Category: demisexual

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.

Interview: CG Thomson

Today we’re joined by CG Thomson. CG is a wonderful fantasy author who is currently working on a seven-book fantasy series. She’s currently pursuing representation for the first novel of the series. CG is an imaginative 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 fantasy writer,
currently working on the fourth book of my seven book series while seeking
representation for the first book.

What inspires you?

Everything. 🙂 No,
really. I have so much wonder for this world we live on. I find inspiration in
nature, humanity, everyday life. I can spend twenty minutes marveling at
sunlight dappling the ground, lose hours by the sea.

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

I’ve been writing since
I was three. My mother chose storytelling as a way to focus her very ADHD
toddler and whether I was simply telling her stories or learning how to write
them down, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a writer of fantastic tales.

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 is always an
element of found family in my work, specifically a flawed heroic father figure,
a man whose daughter is not his biologically but chosen by heart. This is an
homage to my father who is (technically) my stepfather. We chose one another
when I was very young and he has defined my life like no other.

What advice would you give
young aspiring artists?

There’s so much advice
out there, and most of it is good, but no matter how good, no matter how
successful the person giving that advice, that does not mean it will work for
you. Figure out what you want from your art. Not everyone wants a career and
not everyone can make a career of it (I’m certainly still waiting to see) and
there’s nothing wrong with that. Figure out what you want and then figure out
what works for you. Sadly, there isn’t a formula for success, but if you’re doing
something you love and you’re improving regularly, you’re on the right path.

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?

Interestingly enough, I
would have answered this with a no just a week ago, but when I tweeted a boost
to this website’s call for interviewees, I lost followers. That said, as a
cisgender female married to a cisgender male, I am heteronormative passing.
There is some privilege there and I acknowledge that and try to use it to raise
asexuality awareness.

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

That being on the
asexuality spectrum means a person must be sex-repulsed. Of course a person can
be, but frankly a person who is not asexual can be sex-repulsed. Likewise a
person can be asexual and sex-ambivalent or even sex-positive.

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

Understand that you
don’t have to “know” right now. You can be questioning. You can still be
figuring things out. No matter what, you are perfect and lovable just as you
are.

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

I’m currently seeking
representation, so there’s nothing out yet, but anyone wishing to keep up with
my process can find me at onaredhorse on Twitter.

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

Interview: Abby Grace

Today we’re joined by Abby Grace. Abby is a wonderful writer and musician. They have been playing the cello for over ten years and are even studying for a degree in it. They’re also going for a degree in English Literature and have written both fanfiction and original poetry. As if that’s not impressive enough, Abby has also recently taken up crochet. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and enthusiastic 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 writer and musician – specifically, I write various
fanfictions, and some original poetry, and have been playing music from the age
of four. My main instrument is the cello, which I’ve played for almost 12 years
now. I’m lucky enough to have been able to pursue both of these passions, and
am currently at university studying English Literature and picking up a minor
in cello. I also recently picked up crocheting.

I’ve had two original poems published in the past, in Skipping Stones (an international
children’s magazine). Personally, though, I feel most accomplished about my
work whenever I receive a heartfelt review on my fanfics. I’ve actually cried
over a couple of emotional reviews on a specific story, “Firsts,” which is
about a trans character trying on his first binder. I also recently started
sharing some of the funnier stories from my life and my family, and am
considering collecting them into a book of short stories.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere – from silly things overheard
in public to major life events to watching a storm roll in. Inspiration for
art, no matter what medium, is everywhere.

There are a few specific people who inspire me every day,
though. My grandmother, who was known locally for her amazing quilts, didn’t
learn how to sew until her late twenties. I crochet to feel closer to her. Janelle
Monáe, who is so unapologetically herself at every turn. Yo-Yo Ma, the
best-known cellist in the world, who is still so kind and friendly as to grin
widely and give a fist bump to a shy fourteen year old who plays the cello,
too.

