Category: digital art

Interview: Senta

Today we’re joined by Senta. Senta is a phenomenal illustrator who works mostly in digital mediums. He does enjoy using ballpoint pen on occasion. He has his own style, but can also adapt to a variety of other styles. It’s clear he’s an incredibly passionate artist who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I
draw, mostly digitally but sometimes I like drawing with ballpoint pen. My
personal style is kind of muted colors and darker settings, but I do lots of
other stuff depending on the vibe I’m trying to show. I take a bit of pride on
the fact that I can cater to people’s interests, that’s especially useful in my
line of work, I’m an illustrator 😉

What inspires you?

People
inspire me, mostly fictional characters to be honest, but I love to draw
people, I love to create characters and create stories for them. I do a lot of
fan art of whatever I’m interested in the moment, or whatever catches my eye.
Sometimes it’s just a photo or something that gives me a vibe for a character
and then I have to draw them.

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

I
honestly don’t know how I started drawing, but I’ve been doing in since I can
remember. I used to draw with chalk on paper when I was a kid cause my
kindergarten didn’t have pencils for all of us. I’ve always wanted to work in
the field, yes, but I wasn’t sure what would I do exactly, I wanted to be a
graphic designer for a long time until I realized what that was and that I
couldn’t really draw much, then I went and studied to be an Illustrator 🙂

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
sign all my work as Senta, but someday I will come up with a tiny character or
something to hide in all my work, I really want to do that, but I’m not sure
what. I follow at least 3 artists that do that and I loooove it, I love to
search for the little Easter egg in all their art.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I’m
not great with advice, but I would say PRACTICE! Practice a lot, and surround
yourself with people and things that inspire you to create. Nice supporting
friends that share your passion for art are truly special, whether is online or
IRL. Also, really practice! Nobody is born knowing how to so stuff, all those
awesome artists that you love? Those people busted their butts off to get
there.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I
identify as ace and quasiromantic bi (that label is pretty recent 😉 ) but I
usually go with queer, it’s shorter.

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

Not
necessarily on my field. I’ve encountered it online, where I post my art, or in
fandoms I make art of, but it’s never about the art itself (thankfully). Either
way I try to let it go and not let it affect me too much. People are ignorant,
a lot of people are, and if I offer some education and they deny it by being
close minded then there’s nothing I can do about it… That said, it does
affect me sometimes, and then I just go and talk to supportive people, I vent a
little and then I usually forget why I was upset in the first place.

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

I’ve had a lot of “being asexual is basically being
straight”, some “you have to be attracted to someone”, and a few people
invalidating queerplatonic relationships and saying they’re “basically just
friendships”… As I said, ignorant people ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

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

Look,
I’m the kind of person who loves labels, I looove having a word to explain how
I feel, to know that there’s someone out there who feels the same, so I hate it
when people say “you don’t have to label yourself, just be you”. But as much as
I hate it, they do have a point… cause even if you don’t find a label, it
doesn’t mean you’re alone, there’s so many people in the world I’m 100% sure
there’s at least 50 more people who feel the same.

Specially
in the asexual community, we talk more openly about it being a spectrum, so
it’s hard to find your place in it, and it might even move around, but it’s ok,
take your time. I’d say don’t rush anything, don’t pressure yourself to know
everything, it’s ok not to know. And don’t be afraid to change your mind, that
doesn’t mean you’re fake, you’re just figuring things out, and to be honest, we
all are… Be patient with yourself, be kind, and don’t let anyone define you,
only you can decide your labels (if you decide they’re for you 😉 )

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

I’m
on Tumblr: sentaart (and the-doctor-is-ace is my personal blog) and
Instagram: senta_art

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

Interview: Jaime Hawkins

Today we’re joined by Jaime Hawkins. Jaime is a phenomenal visual artist who has a company called Queen Cheetah Designs, which sells enamel pins that she designs. Aside from making enamel pins, Jaime also does quite a lot of fine art. She’s heavily inspired by nature, which shows in her work. It’s clear she’s a driven 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 graduated with a degree in Graphic Design and Printmaking.
I’ve always loved learning any type of art I could get my hands on – drawing,
painting, digital art – you name it! When I have the time, I enjoy drawing on
my tablet and taking on small freelance design jobs. My biggest endeavor,
however, is my merchandise company Queen Cheetah Designs. Last year the trend
of “Enamel Pins” came back around full force, and I decided to try my hand at
designing some! I started out with moths, and have since branched out to
beetles, spiders, and other nature inspired pins. It makes me really happy to
see my designs come to life as physical merchandise that people like to wear,
and it makes me feel like an accomplished artist! My designs did so well that I
kept making them, and now I have a pretty successful side job running Queen
Cheetah Designs. I hope to branch out in the future to apparel and other merch!

