Author: Asexual Artists

Interview: Adrienne

Today we’re joined by Adrienne. Adrienne is a phenomenal young up-and-coming writer who is currently studying creative writing at college in Canada. She has been writing fanfiction for years and has just started getting into original work. She’s a wonderfully enthusiastic writer with an incredibly bright future ahead of her, 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 am a creative writer. I currently specialize in
fan-fiction and original short stories. I must admit – however, that much of
the latter is still very new to me and is currently a work in progress. 😀

What inspires you?

There’s so much! I almost don’t know where to start! A lot
of my inspiration for writing comes from the fantasy/fiction genre. A lot of my
inspiration also comes from what I see in other people’s writing/art work, as
well as what I see in my day to day activities.

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

The Lord of the Rings.
I started writing self-insert fiction when I was 14, and it sort of spiraled
upwards form there.

I have always wanted to be an artist, yes. It’s fun!

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’m not sure that I’ve got any special sort of writing style
or anything. I guess it’s hard to figure out your own writing style when you’re
constantly editing and re-reading it. ;D

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep writing! Keep drawing! Keep doing! It’s super hard, I
know. But you must try!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am pretty firm on the asexual part of the spectrum. There
are other unrelated attractions there as well, but all in all – pretty firm on
the asexual part.

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

I have been fortunate enough to not have experienced any
sort of ace prejudice or ignorance in my field yet.

There have been a couple encounters where I’ve had to
explain my sexuality with close friends, but otherwise no negative feedback
yet.

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

I have been most fortunate in having friends and family who
have accepted my sexuality and have made attempts to learn more about what it
is to be asexual.

That’s not to say that there are no misconceptions about
asexuality, only that I have been lucky in my personal experiences.

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

Your identity is real. What you experience is real. You are
valid. You are not alone.

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

My work can mainly be found at diariesofawaywardwriter.wordpress.com.

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

Interview: Sabrina

Today we’re joined by Sabrina, who also goes by
how-to-sit-gay. Sabrina is a phenomenal writer and dancer from Germany. She has recently picked up fanfiction again after a five year hiatus. She started writing fanfiction over ten years ago and wrote in a variety of fandoms. When she isn’t writing fic, Sabrina writes a lot of original work, mostly short fiction and poetry. Aside from writing, Sabrina also danced quite a lot. She danced in a
Gardetanzgruppe, which is part of carnival culture in Western and Southern Germany (for an example, here’s a video). My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please,
tell us about your art.

It feels like I’ve been writing stories since I
was able to spell my name, even though this might be far from true. I wrote my
first proper fanfiction back in 2005, but I started writing poems and original
stories before that, way back to when I was in elementary school. Since then I
have written more short stories and poems than I can count, apart from
fanfiction.

Gardetanz is a very special dancing style that is
deeply rooted in the carnival culture of Western and Southern Germany. I
started dancing when I was a wee little 7 year old and only stopped 17 years
later when I moved away to a federal state that has no carnival traditions
whatsoever and hence no dance group for me to join. I still miss it so much.
Luckily, any kind of dancing or working with my body still comes naturally to
me.

What
inspires you?

Usually it is my latest obsession, which I think
is not uncommon for fanfiction writers. I’m quite often inspired by songs –
some lyrics fragment that just makes me immediately develop a scene in my head.

When it comes to original stories or poems I draw
a lot from personal experience, especially when it’s about struggle or going
into the dark places of one’s mind. I’ve only ever written two “happy” poems in
my whole life, and that just to prove myself that I can.

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

Looking back, it seems like I was born with a
pencil in my hand. Always either drawing or writing. And when I was not holding
a pencil, I was running and dancing around. Little Me didn’t care for her 39.5
°C fever, she just needed to relentlessly jump and flail.

How and why I started dancing I is a simple story.
Our across the street neighbour told my mother about starting a children’s
dancing group in our local carnival club, and she thought this would be a nice
way to have me use my pent up energy. It was one of her best decisions.

I never wanted to be any kind of artist, or at least
I hadn’t planned to. In the end I just became Me with a raving passion to
create stories, and to move my body.

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, except you count the main characters
having a snarky and sarcastic kind of banter going on. This just happens
naturally. But I’m actually thinking about implementing something like this
now, like in Bones where there’s always a clock showing 4:47 in key scenes.

What advice
would you give young aspiring artists?

Go for it. And of course practice makes (almost)
perfect. It’s actually a good sign when you look at your old work and cringe a
little (or a lot in my case), because it shows that you’ve grown and improved
yourself. This counts for works both of the mind and the body.

ASEXUALITY

Where on
the spectrum do you identify?

It’s really hard to tell, the safest bet would be
grey-asexual, but there are times when I go “full ace” for different lengths of
time. As I have figured out thanks to my last relationship, if there is any
sexual attraction to happen it definitely isn’t towards male identifying
persons. Romantically I’m pan, though.

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

Not personally, so far. I think when it comes to
writing fanfiction where people try to live out their own fantasies (not
necessarily sex-wise), there are a lot of misconceptions about ace writers.
Yes, I am ace. Yes, I can enjoy reading smutty scenes. Yes, I am also capable
of writing them myself and have already done so. No, I’m not an innocent child
who squeals ‘ewwww’ as soon as the characters kiss.

