Interview: Eliott

Today we’re joined by Eliott. Eliott is a phenomenally talented Japanese voice actor who mostly works in the Homestuck community. When he’s not voice acting, Eliott also does some singing, mostly Vocaloid. He’s got a great amount of enthusiasm for his art, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do some voice acting and singing. I mostly voice act in the Homestuck community, but I’ve done other fandoms such as Steven Universe and My Little Pony, and I’m in a few original productions where I’m not imitating a voice. For my singing, I just cover songs that I feel like, whether it be popular songs by mainstream artists like Fallout Boy or Imagine Dragons or more niche songs like Vocaloid or anime openings. I also combine my VA work with my singing by singing as a character. Of course, this is mostly Homestuck because that’s how I got into voice acting, but that’s for later.

What inspires you?

For my VA work, it’s mostly anime voice actors in Japan, like Ikue Otani (Chopper from One Piece, Pikachu), Noriaki Sugiyama (Sasuke from Naruto, England from Hetalia), and Daisuke Namikawa (Italy from Hetalia, Eustass Kid from One Piece). I can’t really list off English voice actors because I just don’t watch dubs all that often, and in most cases, I prefer the original Japanese voices. For my singing, I’d say my number one inspiration is Case (hi I’m Case). Not a lot of people know of them, but they’re a musician in Wisconsin that some people might know if they were in the Homestuck fandom. Their music is super relatable to me, and I honestly aspire to be like them one day and actually write my music too, not just do covers. Other than Case, I enjoy works of Fallout Boy, Imagine Dragons and Taylor Swift. I also enjoy Idina Menzel (voice of Elsa in Disney’s Frozen, Elphaba in Wicked) and wish I was as talent as her, haha.

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

As I briefly mentioned earlier, Homestuck got me into voice acting. I saw works of Zanney (Broadway Karkat) and wanted to be like them, and singing just came as part of the package since I tried to go straight into the voice acting/singing field.

I’d always wanted to be an artist, yes, and originally it was somewhere in music. Considering not many artists live off of doing only covers of songs, though, I was a bit discouraged. I mean, I couldn’t compose well just because of my lack of musical creativity, and I still can’t, and I’ve honestly come to terms with that. I know all the musical theory that goes into composing, but I just couldn’t compose. That combined with the fact that the entertainment industry is really a hit or miss, I thought that I’d keep this on the sidelines as my super dedicated hobby.

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 that “trademark me” type stuff, just because I work for other people and their projects. I guess the most unique thing is having people ask how I do my “Nepeta voice” which is pretty high and cutesy (imagine the range of Honey senpai from Host Club or Chopper from One Piece) when my regular speaking tone is much lower, and I try to use that vocal versatility for a variety of projects. Then again, I’m starting HRT soon so I won’t be able to do it anymore, haha.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up. I know it’s been said countless times, but just don’t give up. Unless you’re a prodigy, you won’t get cast in the first production you auditioned for, and you won’t get a million notes on your first song that you post. Show it to friends and boost it, but you’ll only really get two or three notes. That’s not your fault, and it doesn’t mean that you’re bad at it. It just means that people don’t know you yet. Keep working, keep improving, and keep faith. With time, there will come a time when people will recognize you at conventions or just online through your voice.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m an asexual. I say I’m homoromantic but I’m also leaning towards demiromantic, but I’m not sure about that part yet.

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

I guess I have, in a way. It’s not a “aces are actually cishet and don’t belong in LGBT spaces” type deal, but a lot of the people who are trying to be inclusive of all genders and sexualities just … forget about asexual people, y’know? Mostly in the original podcasts, which are trying to be inclusive with leads being trans and/or POC and whatnot, forget about us aces. If they do remember, the label of ace is slapped on that one kid that appears in episode 4 for two minutes. Don’t get me wrong, not all podcasts do this, but it’s still really frustrating to see other marginalized orientations be represented more than others. We’re like the one percent of the one percent. No one sees us. Those that I’ve brought this up to, though, have been pretty cool about it, saying that they’ll either write in an asexual character or straight up start another podcast with an ace as a lead, and I think that’s pretty awesome! More to come on that later, hopefully.

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

“Aces don’t have sex” probably. I’m 21. I’ve had sex. I don’t really like it, and probably somewhere between neutral and sex-repulsed. I mean, part of my asexuality might have come from past trauma and maybe that’s why I don’t enjoy it? I don’t know, and I honestly don’t care why I’m ace. I just know that I am. Date at Cheesecake Factory? Perfect. Taking me to Outback so you can get laid? Back off.

