Interview: Skyler

Today we’re joined by Skyler. Skyler is a wonderful fanartist who has written a massive amount of fics in the Doctor Who fandom. She writes fics about the 10th Doctor and Rose Tyler. Aside from fics, Skyler has also created moodboards and 8 tracks. She’s clearly a passionate artist who enjoys 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 have written about 145 fanfics for the Billie Piper and
David Tennant fandom. Most of those are Doctor
Who
, for the Tenth Doctor x Rose Tyler ship (sort of. It’s sci-fi complicated.).
I’ve also made some playlists on 8tracks with manips for cover art and
moodboards and such for this ship.

What inspires you?

I think since I’m aro ace, I find relationships fascinating,
and I love exploring the drama and what-ifs.

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

I started reading fanfic when I was a preteen on a message
board and by the time Harry Potter peaked in popularity around my high school
and college years, I was reading tons of fic. I deeply wished I could create a
Fanfic.net account and start posting. But I was too scared and never did it. I
came back to fic after college when I watched Doctor Who and needed to know
what happened after the happily-ever-after. I started reading fic and had all
these ideas about what I would do with that story. That’s another thing that
motivates me: wanting more than we were given about how a plot point or
relationship tied up.

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?

Having the voices of the characters in my head, thinking
about how the actors would say it, how the character would perceive each
other’s actions… if I don’t have that, I can’t write. It wouldn’t be any good.
But when I do, people say I have captured them well, so it’s worth the battle
to push through.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

There are not as many rules as you think there are. We all
have insecurity. It is tempting to think of fandom as this cool kid table where
you have to get permission to join, but you don’t. Just write. Create what YOU
like. Read as much as you want, and yes there will be fanon that people
consider sacred or whatever, but some of the best fic is from writers who are
new to the scene because they don’t get trapped in the same tropes done the
same way. When you’re in a fandom a long time, it’s tempting to write the same
thing over and over 100 times that everyone else is writing. But new writers don’t
have that sense of conformity. If you can preserve that curiosity and wonder
while also gaining experience and growing as a writer, that’s when true art is
born.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Aegoromantic/aegosexual (aro ace for short)

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

There’s always aphobes on Tumblr, who aren’t worth my time,
but my actual community has been hugely supportive. I would say all the
prejudice and ignorance from people who matter has been internal. I limited
myself because I didn’t think I could be ace if I like writing and reading smut
(then I found the aegosexual label!). Then I made a post about it and it still
shows up in my notifications years later. I was so afraid to publish my fic for
Pride last year about Rose being bisexual and the Doctor being demisexual. It
was really personal for me. But people are still leaving comments a about how
much that story meant to them. So I think we limit ourselves a lot more than we
should.

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

There are so many out there, but one personally is that people
don’t understand the split attraction model. Usually it doesn’t both me because
I’m both aro and ace, but I do have aesthetic attraction, and people don’t
really get that. I like the visual of a “hot” person and can call people
“sexy,” but that doesn’t mean I personally want to have sex with them. lol It’s
just an expression to explain what type of aesthetic appeal they have. Which
probably doesn’t make sense to people who do experience sexual attraction, but
when you don’t, it is like a huge lightbulb.

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

First, it’s OK to change labels later if you decide you were
wrong. Second, it’s a spectrum so you probably weren’t wrong, just somewhere
else on the spectrum than you thought. And third, you can also be sure! Even if
you’re a teen, you don’t have to “wait until you get older” to identify as ace.
You can be ace at any age. It’s also not a Tumblr thing. People have been ace a
lot longer than Tumblr has been around.

Also, just ignore the discourse. It is minimally helpful
just to be familiar with the arguments people are using these days, but it’s
not worth getting upset about and definitely isn’t worth engaging. Just gather
real fellow aces and allies you can count on and support each other.

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

The best place to read my writing is AO3: Skyler10. My Tumblr
is Skyler10fic. And here is my edit tag and 8tracks.

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