Interview: Emmy

Today we’re joined by Emmy. Emmy is a wonderful writer, fanartist, and visual artist. She writes a lot of fanfiction, but she’s also currently working on an original novel with a fascinating premise. When she’s not writing, Emmy does a lot of digital drawing. She hopes to one day to write and draw a graphic novel. It’s clear Emmy’s both a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. lionfishrhett
Lion Fishrhett

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write mostly fan fiction, however I’m working on writing an original novel! It’s a story about a salty, magicless witch named Felix, who lives with his aunts and older sister – powerful witches who keep the peace between all of the magical creatures in their coastal town of Hagstone Grove. When an obnoxious vampire named Rhett comes along, Felix tries to ignore his flirtatious advances while dealing with all the other vampires that seem to have followed him into town.

Other than writing, I enjoy doing digital art to relax. I draw most anything that’s suggested to me and more often than not I draw silly things for friends. I would love to develop my art enough to do a graphic novel someday as well so that my writing and art can come together to make something amazing!

2. birbboiwifhimbigwings
Birb Boi with his Big Wings

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from life in general. My friends and family, music, other content, etc. I’m inspired most when I talk to people who read my stuff because sharing my stories with them is a lot of fun!

Doing fan fiction helped inspire me a lot in the beginning too, because there’s usually a community behind it and you’ll often get feedback soon after posting. Plus, it’s easy to bounce ideas of your own off of the original content to get you started and spark up some creativity!

3. blacksea
Black Sea

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

I first started writing when I was about eleven. I had a cool dream I wanted to share with people, so I wrote it and other things that came to mind. I didn’t think of it as my calling then and it took me a few years of writing on and off before I realized that I really love it. I went through a quite few career choices during that time, jumping from psychologist to baker and everything in between.

5. TEETH
TEETH

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 put a lot of myself into everything I do. Whether it’s a large trait I share with a main character or a similar problem we face in our lives, I do what I can to connect myself with the story and people in it. To me, it helps make them feel more like real people, which in turn makes them easier to write.

6. hawkwardfelix
Hawkward Felix

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

This is going to sound cheesy, but never give up! You’ll hear it a million times, probably to a point where you think it’s stupid advice, but it’s true! There will be many –many– times you feel like giving up, or even times people will tell you to give up, but getting through those is unfortunately part of the process. If you truly want to be an artist those are things you have to power through. Just find the parts about it you love the most, hold onto them like your life depends on it, and you’ll make it through all the other crap just fine.

7. mudblood
Mudblood

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m demisexual biromantic

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

Not personally, whoever I’ve heard some people suggest that Asexuals can’t properly write anything on the…E-rated side of things because they, “don’t know how”. I think we all know how it works, even if someone doesn’t want it for themselves, thanks.

Sure, experience can help you write a scene, but I’ve written about demons and magic. I didn’t/can’t have experience with those and I did just fine.

8. wiiitchboi
Wiiitch Boi

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

A lot of people don’t seem to know about the spectrum and how everyone is different. Even though someone identifies as Asexual, that doesn’t mean they’re sex-repulsed or are prudes.

9. Kae
Kae

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

It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to never know for sure. Sometimes in life we never settle, and it’s perfectly okay to never pick a label if you don’t find one that’s right for you.

If you feel like having a specific label will help, then do some self-searching and read up on some to see where you might fit best. Remember, you’re not a puzzle piece designed to fit perfectly in place, you are clay meant to be molded into whatever shape you want. If you don’t 100% fit under a label, just find what’s closest and stick with that until you find something better.

If it’s a matter of wanting to be able to explain it to others, try to narrow it down into a few bullet points. Leave any of the super specific things aside at first and get out the main bits. If they still don’t understand, it may be best to just point them to the internet where they can Google these things for themselves. Don’t stress over other people not understanding because sometimes they just can’t/won’t.

