Interview: KC

Today we’re joined by KC. KC is a phenomenal author who specializes in children’s books. She wants to write for older children who don’t like to read, since there aren’t many books aimed at that demographic. When she’s not writing, she also enjoys doing crafts, knitting in particular. KC is clearly a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I knit as a hobby and tinker with water coloring and brush lettering on the side, but my real love is writing. I’ve always been enthralled by stories. I wrote a handful of books in middle school and high school, but they were short, dry, and lacking in substance. Now that I’m in college, I’ve become more serious about the quality of my work.

I like writing for children, upper-elementary kids in particular. Fifth grade is typically the age when kids decide if they love reading or could do without it, and I want to do what I can to hook the kids that might miss out on what could be a great passion. In my experience, there aren’t many older children’s books out there for kids who don’t like reading. I want to change that.

What inspires you?

In life, I’m inspired by the feisty women of history. Anne Sullivan Macy and Eglantyne Jebb, to name a few.

In my writing, I’m inspired by the people around me. The kids at my work who have big personalities and even bigger souls, but no one to take them seriously, are my muse.

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

I’ve loved stories from a very young age. My fondest childhood memories were spent playing elaborate games of pretend with my siblings, and weaving epic tales with my toys.

It was The Tale of Desperaux that made me want to be a writer. Kate diCamillo lit a spark in my eight-year-old heart and showed me the true beauty and power of stories. I wanted to be just like her and spread that spark to other eager hearts.

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?

For the longest time, I always had “green mush” slipped into each one of my stories one way or another. I’m still deciding whether or not I want to keep up the trend.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Find a community of artists to surround yourself with. I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without the constructive feedback and unwavering support I found in my high school writing club.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aromantic asexual.

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

I’m not out yet, so I can’t really say for sure. Interestingly enough, my roommate is also a writer, and one of her protagonists is asexual, so I’d say it’s actually going very well on that front.

At the moment, the most difficult part about being an aspec writer is that I can’t write romance. It’s actually really pathetic. Nonetheless, I know that many haven’t had it as easy as I have, and I don’t want to play down the difficulties experienced by the ace community as a whole.

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

That we’re cringy loners who made up an orientation to feel good about ourselves. I’m sorry to say it, but before I knew I was ace, I bought into this.

The main reason I haven’t come out is because I’m afraid people won’t take it seriously. I’m afraid they’ll think I found some label in the deep crevices of Tumblr and now I’m convinced that I’m not straight anymore. I very much wanted to believe I was straight, but that didn’t help the horrifying nausea I felt when I was asked out to prom, or the petrifying fear when the guy I thought I was crushing on texted back.

My orientation is not for anyone to deny, because trust me, I’ve thought about it a lot longer than the person who asks if I’ve ever had my hormones checked or the people who say I’ll change my mind when I’m older.

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

Give yourself time to come into your asexuality. Don’t rush it, just let it happen. I’ve spent way too many sleepless nights with racing thoughts. Take your time. Maybe you’ll find that you don’t identify with what you originally thought. Maybe you were right all along. Whatever happens, your identity is your own. Don’t let anyone define it for you.

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

I have an official author website, but as I’m not out yet, I won’t disclose it publicly. My inbox is always open at helpful-hardware-folk on Tumblr, and I’m more than happy to chat about anything, writing and asexuality and everything in between 🙂

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

Interview: Cheshire

Today we’re joined by Cheshire. Cheshire is a phenomenal visual artist and an aspiring animator. They do both digital and traditional art, favoring messy materials for traditional art. They absolutely love to draw and doodle, whether on paper or on their iPad. Their work shows a remarkable amount of detail as well as a wonderful use of color. It’s clear they have an incredibly bright future ahead of them, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an aspiring animator and generally fun-loving digital and traditional artist. I mainly doodle on my iPad (Due to my lack of a laptop), as well as in my sketchbooks (Three of them, lol). I enjoy working with pencils and watercolour paints, and because I tend to do a lot of self-referential and colourful artworks I usually go with the messiest materials (Hence, watercolour).

What inspires you?

Pop culture, Personal experiences, music and the world around me. I’ve been heavily into popular culture since my constant-cartoon watching as a child (Nothing’s changed.), which is why my art style tends to be a mix of both styles close to anime and western cartoons. In terms of personal experience, that all tends to be related to my darker artworks, and the ones inspired by things that have made me anxious or generally feel like crap emotionally. Music is because of my all-over-the-place music tastes, as for instance I could be drawing something completely cute when listening to a sweet love song, or something violent or angry when listening to metal (Which is most of my playlists), or something inspired by a musical. The world around me could just be someone’s outfit, an animal I saw, or the landscapes I come across on my adventures to and from home.

