Category: drawing

Interview: Angelique Nguyen

Today we’re joined by

Angélique Nguyễn. Angélique is a wonderful visual artist and writer. She writes a lot of poetry and short stories, mostly in English and she’s soon going to start writing in French as well. When she’s not writing,
Angélique

does some visual art, mostly drawing and painting. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I will draw and paint visuals from time to time, but my
current works mostly consist of writing.
I like writing poetry and short stories, and I’m currently working one
long-term piece of work.

My mother language is English but French is my up-and-coming
second language; I have plenty of poetry written in either language.

What inspires you?

There are many things out there and within that inspire me.
Often times it is a mix of my current/remembered emotions, my life experiences
or other’s life experiences, the aesthetics of my world, and the lessons I’ve
learned from life and others. I like taking in what happened in my world and
taking it apart, mixing it up, and reconstructing it again to tell stories. The
influences can be big or small. Such influences can be as large as my mother’s
presence in life or as small as the way the white markings fall on my rabbits
coat. Culture is also a very grand influence in my life. I always loved
learning something about my own culture’s or another culture’s stories and
imagining how they would fit together in the grand scheme of storytelling and
human life.

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

Throughout my life, I always knew I wanted to do something
to express my artsy heart, even when society seems to demand me to focus more
on mathematics and science. I’m pretty good at math and science but I find I
will always be more appealed by art and emotion. At the beginning of sophomore
year of high school, my English teacher assigned everyone to write a short
story. As I was writing my short story, I realized that not every good story
needed to be long like a novel. Before, I always had this idea that good
writing takes a very long time and needed to fill a lot of pages. But now I
know that this is not always true.

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’m relatively new to my creative writing so I still need to
explore what makes my writing unique from others. However, I find myself
attempting to just the pen or fingers write and type away without thinking too
much. Sometimes, it just makes sense to follow your gut feeling and see what
comes out of it. This is especially true for my poetry.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

If you find there are no big themes or events you want to
base your writing off of, then look for the small things. Even the small things
could have a story behind it. You could make the story behind it. Write what
you want to write and write how you want to write it. Inspiration always
exists; it is up to you to find it. That will lead to you finding your comfort
in writing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

For the most part, I identify as a demi-sexual and bi.
However, the truth is that my actual identity is very complicated. Even I don’t
know all the answers to who I am.

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

So far, there is no aphobia I have encountered in my field.
If I do encounter it, then I would simply continue living my peaceful a-spec
existence.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I have
encountered is that asexuality is all out being repulsed by sex, which is
simply not true. When I first heard of asexuality, even I thought I qualified
because I was repulsed by sexual activity. Now I know it is simply about
lacking full attraction to any particular person, which is also true of me.
Also, my *favorite* misconception of demi-sexuality is that it is “practical”-
therefore, not a separate orientation. That is also not true because a
demi-sexual actually lacks any attraction to a particular person until they get
to know and bond with them as much as it takes. Whereas a typical allosexual
may instantly feel attraction to this person but still take their time to get
to know them before jumping into any sexual activities. That is the main
difference.

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

It is okay to be or not to be asexual. Sometimes, asexuality
may be permanent for one individual, but not for others. That is okay and
totally valid. Maybe you know your reason to identify as asexual but maybe you
don’t. That’s all right! Exploring my orientation has been a struggle for me,
and it might be one for you too. However, you are never alone. All I suggest is
that you simply move forward and embrace whatever identity you feel is best for
you. If you don’t want any labels then that is okay, too.

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

My work is currently all over the place. But here are some
common spots for posting my work:

Tumblr: 17angelsprings.tumblr.com
(search “my post” or “my poems” and you will certainly find some of my poems
and other works posted there)

DeviantArt: 17angelsprings.deviantart.com
(you can find some written works as well as some visual art stuff)

Wattpad: https://www.wattpad.com/user/17angelsprings
(my current long-term writing project, Speaking
My Language
, is posted there, and that is where I’m compiling poems into
anthologies)

Instagram: 17angelsprings (mainly
reserved for my visual art)

I also hope I can eventually start a YouTube channel about
mainly centered around my writing and being a writer.

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

Interview: Holly

Today we’re joined by Holly. Holly is a wonderful writer who is currently working towards a biochem degree. In her free time, she runs a D&D campaign that involves a lot of writing and worldbuilding. They’re also working on a story podcast project, which she hopes to bring to fruition in the future. Holly is clearly a dedicated and talented hobbyist, 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.

It’s something I use to distract a little bit from the real
world, nothing too professional. I’m mostly interested in writing short
stories, and I’m currently working on a fictional podcast series with one of my
favourite people, and while we do have some scripts written up, it is going to
take a while to put into production. While I’m making my way through university
for a biochemistry B.Sc, most of my creative energy goes towards a lore-rich
D&D campaign in a homebrew setting that I run for my very best friends.
It’s difficult and long-form but it’s increased my social confidence, I’ve
created some wonderful characters that I feel able to apply to different forms
of writing, and it’s definitely given me more experience with storybuilding.

What inspires you?

