Author: Asexual Artists

Interview: Abby Grace

Today we’re joined by Abby Grace. Abby is a wonderful writer and musician. They have been playing the cello for over ten years and are even studying for a degree in it. They’re also going for a degree in English Literature and have written both fanfiction and original poetry. As if that’s not impressive enough, Abby has also recently taken up crochet. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and enthusiastic 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 a writer and musician – specifically, I write various
fanfictions, and some original poetry, and have been playing music from the age
of four. My main instrument is the cello, which I’ve played for almost 12 years
now. I’m lucky enough to have been able to pursue both of these passions, and
am currently at university studying English Literature and picking up a minor
in cello. I also recently picked up crocheting.

I’ve had two original poems published in the past, in Skipping Stones (an international
children’s magazine). Personally, though, I feel most accomplished about my
work whenever I receive a heartfelt review on my fanfics. I’ve actually cried
over a couple of emotional reviews on a specific story, “Firsts,” which is
about a trans character trying on his first binder. I also recently started
sharing some of the funnier stories from my life and my family, and am
considering collecting them into a book of short stories.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere – from silly things overheard
in public to major life events to watching a storm roll in. Inspiration for
art, no matter what medium, is everywhere.

There are a few specific people who inspire me every day,
though. My grandmother, who was known locally for her amazing quilts, didn’t
learn how to sew until her late twenties. I crochet to feel closer to her. Janelle
Monáe, who is so unapologetically herself at every turn. Yo-Yo Ma, the
best-known cellist in the world, who is still so kind and friendly as to grin
widely and give a fist bump to a shy fourteen year old who plays the cello,
too.

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

I’ve always loved reading and writing, it’s been an
important part of me for as long as I can remember. More than half of my family
is musically-inclined in some way or another, too, so it was really less of an
‘if’ I would be a musician, and more of a ‘when.’ There’s definitely a few pictures
in a family album somewhere of me sitting on my grandfather’s lap at the piano,
looking absolutely delighted as he shows me that pressing the keys makes sound.

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?

Hm, I don’t believe I have anything that I work into every
piece I do. A lot of my poetry involves stars in some way, but that’s just
because I really like space.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be discouraged by only
getting a couple of notes or kudos, or even nothing at all. You still have
something valuable to share with the world – the world just takes a little
while sometimes to notice it. I have one fanfic that has the most kudos of that
specific ship on AO3… and I have 10 fanfics with less than 30. I have even more
with less than 3 comments. Don’t worry about the numbers. Focus on doing your
best.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Demisexual

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

Luckily, I have yet to see anything specific in the general
writing and music communities. Within fandom itself, however, I have most certainly
seen people attack others for being ace and/or aro and trying to identify with
a character by suggesting that they are also ace and/or aro.

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

That we are frigid, unfeeling, or that asexuality isn’t ‘a
thing’ and is just ‘attention-seeking.’ I hear this most often in regards to
demisexuality.

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

Be confident in yourself. And if you’re not, ask questions!
Talk to the community – most people are happy to chat and help where they can.
It’s something that I wish I had done more when I was younger. It could have
helped me avoid a seriously bad time.

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

I’m on AO3 (DarthAbby), and Tumblr (main
butim-justharry) (side – official-cello). Please feel free
to send an ask or private message to either blog if you want to talk!

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

Interview: Morgan

Today we’re joined by Morgan. Morgan is a phenomenal artist who is currently studying to become a fashion designer. When they’re not studying, Morgan cosplays as a hobby and they also draw as well. It’s clear they’re an incredibly talented and dedicated artist with a very bright future ahead of them, 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 am
studying to be a fashion designer and also cosplay and draw casually. I have
various designs as well as cosplays and art pieces.

What inspires you?

As a
cosplayer and artist, I am influenced by shows and characters I love and feel
passionate about. For original art and designs I am inspired by issues I care
about as well as interpretations of my environment and my own feelings. My
gender identity and sexuality also inspire my art.

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

I
was always interested in drawing, especially nature and humans. My passion and
creativity extended to my self-expression through clothing and led me to create
my own clothing.

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?