I don’t know how it is with dancing. Luckily for
me, Gardetanz isn’t a dancing style loaded with sexual undertones, even though
the skirts are so short and your panties are visible most of the time. In my
group there was never any other sexuality discussed than heterosexuality, so I
don’t even know if my fellow dancers realised I was and still am utterly queer.
In the end, probably the same common misconceptions apply there as in most
other cases.

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

First and foremost of course, that it doesn’t
exist and I just haven’t had good sex yet. That it’s not natural. That I must
have lived through some trauma but maybe can be ‘repaired’.

When I was looking for a therapist for my
depression and anxiety, one said to me that I probably don’t want to have sex
because I’m such a closed off person. That woman never saw me again.

And being on Tumblr for quite some time now, I
noticed the astounding misconception that ace people don’t belong to the
LGBTQIA+ community, that we’re basically just prude/virgin hets-to-happen. The
first ones I can shrug off, the latter one really riles me up.

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

Don’t doubt yourself and your feelings (or lack
thereof), everything you experience and feel is valid. You don’t need to put a
tag on yourself if you can’t or don’t want to. There are times it feels like
the world just wants to spit in your face, but there will be a time all that
sh*t will go away to make room for all the good things.

I basically try to live by some wise words by
Charlie Chaplin: “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our
troubles.”

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

After a very long writing hiatus, I finally
published a fanfiction again. It can be found on AO3 under my username how_to_sit_gay. I’m
thinking about uploading my old (English) RP fanfiction after re-reading and
editing it as well, but this might take some time.

Said old tennis RPF can be found at poetry-of-dance.livejournal.com/tag/fic
but I probably really have to revise them as they are more than 8 years old.
Last but not least, a lot of my German short stories and (revised) fanfics
(2006-2009) are on fanfiktion.de/u/AngelOfFreedom

Unfortunately there are no videos from our Garde
performances online. You have to search YouTube for “Gardetanz” to get an
impression of it.

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

Interview: Nikki

Today we’re joined by Nikki. Nikki is a wonderful fanartist who does
digital art and is an avid cosplayer. She mostly sells digital art at
conventions, where she also shows off her incredible cosplays. It’s
clear she’s a dedicated artist who loves what she does. My thanks to her
for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a digital artist & cosplayer!  I sell fanart at cons, do commission work,
and, well, build cosplays!

What inspires you?

For my cosplay, characters who I see part of myself in
inspire me the most.  Strong women,
mostly.  I’ve also just made cosplays
because the character design/execution in the original media look cool.

For art, I find that real somber, sad scenes inspire
me.  I’m not entirely sure the reasoning,
but it resonates with me more than happy, cheerful stuff.

by Daily Bugle Photography

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

I’ve always been interested in art of any form, but I don’t
think I actively wanted to be an artist until around 2 or 3 years ago.  I also didn’t know I wanted to seriously do
cosplaying until maybe a year ago!  As
for what got me interested in cosplaying, I think it’d have to be the utter
confidence being in costume gives me.  I
love putting in hours and days of work into a cosplay, putting it on, and
showing the world what I made with my own two hands!

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 that I can really think of!  I do have a little trinket given to me by
Guerrilla Games, the company who made Horizon Zero Dawn that I wear when I
cosplay from the game!  I also have a
bracelet my best friend gave me that matches the aesthetic of the game that I
wear, too!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Very cliched, but keep practicing!  Nothing has to be perfect, in art, cosplay,
really anything, so don’t stress the small details.  That, and, if you put your heart and soul into
your work, it will show, no matter your skill level.

by Final Eva Productions

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am fully Asexual, and most likely greyromantic, but I’m
not sure about that.

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

Not that I’ve seen, but you never know what people say when
you’re not there.

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

I think the most common misconception that I see is that
it’s about libido or interest in sex, which isn’t the case.  Just like there can be allosexuals can be
uninterested in sex or have a low libido, an asexual can have interest in sex
and/or a high libido.

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

First and foremost, whether you’re asexual or not, that
doesn’t change who you are.  If you feel
comfortable identifying as ace, that’s wonderful!  If you don’t, you don’t have to! Maybe it
will just take some getting used to, or maybe the label just isn’t what you’re
feeling, and that’s perfectly okay.  No
one else can decide who you are, only you can. All I can hope for is that you
love yourself.

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

Anyone who is interested can find me on Tumblr and Instagram at AceArtCosplay,
and on Facebook at Ace Art
& Cosplay
.  I try to post updates
as much as I can, but it doesn’t always happen.

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

Interview: Naomi Clements Gettman

Today we’re joined by Naomi Clements Gettman. Naomi is a phenomenal visual artist and writer. The visual art is digital and mostly for fun. She does fanart, collages, and sometimes collaborates with her sister. When she’s not creating visual art, Naomi also writes a lot of poetry. It’s clear she’s a 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.

My art encompasses a few things. I dabble in
Photoshop and making digital collaborations with my sister. Most of the time
this means I will create a reference for her, she will draw line work, and then
I will scan and color. Other times I make simple collages, fan-art for bands I
love, or illustrate random jokes.