Generally, looking at fictional stories and seeing what hasn’t been included, rather than what
has. It’s satisfying to fill a gap and tell the stories of people who aren’t
often looked at in popular media, i.e. neurodivergent characters, people with underrepresented
gender identities and sexualities, people with disabilities, people of varying
ethnic backgrounds. I’m aware that I can’t personally relate to some of the
characters I write, so I do try and stay respectful and do a ton of research,
ask people who know better than me, etc. Sometimes I do make characters that
correspond to my own experiences with depression and severe social anxiety, and
even the speech impediment I still have to manage – and the personal catharsis
I get from that can be reward enough, even if I don’t do anything with the
characters or works I create.

For the most part though, I tend to like interspersing
mundane reality with absurd high fantasy or scifi concepts. Like a time
traveler who uses their ability to cut in line before it forms, or a
particularly finicky pit fiend who wants you to remove your shoes before
entering its lair.

On another level, I’d say my friends inspire me on a day to
day basis. Especially the person I’m working on this project with, whom I’ll
call T. T has a fascinating mind and boundless creativity, and with her and K’s
support, I can have days where I feel indestructible. My mum also tends to
listen to whatever crazy plotlines I’ve come up with that day too, so I’d say
she also plays a big part in my support network.

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

I always wanted to be an actress when I was growing up, but
did a big ol’ switcharoo around college (not university, the British meaning of
college), where I found an interest in biochemistry. I’d begun to feel
directing and writing was more my thing by that point anyway, but didn’t have
enough belief in myself to do it. I think what drew me back to creative writing
alongside my STEM studies was the freedom I felt when I began this D&D
campaign. Building the world, building the story, adapting to the unexpected
antics of my players, it felt like when I was a kid throwing blankets and
pretending they were fireballs, or picking up a stick and pretending it was a
greatsword, having intricate sociopolitical plotlines with my Barbies, and all
that grand stuff. I’d been doubting for a while the value of that kind of
imagination, but gradually it became necessary to keep me sane during
university. Now I appreciate silliness and the Rule of Cool way more than I do
grimdark, gritty, realistic scenarios.

I write more often than not to just have fun. Sometimes it’s
a scenario that I can’t stop thinking about and I have to write it down or
it’ll keep bouncing around in my head, and other times it’s building a
character that can help me feel less alone when I’m winding myself into a
spiral about the simplest social situation. I write so that any potential
readers can have fun too – and, if I’m lucky, find a character that they can
carry about with them like I do.

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 usually include at least one of my NPCs from my campaign
in almost everything I write – with a different name and/or species. This isn’t
obvious unless you’re part of that group, though.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I have struggled with finding my voice because I thought I
needed someone to address – like an audience or someone who wouldn’t reject me.
But to hell with it. This isn’t a marketing strategy meeting, go ahead and
shout into the void with your art until someone shouts back, if that’s what
you’re after. Make the art for yourself. What’s actually stopping you?

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am ace demi-aro. I think. The ace part I’m certain about,
but I’m still figuring out my romantic orientation. Demi fits for now.

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

Not in my field particularly, but I’ve been given the
‘you’re young’ and ‘you’ll find someone’ or ‘how can you not be attracted to
anyone, is there something wrong with you?’ talk quite a few times by
well-meaning friends or relatives. Usually this is met with an eyeroll, but it
hasn’t held me back anywhere. I’ve experienced some anxiety about going to
LGBTQIA events because of the whole ace inclusion debate I saw floating around
at the time, but I’m fairly confident aces are more universally accepted than
not, these days.

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

The idea that it means having no sex drive. Even people who
are familiar with asexuality seem to fall into this trap a lot. Many non-ace
people seem to have trouble separating the idea of having a libido or enjoying
sex with sexual attraction. I guess I can understand where they’re coming from,
but I don’t know how many times I’ve said the sentence: “Asexuality is
literally just a lack of sexual attraction. It means I don’t look at a person
and want to have sex with them. That’s it.”

Some people seem to get it after that explanation. Others
don’t. Whaddya gonna do except raise awareness?

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

Finding out that you’re ace can be a confusing and deceptive
road, simply because it’s harder to characterize a lack of something than it is to characterize a different something. I thought I was bi or pan for a long time in
high school because I felt the same way about all genders (turns out? Not an
uncommon experience for ace/aros), and many people still don’t even believe
being ace is a thing. Protip: don’t listen to those people.

What I would say? If you don’t feel you fit neatly into the
ace label, firstly remember that there is a wide spectrum of asexuality, and
includes identities such as gray-ace or demi-ace, but secondly remember that
you don’t have to assume it. Same goes for knowing your romantic orientation.
This is not required of you. Honestly, this applies to any LGBTQIA identities –
you are not required to know what label you are. Just listen to yourself and
trust what yourself is saying, because you know better than everyone who you
are.

You are still a ‘proper ace’ if you’re not sure what labels
fit you, and you’re still a ‘proper ace’ if your orientation was due to past
events, or if you think it might be temporary. It is not a life sentence. It is
simply what fits you the most at the time, and sexuality can be fluid as heck.

Most importantly – you are welcome here. You are welcome in
LGBTQIA. You’re always free to find one of us in the ace community and ask
questions if you’re not sure where you fit or how you feel about your
orientation.

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

Nowhere yet as I’ve still gotta get this degree under my
belt before I take on any projects, but soon. Soon.