Not
necessarily. When I start to have more clothing designs that I have made and
created I plan to name my brand after my grandmother’s last name, because she
has always supported my art and all aspects of my identity.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Explore
different ways of expressing your creativity and don’t limit yourself to one
media. Even if you aren’t as experienced or skilled in other areas, trying
different methods opens new ways to interpret your feelings and your art.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am
asexual and sex-repulsed.

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

Not
yet. Though I feel as though some of my family/friends doesn’t understand why
some of my art/designs are more revealing or “sexual” in nature when I myself
am not sexual.

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

That
being asexual (and/or sex repulsed) means you think sex and people who have sex
are dirty/wrong. I believe sex is a very natural thing and if all parties
concerned are happy and consenting, then that’s great. Do what makes you happy.
Just because there are people who aren’t into it doesn’t mean they are against
it.

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

Even
if you are worried that you might change your mind in the future or that you
should be sexually attracted to others, remember that your feelings and
identity NOW are valid, no matter what you have felt in the past or could
potentially feel in the future.

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

I
have an art Tumblr under the URL mmmdraws and a cosplay Tumblr with
the URL maeroncosplays. I also post a lot of my
cosplay/cosplay progress on my Instagram irish.i.was.dead. My clothing design Instagram is morrisroe_designs though I haven’t posted a whole lot on there yet.

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

Interview: Tanya Lisle

Today we’re joined by Tanya Lisle. Tanya is a phenomenal author who writes mainly supernatural YA fiction. She has a number of books available and is currently hard at work on a couple series. She loves the horror genre and there’s brushes of that in most of her work. It’s clear she’s an incredibly passionate artist who loves the written word, 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 tell stories, largely with a supernatural bent (Urban
fantasy, superheroes, general supernatural elements) and with a horror edge to
it, usually with some queer content as well.

Currently I’m working on two sequels to White Noise, which is an older YA series, and The Looking Glass Saga, which started as middle grade, but has
gotten older as the characters age. I’m also looking at writing one more book
for Tales from the Twisted Eden Sector,
which is for an older audience, as well as the next book in Cloned Evil, which is more in the New
Adult range.

What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me. I tend to get the majority of my
ideas when my mind wanders during stressful periods of my life looking for that
escape. Coming up with interesting concepts to explore always seems to happen
when I’m neck-deep in the middle of another project, so I end up jotting the
ideas down and come back to them later when I have more time to flesh them out.

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

I have been writing since I was little. Originally, it was
asking teachers if I could write an essay or do a project as a story instead,
or adding a narrative to the project in a way that still got the requirements
across. When I got into high school, a friend of mine wanted to do a comic with
a bunch of us in it and asked me for a backstory for my character, which she
ended up really liking. After that, I just kept writing stories without needing
the excuse of doing it for I have been writing since I was little. Originally,
it was asking teachers if I could write an essay or do a project as a story
instead, or adding a narrative to the project in a way that still got the
requirements across. When I got into high school, a friend of mine wanted to do
a comic with a bunch of us in it and asked me for a backstory for my character,
which she ended up really liking. After that, I just kept writing stories
without needing the excuse of doing it for homework!

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?

It doesn’t always make it into the final version, but every
draft has a scene where a fridge is thrown. It’s a long standing joke and, if
you know me, you know that I cannot let a joke die. And sometimes it ends up
being necessary to the plot, so it’s not all bad! A little ridiculous,
admittedly…

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

There’s already been a lot of great advice, so I’ll stick
with this one: Know why you’re doing it and what success means to you. Your
success might look different from other people’s and you don’t need to compare
yourself to other people in order to determine if you’re on the right track for
your artistic journey.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m asexual aromantic. It took me a very long time (Until I
was 26!) to figure out that was even an option, but once I did I was so happy I
found something that fit!

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

It’s less prejudiced than it is a lack of representation.
Like in other places, some people don’t think of it as legitimate, but I’ve
also heard that it’s boring to have a story without romance. I’ve seen more
books with asexual characters, but less on the aromantic side. There’s a sense
that without that romantic subplot, a book won’t sell and therefore you must include some romance.

I’ve admittedly fallen into this trap as well. More
recently, now that I’m getting more comfortable talking about my own
asexuality, I’m starting to make it more of a point to make various character’s
sexualities more explicit and to not walk so carefully around it in fear of not
gaining that larger audience. The Looking
Glass Saga
is a series with an aro/ace lead that I’m going to be making
more explicit, and I’m working to include more characters on the spectrum in upcoming
projects.

