Category: Art

Interview: RoAnna Sylver

Today we’re joined by RoAnna Sylver, RoAnna is a phenomenal author, who has authored such books as Chameleon Moon and Stake Sauce. One is a hopeful dystopia involving superheroes and the other involves punk vampires, which sounds awesome. When they’re not writing, RoAnna enjoys visual art and does a lot of digital painting. They have painted most of their own cover art and hope to get into coloring work for comics, including webcomics. It’s clear they’re an incredibly passionate artist with a great drive, 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.

Hi there! So, most people probably know me by my writing; I
write the Chameleon Moon and Stake Sauce series,
hopeful-superhero-dystopian and queer-punk-vampire books, respectively. But I’m
also an artist, I design and paint the majority of my own covers, and I’d
really like to talk more about visual art for a change.

I love digital painting, and find (most of it) really
relaxing and soothing, which is very helpful for when my brain goes into
nonverbal mode or I’m just feeling burnt out on talking/writing. Which is
pretty often.

I’m definitely going to continue painting my own book covers
for as long as I can, and have done commissions for a few people too. I love
them, and keep meaning to do more. I’d also love to get some work as a colorist
for comics (including webcomics) because I find coloring especially relaxing
(and I’m good at it darn it!).

One other cool thing, on the subject of ace stuff
specifically, I recently had a journal-type article Thing published in The Asexual, about how important
representation in mainstream stuff is (and how much I love Todd Chavez from Bojack Horseman). So check that out if
you’d like!

What inspires you?

So much. Music, bits of conversation I overhear, people just
living their lives. But most of all I think is reading or watching movies and
seeing what I’d do differently. Usually, that means “less marginalized people
die, and more get to be the heroes.” If that sounds like fix-fic, that’s
because it is! I used to write so much fanfiction before I started my own
stuff. I STILL DO, but I also used to. (Thanks, Mitch Hedberg!)

Honestly, I hate when people crap on fanworks so much, both
art and writing, because not only are they a great starting point (I’ve written
more than one thing as essentially fanfiction AUs. I doubt anyone will ever
guess which~), but they’re entirely valid works on their own. And they inspire
the hell out of me, both writing my own and reading others’.

Also, it’s not as popular to say, but… spite is a hell of
a motivator. Wanting to prove people wrong who’ve said I can’t do something, or
people like me (queer, disabled, etc.) don’t belong in publishing/the art
industry/life. Knowing bigoted assholes hate what I’m doing is an incredible
accelerant. Just warms the cockles of my heart, it does.

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

I joke that I just have a lot of emotions and I need
different ways of letting them out—writing, drawing, singing—or I’ll explode.
And I’m actually only about 30% joking about that, really. I am blessed/cursed
with glorious and overwhelming feels, and if I don’t have an outlet for them, I
tend to get paralyzed with…over-feeling. I need to express them like releasing
internal pressure with a steam valve.

Unfortunately, I also tend to go nonverbal on a pretty
regular basis from any number of reasons (illness flares, pain, various brain
weird nonsense) so sometimes I’m physically incapable of writing. But I still
have emotion I need to express, or else the pressure just builds up anyway. It
doesn’t care that I don’t have words. That’s when the drawing or singing comes
in—when writing brain shuts down, art or music brain takes over.

So yeah I guess I have always wanted, and needed, to
be an artist.

I used to be a much more physical one, though. I have a
degree in dramatic performance and used to do a ton of musical theatre. Nothing
comes close to being on stage, and I was convinced that was it for me, that was
why I was here and what I was supposed to do with my life. But then I got hit
with several debilitating health conditions at once, and never really
recovered. I haven’t been on stage in years, and probably will never again. But
that’s okay. I still have writing and art, and on an extremely good day,
music. Expression is still the most important thing in my life. Without it, I
wouldn’t have one.

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?

For my writing, the Themes are definitely found family,
queer and disabled people kicking ass, and trauma healing… the ‘secret
symbols’ tend to be really nerdy references. Usually Star Trek and/or Greek myth. Go figure.

For art, I don’t really have a watermark or anything, though
I’ll usually sign a major work. Trademark-wise though, I love the idea of
making digital art look as traditional as possible, so if you look at something
and think it’s an actual watercolor and not a digital one, I’ve done my job
right~

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

For commissions, figure out about how long it takes you to
do a thing. Timing yourself/logging time is good. Then find out the minimum
wage for your state and charge *at least* that per hour.

I saw a really good tweet a while ago saying you should
charge at least 3x minimum wage for commissioned art, because 1) it’s your time
and energy, 2) art is a specialized skill that you’re applying to this
individual request, not a standard product, and 3) you’re your own boss here
and paying for your own materials/food/life.

I don’t know if I could ever do that, but I’m sticking to At
Least Minimum Wage for myself. I still feel a lot of guilt (as I do asking for
money ever even if I’ve worked for it) but honestly, selling your stuff for
super cheap really does devalue the whole market and cheats both you and other
artists out of hard earned cash. I know it’s different when you’re just
starting out and trying to get established, but really, once you are… your
efforts are worth so much more than the bare minimum, but that’s a place
to start.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Biromantic ace, and definitely on the aro spectrum too. It
took me a long time to figure this out, in all its
maybe-seemingly-contradictory glory. I’ve never really experienced sexual
attraction to a (real) person. (“Real” because there are some fictional
characters who could get ittttt) But I’m romantically attracted to women,
agender, and nonbinary people… but like I said, definitely aro-spec too, so
this happens much less than you’d think. Polyamorous too; I have queerplatonic
partners as well as one romo partner~

In short, “potentially attracted to a lot of people on
paper, but not in practice!”  It’s one of
those “sounds very complicated, is actually very simple” things. Except for
when it actually is very complicated. (What the hell is attraction? I don’t
know it.)

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

…Never so much as during Pride Month. It’s really sad, but
entirely true. Usually I manage to stay away from the Ace Discourse and keep it
to a dull roar in the background of my life, but whenever the spotlight is on
The Queer Community in general, that ugly particular head rears once again, and
it’s very hard to avoid.