What inspires you?

I think animals and nature have served to be my most
important source of inspiration for my drawing and my merchandise design. It’s
a subject I have always loved, and there is endless beauty and creativity that
can be found in creatures, plants, and our other surroundings. From striking
color palettes to unique patterns, as an artist I feel like I can learn so much
from what already exists in nature, and apply it to my fine art and design
work.

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

From a very young age, I was interested in art. I would
doodle on my homework and draw mash ups of animals to play as during recess. I
took art lessons with another girl at a local framing shop for a few years,
where I learned most of the basics of fine art.

I can’t quite remember how, but “design” specifically caught
my eye around middle school. Packaging design, logo design – I found it all
really fascinating how much thought went into a design and the finished result.
It’s been my driving passion ever since.

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 could say I had a signature style, but that is
something I still struggle with as an artist. I do tend to enjoy drawing
somewhere in between realistic with a fantasy flair thrown in. I’d like to
refine this over the next few years, but developing anything in art takes time
and practice!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Drawing – Most of what you create will not be for profit, or
even for other people. There is a lot of pressure nowadays to instantly start
creating and making money, but it’s important to take the time to draw for
yourself. Learn what you like to draw and how you want to draw it. It should be
fun, not something you feel pressured to do. And no matter what level you are
now – just keep going. Practice as often as you can. (DRAW THOSE BACKGROUNDS).
Think of how proud younger you would be of your talent now, and strive to make
them proud.

Making Merchandise/ Pins – It takes more than an idea to be
successful at selling merchandise. It is a tough and tiring job. You have to be
your own manager, designer, PR person, and salesman. Kickstarters are a great
way to fund a potential design, but be careful that you are prepared to handle
the responsibility of ordering your merchandise and fulfilling orders. Don’t
jump into it – take time to plan. But if you feel prepared, it can be a very
rewarding endeavor!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as Asexual, Panromantic.

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

Relating to the art/ design field specifically? I would say
not really, but then again my art usually doesn’t relate to my sexuality. But
there are plenty of individuals you interact with online who are outspoken with
the fact that they think it’s “not real” or that “we’ve just had bad
experiences”. I try to educate where I can, and when it seems like the people
might be receptive. A lot of ideas about asexuality spring from ignorance. Some
folks just don’t want to understand though, and sometimes you just have to
brush it off and move on. Find solace with others who share your experiences.

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

That all asexual people are sex repulsed, and hate all types
of physical contact. I’m what you would call a sex apathetic asexual. I have no
interest in it, and have no desire to seek it out, but it doesn’t bother me.
It’s a light switch that stays off.

It does become a problem when I desire other attention from
partners that traditionally leads to sex. Like making out, or cuddling – it’s
either all or nothing. This leads to a very frustrated ace that doesn’t feel
cherished but feels hypocritical asking for more physical contact “as an ace
person”.

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

Asexuality is a spectrum, and everyone experiences it in
their own way. Being Ace is really hard at times, especially when it comes to
finding a partner. It is important to find someone who respects your comfort
levels and communicates with you to find out how to approach that part of your
relationship. It’s tempting to push your own comfort levels aside to make them
happy, because it may make you feel desired – but it will breed resentment in
time if there is no respect for your likes and dislikes as well. For people
like us it is especially important to make friends and not rely entirely on
having a partner to feel fulfilled.

If you find someone, make sure they love you AS someone who
is asexual, not DESPITE the fact you are asexual.

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

You can find all my enamel pins and current merchandise on
my Etsy shop -> https://www.etsy.com/shop/QueenCheetahDesigns.
You can also follow me on Twitter at Jaime_Hawkins
or on Instagram under Jaime_Hawkins_Design
to stay up to date on my art and any upcoming designs.

Thank you so much!

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

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: KelbremDusk

Today we’re joined by KelbremDusk. KelbremDusk is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in digital art. She does a bit of everything, including webcomics. Her work is eerie and interesting to look at. It’s clear she’s a passionate individual 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’m a digital artist, I’ve been working
with a tablet for about 11 years now. I was never big on traditional art, even
when I didn’t have access to a tablet but recently I’ve been trying to get into
oil painting and so far it’s been kinda fun.