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

It’s either that I just haven’t find the right man yet
(Because really you’re straight dontcha know?) or that it’s just that I don’t
like sex.

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

It’s okay to not know exactly what words fit you, and
sometimes it takes a while to figure those out. It’s a spectrum and you might
not fall neatly into one box or another. And, of course, you may find out later
that one word doesn’t fit you as well as you thought it did, and that’s fine
too!

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

You can check out this link, which has all my books and will
redirect you to the store of your preference: https://www.books2read.com/ap/nlzBXx/Tanya-Lisle

And if you would like a sampler of books, you can check out
the mailing list here: https://mailchi.mp/506eec46f344/get-your-free-book-now

And, of course, the blog and social media links:

http://tanyalisle.com/

https://twitter.com/TanyaLisle
https://www.facebook.com/ScrapPaperEntertainment
https://www.instagram.com/tanyalisle/
http://tanyalisle.tumblr.com/

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

Interview: Ell

Today we’re joined by Ell. Ell is a phenomenal fanfiction writer who writes in a few different fandoms. She’s currently focused on Star Trek and Babylon 5, but has also written some Sherlock fics. She is very passionate about fandom and finds a great deal of enjoyment through writing fics. It’s clear she’s a very talented and dedicated writer, 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 write fanfiction. I mostly write for my ships from Star Trek and Babylon 5 at the moment, but I sometimes write for other things. My
first published fanfictions were Sherlock
ones. I love fanfiction and fanfiction writing because the community is (for
the most part) amazing! There are so many lovely and interesting people I have
met through reading and writing fanfiction.

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me! Personal experiences, other
fanfictions I’ve read, songs, anything could inspire me! Mostly it’s personal
experience (or wanting a personal experience) and stories I want to give
characters that I feel deserve it. My friends and fellow writers also inspire me.
Their stories always seem so carefully thought out, and they’re never afraid to
do something different.

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

I have adored writing since I was 8 years old. I actually
started out writing original stories. Now I look back on my first story and
think it’s really cringey, but I also know that that was where I started, and
look at me now! I may only have two complete original stories, but I stuck with
almost all of the fanfiction I started, and I know that just as much effort has
gone into those stories as my original ones, if not more so. I can’t actually
remember how I got into fanfiction writing. I guess I just started to read a
lot of it and thought that maybe I could do it too!

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 usually project at least one thing about myself onto the
character I relate to most. Whether that is my sexuality or my state of mind. I
also tend to focus on writing from the point of view of the character I don’t
relate to that much but still love just as much. For example, when I’m writing
Spock/McCoy, I usually focus on McCoy. I also usually put an author’s note
before the beginning of a chapter.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Dare to be different. Go against stereotypes. If something
hasn’t been done that you think should be, do it yourself. That may seem scary,
but if you care enough about it, your care will overrun your fear.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic. I am also mostly
sex-repulsed.

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

I have not, thank god! And I hope I never do, though that’s
unlikely. I know that there is a lot of it out there, and what to expect, so
I’m prepared.

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

That we’re all the same. That if one of us is sex-repulsed,
so are all of us. That if one of us is aromantic, so are the rest of us. We are
not all the same, and people need to realize that.

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

Go with your heart. If your heart says you’re asexual,
believe it. If it’s confused, maybe look up some other a-spec orientations.
Don’t trust people who aren’t asexual to tell you whether you are or aren’t
asexual.

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

I post things occasionally on my Tumblr, which is fangirl-star.

My active fanfiction account is on Archive of Our Own is FangirlStar. I post my
Star Trek and Babylon 5 fanfiction on there, along with a few other bits and
pieces. The ships I currently write for are Spock/Leonard McCoy (Star Trek) and Vir Cotto/Lennier (Babylon 5), but I’m going to start
writing Thor/Bruce Banner (Marvel) soon. Everything I post on there is slash
and rated T at most. I only ever imply at sexual content.

My very first fanfiction account, which I don’t post on
anymore, is Ellis
Jenkins
on FanFiction.net. About two thirds of my stuff on there is Sherlock Holmes. I wrote OC/Mycroft
Holmes. My very early Star Trek slash
is on there as well.

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

Call for Interviewees

asexualartists:

Hello
all!