10. hug
Hug

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

My fan fictions and original novel can be read in their first-draft forms as I write the chapters on my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/roboticspacecase

For anything else, I often post my art and writing updates on my Tumblr, which is here: http://roboticspacecase.tumblr.com/

4. Felixmagic
Felix Magic

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

Signal Boost: Interview for a Book

Hello everyone!

I have a very special signal boost today.

A while back, I was interviewed by an ace-identifying journalist named Angela Chen. I was very impressed with her work and followed her after our interview. Angela is an incredibly important voice in the ace community. She recently emailed me and mentioned she was working on a book. Not an ace 101 book, but one that would explore media portrayals of asexuality and activism among other things. It would explore ace issues from an ace perspective without rehashing old ground.

I was incredibly excited to hear this and kept my fingers crossed for her.

Angela contacted me a couple days ago to give me some even more exciting news: she found a publisher and her book is going to be published in 2019! This is incredibly exciting news and this book will undoubtedly be important for the asexual community.

Angela asked if I wouldn’t mind posting a signal boost for her and I obviously enthusiastically said yes!

Here’s some info she provided:

“I’m ace and a woman of color looking for ace artists who want to speak with me about their experience (with art or anything else). I’m especially looking for women/trans/non-binary/PoC/people in unorthodox relationships, pseudonyms are fine. My website is here if they’re curious: http://www.angelachen.org/.”

If you’re interested in speaking with Angela, she can be reached at the following email: a7chen@gmail.com

I really cannot say enough good things about Angela and I just know this book is going to be really amazing. So please, contact her!

Thanks everyone!

Interview: Battle Korbi

Today we’re joined by Battle Korbi. Battle Korbi is a wonderful young writer and visual artist from Croatia. He does a lot of writing in both English and Croatian, though not as much is posted just yet. When he’s not writing, Battle Korbi enjoys drawing and takes a lot of inspiration from anime. His work is brimming with color and an impressive use of lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking time to participate in this interview.

art1capture

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

First of all, hiya. My art… I am a hobby writer, and a really “sketchy” sketcher, so to say. When I want to talk about my literal skills, I like to point out that I am having a bit of a tough time writing on both English and my native language. I love to write stuff on English, purely because there is a chance of posting it online in the far grimdark future, and I could let total strangers see it and rate me according to my skills, and not who I am. Yet I also like to doodle with Croatian (my mother tongue), because, my works then actually get seen by who-I-know are real people, but as always, some people don’t like to criticize their good friends, so I might not get to see if I am really that great in the first place.

About my drawing skills? Yeah, I guess that is interesting. I like to take inspiration from anime, cartoons, more serious stuff, you name it. Few of my drawings here are random and don’t have a thematic that joins them. I don’t focus on a specific thing when drawing in general, but I guess my speciality is “caricatures” and making animesque characters out of… everything. I often go overboard with detailing, as I simply cannot stop adding those itsy little bits that make my scratchings look more complete than ever. Sometimes the amount of details would end up excessive, and to anybody who is not me what started as several lines ended up as mashed potatoes. I like to experiment with every type of visual media, and can safely say that I have made at least one of every type. Are they good though? Unsure. Are they mine and by default awesome? Totally. (Am I over-confident? I guess…)

Point is, I am a absolute noobface who is kinda good at everything, but not really a meister of anything. What is good that almost everybody I know draw for shit so by default I have amazing skills and flattery fuels me 😀

5. astera

What inspires you?

Depends on what has been happening, what had my eyes touched when wandering, what thoughts had been cycling through my dreams or inside my very lucid mind. I don’t have a stationary muse I could always refer to, I most likely harvest a single “sensation” and make stuff out of it, and then plant another seed and go on to another “sensation”. I remember that something flared up in my this summer when I decided to start doing a bunch of yaoi/yuri art. Stories and drawings keep pumping out of me, even though I had no “usage” of them. I had to remove all the art though, because… well, how would you feel if you find out your sibling has been drawing gay/lesbian softcore porn for quite some time? I reckon, not good. That is just a example though, one of many.