I draw everything from original to fanart
and even in comics. I have a webcomic which is unfortunately in hiatus right
now but I also make short comics for my various characters and worlds.

On the side I’m currently working on a
novel, which I hope to finish this year (or at least early next year) called Black Sun Rising. Four friends on a post
apocalypse roadtrip with no main character romance.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from everything.
Stories, movies, illustrations, photographs, everyday objects. It’s wild. The
more abstract I can make something that would normally be mundane and boring,
the more fun it is to work with.

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

This was never really a plan of mine. I
just kinda started drawing around 2004, I drew a lot before that but something
just made me keep going. Boredom, the need for a creative outlet. I didn’t have
a lot of friends, didn’t go out much. Mostly stayed at home in front of the TV.
So I needed something to do.

I guess Anime was the thing that really
made me keep going. Especially Inuyasha
and Wedding Peach and Doremi.

And the new novel writing stuff, that also
just kinda happened. I’ve been working on that story in my head for about 4
years at that point and I wanted to make it into a comic first but that would
have taken ages and it got really demotivating. So one day at work, while my
boss was out, I just opened up word and kept writing and writing. By the end of
the day I had the prologue done.

Sometimes things just happen I guess???

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?

Oh boy, if I were to reveal more of my
stories, you’d certainly see a pattern in them. Especially when it comes to
family. Lots of single parents … or no parents at all.

Another thing would be about two
characters which show up in every story in some way. Either as an actual
character, a background character, the name of a cafe, a street name etc. Look
out for that.

And my unique signature you might even be
able to see on the pictures featured in this interview. The winged skull
wearing a crown. No real symbolism behind it other than 1. Skulls are cool, 2.
Crowns are dope and 3. I only added the wings to make the logo rectangular.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Find a medium that suits you and go nuts
with it. If you suck at watercolor, even after countless hours and desperately
trying, watercolor might not be your thing and that’s ok! “Practice makes
perfect” but sometimes you just gotta acknowledge that you can’t be the best in
every medium.

Look at references! Poses, faces,
buildings, plants. You are not obligated to draw everything from memory. Nobody
is going to come for you for drawing from a reference. The old masters did it,
so you’re allowed do it as well!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am an Aromantic Asexual. I dabbled in
many different identities in my search to find the right one and about 4 years
ago, after lots of back and forth and self-reflection, I settled on this.

It was a long journey to come to this
conclusion. I spent my entire school life thinking something is wrong with me
for never falling in love with anyone, while my friends and classmates had
boyfriends and girlfriends. This continues into my time at trade school. Where
I even had people telling me that they’re interested in me romantically but for
me it was just … never an option. I don’t know how to behave around such
people. I’d have to let them touch me and they’d want to be around me and my
social battery is just not capable for that amount of affection.

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

Most prejudice and ignorance I get is not
at work cuz my coworkers or boss doesn’t care. It was from classmates and trade
school and my own family (mostly my dad).

“What do you mean you don’t want to have
children?” and “Oh you just haven’t found the right one yet” are the most
common. I never outright day that I’m asexual, to avoid awkward conversations,
but I say “I don’t date” and for some reason that really grinds people’s gears???

Like I said, my dad is the worst one. He’d
constantly ask me when I’d bring my boyfriend over and it made me so
uncomfortable. Or whenever I had a good announcement he’s ask “Are you
pregnant?” He thankfully stopped doing that for now thanks to his new wife (who
is super lovely and really understanding). Whenever he brought up the topic I’d
just roll my eyes and tell him to shut up.

I was never able to tell my mom about my
asexuality before she died, but I’m positive that she would be understanding as
well. She already accepted that I never brought home any boyfriends and didn’t
even ask or pester me about it. So I feel like she knew.

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

According to some, all asexuals are just
plants and have no libido. Wrong, there’s different types of aces just like
there’s different types of gays and lesbians and bi people. Some aces are sex
repulsed, but not all. Some aces enjoy a good wank at the end of the day and
some don’t. People are different and you can’t throw them all in the same
drawer.

“Oh you’re just saying you’re asexual
because you can’t find anyone to date you!”

Fam, no, that is the complete opposite of
what I’m telling you. I don’t want to “find anyone to date” I don’t date. It’s
simple as that.