Once
again, I’m low on interviewees. Since I don’t have the time to constantly post
calls every single time I’m running low, I’m hoping to use this post as a kind
of a reminder:

ASEXUAL
ARTISTS IS OPEN FOR INTERVIEWS YEAR-ROUND!

I’m
always looking for artists who are on the spectrum to interview. Any and all
kinds of artists are welcome.

This
is including but not limited to:

WRITERS: all genres and forms are
welcome (novelists, short stories, poetry, flash fiction, etc). It doesn’t
matter if you’re unpublished, just starting out, a student, a hobbyist, or
established. Traditionally published, self-published, small press, etc. You’re
all welcome and you all have something to offer.

VISUAL
ARTISTS:
Self-explanatory,
any kind of visual art you can imagine (photography, painting, sketching,
drawing, sculpture, installation, etc.).

FANARTISTS: Another self-explanatory
category. Cosplay, visual, fanfiction, etc. Whatever you do in your fandom (any
and all fandoms welcome), you’re an artist.

FILMMAKERS: YouTubers, directors,
cinematographers, anything that has to do with making films (short, features,
documentaries, etc).

PERFORMANCE
ARTS:

actors, theater arts, singers, mimes, any sort of performers.

DANCERS: Any kind of dance style you
can imagine is welcome here (ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, burlesque,
belly-dancing, ballroom, etc.)

MUSICIANS: playing instruments,
composing, singing, anything involving music

CULINARY: maybe your medium of choice
is food. If so, you’re welcome here.

CRAFTS: any sort of craft you can
think of (sewing, knitting, crocheting, candle making, jewelry making, etc.)

All
levels of artists are welcome: whether you’re a student or a professional, just
starting out or already established. If you create, you have something to offer
and therefore I want to interview you 🙂

If
you’re still unsure whether or not your art qualifies (there’s a 97.9% chance
it will), and your question isn’t answered in the F.A.Q., please contact me
at laurenjankowski27@gmail.com

If
you want to be interviewed, please email me at the same address
(laurenjankowski27@gmail.com)

This
site continues because I get requests for interviews. If the interviews run
out, this site will remain as a resource 🙂 Updates will continue as long as
there are aces out there willing to be interviewed.

Thank
you, everybody.


Hey everyone! Still open for interviews. And I just
want all you amazing, talented, wonderful artists who have already been
interviewed: you are making such a difference. Giving an interview may seem
like a small thing, perhaps even insignificant, but believe me when I say that so
many aces have found comfort and inspiration in your words. I have received
numerous messages about how much this blog means to people, especially to aces
still coming to terms with their identity. That’s a truly wonderful thing 🙂
So please, keep those interview requests coming!


All ages, races,
religions, genders are welcome. If you’re on the ace spectrum and you create, I
would love to interview you for this blog.

ALL aces are
welcome on this blog! It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist, a professional, a
dabbler, a student, aspiring or experienced. Your art is important. Your voice
is important.

So please, keep
those interview requests coming 😀 <3

Call for Interviewees

asexualartists:

asexualartists:

Hello
all!

Once
again, I’m low on interviewees. Since I don’t have the time to constantly post
calls every single time I’m running low, I’m hoping to use this post as a kind
of a reminder:

ASEXUAL
ARTISTS IS OPEN FOR INTERVIEWS YEAR-ROUND!

I’m
always looking for artists who are on the spectrum to interview. Any and all
kinds of artists are welcome.

This
is including but not limited to:

WRITERS: all genres and forms are
welcome (novelists, short stories, poetry, flash fiction, etc). It doesn’t
matter if you’re unpublished, just starting out, a student, a hobbyist, or
established. Traditionally published, self-published, small press, etc. You’re
all welcome and you all have something to offer.

VISUAL
ARTISTS:
Self-explanatory,
any kind of visual art you can imagine (photography, painting, sketching,
drawing, sculpture, installation, etc.).

FANARTISTS: Another self-explanatory
category. Cosplay, visual, fanfiction, etc. Whatever you do in your fandom (any
and all fandoms welcome), you’re an artist.

FILMMAKERS: YouTubers, directors,
cinematographers, anything that has to do with making films (short, features,
documentaries, etc).

PERFORMANCE
ARTS:

actors, theater arts, singers, mimes, any sort of performers.