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

Interview: Alex

Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a wonderful young  visual artist who does both digital and traditional art. They mainly do fanart and character design. Alex does a lot of drawing and painting, taking inspiration from the world around them. They are clearly a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I do a lot of digital and traditional art, mainly fan art or
character design, though I’ve been trying to branch out a little more. I’m a
big fan of taking things like animals, plants, or even songs, and turning them
into characters. I really like picking out little details from whatever I
studying and adding them into the design, even if no one but me notices them.

What inspires you?

There are a lot of different things that inspire me. A lot
of times it’s a song, or a bit from a song, a piece of conversation with a
friend, a particular color or color palette, or even just a landscape or a
small thought. For my fanart, a lot of times I get inspiration from other
works, other people, or the other things I mentioned. A lot of time it’s music
though. I listen to music a lot, both when I draw, and much of the other time.
It really sets the mood for my day, and for what I draw

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

I started drawing when I was really little, and have always
been interested in art, though I never really wanted to be an artist seriously
until I started drawing more and more seriously (I wanted to be a geneticist
when I was little, how funny is that). I started doodling whenever I could, and
developed a consistent style, which ended up changing a lot over a short time.
They were all doodles, but I really enjoyed it. I’ve begun drawing even more
seriously, building up more materials, and expanding my horizons

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 like to do little swirlies on my characters cheeks,
shoulders, elbows, and knees, as well as highlights in the hair. I think that
adds to part of my aesthetic around my art. this, as well as the highlight in
the eyes, which, while usually a star, can also help me express the characters
mood. These are some of the more recognizable stylistic things that I use in my
drawings that I really enjoy.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep practicing! I know I sound like a broken record,
because this what everyone says, but it’s really true! Only through practice
will you be able to find your own style, and then be able to develop it! It’s
really quite amazing how much improvement your art can go through if you just
draw something every day! You can also try expanding your horizons by
challenging yourself. There are many different artist challenges that can
really help, with either coloring, or just to help develop your style as well!
You can study other artists’ art, and through that, improve your own art. You
can also identify what you need to work on with your art, and challenge
yourself to improve on that. For me, it’s things like posing and backgrounds, and
challenging myself to work on them is both really interesting and fun, but also
really beneficial for your art

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m more towards the sex repulsed side of the ace spectrum.
I’m still trying to figure out the romantic stuff, but I’m pretty sure I’m
panromantic. I think having a partner would be nice, but I don’t want to do
anything more than cuddle and stuff.

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

I don’t really know about prejudice, per say. When I came
out to my parents, they told me that I should keep an open mind when it came to
everything that I told them. It was kind of a mental shove, and kind of led for
me to tumble down a mental set of stairs. For a week or two I laid at the
bottom of that flight of stairs. It wasn’t their fault at all, but it really
set me back. I haven’t come out to many people, only about 6 or 7 outside my
immediate family. my friends have been really supportive though, and that has
really been helpful. Because of that, my sexuality has really become cemented,
and has become a constant, which I’m immensely grateful for (though I still am
open to any changes, I don’t think they’ll happen)

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

As I said earlier, I really haven’t come out to many people,
and so the only misconceptions I’ve really seen are online. I haven’t really
seen much hate either, the only misconceptions I’ve seen are In posts from
aesexual people about aesexuality, and defending aesexuality against those
misconceptions, if that makes any sense. I’ve been really lucky to have people
support me, I know this, and I’m so grateful.

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

I’m not really too good with advice, or with advice about
identity and that sort of thing, but I guess that they should take a break from
thinking about it. This is coming from me, a hypocrite, who can’t go one minute
without thinking about it, and who, before they came out to people, was
constantly questioning everything. You shouldn’t let thinking and questioning
things consume you. Take a walk, draw a picture, read a book, listen to music.
Do something. Let your mind take a break. Take a mental deep breath. As I said,
I’m not too good with advice, and freak out whenever someone says they look up
to me, but I hope that some of this can help!

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

I’m definitely most active on my Instagram, but anyone can
find me pretty much anywhere with at screaming_pinepples (Tumblr, DeviantArt, RedBubble)

I hope you enjoy my art! And I hope that you like what I’ve
had to say!

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

Interview: Jennifer F.

asexualartists:

Today we’re joined by Jennifer F. Jennifer is a phenomenal visual artist, who specializes in collages. While she’s done a bit of everything, Jennifer is truly passionate about creating collages. Her work shows an amazing eye, making incredible use of colors and lines. The images are so beautiful and they draw you right in, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

So recently I’ve started
creating collages, though my past art has ranged from fifteen years of dancing
to writing to drawing (which I am actually awful at? But it’s fun and I like to
doodle)

What inspires you?

Lately, it’s been pride
flags because there’s so many colors and it makes so many people happy to see
themselves recognized in some sort of media that I love it. However, I also
love nature. Flowers, elements, rock formations, space… They’re amazing and
probably my other big inspiration.

Politics is the other
big one just because I’m a political science/pre-law major. Especially with all
the stuff going on in the news.

And sometimes Disney.

Honestly, life. Life is
probably a more accurate answer.

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

I took a two dimensional
art class over a year ago and I LOVED it. It was an accident, but it was such
great stress relief that I honestly fell in love. Then I quit one of my jobs
and had a bunch of time on my hands… That was when I really started to pick up
the fact that I love collages. I created over 20 pieces in the span of three
months.