But there’s social media Discourse (harmful on its own) and
then there’s creative field prejudice or ignorance, and that’s arguably even
more annoying and damaging. Luckily, most of mine has been confined to the
occasional shitty comment about my work. I generally don’t read reviews, but
sometimes someone will point one out to me that’s particularly… not bad in a
‘didn’t like the book’ sense (I don’t care about those, for real), but a ‘wow,
this is a dangerous and bigoted viewpoint actually.’

When people “can’t relate” to asexual (and aromantic, and
neurodivergent, disabled, any other marginalization) characters, that tells me
right there that I’m not going to be able to trust them. If someone slams a
book or marginalized character for displaying characteristics of their
marginalization (mentally ill people will act mentally ill; ace people will act
ace), and dislike them specifically for what makes them them… that’s a Red
Flag right there.

I don’t really “handle” that. I don’t comment (and you
shouldn’t either, ever), but I take notice of who said the bigoted thing, and
remember. Then I keep writing.

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

Oh lord, the aro/ace conflation thing. Where people think
“asexual” means “aromantic,” and “aromantic” means “what is that, I don’t know
what that is, how is that even a thing.” You can absolutely be asexual without
being aro, or aro without ace, or a blend of the two that fluctuates over time
and you have no interest in categorizing.

The most common individual misconceptions are definitely the
“unfeeling, inhuman, dead/lifeless, passionless, robotic, forever alone” ones,
because surely it’s romantic love and sex that makes us human, not anything
else. Nope, that’s it, that’s the most important “universal” experience. Ever
notice how it’s usually the same people who scream “don’t reduce our identities
to one thing/define us by that!” Who then go on to do exactly that for others?
There’s a lot of TERF overlap here too.

I have to say though, the special poison aimed at allo
aromantic people is really something else; apparently just by being sexually
but not romantically attracted to someone, you’re a horrible abuser/predator.
(This is, of course, not true, and there are such things as attractions and
bonds that are not romantic. The small-minded tunnel vision is exhausting.)

So yeah, there’s a lot, and I have absolutely no interest in
getting involved in Discourse of any kind anymore. No spoons left for that at
all.

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

There’s nothing wrong with you, first off. You might feel
like there is, and people might decide to be gigantic asshats and say that
there is, but there isn’t. There isn’t, regardless of how you end up identifying,
even if that’s not ace at all. Try different identities out like clothes until
you find one that fits. If none do, keep trying, or throw them out. It’s your
“body,” and your identity and life. Use what serves you and makes you happy,
not what someone else wants you to.

You’ll know when it’s right. When I finally hit on exactly
what my gender and attraction type was, it felt like releasing every clenched
muscle all at once. My constant, constant anxiety was silent for once,
the panic in my head finally shut up. It was the absence of
strain and exhaustion and tension and fear that was shocking. I hope it feels
like that for you. The cessation of pain is a hell of a drug, and we don’t get
it nearly enough.

Also, you’re totally queer if you want to be. If someone
says you aren’t because you’re ace or aro, that person is not your friend. You
don’t HAVE to identify as queer, the way some nonbinary people don’t identify
as transgender, but you absolutely can, and screw anyone who says otherwise.
(Or don’t. Especially if you’re sex-repulsed. *weak rimshot*)

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

I have an Artstation portfolio over here (if you need a
colorist and/or inker, talk to me!) – https://www.artstation.com/roannasylver

All of my books are on Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/RoAnna-Sylver/e/B00OI321DO

And most are available through other places like B&N and
Kobo, which you can find at their universal links at my Draft2Digital page – https://books2read.com/ap/RWk0PR/RoAnna-Sylver

But by far the best place to support me is my Patreon. For
as little as $1 a month, you can get Tons of Chameleon
Moon
bonus content—advance
stories, art, lots of stuff—and exclusive looks at what I’m doing next (Like my
upcoming interactive fiction portal-fantasy romance, Dawnfall for Choice of Games)!
And also make me a little more secure as a disabled creator. patreon.com/RoAnnaSylver

Stake Sauce/Death Masquerade also
has one over here, for if you enjoy monthly fiction about queer vampires! patreon.com/ModulatingFrequencies

Also, if you want to say hi on Twitter, I’m at RoAnnaSylver!

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

Interview: Sara

Today we’re joined by Sara. Sara is a phenomenal visual artist who I met at this year’s Indy PopCon. I was so excited when I realized she was ace and made sure to hand her a business card for the blogs, because good heavens she had such beautiful art. She draws mostly fantasy and original work, favoring a stylized look rather than realism. The result is her work has a wonderful dream-like feel with vibrant colors and soft lines. It’s clear she’s an incredibly talented 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 draw a lot of fantasy pieces, whether it’s sketching or
digital paintings. I like painting/sketching in a stylized style instead of
realistic one. I mostly paint my own characters but I love to do fanart of
characters in my own style just to see what they’ll look like.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is music. I love listening to
classical or instrumental music when I draw/paint. Music helps art flow and it
opens up new ideas for me. I hear a melody playing and think I can turn that
into something. I paint a lot of fantasy pieces and nature also helps add to my
inspiration especially flowers.

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

When I was little I wanted to go into animation.
Traditionally animated Disney movies were some of my favorite things to watch
as a child and I always wanted to know how they made everything move. Now that
I’ve gone to school for animation I’ve gravitated more towards concept art and
illustrations.

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?

As of right now, no I don’t have a special signature. But
maybe some day I will.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I know this has been said and done many times but Practice,
practice, practice. Having raw talent is the start of being a good artist but
honing that skill and perfecting it will make you an even better one. That
there are gonna be days where you second guess your art, style or your skill
but always remember there are ups and downs in all aspects of life even art.
Many talented artist out there still have those ups and downs. So don’t quit and
don’t lose hope in your abilities.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual/aromantic.

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

Towards me, personally, no I haven’t. But one of the things
that does irk me is that there is barely any representation in media. Sure
sometimes they have hints that a character is Ace but then they sweep it under
the rug as if it wasn’t an important part of a character or that Asexuality is
a disease that needs to be cured (I’m talking about the House episode
that centered around that).