DANCERS: Any kind of dance style you
can imagine is welcome here (ballet, tap, jazz, contemporary, burlesque,
belly-dancing, ballroom, etc.)

MUSICIANS: playing instruments,
composing, singing, anything involving music

CULINARY: maybe your medium of choice
is food. If so, you’re welcome here.

CRAFTS: any sort of craft you can
think of (sewing, knitting, crocheting, candle making, jewelry making, etc.)

All
levels of artists are welcome: whether you’re a student or a professional, just
starting out or already established. If you create, you have something to offer
and therefore I want to interview you 🙂

If
you’re still unsure whether or not your art qualifies (there’s a 97.9% chance
it will), and your question isn’t answered in the F.A.Q., please contact me
at laurenjankowski27@gmail.com

If
you want to be interviewed, please email me at the same address
(laurenjankowski27@gmail.com)

This
site continues because I get requests for interviews. If the interviews run
out, this site will remain as a resource 🙂 Updates will continue as long as
there are aces out there willing to be interviewed.

Thank
you, everybody.


Hey everyone! Still open for interviews. And I just
want all you amazing, talented, wonderful artists who have already been
interviewed: you are making such a difference. Giving an interview may seem
like a small thing, perhaps even insignificant, but believe me when I say that so
many aces have found comfort and inspiration in your words. I have received
numerous messages about how much this blog means to people, especially to aces
still coming to terms with their identity. That’s a truly wonderful thing 🙂
So please, keep those interview requests coming!


All ages, races,
religions, genders are welcome. If you’re on the ace spectrum and you create, I
would love to interview you for this blog.

ALL aces are
welcome on this blog! It doesn’t matter if you’re a hobbyist, a professional, a
dabbler, a student, aspiring or experienced. Your art is important. Your voice
is important.

So please, keep
those interview requests coming 😀 <3

Friendly reminder: I don’t respond to interview requests via message, reblog, tags, asks, etc. (sorry, guys. But I get way too many and I get super overwhelmed. It’s just me running this site and I only have so much time).

If you’re interested in being interviewed for this site, please, please, PLEASE! E-mail me: laurenjankowski27@gmail.com

Thank you 🙂

Interview: Alex

Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a wonderful artist who is a bit of a jack of all trades. He does a lot of visual art, mostly drawing and painting. He also does crafts and enjoys knitting and crochet, particularly long scarves. When he’s not doing crafts or visual art, Alex also makes music and can play the ukulele. It’s clear he’s a passionate artist who enjoys what he does. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I use my art to create things I think the world is missing,
whether it’s music, or extra-large scarves, or just a painting.  My art is my outlet, it’s diverse and
powerful (even when it’s just for me) and it enables me to express myself.

What inspires you?

The ability to create, to bring something into this world
that causes emotion.  When I knit or
crochet I am, more often than not, creating a gift to give to someone
else.  When I play my ukulele I hope that
someone listening can feel the emotions of the music.  I am inspired by the ability to make
something that was once missing from the world.

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

I had a friend in elementary school who inspired me to
create comics.  They were just stick
figures, but I had so much fun coming up with jokes and stories, that even when
I stopped creating comics I continued to draw.

At the same time, my family has always been very musical and
so, when my nana let me play her ukulele I decided I wanted have one too.

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?

Ah, no haha, I’m too inconsistent to do something that clever.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

At times it may seem tough, but art is an outlet, it doesn’t
matter if you think it’s good if you enjoy it.
What matters is if you feel good while creating whatever it is you are
making.  Improvement will come with
practice, for now, just enjoy the ride.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and do not use the split attraction
model (SAM).

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

I’m rather isolated, and I do not bring up my asexuality
unless it is with people I trust, so as of current, I have not experienced any
prejudice from my fellow artists.

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

That asexual means you don’t like sex.  Which is false, different people have
different views on sex and just because I experience so sexual attraction does
not mean that I have no libido or interest.
But like I said, it’s different for everyone.

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

If you decide one that that you are not ace, that’s OK.  If you live your whole life never subscribing
to a label, that’s OK.  What matters is
your comfort and that others respect you.
I thought I was a lesbian when I was younger because if I didn’t like
guys I must have to like girls then right? But I allowed myself space to grow
and now I know I am trans and asexual.
There is always room to grow and explore, so don’t feel stuck with one
label.

