Category: demisexual

About the grey ace thing, I’m honestly c…

About the grey ace thing, I’m honestly curious too. It’s not that your explanation was wrong, it’s just that it’s a very complicated topic and sometimes I read posts about it that use such big words or words I don’t recognize that I’m left even more confused at the end of it.

Sorry for any confusion, or for seeming defensive answering that last ask, y’all!

I’ll try a little bit more in depth explanation 🙂

So, as I understand it, gray ace can either be identity in itself or it can be used as an umbrella term for identities that fall somewhere between asexual and allosexual – the ones that are like “sexual attraction BUT…”. (maybe it’s not strong attraction, maybe it’s only after certain conditions are met, maybe it’s only very occasionally, etc).

In a sense, graysexual as an umbrella term kind of covers some the ground of “asexuality is a spectrum”.

Graysexual as an identity in and of itself, I believe, could be likened to using queer as an identity. It’s like saying “I’m somewhere in this general area of sexuality, and that’s all the more description that I feel I need/makes me comfortable.” It’ll mean different things to different people using it.

The post I was referring to goes into how graysexual may have been more common before ace micro-labels really gained traction in the community, among other gray/demi topics.

I’m on mobile, so I can’t make a nice little link to the post, but here’s a messy link:
http://asexual-society.tumblr.com/post/183222356932/chrysocollatown-nextstepcake-godlessace

Let me know if y’all still have questions, or if I wasn’t right about something 🙂

-Mod Leaf

Interview: Chloe

Today we’re joined by Chloe. Chloe is a wonderful young artist who is just starting out. She’s a writer and visual artist. She does both digital and traditional art. For writing, she writes fanfiction, poetry, and occasionally original fiction. It’s clear she’s a dedicated artist with a bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am both a writer and an artist. I do digital and
traditional works as well as writing fanfiction, poems, and the occasional
original fiction piece. I’ve always been pretty creative, finding enjoyment in
expressing myself through the hobbies I love. My artwork and writing certainly
aren’t of any professional quality, but I believe they’re good enough to
qualify me as an artist of sorts, even if no art has any real qualifications.

What inspires you?

Often times, I find inspiration in other works. It might be
an idea, a color, a theme: if it catches my eye, I try to incorporate it in a
creative way. On top of that, I also find inspiration in lyrics and sometimes
even in everyday experiences!

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

When I was younger, I drew occasionally, but I never really
felt like it was something for me. By the time I was 10 years old, though, I
was writing stories often and trying to teach myself to draw! There wasn’t
anything that really brought it on – I just thought that art was cool and I
loved reading stories made by other people. On top of that, I was (and still
am) an anime fan, so the art style inspired me. I just thought it was pretty,
and I went off of that to develop my own artistic style. Well, its not complete
in any means, but it’s 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?

Well, I have a literal signature, which you’ll see on nearly
all of my drawings. Other than that, though, I don’t believe there’s anything
unique in my art or writing that tells it apart from another’s. I wish I could
say it’s unique to me. I excessively use adverbs (a habit I’m trying to break)
and I draw in an anime-influenced style, but my work is hardly the only type of
it’s kind, unfortunately.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do not give up. If it’s your dream, go for it. Power
through. Learn. Create. Your art is your art, whatever that may be. The world
is cruel – people are cruel! – don’t let that change you. Your life is your
life: pursue it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m demisexual. Sort of in the middle, I guess.

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

Yeah. I’m a part of a lot of communities, but prejudice is
especially present on Tumblr. Asexuals are definitely discriminated against,
but it almost seems worse for demisexuals. I’ve seen many people – artists –
say that demisexuality is not real, that it’s just a preference. It really gets
me upset sometimes because it makes me feel unwelcome and ‘wrong.’ People are
so unaccepting of what they don’t understand. I’m afraid that if I express
myself completely that I’ll only end up hurt. Often, I’m afraid to even mention
that I am demisexual. Most of the time, I just say I’m heterosexual for fear of
backlash.

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

I’ve heard people assume that asexual people do not have a
sex drive and such, but that isn’t always the case. Though, as for
demisexuality, many people assume that we only have intercourse with people we
get to know, or as they describe: “are not a hoe.” They assume that our
sexuality is the norm for everyone, so it must not really exist. However,
that’s a misunderstanding. Demisexuality is the lack of sexual attraction
unless a close emotional bond is formed. In other words, I won’t find an
attractive celebrity ‘hot’ because I don’t know them well or even at all.
People aren’t aware of this.