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

I never really had any role models for getting into art until I got into my junior year of high school. I had always like drawing, and have been doing so since I was five, but I never really wanted to pursue a career in it until I started looking into watercolour art at the start of eleventh grade, and then animation at the end of that year. I wanted to be a music teacher (I am terrible at music), a juvenile justice worker, a youth counsellor, but eventually settled into animation, as I felt that it was the best way to improve my art and share the stories I make up with people.

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! It’s not that I have a simple trick I’m not willing to share, but more that I just… don’t have one? I tend to do whatever I want with my art and what people see is what they get. There’s no secret to it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Your art is unique to you. Your style, your methods, your materials, they are yours. If you spend all your time comparing yourself to other artists you tend to be discouraged, and honestly, that’s the last thing you want. What you do what to do is look at other people’s art and their methods and be inspired, as in ‘Oh, I didn’t know I could do that’. Don’t compare yourself to someone who is probably also in the same boat as you. You’re doing your best, and even though that may not seem like much, it’s enough for you. And even if you don’t like that one piece you did, someone else will, and may even see it in a way that you didn’t.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m pan-romantic grey-ace. I don’t really know where I am on the spectrum. I mean, I’m not attracted to anyone in a sexual way, but I’m not totally against the idea of doing-the-do. I’m not sex-repulsed at all, but I’d only do it if I as completely sure I could trust the person I was with.

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

More just ignorance than anything. No one really knows how to understand it and I’m terrible at explaining it. Even then, I don’t upfront say ‘Oh I’m ace”, but more let it out later as I know the person. I honestly find it easier to just say ‘Oh I wouldn’t do a one-night-stand with anyone, and generally just… don’t feel a need to do it at all?’ It’s hard to explain to people when I don’t really understand it myself.

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

That I’m celibate. Like no, sweetie, I’d do it, but I just don’t feel like it. That’s all it is. I’m not resigning myself to a vow of celibacy because boy howdy smooching people is a nice feeling and I’m lonely and would love an s/o, but I just… don’t care about sex?

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

It’s okay if you’re confused. Your identity doesn’t have to be your defining point, so there’s no pressure to really understand it. It’s also okay to tell people. They may not explicitly understand what you’re dealing with, but telling someone can help you deal with what can be extremely stressful. And if people tell you that the A in the full LGBTQ+ acronym means ‘Ally’, tell them to fight you. The A can stand for Ally, Ace and Aro and no one can take your identity away from you.

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

My Instagram, Art Amino, DA and Tumblr!

I don’t use my Tumblr much lately due to school stress, but it’s serpentine-jellyfish. Between all the memes I post, I sometimes post my art there.

My Insta is where I post a majority of my art, from doodles to fully-completed works. I should get an art account, but honestly? I completely content with posting everything on the one account. My Instagram is serpentine._.jellyfish (temporarily changed for Halloween: https://www.instagram.com/serpentine._.spookfish/)

Art Amino I don’t use too much as it takes up space on my iPad, and is Serpentine Jellyfish. I post a lot of stuff there when I do have it.

My DA is the different one, and is Thoughtful-Melonlord. I don’t post there very often at all, as I’m generally just too lazy to log back in and out, and when I do post, it’s using the iPad app, which has terrible interfacing by the way.

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

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.

Southern Belle_Allyzah Cabugao
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: Orla

Today we’re joined by Orla. Orla is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in traditional mediums, painting specifically. She works with a variety of paints: oils, acrylics, and watercolors. Her work demonstrates a vivid imagination and a masterful use of color and lines. Orla is also a spoken word artist and her spoken word art deals with a variety of topics. 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.

Oh I always find this question so difficult.  I’m a visual artist and a spoken word artist. I love life drawing and portraiture and I work with oils, acrylics and watercolors. My favourite medium is oil pastels. My visual art deals with themes like nature and dreams and my personal mental health. My spoken word deals with relationships, (cultural) politics and mental health among anything and everything.

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What inspires you?

I like narrative poems and telling stories and I love spoken word that is really heartfelt and uses personal experience to relate to political issues.

I’m really interested in disability politics and justice and the work of community art with oppressed groups.  I guess I’m inspired by the idea of art as a tool for social change and personal narrative as a tool for empowerment.

