Category: aromantic asexual

Interview: Alexa Baird

Today we’re joined by Alexa Baird. Alexa is a phenomenal visual artist and writer who is so ridiculously creative. They’re a fellow indie author who has self-published a number of novels and novelettes, which can be found on Amazon (look them up and supported a fellow ace). They also has a wonderful webcomic entitled Selfinsertale, which looks absolutely fascinating. Also, they’re a fellow Star Trek fan, which is awesome. Alexa is so passionate and dedicated, 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.

My main art is writing. I write and self-publish novels and
novelettes about a wide cast of characters including humans, robots, and
magical beings, sometimes all in the same book. I’ve even taken to illustrating
some of my more recent novels though I’ve been creating visual art since
childhood. I also like to create comics and started my current webcomic series
in 2016.

What inspires you?

I always like to say that tea helps with my creative-tea,
but a lot of my inspiration comes from conversations with my friends and the
ideas we spark together about our characters, how various characters would
interact, etc. A lot of my ideas come from the desire to see a specific audience
reaction that I test run by sharing these ideas with my friends.

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

Starting in elementary school, my family and some of my
teachers encouraged my artistic pursuits, though growing up I would jump from
visual arts, to crafts, to music, to visual arts again, and also to writing. I
used to hate writing as a result of the standardized tests I had to take when
younger, but after being introduced to the concept of fan fiction and original
characters I started to spend a lot of time in middle school creating my own
stories as a coping mechanism. Over time I stuck with it and created more and
more stories and characters until I got to where I am today with my novels and
comics.

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’s subtle and not always consistent, but in a lot of my
novels or series I try to fit in the word “trek” at some point in it as a
nerdy, small reference to Star Trek.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to try new types of art and don’t be afraid
to change your mind on what sort of artist you are. Maybe you start out as a
writer but you want to try making crafts and find you have more fun with crafts
and don’t want to write any more. That’s fine! Do what makes you happier in the
end. Or maybe you’re a musician who tries painting a few times but end up not
liking it. That’s fine too! You gained experience just from trying something
you don’t normally do. Or maybe you try all sorts of things and have several
different types of art you like and want to pursue. More power to you then,
buddy. Trying new things always gives you more insight, and if you find
something you prefer to do over what you had been doing before then the insight
you gained is one of exploring more about yourself and your desires.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m ace and aro.

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

I’ve mainly seen prejudice remarks said to others rather
than to me directly but it’s always hurtful to see. I find the best way to
handle it is to support those who deal with this ignorance to let them know
they aren’t alone in their identity and to understand that while those who are
hateful may be the loudest, they are not the majority and there are ultimately
more kind people in the world than there are bad.

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

That asexual people don’t belong in the LGBT+ community,
usually due to people insisting that asexual people are actually straight. The
most common misconception I see is that a lack of sexual attraction can let a
person pass as straight, or that it means they actually are straight, and
therefore that we aren’t queer enough to be part this community.

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

Asexuality is a normal and valid thing, and there are more
people out there who are also asexual than you can count. Though the common
statistic is only one percent of the world is asexual, that would still mean 76 million people in this world are also
asexual, and I don’t think this takes into account those who due to societal
norms don’t realize they are asexual as well. There is a large community here
that can help and support you, and even if you can’t reach out to them personally
they are still here if you ever need them and will be willing to help you as
well.

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

You can find my books on Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/author/alexabaird
and my webcomic at http://selfinsertale.smackjeeves.com/
and bonus content at my Patreon at http://www.patreon.com/alexabaird

My main Tumblr
and my Instagram username
is allislaughter. And my Twitter is allislaughterEX.

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

Interview: Riley

Today we’re joined by Riley. Riley is a phenomenal performance artist who does a bit of everything. She dances, acts, sings, and even does public speaking. Riley is a fascinating artist with an incredible presence, as you’ll soon read. She’s an artist to watch and definitely has a very bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I dance, act, and sing, and do public speaking! I’ve also
dabbled in expanding those specific interests of mine by choreographing,
playwriting, songwriting, and I’ve started a YouTube channel where I can focus
my speechwriting.

What inspires you?

I always find myself so inspired by other people who can
break the mold of their art forms and selves. I’m also inspired by the idea
that I could fill that same role for another person.

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

My mother was a dancer, but how I found a love for acting,
singing, and otherwise performing, I haven’t got a clue where the passion
originated. I do think that I’ve always wanted to be an artist- performing was,
is, and will always be a part of my life.