Yes, actually! I just
expected to be a dancer, not a collage maker. So, kinda?

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 know if it’s
unique symbol or anything, but I love working with blue and it’s always my
favorite part of a piece is the blue section. It is always is the easiest for
me, so I consider my blue sections part of my signature just because they’re my
favorite?

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to try
your own art style. Do what makes you happy. (That’s generic, right?) But
really. Everyone paints and draws, but your style in it is about you. Choose something
that you think looks neat instead of choosing what you think others want. If
you enjoy it, someone else will too.

Also, take your time and
let your art change. You aren’t going to stay the same, and neither should your
art. So explore! It’s fun. Do something stupid or out of your comfort zone.
You’ll get there.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do
you identify?

Ace, all the way. The
rest of my identity is kind of in the air. That’s the only part I’ve felt the
need to figure out. I’m just me otherwise.

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

Thankfully, not so far.
My first work to gain popularity was an Ace flag, so that was great! In
political science, we don’t really discuss it. My sexuality hasn’t come up,
thankfully.

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

That I’m also aromantic.
Explaining that the two can be separate, though aren’t necessarily, has been
the most often issue I’ve had. Usually, it turns into a giant lesson on
sexuality, romantic attraction, and gender.

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

Breathe before you do
anything else. Then figure out your feelings. Terms can come last, though it’s
nice to have a community. Your feelings are more important than anything else.
You don’t have to label yourself, and you don’t have to come out. Sometimes
just a term can make you feel better.

And don’t worry. There’s
a community waiting for you wherever you go!

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

Tumblr: collagesofcollege.tumblr.com
RedBubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/cajunhusker
Facebook: facebook.com/collagesofcollege/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/collagesofcollege.

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

Interview: Jennifer F.

Today we’re joined by Jennifer F. Jennifer is a phenomenal visual artist, who specializes in collages. While she’s done a bit of everything, Jennifer is truly passionate about creating collages. Her work shows an amazing eye, making incredible use of colors and lines. The images are so beautiful and they draw you right in, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

So recently I’ve started
creating collages, though my past art has ranged from fifteen years of dancing
to writing to drawing (which I am actually awful at? But it’s fun and I like to
doodle)

What inspires you?

Lately, it’s been pride
flags because there’s so many colors and it makes so many people happy to see
themselves recognized in some sort of media that I love it. However, I also
love nature. Flowers, elements, rock formations, space… They’re amazing and
probably my other big inspiration.

Politics is the other
big one just because I’m a political science/pre-law major. Especially with all
the stuff going on in the news.

And sometimes Disney.

Honestly, life. Life is
probably a more accurate answer.

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

I took a two dimensional
art class over a year ago and I LOVED it. It was an accident, but it was such
great stress relief that I honestly fell in love. Then I quit one of my jobs
and had a bunch of time on my hands… That was when I really started to pick up
the fact that I love collages. I created over 20 pieces in the span of three
months.

Yes, actually! I just
expected to be a dancer, not a collage maker. So, kinda?

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 know if it’s
unique symbol or anything, but I love working with blue and it’s always my
favorite part of a piece is the blue section. It is always is the easiest for
me, so I consider my blue sections part of my signature just because they’re my
favorite?

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to try
your own art style. Do what makes you happy. (That’s generic, right?) But
really. Everyone paints and draws, but your style in it is about you. Choose something
that you think looks neat instead of choosing what you think others want. If
you enjoy it, someone else will too.

Also, take your time and
let your art change. You aren’t going to stay the same, and neither should your
art. So explore! It’s fun. Do something stupid or out of your comfort zone.
You’ll get there.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do
you identify?

Ace, all the way. The
rest of my identity is kind of in the air. That’s the only part I’ve felt the
need to figure out. I’m just me otherwise.

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

Thankfully, not so far.
My first work to gain popularity was an Ace flag, so that was great! In
political science, we don’t really discuss it. My sexuality hasn’t come up,
thankfully.

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

That I’m also aromantic.
Explaining that the two can be separate, though aren’t necessarily, has been
the most often issue I’ve had. Usually, it turns into a giant lesson on
sexuality, romantic attraction, and gender.

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

Breathe before you do
anything else. Then figure out your feelings. Terms can come last, though it’s
nice to have a community. Your feelings are more important than anything else.
You don’t have to label yourself, and you don’t have to come out. Sometimes
just a term can make you feel better.

And don’t worry. There’s
a community waiting for you wherever you go!

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

Tumblr: collagesofcollege.tumblr.com
RedBubble: https://www.redbubble.com/people/cajunhusker
Facebook: facebook.com/collagesofcollege/
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/collagesofcollege.

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

Interview: Hana Golden

Today we’re joined by Hana Golden. Hana is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art but also works in traditional mediums as well. She does character design, capturing expressions and emotions through a masterful use of detail. Hana also frequently draws canines and her ability to capture dog’s personalities with color and lines is amazing. She’s an incredibly talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m mostly a digital artist, but still work with a variety
of traditional mediums. I enjoy watercoloring, spraypainting, stippling, and
simple illustration work. I like to focus on expression cartooning, character
design, and heavily enjoy fanart as well. Canines specifically have also always
been a go-to for me and is one of the things I’ve always been known for. I also
like to create my own custom Funko Pop figures as another side hobby.