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

My music is available here: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCLHiHayKl58aLduLbGJShFw
And my art can be found here: Lukassskywalker.tumblr.com/tagged/my+art
And I have some things posted on RedBubble :D: https://www.redbubble.com/people/slothguard?asc=u.

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

Interview: Embo

Today we’re joined by Embo. Embo is a phenomenal artist who specializes in cross stitch. She has recently cross stitched a number of Pride badges, which are absolutely beautiful. Embo also does some embroidery and she has recently started dabbling in drawing as well. It’s clear she’s a driven and passionate artist who loves to create, 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 mostly
cross stitch, sometimes embroider, and occasionally draw. Cross stitching is my
main art though. I favour working on smaller pieces, and recently I’ve spent
most of my time making small Pride pieces.

As for
drawing, I’ve taken up doodling fan art of Mass
Effect
with the intention of writing fan fic in the future.

What inspires you?

I follow
many talented people on Tumblr, and seeing their work inspires me greatly! If I
see someone has created a wonderful piece of art, I find it spurs me into
action and I will immediately start trying to create something of my own.
Drawing is more accessible for me, but I can’t resist taking on new cross
stitch projects, to the detriment of older forgotten WIPs!

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

Admittedly
my reasons for getting interested into cross stitch aren’t very inspiring. I
kept seeing subversive cross stitch popping up online and thought it was really
funny and wanted to get into that. As soon as I started though, I realised that
cross stitch is an amazing craft, really fun, and especially good for stress
relief! And to this day, I’ve only produced one piece of subversive cross
stitch haha.

I started
as a fan artist when I was younger, but found that no matter how hard I tried,
I was never satisfied with my drawings. Cross stitch, however, has always been
really satisfying.

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?

To be
honest, not really. I still haven’t gotten into the habit of signing my cross
stitch pieces, which is something I really ought to get into doing. I used to
sign my drawings, but I dropped the habit some years ago when I stopped being
happy with what I was making.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t get
bogged down in getting lots of Likes on social media. Be proud of what you’re
making, and don’t stress about what other people think.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Somewhere
between ace and demisexual. Possibly panromantic and demiromantic too, but I’m
still figuring that part out.

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

The worst
I’ve encountered was coming out to a family member and being told that I just
hadn’t met the right person yet. This was frustrating, as talking about my
asexuality has always been hard in the first place, and I felt like I was being
shut down. In response, I just never brought it up with them again. Nowadays I
rarely come out, unless it’s necessary for the situation. This… is not a great
way to be. I shouldn’t have to feel the need to hide this aspect of myself, but
the fear of prejudice tends to take me over a lot. I’ve also had to quit
visiting some “LGBT-friendly” websites outright, because the audience was
completely acephobic. I realised that I just wasn’t welcome there, which was a
shame because I otherwise enjoyed the site. I… was angry and sad for days
afterwards. It’s not an easy thing to process.

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

That we’re
all a bunch of prudes. Or that we’re just trying to make ourselves out to be
special for something that isn’t even a thing. I also worry that, because I’m
in a relationship, people think I’m not ace anymore which… is not how that
works at all.

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

Don’t be
afraid to embrace yourself! Labels can be greatly helpful, but use them
carefully- don’t cling to them completely. You’re 100% valid in who are, and
don’t let anyone take that from you. And don’t worry if you find your labels
change over time. Mine did, and I had nobody to talk to about it at the time,
but don’t worry if that happens to you, it does not make you any less valid!

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

I post
cross stitch and embroidery at http://stickyfigs.tumblr.com/ and doodlings at https://potatopotholeakastickyfigs.tumblr.com/.

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

Interview: Hadley

Today we’re joined by Hadley. Hadley is a wonderful writer who mostly does co-writing. They’re essentially a ghostwriter for their friends as they prefer to just help with plots and characters. They clearly enjoy writing, 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 wouldn’t necessarily call it art, but I guess to some it
could be perceived as much. I mostly help others with writing stories and help
with plot lines, characters, and keeping things balanced. I’m essentially a
co-writer, but most of the times I request to not be specifically named because
of personal reasons. I myself write, mostly for myself and friends, but when I
run low on enthusiasm I really enjoy helping others.