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

I was a constant doodler in school. I was always confused about what I wanted and still am somewhat am. Hard to say what got me interested, it was always natural and almost compulsive to draw. I had a great art teacher too. I also had friends who did art and this all had an influence on me. I wanted to study art but was swayed by other opinions like it would never amount to a career so I studied politics and now I’m trying to combine the two. It’s only dawning on me in the last few years that art and spoken word are truly what I want to spend most of my time doing and I’m trying to work on that. I got interested in spoken word when I became unemployed after university and joined the Dublin Writers Forum. They were an inspiring bunch of people and introduced me to open mics in the city. I didn’t even know spoken word existed before then! However I love helping people and have a certificate in adult health and social care, my last job was in a kindergarten and before that I worked with adults with profound multiple learning difficulties. I hope to continue working in social care perhaps with homelessness until I save enough money to do a masters in art psychotherapy.

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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?

No. Although I go through thematic phases. I did a series of poems on free speech and I went through a phase of putting starry skies everywhere in my art because of a dream.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am one of those lol!

Do it all the time!  I wish I could take my own advice though as I get lazy and miserable often lol.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I spent quite a while trying to figure this out but I can pretty firmly say I’m gray-sexual now. Sex isn’t a big factor for me in relationships, the only thing I find ‘hot’ about people are their personalities and I’ve never had a sexual fantasy, I just fantasize about conversations haha. I’m hyper-romantic though if that’s such a thing and fall in love with everyone like a lunatic. I’m cisgender.

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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 so. I’m sex positive, enjoy sex and have a long term partner. People find it very difficult to get their heads around having sex and being on the asexual spectrum and don’t understand the difference between a need for sensual intimacy and experiencing other varied forms of attraction and not sexual attraction. I guess because the majority tend to experience sexual and romantic attraction simultaneously whereas I tend to only experience romantic attraction and very rarely sexual attraction with it.

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

As I mentioned people find it hard to differentiate between romantic and sexual attraction probably as I said because they experience it simultaneously. As it’s outside their realm of experience they don’t understand the concept of fancying someone without wanting sex. Also people seem to think you can’t be sex  positive or have sex at all if your on the spectrum. Basically it all boils down to taking the feeling of sexual attraction as a default and thinking sex is impossible without it.

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

That’s me lol. Do research and talk to queer friends.

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

www.sillical.tumblr.com

I also run a creative mental health magazine distributed free to mental health services, which you can find on: http://www.facebook.com/anomaliemagazine

And: www.anomaliemagazine.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: Lana

Today we’re joined by Lana, who also goes by Deact. Lana is a wonderful visual artist and writer. She does a lot of portraits of women and girls, as well as mermaids. She uses both digital and traditional mediums. When not drawing, Lana also dabbles in writing and tends to write a lot of short stories. It’s very obvious she’s a dedicated artist who enjoys what she does, 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 predominantly deal in drawn visual art and short story writing. My art is mostly self-taught and usually involves portraits of women/girls and a lot of mermaids. I use both traditional and digital methods (although not together) and I have recently picked up watercolour painting, but I tend to stick with line art and block colour. My writing is very vague and laconic and feedback usually deems it unsettling. I prefer short stories because the reader never really finds out what’s going on (also I can’t seem to stick with a long term story for more than a fortnight).

What inspires you?

With art, I’m inspired by colours, light, and biologically plausible mythology (e.g. mermaids coming in different fish species and the way the human part of the body would adapt to the sea). With my writing, I write mostly about the places I’ve been or have knowledge of, or situations and places that everyone has experienced (e.g. train stations, restaurants etc.). The familiarity of these places and the subversion of safety is a common theme in my work. Writers like Angela Carter, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King all contributed to the short story element of my writing style. The mangaka Junji Ito and the manga Fuan no Tane also inspired me due to their simple-yet-scary art.

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Restaurant Gothic

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

I think I probably got myself into art, and I think my first dream job was ‘novelist’. Not a lot of people around me growing up considered art a big part of their lives. I have always enjoyed creating things and learning new techniques. Handing impressionable thirteen year old me a stack of manga pushed me to copy the style and then develop my own further down the line. I tried to pursue art seriously, but disliked the way my education system taught Fine Art and dropped it in favour of Classics. The story’s pretty similar with writing too, only I have always excelled in literature classes regardless of my interest level, whereas art classes felt a little too restricted. A tiny part of me is always going to want to be a successful artist, though.

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?

Winged eyeliner, and I try to draw different noses!! Noses are pretty cool but it’s easy to fall back into the acute angle shape. In writing I tend to use short sentences and the second person ‘you’.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw what you feel and don’t worry if it doesn’t have a deeper meaning. Also use references and take specialised classes for your art form if you can.

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Reddd

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual. I’m not going to pretend to understand what my romantic orientation is doing, but I’m not worried about it either.