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

“How do you know if you’re Asexual if you haven’t had sex
yet?” or “You haven’t met the right person yet.” These questions drive me up a
wall and make me feel uncomfortable since I don’t necessarily wanna be in a
romantic/sexual relationship with people. So when these questions are directed
at me I feel a bright glaring spotlight put on me and it absolutely embarrasses
me.

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

Take your time with your orientation it’s not a race to
figure everything out in one night. It took me maybe 3 years to final except
what my orientation was. Talk it out with people you trust and do research
(it’s what I did). You are not broken because you don’t want to have sex or be
in a relationship.

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

I have a two Tumblrs and an Instagram. You can find them
both here:

http://the-lady-saron.tumblr.com/
https://sarahartart.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/sara_hart_art/.

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

Interview: Hampermarketplace

Today we’re joined by Hampermarketplace, who also goes by Sophie. Sophie is a phenomenal visual artist and fanartist. For visual art, they mostly do digital illustration, both original work and fanart, They also do some photography as a hobby. Aside from that, Sophie also cosplays and writes fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate 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.

Sure thing! I’m mostly a digital artist, though I don’t know
if “drawing” or “painting” describes best what I do, but in any case, I have a
lot of fun doing it. I draw a lot of Homestuck,
(I’m unfortunately rather obsessed with it—and it’s easy to share online), but
I also do original work, when the inspiration strikes. Since, when it comes to
hobbies, I’m very much a jack of all trades, I’ve done writing (I once wrote a
40k fanfic, several one-shots, and began some original stories I’m probably
never going to finish, I’ve got a word doc somewhere full of cringy poetry),
cosplay (once again Homestuck—so
basically, I’m just really good at putting on grey facepaint), and photography
(I take my iPhone and try to take pretty pictures I then post on Instagram so
it’s not just all filled with selfies).

Basically, I just like to create stuff, no matter the
medium.

What inspires you?

You mean, apart from Homestuck? I’d say my life. Ok, I know
that’s vague, but I haven’t quite got a more specific muse. There is a lot to
show and tell about the subtleties of everyday life, the things I see, hear, or
feel. I’m ADHD, so perhaps trying to put my constant zoning out to good use is
my main inspiration after all. I think sunsets are good, too. They’ve got lots
of pretty colors, there’s nothing like a rainy autumn sunset to get a good
photoshoot full of pinks. The city inspires me, too. The sort of aesthetics
born of the layered lives of so many people, written in the concrete and the
weed peeking through it, the graffiti’s, the decaying factories and the shiny
skyscrapers. In painting, I draw people a lot, too. I think it’s because the
figure is so evocative. I like the humanity, the feelings, the fleeting joys
and pains of life, and so I try to capture them whenever I’m bored enough. It’s
cheesy, but it’s true.

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

Oh boy. Well, I’ve always hung around people who drew, and
the envy that I felt at their cool talents pushed me to try my hand at it.
Around maybe 11 or 12, I got into manga and anime, and the thing with those, is
that they make the human figure very appealing, and yet very simple-looking to
draw, for someone who is just starting out. I’ve been a casual artist ever
since my early teens, and recently, when I graduated high school and all my
friends entered art programs, I started to realize just how much I didn’t know
about art, and that’s really what helped me get much better really fast. Just a
year ago, I didn’t draw half as well as I do now, because now I draw almost
every day, pay attention to the world and put a lot more effort in studying the
theory of art than I ever did in any of my school classes, ever.

I’m still in college, and I’m not planning on making a
career out of my art, but I’ve still got some ambitions to reach a point where
I can paint and draw at a professional level, for myself.

Maybe one day I’ll write an actual book or make money from
my art—I’ve been offered to be an assistant photographer once, when I showed my
Instagram feed to the woman whom we had hired to take our family portraits, but
it didn’t work out. In the end, I take opportunities as they go. Art is just
one of the things for which I have potential and interest, it’s a refuge, and I
don’t want to ruin that by forcing it into a business perspective.

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?

Well, I’m known on most platforms (Instagram, deviantart,
tumblr—although only for Homestuck in
the last one) as hampermarketplace, and I sign my digital paintings (some of
them—I often forget) as HMP. By now, it’s how I sign pretty much all of my artwork.
Often, I won’t put it in the lower corner, but try to include it within the
drawing, if there is writing somewhere, graffiti or posters in the background.
It’s my thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You’re going to feel bad sometimes, like you can’t quite
illustrate what you want, or like everyone is better than you. It’s important
to learn to use that dissatisfaction as motivation, not as a deterrent. The
process of improving is an adventure, to be taken one step at a time, so awaken
your inner Moana or whatever, and sing about wanting to know how far you’ll go.
When you’re stalling, and nothing works, push through by going back to your
basics, and putting less pressure on yourself. Take a chill pill. Go watch some
Bob Ross. It’s ok to just doodle for 15 minutes sometimes, you’ve got to make
art time a time to meditate, to enjoy yourself. If you do it right, it won’t
feel like a chore (too much—I can’t make any promises if you decide to make a
living out of it). One day you’ll look back and be amazed by how far you’ve
come.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m asexual, low libido but not sex repulsed per se, and
somewhere in the grey areas of romance, probably demi, although I still think
of myself as a lesbian because I’ve always had a strong aesthetic attraction to
women, and if I were to fall in love, I feel like it would be with a woman, or
someone woman-aligned. I identify *mostly* as a woman, although I won’t deny to
some gender fluidity as well.

Usually, the womanlier I feel, the gayer I get, then on some
days I’m just what is gender and what is love, I want to blog about cats. My
main on Tumblr is like 75% cats, 20% beautiful women and 5% ace positivity. I
think that sums it up pretty well.

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

The most kind of ace prejudice or ignorance I’ve personally
encountered is from myself. I’m usually quite down-low about it, I’ve come out
a couple of times, but not to everyone, and I’m pretty sure most people going
through my art aren’t even aware of my sexuality—I come off quite gay in real
life. Since I don’t do commercial work, I can easily surround myself with
people who are OK with my orientation, and anyway, I live in some of the most
progressive places, where no one would openly challenge you on stuff like that,
even if they disagreed with it. I’m lucky in that regard. I’m always afraid
that people will still hold subconscious prejudice towards me, though, I don’t
think I’m paranoid, but I need to get over it if I want to be myself, and work
towards deconstructing those prejudices. When I’ve actually come out, I’ve been
met mostly with love and acceptance—just once a bit of confusion. Also, once I
came out to a sex-loving vegan by saying “I don’t like sex, but I do like ice
cream” and she just told me “You go girl! Live your best life!” and anyway, she
gets it.