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

You will feel alone, you’ll feel pain,
you’ll feel like there’s nobody in the world who feels like you but I will tell
you now that that’s not true. Don’t force yourself to do things you don’t want
to do just because you think you might be broken. You’re not broken, you never
were.

Go into yourself, find yourself,
acknowledge and cherish the things that make you happy.

I still feel extremely alone, I haven’t
found many people who feel like me yet but I’m hoping that through this I can
reach out to some of them.

I can always lend an ear for anything.

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

Here’s a bunch of links you can find me on
and look through more of my work.

Tumblr: http://kelbremdusk.tumblr.com
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC1NaDNqgbf5SN5HnfYiOR-A
Twitter (although there’s barely anything): https://twitter.com/eatshitdr0pdead
My webcomic: https://tapas.io/Kelbremdusk
and my NSFW discord server (you can pm me for that one)

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

Interview: Zen

Today we’re joined by Zen. Zen is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in watercolors. They mostly paint landscapes. Aside from watercolor, Zen has been dabbling in a number of other mediums and fields, including fashion design. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Primarily I am a watercolour artist, and I usually create
landscape paintings. I also dabble in digital art. Currently, I’m working on a
5 painting series titled ‘Night in London’.

I am also trying to get into fashion, designing and making
my own clothes. I have an ace shirt up for sale in my Etsy store, and I’m
working on creating more asexual merch.

Aside from that, I am attempting to get a full-time job in
games design, amongst other ventures.

I’m probably biting off more than I can chew, but
surrounding myself with work motivates me to do said work, so I’m not planning
to stop.

What inspires you?

Life. Music and nature. Pretty much everything to be honest.

I once got an idea for a piece (that is waiting in a queue
to be made) while tying my shoelaces. The night in London series came to me
while walking around London in the evening.
I have another series called Shangri-La (unfinished) that was inspired
by a song called ‘Shangri-La’.

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

I started at a very young age because a close friend of mine
started taking art classes, and I didn’t want to be left out. In the subsequent
years, I kept going to classes even after we moved countries.

I am ashamed to say that after developing depression at the
age of 12, I stopped doing art unless it was for homework. I still kept picking
art electives and going to art studios after school, but I never really put
much effort into it. I only did it because it was expected of me.

It was in year 12 (I was 17) that I started to get back into
painting. I realised how nice it is when my paintings made other people happy.
I really got into it while in college (not uni), which is when I started
posting on Instagram.

I now create not only because I want to make other people happy,
but I am also starting to regain the enjoyment I felt while creating.

Honestly, I’m still not sure if this what I want to do with
my life, but I’m only 21, I’ve got plenty of time to figure it out.

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?

Aside from my signature, unfortunately, I don’t have
anything like that.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep going. Keep creating. Observe the universe.

However obviously don’t force it, don’t push yourself to the
brink. Take breaks if you need to.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am asexual and currently questioning my romantic orientation,
I currently identify as biromantic

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

I have been lucky so far not to encounter anything like
that.

If I did, I’d probably try to explain it once and if that
didn’t change anything then I’d just ignore them.

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

Most of my friends identify as members of the LGBT+
community, with only a couple being straight. While they are very accepting of
me, they do however always mistakenly assume that because I’m ace, I don’t want
to have sex, ever.

I feel like I should just print the explanation on a card
somewhere because explaining it, does get annoying.

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

You are valid and anyone who says otherwise is wrong.

If you are not certain, that is perfectly fine. If your
label ends up changing over the years, it is OK. You are valid no matter what.

I went from being lesbian to bi and then pan, to then
finally learning about asexuality. It’s a journey. You’ll get there.

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

My main Instagram where I post my watercolour work: https://instagram.com/paperstaradventure/
My fashion Instagram where I post fashion sketches, thou currently it’s mainly
just selfies: https://www.instagram.com/straystarlights/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/paperstaradvent

Tumblr: https://paperstaradventure.tumblr.com

Art Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/paperstaradventure

Fashion Etsy: https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/paperstaradventure

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

Interview: Aodhan

Today we’re joined by Aodhan. Aodhan is a phenomenal visual artist who is a first for asexual artists. His works involves a lot of rotational symmetry and either extremely light or heavy contrast between them. I was studying the work he sent with his interview and there’s something almost hypnotic about it. His work is incredibly interesting to look at and it draws the viewer in. It’s clear he’s a very passionate artist who enjoys 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.