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

I study Translation. The first person I came out to was in my language class, who told me on three separate occasions that I would find someone later in life I’d want to have sex with, that I should wait until I’m twenty to decide, and that they thought I was “just afraid of men”. I wasn’t sure how to handle it as I’m a fairly reserved person, so I just never brought it up again. Another person who previously identified as grayace realised they weren’t (and y’know, there’s zero problem with that), and tried to convince me relaxing in a club would make me want sex. I don’t think I’ve talked to them since, as their insistence kinda pressured me to say I would sleep with someone if I loved them enough (which I felt very uncomfortable saying).

Luckily the majority of people I’ve told have been super accepting (shoutout to my cheer team for accepting me in a pub, of all places), and when they haven’t understood they’ve asked for clarification.

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

That I’ll meet someone and my feelings will change. I think it hurt the most coming from my mother.

Also ‘lol is that like a plant’

A friend once asked me if chickens were asexual as if a) I was an expert on chickens and b) I knew every asexual being that existed. Bless her.

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

Take your time. Try things out if you want, or don’t if you don’t want to. Never let someone else try to dictate your feelings to you. Don’t think there’s some sort of hierarchy amongst ace communities either – whatever you feel is what it is.

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

My Tumblr.
https://imdeactivating.tumblr.com/

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

Interview: Kelline

Today we’re joined by Kelline. Kelline is a phenomenal visual artist who does both original work and fanart. She’s a hobbyist who mainly does traditional drawings and watercolors, although she also dabbles in digital art. Her work is gorgeous, making expert use of bright vivid colors and lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Michelle

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My drawings tend to be human driven, I just really enjoy drawing people above all else.

I have my own set of characters that wander around my head, but as I can’t commit to writing anything about them, they’re not much more than vague muses that appear in my drawings sometimes. I have a bit of a world and a magic system that’ll also be referenced in some works but again . . . lazy writer.

I also do a fair amount of fanart, mainly video game related (Pokémon and Undertale are the most recent themes). I used to do a LOT of Nintendo fanart. A lot.

My favorite mediums are watercolors, colored pencils, and recently ink/pens/markers. I do tend to very lightly combine digital elements into my work through color edits or added effects, this is based from before I had a scanner and had to rely on Photoshop edits to make my photos of the artwork look at all decent. I also occasionally do digital drawings.

What inspires you?

Music, video games, nature, night skies and outer space, other artists, dreams, and I guess feelings in general.

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

Pretty much always! I’ve loved drawing as far back as I can remember. My first inspirations were my mom, she makes cool colored pencil drawings, and my grandmother (mom’s mom) who was an amazing painter. Plus I was an imaginative kid, and liked illustrating all of my stories and fancies.

My original plan for after high school was to study art and do it professionally, maybe as an illustrator, but my parents (who were kind enough to pay for my college education) wanted me to study something that would get me a quote-unquote “real job.” But the major I settled into “Digital Technology and Culture” (in a nutshell it’s basically digital communication and rhetoric), was a pleasant mix of writing and visual design, so I still have some graphic design work I do in my current office job, and I’m free to pursue art as my hobby outside of work.

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Reset

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 think so? I’ve been told my style is pretty unique, that’s good enough for me; I’ve never thought of adding a unique symbol/trademark.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Sorry I have lots of thoughts here:

Check thrift shops for cheap supplies! – Probably won’t have too much luck with more expensive supplies, like paints and higher quality tools, but I’ve found great grab bags of colored pencils, crayons, pens, pencils, and erasers at my local Value Villages. Part of why I have a giant shoe box filled with colored pencils. >w> I’ve also seen basic watercolors and pastels. You could probably find some sketchpads too!

Keep pushing through! – Almost every drawing I do there is a point, usually early on, where I absolutely hate it and want to scrap it. But over time I’ve learned that if you can push past that point, keep adjusting the sketch, add shading, change the colors, I can get it to a point where I love, like, or am at least “okay with” the drawing.

Don’t be afraid to erase! – This was a mantra of one of my college drawing instructors, and I still think about and use it. Basically if you just know something is off with your work, don’t be afraid to fix it, even if it means completely starting over. Don’t stress so much about messing up what you have now to not fix something that’s bothering you. If nothing else, I think forcing yourself to acknowledge and fix the error could lead to improvement in future drawings. But also keep in mind:

You have to stop at some point – Advice from an editing teacher that I also think about when I draw. If you’re a person who is a perfectionist or an overachiever, know that there’s never going to be a point where the drawing will feel 100%, completely perfect, flawless. Especially since we are our own worst critics (and also have spent the past 8 hours looking at the bloody thing), we’re going to see every little error in a drawing. But there has to be a point where you have to let go and call it done. It probably varies by artist, but for me it’s when it gets too exhausting to keep working on it, and I feel okay calling it done.