I also enjoy writing and have written lots of poetry,
although none of it is published anywhere. I am currently in the process of
collecting it all and will probably self-publish sometime soon, just to have a
physical collection to share with whoever would like to read it. I am also in
the process of writing a book, which is from an idea I developed in several of
my screenwriting classes.

What inspires you?

I think for my graphic design things, there are
certain things I create regularly, and other things I only create occasionally.
For instance, I may decide I need a new Twitter or Facebook banner and I whip
together a themed collage of things/characters I like. These are easy to do,
and I don’t spend much time thinking about it. Other times a band may host a
fan-art contest, or I may feel inspired by a line in a song, and I create a
single piece I am proud of after a few weeks of mulling it over. Once I am
finished with a bigger project like this, it takes a while to create something
again.

For my poetry, I am inspired by the sound of
things as much as the meaning. I enjoy rhyme and often write a whole poem
around a single phrase that I think sounds good. Sometimes my poems are
fictional stories, sometimes they are about self-doubt, sometimes they are
about growing up. There really is no uniting theme, which is why I find it so
hard to determine what is good and what is trash.

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

To say “field” is probably a bit of a
misdirection. I am currently in the awkward techinically-last-semester-but-done-with-credits-and-looking-for-anyone-who-will-hire-me
phase of life. My chosen field of study is in film/media, and I have a few
different experiences under my belt; from film digitization to advertising.
However, whether it is in the form of an essay, a video, a PowerPoint, or
whatever else, I love being creative and even enjoy working on a team to
research and complete a project. I have never wanted to be an artist in any
traditional sense of the word (like being an illustrator or a musician), but I
do believe that creativity and fun can be a part of almost everything you do.

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?

Nope! I suppose I should start signing things, but
I haven’t yet.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

My advice would be to just have fun with whatever
you are doing. Lots of ‘serious’ jobs require creativity, and lots of
‘creative’ jobs require business skills like budgeting or scheduling. Your best
bet is to approach whatever it is with a good attitude, and even if you don’t
love the whole job or the assignment or whatever, you can at least find an
aspect of it to enjoy.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I have happily identified as aro/ace for about 5
years now (since I was 17). The aro part of my identity came a little later, but
so far everything fits. I am fulfilled with the close friendships I’ve managed
to maintain, although I think I would like a QPR.  

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

I have never encountered any type of prejudice in
my workplace, but mostly I think that has to do with the fact that I have no
idea how to be out at work. I never actively hide my aro/ace identity, but also
it never actually comes up. Do people think I’m straight?? Maybe. Although it’s
more likely they think I’m gay since I talk about going to pride and what not. However,
whenever I do mention it, there is never any push-back from the person. Sure,
there’s the usual “what is that?” if they don’t already know, but there is a
never a follow-up “don’t worry, you’ll meet the right person.”

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

I have been very lucky to have an accepting family
and friend group. My whole “coming out” experience is not typical, I think.  I never tried to be anything I wasn’t or even
realized there was something different about me.  Even within the first years of knowing my
sexuality I was on an NPR segment talking about my experience. (Check it out if
you’d like, but be warned it is a few years old now https://www.scpr.org/programs/take-two/2016/08/11/51199/asexuality-and-the-internet-s-key-role-in-the-ace/)

However, one thing that breaks my heart (even
though it isn’t a misconception per se) is when I tell someone I am aro/ace,
and they say they have never met anyone else like me. It happens quite a lot,
and it feels horribly isolating.

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

I wish I had novel advice that could be applicable
to any type of person. Sometimes the “love yourself” mantra is easier said than
done, especially when you battle with anxieties and insecurities that others do
not. But I’m afraid I am not that person, and the only advice I can offer is to
find the connections that allow you to love yourself. Put all your energy into
cultivating a small network of love, and support will be there when you need
it.

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

If you would like to see my work or check out my
socials, please go to https://sncgportfolio.weebly.com/

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

Interview: thetruthhurts1

Today we’re joined by thetruthhurts1.
thetruthhurts1

is a wonderful young poet and songwriter. She has written mostly poetry but has recently started work on a novel. When she’s not writing poetry or prose,
thetruthhurts1

is writing ballads for the piano. It’s clear she’s a 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.

It started out with me writing short lines in the margins of
my notebooks. Sometimes it was just funny phrases. Other times it was witty
stanzas. Eventually, I bought a composition book and started writing out all
the things I couldn’t seem to say out loud eloquently. Then one Christmas my
mom bought me this cheap piano…and I felt all my thoughts and emotions slide
down my brain to my fingertips and I can’t imagine going back to a time before
piano.

What inspires you?

Well I would say that there are two stages currently in my
inspiration department. The first stage was me trying to figure out who I was
through words and songs (gave a try at drawing, painting, etc. and let’s just
say if finger painting becomes vintage ever I may switch careers). After that I
met someone who made me think about deeper things within me. I went from
writing about philosophical things like “Why am I here?” to “Why do I get
excited to just hold your hand?” My songs went from angst to love ballads.