Currently I am leeching of WH40k, drawing Dreadnoughts and Space Marines whenever I get to it. I am also trying to imitate Jojo’s Bizzare Adventure, and I have a good knack of it, I may say. With regards to writing, currently I am trying out comedy, lashing out hurricanes of puns and silly jokes. My favorite “Airplane!”-esque joke to use is: “It sprawled all over the floor. Carpet, of course.” Or “He was soaked from tip to toe. From rain of course.”. Basically, rev up the situation like something dramatic was going on, then dispel it by playing Captain Obvious. This works with some context though.

 

IMG_20171113_213127

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

Lemme see… When I got a connection to the internet somewhere in my first year of high school, and a bit before, I started writing. I had been reading a lot of books before I “went online”, and was writing a bit too on paper. This single, quite slow and unrealiable thread of kilobites (yes, kilobites) where my only connection to the world out there. I found some creepypasta groups on Facebook, and I hit it off from there, writing incredibly bad stories filled with Mary Sues, miracles, and explosions. They sucked. Be it grammar (from bad English), the way story unfolded, or the way I told the stories. They never got much attention, but I kept on writing and posting every day, till I got better and better. I still dream of being a successful writer, but not really a full-time novelist, because such dreams are a bit unrealistic with my caliber.

About drawing? Yeah, I guess I picked up a pencil as a kid and just… did stuff? I guess I got complimented for my amount of details and whatevs. Out of boredom I gave my pencil, later my ink pen, a revisit during my later years of middle school, and just drew stuff every day til I learned to be a bit better than before. I might not have a soul of a artist, but damn whoever tells me I haven’t worked hard enough. I guess I want to be a proud author of a good comic someday… or a cartoon, or manga, or anime. I have not decided yet, but that doesn’t mean I should not warm up and exercise every day.

6. dip software1

 

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?

Eh, not really. Depends on the mood and the piece though. I might feel mystic sometimes and put “out-of-sight” details that don’t mean anything but a pat on the back for those who find them. I do like to pull references a lot. Like, it is easy to pull references to some anime/manga/games/shows/movies when you are living in a environment filled with people who cannot tell. Whenever I am writing on Croatian, and whenever I know that whatever I am writing will be read by someone. I make sure to pop as many references as possible, and try and pick up any reaction that implies that someone understood a reference. There had been a few people who got them. We became friends soon enough (my other friends became friends for other reasons, no worries).

Anything beside my basic signature (The weird number 8 with a K, two guesses to who it refers to) is quite rare to find in my works. Even I cannot find them. I reckon because I don’t do them too much. Sometimes when sharing my work I might get over-excited and spill the secret stuff almost immediately.

7. IMG_20171116_211958

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

First of all, create. Like, don’t take a break unless you have a important exam coming up, or if you have a big project to complete, or if you are crushed underneath work, or if you are getting ready to repel a siege attempt on your fortress, or if you are worrying about looting that store without being seen by zombies… Point is, create. Not every artpiece can be shown at a gallery or in a bookstore, they might be stored somewhere moldy and dusty, or incinerated, but the point is, if you won’t bother creating big stuff, take some time to practice your technique.

Also, if you are having issues with your creativity, try and tapping into your inner kid who considered Transformers to be super duper cool. If not Transformers, some other cartoon. Either way, you don’t have to make mind-boggling, ground-breaking or any other way “deep” art all the time. Take some time to relax, draw a super cool robot with flamethrowers and chainguns, or write a cheesy action scene with a hammy protagonist, or play a piece that could be used as a background music for a intense wizard duel. Make a sculpture of a space marine goring a alien. Alternatively, if you don’t like exciting and explosive stuff, then draw/write/play about/whatever something calm and simple, like flowers, animals, friends hanging out, sunrise, sunsets… Not every piece you make has to have a deep meaning behind it, nor does it have to trigger philosophical thoughts, breakthroughs or inspiration.