I do mostly visual art that deals with colors, gradients,
and rotational symmetry. It’s all done digitally through mirroring and color
changing software. The main stylistic choices that I use are very soft and very
heavy contrast with minimal blur, or sometimes forgoing some levels of symmetry
for a level of blending or shadows.

Most of my base pictures are pictures I take or random
gradients. Sometimes I use random memes or just odd pictures just for the level
of fun I get from realizing that I just turned some random image from my
gallery into a piece of art.

What inspires you?

My main inspirations were funnily enough my cat Cider, eyes,
and many types of butterflies and moths. I was always fascinated my cat’s fur
and the patterns in it despite how minimal they could be, and wanted to
recreate them in digital art. When it came to eyes, I was always enthralled by
how they looked, especially the iris. Then for butterflies, well they were
pretty and symmetrical, what more was there to like?

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

Oddly enough, I started doing it for the sheer purpose of
messing with people and using it to add more “pylons” to a picture. The meme of
“You must construct additional pylons,” was one that I enjoyed, and someone bet
that I couldn’t make a bunch of copies of the Starcraft pylon in an image look
pretty. I took this challenge in stride, made five dollars, and found a passion
in creating these odd pieces. As one could guess, I wasn’t always too keen on
becoming an artist. However when I found a medium I enjoyed, it kind of just
sparked.

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 they’re usually symmetrical as the term rotational
symmetry implies, but other than that there is no real signature that can be
found.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

For life, I’d say to find and do what makes you happy. When
it comes to art, I’d suggest to try weird styles and challenge yourself in
weird ways. You may just find exactly what you love doing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a homoromantic asexual.

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

Only once, and it was with a friend who did not know what
the term meant. He acted rudely at first but thankfully he’s an accepting
person and with an explanation of how it worked, he understood and became
rather nice about it. In general, if it would happen again, I’d just explain
the details and if it doesn’t help, I’d back off and recognize that it wasn’t
working.

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

That we identify as asexual because we can’t find someone to
have sex with.

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

You aren’t broken, you weren’t made incorrectly, and most
importantly you are absolutely valid however you express yourself or identify.

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

You can find some of my work at my Tumblr at tripping-ace where I sometimes post
art but usually drop some stupid humor.

Thank you, Aodhan, 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: Robin Luigi

Today we’re joined by Robin Luigi. Robin is a wonderful visual artist from New Zealand. He’s currently studying in art school. Robin does both traditional and digital art. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist with a bright future ahead of him, 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.

So, I’m a Visual Arts student and I make art that ranges
from: Traditional illustrations and Paintings to Digital works. I try to
include LGBTQIA+ themes and content when I can.

What inspires you?

I get inspiration from a range of different sources, most
often from something I see in the world. I have a fondness for colour theory
and I usually get inspiration from a colour I see. Sometimes it can be a number
of colours and I use them as a starting point for the tone of my work. One of
my favourite places to get inspiration is from the people in my life (be it in
person, or over the internet via selfies or photos) and if I meet a new friend,
making art of this person helps me to understand them better.

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

I’ve always enjoyed making things with my hands and because
I find it a lot easier to draw/illustrate things, than I do with
writing/calculating things and that became quite obvious to me, that this was
where my strength was.

Having said that, I never really considered myself as an
Artist and, though I guess there isn’t really a better description than that, I
don’t always considered myself as one. I like the term Art Student as I
identify with the idea that I am always learning about bigger and better
things. Often, when I refer to myself as an artist it’s only because most
people know the context of my ideas and interests.

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

I don’t think I do? If I do, I don’t do it consciously or
intentionally. I really like that idea however and I always admire artists that
have their little mark or feature. I personally don’t have the capacity to be
so consistent. Unfortunately.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Oh, man. I am not really the most eloquent person but I’ll
give it a wack:

The best advice I could give would be, Go for it –
unapologetically, Art is what you make it. And I don’t just mean you should be
making stuff from nothing, I am saying if you see something/a concept that you
think isn’t working or you can see a way to improve it, go for it, change it
up. That’s an important and valid creative endeavour. Reminds me of a quote,
from a great movie from my childhood:

“When something’s not working right, the best thing to do is
tear it apart to make it better” – Drop Dead Fred.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m a Trans-guy and I don’t experience sexual
attraction/identify as asexual.

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

I personally haven’t had to deal with ace prejudice or
ignorance as I usually don’t disclose my sexuality to people often because I
don’t view it as a major part of my life. If I did, I would assess the
situation and perhaps educate whomever it was that needed to be enlightened.