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

I think this one is not an explicit, but an implicit
misconception that even well-meaning people will hold, and that is this idea
that aces don’t like to talk about sex, or be exposed to sexuality, and that
the goal of asexual activism is to make a world where it’s possible to ignore
the fact that sex and romance exists. I mean, some aces may be uncomfortable
with discussions about sex, or don’t want to be exposed to explicit sexual
content, but truly, anyone may have these holdups regardless of sexuality. The
basics principles of consent, human decency and content warnings should be
plenty to cover that. In my experience, most aces I’ve met are more than eager
to talk about sex and the different types of attractions, so long as they are allowed
to openly share their experiences without feeling like outcasts or weirdos. Unless
they tell you otherwise, it should be perfectly fine to share your latest
thirst with your friend who came out to you as ace. You don’t have to stop
being yourself, and most asexuals don’t want to be treated like little kids
with bleeding hearts that can’t handle the sexiness, neither do they want you
to stop being yourself: they just want to be allowed to be themselves as well.

This is pretty abstract, I’m not sure if I’m making sense,
but I feel like this needs to be said more. Asexuality doesn’t exist within
queerness as a form of “Don’t force sex on me”, because, honestly, sex
shouldn’t be forced on anyone, but rather as a force of “It’s OK to live in
accordance to how you feel, regardless of social norms or whether or not it
aligns with the majority around you,” because that represents much better the
aroace community as I’ve known it: diverse, open, with a wide range of
worldviews and experiences, just wanting to live their truth.

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

It’s not easy to find out who you are. Being asexual is
challenging, because it’s probably even only one part of the identities you’re
going to have to cope with—asexuality doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with
the prejudice of being gay, bi or trans—but it’s also challenging in and of
itself. You’re going to have to deal with conflicting cultural ideals about
chastity, lust, marriage and family, with a world that you’ll never quite
understand despite your best efforts to do so, and which probably won’t even
try to understand you. You’ll fidget in your psychology or sexuality class, not
quite capable of explaining how you know for a fact the textbook is wrong
without sounding like you’ve spent way too much time on Tumblr. You’ll smile,
glad, at queer representation in the media, not quite daring to ask for some
yourself—afraid it’ll take away some gay or trans kid’s chance to see
themselves on screen. You’ll feel like you don’t exist, like there are no
historical figures or public personalities who can bear your flag in your name,
you’ll doubt yourself.

Don’t. There is nothing to doubt about it, there is nothing
to be ashamed about. You’re on the frontline of progress, of our growing
understanding of love and sexuality, as a society. Asexual people have always
been there—the world just didn’t have a box to place them in until recently.
Before that, we erred like bohemians among dandies and spinsters, bisexuals, pilgrims
and nuns. But today, there are words for it, for asexuality, for aromanticism,
for all the maybes and in-betweens. We are many, more than you would think, and
we are solidary—to one another, and to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans
people, and to all other minorities, and it is our strength. Through sharing
our experiences, through creating new words to define how we feel, we help
people from all walks of life define themselves. So maybe, really, we’re
something like great.

You can be proud.

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

My main blog on Tumblr is chaoticintellectual, though,
like mentioned previously, it’s mostly  filled with cats and pretty women.

I have a Homestuck
blog where I post art frequently, called Hampermarketplace, for all the
filthy Homestucks out there

I write on AO3 under the name miki_and_company

Hampermarketplace
is also my DeviantArt, though I don’t post much on there, but I do show my
original art there more,

And finally, my Instagram, still hampermarketplace,
where I post a lot of my photography.

My inboxes are open to talk, I’m quite friendly and impishly
verbose, however I’ll be gone and inactive for most of the summer, sadly, but
I’ll be back without question next fall.

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

Interview: Luke

Today we’re joined by Luke. Luke is a phenomenal fanartist who I met at Indy PopCon. A few days later, he sent me an email and I was impressed with wonderfully passionate artist. He’s a cosplayer but he also enjoys writing quite a bit, mostly fanfiction. Luke is an incredibly dedicated, passionate, and excited artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I don’t think of myself much as a writer, but I do write
fanfiction (mostly Star Wars) and a
lot of backstories for original characters of mine. So, I don’t really consider
it “original” writing of my own, but it’s still a fun pastime for me to have.
My two main works that I have are (not so surprisingly) Star Wars fanfics on both AO3 and Wattpad because seriously, have
you seen the Wattpad app? It’s so nicely organized and easy to use. I also am a
cosplayer, but I don’t consider myself to be that good of one. I used to
cosplay Hetalia mainly, but I slowly drifted away from anime and found more fun
in cosplaying Star Wars and emo
stuff. (cough, cough MCR cough, cough)

What inspires you?

One of the main things that inspires me to write and cosplay
are my friends. I have so many friends who are amazing at writing and
cosplaying, I always look up to them and think “dang I wanna be like that
someday”. Other things that inspire me are the cool people I find through the
internet and social media, like Tumblr and Instagram. I’ve found some awesome
writers and cosplayers online and, although I’ll never have the confidence to
actually talk to them, I always look at them and get all teary eyed like “I
love you, let me be like you,” you know?

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

When I was younger, I loved to read. Like, I had an entire
shelf of books in my room and when I was bored, I would just pick out a book
that I’ve read 30 something times before and read it again. I wasn’t into any
specific genre, but I always steered away from romance and sci-fi. Which is
ironic because that’s basically all I write about now. But after entering high
school, I found myself hating reading. I’m not entirely sure why, but it
probably had something to do with the fact that I was forced to read books I
hated/didn’t want to read. But now, as of finally graduating, I’m trying to get
back into reading. And not just fanfiction, I mean actual books. When I was
younger, I wanted to be an author. As I’m going through old stuff that I wrote
when I was younger (and cringing, I might add) I would think back to how much I
loved to read and write. And now that I’m getting back into it, it’s making me
much happier. It’s like a coping mechanism for me. And as for the cosplaying, I
honestly have no idea when or how that started. It just kind of happened.  I have the memory capacity of a two minute
old goose, that’s probably why I don’t remember.