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

You’re not broken. You’re not wrong. You are who you are and
some people may mock you. Some won’t accept you. It’ll be hard sometimes, but
we’re here. Your identity is valid. Your feelings are valid. People are cruel,
but I promise you that what you’re feeling is so, so okay. What you feel is
your business and it is perfectly okay. You’re doing just fine – amazing, even.
Nothing you feel is wrong. Don’t let people convince you otherwise. They don’t
know how you feel; people can’t understand what they don’t feel. It’s okay. I
promise.

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

You can check my Tumblr or DeviantArt page! I’m more active
on Tumblr, but I still post all complete artwork on DeviantArt. My DeviantArt
username is cofstars, as well
as my Tumblr url. They’re my most
active platforms. Though, my Tumblr page had a lot more info than the latter!

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

Interview: Meredith Dobbs

Today we’re joined by Meredith Dobbs. Meredith is a phenomenal filmmaker based in London. She specializes in narrative films, particularly improv drama. She currently works on short films and web series. Meredith hopes to get into indie features eventually. It’s very clear that she’s an incredibly passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a writer, director, and editor of narrative films. I’m
working on shorts and web series now, and I want to make indie features long
term. As a writer and director, I work primarily in improv drama.

What inspires you?

I’m really interested in relationships, and I’m interested
in space between reality and fiction.
Films can feel so realistic, so much like life, without ever being truly
real because at the end of the day, film is still an artistic medium. And that
line between film and reality that you can strive for but never cross is really
interesting to me. Not in terms of pushing people to that edge, but pushing the
art to it. So I think my stories will always be about relationships, and my
techniques will in some way explore that edge.

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

I always loved movies.
We watched a lot of movies together as a family when I was a kid, and we
still quote movies all the time.  When I
went to college, I knew I wanted to take some film production classes, but I
only saw them as fun electives because I felt I had to do something “serious”
like biology.  So I arranged my classes
to do a film degree alongside my biology degree.  But after one semester, I completely fell in
love with film, and I really found myself in it.  I dropped the bio major and never, ever
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 use an improv technique that I didn’t invent exactly, but
I really had to work out for myself, so there isn’t anyone else that does it
the way I do.  My scripts don’t have any
dialogue at all – they just describe the characters’ thoughts and feelings –
and the actors have to improvise their own dialogue.  I like how it requires listening and
responding (the two key tenets of improv) between actors, but also between
director and actor.  

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I think the best advice, which is also the hardest to
follow, is to do whatever you want to do.
If you’re interested in something, try it out.  I wanted to do this film production summer
camp when I was in high school – I really, really wanted it – but I was afraid
to ask my parents to pay for it, so I didn’t go.  It makes me wonder how much time I lost not
doing this thing I love so much.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Demisexual.  I have a
long term partner who has helped me explore my sexual interests, but I also
know I would happily be on the asexual side of my spectrum if I were
single.  

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

Not in my field, no.
Honestly, my work has been the most accepting place for me to talk about
my asexuality.  I’m currently working on
a short film about a woman trying to tell her boyfriend that she’s bisexual,
which was inspired by my experience telling my boyfriend that I’m
demisexual.  (I hope to explore
asexuality directly in a longer piece in the future.)  Everyone on the project has been nothing but
engaged and accepting.  

All the resistance and prejudice I’ve experienced has come
from family and close friends.  I also
struggle a little internally. Understanding the in-between nature of
demisexuality has been hard, because I don’t fit in either camp: ace or allo.  I have to remind myself that fluid doesn’t mean unsure, because I’m certain demisexual is absolutely the right term
for me.  So I work really hard to
understand myself and communicate to my partner.

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

That it’s not a sexuality; that it’s just my opinion, or
just a phase.

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

Just knowing that a definition existed for me made all the
difference in the world.  There’s nothing
wrong with who you are, and there’s nothing wrong with defining yourself
differently tomorrow, or next year, or 10 years from now.  It’s all fluid.

