Category: drawing

Interview: Cyr Pavleszek

Today we’re joined by Cyr Pavleszek. Cyr is a wonderful visual artist who also does fanart. While he mostly draws his original characters, Cyr also draws some fanart for various fandoms. He uses drawing as an outlet and his work is brimming with bright colors and detailed expressions. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and talented 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.

My art is a mix of original characters and fandom drawings.
I tend to draw whatever comes to mind

What inspires you?

My inspiration comes from my art teachers and media I watch,
such as anime, medical dramas, cartoons, and comics

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

My art started as a coping mechanism for chronic pain and
mental illness, but I haven’t always wanted to be a professional artist. It
came about recently when I took art classes and my teacher said I had a good
chance of making a living professionally as an artist

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

I don’t think I have a unique signature.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just keep drawing, keep on doing it. Don’t think about it
either! Overthinking your art could lead to you becoming self-conscious about
your work and giving up. Don’t give up either!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I would say asexual, somewhere between asexual and
demi-sexual. I haven’t quite figured it out yet.

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

I don’t openly share my sexuality because of prejudice, when
I do it’s to shut it down. I learned to handle ignorance by reminding myself
that the person is usually uneducated. If they’re not willing to learn, I just
ignore and move on.

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

That we’re all prudes and can’t stand nudity of any kind. As
an artist I look at naked bodies to better understand anatomy, I wouldn’t be
able to learn without it!

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

I know it’s hard, but once you finally accept and understand
that you’re on the ace spectrum, and fully accept it as a part of you, it’s
rewarding, fulfilling, gratifying. Please keep true to yourself and I promise
it will all be worth it in the end.

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

Right now you can find me on a Tumblr-alternative called
Writscrib under the username Cryptid, and I have my own website with my
portfolio: http://www.cryptidartworks.com/.

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

Interview: McKenzie

Today we’re joined by McKenzie. McKenzie is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in sculpture.. She got her start doing 2D art, mainly drawing and painting. She gradually shifted to working with metals, particularly steel and bronze. McKenzie is particularly fond of sculpting bugs. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Most of my work right now is sculpture work, with mostly
metal and slowly moving into mix media projects. I used to do only 2D work,
with drawing and painting. My sculpture work right now is bugs, in steel and
bronze interacting with a mix media environment.

What inspires you?

My own imagination inspires my work, as well as what I have
experienced in life. Talking to other artists I find myself thinking of more
ways that I could create something that is visually interesting and can tell an
interesting story. It’s a little bit of everything from the mundane to even
something so complicated at emotions to difficult events in life.

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

I have always wanted to be an artist, there was never a time
in my life were I serious considered another path to walk. I find that I can
express myself easier in a visual manner. I always felt the need to challenge
myself and am willing to take the chance of failure to find my way.

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

I think the only thing that I could think of is my signature
which is my initials. I write out MJ with a crazy flourish in the “J.”

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just make art. If your stuck take a break and get your hands
into something you don’t have to think about. I find that if I’m stuck on a
piece a nap helps, or a walk too. Its okay to want to try a wide range of
things but finding the media that works the best with you is a great place to
start, because learning the inside outs of that area will make your work get
just that much better. I still have a lot to learn, I’m not even broken into
the business side of the art world yet.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as an asexual. I used to think that I was a Demi
but after thinking critically about myself I found that the title didn’t fit
with me.

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

I find that it can be subtle sometimes when talking with
artists about their work when it’s solely focused on sex and I don’t always
understand their reasoning. Most people I know and work around don’t bring up
their own personal sexualities so I haven’t either.

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

That we asexually reproduce. Though I wish I could clone
myself, because that would be more hands working on a project. Then more work
could be done… but then I’d have to feed more of my selves and that would get
far to complicated.

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

I’ve never been one to overthink what I am, for a long time
when people asked what I was I would say a question mark. It wasn’t something
that mattered to me until I was a bit order and around people that already
understood themselves to such a point of having a label. When I was in high
school it rather overwhelmed me when I started to do reach, and that was the
same time I first found the title of Ace. I quickly forgot about it, finding
that I wasn’t ready to think to much about who I was. In college, I am in a
period of self-reflection so it fit. I found the title and am slowly getting
used to wearing it. I love having a label now, I enjoy having a flag and a
community of close friends that I can be around. I would suggest having a
support net work if you can, or even one online if that’s the safest option for
you.

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

My Instagram is the best place to follow my work! I do a lot
of things and would love to share it with more people: Jerofkm.

Thank you,
McKenzie, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.

