crazy stuff like that. In graphic design I do anything computer generated typography to logo design/branding and just about everything in between. Video is a true, true passion of mine and I plan on going to school for it. I love creative film especially advertising and creative film. I honestly think anyone can film with enough practice. Web design and game design are still definitely hobbies that I’m still trying to get a hold of so I won’t go into too much detail about them. The only game I’ve made, believe it or not, is a game about becoming Tumblr famous. The objective is to strategically move around the platforms which are hot pick keyboards and collect new followers and fan mail while avoiding crashing computers and hate mail. Your only defense is to block the user to get rid of the hate mail. Oh yeah and I also do a lot of photography.

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. I see something and go “damn that would make an awesome painting” or hear a song and just plan a music video in my head for it. I’ll see a logo that I can’t stand and I’ll re design it in my sketch book. I’ll think of a difficulty in my life (like becoming Tumblr famous) and make a game out of it. I spend a lot of time outside so I guess a lot of my art is “nature inspired”, but I like to think I’m inspired by living.

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

My cousin Kelsey Lancaster is an absolutely brilliant graphic designer, she got me interested in graphic design and type. My best friend Jordan Hyre is quite the artist and she motivates me to keep up with painting and sculpture. I really got interested in the arts though in about 2006 when my mom bought me my first video camera. That’s when it all began. Honestly, no, I never thought I could be an artist, and I never really wanted to be one until recently. A switch just kind of went off one day and was like “this is what you need to do for the rest of your life, this is your calling, quite ignoring it! Go to school get a degree and set up shop.” So that’s what I’m doing.

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

I like my films to be psychedelic, my pictures are mostly either very out of focus or very focused and that’s on purpose it make you look more, and if you ever see a sculpture of a giant ear in a museum someday that was probably me.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To all of you young aspiring artists (given that I still consider myself one) : You know when you’re half way through that painting, don’t know what your sculpting, realize that you left the lens cap on while shooting your best scene, didn’t focus the camera correctly, fucked up one line of code, or think that suicide is a better option than finish the game your working on, JUST FINISH IT. Finish the damn piece, keep the black video, sculpt some weird ass shape, keep the  stupid blurry picture, go through the code and find the mistake you’re- too smart and successful and talented to do anything half assedly and if you want to know the truth only 3 things can happen with all these projects, 1) you make it work and you love it 2) it looks like shit, but hey someone out there will pay money for it or 3) you fix it until you love it. Never give upon a single piece literally ever.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I consider myself a bi/pan-romantic asexual.

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

Well, where I live being gay is still very bad so I can’t really come out to anyone. In the art field however I haven’t faced any prejudice as far as I know. I’m a pretty “stand up girl”, I’m very confident and I don’t see how anyone could think less of me because I don’t want to hook up with them, or anyone else for that matter.

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

“It doesn’t exist”.

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

Go to an ace meet up. Join AVEN, get a Tumblr, email me. There is strength in numbers and I think the only way we aces can really be comfortable with who we are is to understand that there are people like us. We’re not damaged, we’re not weird, we’re normal beautiful people just like everyone else. Also, I really recommend doing some research and some soul searching, once you find a label that you identify 150%  with it makes it much easier to not only accept yourself but to come out.

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

Find more about my work by contacting me,  reaching me by email (kowalchykc@gmail.com)  is normally best, keep up with me on Instagram (carol_kowalchyk), visit my etsy shop (https://www.etsy.com/shop/BlabbermouthInc  yeah I know it’s really dead right now I’m still working on some stuff),

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