What inspires you?

Anything. I have an over active mind so absolutely anything
can get mind running. Specifically, though, hanging out with friends, listening
to music, playing video games, and watching Netflix get my mind really moving.

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

It was Darren Shan’s book series Cirque du Freak that really clicked with me. I started reading it
in 6th grade and it really opened my eyes to all the possibilities
in the world of literature. I continued to read all his books that I could get
my hands on, and, eventually, I found out about free online books through Nook,
Kindle, and even Wattpad.

Back then I thought I was going to either die before I
graduated high school, or I was going into the military, but I remember wanting
to be a musician of some sort. I never imagined myself becoming a
co-writer/author.

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?

Gore. Mostly in a way to pay homage to Darren Shan.
Sometimes the genres I work with won’t allow that so it’s only sometimes.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do it while you have the motivation. Write, draw, sing,
dance, whatever while you have the courage and enthusiasm to do so. Its best to
do it now and live with the experience later, good or bad.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I honestly just identify with asexual. I don’t really try to
focus on specifics and I feel like I would hurt my head trying to really grind
down to the root of my sexual identity. I mostly just find sex unnecessary and
I’m generally repulsed by the thought of ever engaging in any suggestive
activities.

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

In my field, no, definitely not. I have encountered some
confusion with people that I’ve worked with, but that was simply them
misunderstanding what it meant or what it was. I mostly just try to understand
their confusion and work with them so they can learn from their mistake.

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

That all aces will die alone. I myself might, but I find it
odd that people assume that, just because I don’t find sex a need in a
relationship, it immediately wipes the dating board clear. It’s frustrating
cause it insinuates that the only reason people get partners is for sex and
that asexuals themselves cannot satisfy a partner to the same extent. It’s just
plain aggravating.

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

Just chill out. Finding out your orientation doesn’t have to
be a struggle, it can be an experience if you let it. Just go with the flow of
things and let tides of life take you to where you’re supposed to go. Your
sexuality doesn’t have to be at the forefront, so take your time and
experiment. Imagine yourself in different situations, play with ideas in your
head, hell, test out your ideas (but safely please). And don’t be so set in
stone. Sexuality is fluid so when something changes, don’t worry.

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

As of right now nowhere. As I said before I don’t say when
I’ve helped write a book and I have agreements with some of the people that
I’ve helped to not disclose who co-wrote. It’s for safety and personal reasons
mostly. But, I hope to soon be posting some of my own personal writing to my Tumblr
bigolwheatboy.tumblr.com (a
silly name, I know). But for now, I’m going to remain anonymous.

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

Interview: Alix Ditto Au

Today we’re joined by Alix Ditto Au, also known as Acting NT. Alix is a phenomenal blogger and YouTuber, who has a couple webseries that comment on specific topics in popular culture. One is called “Autism Sins” and focuses on portrayals of Autism in media. The other is “Madness in Media” and it analyzes why some characters are labeled as mentally ill in various series. It’s clear they’re a very passionate and driven artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking part in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m creating radical explorations of art,
culture, and all the social dynamics in between. I always place my focus on
subjects that our society either doesn’t want to talk about, or misses the
point on. On my blog, I aim to push against dominant narratives by offering new
paradigms with new terminology. As radical people, we often have to build our
philosophical frameworks out of stone knives and bear skins. My RedBubble store
distills these new perspectives into short quips with the potential to turn heads
while putting the viewer at ease with humor.

My YouTube channel is where you will find
me most often these days. I currently maintain two series themes, with plans
for a third. The first is “Autism Sins”, a mashup of the nonsensical “Autism
Verbs” titling popularized by the notorious anti-Autistic hate group, and the
video format of CinemaSins. These snarky videos focus on fictional Autistic
characters and documentaries about Autistic people (and sometimes a hot mess
in-between cough Vaxxed cough).
Entries so far include The Good Doctor,
Atypical, Autism in Love, that one episode of House, that one episode of Arthur,
and the Sesame Street “See Amazing”
collection.

The second series theme is “Madness in
Media”, a more serious analysis of themes and characters that are often
considered mad, crazy, or mentally ill. This series kicked off with a
first-season recap of 13 Reasons Why,
and will soon be joined by a collection of cartoon episodes where the
characters are put into institutions.