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

I have always wanted to help people. My favorite super
person is Spidey, I hope to one day become a therapist, and I’m not one to shy
away from volunteer work. I sadly can’t say I’ve always liked writing. In fact,
I was more of a reader growing up. I think, that it was my love of reading that
led me to become so enamored with words. I fell in love with fictional characters
and felt what they felt and went where they went and one day I wanted to do
that too. I wanted people to feel what I felt and go where I’ve been to. I grew
up a minority and then slowly realized I was Ace so writing and music is where
I found a lot of comfort

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?

My friends that do get to see my work notice how I never
target one specific group in my work. I use neutral pronouns, I speak to all
socioeconomic groups, and when I’m disappointed in humanity it’s as a whole.
The only other fun feature is that I try to slip the title into the work
somewhere. It doesn’t always happen though because I’m not as crafty as I’d
like to be lol.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t do what I did for the first 4 years of this. Don’t
keep all of your writing in a torn Spidey folder you grabbed from Wal-Mart back
in the day. Get your work out there. Your words might be what makes the
difference in someone’s life.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am Ace or Asexual in the sense that I find the idea of
having sex about as fun as sliding down a razor blade slide into a tub of
alcohol.

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

I’ve only had a few occurrences of more…abrasive?….harsh
people. It was mostly of the sort where they told me that you can’t say being
repulsed to sex is a sexuality and invalidating the identity. I am lucky enough
to have found people in my life to love me so the hurt souls of the internet
don’t phase me as much as they could in the past. I usually just report them
and go on about my day.

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

For some odd reason, people think Aces can’t enjoy sex
jokes. I was an avid user of the phrase “that’s what she said” and as I matured
I was able to gain a better arsenal to male my friends choke on their drinks.
Aces can make sex jokes folks. We just don’t all partake in the action.

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

I went over half my life just calling myself an Alien (I’m
22yo to give some reference). Not everyone knows right out the gate how to
identify. Everything is constantly flowing and moving like the ocean so when
your water craft lands to shore there’s no guarantee you won’t get back out
there and land somewhere else. Life’s supposed to be about something more.
Don’t get anchored down trying to rush the process. Live and Love friends.

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

I post a lot of my poems on an App called Poet’s Corner
under the name healthepain. I post poems, quotes, and just mind farts on Tumblr
under thetruthhurts1. I haven’t
posted my songs anywhere (mainly because I’m the noob that writes the lyrics
and music separately and they never coordinate and it’s just a hot mess).

Thank you,
thetruthhurts1, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Holmesienne

Today we’re joined by Holmesienne. Holmesienne is a wonderful writer who is currently focused on writing a novel but also writes fanfiction and for Role Playing. She is incredibly passionate about writing and loves talking about the subject. Holmesienne is clearly a dedicated and talented artist, 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.

Well, I like to
do all sorts of art (even though I’m not so good at all of them) but the one I
feel very connected to is writing. I have always been interested in this art,
even though I didn’t considered it as such back then. It was just something I
enjoyed doing and nothing more. Since I was a kid I kind of wrote every time I
could, littles pieces of stories coming straight out of my mind. It was not
exactly the same topics, themes, characters or writing style I used at the
time, but this is how it works after all. It has helped me growing up, and
improving my writing abilities as well.

Now, I write
different kind of stuff. I’m focused on a novel for the time being, and I write
a fanfiction on the side too. Plus, I’m part of the Role Play community, so I’m
always torn between the three of them. Despite my inability to choose what I
want to write on most days, I’m always attached to the same thing: the style.
Well, I mean, I try to use the same style to write my RPs and fanfictions the
same way I do when I’m typing for the novel. Even though one seems less
“important” for some matter, I just can’t write something I haven’t put myself
into it with my bare soul. I guess I put a part of me in everything I write and
that’s why I’m so slow, cause I have some kind of self-sacrifice to make (I
mean, my energy, not some other thing super gore-like).

Anyway, to
describe my style it’s really difficult for me to explain cause I don’t think I
could find the right words which fit my writing abilities. It’s not pretentious
or some shit like that, I really can’t find THE word to summarize it all, but I
could try to give a shot at some kind of explanation. I guess the best words I
could use to describe the style is: detailed and kind of explicit descriptions
of landscapes/situations/feelings, so that an impression can emerge and readers
permeate themselves with the combination of the said impression and the
atmosphere depicted, to guess the implicit meaning of the sentences and the
story in general. Sorry if it doesn’t make sense in English, but it’s the best
I can do to grasp the very substance of it all.

I also try to
approach some difficult subjects to give some kind of depth to the story. What I
mean by that is that I’m not familiar with light subject and little connection.
I like it when I can find a deep bond between situations, a strong explanation
as to how it connects and how it will affect the future of the story, and so
on. The difficult subjects I talk about are somehow linked to the troubles we
all experience at some point in life. It’s not always the case, sometimes I
don’t address it at all. But I always try to show that nothing’s always black
or white, that everything’s kind of grey, no matter the nuances.

I think I can cut
it now. It will do.

What inspires you?