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 like to bring my knowledge of acting into each of the art
forms I am involved in. I think that understanding character, role, and the
ability to outwardly perform that in any artistic production is an integral
piece that I hope to bring to all of my work.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Know why you’re doing what you’re doing, and never ever
stop. I know how cliché it sounds, but it’s so true! If you love it, keep at
it, and keep reminding yourself that you love it, even if it gets tough (and it
will get tough).

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as aro-ace, but really my sexuality is just one
big shrug emoji ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

Grade 11 was my first onstage kiss… Or it was supposed to be, anyways. It ended up
more as some weird mashing of lip corners, cheeks, and chins. My inability to
properly articulate my odium and quasi-fear of romantic interactions led to an
angry director and a hurt castmate, and my attempts at explanations only led to
anger and confusion.

Every child has heard the “advice”: if you break a plate
while washing dishes, you’ll never be asked to do the dishes again. That’s
seemed to work for me- I haven’t had a PDA role in the three years since
performing that scene.

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

“Asexuality is biologically impossible, humans were made to
copulate and procreate”, to which I eye roll so hard I strain a muscle. I just
don’t like the idea of sex- and romanticism is a man-made and societal
enforced idea. Nothing in the animal kingdom are holding hands and bringing
each other flowers. If you like it, you do it. It’s just not really my style.

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

If you want to adopt a label, do it! If you don’t, that’s
cool too! Orientation is about comfortability for yourself. Don’t be afraid to
chuck a label you’ve found for yourself and pick up a new one if it’s a better
fit. Life is too short for constrictions you’ve set for yourself.

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

You can find my dance videos and some of my rants on YouTube,
and I have some more videos and updates on my Instagram and Tumblr! Come and chat!

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

Interview: Lauren King

Today we’re joined by Lauren King. Lauren is a fantastic indie author who is working on self-publishing some visual novels. She has also dabbled in some fanart and vocal covers of music. Writing is where her heart lies and Lauren is incredibly passionate about the art of writing, 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 main form of art is my writing, it always has been. I
love to pick apart the English language, finding different forms of expression
through writing. It’s always been fascinating to me.

For my writing specifically, I’ve always had an interest in
character-focused stories, or stories that play with genre or base plots.
Generally my stories will focus more on the tension between people, even those
who are on the same ‘side’ in a conflict. Villains are more there to set off a
story, while most of the conflict comes from human error and all the ways communication
can break down. It’s not always a cheery ride, especially when I deconstruct
story types like the Hero’s Journey, but I’ll always try to bring it to a
cheerier outcome!

My presentation of my writing has changed a lot over the
years. Right now I’m putting my stories into visual novel format, with the
possibility of drawing the images for it myself if I can get my art to the same
standard as my writing.

What inspires you?

Other art, usually. Life is a great place to draw
inspiration for some people, but I don’t really get out enough. Instead, I try
to watch and read as much as I can! When I’m writing I’m almost always watching
something in the background or listening to music in order to get inspired.

Something I don’t usually admit is that a lot of my
inspiration comes from myself, especially when it comes to characters. If you
were to point out any character from any story that I’ve written then I would
be able to tell you what part of myself I see in them. That isn’t always a good
thing, obviously, since I like to write about stressed and depressed people,
but at least it helps make the characters seem more real, even when they’re
pushed to their breaking point (as they often are in my stories).

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist since I saw my first movie, The Wizard of Oz. At first, I wanted to
be a singer. I can vividly remember singing Somewhere
Over the Rainbow
with my mother as we did the dishes. Singing gradually
drifted to acting in musicals, where I became interested in the scripts,
specifically the characters. Wanting to become a writer was a gradual thing,
and deciding on visual novels was even more so. Until this year I was wavering
between writing scripts for musicals, writing books, or just keeping my writing
as a hobby on the internet. I’m glad to have found a way that agrees with me
and my writing style.

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?

This isn’t an intentional thing, but I have a habit of
‘getting meta’. Characters regularly realize that they’re in stories, and that
fact is actually used by some characters in order to manipulate the outcome. It
doesn’t happen in every story that I write, but since almost all of them are
linked into the same story it is always something that could come up.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

People are going to tell you that art isn’t going to pan
out, that only a few people ever ‘get noticed’. That isn’t true. With the
internet, there’s more opportunities for artists at any stage of their lives to
get themselves out there. Find your niche, do something you actually want to
do. Don’t feel bad for wanting to be popular, everyone wants to be noticed for
their art. Just make sure that your love of art is stronger than your need for
attention. And no matter what stage your art is at, whether it’s a published
novel or a few work-in-progress drawings that you haven’t shown anyone yet, you are an artist. Never let anyone say
otherwise.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Poly/pan aro/ace. Sorry for the word-salad label, but it’s
the best way to describe me! I’d just love a big house full of QPRs with no
pressure for sex or romance, but still a close bond.