Last bit, learn to find, capture, tame and calibrate your intrusive thoughts and emotions. How many times a day you cross the road imagining yourself getting hit by a airplane (okay, maybe you don’t)? Just about how many times did you see a funny-looking person walking down the same road as you? And just about how many times did you imagine “Gee, what would I do if a terrorist came here and started shooting?”. Simply put, everyone daydreams. Once you learn to find these thoughts, you capture them, down on the paper or keyboard, or under a pencil. Then, you have to tame those nasty buggers, make them feel natural. This in itself is a process different for everyone. You might find it super easy, or tougher than a nail. Then calibrate those thoughts, make them a centerpiece of your new artwork, or implement them in your existing projects. It takes a while for all of this to happen, but remember, you are the one doing your art. No one is telling you that you should not bother doing anything else related to art. If they do, screw them. Caterpillars become butterflies, so do new artists become good artists, once you get enough time, sunshine, water, protein and whatever else.

redesign

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual… Bit gray I guess? I like shipping people and I find some people hella cute, but it never advances from there. I would like to throw in the “romantic” word here, but dunno where…

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

 

As in environment itself or the art community? Since I dunno anything about the second, I might give a rundown of things going on here around here. I had grown up in a religious environment, if not religious, then surely quite conservative. I myself am a Christian man, a Catholic to be more specific, and I cannot see any blame within my brothers and sisters when they become confused about my orientation. Specifically, I only told my classmates in high school that I am asexual. Reactions were different. Technically, I was the same as everyone else, as long as I did not like other guys, I was fine. There were some confusing moments, but high school kids can be accepting of that. And I still chuckle a bit from the time one of my friends said “Stop being asexual! That isn’t good!” in a tone of voice similar to the one given to people that text-and-drive.

I still have not told my family about it, though. Seeing how my (a)sexuality might impose a great deal on the dynasty (honestly, just a few huffs and puffs), I decided to keep that bit of info for myself. I would still like to have a wife and have a family, but I guess it would be tough when sex is virtually non-exist to me and physical attraction is a thing worth swapping for cake.

skeletoninquisitor

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

None other than a confused look and a “So… you like dudes?” or “So… your wiener is wrong?”. Seeing that I made a wise choice of hiding my orientation from people who don’t need to know, I have not got many troubles. I can still pour out some gold nuggets:

“So you don’t want kids?”: No, I would actually love to have kids. That are mine as well! No one is going to be a genetic father to my kids but me! I just don’t like the sex thing :3

“You sure you are not straight and pretending?” I guess I am sure. I mean, why waste time getting excited over people just because of their genders? Also, since when became all about sex? There is life beyond bed, people, and it is beautiful!

“I am sure you won’t be when you…” Nah. Thanks for considering though, but still, I have to refuse your kind gesture.

“You should stop watching anime, see what is happening to you! Next day you might decide to be a dragon or something.” Nah, if given a choice of what I would become, I would rather become a Aztec god of fitness thank you.

But these lines above are just what my closest friends asked. Everyone else just shrug their heads.

8 practice1

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

There will be people who will try and “convert” you, especially if you are a good friend to them and if you live in a conservative setting like me. Don’t let them confuse you though. Unless they are actively using drugs on you, remember that only you are in control of your willpower. Brace through, and be ready to hug the sunshine first thing in the morning!

I also like this line: “There is life beyond bed”. I like it a lot. Why? Because it implies a lot of things. Like, if you decide to head out and explore, you would see all those little things that matter in life, details that make a bigger picture more beautiful. The social media and the internet tries to make it all about sex. If you get laid enough, you are cool. Remain a virgin, and you are useless mess of tears. But that is just depresso propaganda limiting people from their inner lights, just to bring them down and break them. Depressos are trying to get through everyone, me, you, your friends and family. They want to blame you for things out of your reach, and use this guilt to claim superiority. They want to take your passion, and break it, so you can become like them.