Interview: Domonick

Today we’re joined by Domonick. Domonick is a wonderful self-taught visual artist. They started out drawing characters from Transformers: Animated and have since begun drawing their own comics and webcomics. Their work shows an incredible amount of detail and is brimming with bright vivid colors. It’s clear they’re a passionate and dedicated 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’ve been drawing for eleven years, and almost all I’ve drawn
since I started has been robots. I started to watch Transformers: Animated and that’s what inspired me to draw in the
first place. Since then, I’ve been trying all sorts of tutorials to improve for
the past few years, but for the most part I am self-taught.

What inspires you?

I want to tell stories that make people happy through my art!
Because that’s almost all I know how to do. All I want is to make it so that at
least one person’s day is made when they look at what I make.

I also take much inspiration from the songs I find, and I listen
to them all the time.

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

I drew my first piece that made me feel like I could draw forever
in 2007, when I drew a picture of Prowl from Transformers: Animated, and
since then I’ve filled sketchbooks, notebooks meant for schoolwork, and
dozens of sheets of printer paper with sketches and doodles. I always draw
whenever I can, on whatever I can, and nine times out of ten I’m storyboarding
for my comic.

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 jot down a lower-case “d” and the date on all of my art,
but I also sometimes use the “B” heart from the title of The Bar Bots, my webcomic.

Other than that, I usually add a thick outline to all the
characters I draw, and I digitalize my inked drawings through Medibang.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You are good at art. Everyone is good at art in their own way and
we’re all still learning. I’m still learning. And if someone says your art is
bad, then they have a lot to learn themselves.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m fairly sure I’m sex-repulsed, because the idea of it has always scared me and
made me very anxious, but I’m still discovering new things day-to-day.

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

Not necessarily prejudice, but I’ve had a bunch of ignorance
around me. A few of my friends still don’t understand the concept of
asexuality, and they don’t get that romance and intimacy doesn’t have to be
inherently sexual, but I’m trying to explain it to them eventually.

Besides them, I haven’t really encountered a whole lot of
confusion.

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

That I don’t love anybody enough or that I won’t be committed to a
relationship. I’ve loved before, and I didn’t need sex for that.

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

You’re you, and you’re the one and only person who can interpret
how you feel. And if you feel asexual, then you can be asexual. However you
discover you is the best way to do it.

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

I’m glad you asked! I have two blogs on Tumblr where you can see
my work: thebarbotscomic.tumblr.com and pickle-rocket-art.tumblr.com

I’m also constantly updating my Patreon at patreon.com/picklerocket!

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

Interview: Sweety Aurore Mutant

Today we’re joined by Sweety ‘Aurore’ Mutant. Aurore is a visual artist who does a bit of everything. They draw and paint, both digital and traditional. When they’re not drawing or painting, Aurore is writing and while they haven’t had anything published yet, they’re working on a number of stories. Aside from that, Aurore is also into crafting and writing fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as  you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

My art is quite diverse. I would say that my “main” medium,
as in the one I spend the most time on, is writing. I am working on two novels
and a short stories series right now (none are ready to be published yet
because I am a perfectionist) and in the meantime I work on a lot of
fanfictions (I have been writing a fanfiction about a 60s movie since July
2016, it’s about 75k words long now and not yet finished. Not yet published either,
because it needs to be perfect, by that I mean good enough). I am also writing
on a few Larp and video game projects right now. Yes, I multi-task. When I
write, I am mostly obsessed with the concepts of subjectivity and points of
view. How reality can change depending on who you are. (This must be why I love
Larping so much)

I also draw/paint, both digitally and traditionally. Fanart
and original art alike -plants, people, original characters,
commissions…-  I like pencil drawings
and watercolour the most, even though I try my best to draw with ink, because
it looks so gorgeous! Also Photoshop is my best friend, I spend several hours
in a row often to paint on photoshop the details of something.

I also like to take pictures -mainly of plants and people,
but sadly my old camera is dead and I haven’t yet found the money to buy a good
one again. I have a few filming ideas too (mainly co-ops) but again, lack of
material.

I also knit, crochet and sew, mainly costumes but also a few
clothing items for myself or friends. I did cosplay long ago, but decided to
leave the community,

Lastly, I also do happenings, of which there are rarely any
picture. My next one with involve old domestic objects and plants, I will try
to record its process.

What inspires you?

So many things! The people I see in the street, the world
around me, my friends and their awesome ideas (I remember painting Henry David
Thoreau as a hispter because of a university friend…), the Larps I play, the
video games I play, the books I read, the shows and movies I watch… I have no
shame about doing fanart and fanfiction, it is as worthy and honourable for me
than any other form of “original” art. (Yes, I am a proud believer in the
monomyth and the fact that there is no real “original” idea, and that the re-telling
and the ways of representing is the only thing that matters, hence the
important place of fan-work in my conception of art). Another source of
inspiration for me is also the social and environmental context (I am working
right now on an environmentalist happening).