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 think I have a specific feature in my writing, other
than the fact that’s it mostly consists of dialogue and really strange
references to inside jokes I have with my friends. (It’s a whole fiesta) But I
do sometimes write fanfics based on really emo songs that I listen to. As for
cosplaying, I usually just carry around something funny with me at conventions
so people will get a laugh out of it. Like with my General Hux cosplay, I have
a stuffed orange tabby cat that I like to hold for pictures. Her name is Millicent.
I love her.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I may not have great advice for cosplaying because I’m still
an amateur myself, but for my fellow fanfiction writers, I’d say just keep
writing, Cliché, yes I know, but it’s true. Out of all the ways to improve your
writing, practice is the one of best answers. Look at other people’s writing
styles and see what you like about them, and try to incorporate some of their
style into your writing. But don’t copy them completely, trust me I’ve done
stuff like that before and it’s a bad idea lemme tell you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic. I don’t like the
sexytimes, but I will, in fact, hold a person’s hand if I like them. I like
guys more than girls, but that’s probably because I’ve only had a crush on two
people in my entire life, one a boy and the other a girl, and I got to kiss the
dude and oh goodness, I could go on for hours about this guy.

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

I haven’t really had to deal with any sort of hate from
people about my asexuality. At least, not yet.
But it’d be nice to keep it that way, ya know?

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

The only misconception I’ve really gotten was that asexual
people don’t like sex. Which is true for me, yes, but I do know some asexuals
who enjoy sex. I’ve had to explain to my sister a few times that me being ace
means that I don’t look at somebody and say “damn, I wanna bang that”, and that
I, instead, think “damn, I don’t feel sexually attracted to that”

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

Man, I’d just say keep searching around on the internet
(trusted places of course) and ask any friends who are LGBT+ and might know a
thing or two about asexuality. Or a person who is actually asexual, if they’re
around at all. It’s hard to go through those kinds of things alone, so try to
find someone who understands what you’re going through and is willing to help.

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

I have like two whole places that I post my work, which are,
like I said before, AO3 and Wattpad. My AO3 is https://archiveofourown.org/users/sirbuttsalot
and my Wattpad is https://www.wattpad.com/user/sir-butts-a-lot
I also use Deviantart sometimes, which is https://sir-butts-a-lot.deviantart.com/.

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

Call for Interviewees

asexualartists:

asexualartists:

Hello
all!

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

ASEXUAL
ARTISTS IS OPEN FOR INTERVIEWS YEAR-ROUND!

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

This
is including but not limited to:

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

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

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

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

PERFORMANCE
ARTS:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank
you, everybody.


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


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

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

So please, keep
those interview requests coming 😀 <3

Friendly reminder: I don’t respond to requests via Tumblr message, reblog, or tags. If you want to be featured, PLEASE email me (laurenjankowski27@gmail.com)

Signal Boost: Aced It podcast

Hello all!

I’ve got a special signal boost for you today. A recent interviewee, Ryan Meier (Tumblr & WordPress), has recently launched a brand new ace podcast. He requested a signal boost and of course, I said yes. It sounds pretty great. Here’s what he had to say about it:

“It’s called Aced It! And it’s an Advice Podcast where I take listener
submitted questions about their love, sex and dating lives and I give
advice as best I can through the lens of an aromantic asexual person.
You can find it on aceditpodcast.com and it should be hitting iTunes/Google Play.”

So go subscribe, comment, signal boost, and show Ryan some love!

Thanks everybody!

Interview: Isis E. Prosser

Today we’re joined by Isis E. Prosser. Isis is a phenomenal writer and jewelry maker who I met at Indy PopCon. I was blown away by the gorgeous jewelry she made and then she told me about the web novel she was working on entitled Lamenting City (chapters are posted on her main blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/). Not only does it sound positively fascinating, but it’s an ownvoices work. The main character of the series is an ace lesbian named Axel and there are also two minor asexual characters. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate author, 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 and a jewelry maker. When it comes to my
writing, I tend to focus on humour and emotions, lots of humour and emotions.
Sometimes I write purely humourous stories and sometimes I write purely
emotional (whether angsty or uplifting) stories. Longer stories tend to swing
between both extremes and I like to think the more I write, the better I become
at blending the two together. I write a mix of fanfiction and original stuff,
and I’m also not the greatest at updating either in a timely fashion (sorry!),
but I am trying and getting better at that.

My jewelry is something I also do with my mom (she’s my
teacher!) and currently I’m focusing on Pride jewelry and fandom jewelry
(currently, Harry Potter-inspired
pieces with some My Little Pony:
Friendship is Magic
-inspired pieces coming…. eventually). I’m very new to
this craft.

In the future I’d like to make video games, too. I’ve
written scenarios/concepts and dabbled a little in RPG Maker over the years,
but haven’t yet finished a thing. Maybe one day soon I’ll have something to
show. In the meantime it’s likely the characters of those ideas will be
introduced in short stories or novels.

I’m very passionate about storytelling in general.

What inspires you?

Many, many things! From real life experiences to other
fiction, and to the beauty of the natural world and that of architecture, as
well as mythology (Egyptian mythology is my fave). I’ve also been inspired by vivid
dreams I’ve had. And my inspirations tend to shine through in my work, whether
original or fanfiction. For example, my current web novel project, Lamenting City, was initially inspired
by a dream I had that came about when I was marathoning every Zoids anime with a friend. The dream
introduced me to Axel and offered a tantalizing glimpse of her world, and
afterwards I knew I had to write it. And often times I’ll have scenes or entire
stories inspired by music I listen to.

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to find inspiration looking
at gemstones or browsing jewelry supply shops. Sometimes I also get inspiration
from media, hence the Harry Potter bracelets.

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

I’ve wanted to be writer for as long as I can remember. I’m
not entirely sure where it started, but I know it did start in some form with
kid me’s obsession with Beatrix Potter’s stories and later stuff like OT Star Wars and Disney’s Gargoyles. I would also read a lot and
then read some more, and the more I read, the more I wanted to write.