Honestly,
everything. The situations I see/read about everyday kind of inspire me at some
point, some structures too I guess, like buildings or shops and even
landscapes. Songs or videos I watch on TV or on the Internet. But the thing
that inspires me the most is the weather. The grey or night kind of weather.
The rainy and stormy kind too. Every time I go outside, I look at the grey sky,
the thick clouds, the bright stars, the pale moon, the ragging storm, the
sparkling lightning, the rain pouring down. That’s what inspires me. Because I
just stay there, inhale and permeate myself with the atmosphere emanating from
this kind of weather. I imagine my characters or some situations linked to this
aura, and it just strikes me. Every time I feel like I don’t know how to start
a sentence, I just get out and it’s there, hanging in the air. Just for my
imagination to reach out for.

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

I can’t remember,
really. I guess everything I had to do in my life had put me in this place
right now. Had made me fond of the art of the literature, even though I hated
these classes back then when I was still at school. I was not super interested
in this field at first, I was just happy to wrote things when I had an idea at
the time. With nothing to bother me and no strings attached.

Now, I still
don’t consider myself like an author or a writer, but I would find it amazing
if I could become a professional artist in my field. I’m just an amateur for
the time being, but I guess I’ll see what’s next to come for me. Whatever will
happen in the future, I would just be glad if I could still write on my spare
time. No matter what.

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 think I do
yeah. When I write, I like to include some words corresponding to a certain
domain. A unique category of words, linked to a specific setting. It’s a
cluster of themes I’m more aspiring to write about. The category is: the dark.
I always write words linked to the dark, to describe different things, like a
situation, a landscape, a feeling. I mostly use those words: obscure, shadow,
dusk, opaque, oblivion, naught, and so on. And I also use terms that are
contrasting to them, to impose some kind of duality (cluster words about light
for example).

It’s my signature
and certainly the strongest feature of the things I write.

Sometimes, I like
to add some symbols here and there, to cut the story at one point and show that
the following sentences belong to another section of work. This is how I write
the most, because I always write one situation at a time, and to just mix it up
or rush the story is really not my cup of tea.

(It’s probably
how you will recognize me if you ever read my stuff.)

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

The more
important thing you have to remember when you do your art is that it’s for you
FIRST. You do what you want for you. You make things you like for you. When you
get to become or consider yourself as an artist, please, remember this. Do
what’s best for you. Do what you enjoy. Do what you like.

If there’s
something you want so badly to see in art and no one has ever done it before,
just do it! Do not hold back for anything in your life, especially for art
because it’s directly linked to you. To your very being and your soul, to your
beautiful spirit.

And please,
another thing you absolutely have to remember and to know: do not wait for
others to criticize (or worst, evaluate) your stuff without them knowing what
you intend to do. Do not lay your work in other hands (unless it’s collective
art) because it will not feel like it’s your work anymore.

Last thing you
have to understand it that it’s okay when you have no motivation or don’t have
time at all. Don’t feel bad and don’t put yourself down over your work because
of this. You will get through it and you will get back to your stuff.

Little trick for
you all, if you don’t feel confident enough : I always tell everyone that, if
you do something you like, it’s because you know you’re good at it. Otherwise
you would have ended it sooner than later or stopped it a long time ago.

Believe in you ♥

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as
demisexual. But mostly I tell people I’m just asexual so that I don’t have to
explain all the time the specificity of my real identity. It’s sometimes
exhausting to describe what it means to those who don’t know or understand what
it is. But, every chance I get and when I have time, I correct myself and tell
them who I am and how I identify. It’s important for everyone to grasp the
signification and for us to expand the representation.

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

Personally, I
haven’t met ace prejudice in my field, but I do have encountered some ignorance
in real life. Some people are not informed or show some misconceptions about
what it means to be asexual.

When it happens
IRL, I always stand my ground and explain to them the aspects of being ace,
what it means, what it really is. Because it’s my identity and I will not let
anyone disregard myself for it just because they know shit about this and won’t
take the effort to inform themselves over it.

On the other
hand, when I see some posts on the internet about our community, I reblog them,
I retweet them. I’m not fluent enough in English to explain out of the blue
everything about asexuality to people on the internet. However, when it’s in my
native language, I can tell almost everything there is to know about the
community and the spectrum.

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

I have two
misconceptions in mind but they are somehow linked.

The first is that
people that are ignorant on the matter think that asexuality means we don’t
like or practice sex at all. It’s infuriating because there are asexual that
love sex. It’s not about the act itself (in general I mean, but I understand if
the repulsion of the act is a part of why someone identify as ace) but more
about sexual desire and sexual attraction. They are “lacking” or “low” most of
the time for asexual but it doesn’t mean that it’s unnatural. How can someone
believe it’s unnatural? It’s just normal.

The second is the
fact that everyone always have to give the “It’s because you haven’t met the
right person, yet!” card. And for that, I’m kind of biased since I’m demi,
because I get why it’s the matter sometimes. Even though it’s more about the
connection between one ace person and their partner (romantic or not)  that is important for this aspect. You trust
some people with this, and there are people you just don’t. But it’s not the
matter altogether. The reason this pretense is also false is that you can met
whoever you like, it will not change anything about your asexuality. You are
and always will be a part of the community, no matter what.

