Interview: Micah Amundsen

Today we’re joined by Micah Amundsen. Micah is a phenomenal artist who writes webcomics. They’re best known for the webcomic The Roommate from Hell, which they have the best summary for in their interview. They’re also currently working on a graphic novel entitled Cursed, which sounds fascinating and is something to look forward to. It’s clear Micah is a dedicated and talented 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.

I’m most well-known for creating the webcomic The Roommate from Hell, (http://enchantedpencil.com/roomie/)
a supernatural slice of life about gays and their metaphorical and literal
demons, which updates with a new page three times a week.

I’m also working on a 10-part graphic novel series called Cursed, a fantasy adventure about a
bunch of thieves, family, and what it means to be human. I’m hoping to release
the first book May 2019. Follow my Twitter to get more updates on that. (https://twitter.com/enchantedpencil)

Besides those and other comics, I write and perform music
and sell art online.

What inspires you?

A lot of my inspiration comes from other stories and art
that I’m a fan of. Either I see something I really like and think “how can I do
this my own way?” or I see something with potential and think “how can I do
this better?” I get a lot of enjoyment and comfort from the comics and shows I
watch and read, and I want to create these emotions in other people. There’s
also a lot of themes I like to explore and beliefs I hold that I want to share
with others through my comics.

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

I’ve been “creating comics” since 1st grade of elementary
school, even though it was a weird stick figure scribble that was stapled
together and drawn in pencil. I made quite a few comics that way through middle
school, tying pieces of paper together and binding them with cardboard from
cereal boxes. At that time, I was mostly inspired by the limited selection of
Japanese manga I could buy at the Scholastic Book Fair every year. Discovering
that you could read comics online for free basically blew my mind, and I
published my first webcomic (Opertion:
Reboot
) in 2012 while in high school.

While I create lots of different kinds of art, comics are my
primary passion, and I can’t imagine life without it.

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 do. I have a signature that I use to sign my comics, but I
also created a unique icon to represent each of my comic series. I like to
doodle these icons next to my signature when I do book signings to personalize
the comics a little more.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Create work for yourself. If you keep chasing ideas of what
other people want you to be as an artist, you won’t be happy with your work.
Find a way to break the cycle of needing validation from others, and find that
validation inside yourself instead. You can’t please everybody, but if your
work pleases yourself, it’s bound to please others too.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Asexual demiromantic… Maybe. Relationships don’t interest me
much in general.

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

I really haven’t. In fact, a number of my artist friends
identify as ace as well. I think I got really lucky in that regard. Being ace
isn’t exactly something I advertise, though, so there hasn’t been a lot of
opportunity for others to react.

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

That it’s “just a phase.” That’s the misconception that I’ve
actually had told to my face, but it also bothers me when people assume that
being sexual is inherently human nature and applies to every single person.
Have you ever heard this? “There’s three things all humans have in common: The
need to eat, sleep, and have sex.” Yeah, that drives me nuts.

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

Don’t let other people tell you what you are or aren’t.
Nobody understands you, your body, or your feelings better than you do. Being
ace isn’t weird, and you aren’t broken. Find friends in real life or online who
identify similarly or who understand you. Finding those kinds of people is
really important when you’re still exploring your identity.

As a non-binary person, I extend this advice to those who
may be transitioning as well. Also, I find the NB and ace identities seem to
get overlooked by regular LGBT+ discussion sometimes, so don’t feel like you
aren’t important too.

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

Read The Roommate from
Hell
here: http://enchantedpencil.com/roomie/
Follow me on Twitter here: https://twitter.com/enchantedpencil
Find lots of extra art and bonus content on my Patreon here: https://www.patreon.com/enchantedpencil

If anyone wants to chat about comics or being ace, don’t be
afraid to contact me on Twitter.

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