For my art, I’d say that I like to focus heavily on
expressions and making you feel what the character is feeling. When someone
feels the same emotion I’m drawing by looking at it, that’s the best thing.
Either way, I love drawing faces and just sketching in general.

image

What inspires you?

Let’s see … kinda tough question cause there’s so much
that inspires me. From an early age, my oldest sister was an artist, and my
biggest inspiration and drive to improve. Now, I’d say that Disney/DreamWorks
is my biggest inspiration. Watching certain films and shorts just make me want
to push myself more and more. From the character design to the emotional
feelings you get when you look at a scene, that’s what I want to create. I want
to capture that one moment that made my heart pound, where I pause the scene
and just stare at the characters face for a long time. It was that face that gave me a feeling, and I
have to be able to do it too. I can get pretty obsessed about it actually,
haha. I’m just super into animation, and hope to animate again. I use to do it a
lot as a kid.

image

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

Like I had stated above, my oldest sister was the one who
got me into drawing. I wanted have that one thing in common that we could do
together. Watching anything animated/cartoon pushed me to draw those characters
constantly. I remember being in my room drawing the covers of old VHS Disney
movies, drawing Pokémon cards, really anything I could get my hands on. I was
just drawing all the time.

I’ve been drawing since I could hold a pencil, like most
everyone else, but I’m not sure to be honest. It never really occurred to me
that I could partake in making these
movies, or designing these characters. I’m not sure why, I guess it was never
pushed on me or talked about as something I could potentially be a part of, not
even by my teachers.  I knew I loved to
draw and wanted to do it all the time, but I never pursued it the way I feel
like I should have. My mentality about it was all wrong compared to how to feel
about it now, and I wish I had pursued it more seriously. For the simple short
answer, yes, I have always wanted to be an artist.

image

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?

Honestly, there’s really nothing this deep in anything I do
haha. I have a simple signature that if it’s not out in the obvious, then it’s
small and hidden in the picture. I’ve never been a fan of putting my signature
on my work, but since I had multiple works stolen, I’ve gotten to the habit of
hiding it in the picture so it couldn’t be erased haha.

When I work on commissions, I really try to pull the
person’s personality (or animals) out on paper. I want people to see their pet, s/o, or themselves in my
work. I want them to feel like their personality is right there. That’s really
important to me.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Please, just don’t give up. I know it’s what everyone says,
but it’s so true. Too many people I know who use to draw and loved it, don’t do
it anymore cause they said they were intimidated by other artists, or just got
too down on themselves and came to a stop. It takes work, and you just have to
push past all that stuff and focus on you. Compare your work to your own, not someone else’s. Look at how far
you’ve come and embrace that. Just keep going.

Also, don’t be afraid of referencing/copying when starting
out. That’s how you’re going to learn such a variety of things and all the
different styles and types of art out there. You’ll develop your own style
eventually by dropping things that don’t work for what you visually like, and
picking up parts of others that you do and adding it to your own. Drawing from
life is important though to learn proper proportions, lighting, color, etc.
Don’t rely fully on cartoons or anime to teach you that stuff haha. It’s okay
to copy other people’s work as long as you’re not claiming it as your own, just
give credit where credit is due. A good rule of thumb I always worked from was
if you copied it, keep it to yourself. If you had help from another artist’s
work, credit it.

image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as Asexual. I’m not super sure if I lean towards
gray or not, but I’m comfortable just using the term Ace. Finding out there was
a word for how I was feeling, and that others were like me, was one of the most
important parts of my life. I can still remember how I felt the minute I typed
that word into Google and discovered its meaning haha.

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

Not really to be honest, at least not to my face. If
anything, with some people I just got a feeling that they didn’t truly believe
me or fully understand. It’s tough, because I want to have a family someday.
I’ve always wanted children, and people who know me, know that. When I told
them that I was ace, most of them will point out “You know how to get children,
right?” I hate when people say that because I’m not stupid, yes I know about
sex, I understand how it works, but I don’t like it, and don’t want it.

I even went to go see an Endocrinologist (a hormone doctor)
cause I do actually have an issue with my hormones. I asked her about my libido
and stuff like that (before I identified as ace, I thought my hormones were the
problem) and she told me that with the way my hormones are, I should have a
high sex drive and crazy libido. I laughed and cried the whole way home,
because that wasn’t me, and I still got no answers.

image

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

That we don’t want a family, a significant other, or refuse
to have sex in general. That’s not true for many people who identify in this
orientation, and for some, it is. There are many asexual people who want their
own children, want to be in a relationship, and even like having sex. All of
that is okay, being Asexual just means that you don’t feel sexual attraction.