The world needs passionate people to keep moving around the sun without trouble. The happiest people are the ones who keep with the world’s currents, the way the water moves, the way the rocks remain still in face of trouble, and the way fire heats. That doesn’t mean you should watch news 24/7. No. Just be passionate about you do. Be happy about what you do. Take criticism where its due, and discard the bad things. My father says; “It isn’t about doing what makes you happy, but being happy with what you are doing”, and my “There is life beyond bed” applies perfectly.

Anywho, check yourself for your asexuality. If all the conditions apply for you to fit on a spectrum, then you are fine! Asexual people are still people, people who can love others all right. It is just that we had been blessed with a opportunity to see daily life without sex, and to see where the true beauty lies. If you are a artist, a total noobface or a pro, you should be able to see what makes beauty beauty, and what makes sex sex, and how to capture each.

9. witchgirl

 

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

Uhh, I surely like to write a lot, hope I didn’t bore ya, fellow aces! Either way, you guys can check my lousy FB page here: https://www.facebook.com/battlekorbiart/ (Be warned, I don’t upload everything I make here, only when I remember it)

I guess, I would appreciate it if you people checked out my absolutely empty Tumblr blog: https://thy-battle-korbi.tumblr.com/

yeyy2

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

Interview: Cipher

Today we’re joined by Cipher. Cipher is a wonderful writer and digital artist who specializes in fantasy and supernatural stories. She’s currently working on a couple different stories at the moment, all of which sound absolutely fascinating. When she’s not writing, Cipher does some digital art, mostly character design. It’s very obvious that she’s a very dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. rheet1ttt
Rheet

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m primarily a hobbyist writer, but I draw stuff on occasion, usually when I have an exam coming up or an assignment due. I tend to write stuff geared more towards fantasy or supernatural, as I love a story with something magical in it.

My current WIP is about a pretty gold merman, pirates, and fairies (in the background). The main character is of Middle-Eastern ethnicity, and is asexual! His merman boyfriend is whatever the merman equivalent of pansexual is, and one of two primary antagonists specifically a sex-repulsed asexual man. The story features characters of many different nationalities (as far as I can make that happen with a fantasy world) such as African, British (Scottish and English), Irish, Indian, Middle-Eastern, Caribbean, and French! It deals with some potentially triggering themes at times, but it’s also a story about accepting people for who they are, and accepting that your first impression of someone may not be that accurate. Also pirates!

I also have a vampire story planned, which will contain a single father main character with a tiny child because why not! I have a secret “other account” that I use to write self-indulgent fanfiction because I have to entertain myself SOMEHOW. My niche tends to be more in writing gay romantic relationships or very close platonic friendships with a kind of found-family vibe.

Any art I draw tends to be really ridiculous and silly, or it’ll be art for my own stories or someone else’s.

2. Felix2
Felix

What inspires you?

Everything inspires me. My own experiences and emotions, music, my friends, other content I view. Sometimes I just really want to indulge in a particular thing, and if I can’t find it out there, I write it myself! With the merman story, I kind of inspired myself? I had originally written a short series of novels which I wanted to do a spin-off for. And I was getting really into merpeople at the time, so I wanted to include one in this spin-off. The merman character I created and his human boyfriend wound up being way more interesting than what I was already writing, so I scrapped the spin-off and started telling their story instead! I have specific songs I listen to for this story, and I also tend to watch YouTube videos (check out Stella the Siren!) of people in costumes swimming around as merpeople.

One of the big themes in this story is being trapped somewhere and not being able to leave, even though logically, it should be easy. Another theme is prejudice, another is acceptance (or the lack thereof, in some cases). I drew these themes heavily from my own life, and I feel that in some roundabout way, some of the themes in this story are an accurate metaphor for the experiences some people have with their asexuality. This wasn’t my intention when writing it, but this has wound up being the result.