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

Thankfully, no, though I think that may be because I’m not
very established in my field yet.

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

That asexuals can’t have sex or relationships with anyone.
It’s a stupid assumption, and I plan to write something someday specifically
going against this.

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

Never go into the ace discourse tag. Negativity is
addictive, don’t let youself get pulled in. You are LGBT+, but you don’t have to put yourself in the community if
you feel unsafe. Don’t try to avoid stereotypes, because specifically going
against them is letting them control you just as much as specifically following
them.

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

I have several blogs where I put my work. I have an
Undertale fan-blog at http://undertalebrothertale.tumblr.com/,
a personal blog with general art and music covers at http://lkwriting.tumblr.com/, and a
professional blog and twitter for my visual novel development at https://freefallgames.tumblr.com/
and https://twitter.com/FreefallGames.

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

Interview: Baku

Today we’re joined by Baku. Baku is a wonderful visual and fanartist. They mostly do fanart, but have done original work on occasion. They’re incredibly passionate about comics and plan to be a comic artist in the future. Baku is a very gifted artist and their work is brimming with color and life, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a fanartist for the most part with random original
pieces thrown in here and there. I’d say my specialty is comic, but I don’t
really think that’s true yet, haha … It is something I’m working towards though.
Being a comic artist. Right now it’s just a lot of doodles, illustrations,
short comics, sometimes fanfictions, sometimes even more out-of-the-blue fan
contents, like song translation for example.

What inspires you?

Naming any specific category of thing wouldn’t seem right,
because I kinda draw and write for the randomest thing … I’d say love. Or
emotions, in general. My strong emotions for something make me pick up my pen.
Drawing and writing has become one of my main ways to express emotions now,
even more of use than just proclaiming it sometimes.

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

I’ve always been a fan of things, if my memory serves me
well. The first time I tried writing was after I read Harry Potter and thought to myself that I wanted to write something
like this. The first time I took drawing seriously was after reading a magical
girl manga and being introduced to the “standard manga style” so to said by my
cousin. I think I’ve always had that fascination with narratives and stories,
and the desire to make them came the moment I was exposed to the possibility.
These people who are still alive made these things, why don’t you try your hand
too, etc., etc.

The fact that I’m very emotion-driven probably adds to my
becoming a fanartist, in that I’m most productive when I feel strongly about
something, and that’s one thing that being a fan delivers plentily.

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?

Lampposts, bus stops, electric poles, and liminal spaces in
general. I also draw/write about dreamscapes a lot. Dripping/splashing effects
are my favourite too.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Everyone starts somewhere. Everyone goes somewhere. There’s
this special brand of nihilism that I find serves an artist well: all our
struggles are ultimately objectively meaningless, so what matters is our own
perception. If art fits somewhere into your perception, keep it. Do it for
yourself. Give it the meaning you want to. Have your fun.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m aro/ace.

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

I am lucky to have found a very accepting community in the
Mob Psycho 100 fandom around the time I started realizing that I’m as aro/ace,
but there are stories told, of course. I myself try to distance myself from that;
luckily no problems have wandered to my part yet.

In my personal life I haven’t officially come out to my
family yet, but I’ve made my decision to not find a life partner quite clear,
and my parents have long accepted (or emotionally dealt with) that. My extended
family is another story; some of them don’t believe I can make it out there as
an artist either. My mom taught me to consider talking to them ‘diplomatic
work’. I’ve never been good at that, but I manage. Most of the comments on my
choices come hand-in-hand with those on my appearance (and how I don’t care
about it as much as I’m supposed to), so it’s a bit easier to dismiss them
altogether.

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

That there are no such thing, mainly. My mom denied the
existence of asexuality and aromanticism when I brought it up to her. Most
people I’ve met in real life say that one can’t live without love, and that
everyone will find their chosen one someday.

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

You are who you are. As long as you hold that belief dear
and clear in your heart, there will be ways to work around everything else.

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

My Tumblr is bakanohealthy: http://bakanohealthy.tumblr.com/

And I have an AO3 account for my fanfictions: http://archiveofourown.org/users/BakanoHealthy

Some of my works are up for purchase in my Redbubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/bakanohealthy.