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

I’ve always loved reading and writing, it’s been an
important part of me for as long as I can remember. More than half of my family
is musically-inclined in some way or another, too, so it was really less of an
‘if’ I would be a musician, and more of a ‘when.’ There’s definitely a few pictures
in a family album somewhere of me sitting on my grandfather’s lap at the piano,
looking absolutely delighted as he shows me that pressing the keys makes sound.

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?

Hm, I don’t believe I have anything that I work into every
piece I do. A lot of my poetry involves stars in some way, but that’s just
because I really like space.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to fail. Don’t be discouraged by only
getting a couple of notes or kudos, or even nothing at all. You still have
something valuable to share with the world – the world just takes a little
while sometimes to notice it. I have one fanfic that has the most kudos of that
specific ship on AO3… and I have 10 fanfics with less than 30. I have even more
with less than 3 comments. Don’t worry about the numbers. Focus on doing your
best.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Demisexual

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

Luckily, I have yet to see anything specific in the general
writing and music communities. Within fandom itself, however, I have most certainly
seen people attack others for being ace and/or aro and trying to identify with
a character by suggesting that they are also ace and/or aro.

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

That we are frigid, unfeeling, or that asexuality isn’t ‘a
thing’ and is just ‘attention-seeking.’ I hear this most often in regards to
demisexuality.

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

Be confident in yourself. And if you’re not, ask questions!
Talk to the community – most people are happy to chat and help where they can.
It’s something that I wish I had done more when I was younger. It could have
helped me avoid a seriously bad time.

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

I’m on AO3 (DarthAbby), and Tumblr (main
butim-justharry) (side – official-cello). Please feel free
to send an ask or private message to either blog if you want to talk!

Thank you, Abby, 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: Marzy Hart

Today we’re joined by Marzy Hart. Marzy is a phenomenal filmmaker who recently founded a production company with her best friend called Besties Make Movies. She’s currently working on a film that she describes as a “genre-bending ace film” that she wrote and is acting in. She’s currently building followers for the film, so I highly recommend clicking on their links and showing them some love. It’s clear Marzy is an incredibly bright and dedicated artist with a very bright future, 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 an actor and a filmmaker. I recently formed the
production company Besties Make Movies with my bestie Stacey Maltin to have
more say in the stories we tell and the cast/crew we bring on to bring them to
life. We’re currently working on the genre bending short film called 2 Weeks, which is inspired by my
experiences with asexuality. Our director describes it as “crazy dream logic
about a woman who begins to wake up to who she really is and what she needs.”
We successfully crowdfunded the project on Seed & Spark but we are building
followers (free) which not only helps us unlock free tools provided by the
platform’s partners but it helps buyers see that there is an audience for this
content. You can follow the film by going to 2weeksmovie.com and hitting
“follow” to the right of the video (desktop) or below the video (mobile).

What inspires you?

Both in acting and more behind the scenes filmmaking, I’m
inspired by connecting people. I like to explore topics that are surrounded by
shame like asexuality, sobriety, homelessness, mental health. I’m also inspired
by thinking of what life could be like so fantasy and scifi are high on my
list. I want to make the world a better place whether that’s through laughter
or tears.

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

I have to say, I’ve always known, even before I understood
what being an artist was. TV & films served as a way for me to travel through
time and live lives that weren’t my own. It’s funny that what started as an
escape has very much turned into using my experiences and my stories to excel
in the industry.

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?

Ahh!! I don’t but now I totally want one!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Be kind to yourself. Don’t be afraid to fail and don’t let
it stop you. Put yourself out there. There will always be haters but your art
isn’t meant for everyone.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Grey Ace/Demi Sexual

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

I’m making 2 Weeks
because my field has been very slow to give any representation to the ace
community. Most people I’ve shared the project with have been very supportive
and curious about it. We’ll see what happens once we film and play at
festivals. 2 Weeks really is my
coming out. I’ve told some close friends but most people find out when I tell
them the film is based on my life. A few people have asked me if I just haven’t
had sex with the right person yet.

