Category: cross-stitch

Interview: Melissa

Today we’re joined by Melissa, who also goes by Wolfish Arts online. Melissa is a phenomenal artist who does cross stitch. She creates beautiful works using needlework. She’s currently working on a large project and updates can be seen on her Facebook page and Tumblr. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I do cross stitching, which is a type of needlework. I
started stitching in September 2017 or so.

What inspires you?

My friends to be honest. Most of my friends are very artistic
and talented, and seeing all the hard work they put into their art makes me
want to do better with mine as well.

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

Cross stitching is something I’ve always been fascinated by.
When I was really little, I saw someone cross stitching and thought it looked
interesting and wanted to try it myself. My family was super poor though, so it
never happened. I finally picked it up last year after talking to my grandma
about it.

I’ve always been surrounded by artists. My grandmother does
pastels on sandpaper, and she always encouraged my desire for art. I’ve been a
writer since I learned how to write – I wrote my first book in 1st
grade and haven’t stopped since. I’ve always enjoyed writing, but I’ve always
wanted to do something to bring my characters to life. Unfortunately my drawing
skills are terrible. So I suppose the long answer is yes.

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 actually don’t. Cross stitching is such an interesting
craft. I don’t know if it would be compatible with such a thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep trying and practicing. If you find you’re not good at
one kind of art or craft, then don’t be afraid to try another kind. I was so
set as a kid on writing and drawing as the only art forms available, I never
bothered trying anything else. Cross stitching never even crossed my mind as a
possibility until my grandmother mentioned the needlework that HER mother did
when she was a girl. If you find something or see something that sounds even
remotely interesting, don’t be afraid to try it. You never know what you’ll be
good at or passionate about until you try.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Asexual and Aromantic

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

I have, yes. Unfortunately some members of my family have
shown some ignorance towards it. My father doesn’t understand it and thinks its
just a phase or something, and my brother thinks I shouldn’t label myself and
we should all just be ourselves. I don’t know how the rest of them see it since
they never really give a reaction. I have friends as well who, while they
accept it, they tend to ask a lot of very personal questions about it.

For my family, I try educating them on it when I can, or I
just ignore it. My father doesn’t understand and doesn’t want to understand.
He’s too dead set on convincing me to give him grandchildren. (Note: Its not
happening Dad.) I love my family, but my family is more than a little
disjointed and I’ve learned to pick my battles with them.

As for my friends, I know they come from a good place. They
want to understand at least, and they accept me for who I am and don’t try to
change it. The questions do get personal very quick. I’m sure anyone on the ace
spectrum already knows what I’m talking about.

I don’t tell strangers about my orientation to avoid issues
so for the most part the only ones who do know have been accepting or just
don’t acknowledge it.

For the most part, if it’s someone I know showing prejudice
or ignorance I either try to educate them or just ignore it.

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

Oooh boy. That’s a tricky question. The most common one I’ve
encountered is usually related to actual sex itself. Can we climax, or do we
even have sex ever? I usually try to answer for my own experiences then throw
in a “not every ace is the same” sorta thing.

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

Find someone who supports you. My best friend is also on the
spectrum and she’s the one who first brought it to my attention. Without her,
it would have taken me a lot longer to discover the ace spectrum. Knowing that
I can talk to her about my concerns and questions and whatnot relating to
asexuality helps me feel better about myself because I know at least she’ll
accept me no matter what. And she understands. Finding someone that understands
you or at least supports you and is willing to listen when you need it is
amazing.

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

I’m on Facebook at:  https://www.facebook.com/wolfisharts/

And Tumblr: https://wolfish-arts.tumblr.com/

Feel free to follow me on either one or both of them. I’m
always happy to answer questions or help out!

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

Interview: Embo

Today we’re joined by Embo. Embo is a phenomenal artist who specializes in cross stitch. She has recently cross stitched a number of Pride badges, which are absolutely beautiful. Embo also does some embroidery and she has recently started dabbling in drawing as well. It’s clear she’s a driven and passionate artist who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I mostly
cross stitch, sometimes embroider, and occasionally draw. Cross stitching is my
main art though. I favour working on smaller pieces, and recently I’ve spent
most of my time making small Pride pieces.

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

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

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: Jennifer Lee Rossman

Today we’re joined by Jennifer Lee Rossman. Jennifer is a phenomenal author who also does cross stitch. For writing, Jennifer writes science fiction and fantasy. She has written stories for various anthologies and just recently released her debut novella entitled Anachronism, published through Kristell Ink. When she’s not writing, Jennifer enjoys cross stitching and comes up with her own patterns. It’s clear she’s a passionate and dedicated artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a sci-fi and fantasy writer. I’ve had stories in several
anthologies and my debut novella, Anachronism,
was published this year by Kristell Ink, an imprint of Grimbold Books.

I write weird little stories that make people happy (or at
least cry while smiling) and hopefully make them see the world from another
angle. Violence and swearing levels vary from story to story, but there’s never
anything too gory and swearing is usually limited. Sex is a part of life for a
lot of people, so while it might be mentioned as part of the story, I will
never show anything more than a kiss on the page. (I don’t write anything I
wouldn’t want my grandmother reading.)

My goal is for my words to be a safe space no matter your
gender, orientation, ability, race, or body type.

I also cross stitch. I make all of my own patterns, mostly
dinosaurs and nerd stuff.

What inspires you?

Weird science facts and song lyrics, mostly.

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

I’ve been writing since I could hold a crayon, but only got
serious about it when I realized my disability was going to make having a
traditional job impossible.

Cross stitch was a natural path for me to take: I love
crocheting, but my muscular dystrophy makes that much movement difficult, so I
needed something smaller and more fiddly. I grew up making Pokémon sprites on
the computer, and it turns out cross stitch is really just analog pixel art!

Do you have any kind
of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in your work
that you’d be willing to reveal?

For crafts, bright colors and animals that are cute while
still being scientifically accurate.

In my stories…I guess queer people and Jurassic Park
references show up a lot.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You know that weird idea you have? The really silly thing
you want to make, but it’ll probably suck and no one but you will like it? Do
it. Give it permission to suck, let it be just for you. Chances are it’ll be
amazing, and your fellow weirdos will find you and you can be weird together.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Not entirely asexual, but pretty close. I experience romantic
attraction, but sexual attraction is kind of an abstract concept to me. It’s
there sometimes, not very often and not very strong, and sex sounds interesting
in theory, but most of the times it’s just not something I even think about.

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

Ignorance more than prejudice. When you’re writing about
aliens and robots, it’s easy to fall into the “this character is just as
human as the humans because they feel attraction” trap. I usually try to
point out the errors in my reviews.

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

That all disabled people are asexual. My disability has
nothing to do with my asexuality, and there are plenty of disabled people who
experience sexual attraction.

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

You’re not broken just because you’re different. Find some
ace people on the Internet – we’re super friendly and our pride flag is
beautiful!

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

I have a blog https://jenniferleerossman.blogspot.com/
and I’m on the Twitter https://twitter.com/JenLRossman
Links to all of my books (including my debut novella Anachronism) and stories can be found here: http://jenniferleerossman.blogspot.com/p/my-work.html

I don’t sell my cross stitch because each piece is usually
custom made for myself or someone I know, but I’m always happy to take on a new
project.

Thank you, Jennifer, 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.