Although I do make art related to sexual themes, there is a
few times where I have made (in my opinion) regular pieces of work and people
have given feedback about the sensual undertones, to which I apologise, or ask
for further explanation. It’s not really ignorance but I felt that it was an
interesting point to add because quite often, art means different things to
different people and it always surprises me when people make that association.

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

As I mentioned previously I am kind of a closet asexual to
mostly everyone I know so It’s not often a topic of discussion, but I remember
in high school we weren’t educated on non-heterosexual issues (this was 2009 or
so) and during health class, while the teacher wasn’t in the room, we all
talked about what we knew about gay and lesbian activities. Because I had
previously researched into queer issues, I had to give a small talk on
asexuality. Which got some comments of “that’s not a real thing” and “just
means they can’t get it up” but that’s the extent of it.

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

As I say, I am not the best at advice but I am going to go
with:

You have all the time in the world to figure yourself out
and don’t feel like you owe it to anyone else to do so. Also, if you don’t want
to fit into a box at all, that’s fine too. Be yourself, Love yourself.

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

I have an art-based Facebook page that
has a lot of my work on it. I also have a Tumblr and Instagram where I post art
sometimes, however, these are my personal blogs and I may also post personal
things and other unrelated things. Most of the time, it’s just things I like or
think is funny. Anyway, so the Facebook page is probably the most saturated
place to view my art.

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

Interview: NW

Today we’re joined by NW. NW is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in fanart. She does mostly digital art, though she does occasionally dabbles in traditional media. NW does a lot of costume and character design. She enjoys doing mostly fanart, but will occasionally do original art. It’s clear she’s a passionate and dedicated artist who loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

So, a lot of my work right now is done digitally — that is
to say I don’t have an aversion to traditional media, it’s just more accessible
to me at the moment — and usually it’s of people. Ranging from character or
costume design, fan art, and a lot of my original artwork I don’t get to post.
I love drawing portraits and faces, so right now, I guess the majority (that I
post, anyway) is of that. I’m mostly self-taught; I’ve learned through
practicing, studying classical paintings, and even watching Bob Ross as a
little girl. I’ve had the traditional drawing courses (you know, still lives of
apples or shapes) in addition to a lot of experimentation software like Paint
Tool SAI, Adobe Photoshop, and Procreate.

I don’t particularly stick to one “style”; I don’t really
like doing line art, I find it too time-consuming and I have issues with
tremor, no thanks to my medication I take. So my style is very “paintery”, if you
like. What I’ve learned in painting courses (and, again, Bob Ross) and I paint
over my mistakes. When I do traditional media, I usually go back to the pencil
or watercolors. I’m a visual person and I love coloring and colors. My favorite
thing about creating art is eventually coloring it.

What inspires you?

A lot of things inspire me.

Art has been a therapeutic thing for me and I’ve gone back
and added my own feelings in them. I’m very guilty of day-dreaming and since I
was a kid, those day dreams inspire art. I think of stories and they become my
pieces. Things I see in real life, whether it be color combinations, fashion,
or images I pass, I try to hold onto that visual memory and bring it back.  Nowadays, I carry my iPad and stop to at
least get it out before it goes. Movies definitely do—I hadn’t realized how
much movies affected my stories and images until I got older.

Other artists most definitely do, which is why I’m Tumblr a
lot. Most of the blogs I follow are other artists. There are also a few blogs
that post traditional and classical artwork that I love. And, really, the music
I listen to also is a huge influence on me and I always listen to certain bands
and artists to try and captivate a mood in my pieces. My usernames
“ofborrowedlight” and “rainbowillness” actually come from one band that I
listen to a lot when I do artwork, Wolves in the Throne Room. They’re titles to
two songs, “Rainbow Illness” and “Queen of the Borrowed Light”. For my personal
“project”, I listen to them quite a bit.

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

Well, I’ve been holding a pencil since I had an
Etch-a-Sketch and I cannot recall the rest. And I keep bringing up Bob Ross for
a reason—I watched him religiously as a little girl. I’d say that he was
actually the first influence that wanted me to get into the field. By the age
of five, my mind was made up: I wanted to be an artist. I struggled with
dyslexia and bullying and art was my constant companion for me. Having that man
on television taught me so much about color and composition at an early age and
his attitude of “there are no accidents, only happy mistakes” is such a
positive thing to have and he’s really still pushing me, to this day, with that
attitude. If you ask me now, yeah, I still want to draw and create for a
living. It hasn’t been easy working full-time and trying to earn money, though,
but I have not given up. I still try to draw every day; unfortunately, I get
really shy posting stuff online or I’m spending more time on it than I wanted
to.