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

Interview: Jordan

Today we’re joined by Jordan. Jordan is a fantastic author who currently has a short story out in the world, in the collection entitled Athena’s Daughters. When she’s not writing, Jordan does various crafts and even enjoys singing in a local LGBTQIA+ affirming chorus. Jordan is obviously an incredibly dedicated and passionate 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.

I’m a writer who dabbles in art and various and sundry forms
of crafting. I mainly write curriculum material these days (I’m a high school
English teacher), but I’m a Published Author (all-caps, so official, yes yes)
with a short story out in the world. I enjoy making costumes, knitting, doing
cross-stitch, writing fan-fiction, and baking. Oh! I sing, too. I’m a member of
an LGBT-affirming chorus in my hometown.

What inspires you?

My family and friends, and often, my students. And books!
Good lord, books. I read voraciously, and nothing is more inspiring than
encountering a book that you can get yourself completely lost in for a few
hours. I read a lot of historical fiction, and I’ve been diving into LGBT+ YA
quite a bit since I started teaching. Glorious stuff, all.

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

I’ve always been interested in the arts. Ever since I was a
little kid, I’ve been writing stories. I remember a “series” I wrote when I was
in first or second grade all about my favorite teddy bear. It was called
“Cinnamon: Bear of the World,” and it chronicled the adventures of my teddy as
he saved lives and spread love across the globe. I fell in love with anime in
middle school and started drawing then – I’ve never stopped, really, although
my anime obsession has fallen to the wayside (probably for the best). I was
introduced to Broadway pretty early by my parents who recognized a drama
student when they saw one, and after seeing “Beauty & the Beast” when I was
7, I’ve never looked back.

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 necessarily include them in my “official” work, but
I like to sneak opossums in whenever I can. I always draw opossums when I sign
yearbooks, and I’ve gotten very good at drawing one on the spot in less than 10
seconds.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do your craft. If you’re an aspiring writer, WRITE! Love art
but not sure if you’re good enough to make it in the real world? Who cares!
Draw! Paint! Sew! Bake! Even if you think your stuff is awful, you’ll never get
better unless you keep getting your work out there and practicing like it’s
your job (and maybe it will be). I look back at things I wrote even five years
ago and I shudder. We’re always developing and growing, learning, as artists,
and that’s OK!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as aro-ace.

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

Not necessarily in my field (although there is plenty of
ace-phobia out there on the Internet, and Tumblr is no exception), but in my
personal life, I struggle to get myself recognized. I’m not “out” to most of my
family, but when I express my desire to remain single and my apathy towards
romance, the most common response is confusion or even exasperation. My parents
are afraid that I’ll end up alone, and it’s difficult to convince them that
having a partner and/or getting married are not the end-all-be-all. I try to
explain asexuality, usually without using the actual word, as simple and
logically as I can. It’s a work in progress.

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

That you’ll “find the right person,” or that you should get
into counseling. I take medicine for my OCD, and my parents have suggested that
I talk to my doctor to get my prescription changed, as if that would alter my
views on romance and sex.

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

You are valid, you are not a freak, you are are not
unlovable or unloved. Just like gender is a spectrum, so too is sexuality. Some
people like girls; some people like guys; some people like both; some people
like everybody; and yes, some people don’t “like” anyone, and that doesn’t mean
you’re broken. Your life can be as full and rewarding as you want it to be:
your worth is NOT measured by your libido. Be strong, loves, and surround
yourself with people who love and accept you for who you are.

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

My short story “As Far as Death This Way” is in the Athena’s
Daughter’s 2 Anthology published by Silence in the Library and can be purchased
in hard-copy or eBook form on Amazon at http://a.co/3fx7mPK

I’m on Tumblr at dozmuffinxc,
Instagram at extermiteach,
and I have a fledgling travel blog at http://www.anopossumabroad.wordpress.com.

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

Interview: Margaret Rose

asexualartists:

Today we’re joined by Margaret Rose. Margaret is a wonderful young writer who specializes in poetry. She already has a poetry collection entitled I Don’t Have One, which can be found on Amazon. Margaret’s poetry is very personal and she is incredibly passionate about writing, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I love to
write. I have been writing since a young age, I wrote a novel on a dare once
(which now sits on my book shelf). But mostly I write poetry and keep track of
anxious thoughts and questions in journals and on my phone. I usually don’t
share anything out of fear. I submit to poetry contests under anonymous, and it’s
nice when your work wins but then it’s a little sad when nothing comes of it
because I don’t attach a name.

I also paint
and love photography, but not nearly as much as writing, and writing is where I
would hope to succeed.  

What inspires you?