3. Iris
Iris

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

I can remember wanting to be a writer when I was younger. I had big dreams of wanting to be a best-selling author like J. K. Rowling, I wanted to be famous for it, I wanted to earn lots of money! And it was primarily the Harry Potter books that got me interested in that. My first story ever was a (badly) illustrated retelling of Disney’s The Little Mermaid (ha, I’ve come full circle!). As I grew up, I made friends with similar interests. We all wanted to be writers, we all liked to draw. Since then, I’ve decided I actually NEVER want to be published as I’m content with sharing my works for free online where I can interact with readers on a more personal level. And my digital art is really just a hobby. I’d love to develop my skill enough to do graphic novels or webcomics, maybe open up a Patreon. But again, it’s nothing I want to pursue professionally.

4. Penelope1
Penelope

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? I guess when I write, I throw a lot of myself and my own emotions into the writing, and I NEVER intend for this to happen. It can sometimes make me feel very exposed when posting a new chapter, as I realise (though readers may not) that some of my deepest emotions and thoughts are out there for everyone to see.

5. azandkaensfinal1222
Az and Kaens

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Of course it’s important to improve your craft, whatever it may be. But NEVER let anyone tell you that your work is “cliché” or “unoriginal”. Guess what? NOTHING is original. Everything has been done before in some way at some point. What matters is that you have fun creating it, is that you enjoy what you do. You should have fun coming up with plots or ideas for drawings, you should have fun creating characters and giving them tragic backstories or smart mouths or the perfect physique, or whatever else it is that people like to make fun of others for. Indulge in yourself. When people constantly criticize you, and make you feel like you aren’t good enough to the point where you no longer want to create your art, THEY are in the wrong. You can’t please everyone. I once had someone complain that my 18-year-old Middle-Easter male character’s facial hair made him look less cute, and she would rather he didn’t have it. Like, I’m sorry my boy doesn’t fit your ideal “uke” aesthetic. My best friend drew a picture of him with a full giant beard and moustache as retaliation for me 😀

So first and foremost, make sure YOU are happy with what you create. Create primarily for yourself and not for others. Constructive or polite criticism, take it with a polite smile and a “thank you”, but learn to recognize when someone is genuinely just being mean. Remember that everyone advances at different speeds, and not everyone is perfect at everything.

Never let anyone, not even yourself, make your art less fun for you.

Some more writing-specific advice! In my opinion, a story is made up of three components. Writing, characters, and plot. Ideally, you want at least two of these things to be good to make for a story people will like! But in my experience, good characters are what work! They could be walking down the stairs for breakfast in the morning, but if your characterization is strong and done well, people will care about it. Pay special attention to your characters and creating them, and showing who they are in your writing, and giving them reasons for doing the things they do. Plot can be whatever you want it to be. Writing improves with time. Read a lot (professionally published works, really terribly-written fanfictions, the works!). Learn what you like in another’s style and what you don’t like. Utilize and borrow these things in order to refine your own craft.

Be kind to yourself! You’re creating art!

8. 64287995-256-k202908
Book Cover drawn by limey-art (on Tumblr), text added by shirokaneki (on Tumblr)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual, panromantic.

6. azzwefgth
Az

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

Not that I can think of. A fellow writer did once tell me that she really “didn’t get all that crap”, however given her own upbringing and where she’s from, it didn’t bother me too much. I also had a rather rude person leave a comment on my story about sex in the story’s future, and when I explained there would be none because my main character is asexual (and his love interest is half FISH), she became very blasé, laughed about asexuality, kind of implied she didn’t think it was a real thing. I offered to explain it in more depth to her, and how it specifically affects this main character versus the sex-repulsed villain, but she never responded xD

Most of the ignorance tends to stem from people simply not knowing what asexuality is – they’ve either never heard of it, or they have misconceptions about what it is. And that’s fine, because I myself knew nothing about it until only a year or two ago. The best way I deal with THAT is to tell them that it’s okay if they don’t know or understand. I give a little explanation, and offer to go more in depth with them if they want, or I offer to point them to resources. Most people I’ve encountered have been very pleasant about it. Those who aren’t, just don’t talk to them. And remember to use that block button if necessary!