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

What got me interested? Oh what a difficult question! I
began drawing and painting as soon as I could hold a pen, and writing once I
knew how to. I was a very curious child/teen, so I learnt to knit, crochet,
sew, embroider, and I soon made my own costumes and cosplays. Taking pictures
and filming came later, when I was in High School because I studied cinema and
arts then, and had access to good quality material. Writing for larps came also
later, when I was more inside the community but I remember writing roleplaying
games in middle school already.

I have always wanted to be an artist, yes. I tried to
convince myself that I wanted to do other things as jobs to earn money, but
yes, even studying for a Linguistics Masters like I do now, I know that in the
end, I am meant for art.

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

I have a signature I have been using since I was 13 or so,
and writing this I realise how long ago that was, oh my! It’s a “R” in the
right corner of the drawing/painting/picture, and at first I decided to use it
for three reasons: it is the only consonant of my first name, it is a homophone
of “air” which is my element, and it is the first letter of the pseudo I was
using back then. As time went on, I also realised it was the initial of the
first name of my idol and the rébus of the fictional character I relate to the
most (Grantaire in Les Misérables)…
two things I had not thought about at all when I chose that signature, and
because of that I like it even more!  

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Work, work, work. Fail, hate your work. Work again, be proud
for a day or two, hate it a week after. It’s normal to be proud of something
and then to hate it, it’s normal to be envious of other people’s work, it’s
normal to be discouraged, and it does not mean that you are not good. There
will always be people who are better than you, and people who will be worse and
jealous of you. Just keep working, and work for yourself. Do it for the fun,
for the art. No one will be mad at you if you can’t finish something, if you
abandon a drawing or a draft. If they are, they did not deserve you in the
first place. Your art should be made for your own enjoyment first. Be selfish.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as panromantic grey-asexual, or as I like to say
it, I love everybody too bad I don’t like them. I really need to be in a very
“special” relationship with the person to consider having sex with them, and I
noticed that is had a lot to do with how much I find them interesting on the
intellectual side of things.

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

I have, mainly ignorance, incomprehension and the same old
clichés than everywhere else. When I face an ignorant person in my field that is
open-minded, I handle it by helping hem understand what asexuality is. If the
person is, forgive my vocabulary, an imbecile that just want to cling to
clichés and not learn, I handle it with a raised middle finger,

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

The old “you haven’t found the right person yet/it’s a
phase” bullshit. What hurts the most for me is that I see such misconceptions
about aces in communities like feminists or LGBT+ that, I hoped, should have been
more open-minded than your usual human. I most of the time get this feeling
that people just don’t try to understand aces.

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

I would say… labels don’t matter, as long as you feel
good. You don’t have to fit into a category, what you feel and how you live it
-alone or with how many partners you wish- is the only thing that matters in
the end. Sexuality is fluid, don’t be afraid to change, as long as you feel
right about yourself. Also, you’re the only one who know yourself, don’t let
toxic people influence you towards anything you don’t feel comfortable with.

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

Mainly my Tumblr for my drawings/paintings: The Artful
DodgeR’s Tea Rooms (http://sweetymutant.tumblr.com/) because my
DeviantArt has been dead for too long. I will probably create a YouTube and
Twitch channel soon, but have not yet found the time to! To read me, there is
my AO3, Sweety_Mutant: (https://archiveofourown.org/users/Sweety_Mutant/pseuds/Sweety_Mutant)

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

Interview: Sierra Sonora

Today we’re joined by Sierra Sonora. Sierra is a wonderful visual artist and fanartist. She specializes in nature photography, taking pictures of local flora and fauna, showing the beauty of life in vivid color and detail. When she’s not taking picture, Sierra dabbles in fanfiction and fanart. She’s also currently endeavoring to write a novel. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a bright future ahead of her, 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 art consists of a variety of mediums. One includes the
photography of natural landscapes as well as nature, such as local Flora/Fauna.
It also includes writing of both original work and Fanfiction. I also draw in
what can be considered an Anime/Cartoon style of me, my friends, pets, and
Fanart on mostly regular sketchbook paper with pencil/pen and colored pencils,
or I will digitally upload my art and work on it with a paint program. I
thoroughly enjoy singing, and write poetry, but have yet to compose any
original songs-although I have written at least 3 parodies that revolve around
different favorite pairings of characters from TV shows I watch.

What inspires you?