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

Not in particularly? At least I don’t think so; maybe my
coloring?

Maybe the closest to it if anyone notices that I incorporate
a wave or a flow around my figures, sometimes. That comes from how Gustav
Kilmt, Alphonse Mucha, and some traditional Japanese paintings that seem to
have a special way to draw smoke and water. I can’t really write it, but anyone
can find it in my sketches. But flat out, there’s no real unique symbolism,
usually. If there is, it’s with my original stuff with little hints, but no one
is going to know context, it’s just me, because I haven’t really presented the
world with that story yet. It’s an inside joke with me, I guess.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep drawing, draw as much as you can, and don’t be afraid
to expand your style. I was like a lot of artists out here on Tumblr; I’d print
Sailor Moon illustrations and copied them. It’s good to do that to get up on
your feet, but don’t allow that to be a dependency. Don’t be afraid to get
books for the sake of illustrations—I still do. And don’t feel bad about your
level of technique doesn’t match your friends or other artists out there. Art
is all about your interpretation. While I can go on hours how stupid still
lives and contour drawing is, they are essential to getting better. Take
classic courses; if they’re not accessible to you, check out Udemy or Coursea.

With digital art, it’s a lot of practice. You just need to
play around with features in software and you’ll find some really cool effects
to enhance your coloring. Transitioning from a sketchbook to a drawing tablet
is weird and don’t feel bad about not getting it; it took me years to get it
and I’m still trying to play around with it. You’ll find a favorite program
that you love! And even then, I would encourage you to have more than one
digital art program. I hop around Paint Tool SAI, Photoshop, and Procreate all
the time.

And really, I can’t stress it enough: don’t give up. You’re
in an age where more of these things are accessible to you and it wasn’t when I
was a kid. Keep drawing, draw more, and draw whatever you want.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Heteromantic asexual but more often gray-sexual. I think men
are handsome, that’s about it. I’m not bothered by it and I really don’t care
about relationships. Finding a man attractive is the furthest I’ll go; I don’t
want much interaction after that.

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

The closest I’ve experienced any sort of misconception have
been at concerts, anime, or comic conventions (surprise, I draw there too) and
having to really push back men that have approached me for a date or my number.
If they really can’t take the hint or accept “no” for an answer, I’ll get up
and leave. A few times I’ve had men at just concerts or gatherings telling me
they can “fix” me or change my mind. Then I’ll just tell them to fuck right the
hell off, literally.

However, the most prejudice and ignorance I experience is
outside of art and I experience it more with my family. It’s an odd mix of
Irish and Mexican Catholicism where most of the women in my family married
young (we’re talking 17-19) and they think there’s something wrong with me
because I have no kids and I’m not married. No matter how many times I tell
them “I don’t care, I don’t find anyone attractive” or “sex doesn’t interest
me”, it doesn’t seem to sink in. Even when I told them there’s a community of
other asexuals, one said “well, they must all be very depressed”. I make jokes
about things like “this is why I don’t date” and use it to reiterate I don’t
care about relationships.

So I’d say the run of the mill crap—“you haven’t found the
right man”, “you’ll change your mind someday”, or “you must be very lonely”. I
just shrug it off because I’ve had this conversation so many times with my
family.

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

I’m not sure if this is common, but my father believed it
was the same as bisexuality—I’m just glad he recognizes that even if I’m not!

One thing I’ve seen is people assume its celibacy and then I
have to explain there is a huge difference between the two. It does get tiring
having to explain it’s a lack of physical attraction and a desire for it and
no, I am not going to change, I’m not worried about not being married, and I’m
well over 20 years old and it’s not likely I’m having second thoughts. I am,
myself, sex-repulsed, but other asexual people are not and that’s usually one
assumption that people go with. Having other people chime in and say they
aren’t hleps.

Unfortunately, I will say that because I struggle with PTSD from
abuse, therapists assume that the asexuality may be a cause of it. I’m sure
it’s a contribution, but more along the lines I just find general touch
revolting, though I’m confident that it’s not the ultimate reason why I’m
asexual. I feel like psychology needs to learn more about it because I am tired
of that assumption is because its due to trauma. I don’t think it’s asking too
much that therapists and psychiatrists learn about asexuality. We’re not all
like this, not every asexual person is like that due to trauma. And this
thinking let me believe that I was really, really destroyed for years when I
was not.

