Interview: Charlie Ballou

Today we’re joined by Charlie Ballou. Charlie is a talented YouTuber who has her own channel, which she regularly posts videos on. She has been creating YouTube videos for over a year now and obviously enjoys it immensely. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I still think it is rather funny to see it called art, but for almost two years now, I have been posting videos to YouTube. Most of them are silly little things where I talk about details of my life, or tell a fun story, but, every once in a while I take a risk and speak about things that I feel are important, necessary even. I doubt my channel will ever become very popular or well known, but it is really fun to create content that could make someone smile!

What inspires you?

Lots of things inspire me! I look at the world around me and find motivations in as simple a thing as watching an ant pull something too large for its body, cats that are walking somewhere with some unknown purpose, or maybe the way my friend smiles when she looks at a text from her boyfriend. I especially enjoy seeing people smile. It is such a beautiful thing that I strive to give to everyone I possibly can!

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

Uploading videos to YouTube was something I started doing because it seemed so much easier to share a link instead of figuring out how to send an email with a chopped up version of what I had filmed at theatre rehearsals. Eventually, I realized how much fun I was having doing it that I started to upload myself with friends, which turned into mini movies, and that morphed into the regular YouTube vlogging format. Did I think I would post videos to the same site that gave us Surprise Kitty and Charlie bit my finger? No, absolutely not. Is it still a fun activity? Yes!

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 really don’t have anything special I do for my videos, except that I always eat chocolate if I am editing. There is something about chocolate that makes you much less critical of yourself.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Inspiration is great, but if you lose it, that is fine. It is ok to get distracted and abandon a project. Never force yourself to create something you don’t believe in just because you feel like you need to. That is how I ended up creating the majority of my least favorite videos, and I really do wish I had gone where inspiration led me instead of just doing what I felt was a chore.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am pan-romantic. The way I describe it to people who don’t really get it is that I love everyone, but lust for none.

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

My field is the internet, a breeding ground for intelligence and acceptance as well as hate, ignorance, and callousness. If I hadn’t managed to have some of that negativity directed towards me by now, it would be a miracle. I mostly receive positive feedback, but every once in awhile someone just goes out of their way to try and hurt you. The best thing to do is ignore it and move on.

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

A lot of people tell me that I am just not experienced enough in sex, and don’t know how to handle it, but I can confidently say that’s not the issue here.

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

Relax, there is no need to rush. Just be who you are and you will eventually find yourself, and then you will finding yourself, over and over. That isn’t a bad thing, either.

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

Well, you can always go to YouTube and look up Charlieisnotahipster, or use the link https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCaVV_cFmjMViZPtXI0iPF2w

Hopefully I can make you smile!

Thank you, Charlie, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.

Interview: EJ Oakley

Today we’re joined by EJ Oakley.  EJ is another remarkably talented and remarkably versatile artist.  They do just about everything, from painting and drawing to music to filmmaking.  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 dabble in a lot of different types of visual art. I used to solely draw manga but I branched out from that and changed my style a lot when I started taking Visual Arts as a serious school subject. Now I do anything and everything from painting canvases to digital art, and I still find time for the occasional sketch or two.

Personally I love making glitch art and collages. I’m probably going to sound really pretentious but I really like how you can make something beautiful out of an error, or out of fragmented pieces of things that could come from many different places. I also like drawing with charcoal because I was born messy.

I also make short films documenting the times when I go out and do interesting things, which is not very often because I’m quite boring. I like filming things that people normally just pass by or don’t really appreciate, because it’s “trash” or it’s something that they’re so used to passing through every day, like a bus stop or tube station.

On the side; I’m the bassist and co-frontman in a band called Drop Bear. We don’t have anything up yet but I’m really excited for when we start recording.

What inspires you?

Other people. We have life drawing classes at school and I always get really excited whenever I find out we’re going to have a session because the human figure really fascinates me. It’s really interesting to see the body as how we all know it and then capture it and represent it on paper as something else, something different.

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

I did sort of always want to do something related to art. I used to really want to be a comic book artist. That was my burning desire throughout my childhood until I was about fifteen when I then realised I probably wasn’t good enough. Now I want to be a graphic designer, which is probably as much of a long shot, but hey, kids can dream…

In terms of my current “field” (if one could call it that) I guess I really got interested in it when I realised that people could actually make money doing what they liked, and I always liked the idea of representing thoughts and concepts in a visual, graphical way. Whether it involves drawing it out or chopping up a couple of pictures and pasting them together on Photoshop. In my current school and the school I was previously at I was (and am) head layout designer for several magazines in circulation around the school, and it’s a fantastic job.

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

I work with a lot of classical figures and busts. The sculpture sections at the British Museum and the V&A are two of my favourite places; you’ll probably find me there most weekends I’m free actually. I like contrasting these really pure, smooth images of human beings against glitches and errors and static, because that’s what life is really like; nobody’s that perfect in real life.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t do what I do, which is basically look down at your work and think, “Oh, great, that’s shit, I’m never making art again.” (I have to stop myself from doing this and give myself the following pep talk on regular occasions.) Art is a process and a journey, not a fixed thing. Make art regularly and don’t worry about consistency, you could produce a couple of sketches or a massive painting, as long as you’re keeping yourself moving down the path and on this journey.