Another is that because I’m ace, I can’t find people attractive and/or make lewd jokes. Like, yeah, I’m ace, that doesn’t mean I can’t appreciate the way people look and fall in love with them. For the jokes, especially, I’m pretty sure that I make these jokes because I’m ace. It’s just… I guess how I cope and a way for people to stay off my ass about being ace. “OMG are you a plant” is so old, and jokes are funnier and easier to deal with than that aphobic bullcrap.

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

Don’t listen to all the negative stuff that the media spews at you. They’re just uninformed and ignorant, and that’s their loss, not yours. You are 100% valid. Whether your asexuality comes from trauma or not, whether you love sex or not, none of that really matters in the end. If you’re asexual, embrace it. Find other aces who want to actually Netflix and Chill, binge ice cream, and talk about puppies. You are not broken, and you are valid.

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

All of my voice related work (reblogged or original posts) can be found on my voice blog at http://skylerva.tumblr.com. I made the blog before I changed my name to Eliott and that’s why it’s Skyler, but don’t worry, that’s still me.

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

Interview: Red

Today we’re joined by Red. Red is a fantastic YouTuber and a digital illustrator. Her YouTube channel is called “Overly Sarcastic Productions” and according to the channel, is dedicated to “sarcastic, yet informative, summaries of classic and not-so-classic literature and mythology, as well as major historical events!” Who isn’t interested in that? Aside from the YouTube channel, Red is also a dedicated visual artist who draws some truly adorable characters, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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A Very Asgardian Christmas

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a YouTuber with plans! My art is mostly digital illustration and comics, but I also write, sing, and am trying to get into voice acting. My channel is separate from most of the other visual art I do, which is mostly sketchwork, comics and illustrations for the worlds I’m writing in at the moment – currently my focus in that dimension is fantasy, but I’m planning on branching out. My YouTube channel is devoted to education, and is an attempt on my part to make stories and texts typically considered “boring” interesting for an audience with my attention span – that is to say, short. It’s also great practice for voice acting, sound design and music, and the number of frames I have to draw for a single video also means I get in a ton of linework and painting practice. I’m currently focusing on improving my digital painting and my voicework, and am planning on starting a webcomic if I ever find the time.

What inspires you?

Mostly other people’s art, heh. It drives me to improve my own work and experiment in new directions. Also cartoons! It’s a great way to learn and absorb a lot of voice-acting.

jttw
Jttw

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

Both my parents are artists – my dad is a writer, and my mom is a painter – so yeah, I’ve pretty much always wanted to do art in general. The voice acting specifically, though – I can’t remember what specifically got me interested in it, but it’s definitely a more recent development.

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?

Nope

mermaid
Mermaid

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, practice, practice. It’s the only way to improve. Look at other people’s art in terms of what it can teach you, not how much better or worse it is than your own. Don’t be afraid to try new things, and REALLY don’t be afraid to mess up.

And remember – perfection doesn’t exist. Your work will never be perfect, and that’s okay! Just strive to improve, and realize that improving doesn’t mean you were bad before you got better!

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Powerhouse

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual, but pretty solidly romantic. Recently I’ve started questioning exactly what my romantic orientation is; currently I’m sticking with “panromantic” as it seems closest.

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

Er, not really? The closest I’ve gotten is the occasional plant joke.

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Shard

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

That it means you don’t want a relationship. It’s a little rough being written off as a non-viable partner just because you’re neutral on the subject of sex. I’m not a robot, I just like cuddling!

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

Don’t be afraid to get it wrong. I went through a lot of labels before I clicked with “asexual” and am currently trying to settle on a romantic one – there’s nothing wrong with saying “I’m not sure yet!” or even “I’m picking a new one!”

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The Crew

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

My YouTube channel is my biggest endeavor right now, so by all means check it out! It’s called Overly Sarcastic Productions (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCodbH5mUeF-m_BsNueRDjcw), and most of it is summaries/retellings of old books and myths.

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The Tempest

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

Interview: Cat

Today we’re joined by Cat. Cat is a young and incredibly versatile artist. She does a bit of everything, from visual arts to performance art. Cat has a wide range of talents and seems to enjoy just the act of creating. Judging from her enthusiasm, this is an artist we’ll be seeing a lot of in the future. 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 do a lot of different types of art. I paint and draw, I write stories (fanfiction and short stories) and poetry, I compose and arrange music, I sing and play multiple instruments, and I’m an actress (mostly voice acting). And I’m a photographer. I do all of these, but I’m no expert. I just do what I love.

What inspires you?

Music, people, places, and events.

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

Well, I’ve drawn for as long as I can remember. I started writing somewhere around first grade and I never stopped thanks to a really great teacher. I started composing music in 2014, but I don’t remember why. I’ve sung forever and been in band for almost three years. I started taking theater last year but I think I’ve been acting for i-dont-know-how-many years. I started taking pictures back in … Oh, 2013? Probably. I just love capturing the beauty of the world in a moment and being able to let everyone else see it the way I do.p

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?