For me personally, I still struggle time to time. I want to
be in a relationship, cuddle, hold hands, and I want a family. I just don’t
want to have sex so it’s tough when I tell people that cause they don’t
understand. Most people just tell me that when the time comes, I just need to “suck
it up and do it” if I want kids.

image

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

Don’t just ignore your own feelings and please teach others.
I went to great lengths to get an answer as to why I was afraid to be close
with my boyfriend, or why I didn’t feel anything when it came to kissing or
avoiding situations that would make the other feel like we could take the next
step in our relationship. It was awful, and not fair to either of us. It was
hard to admit to people I get more of a love feeling walking into an art store
or watching an animated movie, and then I got going on a date. In the end, it
wasn’t a doctor that helped me, but a person that I follow online who just
happened to use the word asexual in a sentence, and I decided to google it. I
wish that I was exposed to the idea that you don’t need to have sex. It can be scary when all of your friends and
people you are exposed to daily are all talking about something you just can’t
relate too. You look at your own life and see how old you’re getting, and you
haven’t had sex yet. It’s normal, and it’s okay to not want that in your life.  Just talk, educate others, and be open about
it! It’s important to teach people to listen to your own body, and don’t do
something because you feel you have too.

You’re valid and important, talk about it openly, because it
will help you to be more comfortable with who you are.

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

Sorry this got lengthy! I like writing. I post my art mostly
on my Instagram! You can
also follow me on my Facebook page, Sebatticus,
and my Tumblr Sebatticus as well
🙂

image

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

Interview: Grace Schodel

Today we’re joined by Grace Schodel. Grace is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently studying in uni. She does both traditional and digital art, drawing a variety of subjects. Her art is remarkably beautiful, showing an incredible attention to detail and a masterful use of color, which draws the viewer in. She’s an incredibly 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.

My name’s Grace Schodel but I go by knittinganarchist online,
I use the pronouns she/her, and I’m studying a bachelor in animation. My art is
pretty all or nothing honestly! I use both traditional and digital mediums to
either spend 3 months working on a series of conceptually similar drawings, or
spend 3 minutes smashing out cute and stupid cartoony comics.

What inspires you?

Probably a mixture of a good colour palette, my drawings are
all pretty heavily inspired by colour palettes that caught my imagination, and
romanticizing everyday life. A lot of my drawings are about making mundane
everyday things fun; my uni induced breakdowns are overdramatic and honest,
forgotten gift cards are a cause for celebration, and messy hair can be a Look.
I love positivity; at the moment I’m working on a series for an art show in
February that focuses on the spacy disassociation I felt for most of my first
year of uni, but instead of going over old wounds is supposed to represent me
working through that feeling.

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

I’ve always loved art, but was never really allowed to think
it was a viable option for my future. I did design after graduating school
because I thought it was a good balance between creativity and responsibility.
But I was miserable, and decided to just follow my heart instead and study
animation.

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 have hidden codes in my drawings, but now I kind of
wish I did because that would be rad. The closest I have is that for a while
now all my lineart is in two layers, one red one black and the black one is set
to a lower opacity. I think it just makes the picture a little softer and adds
something cool to the overall look.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to use references. I spent so long feeling
guilty for using reference photos or other artworks, that I tried to do
everything from my head. In my opinion even tracing something is okay (as long
as you don’t try to pass it off as your own original without giving credit) it
helps immensely with anatomy, perspective, and developing your own “style”.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a sex-neutral asexual.

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

In my field? No not really, everyone at my uni so far seems
to be fairly open minded and accepting of everyone. But in my personal life
I’ve been mostly met with confusion and disbelief, the classic “What happened
to you?” and “But you wear short skirts and have dated before” get thrown
around a bit. A few deeply uncomfortable conversations about sexual scenarios
have happened where someone has said “Well, what if …. happened, would that
make you normal?”, but I mostly just avoid that by only telling people who need
to know, such as my boyfriend, and the close friends I trust.

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

Of course I can’t speak for everyone here, but personally
its either been that I can’t be ace because I like dressing up nicely, and
apparently people only do that to seem attractive so they can hook up? Or that
aces are afraid of sex? Some aces may be, and that’s their choice to identify
as ace, but its endlessly annoying so have to explain no I’m not afraid I’m
just not interested.

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

It’s perfectly fine to have no interest in sex. It can seem
the be all and end all of relationships and growing up, but honestly if it’s
not for you, it’s not for you. 

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

Either on my Facebook page where I offer commissions:
(https://www.facebook.com/knittinganarchist/)

Or my Instagram where I post a lot of my personal and uni
work!
(https://www.instagram.com/knittinganarchist/)

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

Interview: Katherine

Today we’re joined by Katherine. Katherine is a phenomenal visual artist who demonstrates an incredible amount of versatility in her subject matter. Her pictures range from extremely detailed to abstract. Basically, she loves to draw and draws whatever strikes her fancy. She’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I draw things based off my experiences I’ve had or how I’m
feeling in that current moment. It has a weird range of being super complex and
detailed, or super simple and abstract. Loads of my work deals with mainly
words but I of course love the drawing more.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything really. News stories, current
events, other artists, movies, plants – essentially anything!

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

Actually no! I hated drawing at one point because I had a
set idea of what drawing was. I always thought ‘if it isn’t realism, it’s not
art’ and as I grew up I began to realise that that’s really not true! Art is
whatever you’d like it to be! My best friend, he is an amazing artist and asked
me one day to just draw. He told me to just grab some paper and scribble or
draw an eye – something simple. Ever since then I started building my style and
what things I draw.