There are so many
more misconceptions I could talk about but I never encountered anything else,
so I will stop here.

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

It’s probably not
what you would want to read but making your own researches help a lot at first.
That way you can focus on what’s important for you, and get to know how to
better identify yourself.  (However I
understand that if you are completely lost on the beginning it will not be the
better point to get across, especially if you don’t know the word asexuality).

You can also talk
with ace people on the internet after logging on some forums or read through
ace positivity blogs. Asks those who are willing to help you, they will be
happy to do it. Search for associations or clubs or documents or even
interviews, and so on. On the internet or in real life too.

The most
important thing is that once you get to identify yourself, everything else will
not be so hard anymore. You are scared to do your ace coming-out? Don’t. You
want to do it? Do it. Just remember to not push yourself to fit into society
while you’re here with something so special that it makes you unique. But, so
long as you are happy and in terms with yourself, it’s all that will matter.

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

You can find my
fanfic(s) on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Holmesienne/works

Also I have short
“poems” on Twitter: https://twitter.com/Kt_Chup

I would
absolutely adore to share the stories of the characters I write about (not for
the novel, but for the RP on forums) and I think I will post them soon on
Tumblr (in my native language): http://coloraldreamx.tumblr.com/

Hopefully I will
probably finish the novel one day too and post it on the internet, who knows.
There’s also a chance I will post facts about the story’s characters on Tumblr,
and maybe some one shots if I ever made other ones too.

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

Interview: Nya Holmes

Today we’re joined by Nya Holmes. Nya is a phenomenal musician who plays the bass. She plays in jazz bands and orchestras. When she’s not playing the bass, she plays the guitar just for fun. It’s clear that she’s a passionate and talented artist who loves music, 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 am a classical and Jazz bass player, but above all that I
am a musician. I can play all kinds of music, pretty much anything you put in
front of me I’ll be able to figure out eventually, so long as it’s on my
instrument. Music is my entire life. I dedicate all days of my week to go to a
performing arts academy at my high school where I am in the top jazz and
orchestral ensembles. I’m in outside ensembles as well, dedicating my Sundays
to music from 10:30 am to 8:00 pm. I love it, and hope to do it for the rest of
my life.

What inspires you?

Honestly, the thing that inspires me the most is my friends.
They are all incredibly talented musicians, and we all motivate each other to
be the best version of ourselves. Besides that, it’s listening to recordings of
accomplished musicians and orchestras that truly inspiring. Listening to the
Berlin Philharmonic, or people like Bozo Padzick inspires me to be the amazing
bass player I know I can be. My ultimate goal would be to play in pit
orchestras of Broadway musicals, so going to musicals really inspires me and
gives me an extra boost of inspiration to continue my craft.

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

I became interested in my field through school. I began
guitar in second grade, then started bass when I was in sixth grade. Before
this however, music has been around me my entire life. I looked around and I
wondered why I didn’t play and instrument and wanted to so badly. I felt like I
didn’t have a talent, and I’m so grateful to have found one. I guess I always
wanted something, and I hoped it would be creative because I am greatly
influenced by my father, who is an artist and an animator. He went to art
school, so that concept has never been foreign to me and with my mother signing
me up for music classes at a young age I have definitely always wanted to be
creative.

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?

Being a musician, it’s hard to include your unique touch to
work that was written up to hundreds of years ago, but I guess whenever I
perform I make these really dumb faces that make people think I’m upset or in
pain, but I’m really just concentrating.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

It sounds cheesy but just keep going. If your art is making
you unhappy, take a break. Take a walk. Then come back to it. Always come back
to it, remember why you love your art, then keep going.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a bi-romantic asexual.

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

I have been fortunate enough to not encounter any ace
prejudice in my field but that’s most likely due to the fact that I live in Los
Angeles, a very liberal place.

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

That I asexually reproduce. They don’t actually think that,
but it’s the first thing that comes to most people’s minds when I come out to
them as asexual. Other than that they usually don’t know what I’m talking
about, and when I add into this that I also identify as bi, they become even
more confused. It seems like they cannot distinguish between romantic and sexual
attraction.  

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

Find people who understand and support asexuality. It’s
impossible to go through something alone, so find people who understand to talk
to. If that’s not feasible, then read about asexual people who have gone
through what you are going through.

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

I don’t post too much about music but the best way to
contact me would be on my Instagram, which is at nyaholmie, I plan to post more
about music in the very near future.

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

Interview: Michelle Shelf

Today we’re joined by Michelle Shelf. Michelle is a wonderful musician and an aspiring writer. For music, she plays in a variety of genres and mashes them up quite a bit. She obviously has quite a talent for it as well. For writing, Michelle has a number of ideas that she intends to put to the page eventually, including an LGBTQ+ fantasy and a book about four ace friends. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and 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’m an “acespiring” musician and author that clearly loves
puns (badum tss). Primarily, I am a singer/songwriter and I love to dabble in
novel-writing. Music wise, I try to write indie-pop-acoustic rock type music,
and I love to tell my stories through my music. Writing wise, I’m a giant
procrastinator who comes up with novel ideas but can never finish them (think
of me like Professor Finbarr Calamitous from Jimmy Neutron). My main novel idea that I hope to finish and have
published someday, is a fantasy-type LGBT novel. My other idea is another LGBT
novel focused on four a-spec friends.