I find watching people over-come their personal
obstacles really inspiring and people who really embrace their personality no
matter how weird people may think they are. Sometimes liking yourself and
accepting yourself can be a really powerful thing. Sometimes people really
suffer trying to fit in, trying to please others and it really takes away from
their own person. And it can really be a struggle, but hearing those stories
about people getting to where they are happy or are on the way to discovering
who they are, are really inspiring.

Tyler, the creator and Camila Cabello, if celebrity
inspirations are of curiosity. I think they sort of had to make the decision to
stay true to themselves and its paying off. Which I like to see. I like to know
it’s possible to follow your own path and people will embrace it because they
relate. Too many artists, I think, change to fit what is expected of them.  

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

I used to journal a lot when I was younger and
write stories and then later read them back and see how I reacted to certain
things. As I got older I could see where I grew and where I was stuck. And I
started to think about things that happened in books or songs see if they
applied to me. Then I thought maybe my struggles and my triumphs could help
other people, but it took me a long time to share any of my words. I haven’t
always wanted to be an artist, but I always wanted to help people. Eventually I
realized I loved writing even if no one saw it and maybe in time I could turn
that into something.

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 exactly.
Sometimes I will place a very specific reference from a time with someone and
work it in to a piece just as a little surprise for when they read it. So it’s
not something broad that everyone would notice but I think it’s nice for people
to read something and be like ‘hey, there’s a person in here, that really did
happen, I remember this’. I think friends reading my stuff is terrifying
because my writing voice is very different from my everyday voice. Sometimes
people are like ‘is that really you writing that?’ So I think of the references
as reminders like yes, it is me, hello.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. there are so many ways to share
your work today that you might as well give it a try. And if you’re stuck or
trying to find your style don’t get discouraged. Keep making, keep creating.
Create bad shit you want to throw away get it out of the way, that’s when you
will come onto something you will be happy with. I write stuff all the time
that I just trash, that sometimes leads me to a really nice place. Same with
painting and photography.

image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Asexual, aromantic would be the easiest way for me
to put it. Although, I think a lot about demisexual but I think that’s a hope.
In the past I have fallen in love with the idea of a relationship with a
person, but then the real life aspect I’m just like.. nope. Which is hard
sometimes.

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

In writing all the time. I’ve had a publisher ask
“how can you be relatable if you do not relate to most of the population?” I
have also been asked, or it was kindly suggested, that I do not mention how I
identify because then people will not know how to interpret your work. Which is
discouraging because I struggle myself with concepts of love and relationships.
So to hear that no one else will get you or want to get you, is tough. It’s
also frustrating that all my other writing gets over looked because publishers
are concerned about who or what the love aspect applies to. I write a lot about
depression, anxiety and other struggles/subjects that deserve attention.

I have always just taken these comments in stride,
I am happy with myself and I expect eventually the people in charge will see
that people want more representation and when that happens I will be here,
willing to share. I’ve also always told people that I just write the words, and
truthfully, you may do whatever you like with them.

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

That I just haven’t met the right person. Or that
asexuality is a choice. I have had and still have moments where I think and
wish for a regular relationship. Conversations with people would be easier, no
one would make backhanded comments when your sexuality gets brought up, that
sort of thing. But then I also know I would not be happy with that life.

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

I would say that it’s okay to struggle, I have days
where I am at a loss when I think about the future. How easy would it be to fit
into societal expectations for love? Easy. But you have to make a decision to
be yourself. And that the people who love you will love you no matter what.
You’re not a freak, a plant or have just never had good sex. You are a person
who has valid experiences. Don’t rely too much on what society has to say about
love and relationship expectations. And if you feel alone reach out, there are
SO many people out there in groups and on the internet, where you can remain
anonymous, who will just talk to you and not make you feel weird and strange.

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

My writing has been taken from my blog posts and journals
and I have selected some of it for my poetry collection, “I don’t have one”
which can be found here on Amazon: amazon/idonthaveonemargaretrose

Full link in case above is broken http://a.co/6TFGtjZ

I don’t sell paintings or really post them anywhere I just
sort of give them away as people ask.

Instagram: mrg.rose

I have a Tumblr you can check out here:http://aparttimepoet.tumblr.com/ .

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

Interview: Margaret Rose

Today we’re joined by Margaret Rose. Margaret is a wonderful young writer who specializes in poetry. She already has a poetry collection entitled I Don’t Have One, which can be found on Amazon. Margaret’s poetry is very personal and she is incredibly passionate about writing, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I love to
write. I have been writing since a young age, I wrote a novel on a dare once
(which now sits on my book shelf). But mostly I write poetry and keep track of
anxious thoughts and questions in journals and on my phone. I usually don’t
share anything out of fear. I submit to poetry contests under anonymous, and it’s
nice when your work wins but then it’s a little sad when nothing comes of it
because I don’t attach a name.