What inspires you?

What inspired me to start blogging in the
first place 4 years ago was searching for resources to help explain disability
and especially neurodiversity, and finding that those resources simply don’t
exist. I realized that being on a radical frontier of amateur sociology meant
that if I wanted an article, video, quote or meme available for use by me and
my community, I had to create it myself. Often when I’m sitting in front of a
blank page, trying to organize my thoughts on a piece of art or news media, the
question I ask myself that gets the words flowing is “how did they miss the
point?” Our society makes a hundred assumptions, and I want to challenge the
first ten, not the last ten.

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

My artist identity certainly started
young. I’ve been a writer ever since I got my hands on a keyboard, a graphic
designer ever since I taught myself to play with GIMP, and a videographer from
the time some kids in my homeschool group wanted to make film reviews without
numerical scores. It just took a while to find exactly what I wanted to write
about. Through madness and neurodivergence, I found “my voice” as an artist. I
got a bite from the acting bug in high school, and while I don’t have the time
to pursue a career in television, making videos allows me to scratch that itch
by letting out the more performative aspects of myself.

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?

One thing that often bothers me in other
blends of comedy and criticism is a lack of follow-through. I feel as the
comedy part and the criticism part were written by two different people, and
the editor is simply switching back and forth. I prefer to develop content
holistically, with criticisms that set up the jokes, and jokes that double as
criticisms. I also draw from my improvisational acting background, by accepting
every comment as a foundation that becomes absolute truth as soon as it is
uttered.

An example of how this increases
follow-through is in my Atypical
video, when I point out that the main character Sam Gardner looks like Sheldon
Cooper from the Big Bang Theory
(because apparently that is now the default look of an Autistic character) and
refer to him as “Teen Sheldon” as if this story takes place between Young Sheldon and the Big Bang Theory. I then refer to him
exclusively as Teen Sheldon for not only the remainder of that video, but for
the entire series. Because That Is Him Name Now.

Callbacks aren’t inherently more funny or
more insightful, but they add an aesthetic quality that makes the audience feel
an air of importance, as each component is part of a greater whole.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Make mistakes, share your mistakes,
embarrass yourself, and fail.

I once came across an inspirational Tumblr
post for more paper-based artists, showing a pen filled with “bad art” fluid near
the tip and “good art” further back. The author explained that good art near
the tip oxidizes into bad art overnight, and that you need to get the bad art
out by drawing with it before you can access the good art.

That metaphor applies just as well to any
artistic medium you can think of. You need to make a lot of things you won’t be
super proud of later before you get the hang of it and improve. You shouldn’t
be afraid of mistakes, because they’re not a sign of failure. Mistakes are an
inevitable and important part of the process, just as integral as things like
planning and editing.

Plus, let me tell
you as an actor, embarrassing yourself on purpose is actually not that
embarrassing. I dare say it’s kind of fun.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m part of a median system, so while
individually I think I would be completely asexual, my other half who I can
most closely describe as an aporagender demigirl lesbian bleeds through and the
overall result is gray ace. I originally got pointed to an asexual support
group on the advice that someone looking for a “low libido support group” will
fit right in. Now the way I usually explain it is that I have attraction but
not desire. I’m also considering adopting the label of fraysexual because I
seem to lean more towards allo the longer I’m not in a relationship.

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

My orientation tends not to come up much
in media analysis because there isn’t a lot of ace visibility or
representation. I’ve been lucky enough not to have anyone actively trying to
“cure” me, but have had allosexual (former) friends assume that my ace identity
means never ever ever and then accuse me of faking due to their own ignorance
of gray sexuality.

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

As with most of the minorities I belong
to, the idea that it’s a medical condition that needs to be cured. Some people
may lose their libido as a result of prescriptions drugs, but even in those
cases it’s perfectly acceptable to take on asexual identity and just live your
life with it.

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

Don’t worry if you don’t exactly match
every Asexuality 101 definition you read. Those are written for a general
allosexual audience, not for people who are questioning, and are incredibly
oversimplified. If you personally feel like you don’t perform sexual-ness the
way society expects you to, then you’re probably somewhere on the ace spectrum,
which is ace enough.

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

ActingNT.blogspot.com
RedBubble.com/people/ActingNT
YouTube.com/c/ActingNT.

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