The need to create and channel my emotions inspire me to do
all of the above. I often struggle with verbally expressing my emotions, but
through art I can slow down and think things through-especially when I draw. The
joy of others also inspires me, as I find happiness in making other people
happy with my art. I find that when I share my art, whatever the medium, I feel
a meaningful and spiritual connection with the ones I am sharing with and that
connectivity is vital to me.

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

Ever since I was little, I enjoyed watching cartoons,
reading books, and drawing. It’s hard for me to say that I’ve always wanted to
be an artist, because what I do doesn’t really feel like “art” to me; I see it
as a coping mechanism and a way to make others feel happy. Put simply, I view
my art as a tool, and that prevents me from seeing it as what I feel “art”
actually is.

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 do have one thing in my art that I include; it’s a simple
necklace of mine that I’ve had for about 8 years now; a simple black nylon
string with a silver eagle talon pendant holding within its three claws a white
marble. This necklace is a special possession I hold, and I like to include it
when I draw myself or a main character from one of my original works.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

As cliché as it sounds, I am going to say it anyway because
it’s true: Don’t give up. Don’t give up on your art, whether it is photography,
mixed medium, paintings, writings, drawings, fandom related, etc. Don’t give
up. You, as a unique individual with your own perspective on life, your own
unseen and secret views, have so much to offer to the art world. Whatever it
is, it may not turn out quite the way you want it to the first time-this is
only reasonable; you are new at things, and with novelty comes practice.

It may even take a long time to feel comfortable where you
are on your journey in creation. I still have 10-year-old art lying around that
makes me cringe every time I see them, but I keep them to remind myself of the
journey it took to get where I am, and to propel me to work hard and push myself
further. I highly recommend you do the same-keep your art, every scrap. You’ll
be glad you did so later on down the road.

Another piece of advice that is repeated over and over again
for good reason is this: Don’t compare yourself to other artists if it is only
going to result in self-loathing or any form of negativity. It’s not worth it,
and it won’t help you become better at your passion. Trust me, I know. I’ve
done it, and it only made me want to quit art altogether and it would make me
feel inferior/jealous. How terrible is that- to want to give up on something
that brings you joy because you feel you are not adequate? To feel negative,
nasty feelings towards others because I was not secure enough in who I was as
an artist? It’s terrible, and unfair to yourself and the other person.

So I say this: don’t compare. Just create. If you must
compare, try to do so with humility- recognize that you aren’t where you want
to be yet and have patience with yourself.

My last piece of advice is this: Be kind to yourself and be
kind to others; you’re not the only one struggling. Reach out to one another
with love, offer emotional support when possible, and practice constructive
criticism on yourself and others. You, as an honorary member of the art world,
are here to uplift, inspire, create, and comfort through your works-whatever
they may be. We need you, and you belong here. My sincerest hope is that this
advice has been useful/helpful and uplifting to those who read it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as an Aromantic Asexual. Personally, I find that
when I am in a relationship, I can adapt to the other person and provide
physical intimacy such as hand-holding, kissing, cuddling, even if I don’t
necessarily feel a desire to do so, and when/if I marry, I am willing to
provide them with the sexual intimacy that I know my partner will deserve if
they are not Asexual themselves.

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

I’ve encountered, blessedly, a little amount of ace
prejudice/ignorance. Generally, it was from people asking me how I could not
want sex, and I generally would deal with it as such; I’d tell them I just
didn’t find sex interesting, or I’d tell them I found things to enjoy out of
life that was more fitting for gaining pleasure than sex, such as books, or
video games, or eating. I was never called a freak, or anything of that nature,
which is a blessing and I hope my experience helps others. Mostly the people
who I have talked to were rather open-minded and just curious, but I know this
isn’t the case for everyone. For those of you who have experienced ace
prejudice, my heart goes out to you.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve
encountered is the notion that Asexuals just don’t want sex. Which isn’t true
as we know- our orientation is about sexual attraction, not the actual desire
for sex. Like other orientations, it varies for everyone. Personally, I don’t
want it, but that doesn’t make me any more Asexual than someone who does.

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

You’re not broken. That is the most heartfelt advice I can
give. You are not broken, and you’re not alone. The love songs will say you’re
incomplete without that “special person”. It’s a lie. If you can find someone
who is whole and spend the rest of your life happily with them, then wonderful.
But you are not broken and you are not incomplete. You are you, and you are not
alone- we’re here with you, flying under the same purple, grey, white, and
black flag and we’re proud to stand with you.

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

You can find out more about my work through my Tumblr
account, my username is “Willchild”.
I don’t post much art or works there, to be honest, but I think after this
interview I will if it can help bring joy to other artists and help them feel
more secure about posting their own art. Please feel free to tag me in your
art, I would be ecstatic to see it; or message me/ask me, from one artistic Ace
to another.