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

In loads of my work that has backgrounds that are one solid
colour – for instance an ink painting where certain areas are totally black, I
like to write positive words there. Little things like ‘I hope to be happy’ ‘My
life will get better’ because I feel like when I do that  I’m releasing all that good energy into the
universe for it to come back to me. I do it sometimes with certain watercolour
paintings too – but those are quite easy to see so I mainly prefer doing it
with my solid ink paintings.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Never ever, ever, ever, ever, ever compare yourself to
anyone. That was my first biggest mistake when it came to my art. I started
comparing and getting discouraged and it made me really not want to create
anymore. Once I stopped doing that, the confidence in my art skyrocketed. Loads
of young artists are into I guess we could call it ‘taboo’ art that’s not
traditional at all and to me, that’s so amazing! We need more unique artists
like that! Do what makes your heart happy.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Demisexual definitely. I can’t feel a sexual attraction
towards someone just randomly or because they are very good looking – I have to
truly feel something with that person
for me to have any sexual attraction even if it’s a small thought.

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

The most common one I get is ‘that’s normal though, don’t
need a fancy label’ and that has just been so annoying lately. I wouldn’t say
it’s prejudice but mainly ignorance of what it is. I usually tell them ‘thank
you for your opinion!’ then it’s over and done with. I tend to just ignore as
well as it kind of annoys me and can get me down sometimes.

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

The most common one – I swear I get told this daily from the
followers that know, ‘So one day you want to have sex with someone but the next
no’ which is so annoying how that was even a question but I understand where
they are coming from considering when I didn’t know what this truly meant – I
thought similar things. I’m not as open with it anymore because of the constant
questions so this was my way of talking about it again.

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

You’ll figure it out! Give yourself some time. You can’t
just figure it out instantly sometimes and that’s okay. Always remember your
feelings are 100% valid and you deserve love and happiness.

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

My website is here. All my social medias are: Keepitgrape (Twitter, Instagram). My store to buy
my artwork is here.

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

Interview: Joey

Today we’re joined by Joey. Joey is a wonderful visual artist and singer who does both drawing and painting. He uses art as a kind of catharsis and his pictures are filled with gorgeous colors. When he’s not creating visual art, Joey enjoys singing. He has a particular fondness for showtunes and opera. It’s very clear he’s a passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

This is a complicated question because I’m involved in many
forms of art. As far as visual arts are concerned, I enjoy drawing and
painting. I use these as ways to express my emotions and interests when others
are unwilling to listen. The other artform that I am heavily into is singing. I
prefer singing showtunes or opera, but any singing makes me happy. Sometimes I
go busking with my friends, and my voice alone can make a lot of money. I’m
currently training to become an actor, and I dream of being famous one day for
my talent.

What inspires you?

As an aroace people might think that I’m cold or
uncaring(not to throw “cold or uncaring” aces under the bus of course!), but my
inspiration for much of my art comes from my love of life! Some of my art is
from a darker time in my life where I had to use my art to vent, but I’ve
always tried to use my art to make sense of the world. This carries over into
my singing as well when I pick songs to sing. I naturally feel connected to the
music, and songs have always been a great way for me to communicate feelings.

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

I have always been an artist. When I was younger I would
create houses out of paper for my stuffed animals until I had a whole village.
Eventually I started to take drawing more seriously, and that evolved into a
love of painting. Within the last 2 years I gained an interest in musical
theatre, particularly singing. Although singing and drawing are my two main
creative outlets, I’m a lover of all forms of art. I’ve always been a
thoughtful person, and art helps me to feel calm and joyful.

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

In my visual art I often end up sneaking pride flags into my
work! Admittedly I more often put in the trans flag than the aro or ace flag
into my work though. This is because being trans, while being a tough journey,
is something I often feel more validated in. Recently I’ve been on a kick to
feel more confident in my aroace-ness, and I know I’m gonna use my art to
accomplish this. Time to make all of my art in purple, white, grey, and black!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

One mistake in my thinking as an artist has been that
there’s an age where it’s too late to try. I was so nervous to get into serious
singing, because I thought it was only something I could do if I already had
experience since childhood. When you’re an artist you will see people who have
more skill than you, but the best way to prove yourself is to keep trying
anyway. If it takes until you’re old to master your skill then so be it!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identified as aroace for years up until about 1 year ago
when I kind of broke and gave up on identifying as such. Being aroace, but
receiving no validation or help other than through the internet coupled with my
other emotional issues made me internalize it, and for almost a year I
identified as straight. I’m not sure why I choose that out of any identities (awfully
heteronormative), but I was so tired of constantly questioning my own identity
that I wanted an easy lie. This lead to almost dating one of my friends that I
really cared about, which lead to me panicking and breaking up before it even
started. A few months ago I got myself in a good enough place where I was
finally able to realize again that I was aroace! Trying to forget my identity
did a lot of damage, so now I’m just trying to get comfy with the label for
good.

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

To me, I feel like artist spaces are usually more open to
queerness in general, but I often feel disconnected to these communities. It
was one of my friends that happened to collaborate on lots of my art that
refused to understand why I didn’t want to date my friend I cared so much
about. Other than rude/ignorant comments, the rest of the prejudice is more
implied. In theatre, almost every single has romance. As a soprano, almost any
role I could possibly be assigned is the love interest! Of course this is what
acting is for, but I think there’s an idea that romance is put into stories
because it’s relatable to all. As an aromantic, singing songs over and over
again about the inevitability of love can be heartbreaking.

