Interview: Keam

asexualartists:

Today we’re joined by Keam. Keam is a wonderful fanartist who is currently most active in the Doctor Who fandom. They write fanfictions, mostly one-shots, and also some long-running projects. When they’re not writing, Keam does a lot of visual art, including recolouring and photo edits. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Well,
I write fanfiction and occasionally draw fanart, as well as making a wide
variety of picture edits, icons and recolouring black and white photos. I’m
mainly in the Doctor Who fandom at
the moment, but have been around in several other book and TV series fandoms
before. Most of my fanfics are one shots, but I also got a couple of long
running projects. My drawings are always hand drawn and coloured in with
ink/crayons/coloured markers or regular pencil.

What inspires you?

My
never ending mind. Due to having ADHD, I got a mind that never slows down. When
I get into it, I can be thinking about a show or book 24/7. It also means that
there’s always new ideas appearing, encouraging me to draw something new or
write a new story. It never ends, and I don’t want it to.

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

I
suppose I partly have it from my family. My mum is a self-published author
who’s currently written 5 books, and both my grandmothers are talented at
painting and drawing. I’ve never really intended to be an artist in any
professional manner, but as I’ve matured as a fanfic author the idea of writing
an original book seem more and more appealing.

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 I particularly have any special thing that represents my writing
like that. I am told I have a bit of a unique pattern in my writing, which I
think comes from not being native to the language and there for using a
vocabulary and word combinations you wouldn’t see used by a native writer.

Otherwise,
I always try to include a tall, blond haired person in my fanfics. That’s me by
the way. The author standing there and enjoying her own work. Just a little
symbol of my emotional investment in my own writing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t
give up. It sounds so cheesy, but is there something I’ve learned it is that
it’s absolutely true. I’m not native to English, you see, and when I wrote my
first fanfic I still did not know how to string two words together. I was 13
and had five years of theoretically learning behind me.

I
had a dream in my head and with some help from my mother I managed to put it on
paper. It’s still published out there on the internet on fanfic site somewhere.
A horrific, self-indulgent drabble about pastel ponies.  But even if it was bad it taught me the joys
of writing.  Because after that, I kept
writing, one year after another, and now I’m five years down the line from when
I started. Today, I even spend more time writing than sleeping (it’s 10.30 PM
as I write this!). And for all that work, I really think I’ve gotten better,
too. Today I feel proud of myself. I read my fanfics and enjoy them and I get
good reviews.

Just
recently a work I’d done in collaboration with another friend actually got a
comment from the actress behind one of the characters we were writing about.
She loved it. Another of my fanfics  got
published in a fan letter/ezine for an American Fanclub in my fandom back in
February. I got a free PDF copy of the ezine as a thank you, and on the first
page was a content section with the title of my name proudly displayed.

All
this is a far cry from the pastel Pony drabble I wrote at age 13. And the
reasons I’m here, the reason I’m 18 and growing more and more professional,
getting more and more attention from people that you want attention from, is
because I kept going. Because I kept going, and I didn’t give up. Giving up is
the worst disadvantage you can give yourself, so please don’t!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m
a Bi/Quoiromantic Asexual who is partially sex repulsed.

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

Well,
as a part of the Doctor Who fandom,
Asexuality is always a hot topic. The show has 36 seasons, and during the
majority of the 26 first seasons the main character appears as though they are
asexual. A lot of people try to bypass this by referring to the character not
acting in such a way in the ten newest seasons after they rebooted the show.
There are a lot of fights over the fact that newer fans gladly write smut and
ship the character as of old with characters from the newer episodes,
completely ignoring the implied asexuality of the character back then, which is
hurtful. Mostly, I just ignore this and instead look up content creators that
treat the character fairly and knows to be aware of the characters implied
asexuality.

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

That
we’re incapable of having loving relationships, and that if you’re asexual it
means aromantic as well. Naturally, aro aces exist – I’m an aspec ace myself –
but it feels very ignorant and prejudiced to assume such things.

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

Relax.
Take it easy. It is fine to be uncertain. The Ace community is very open and
inclusive, and we’re ready to welcome everyone – even if you’re still
questioning or not quite comfortable yet. We’ll give you some friendly cuddles
and advice and it’ll be alright.

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

I
have several social media accounts!

My
Tumblr is at Gemvictorfromtheponyverse
My AO3 & Ff.net
is Pearlislove
My Instagram is at aesteticfandomdreams.

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