In my art, I have a really cool way I sign my name. I don’t always use the same name, but the ‘C’ always looks the same.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Considering I’m also a young aspiring artist, I’d say “If its something you want to do, don’t let anyone stop you. It could be great, but even if its not, as long as you enjoy it, then it’s worth it to you.”

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Sex repulsed asexual, panromantic

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

There was once. I was drawing some ace-pride themed picture and my friend asked what asexuality was. I (and my other ace friend) tried to explain. They just said something like “but you know one day when you’re married…” and it hurt more than it should. Actually, maybe that happened a few times. I don’t get a lot of hate yet, considering I’m mostly still in the deck and I have supportive friends, so when I get it, I don’t do very well. I try to leave the room and cool down emotionally instead of starting an argument.

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

“But one day when you’re married, you’re going to have sex.” or “But god made us to be fruitful, you’re going to have kids and sex some day. Its just how it is.” I get those a lot.

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

If you’re ace, you’re ace. And sometimes that sucks, because people don’t get it. However, its not going to change, or rather, it might, and that’s okay too, but you should treat it like it won’t in the moment. Like, when someone says its just a phase; in this moment, you’re ace, and it isn’t a phase. You can’t predict the future. Neither can those who try and tell you you’ll change.

I hope that’s good advice…

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

I just made a new Tumblr for stuff I’ve done! ace-of-all-trades.tumblr.com
Also, I have fanfics on Ao3 at ThatNerdyCat15 and poems and short stories and the like on Wattpad at ThatNerdyCat15

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

Interview: Puteri Hana

Today we’re joined by Puteri Hana.  Hana is an amazingly talented artist who does a little bit of everything.  She’s mostly a visual artist who works both in digital and with traditional mediums.  Aside from the visual arts, Hana also plays the piano and violin.  This is an artist who has a very bright future ahead of her.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Ace Closet
Ace Closet

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I enjoy drawing! I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a little girl. I’m currently a graphic design student, and I draw for my webcomic in my free time. I draw a lot of characters, be it my own or fan art of cartoons, anime, or games. I like to experiment on facial expressions and different art styles, and I love to use bright colours in my work. I used to only draw animals as a child, but I started drawing humans when I was around 11. I started with an anime style, but now I’m starting to lean towards a more Western style, while also developing my own style. When I’m not drawing digitally, I love to draw with pencils and pens, and colour with markers and/or watercolour paints.

Besides drawing, I also like to sew plush toys and make props, like I did and still do for school clubs and cosplay. I play piano and violin and I used to be in my school orchestra as a violinist. I’m currently taking acting classes as an extra activity in my pastime in order to improve my skills in my voice over work.

What inspires you?

My sister was my first inspiration; she was the one who got me to start drawing at a very young age. The cartoons I watched on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network were and still are a big part of my inspiration for art; not only the shows as a whole but also specific characters and music. I was inspired by a lot of manga to start drawing comics.

Hana in a Skirt
Hana in a Skirt

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

I would have to answer “cartoons” again! Almost my whole life revolved around the animated shows and movies I watch. I even learned how to speak English from the cartoons I watched. Yes, I have always wanted to be an artist, but I never knew which kind, until I started reading “Naruto” which inspired me to become an illustrator.

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 that I know of, though I always seem to draw myself as a character in a green T-shirt with a yellow star and green earrings. Does that count? :B

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop doing what you’re doing! If it makes you happy, then keep going. Try anything you want and everything you can, and keep practicing to get better and better at it. Just be patient with yourself and your work will all be worth it. When someone says you can’t, you show them you can. Never, ever give up!

Raaaaain for Nandos
Raaaaain for Nandos

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual. I spent six years of my life thinking I was bisexual until just recently when I became very interested in learning more about “people like me” and did a lot of research on the LGBTQIA+ spectrums, heh!

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

Yes, both online and in real life. I tried explaining all I could from my own experience to them and when that didn’t work, I linked them to some websites explaining asexuality in a more detailed manner.

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

“Oh, that means you’re straight and just haven’t found the right man for you yet. You will want to do ‘it’ and bear children when you’re older.”

Skylanaffie
Skylanaffie

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

You are not alone. Sexual orientation is very fluid and nobody can say otherwise. You will be loved and accepted by the right people in your life; and until then, don’t give up. There will always be people who frustrate you, but just be patient. If and when they are willing to learn, give them a chance. If not, they will when we aces take over the world (okay, no). I love you all in the most asexual way (heehee!) ❤

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

You can look at my drawings and other artworks on my deviantART http://flowerbanana.deviantart.com/ and read my webcomic(s) on Tapastic http://tapastic.com/flowerbanana

Trickster Gurls
Trickster Gurls

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