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

Interview: Bob Josef

Today we’re joined by Bob Josef. Bob is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in Zen doodles, which he puts his own spin on. He draws a number of fandom related things as well. His works show an interesting use of space and lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I think I’m kind of all over the place, and what I do is for
my own satisfaction, but in the last like 2 years I’ve been doing a very simple
version of what is called “Zen doodles” I say it’s simple because if you Google
it what comes up looks nothing like what I do. I also do this squiggly thing
that fills up a page and you don’t know where it begins or ends, what part is
the object and which is just empty space…I do these the most because coming up
with ideas of what to actually draw.

What inspires you?

Way too many things honestly. Probably my biggest
inspirations are the internet (other people’s fanart), books, movies, Podcasts
(Welcome to Night Vale), just looking
at cool things gets me going. I LOVE taking pictures of sunsets because they
are absolutely stunning pieces of natural art.

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

Um…I don’t really know what got me interested in drawing, it
kinda just happened when I was in school, and it happened all over my homework
and notebooks. Freshman year of HS I specifically dedicated the left side of my
notebook pages to just doodling while taking notes. I haven’t always wanted to
be an artist but at the moment I really enjoy spending time to create
something…actually I hate the process, drawing is super tedious but the result
is always worth the work.

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, it’s not something I put in my drawings but I like
it’s my style for drawing faces, it’s an ever slightly modified version of the
Epic Face. It’s just so simple to draw that I use it for like signatures on cards
and things like that and my sketch/notebooks are filled with them.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Let people compliment what you’ve created, you may
absolutely hate it because it doesn’t compare to the work of pros on Tumblr or Deviant
Art. But to your friends and family it might as well be just as good, so accept
their compliments and use them to motivate you to improve and impress them more
with the next thing you make.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

At the moment I am Aromantic Asexual, I am totally open to
the possibility that it can change should I meet a special person. Or maybe it
doesn’t and I’m alone forever…that’s OK too.

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

In relation to art? No not really, I’ve just started posting
anything on a dedicated account outside of my personal one, and it’s not really
ace-centric. I do however reblog ace positive things in-between my doodles. In
real life, when I came out I had a cousin say I was going to hell with the
“gays” because instead of liking the same gender, I like none (attraction wise,
I’m sure all genders are nice people), and that means I won’t make the babies
to “replenish” the earth. It was a real punch in the gut that anyone,
especially one of my relatives, could say something so ignorant and (insert
sexuality)-phobic.

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

Probably the “you just haven’t met the right person yet,”
which may be true, but in my experience I don’t want none of that sexy-time
mess. And I don’t feel the need to date people. (Not that I don’t want a
partner, cuz I do, I just don’t feel the need to seek it out.)

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

Give yourself time to come to terms with it, there is no
rush to figure everything out and then come out, and get all the things ace (or
any other orientation) pride. Just slow down, breathe, research, and when you
are comfortable with what fits you, feel free to come out. Just be prepared
that people won’t understand and you will most likely have to explain yourself
over and over. If you ever feel like it’s all too much, search Ace Positivity
on Tumblr and just scroll through all the cool things people make and say
for/about us.

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

Well like I said before I just started out so I’m only on
Instagram and Tumblr. On Insta; I’m at gandalftheace42 and gandalf-the-ace on Tumblr so
it’s easy to find me! I don’t post things terribly often but I am in a painting
class at my college so I will be posting updates on my projects that we are
working on there. But yeah perhaps later down the road I will be super cool and
make art and make them into shirts like all the cool people on tumblr.com do!
Thanks for checking out my stuff if you do and I’m always open to talk to
anyone if you want (desperate for human interaction) okay BYEEEEEE!!

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

Interview: FF2

Today we’re joined by FF2. FF2 is a wonderful visual artist who does a mix of original work and fanart. They’re a self-taught artist and tend to gravitate to fanart. They get inspiration from many different sources, like video games, anime, and movies. When they’re not doing fanart, they enjoy just sketching original characters. It’s very obvious they’re a dedicated 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.

Um… Okay! It’s mostly fanart of things I like (video games,
anime, movies, etc.), but sometimes I’ll draw and share OCs and stuff! I do a
lot of sketches and doodles (school is very energy and creativity-draining, so
usually I have just enough to doodle and sketch), but sometimes if I REALLY
have the energy for it I’ll make full drawings! Those are usually my favorites!
(Example: A screenshot re-draw of one of my favorite Attack on Titan scenes. Took a few days but it was worth it in the
end because it came out really well!) But… Drawing sketches is fun too! I also
really like drawing my OCs, even if I keep… NOT drawing them! (I get so many
good ideas of things to draw with them but then it’s like “Wait that’s beyond
my skill level-”)

What inspires you?