As time went on, I also noticed more and more that there
weren’t a lot of characters like me in fiction. There weren’t a lot of diverse
characters and author voices in general. So, a lot of my writing is me creating
the stories and characters I wanted to see, and to give myself a voice.

With jewelry, I played around with plastic beads as a child
but then the hobby faded for many years. Earlier this year I got interested in
it again after looking at pride jewelry and deciding I could make the types of
bracelets I wanted… and then a lightbulb turned on and I realized that, hey, if
I wanted jewelry like this, other LGBTQIANP+ folks might want it, too. And then
my love for fandom made me start slowly getting into making fandom jewelry as
well.

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?

Well, looking at my writing as of 2015, dream and nightmare sequences seem to be a pretty
big thing. They appeared in my (currently unposted) Metroid fic that I wrote
for my first NaNoWriMo (2015), appeared again in my Camp NaNoWriMo project, a Legend of Spyro fanfic (I haven’t yet
posted the chapter with the first dream sequence however), and then they’ve
appeared in every NaNo project since…

I find dream and nightmare sequences really fun to write.
They’re a good way to explore the character’s mind without having to worry
about realism or even my own canon.

In general, I like to use dreams/nightmares to introduce
concepts and foreshadowing in ways that (hopefully) aren’t immediately obvious.

With my jewelry, it’s a bit hard to say since it’s all so
new to me. But I like to add a touch of whimsy to everything I create!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

To not be discouraged, and to get your art out there. It can
be very daunting, yeah, I’ve been there (and in many ways still am), but your
voice is needed. Perhaps some people won’t get your story, but for the people
who do, it could mean the world.

Understand that you have room to grow, but to also be you.
Improve and become the best you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Homoromantic/demiromantic asexual. Also sex-repulsed.

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

More times than I’d like to count, especially offline. I try
to clarify things for people who simply don’t know, but find it’s easier on my
mental health to avoid actually prejudiced people who are unlikely to change
their mind. Sometimes both of those things are easier said than done.

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

The most common seem to be “Asexuals are incapable of love
in any form” and “Asexuals can’t have sex/be sex positive”. Trying to correct
either misconception isn’t usually a fun time for me, especially the latter
(where being a sex-repulsed ace with no intention of having sex gets thrown
back in my face as if it’s some kind of gotcha).

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

That you’re not broken, and that you’re ace enough.  You’re loveable and amazing as you are, and
there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

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

My main home of operation is on my website/blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/

There I post short stories, chapters of Lamenting City, and blog posts where I yell about video games and
music.

And while there’s not as much content as I’d like (I’m
working on it!), you can find my newer fanfiction on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/MetroidReploid/profile

I will be updating my Legend
of Spyro
fic (well, the first one) soon and will be adding a Metroid fic and a Star Wars fic at some point this year. I like many fandoms!

And you can check out my jewelry here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StormDragonsWares

More designs coming soon!

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

Interview: Sayle Owen

Today we’re joined by Sayle (pronounced
Say-lee) Owen. Sayle is a phenomenal author who is just starting out. She has already accomplished quite a lot. Sayle has won several awards and has completed two novels and two novellas. It’s clear she’s an incredibly passionate author with a very 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.

My “art” is the words, specifically in English. Currently,
I’ve got several Scholastic Awards to my name (three of them Silver Keys), and
have completed four (with a fifth to be finished by July) books, three novellas
and two full-length novels. The two novels are called Elemental and Tamer,
132,000 and 51,000 words respectively. The two complete novellas, The Vanished Princesses and The Silver Flame, are both around 20,000
words. The fifth book, a novella, is not yet complete and nameless, but I
estimate it will also be around 20,000 words. All of those books (in addition
to lots of other uncompleted ones) are part of one extended universe I call the
Elemental Spiral (with Elemental and
its sequel being the main series and the other books being side stories). And
since this interview is about Ace creators, I feel it appropriate to mention
that the two lead protagonists of Elemental,
Selene and Klaus, are both ace themselves (though I didn’t realize that until
over a year after it was finished, as I discovered my own aceness after it was
completed and it wasn’t until I was editing Elemental
I realized it. Additionally, I’ve written a handful of short stories and poetry
that I’m willing to share.

What inspires you?

The entire world around me. Literally, anything I see, hear,
or do may become a part of a story. But specifically, Tamora Peirce is
literally my writing hero. She is a goddess among writers and I adore her work
to no end (and may or may not own every book she’s ever written).

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

I’ve wanted to be a writer since second grade, when I first
read the Harry Potter series.
However, it wasn’t until my freshman year of high school (after discovering
Tamora Peirce, with the addition of having the most amazing Honors English
teacher) that I became serious about my desire to be an author by actually
starting to write. My draw to it is a couple of reasons. Mainly, I love
creating something that is different from my reality. Being able to control the
details (control being used loosely, as characters really do have a mind of
their own) and craft stories to entertain others (and myself) is such a
wonderful feeling.

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 honestly work with a lot of color symbolism in Elemental, specifically with the colors
of silver, gold, and other colors like bronze, copper, and violet. I do have
one symbol, a specific kind of six-pointed star (with a very set pattern to
create it) where each point has a certain element it represents—air, water,
fire, earth, spirit, and soul. Additionally, I like working with different
kinds of magic within my universe of the Elemental Spiral.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

It won’t be easy. There will be times when you can crank out
thing after thing and then it will be followed by a month of inactivity. But
don’t give up. If you’ve got a lot of WIPs, choose the one that is most
important and stick with it. Sure, start other things to get them out of your
head, but keep going back to the one. There’s very little that is more
satisfying than finishing something that took you two and a half years to complete
(*cough*Elemental*cough*). It’s so
worth it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

As far as I can tell, 100% ace. Not necessarily repulsed,
but just totally not interested. Of course, I could be grey-ace, but I’ve never
found a guy who would make that come to light. So until then, if it ever
happens, I’m Ace to the max.