7. Slade
Slade

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

The most common one I’ve personally encountered is that people assume I’m afraid of sex. They assume this is the case, and they think I say I’m asexual so I either won’t have to have sex, or it’s an excuse so I don’t have to admit I’m afraid. Generally speaking, this is not the case at all. I’ve also had people think I don’t want sex, or “there must be something wrong” with me because “everyone wants sex!”. And finally, my number one FAVOURITE – “you just haven’t met the right person yet! That will change when you meet The One!” You know what, maybe it WILL change if I meet The One. Maybe I’m specifically demi-sexual. Maybe I just haven’t met my type yet. But for someone to try to invalidate my current sexuality like that is NOT okay. I never have felt, nor do I think I ever WILL feel sexual attraction. This, however, does NOT prevent me from having relationships, from having sex (physically, thoughts, “alone time”, etc) or from living a perfectly fulfilling life.

9. Az & Kae (Anni)
Az and Kae (drawn by fairygodpiggy on Tumblr)

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

That honestly depends on why they are struggling. The main thing to remember, I think, is that you know yourself best. If you think you’re asexual, call yourself asexual. If it’s dangerous for you to “come out” you are under NO obligation to do so. Ace positivity is everywhere on the internet, which is fantastic! However, you are no less ace if you choose not to participate or contribute, or if you choose never to talk about it. Your pride doesn’t have to be loud. You are no less ace if you only SOMETIMES feel ace, or if you used to not be, but now you are. There are resources out there where you can find a more specific term for your sexuality if you wish, but if you think you are ace, then that is what you are and no one can tell you any differently. There is nothing WRONG with you. Hundreds of thousands of us have thought the same thing. “I must be straight by default” or “I don’t understand why she’d cheat on him” or “sex isn’t that great”.

Asexuality is such a broad spectrum that of course everybody has different experiences. Different circumstances, different emotions, different actions, etc. Just because you’re not like another asexual person, that doesn’t mean you are less asexual. You can absolutely know if you’re ace whether you’ve had sex or not. I knew from about age 11 or 12 that I was ace, I just didn’t know the term for it at the time.

And for those of you who, like me for a while, wished you WEREN’T asexual, I have this to say: you are who you are. You feel what you feel. I hope you can come to accept yourself and realise that there is nothing wrong with being asexual. There are people out there who love and support you, and fellow ace people like myself are always here to chat should you need it ❤ Remember, the world in general still doesn’t understand a lot about asexuality. We’re still trying to get them to figure out that being gay is a real and normal thing! For many of us, being ace isn’t always easy. But we’ll get there. Just have pride in who you are, avoid Ace Discourse, and live your life!

10. Az (Limey)
Az drawn by limey-art (on Tumblr)

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

You can find my writing here on Wattpad as well as an artbook that I update sometimes: https://www.wattpad.com/user/Ciphertext

I’m also on Tumblr where I sometimes post art, but mostly I reblog fandom stuff, memes, and Vine compilations: https://ciphertext-x.tumblr.com/

11. the future
The Future, drawn by roboticspacecase (on Tumblr)

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

Signal Boost: Book Trailer

Hey everyone!

I have a super awesome book trailer and an announcement concerning the eBooks of my series.

BOOK TRAILER

A while back, I interviewed a fantastic up and coming filmmaker for this site, Britty Lea. I was struck by her creativity and just the fascinating visuals in her short films. I remained in touch with her (she even moderated this blog for a bit). Recently, she started doing some freelancing and mentioned wanting to get into book trailers. I can’t even begin to describe my excitement at hearing this and soon commissioned her.

And man alive, did Britty deliver! Check it out:

If you’re interested in commissioning Britty, and I cannot recommend her work highly enough, check out her personal site (https://www.brittylea.com/) or her Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/brittyleafilm/). She’s a phenomenal filmmaker.

EBOOKS

I’m going to try not to swear, but no promises 🙂

Like numerous indie authors, I was selling the eBooks of my series through a site called Pronoun (which was part of MacMillan Publishing). MacMillan, without any sort of warning, decided to shut down Pronoun permanently. Thereby screwing numerous indies.