Above all, don’t give up! – Art can be frustrating, it can be emotionally draining, and it can be tough to see people who seem more talented or popular than yourself. But if you love it and/or it’s a part of who you are, don’t give up. It’s still so worth it, as an expression of who you are and what you feel, what you love and care about. It’s worth it to see yourself improve, and realize you’re creating things you once couldn’t, or better than you once could.

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Take Care

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual definitely, but I’m very unsure where my romantic orientation lies. I used to think I was hetero, but realizing I’m ace has kind of opened new ideas for me.

I think I’m either heteromantic, panromantic, or aromantic. Pan is my current thought, but I feel generally not wanting a relationship right now, so it’ll be hard to say until my heart’s ready for that again, if it ever is.

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

Ace ignorance is pretty common everywhere; I’ve never personally encountered ace prejudice, either in my drawing/art sharing experiences or in my past or current jobs. I see ace prejudice on Tumblr more than anywhere else. <_<

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

The most common? I don’t know, I don’t really talk to people about asexuality (I mean I ramble online sometimes, but that’s different). Going off of general attitudes, probably that “real” asexual people would never experience any kind of sexual feelings or enjoyment ever. And that they probably wouldn’t experience romantic feelings either.

It’s definitely a giant part of why it took me so long to identify as ace, and I think also a large part of why asexuality either never came up or wasn’t taken seriously in past romantic relationships, even when I was trying to explain to past partners how I could care for them deeply yet still be very disinterested in sexual activities.

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

Listen to yourself. If something feels right or really uncomfortable/wrong, listen to it. Don’t let others dictate what you are or aren’t, listen to yourself; you know your feelings better than those who only have an outside view. Even if you think it is “just a phase” and things will change, your current feelings are still worth listening to. If identifying as ace (or any other orientation) is what makes you feel comfortable and happy, do it!

And do your research; if you think something but aren’t sure, look into it. Find the science, listen to other experiences. Don’t just say nah and ignore your feelings.

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

In a few places!

DeviantArt: http://kelline.deviantart.com/
Tumblr: http://artsyagnostis.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SweetAgnostis

While mostly similar, there are some differences between them. My DeviantArt is the oldest, has the most on it, and where I’ll talk the most about my drawings. My Tumblr is where I’ll post the more personal thoughts or less finished work. My Twitter is pretty new and kind simple and breezy, but I also just started a Throwback Thursday where I’ll be posting REALLY old stuff, currently from the my first ever “sketchpad” I had when I was 5 or so, and might eventually move on to some of the sillier/wackier drawings I did when younger.

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Poketale Undyne

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

Interview: Haley

Today we’re joined by Haley. Haley is a phenomenal visual artist and crafter, who is also a seamstress. She absolutely loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a visual artist, and I draw mainly figures and portraits in ink and marker but also sometimes watercolor. Not only am I a visual artist I am a crafter and seamstress too. I like to create pieces that are trendy at the moment for much cheaper.

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What inspires you?

The diversity in the world around me. Everyone is beautiful and different in their own way. Also the internet is a huge inspiration as well I love seeing everyone else’s creations.

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

I always thought it was amazing how people can just create anything from nothing. My aunt got me interested in sewing she taught me to sew when I was about eight years old.

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 signature on my artwork, the H in my name is somewhat shaped like a star.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up on yourself. There will be artists who are better at what you do than you. You might look up to them or you might despise them because they’re younger than you and better than them. You need to remember there’s someone out there who feels that way about you.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am panromantic asexual.

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

I have had many people who ask me why don’t you make it sexier? Why don’t you make that dress shorter or the neckline deeper? You’ll get more followers if you design that character with bigger boobs and a bigger butt. I realize sex is all over in the media but that’s just not how I am. I tell them that I don’t want to and that it doesn’t fit my personality or just plain ignore it. Most often when someone is sending you hate or “suggestions” they just want attention.

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

The worst one I’ve encountered is that we are cold emotionless beings who love no one else, and that we have no feelings or passion.

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

I struggled with my sexuality for years… I thought I wasn’t gay enough or maybe I wasn’t actually asexual and I’m just pretending. I actually still struggle with my identity, and I probably will for a long time and that’s okay, take your time to figure it all out and don’t feel like you have to come out to anyone. Also, most importantly, don’t forget it’s okay to talk to someone about it all. I have a really close and amazing best friend who I talked to about my whole mess.

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

My art Tumblr, teaandsketchbooks is probably the best place to find it.

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