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

www.meredithdobbsfilms.com

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

Interview: Noel Arthur Heimpel

Today we’re joined by Noel Arthur Heimpel. Noel is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in illustration and comics. They have a couple webcomics out, one of which is completed and the other is currently being posted. Both sound like fascinating stories and have multiple ace and ace-spec characters. When they’re not working on webcomics, Noel also works on Tarot and Oracle decks. The guidebook for their Tarot Deck (the Numinous Tarot) has ace inclusive interpretations. 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.

I’m a cartoonist and illustrator—in particular, I do
webcomics and illustrate Tarot and Oracle decks, although I also do book covers
and such once in a while. All of my work is done traditionally in watercolor
and ink; the process is just so absorbing and fun. I absolutely love vibrant
colors and so my art ends up being very rainbow-y no matter what I’m making.

I currently have one finished webcomic, Ignition Zero, and a new one that just launched recently called The Thread That Binds. Both are stories
about trying to understand yourself, your emotions, your relationships to
others, and how to heal the hurts we all carry. And magic, of course! Ignition Zero has faeries and The Thread That Binds has magical
bookbinding and a giant magic library. Both stories have ace- and aro-spec main
characters who are comfortable with themselves and get to be happy and have
happy relationships.

My Tarot deck, the Numinous Tarot, came out earlier this
year. It’s a very personal take on the Tarot made to be a tool for healing
& for marginalized people to see themselves in—I tried my best to include
as many gender expressions, orientations, races, body types, ability levels,
etc. as I could. The card titles and guidebook all use gender neutral language
to make it as accessible as possible, and the interpretations are ace-inclusive
as well, of course!

What inspires you?

My own life experiences and those of my friends inspire me
the most. I want to tell stories that I haven’t seen before, or don’t see
enough of, so that people like me and my friends can find ourselves in them.
Stories are such an important way we figure ourselves out, whether we’re the
creator or the reader. I’m also very inspired by nature, especially flowers,
and all the magical things I do and experience as a witch. I like to think a
lot about the nature of the universe/reality and put that curiosity into my
work.

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

Pretty much! I come from an artistic family, so I’ve been
making art since I was very little, and my interest only grew from there. I
wanted ways to put all the stories in my head onto paper. At first that meant
writing and drawing separately, but eventually I combined them into making
comics. I started reading Tarot when I was 13, and being an artist, of course I
knew I wanted to draw my own deck one day. The deep and complex symbolism of
Tarot is very much like storytelling to me, so it also falls under that desire
to share my stories and imagination with people. Stories have always been
important to me, especially growing up in a difficult home I needed escape from
(and hope for the future), and I want to give that back to others.

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?

There are certain themes that almost always appear in my
work, the biggest one being healing from trauma and loss. I’ve been through a
lot of that myself and my art is one way I’ve worked through it—by sharing it,
I hope it can help others as well. I also use flowers symbolically in my work
on a regular basis, deciding which ones to draw based on the Victorian flower
language or common magical associations that go with the story/piece.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just keep going! Follow your passion and make what you want
to make. A lot of times we second-guess ourselves and say “I’m not good enough
to make this great idea yet, so I’ll wait,” but a) the best way to get better
is through experience, and b) you’ll have more amazing ideas later, I promise,
even if it doesn’t seem like it. Also, as much as we all want to improve our
skills, try to focus on having fun and enjoying it! There will always be times
when we’re frustrated or doubting ourselves, but if you don’t like
making art most of the time, why are you doing it? The enjoyment of the process
is a reward all on its own.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as demisexual, although it has taken me a long
time to figure that out and find the label I feel suits me best! I’m also
grey-aromantic and agender.

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

Not any more than I’ve encountered everywhere else. I feel
lucky that when I marketed Ignition Zero specifically on having ace characters
and an ace romance that the response was overwhelmingly positive. Otherwise
it’s usually just that people don’t know anything about asexuality and need it
explained to them, which I typically do as patiently as possible. I know I’m
not obligated to be an educator, but currently I feel comfortable doing that in
most cases. Or just ignoring it if it’s not worth my time!

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

Probably the one where asexuality gets conflated with
aromanticism. I myself knew the word asexual since I was 17, but I didn’t use
it for myself until I was 20 because I didn’t know about the split attraction
model and assumed the romantic attraction I experienced meant I wasn’t ace. I
see this misconception around a lot still, years later, although it’s getting
better. I also often struggle to get people to understand demisexuality—the
response is often “that doesn’t exist because that’s just how everyone feels
and it doesn’t need a label.” It can be difficult to explain to people how my
experience of attraction is different in a way they understand…or maybe there
are way more demi people out there who just don’t realize that the label could
fit them!