I also paint
and love photography, but not nearly as much as writing, and writing is where I
would hope to succeed.  

What inspires you?

I find watching people over-come their personal
obstacles really inspiring and people who really embrace their personality no
matter how weird people may think they are. Sometimes liking yourself and
accepting yourself can be a really powerful thing. Sometimes people really
suffer trying to fit in, trying to please others and it really takes away from
their own person. And it can really be a struggle, but hearing those stories
about people getting to where they are happy or are on the way to discovering
who they are, are really inspiring.

Tyler, the creator and Camila Cabello, if celebrity
inspirations are of curiosity. I think they sort of had to make the decision to
stay true to themselves and its paying off. Which I like to see. I like to know
it’s possible to follow your own path and people will embrace it because they
relate. Too many artists, I think, change to fit what is expected of them.  

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

I used to journal a lot when I was younger and
write stories and then later read them back and see how I reacted to certain
things. As I got older I could see where I grew and where I was stuck. And I
started to think about things that happened in books or songs see if they
applied to me. Then I thought maybe my struggles and my triumphs could help
other people, but it took me a long time to share any of my words. I haven’t
always wanted to be an artist, but I always wanted to help people. Eventually I
realized I loved writing even if no one saw it and maybe in time I could turn
that into something.

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 exactly.
Sometimes I will place a very specific reference from a time with someone and
work it in to a piece just as a little surprise for when they read it. So it’s
not something broad that everyone would notice but I think it’s nice for people
to read something and be like ‘hey, there’s a person in here, that really did
happen, I remember this’. I think friends reading my stuff is terrifying
because my writing voice is very different from my everyday voice. Sometimes
people are like ‘is that really you writing that?’ So I think of the references
as reminders like yes, it is me, hello.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. there are so many ways to share
your work today that you might as well give it a try. And if you’re stuck or
trying to find your style don’t get discouraged. Keep making, keep creating.
Create bad shit you want to throw away get it out of the way, that’s when you
will come onto something you will be happy with. I write stuff all the time
that I just trash, that sometimes leads me to a really nice place. Same with
painting and photography.

image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Asexual, aromantic would be the easiest way for me
to put it. Although, I think a lot about demisexual but I think that’s a hope.
In the past I have fallen in love with the idea of a relationship with a
person, but then the real life aspect I’m just like.. nope. Which is hard
sometimes.

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

In writing all the time. I’ve had a publisher ask
“how can you be relatable if you do not relate to most of the population?” I
have also been asked, or it was kindly suggested, that I do not mention how I
identify because then people will not know how to interpret your work. Which is
discouraging because I struggle myself with concepts of love and relationships.
So to hear that no one else will get you or want to get you, is tough. It’s
also frustrating that all my other writing gets over looked because publishers
are concerned about who or what the love aspect applies to. I write a lot about
depression, anxiety and other struggles/subjects that deserve attention.

I have always just taken these comments in stride,
I am happy with myself and I expect eventually the people in charge will see
that people want more representation and when that happens I will be here,
willing to share. I’ve also always told people that I just write the words, and
truthfully, you may do whatever you like with them.

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

That I just haven’t met the right person. Or that
asexuality is a choice. I have had and still have moments where I think and
wish for a regular relationship. Conversations with people would be easier, no
one would make backhanded comments when your sexuality gets brought up, that
sort of thing. But then I also know I would not be happy with that life.

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

I would say that it’s okay to struggle, I have days
where I am at a loss when I think about the future. How easy would it be to fit
into societal expectations for love? Easy. But you have to make a decision to
be yourself. And that the people who love you will love you no matter what.
You’re not a freak, a plant or have just never had good sex. You are a person
who has valid experiences. Don’t rely too much on what society has to say about
love and relationship expectations. And if you feel alone reach out, there are
SO many people out there in groups and on the internet, where you can remain
anonymous, who will just talk to you and not make you feel weird and strange.

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

My writing has been taken from my blog posts and journals
and I have selected some of it for my poetry collection, “I don’t have one”
which can be found here on Amazon: amazon/idonthaveonemargaretrose

Full link in case above is broken http://a.co/6TFGtjZ

I don’t sell paintings or really post them anywhere I just
sort of give them away as people ask.