A week into marketing and I lost my rankings, which are important to indie authors, because of this. I’ve been forced to move my eBooks onto Kindle. For the foreseeable future, they’ll only be available on Kindle (I sincerely apologize for any inconvenience). The paperback distribution will be unaffected and still widely available.

However, this is a setback and a really frustrating one. People, I really, really need support in the form of reviews and signal boosts. And, of course, I need people to buy my books.

If you’re interested in physical copies, after Sunday, they’ll be available on my Square Store for convention prices (which are a little cheaper than online distributors and the money goes directly to me).

Thanks everybody! 😀

Interview: Jana

Today we’re joined by Jana. Jana is a wonderful young artist who both writes and does visual art. Most of her writing is fantasy and historical fiction. When she’s not writing, Jana does a lot of painting and drawing. Her work shows a creative mind and it’s clear Jana is an incredibly dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. meguminfinished

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write stories and also I draw and paint. Stories are usually fantasy or historical fiction, with dark motives, while my drawings are more positive. I sometimes draw illustrations for my stories but that is rare for me. I also draw Harry Potter fan arts, as I am big fan of the story (and also I have written some fanfics but they aren’t in English).

2. autoportretpodpis

What inspires you?

I don’t really know. The inspiration just appears out of somewhere. And then it leaves. Sometimes it’s a sentence I hear, sometimes an internet joke or when I see the view from my window. It can be anything. I have periods of time when I see inspiration literally everywhere and then it stops and I don’t have any inspiration at all.

3. liw-pribeh

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

I think so. I remember I liked to draw and paint since I was very little and I remember that in kindergarten I was usually drawing, instead of playing with other children. And I still draw when I have the time (also if I don’t have) and usually I choose drawing over chatting with friends in class. With writing, it’s similar. I write stories during lessons in school because it’s fun and teachers don’t tend to notice. They usually think that I’m just taking notes while I really am creating a story.

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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 always put my name on my drawings so no one can steal it from me (if it’s drawn on computer, it’s usually very big). That’s what almost everyone does I think. But other than that I don’t have anything like that. In my writings I don’t think I have something like that. My stories are dark and complicated, as are my characters, but that’s not that rare.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I am actually one of them, as I am sixteen, so to my fellow young artist: make art, do what you love and don’t give up. It can be hard but not giving up is worth it. If you love art, make it. Good luck to you (and to every artist here, you don’t have to be young).

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual.

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

Well, ignorance by my mum. I came out to here so I could make terrible jokes and puns but it has gone a bit wrong. Well, she didn’t believe me (she still doesn’t I think) and was quite rude about it, because “I am too young to know” and “I can’t be ace if I have a boyfriend”. A few months later she was trying to understand and was asking questions but I felt really uncomfortable so I just left. But now I think I am starting to be a bit more comfortable around her, like when we are watching some TV series and they mention something sexual or say that someone is hot, I usually make a disgusted face or ask “really??”. Apart from that, I’ve only seen it on social media and it wasn’t directed purely at me but on the whole community.

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

As I said before, it was what my mum said, that I am too young to know or that I can’t be ace if I have a boyfriend. Then of course things said on the internet and not aimed at me directly, like it is a disability or disorder or that we are plants. I like the last one the most.

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

To not try to unconditionally fit into a label. Take time. You don’t have to find it out right now, it’s okay not to know. I know it’s hard, I know it’s easier said than done. But don’t worry, you are not alone. There are many other people who feel the same and there are many people out there who will try to help you. Before I learned I was ace, I thought that I was lesbian (because women are cute), then that I was bi (because the sexual attraction I felt towards the two genders was equal – now I know it was zero).

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

I have an Instagram account but I don’t post much. I also am at Wattpad but I have only one English unfinished work published. I will try to be active on both social media (Wattpad is social media, isn’t it?) but I can’t really promise anything because I don’t know how much time will I have. On Instagram I am as Janethepurpleelf and on Wattpad as Fialová Víla.

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

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.