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

Find like-minded people who you can talk to. Meeting other
ace people was how I began to question and understand myself. When they shared
their experiences, I found stories, feelings, and words I could relate to that
I didn’t even know I was missing. Being part of a community made me feel less
alone and more empowered and certain in my identity. Also, sometimes this
exploration can take a long time. I started identifying as ace when I was 20
and over the last eight years I’ve readjusted which label on the spectrum I use
several times. And that’s ok! Sometimes it doesn’t feel great to be constantly
wondering and changing, but every time I’m glad I went through the process.

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

You can see all of my work on my website, noelheimpel.com!
I’m also very active on Twitter and Instagram, where I post my art and the
occasional ramble. I have a Patreon with tons of fun content, and the Numinous
Tarot is currently on Kickstarter to fund a second print run. Lots going on!

Website: http://noelheimpel.com
Twitter:
http://twitter.com/noelarthurian
Instagram:
http://instagram.com/noelarthurian
Patreon:
http://patreon.com/noelarthurian
Ignition Zero:
http://ignitionzero.com
Numinous Tarot:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/noelarthurian/the-numinous-tarot-2nd-printing

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

Interview: Runesael Johansson

Today we’re joined by Runesael Johansson. Runesael is a wonderful digital artist who specializes in character design. He works mostly in roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons. He has recently gotten into drawing World of Warcraft characters too. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist who loves what he does, 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.

Most of my work these days centers around Dungeons and
Dragons player characters and NPCs, alongside other TTRPGs and roleplaying
games. I’ve also done a fair amount of people’s characters from World of
Warcraft.

I work almost exclusively in Photoshop CS-6 or Procreate.

What inspires you?

Primarily, stories. One of my absolute favorite things about
doing the work that I do has to be hearing other people’s stories about their
characters and the adventures they’ve had with others. There’s such a broad
variety of individuals and experiences across the TTRPG community, so every
character I ever get to draw tends to be unique or unusual in some way. Even if
you have two chaotic good fighters from a small village who’ve sworn an oath to
protect their friends, say, those two fighters can and often will be radically
different people.

The TTRPG and WoW communities are both enormously creative,
and getting to see all of the various ideas that people come up with is
something I’m really grateful for and honored to be able to help bring to life.

Additionally, music – I can’t paint without it!

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

I began drawing because I wanted people to be able to see
the characters and places I described in my stories as a kid. However, it was
never really anything more than a serious hobby until about 2016.

As obnoxious as this might sound, I’ve never not been an artist, so I’m not sure what
it’s like to want to be one. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon.

My original career was in music performance. An injury
exacerbated by overuse and stress pulled me out of a performance career, and I
kind of spent my twenties wandering around with absolutely no idea what I
wanted to do with myself or my life. I was really lost. I’d gotten a full
scholarship to a small school, and figured I’d make my way through a four year
degree before going on to pursue a masters. That did not happen.

During my late teens and twenties, I was also a volunteer
storm chaser with ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services), and working
emergency telecommunications. I loved the work, but it stopped being fun after
I realized the extent of the impact that natural and man-made disasters had on
the human lives around me. Though the work was fulfilling, I knew I didn’t want
to do it for the rest of my life.

There were a few attempts at other careers. Honestly, all
they ever taught me was about all of the things I didn’t want to do with my life. The last one being that I wanted to
become a French translator and a linguist.

As a sort of last hurrah, I posted a thread on Reddit in
2015 offering to draw people’s World of Warcraft characters. There, I met a
handful of really incredible people who brought me into the WoW art community,
and from there I got into Critical Role and started becoming increasingly
engaged with the TTRPG community. The rest, as they say, is history.

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?

Most of my work these days is done for other people, so
you’re not going to find much of my own personal motifs in the majority of my
portfolio.

The signature that I put on my artwork is the text symbol
for “thunderstorm.” (It looks like this: ☈) It’s a play on my first name and it’s a nod to the work I’ve
done in the past. Also a reminder to myself – if it’s not a tornado, it’s
probably not worth getting super worked up about.

I use a lot of blue and gold – they’re my favorite colours,
mostly because I’m from a coastal town in Florida and have always loved the
water.