Instagram: mrg.rose

I have a Tumblr you can check out here:http://aparttimepoet.tumblr.com/ .

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

Interview: Pesky

Today we’re joined by Pesky. Pesky is a wonderful fanartist and crafter. They write a lot of fanfiction, specializing in queer relationships. When they’re not writing fanfiction, Pesky enjoys doing crafts and specializes in knitting and crochet. They sell their work on Etsy. It’s very clear that Pesky is a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I write fanfiction in whatever fandom I’m in at the moment,
usually involving very little romance and when there is romance, it never
involves straight characters. Even my m/f relationships tend to involve at
least one non-straight or non-cis character.

I knit and crochet a lot, and I usually have at least five
different projects at any given time. Since I don’t usually make things my friends
and family would enjoy, I’ve recently opened an Etsy shop to give those
projects I have no use for a home. The completed project I’m currently most
proud of is a triangle shawl I made out of wool scraps from an old elementary
school finger knitting project.

Sewing is a recent addiction to my repertoire, mainly for
the purpose of practicality and cheap small useful things.

What inspires you?

In fandom, my friends and my conversations with them are
often my inspiration for my writing. Besides that, I try to fill absences and
correct flaws in the source material. (We exist, after all, and yet, very few
of us ever make it into mainstream media.)

In my crafting efforts I’m much more focused on aesthetics.
I make things that I enjoy looking at, that I enjoy touching and wearing. Also,
novelty. I have a terrible attention span, so I’m always on the lookout for new
patterns, new techniques, new interesting projects, new challenges. (This is
also why I have so many projects going at once.)

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

Actually, it’s all my mother’s fault.

She’s the one who introduced me to fanfic, because she found
Twilight fic on deviantArt and was like, hey, I think my kid would like this!
Eventually I started writing my own fic and poetry, and besides extended
writer’s blocks caused by depression and anxiety, I haven’t stopped since I was
fourteen. Now I’m almost twenty-four.

Mom was also the one who taught me to knit. I used to go to
her to get help with casting on because I couldn’t figure it out how to do it
for the longest time. These days I have things to teach her.

Crocheting on the other hand, I taught myself via YouTube,
because my sister’s been crocheting for years and I wanted to learn this skill
too. The differences and similarities with knitting have made it a valuable
learning experience and the fact that many crocheted projects can be completed
very quickly makes it much easier for me when my attention span is especially
short.

Sewing is pretty much the only lasting gift my grandmother
gave me. Everything else I learned from her has turned out to be toxic, bigoted
cow manure.

All of my creative work comes from skills I discovered as a
teenager and adult. I don’t think I would’ve gotten here any other way. And I
look forward to continuing to learn new things.

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 Etsy projects all get a tag sewed on with my shop name and
username on it, but other than that, I don’t think I’ve got anything besides my
Tumblr profile pic, which I drew myself.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I’m sure you’ve heard this a million times before but the
best thing you can do is practice. Find exercises for practicing common
techniques in your chosen medium and repeat them over and over again.

Write all the terrible awful things you can. Trust me,
you’ll learn from your mistakes.

Knit a hundred ugly uneven scarves or hats or legwarmers or
whatever. You’ll learn a lot.

Draw all the unrealistic little sketches, paint all the
paintings in badly chosen colors, sew all the weird little unusable bags.

Do research and then try out all the things you learn. Keep
doing it until it starts looking like something you’re happy with. And in the
meantime, forgive yourself for making mistakes. You’ll never stop making
mistakes, you’ll just learn to fix them or make them look like they’re
deliberate.

And keep in mind that practice and hard work always wins out
over talent. Talent is a head start, not the goal.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m asexual and aromantic.

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

I’m lucky to have never directly encountered ace prejudice
beyond the general “aces are basically cishets and they’re stealing lgbt+
resources”. But I’ve never encountered that kind of thing directed at me so I’m
honestly not sure what I’d do if I did.

In fact, almost all of the close friendships I’ve made in
fandom are with other aces. A funny coincidence, since I searched out fellow
fans, not fellow aces.

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

“It’s just celibacy.” I’ve actually been told that to my
face at a pride parade when I explained to someone that the colors of my
clothes are the same as on the ace flag. I was still pretty new to the whole
ace thing and ended up totally speechless.

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

Kinda depends on what exactly they’re struggling with.

In general, I’d say, find people who are struggling with
similar things or who have struggled with similar things. Talk to them, try
following their advice and give yourself time. Stop talking to people who make
you feel guilty, ashamed or insecure about your identity.