What inspires you?

A few other artists inspire me, but I honestly think most of
my inspiration comes from my friends who are incredibly talented, and from
wanting to better myself. I’ve always envisioned myself on a stage performing
music, and pretending to give my Grammy Award winning speech in front of the
mirror may just be what inspires me that day.

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

As mentioned above, I have always seen myself performing.
I’ve never wanted to do anything else, I’ve never dreamed of anything else.
Music has just always been a passion of mine, ever since my mom signed me up
for a music camp and my dad got me my first guitar.

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’m not sure if this is a unique feature, but I try to tell
my stories through my music so when you listen to it, it sounds like an audio
novel.

With my novels, I am that annoying writer your high school
English teacher warned you about. Everything I write has a reason. I want to
make sure that there is something new you realize every time you reread it.
Foreshadowing is wonderful. I also make sure everything I write is LGBT, since
there is so little of it out there.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep at it. It will get tough at times, that’s a given, but
if it’s truly what you love and what makes you happy, don’t let any hate or
discouragement get you down. Whether you make it to the big stage (like the
Grammys or whatever it is in your artistic field) or not, if it makes you
happy, and you enjoy creating, then you’ve made it. You’ve won.

Also, don’t tell yourself “I’ll remember this idea in the
morning”. You won’t. Keep a pencil and pad next to your bed. Or notes in your
phone. Don’t be lazy like me. Don’t convince yourself at 3 am that you’ll
remember that incredible idea when you wake up in the morning. Because you
won’t.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Ha. That’s a fun question. I am all over the place. For the
sake of a quick answer, I just say I’m asexual. An umbrella term. But I may be
grey or demi. I haven’t quite figured that out for myself. As for my sexuality
and my romantic orientation, I’m a big question mark, with the only certainty
being that I am “a-spec”.  

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

I, personally, haven’t encountered prejudice or ignorance,
but in the music field, having so many hit songs be about love and sex, I won’t
be surprised if I ever do. Same with novels, so many books are based on
romance, and what’s romance without sex, right? (I wish I could eye roll in
text).  Books especially have this high
desire to always have a romance, and always have a het-cis romance, and if they’re
for older Y/A audiences and up, they always have some type of sexual desire or
scene or something. It gets annoying that everything has to be centered around
sex and romance. It doesn’t.  One of my
novel ideas actually focuses on four a-spec friends, but again, I have yet to
write it, because I am Professor Finbarr Calamitous and can never finish
anything.

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

That you need sex in a relationship. All of my past
relationships, as soon as I kept saying no, we magically started drifting
apart. You don’t need sex to have love. I love fried ravioli, but I would never
have sex with it.

Also, the annoying “You don’t know if you’ve never had it”
comment. (insert that text eye roll again).

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

I’m there with you, but know that it is your decision. You  know what you like and what you don’t. You know
what you want to do and what you don’t. And it may change overtime, and that’s
okay, it does not invalidate what you were or who you are. You may even just
umbrella term like I do, or not use a label at all. That is okay, you don’t
need one. You are lovely and you are real and you are valid. Always believe
that.

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

Music wise, I am on YouTube and Soundcloud. Please ignore my
13 year old self thinking that was a cool YouTube handle. I’ve tried every
which way to change it.

Writing wise, follow me on Twitter at eyeliveonmusic and come watch me
stress about my novel ideas and never write them. (Hopefully NaNoWriMo changes
that this year).

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

Interview: Jaem

Today we’re joined by Jaem. Jaem is a phenomenal visual artist who works in traditional mediums. She does a lot of painting and a little crocheting. Their paintings are large vibrant pieces, which often fit together. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist who loves to create. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I paint on paper or canvas using mainly acrylic paint in
select shades for each piece

What inspires you?

Horror movies are great inspiration, and using subtle ways
of that, such as cables, skeletons, syringes, or just background images and
motifs is very interesting

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

I took art as a subject in high school, general at first
then moved on to painting, and just enjoyed it and loved it so much I continue
to do 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 use arrows and mountains a lot, whether in the background
or as a focal point, I also use three (give or take one or two) shades in a
series of work so they all have a good link and you can see how the story
develops

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just continue with it, spend as much time as you can working
at it, and if you don’t want to spend time on it find a medium that you do want
to spend time on.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Currently as Demi, but I have previously identified as fully
asexual

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

I am not out as such to anybody in my field, but I have been
told/overheard people talking about sexuality and how “having sex/sexual
thoughts is intrinsic to being an artist” I usually say something about how
ignorant the person who said that must be or just ignore it

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

That people who identify as asexual are prudes/don’t like to
talk or mention anything vaguely sexual – there are probably people who this
applies too, but there are many others that it doesn’t apply too

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

Read up on it, do some research, and see how you are going
to let it affect or change your life, you don’t have to let it become a major
part of you and effect your everyday life, but if you ignore it or try to shove
it away, it will negatively affect your self-perception and how you feel about
life

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

I am not currently displaying or selling any of my work, but
in future I am hoping to sell on Etsy or a similar website, and maybe if I can,
have my art displayed in a gallery.