You’ll constantly be improving all the time as you practice. Your style may change. You may change as a person and start to draw different things, or get better and worse at different mediums. It doesn’t matter. People change. Just keep going and keep moving and you’ll be all the better for it.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am biromantic; I (sometimes) experience sexual attraction towards those who identify as male but only experience romantic attraction towards those who identify as female. I’m not even sure if I’m describing this right.

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

A lot of people I’m friends with just do not know what asexuality is. Either they’re unaware it exists or they think it’s something other than it actually is. (I once heard someone say that they thought asexuals hated children. Although I do dislike small, loud children; I’m very sure this is not true of all asexuals.) If I try and explain it to them things generally work out, though. I’ve never been bullied or been the butt of discrimination because of my sexuality, thankfully.

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

Whenever I mention asexuality to someone, a response I get a lot is, “what, like plants?” Several people have also asked me if asexual people reproduce by splitting themselves into two. This is a real thing.

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

If you’re unsure why you feel a certain way, don’t worry. You unconsciously know what you want and what’s best for yourself, even if you can’t or won’t consciously admit it. Go with what you feel, and don’t try to change yourself, because that will make you feel even worse. And if you don’t know where you fit on the spectrum, it’s okay. You don’t even have to try and label yourself, or feel uncomfortable if you don’t fully fit under one umbrella or another. You won’t ever be asked to sit down and describe your sexuality in three words or less. That doesn’t happen. Really, it doesn’t.

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

My work is scattered all over the Internet:

My “official” art portfolio (for bidniss only aaiiight?) is at http://waterjump.tumblr.com

My art/personal Instagram (for sketches and small stuff, this is updated more often than the portfolio) is at http://instagram.com/doyjivision

My Instagram for photography is at http://instagram.com/totalstrifeforever

I have a YouTube account for films at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCF4oDxHbDSHd68zAkXDRcbA

And I also have a YouTube account for covers of songs I like at https://www.youtube.com/user/snowpatrolling

I have a Bandcamp for the previous band I was in (which is now broken up but you’re still welcome to enjoy the tunes) which is at http://thefountainkings.bandcamp.com

And I have a mostly abandoned Wattpad account (which I might revive soon, but if you’d like to read the half-finished story on there that would be brill) at http://wattpad.com/user/hallidays

If you want to follow my main (music-oriented and sometimes personally-oriented too) blog you can find me at http://roryloveless.tumblr.com

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Thank you so much, EJ, for taking the time to participate in this interview and this project.  It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Roberta “Iso” Singer

Today we’re joined by Roberta “Iso” Singer.  Roberta is a “Let’s Player” on YouTube.  She’s our first YouTuber on Asexual Artists, which is exciting.  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’m a YouTuber, I primarily work with Let’s Plays and have started working on some fun vlogging. I try to keep Iso Plays Games in line with either low cost gaming or retro games, also stuff that isn’t done a lot on YouTube. My primary gaming platform is PC and emulators.

What inspires you?

I’m heavily inspired by Markiplier, who’s a very positive individual and has motivated me to be creative with my commentary as well as to expand out to vlogging. Other YouTubers that got me inspired have been Pyschadelicsnake, someone I’ve been watching since he first started out on YouTube and the Game Grumps with their creative videos and editing have been a pretty big inspiration.

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

I’ve been interested in video work since high school after being a part of a TV show and learning how to film and edit. I’ve always wanted to work with some form of art, be it video editing or writing. I spend my Novembers participating in NaNoWriMo with the hopes of hitting something I’d like to rewrite for publishing.

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

My theme since high school has always been skulls, I got really into a specific brand of headphones due to their good sound quality and it’s sort of stuck with me for a very long time. I’ve changed the skull imagery a bit, but it’s still there with pretty much all of my videos. Even on my channel header!

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just jump in and do it. I don’t care what medium you’re pursuing. Just do it. Take the breath and put yourself out there. That’s what I did when I jumped into YouTube and it’s a slow process but it’s worth it because you’re doing something you want to do and hopefully love!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’ve found I comfortably fit under straight asexual. I feel zero drive or sexual attraction, but I do find people to be pretty.

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

I thankfully have not encountered any prejudice or ignorance while doing things on YouTube. I have both my Tumblr and YouTube channel connected so that people have the opportunity to talk to me about it if it comes up. Which it doesn’t often.

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

That we’re cold unfeeling machines. Which isn’t true, asexuals can be really affectionate, but that’s all we really want or do, is affection!

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

There’s a post on Tumblr dealing with labels, “as any cat owner will tell you, getting in a box and being put in a box are two entirely different things.”

Don’t feel pressured to be a specific thing because someone says you are that thing, feel out what feels good to YOU. Because that’s who matters in this equation is you!

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

You can see my YouTube channel at https://www.YouTube.com/channel/UC6uKih1lQtlNlpiLSvtmxvg

You can also party with me on my Tumblr at
http://isotoperuption.tumblr.com

And I’m on Twitter as @isotoperuption

Both Tumblr and Twitter will have updates about new videos and projects I’m working on!


 

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