Today we’re joined by Sierra Sonora. Sierra is a wonderful visual artist and fanartist. She specializes in nature photography, taking pictures of local flora and fauna, showing the beauty of life in vivid color and detail. When she’s not taking picture, Sierra dabbles in fanfiction and fanart. She’s also currently endeavoring to write a novel. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a bright future ahead of her, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about
My art consists of a variety of mediums. One includes the
photography of natural landscapes as well as nature, such as local Flora/Fauna.
It also includes writing of both original work and Fanfiction. I also draw in
what can be considered an Anime/Cartoon style of me, my friends, pets, and
Fanart on mostly regular sketchbook paper with pencil/pen and colored pencils,
or I will digitally upload my art and work on it with a paint program. I
thoroughly enjoy singing, and write poetry, but have yet to compose any
original songs-although I have written at least 3 parodies that revolve around
different favorite pairings of characters from TV shows I watch.
What inspires you?
The need to create and channel my emotions inspire me to do
all of the above. I often struggle with verbally expressing my emotions, but
through art I can slow down and think things through-especially when I draw. The
joy of others also inspires me, as I find happiness in making other people
happy with my art. I find that when I share my art, whatever the medium, I feel
a meaningful and spiritual connection with the ones I am sharing with and that
connectivity is vital to me.
What got you
interested in your field? Have you
always wanted to be an artist?
Ever since I was little, I enjoyed watching cartoons,
reading books, and drawing. It’s hard for me to say that I’ve always wanted to
be an artist, because what I do doesn’t really feel like “art” to me; I see it
as a coping mechanism and a way to make others feel happy. Put simply, I view
my art as a tool, and that prevents me from seeing it as what I feel “art”
Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?
I do have one thing in my art that I include; it’s a simple
necklace of mine that I’ve had for about 8 years now; a simple black nylon
string with a silver eagle talon pendant holding within its three claws a white
marble. This necklace is a special possession I hold, and I like to include it
when I draw myself or a main character from one of my original works.
What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?
As cliché as it sounds, I am going to say it anyway because
it’s true: Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your art, whether it is photography,
mixed medium, paintings, writings, drawings, fandom related, etc. Don’t give
up. You, as a unique individual with your own perspective on life, your own
unseen and secret views, have so much to offer to the art world. Whatever it
is, it may not turn out quite the way you want it to the first time-this is
only reasonable; you are new at things, and with novelty comes practice.
It may even take a long time to feel comfortable where you
are on your journey in creation. I still have 10-year-old art lying around that
makes me cringe every time I see them, but I keep them to remind myself of the
journey it took to get where I am, and to propel me to work hard and push myself
further. I highly recommend you do the same-keep your art, every scrap. You’ll
be glad you did so later on down the road.
Another piece of advice that is repeated over and over again
for good reason is this: Don’t compare yourself to other artists if it is only
going to result in self-loathing or any form of negativity. It’s not worth it,
and it won’t help you become better at your passion. Trust me, I know. I’ve
done it, and it only made me want to quit art altogether and it would make me
feel inferior/jealous. How terrible is that- to want to give up on something
that brings you joy because you feel you are not adequate? To feel negative,
nasty feelings towards others because I was not secure enough in who I was as
an artist? It’s terrible, and unfair to yourself and the other person.
So I say this: don’t compare. Just create. If you must
compare, try to do so with humility- recognize that you aren’t where you want
to be yet and have patience with yourself.
My last piece of advice is this: Be kind to yourself and be
kind to others; you’re not the only one struggling. Reach out to one another
with love, offer emotional support when possible, and practice constructive
criticism on yourself and others. You, as an honorary member of the art world,
are here to uplift, inspire, create, and comfort through your works-whatever
they may be. We need you, and you belong here. My sincerest hope is that this
advice has been useful/helpful and uplifting to those who read it.
Where on the spectrum
do you identify?
I identify as an Aromantic Asexual. Personally, I find that
when I am in a relationship, I can adapt to the other person and provide
physical intimacy such as hand-holding, kissing, cuddling, even if I don’t
necessarily feel a desire to do so, and when/if I marry, I am willing to
provide them with the sexual intimacy that I know my partner will deserve if
they are not Asexual themselves.
Have you encountered
any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’ve encountered, blessedly, a little amount of ace
prejudice/ignorance. Generally, it was from people asking me how I could not
want sex, and I generally would deal with it as such; I’d tell them I just
didn’t find sex interesting, or I’d tell them I found things to enjoy out of
life that was more fitting for gaining pleasure than sex, such as books, or
video games, or eating. I was never called a freak, or anything of that nature,
which is a blessing and I hope my experience helps others. Mostly the people
who I have talked to were rather open-minded and just curious, but I know this
isn’t the case for everyone. For those of you who have experienced ace
prejudice, my heart goes out to you.
What’s the most
common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve
encountered is the notion that Asexuals just don’t want sex. Which isn’t true
as we know- our orientation is about sexual attraction, not the actual desire
for sex. Like other orientations, it varies for everyone. Personally, I don’t
want it, but that doesn’t make me any more Asexual than someone who does.
What advice would you
give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their
You’re not broken. That is the most heartfelt advice I can
give. You are not broken, and you’re not alone. The love songs will say you’re
incomplete without that “special person”. It’s a lie. If you can find someone
who is whole and spend the rest of your life happily with them, then wonderful.
But you are not broken and you are not incomplete. You are you, and you are not
alone- we’re here with you, flying under the same purple, grey, white, and
black flag and we’re proud to stand with you.
Finally, where can
people find out more about your work?
You can find out more about my work through my Tumblr
account, my username is “Willchild”.
I don’t post much art or works there, to be honest, but I think after this
interview I will if it can help bring joy to other artists and help them feel
more secure about posting their own art. Please feel free to tag me in your
art, I would be ecstatic to see it; or message me/ask me, from one artistic Ace
Thank you, Sierra, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.