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

Interview: Eli Alaimo

Today we’re joined by Eli Alaimo. Eli is a phenomenal author and former animator. They have written a full-length novel as well as two cyberpunk novellas. When they’re not working on creative writing, they write for a podcast entitled “The Gimmick Room,” which sounds hilarious. It’s clear they’re a passionate artist who loves what they do. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I have to be upfront about it: I’m a failed animator. That sounds grim, I know, but I don’t take it as a bad thing. I have a degree in animation, and spent the better part of a decade trying to find animation work. That’s not meant to be discouraging; I had a lot of other factors going on that I had to sort through. But I did my best for a long enough time that nobody can say I didn’t try. In the end, it wasn’t for me.

Nowadays, I’m a writer. In one way or another I’ve been writing for almost 20 years. I’ve written a full-length novel called Bonneville, and two cyberpunk novellas titled MLAW.EXE and Crystal!. I also do writing for a podcast I’m on called The Gimmick Room, where I and a friend of mine come up with wrestling characters for the fictional company we work for.

Honestly it’s been kind of a big shift for me in the past year switching from animation to writing, but I’ve also been more productive writing than I ever have when animating so while I’m still early in it, it’s a positive career change for me. I don’t feel like my time spent working on animation was wasted, though. At the very least it means that I can design and draw my own covers for my books.

What inspires you?

An important part of my work is whatever project I’m working on, there’s this emotional core to it. Whether it be based upon an event in my life, or a way I felt, or someone I knew, that core is what gives me the inspiration to work on something. It ties into the old saying of “write what you know.” You don’t have to write a 1:1 account of something that happened to you. But you can draw upon the feelings of abandonment you felt during high school and apply it to a medieval story.

Oh, and also cyberpunk. Cyberpunk is rad as hell and a big inspiration for me. Same for any 80’s-90’s anime with two girls teaming up and kicking ass. (See: Dirty Pair or Gunsmith Cats)

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

I picked up drawing in high school, and originally I wanted to get into animation to work on video games. (Jet Set Radio helped with that.) Then I wanted to make my own animated TV show or movie. Through everything though, I would work on writing as a hobby. My reasoning was that I’d get into the animation industry as an animator, and work my way into writing from there. (I know now that it absolutely does not work that way and I strongly advise against anybody else doing 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 decided a while back that nobody in my books would be straight unless it’s explicitly pointed out. At first it was to be kinda cheeky and spiteful, but now it’s more of a “oh, these are the kinds of people I’m interested in writing, and relate to the most.” Plus I want queer people to be normalized. You should never have to explain why a character is queer or not cis. They just are. And I want that to be normal.

Also: one of my favorite things to put into books is scenes with food. I believe that cooking and sharing meals with other people is one of the best ways to get to know someone or help them in bad times. So I always go into detail with scenes where people are eating or prepping food.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You know that idea you have? The one that you’re like “Oh this is my dream project. I’ve been thinking about it for years! I’ll get to it someday when I’m good enough!” Make it now. Just go ahead and make it now. If it’s a book, a comic, a cartoon, a script, album, whatever it is just work on it and finish it to the best of your ability. Because when you finish that first project, the others will come a lot easier. It took me three years to finish my first book. Honestly if you trace the lineage of it that book existed in some form for the better part of nine years. My second book took me 11 months. Then my third took less than a month. Granted, the second two were novellas, so they were shorter, but I knew I was working faster on them, and I knew the quality of my writing was getting better as I did.

The point is: you’re not going to get anywhere waiting for your ‘perfect idea’ to be executed. Just make it. I promise your next idea will be even better, because you will be better.

image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual. I was undecided on whether I was aromantic or not, and I don’t think I am. But I haven’t really thought about it in years. But even realizing that asexuality was A Thing helped put a lot of things into perspective from when I was younger.

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

Ignorance definitely. An astounding number of people don’t know what asexuality is, and those who do have next to no correct understanding of it. I try to be courteous when I correct people’s misconceptions, or even tell them about asexuality.

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

That asexual people don’t have a sex drive at all. In reality, sometimes the truth is even more hellish because you can have a libido, but also be asexual which means now you have this energy but don’t feel attraction to anybody. This also helped put a lot of my earlier life into perspective.

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

Don’t let anybody tell you it’s not real, or that you’re invalid, or that it’s a phase, you’re not “queer enough” or any other hot trash take. Ace people are part of the queer community, and never feel like you’re not. It can be tough because a lot of times the community can feel “sex positive” in a way that can make a lot of people uncomfortable. But remember; it’s not a failing on your part.

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

Currently you can find my books on my Gumroad and my itch.io pages. They’re pay what you want! If you wanna download them for free, go ahead!

https://gumroad.com/ealaimo

https://ealaimo.itch.io/

The podcast I work on is the Gimmick Room and we update every two weeks: https://thegimmickroom.simplecast.fm/

I also use Twitter more than any other social platform: https://twitter.com/ealaimo

Be warned I say a lot more cuss words on there than this interview would lead you to believe. But I’m also really funny. We all make sacrifices.

image

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