Well, it’s mostly anime, actually! Originally I took
inspiration from like… Sailor Moon,
but now – albeit it’s STILL anime – , I’m taking more references from Studio
Ghibli films (specifically When Marnie
Was There
and Spirited Away), and
the anime Attack on Titan. I’ve also
been trying to make it look a bit more… realistic. Not, SUPER realistic, but
like… (oh how do I explain this…?) just a bit more? Not like… in a way it would
make my art style look weird or unnatural, but just enough so it makes it look
BETTER? If that makes ANY sense? Plus, whatever I look at more often influences
what I draw a lot. Like, say I played a lot of Pokemon recently. Then I’d probably be drawing a lot of Pokemon characters.

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

Uhh… Really, I’ve kind of been drawing for as long as I can
remember. Like… We have pictures from when I was three and we had this… thing –
I’m not exactly sure what is was – and it has a little marker that worked with
water, so when you got it wet, you could DRAW on the mat and stuff, and in the
picture I’m just scribbling away. I guess I just really liked the idea of
making my own pictures? And I never really dropped it…! I’ve always liked
drawing, but I haven’t ALWAYS wanted to be an artist (Right now for example, I
want to be an author!), but there was a phase when I did.

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 really have a special, unique signature, but I do
have some things that I think make my art… My own and easier to recognize I
guess? I think it’s the way I do eyes? Or at least, that’s what I think and
what a few friends have told me…

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Joking aside, please practice, or take a class! Seriously,
like… say you wanted to be a professional athlete or something. You’d practice
to get better at that right? So… Why should drawing be different? Also, DO NOT
ignore guidelines. They can REALLY help. And, another thing… Try tracing
guidelines over pre-existing images. Don’t… Don’t POST those or anything, but
do that on your own practice, because it can help you get an idea of the
anatomy and stuff.  I know there’s this
whole mindset of “If I EVER trace anything ever, even for practice than I’m Bad
and an art thief!” but like… That’s not true! If you need to practice anatomy
and want to trace something for a better idea of how it works, then try that!
Again, just don’t post it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Sex-repulsed ace. (Probably panromantic too? I don’t want to
say for sure, though…)

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

In… my field? I assume this means art. If so then no.
Though… I have some ace OCs and I’ll probably make a lot of emphasis on that
and if anyone is rude because god-forbid someone has ASEXUAL OCS, then I‘ll
probably just ignore them?

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

Either… “oh so you don’t have any emotions/empathy/whatever?”
(which is blatant lie. And also a really stupid thing to say.), and “that’s not
a thing, you’re just making a sexuality up for attention.” (more lies.)

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

DO. NOT. RUSH THIS!!! You don’t HAVE to have a label if you
don’t want one! You think you might be ace but then you find out you’re not?
That’s fine! It doesn’t make you bad!! You think you’re something else and then
find out your ace? That’s fine, too! Figuring yourself out takes a while! Also…
For anyone told this because ew ace discourse, YOU AREN’T INVADING LGBT+ SPACES
OR “STEALING” RESOURCES OR NOT A “REAL LGBT+ PERSON”. YOU ARE VALID. If ANYONE
says otherwise, just ignore ‘em. They are NOT worth it! I know it’s hard but
really, what they’re doing is kinda pathetic, you know?

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

My art Tumblr! It’s https://ff2-draws-stuff.tumblr.com/!!
I post art and WIPs there, so if you’d like to see more of my art, check it
out!

Thank you, FF2, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Jojo

Today we’re joined by Jojo. Jojo is a phenomenal versatile writer and visual artist who describes herself as “a figure skating writer and artist who dabbles in cosplay props.” For writing and visual art, Jojo specializes in scifi and fantasy. She does both traditional and digital art and has a degree in animation. When she’s not writing, drawing, or animating, Jojo enjoys making various props for cosplays and even has a blog dedicated to cosplaying on a budget. She’s clearly a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a sci-fi and fantasy enthusiast, and most of my art is
themed around that. I do a lot of digital art and pencil drawing in an actual
physical sketchbook, but have a degree in animation and like to play in Flash
when I have time (RIP Flash). Most of the time though everything I draw stays
in sketch form. Drawing helps me work out ideas and logistics, which translates
into writing very elaborate Sci-Fi worlds. I have one that I’ve been writing
for a literal decade that I’m finally only just starting to amass into
something like a novel. So far it has a tone I didn’t expect but I’m actually
liking it. Fingers crossed.