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

If you also had a past of trauma like me, I’d say check out
Aven and other communities geared towards asexuality so that you will know
you’re not broken. I feel like this isn’t really talked about that much and
it’s a shame. This isn’t part of PTSD or other forms of mental illness; you are
not mentally ill if you’re asexual. When I first heard asexual at 18, I didn’t
know about these things and I’m so happy other people have this access. Even
now, at Pridefest here in Denver, there are asexuals and I haven’t seen them
not even five years ago. My present employer, Ikea, even had “asexuality”
listed on their diversity and inclusion talks—that’s really awesome.

There’s a lot of research and groups, there’s a whole world
out there. But if you get the same spiel as I do, I think at this point, all we
can do is just poke fun at it. Nothing makes me feel better than mocking these
conceptions with other aces, it’s a nice reassurance. And if you’re in the same
boat with me and family, yeah, post a link on Facebook or just print it off and
be like “read this”. I don’t feel like we have the same level of resistance to
people that are gay, lesbian, bi, and trans, so we need to also understand
that. Watching a family member bullied out of the closet was horrific; I still
couldn’t draw comparisons to their situation. Ours seems like a lot of people
just can’t comprehend a life without physical attraction, I think. I just hope
people remember that, especially.

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

Most of my stuff is posted on Rainbowillness.com, which is hooked up to
Tumblr. If you’re in the American McGee’s Alice fandom, you know me, I’m sure
you’ve seen my stuff. I’m also on Instagram under “ofborrowedlight”;
sometimes I will post WIPs (works in progress) on my personal Tumblr, “ofborrowedlight”, but I urge
everyone just go on my site and follow me there.

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

Interview: Nikki

Today we’re joined by Nikki. Nikki is a wonderful fanartist who does
digital art and is an avid cosplayer. She mostly sells digital art at
conventions, where she also shows off her incredible cosplays. It’s
clear she’s a dedicated artist who loves what she does. My thanks to her
for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a digital artist & cosplayer!  I sell fanart at cons, do commission work,
and, well, build cosplays!

What inspires you?

For my cosplay, characters who I see part of myself in
inspire me the most.  Strong women,
mostly.  I’ve also just made cosplays
because the character design/execution in the original media look cool.

For art, I find that real somber, sad scenes inspire
me.  I’m not entirely sure the reasoning,
but it resonates with me more than happy, cheerful stuff.

by Daily Bugle Photography

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

I’ve always been interested in art of any form, but I don’t
think I actively wanted to be an artist until around 2 or 3 years ago.  I also didn’t know I wanted to seriously do
cosplaying until maybe a year ago!  As
for what got me interested in cosplaying, I think it’d have to be the utter
confidence being in costume gives me.  I
love putting in hours and days of work into a cosplay, putting it on, and
showing the world what I made with my own two hands!

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

Not that I can really think of!  I do have a little trinket given to me by
Guerrilla Games, the company who made Horizon Zero Dawn that I wear when I
cosplay from the game!  I also have a
bracelet my best friend gave me that matches the aesthetic of the game that I
wear, too!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Very cliched, but keep practicing!  Nothing has to be perfect, in art, cosplay,
really anything, so don’t stress the small details.  That, and, if you put your heart and soul into
your work, it will show, no matter your skill level.

by Final Eva Productions

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am fully Asexual, and most likely greyromantic, but I’m
not sure about that.

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

Not that I’ve seen, but you never know what people say when
you’re not there.

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

I think the most common misconception that I see is that
it’s about libido or interest in sex, which isn’t the case.  Just like there can be allosexuals can be
uninterested in sex or have a low libido, an asexual can have interest in sex
and/or a high libido.

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

First and foremost, whether you’re asexual or not, that
doesn’t change who you are.  If you feel
comfortable identifying as ace, that’s wonderful!  If you don’t, you don’t have to! Maybe it
will just take some getting used to, or maybe the label just isn’t what you’re
feeling, and that’s perfectly okay.  No
one else can decide who you are, only you can. All I can hope for is that you
love yourself.

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

Anyone who is interested can find me on Tumblr and Instagram at AceArtCosplay,
and on Facebook at Ace Art
& Cosplay
.  I try to post updates
as much as I can, but it doesn’t always happen.

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