There’s so much
music in my work, to the point where all of my Inktober pieces this year were
just based on songs.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

There’s enough tutorials and technical advice these days on
the internet that I feel like anything I could say on those subjects has
already been said. So, instead, here’s some lessons I learned the hard way.

First of all. Don’t
be an asshole.
It does not matter if you are the most skilled artist in
your particular field, if you treat people like garbage, no one will want to
work with you. This includes being vocally critical of other artists. This
includes treating the artists around you as competition or as enemies, rather than
potential friends or coworkers. This includes being a sarcastic, sardonic shit
about everything. Cynicism doesn’t make you cool. It doesn’t make you some
enlightened sage of the ages, it makes you a prick. Empathy, kindness,
understanding and patience will get you far, far further than raw skill alone.
Praise others in public, critique if
asked
in private. Don’t be an ass to younger artists, they’re doing their
best.

Second. Art is extremely hard work. There is
nothing cute or fluffy about being a creative of any sort. You don’t get to
float around waiting for inspiration, or depending on some “muse” to bring your
ideas. If you do you’ll never get anything done, and you’ll never get better.

When you first start making stuff, you will suck at it.
You’ll suck at it for a while. It’s normal, don’t stress. Art isn’t something
you master overnight or in a year or even in ten years. You will be fighting a
continual, uphill fight for most victories and breakthroughs. When you “level
up” as an artist, it will be because you worked your ass off. The answers to
the problems you face will not be written out for you in books. You will need
to find those answers for yourself. If that doesn’t sound like a good idea to
you, don’t be an artist.

Third. Talent is a
myth and an excuse.
There is no bullshit force in the universe that
~magically~ gives you the ability to create anything. There is the only the
work, the desire to do it, and the determination to keep doing it when it gets
hard. That’s all. You get better by practicing and studying your craft.

Fourth. Art is for
everyone.
See number three. Art is not for special talented people who have
~the gift~. The arts in general, creative work – they are for everyone and
anyone. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If someone says you’re talented,
say, “Thank you, I work very hard.” They mean well, take the compliment.

Fifth. There are
a bunch of people who will tell you in kind ways and not-so-kind ways that the
arts are for fools who can’t manage a “real” career. What they do not and
perhaps cannot understand is that not
being an artist when you want to be simply leads to a chain of unfulfilling and
meaningless careers that you never fully commit to or enjoy. Life is far too
short to go through it longing.

Sixth: Don’t be
alone.
Involve yourself in a community. Isolation is death for artists.
Surrounding yourself with artists of all different skill levels will teach you
more than any class ever can. A good community will raise you up when you’re
struggling, and will keep you grounded. There will always be someone better
than you, don’t let that discourage you or inhibit your progress.

Seventh: Rest. If
it hurts, stop. If you’re frustrated, take a break. If you need help, ask.
Don’t let pain and exhaustion be a point of pride and don’t work yourself to
death. Sitting in front of your tablet or easel for sixteen hours a day without
eating or drinking is going to fuck you sideways when you get older. It doesn’t
say that you’re devoted and hardworking, it says you don’t take care of
yourself and don’t manage your time properly.
Eat regularly, take your medication, make sure you drink water. Don’t
survive on sleep deprivation and energy drinks. Your work suffers when you
suffer.

On that note. Great
art does not come from great suffering.
If you create beautiful things
from pain, imagine the things you could make when you’re safe and okay.

Tragedy, trauma,
angst, anger and sadness don’t make you interesting.
They inhibit your
feelings, keep you from growing, they keep you from forming good and healthy
relationships with the people around you. They keep you from becoming the
person you want to be. Don’t wear your sorrow like a trophy, because it isn’t.
The fact you survived it makes you strong. What will make you interesting – and
your work interesting – is how you recovered and grew beyond those
circumstances.

You are worth more than the things you produce. Don’t tie
your self-worth and self-esteem to your craft.

Stay humble. Work
hard, be sincere in your passions and in your relationships with others. Be as
good to the people around you as you can be, and if you can’t say anything
kind, shut the actual fuck up because no one needs your bullshit.  The most important thing in this world that
we can be is kind. Life is difficult. Life as a creative is even harder. Do not
be the reason someone else decides to quit doing what they love. Everyone has
something amazing about them, be receptive to finding it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m demisexual.

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

Personally, no. I don’t talk about it much as I’m a pretty
private person about my romantic relationships.