I’m also a hobby prop maker, I make small manageable props
and things that won’t weigh too much for cosplay using items from the dollar
store.  I’ve done a Squall cosplay, an
arc reactor, the purgatory blade and Samulet from Supernatural, Mad Max: Fury
Road’s
Bloodbag equipment, fake skulls, phasers, and Wonder Woman Armor
from the new movie!

What inspires you?

I love ice skating, space, human goodness, animals, the sky,
large swaths of nature, dungeons & dragons, stars, anime, food, Star Trek, multiverse theories and FOOD.

I adore food, it’s one of those things everyone can agree is
amazing, and it’s something that comes in so many forms and says so much about
each culture. If I didn’t enjoy eating it more than making it I might be a chef
instead of a writer today!

Star Trek and
anime started me on a very interesting path when I was very young. Star Trek is about a positive future,
and anime is all about a protagonist finding out what makes them tick and then
using it to do a thing. In my case I spent more time trying to figure out the
‘whys’ of my life than the ‘hows’ but luckily the two seem to go hand-in-hand
so I believe even more in the power of being the protagonist of my own story.

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

Well, Starship Captain isn’t a viable career path (yet) so I
settled for doing what I love. I always knew I’d be an artist, my father is an
artist, both grandmas on both sides of the family are artists, and my
grandfather is a former NASA engineer. I had a lot of people saying ‘if this is
what you want, do it’ my whole childhood, it never occurred to me to try and
pursue anything else. If space became a viable option I’d go there, but
honestly I’d never stop creating art.

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

Goodness, I actually don’t think so. The only thing I can
say for sure is I try to make really stylistic varied body types, but I don’t
think that’s a symbol, just a preference. Every main character I’ve ever had
(once I got out of my ‘every character is from CLAMP’ phase- and shut up, you
know we all had that!) has had a different body type that affects how they do
things. I do it for fun and also because it adds different lifestyle choices
they have to make.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

My advice is always Go for whatever that thing you want is.
Seriously, go for it. The world out there isn’t made for doing the bare minimum
to get by and then dying. If you can do something to get yourself ready to do
That Thing you want, then do it. Work that retail job, but put all that money
(as much as you can) away so you can eventually tell the customer they’re wrong
and try what you want to do. If you have something you love to do, there’s
probably a way to live off it if you want. And if you don’t want your art to be
your job be sure of this: Don’t live to work. Work to live. Your art, your
passions are worth pursuing even if you’re the only one passionate about it
now. Your art doesn’t have to ‘contribute.’ Support your friends, but if they
don’t support you back get new friends. Be loyal to yourself.

But seriously; be who you are, even if society isn’t a fan.
Because screw them, society elected Trump, what the hell do they know? You’re
you and you’re stuck being you forever, so try to get along with yourself. Artists
are often eccentric, and I know that’s hard, but listen up, bb artists, you’ll
be alright. Everyone’s actually really weird, some just hide it better than
others. There are weirdos just like you who want to be friends, but are too
nervous to fly their own personal flag. Put yours up, they’ll come. It’ll be
hard, but you’ll find your people because they’re out there, they’re just
hiding.

To those of you not hiding: Kick ass, take names and don’t
let anyone tell you that eccentric = bad. Do no harm, but take no shit. XOXO

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m a sex neutral aromantic asexual and it annoys me!
“Nothing, nope not even that” is a hard orientation to be and massively
inconvenient to explain. Especially when “maybe your first experience with sex
was bad?’ doesn’t apply to me. Sex was … fine. I would have rather gone for ice
cream, but eh, okay, we had fun together and I loved the guy so okay. So there.
Tell your parents THAT. I actually tried it! It’s fine! Not the best but
whatever who cares.

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

Strap in folks, you ain’t gonna BELIEVE this one! I’ve been
holding onto this story for a special occasion and I guess this is it:

I used to work at a big corporate company, and our
department took us out for a Christmas Dinner every year. Nice! This particular
year I get sat between two men I know, across from a woman I don’t and she’s
MILITANTLY lesbian. I’m talking about the type who won’t go five minutes
without being like “So because I’m a lesbian” and we’re all sitting there like
“we get that you’re a lesbian, Carol, go on…”

So Carol (she’s Carol now) is drinking because it’s a
Christmas Dinner/Party and we’re all happy and buzzed and chilling and ALL OF A
SUDDEN out of nowhere she says “I’m a lesbian so you won’t get it-‘ a pause
then she turns to me and says ‘you’re not a lesbian right?” FINALLY. Thanks for
finally asking, Carol! But no, I’m not a lesbian and I say so. “I’m Ace,’ I
say, assuming her militant sense means she’s active in the LGBTQA+ space and
she’ll know what I’m talking about. I was young and foolish.