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

My dad and stepmother don’t believe it’s a thing, and the
few times I’ve tried to bring it up its lead to long conversations (read: them
talking at me) about how it’s natural to have a sex drive and how I shouldn’t
be emotionally cutting myself off and whatnot. But I just stopped bringing it
up. It’s not like being ace really affects anything (not that I’m straight,
highly religious, conservative, that fact that I love writing) other than
making me come off as more mature than other people my age. I’m comfortable in
my asexuality, and my parents (though my mom does know and just doesn’t care
much) not believing it’s real or of the devil or whatever doesn’t really change
that. It’s all about having confidence that you know yourself better than
anyone else.

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

People seem to keep confusing it with Aromantisicm. Like, I
can still feel plenty of emotional/romantic attraction, but I have to explain
the difference between love and lust a lot. Like dude, I’m ace, not aro.

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

Don’t feel obligated. You are the one who decides what your
orientation is. In the long run, the only reason it matters is so you can feel
more comfortable with yourself. For me, I discovered that I was ace literally
the day before my senior year of high school (Labor Day 2017). I heard someone
talking about it and (writer that I am) decided to research it. Suddenly, a lot
of things about myself made sense—how I thought/acted growing up, the lack of
caring about sex most teens seem to think about, etc. It’s not an obligation to
figure it out. Sure, it’s nice having a name for things, but if you think
you’re ace or not, it’s up to you.

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

Unfortunately, I don’t have anything truly published yet (I
want to complete more of the Elemental
Spiral
before I try and publish it), I do have a website. It’s a portfolio
thing I made for freshman Honors English and have kept up since then. Please
note that it does need a pretty major redo in design for my things from last
year, but a good majority of my stuff (school English portfolios, a list of my
scholastic award winning pieces), save things from the Elemental Spiral, can be found there. Hopefully, I’ll get the Elemental Spiral published…eventually. http://sayleowen.wixsite.com/writing-portfolio.

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

Interview: Morwenna Greenleaf

Today we’re joined by Morwenna Greenleaf. Morwenna is a wonderful writer who specializes in poetry and fanfiction. She also dabbles in music, mostly song covers, and visual art. Morwenna takes inspiration from subjects that aren’t often talked about. It’s clear 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.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

My art is mostly written word, though I occasionally draw,
and sometimes post covers of songs on my YouTube channel, and I have had dance
lessons, though I don’t really showcase dancing and don’t really do much
anymore. I occasionally write poetry, but the majority is fanfiction written in
prose, usually with a theme of fantasy and they can cover really heavy, or not
commonly talked about, subjects.

What inspires you?

Well, I guess that events in my life have inspired my
stories, but also the stories of others. For example, I’ve always loved
watching crime shows with one of my personal favourites being Law and Order S.V.U. and I think that
inspires me, because they go into subjects such as rape, kidnapping, and human
trafficking. These subjects intrigue me, so I find myself researching them to
add into existing stories, or I piece together new stories featuring things
like them, which results in a lot of half-finished stories, some of which
aren’t yet published so the public can’t read them.

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

What got me interested? Well, I’m not sure. When I was
younger, I would always make up stories, whether they be epic sea battles with
phoenixes, all from a cluster of clouds, or fanfiction, before I realised it
was a thing. I always used to just insert myself into the shows/movies/books
and tweak the storyline slightly to involve myself. Drawing? I kind of just
slipped into it, like with the writing. I was always drawing over my books and
scraps of paper, pretty much anything I could find. Dancing, I think one day
when I was about three or four, I saw a ballet on TV, probably Swan Lake, and
fell in love. After about four years or so of pestering my mum, I ended up
doing four years of classical ballet classes, including character, and two
years of jazz classes. Singing has been a part of my life as long as I can
remember. I’d sing around the house as a child, and my dad started taking me to
karaoke at bars in town when I was about seven or eight, I think, and I’ve
recently turned eighteen, so that’s about ten years of karaoke.

Have I always wanted to be an artist? I think I have,
somewhere deep down. I love writing stories and singing, and have always, in
the back of my mind, wanted to do something artistic. True, it was always
performing, like singing/dancing/acting, but it’s all artistry anyway. I even
have the small amount of acting experience that comes from primary school
plays, hehehe. I love what I do, but I also have no clue exactly what I’m going
to do once I leave high school, because I also love things like science
(chemistry and physics), ancient history, and learning languages (I’m currently
monolingual, but who cares?).

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?

In most of my stories where I use an OC, her name is generally
Jessica McCarten, which is my real name outside of the internet. She’s
basically me, but with different hair and sometimes different backstories
depending on age, situation, and things like that, which are usually dependent
on the story. If she isn’t the protagonist, then she’ll usually appear as a
secondary character, but pretty close to the protagonist. Also, my profile pic
tends to be the same on all platforms except for Tumblr, and if there’s a
running obsession for another fandom or a certain type of music, it’s because
that’s most/all of what I’m listening to at that time, or obsessing over when
writing the parts of those stories.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Advice to young aspiring artists? Technically you could say
I’m one of them, *insert awkward/exhausted laughter here*. I would say to keep
doing whatever you’re doing and always, ALWAYS, look back over your old work to
see how you’ve changed, grown, and evolved. I personally hate doing this,
because my voice recorded, to me anyway, sounds terrible, and I cringe as I
read over things like my first story on Wattpad. However terrible you think you
were, always go back over your work, and you might find something better. Hell,
I’m still looking for a story I started in year 4 or 5 because I want to read
over it and build on it! The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. Just keep
practising and looking over your old work. Maybe if you’ve finished a story,
wait at least a year or so then, keeping the original, rewrite it, edit it, do
what you need to to make it fit your current style, or to correct grammar and
punctuation errors, because I can almost guarantee that you will have them, no
matter how much you think you don’t.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

At the moment, as it could change when I’m older and such, I
identify as asexual, but I am not aromantic. I still haven’t figured out my
romantic orientation, properly, but that doesn’t really matter.

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

No, I haven’t. However, this could be due to the fact that
aside from Tumblr and Quotev (my original platform) and about four people IRL,
I haven’t really come out, as I’ve been hesitant about it, and I’m not really
sure how people will react. The few people that I’ve come out to IRL have been
really nice about it, and not made a big deal. I have to admit though, that I
have a plan on coming out to my entire high school if a certain event I wish to
partake in (public speaking) occurs before I leave, a term afore the other
years. *Spoiler* If I do manage to, I’m doing a speech about asexuality, and
will hopefully have a homemade flag to show people before I wrap it around my shoulders.
As far as everyone that I haven’t come out to knows, I’m just a straight white
girl.