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

I think a lot of people assume that alterous love has to be
accompanied by romance and sexual attraction. The thing is, I think allo people
experience alterous attraction too, but they can’t tell because it’s mixed in
with those other feelings. We may not experience more alterous attraction, but
I think perhaps it’s easier to identify something if it’s not mixed in with
other feelings. All my theory aside, people really do misunderstand when I want
a platonic life partner. It might be what has made me so anxious to identify as
aroace too!

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

I would say that accepting yourself can be hard, but all of
us aces are in it together. Sometimes it can feel like you’re going in circles
with your identity, but I believe that your value is great no matter whether
you find the right identity immediately or not. I would also say to not be
afraid to go outside the box. Sexuality is a strange thing, but I can promise
that having a strange or unidentifiable identity is a-ok! If you wanna use a
rare label, or maybe step outside the SAM model? I say go for what makes you
feel at ease.

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

I do not use the internet as much as I should to get myself
out there, but I do have an Instagram (smallbirdboy) that is mostly
my art!

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

Interview: Emmy

Today we’re joined by Emmy. Emmy is a wonderful writer, fanartist, and visual artist. She writes a lot of fanfiction, but she’s also currently working on an original novel with a fascinating premise. When she’s not writing, Emmy does a lot of digital drawing. She hopes to one day to write and draw a graphic novel. It’s clear Emmy’s both a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I
write mostly fan fiction, however I’m working on writing an original novel!
It’s a story
about a salty, magicless witch named Felix, who lives with his aunts and older
sister – powerful witches who keep the peace between all of the magical
creatures in their coastal town of Hagstone Grove. When an obnoxious vampire
named Rhett comes along, Felix tries to ignore his flirtatious advances while
dealing with all the other vampires that seem to have followed him into town.

Other than writing,
I enjoy doing digital art to relax. I draw most anything that’s suggested to me
and more often than not I draw silly things for friends. I would love to
develop my art enough to do a graphic novel someday as well so that my writing
and art can come together to make something amazing!

What
inspires you?

My inspiration comes from life in general. My friends
and family, music, other content, etc. I’m inspired most when I talk to people
who read my stuff because sharing my stories with them is a lot of fun!

Doing fan fiction helped inspire me a lot in the
beginning too, because there’s usually a community behind it and you’ll often
get feedback soon after posting. Plus, it’s easy to bounce ideas of your own
off of the original content to get you started and spark up some creativity!

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

I first started writing when I was about eleven. I
had a cool dream I wanted to share with people, so I wrote it and other things
that came to mind. I didn’t think of it as my calling then and it took me a few
years of writing on and off before I realized that I really love it. I went
through a quite few career choices during that time, jumping from psychologist
to baker and everything in between.

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
put a lot of myself into everything I do. Whether it’s a large trait I share
with a main character or a similar problem we face in our lives, I do what I
can to connect myself with the story and people in it. To me, it helps make
them feel more like real people, which in turn makes them easier to write.

What advice
would you give young aspiring artists?

This is going to sound cheesy, but never give up!
You’ll hear it a million times, probably to a point where you think it’s stupid
advice, but it’s true! There will be many –many
times you feel like giving up, or even times people will tell you to give up,
but getting through those is unfortunately part of the process. If you truly
want to be an artist those are things you have to power through. Just find the
parts about it you love the most, hold onto them like your life depends on it,
and you’ll make it through all the other crap just fine.

ASEXUALITY

Where on
the spectrum do you identify?

I’m demisexual biromantic

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

Not personally, whoever I’ve heard some people
suggest that Asexuals can’t properly write anything on the…E-rated side of things because they,
“don’t know how”. I think we all know how it works, even if someone doesn’t
want it for themselves, thanks.

Sure, experience can help you write a scene, but
I’ve written about demons and magic. I didn’t/can’t have experience with those
and I did just fine.

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

A lot of people don’t seem to know about the
spectrum and how everyone is different. Even though someone identifies as
Asexual, that doesn’t mean they’re sex-repulsed or are prudes.

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

It’s okay not to know. It’s okay to never know for sure. Sometimes in life
we never settle, and it’s perfectly okay to never pick a label if you don’t
find one that’s right for you.

If you feel like having a specific label will
help, then do some self-searching and read up on some to see where you might
fit best. Remember, you’re not a puzzle piece designed to fit perfectly in
place, you are clay meant to be molded into whatever shape you want. If you
don’t 100% fit under a label, just find what’s closest and stick with that
until you find something better.

If it’s a matter of wanting to be able to explain
it to others, try to narrow it down into a few bullet points. Leave any of the
super specific things aside at first and get out the main bits. If they still
don’t understand, it may be best to just point them to the internet where they
can Google these things for themselves. Don’t stress over other people not
understanding because sometimes they just can’t/won’t.

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

My fan fictions and original novel can be read in
their first-draft forms as I write the chapters on my Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/roboticspacecase

For anything else, I often post my art and writing
updates on my Tumblr, which is here: http://roboticspacecase.tumblr.com/

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