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

That asexual people are sex-repulsed. That we’re frigid or
cold. That we don’t actually enjoy any form of physical contact whatsoever.
That we’re broken or defective.

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

“Even if it gets hard

don’t lose that light.”

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

http://www.twitter.com/runesael

http://runesael.squarespace.com/

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

Interview: Holmesienne

Today we’re joined by Holmesienne. Holmesienne is a wonderful writer who is currently focused on writing a novel but also writes fanfiction and for Role Playing. She is incredibly passionate about writing and loves talking about the subject. Holmesienne is clearly a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

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

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

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

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

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

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

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

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

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

Believe in you ♥

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: Jaem

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

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

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

What inspires you?

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

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

I took art as a subject in high school, general at first
then moved on to painting, and just enjoyed it and loved it so much I continue
to do it

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

I use arrows and mountains a lot, whether in the background
or as a focal point, I also use three (give or take one or two) shades in a
series of work so they all have a good link and you can see how the story
develops

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: Kika

Today we’re joined by Kika. Kika is a phenomenal writer and visual artist who is best known for their webcomics. They currently have two webcomics posted: Adventure Inc. (a story about a shapeshifter and their employee) and Toss of Fate (a romantic coming-of-age story). Their webcomics have a lot of LGBTQ+ subject matter and they put a lot of themself in their work (through character, situation, or story). It’s clear they’re a talented and dedicated artist who loves what they do, 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.

Well, I work as a self-publishing webcomic artist. I’m only a
couple years into it, but I currently have two ongoing webcomics free to read
online. The first is Anything Inc.
an odd business with a shapeshifting owner and an employee who was dragged into
this crazy random job. It’s humorous, but does reveal its dark side. The other,
and probably more well known, is Toss of
Fate
– a romantic coming of age comic of two boys in their high school
color guard. If you like color guard, cinnamon roll characters, deep sad
stories, and dorks in love- you’ll enjoy this.

I hope to eventually break into more comics, zines, and
animation/storyboarding whether it be with a company or building it up on my
own.

What inspires you?

I think my drive to get myself out there. I want to entertain one
way or another and I live to please honestly. So I work hard for the readers of
my comics and my friends who support me. Not only that, but my story and
characters. I grow close to them and I get excited with every new page I can
put out because I see them grow, my art style grow, and the story continue
further. It’s very fulfilling.

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

I love cartoons and comics. I always wanted to make my own
cartoons and stories since I was little. I made horribly drawn comics of my
friends and I in high school doing stupid random things and would draw stupid
things to make others laugh. I love to make other laugh. Thank goodness for
webcomics and for enjoying them once I got to college. It gave me a starting
point and a way to work on growing as an artist.

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 wish. I should have like something hidden within each page.
Only thing I put on each piece of art is my signature in the corner. And I
don’t know if it counts but my style. That stands out in itself. It’s
very….derpy? LOL, but I love it.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Never give up and keep drawing. I wasn’t able to draw a decent
looking character/figure until AFTER college. But with practicing more and more
I’m now able to be proud of the characters I draw and they seem relatively
proportional. Not everything happens at once, so be patient and give it time.
Also, references are your best friend! They really make things look SOOO much
better.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a Non-binary Demisexual.

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

I recently went to our city’s pride parade and was kind of bummed
of lack of not only Ace/ Non-binary People represented, but lack of mercy
vendors were sending. I was with my Pan friends and they were over joyed they
had pansexual things and they were all selling out and it was Pan city. But I’d
ask vendors if they had anything Ace/Demi/Non-binary and luckily ONE vendor had
a Demi flag. And thus I was super Demi, wearing that flag as a cape to
represent.

Other than that light thing, nothing really thank fully.

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

Growing up I never had interest in dating or anything sexually.
However, literally everyone would be like “Oh, well someday you will.” And that
was very toxic to say because once I did get into a relationship, I was so
scared for people to know and to be like “I told you so!” Even though it’s not
like that at all. Not everything is about sex or things that typical
relationships entitle.

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

Don’t be ashamed of yourself. Especially if you are Ace. It’s
scary having everyone around growing up talking about relationships, sex, and
being really into it, but then it’s you in the corner not into it and suddenly
you’re “Peter Pan”. You don’t have to be into anything. Just be you and
enjoy/love who you are because only you can make yourself happy. <3

And if you ever do end up in a relationship, it’s okay. Don’t be
ashamed. Things happen sometimes. That’s how I knew I was Demi.