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

That it’s temporary or that people that just haven’t had sex
in a while understand what it feels like.

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

This is one of the most complex identities. You are not
alone, you are not broken. It’s different for everyone. You can be ace and have
sex. You can be ace and not have sex. You can still have meaningful romantic
relationships with/without sex if you want that. The world is not as black and
white as society would like us to think that it is. The “A” in the LGBTQIA is
for asexual not for ally!

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

Follow me on social media!

Instagram/Twitter: at marzapproved (Twitter)
Facebook.com/marzygotyourhart
Instagram: at bestiesmakemovies
Twitter: at bestiesmovies
Facebook.com/bestiesmakemovies
bestiesmakemovies.tumblr.com.

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

Interview: Melissa Wilkinson

Today we’re joined by Melissa Wilkinson, who also goes by Art by Little Miss Luna. Melissa is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. She frequently draws cutesy characters. For the most part, she has been drawing anime stuff for artist alleys but has recently branched out and done some drawings of plants. It’s clear she’s a talented 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.

I’m an unabashed anime fan, so I tend to draw cutesy stuff.
I’m working on refining my style and branching out into other areas but I
always come back to cute because, ultimately, it’s what I like. I’ve learned I
don’t need to apologize for it. I’m a mostly digital artist but lately I’m
trying to learn watercolors!

What inspires you?

I draw a lot of fan art so I love taking inspiration from
cartoons, especially ones like “Steven Universe” that are mature beyond their
core audience. Outside of fiction I take a lot of my inspiration from food.
There’s so many colors and textures present in the edible!

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

I took a graphic design class in eighth grade and I’ve liked
digital art ever since. I gave up on it to study hospitality when I went to
college, but ultimately I came back to it and got a degree in graphic design,
too. I didn’t always want to be an artist but I was always interested in
creative things like cooking and writing.

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 used to have a silly little symbol I’d stamp in the corner
of all my drawings of a heart with bat wings. Now I just have a logo I use on
my business cards.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

The best advice I can give is when you’re working on
something and you’re starting to get frustrated, walk away. Take a break, take
a nap, breathe. You won’t produce any good work if you’re angry so come back to
it when you’re calm again. You can look at it with fresh eyes and try to figure
out what’s going wrong.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I used to identify as alloromantic but currently I’m going
by demisexual.

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

Not from other artists, no, but from my family, certainly.
Most of what I hear is that I’m confused or I just haven’t figured myself out
yet. Ultimately, I just have to accept that not everyone in my life is going to
understand me and that’s ok. It doesn’t really matter if they don’t get it so
long as I feel comfortable with who I am.

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

That it’s just a phase and that the internet has poisoned my
mind and made me think I’m a “special snowflake.”

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

Once, during Thanksgiving break from college, I was hanging
out with my friends from high school. They all started talking about their
sexual experience from their first semester in college and I felt so utterly
uncomfortable that I kept sneaking off into the bathroom, hoping that when I
got back they would have moved on to something else. Eventually I left and went
home and cried in my mother’s lap. I had no idea why I felt such a disconnect,
why I felt so lost. A year later I read about asexuality on Tumblr and I
realized that there was a word for why I was the way I was, and that there were
other people like me. The internet is your friend. You are not alone. Arm
yourself with knowledge and know that you are perfectly normal and there are
people who will support you. I’m one of them. Shoot me a message on any of my
social media accounts and I’ll be happy to talk things over! Ace artists have
to look out for one another.

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

Lately I’ve been mostly using my Instagram (at artbylittlemissluna)
but I also upload things to my DeviantArt (Little-Miss-Luna) and my
Facebook (at artbylittlemissluna)
and Twitter (at art_by_LML). I
also have an Etsy store (at artbylittlemissluna)
if you want to see the products I make and sell with my art!

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