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

Well, probably that asexual people don’t like sex, or don’t
have sex. I know that this is true for possibly the majority of aces, but it’s
also false for a certain percentage of aces. This has come from people that
identify as bi/pan and do a subject that requires presentations on the LGBT+
community, though I’m not sure if any have included aces. As an eighteen year
old female ace, I have never understood how sexual attraction works, or had a
partner, romantic or otherwise aside from an occasional partner in
science/chemistry. However, I have always been intrigued and curious about what
the act of sex feels like, just never felt the attraction to anyone pertaining
to it. Whenever I’ve heard this one, I stay quiet and just get silently
annoyed/irritated/mildly mad, because I’ve learnt if I speak up about things
that I’m interested in/passionate for, I tend to receive a lot of shit from
people, and this is mostly to people I’ve known since year seven but haven’t
come out to as I don’t really consider them friends.

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

Do your research, read the stories of other aces, watch
videos on YouTube, whatever you need. I actually procrastinated for at least a
year before I decided Yes, okay, I think
I’ll identify as asexual now
. It doesn’t matter how long you take to figure
it out. Take your time, and remember that no-one other than you can tell you
who you are or what your sexual orientation is, and don’t feel bad if it
changes because sexuality is fluid. For example, here I am identifying as
asexual, when for all I know, I could be demi-sexual or grey-asexual, but I
haven’t explored anything that would let me know, so until anything changes, if
it does, I identify as asexual.

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

People can find out more about my work by looking me up on
different platforms. My *main* email is crush.girl.101.at.high.school@gmail.com
because I made it in year nine when I was seriously crushing on a guy. My Quotev, Wattpad, Deviantart, and YouTube are
all under the name Morwenna Greenleaf, and I have a Facebook page by the name Morwenna
Greenleaf
, managed by my actual account, and you can message me through the
page. I also, obviously, have Tumblr
that people can feel free to message me on, and I have Instagram under my
actual name, though, like YouTube, I don’t really post often (at jess_mccarten). In fact,
you can message me on any of the sites, though there is a high chance that the
majority of videos on my YouTube may have their comments turned off, due to fuckheads
being, well, fuckheads. When it comes to any of them, I do requests for things,
songs, stories, whatever. Feel free to request some things, because, while I
procrastinate pretty much everything *Hello! Procrastinated my sexuality!*, if
I enjoy the request, I will, eventually, get around to fulfilling the request,
and, just feel free to talk to me. I can be really awkward, and drop a lot of
terrible, terrible, puns, jokes,
whatever the fuck I’m in the mood for, on you, and just be extremely weird in general.
Live long and prosper, aces, and remember, Barty Crouch Jr stopped drinking
because it was making him Moody! 😉

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

Interview: Brit

Today we’re joined by Brit. Brit is a wonderful fanartist who is mostly active in a few different fandoms. She enjoys writing fanfiction as well as drawing her characters from her favorite fandoms. Brit is most active in the Undertale, Homestuck, and Hiveswap fandoms. It’s clear that she’s 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 am mostly a fanartist, be it with drawn fanart or with
written works (fanfiction). I’ve been mostly active in the Undertale fandom, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a Homestuck/Hiveswap kick. I also do a lot
with original characters (OCs). The biggest project I’ve had going on for a
long while now is a fanfiction titled With
and Without
, a Sans/OC fanfiction that now has 59 chapters.

What inspires you?

It’s difficult to say what inspires me…but I think, more
often than not, anything that gives me an idea of an emotion, or makes me
experience that emotion, then I get inspired. That’s part of what I always aim
for in my written work, too, to make people feel something.

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

I’ve always had an interest in being an artist. I’ve always
done well with creative writing in school, and that’s what really got me
started with writing fanfiction.

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 have a special signature…but this has
made me think about it, and I might start making one from now on!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

My advice would be to keep going. I know that sounds cliché,
but no matter what, you’ve got to keep going. That doesn’t mean go nonstop,
though! Sometimes I’m just not in the right mood to write or draw, so I don’t. I
take a break, play a game, or do something else. I feel that it helps me be
able to come back to it with a fresh mind and renewed motivation. But you can’t
give up on it. I used to draw using bases off of DeviantArt and tracing, and
with all the effort I’ve put in, I’ve gotten to the place where I am now.
(Which isn’t that far, compared to other people, but that’s the other thing.
You can’t compare your journeys to one another because each one is unique.)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a mostly sex-repulsed pan-romantic asexual.
It’s difficult, and I say mostly sex-repulsed, because on some days I’m
repulsed and suddenly on others I’m not. It can even change by the hour. It’s
very frustrating at times, but I’ve come to accept that that’s just how I am.

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

I don’t know about prejudice, but I have been asked how I
can write NSFW content if I’m asexual (especially being mostly sex repulsed). I
just explain that the two aren’t really related, and that usually clears it up.

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

The most common misconception I’ve encountered personally is
that all asexuals don’t like sex, which just isn’t true! Even though I
personally don’t always like it, I’ve met others who have a high libido.

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

I would say to definitely surround yourself with people who
are accepting, and have patience with the people who have been in your life if
you’ve only just now come out. To those who aren’t asexual, it can be difficult
to understand. But yeah, keeping away the people who are negative or
unsupportive will definitely help with accepting your orientation. If someone
who’s unsupportive is someone you can’t avoid (i.e. family) then you can always
try limiting your contact with them if at all possible. But seriously, surround
yourself with support and love and kindness. It’ll help more than you’ll ever
know.

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

I mostly post on Tumblr these days, so you can find me here
(https://life-sans-sin.tumblr.com),
but I also post on DeviantArt (https://life-sans-sin.deviantart.com).
I have an archive account here on Tumblr as well, where more of my older stuff is
posted. You can find that here (https://life-sans-sin-archive.tumblr.com).
For Tumblr, my tags are #brit writes and #brit arts.

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