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

To find the main source of link to my work, you can go here: https://kikaescoolio.wordpress.com/

There I have all sorts of art that I do as well as links to my
webcomics and social media. My comics can also be found on SmackJeeves, Tapas, and Webtoons.
Just look for Anything Inc., Toss of Fate, or the author name-
Kikaescoolio.

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

Interview: Anna

Today we’re joined by Anna. Anna is the phenomenal visual artist and writer behind the webcomic, Last Living Souls. Her webcomic is about a man who wakes up with no memory of what happened to him and journeys to the nearest town for help, but instead finds a town of the living dead and he’s one of them. It’s an intriguing premise and definitely worth looking up. Anna has also recently gotten into creating visual novels. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Hey there! I’m a webcomic artist and I’ve been writing and
illustrating Last Living Souls since 2011. During that
time I’ve been also picking up visual novel development as it’s a great way to
tell other stories without the huge time commitment.

As a webcomic and VN dev I have to wear a lot of hats;
character design, script writing, backgrounds, and more. I think that’s what’s
my favorite part about those two mediums is you get to personally bring your
entire story to life in a bunch of different ways, not to mention I get to grow
as an artist that much more.

What inspires you?

I’m a huge fan of the horror genre, especially indie or
older horror games. If a work is able to simultaneously make you so
uncomfortable that you don’t want to continue yet you’re so intrigued about the
story you WANT to continue, that’s the incredible sweet spot that makes me want
to create myself.  I really enjoy
emotional or interesting pieces in general even if they aren’t horror, I like
Shonen anime and sci fi movies.

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

I got into drawing as a child because I loved drawing silly
joke comics or doodles starring some of my favorite characters from video games
or cartoons. There was something so fun about making something that could make
my friends laugh and a way I could express things I liked. Eventually, it
developed into trying to draw more of my own characters and stories and I
simply never stopped since, comics were an especially interesting field for me
given they allow you to create such dynamic scenes and tell entire stories. While
my career path never took me towards being a professional artist, I think I was
always going to have art somewhere in 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?

Haha, some might joke that “Way too many of my characters
are missing an eye, or some body part,” which is an unintentional detail choice
that crops up from time to time. But, one I’m more aware of or more direct
about is my desire to include subhuman characters in my works. Things ranging
from monsters to robots to mutants, there’s a lot of interesting moral dilemmas
and character interactions that naturally develop from including characters
that are different from ourselves. I suppose these types of characters also
lend themselves well to the types of stories I like to create which usually
feature some kind of horror theme or some scary situations.  

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You’re probably going to find a lot of art boring and hard
and intimidating especially the “ART” that your high school teacher is making
you create. But art doesn’t have to be only about that; practicing, learning,
observing, if you make it into homework it’s going to feel like homework. Find
that part about art that seems the most fun to you: is it building giant
worlds? Drawing lots of different outfits? Setting up scenes with your favorite
character? Coloring in a big page of lineart? Find that part of art that
excites you and focus in on it, let it fill you with that energy to draw and
draw and draw. Because you will be practicing, and learning when you’re drawing
a whole lot! But you won’t feel like
it, and that’s when art is amazing!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am a demisexual individual, with a fairly low libido. I
will experience some sexual attraction to those that I’m very emotionally close
to.

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

Thankfully, most of my artistic peers are understanding (and
sometimes ace themselves) and growing up my friends just thought of me as
“naive” and never really treated me disrespectfully.

Joking or prejudice was fairly mild, to my fortune.

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

Asexuals hate sex, or must have had some kind of traumatic
experience with sex previously. Allosexuals seem to make it into an us vs them
situation, where asexuals “hate” sex and any sexual individuals.

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

It may feel like you’re a “late bloomer” and all your peers
seem to be a part of some kind of club you’re not in, with talk about porn and
sex and all sorts of things that just don’t interest you. It’s okay if you
never become interested in it. It’s okay if you find that only that special
person becomes interesting. You’re not slower than anyone else to mature, you
know exactly what you like or don’t, and you might just need to find the right
word to describe that and suddenly it’ll all make so much sense!

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

If a comic about undead creatures regaining their souls and
trying to adapt to their new existence sounds right up your alley feel free to
read Last Living Souls!

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