Interview: Melissa

Today we’re joined by Melissa, who also goes by Wolfish Arts online. Melissa is a phenomenal artist who does cross stitch. She creates beautiful works using needlework. She’s currently working on a large project and updates can be seen on her Facebook page and Tumblr. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I do cross stitching, which is a type of needlework. I
started stitching in September 2017 or so.

What inspires you?

My friends to be honest. Most of my friends are very artistic
and talented, and seeing all the hard work they put into their art makes me
want to do better with mine as well.

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

Cross stitching is something I’ve always been fascinated by.
When I was really little, I saw someone cross stitching and thought it looked
interesting and wanted to try it myself. My family was super poor though, so it
never happened. I finally picked it up last year after talking to my grandma
about it.

I’ve always been surrounded by artists. My grandmother does
pastels on sandpaper, and she always encouraged my desire for art. I’ve been a
writer since I learned how to write – I wrote my first book in 1st
grade and haven’t stopped since. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I’ve always
wanted to do something to bring my characters to life. Unfortunately my drawing
skills are terrible. So I suppose the long answer is 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 actually don’t. Cross stitching is such an interesting
craft. I don’t know if it would be compatible with such a thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep trying and practicing. If you find you’re not good at
one kind of art or craft, then don’t be afraid to try another kind. I was so
set as a kid on writing and drawing as the only art forms available, I never
bothered trying anything else. Cross stitching never even crossed my mind as a
possibility until my grandmother mentioned the needlework that HER mother did
when she was a girl. If you find something or see something that sounds even
remotely interesting, don’t be afraid to try it. You never know what you’ll be
good at or passionate about until you try.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Asexual and Aromantic

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

I have, yes. Unfortunately some members of my family have
shown some ignorance towards it. My father doesn’t understand it and thinks its
just a phase or something, and my brother thinks I shouldn’t label myself and
we should all just be ourselves. I don’t know how the rest of them see it since
they never really give a reaction. I have friends as well who, while they
accept it, they tend to ask a lot of very personal questions about it.

For my family, I try educating them on it when I can, or I
just ignore it. My father doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand.
He’s too dead set on convincing me to give him grandchildren. (Note: Its not
happening Dad.) I love my family, but my family is more than a little
disjointed and I’ve learned to pick my battles with them.

As for my friends, I know they come from a good place. They
want to understand at least, and they accept me for who I am and don’t try to
change it. The questions do get personal very quick. I’m sure anyone on the ace
spectrum already knows what I’m talking about.

I don’t tell strangers about my orientation to avoid issues
so for the most part the only ones who do know have been accepting or just
don’t acknowledge it.

For the most part, if it’s someone I know showing prejudice
or ignorance I either try to educate them or just ignore it.

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

Oooh boy. That’s a tricky question. The most common one I’ve
encountered is usually related to actual sex itself. Can we climax, or do we
even have sex ever? I usually try to answer for my own experiences then throw
in a “not every ace is the same” sorta thing.

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

Find someone who supports you. My best friend is also on the
spectrum and she’s the one who first brought it to my attention. Without her,
it would have taken me a lot longer to discover the ace spectrum. Knowing that
I can talk to her about my concerns and questions and whatnot relating to
asexuality helps me feel better about myself because I know at least she’ll
accept me no matter what. And she understands. Finding someone that understands
you or at least supports you and is willing to listen when you need it is
amazing.

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

I’m on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/wolfisharts/

And Tumblr: https://wolfish-arts.tumblr.com/

Feel free to follow me on either one or both of them. I’m
always happy to answer questions or help out!

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