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

I’m on Tumblr,
Archive of Our Own
and on Etsy. My username is peskylilcritter on pretty much every platform. My
Etsy shop is, creatively, peskylilshop
and my Tumblr writing sideblog is peskywritesstuff.

On my main Tumblr, I usually tag my writing with #pesky
writes stuff and every other creative endeavor with #pesky makes stuff.

Feel free to come visit! And if you’ve got any more
questions, my ask box is always open 😉

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

Regular

butchace:

to the aspec kids who are asked why they don’t have a girlfriend or boyfriend on this holiday: don’t listen to them. you rock, and you don’t need to be in a relationship to appreciate life. 

Interview: Alanna

asexualartists:

Today we’re joined by Alanna. Alanna is a phenomenal mixed media artist who dabbles in a bit of everything. She specializes in digital art and animation. When not drawing, Alanna enjoys creating comics. Her work is beautiful and eerie, reflecting her enjoyment of the weird and the macabre. She also loves using intense colors and lighting. It’s clear that she’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a bit of a mixed media digital artist; I animate,
illustrate, make comics, write, do 3D, and even dabble in music. I never like
staying in one style, I always like adopting a new trick or tip into my art and
varying it up for each project I choose so I never get stale with what I do.
What is consistent is my obsession with the weird and the macabre and my love
for intense colors and lighting (and seals!)

What inspires you?

Surreal garbage! Bizarre trash! Anything strange and jarring
interests me, fuels my creativity to create something new and unseen. Outside
of the strange I really can find inspiration practically everywhere. Anything
that tickles my fancy will give me an idea for something unique.

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

My mom was an artist so I guess it rubbed off on me. I was
thinking about maybe becoming a scientist but I kind of had a drive for art
since it didn’t require the brainpower haha…

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 have a thing about my art where colors and objects play a
strong role in categorizing things. Certain areas and characters usually have
an extremely distinct color or shape to them, so much so it’s bordering onto
obsession to keep things looking the same.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Practice, practice, practice! Never ever think little of
yourself because you need to improve, many artists take forever to get their
art right, being bad is always the first step to being good. Always, always
draw from life, photos, anatomy books, etc. CONSTANTLY. I made the bad decision
of not doing that as a kid and your work suffers because of that. Also taking
art as a profession is something you really need to think about in the long
run. Find a field with work in it and decide if its really want you want to do.
Make sure to always have a back up plan and understand how this is going to
impact you in the long run.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m both Aromantic and Asexual.

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

I usually tell my identity to people I know and trust very
well so my colleagues finding out would be happenstance. As for outside of my
field I completely understand and know my identity is far beyond anything close
to mainstream. Whatever backhand comments I get I understand people have no
idea what this identity is and I’m fine with that even if it is a little
annoying. I relate this back to my digital art because I know too well people
believe I will my art into existence by pressing a button or I can somehow
“draw” a 3D model into existence. People just don’t know and that’s fine for
me, it’s going to take a many years before being ace is even recognized as much
as being gay is. People telling me my identity is fake and that I must have
issues on the other hand I don’t take as lightly.

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

Oh, damn, too many, both perpetrated by non-aces and aces alike,
which frankly scares me. I consider asexuality a lack of an orientation or lack
of attraction to genders and many lgbt places do use this too as a definition
though still too many asexual sites list asexuality as having to do with sex,
libido or interest in sex. Shame because being a non sex-repulsed ace I feel
I’m not “ace enough” to be fully asexual because of this stigma. Asexuality has
nothing to do with sex but it doesn’t stop people from believing that.

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

Be patient and realize coming out of the closet is not a
one-time experience; it takes years, maybe even decades to fully realize
yourself. Never force yourself into anything, never let anyone decide your
orientation for you, its all up to you in the end. If in the end you realize
you are ace or not that’s fine too, you’re no less valid no matter what label
you find. Also know that it’s even harder for people around you to understand
you right away, parents, friends and relatives may take years, decades to understand
coming out of the closet is but what matters is they love you even if you feel
they don’t “get” what asexuality is. And remember if you feel you’re in an abusive/neglectful
home, you don’t have to tell your parents your orientation, tell people you know
you can trust and when you can, move out. Safety is more important than wanting
acceptance from people who won’t give it. I’ve met people who were kicked out
of their homes and this is the best advice I’ve gotten if you’re not sure about
your situation.

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

I have a Tumblr: http://indagold-orchid.tumblr.com/
Various comics I’ve worked on: https://tapas.io/indagold/series
And my Twitter: https://twitter.com/BunSeals.

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