She has no clue what I’m talking about. I now have to
explain to her and my two straight male friend/coworkers what being asexual
means. I do so, because why the hell not, I’m already in deep. Straight male
friends go ‘oh okay, so you’re not attracted to anyone’ and go on with their
meal. GOOD JOB STRAIGHT MALE FRIENDS YOU’RE ACTUALLY THE HEROES FOR ONCE!

Carol says “Oh. So… what happened to you? To make you like
that?”

A pause. A horrified pause. A horrified pause where my two
straight male friends and everyone within hearing radius at the table realizes
Carol just asked if I was assaulted or molested or abused to make me asexual. I
see straight male friends glance at me in horror.

But I am two drinks in, and I am transcendent. Instead of
getting embarrassed and answering honestly straight out, I ask, as loudly as I
want because FUCK YOU CAROL “Did you just ask me at the company Christmas
dinner if I was sexually assaulted?” A horrified silence falls. I stare at her
as she realizes she has come to the WRONG HOUSE. She starts stammering and
backpedaling but OH NO, not today, Carol. “Not that it’s your business,’ I say
loudly, ‘but I was born this way.”

She correctly decides to excuse herself to powder her nose.
Run Carol, run.

This is when straight male friends, and actually the entire
department, show some goddamn solidarity, kids. The boss (who I don’t actually
think heard the convo) has already paid the bill, and as one, while Carol is in
the bathroom, the whole department decides dinner is over. Everyone is talking
and acting like it’s normal, but the whole table- myself included- gets up and
leaves while Carol is in the bathroom at this restaurant.

It was ignorant, and it could have been very embarrassing,
but I was able to realize I wasn’t the one who should be embarrassed, and if
you can remember that next time someone tries to shame your asexuality, you can
ditch Carol at a restaurant on Christmas too. The End.

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

People seem to think three very incorrect things. They think
something had to happen to make you asexual. Like it’s their damn business to
know if it did. Two: that their opinion on you being ace matters (pro tip: hell
no) and three: that being ace means you don’t care about being cute and flirty.
You get to be as damn cute and flirty as you want, cuz it’s fun! They still
ain’t gettin’ none of this, so they better step off.

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

I am struggling too. I get you. It’s hard to be ‘nothing’
when you’re conditioned to think everyone gets ‘something’. Some people don’t
and that’s okay. Again, society is dumb, so find something that works for you,
whether it’s a Poly tribe, a best friend, a cat, two best friends and a cat, or
an online community of people who get you better than the physical ones.
Whatever works for you is the right orientation for you. If you wake up
tomorrow super attracted to someone, fair enough. You’re a changing person and
regardless of how you wake up tomorrow, today you’re ace and that’s your choice
to identify- or not! Ace is just a better word for ‘nah nothing really works
for me’ and gives you a bunch of other people who get it. Aro’s also a hard
one, because you have been told your whole life you want something, but then
when you have it, it’s… fine. I had a great relationship for a while, but I
felt like we were friends who slept in the same bed. I was later informed
that’s not how most people feel (?) Doesn’t de-legitimize my relationship, just
means what I’m looking for and what others are looking for might be different.
Which is fair, and valid. Labels exist for you, not for the world. You do you,
as the saying goes. That’s my advice. I won’t tell you it’s not hard, it is,
but it’s also worth fighting for yourself and what you want, not what society
or parents or friends want for you.

ALSO ADVICE: Find a doctor who’s cool with you not having
sex. My doctor doesn’t care, doesn’t ask why I don’t have sex, doesn’t ask why
I laugh if he asks if I’m in danger of becoming pregnant. He just nods and says
‘okay’ and moves on. Find one of those. You not having sex is not a problem and
if your doctor says it is: time for a new doctor.

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

My main blog is http://starshipcaptainjojo.tumblr.com/
Art is posted to http://hipster-safari.tumblr.com/
(though also to my main blog most of the time)
And my cosplay/craft blog is http://dollarstorecosplay.tumblr.com/.

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

Interview: schattenmitternacht

Today we’re joined by schattenmitternacht. schattenmitternacht is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in ink drawings and watercolors. They have recently started working with gouache as well. schattenmitternacht draws inspiration from many different places and are clearly very passionate about art, 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 simple ink drawings and occasionally paint with
acrylics and watercolors. Recently, I have started to use gouache as well.
Subject to my art can be anything; people, animals, things. I love to
illustrate feelings and emotions as metaphors.

What inspires you?

The world around me. I believe that beauty is everywhere and
I try to capture it for me and for others in my drawings and paintings. The
works of fellow artists are also very inspiring.

I do create things inspired be my personal experiences (my
diary is mostly drawings) but those are things I’m not always fond to share
with people.

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

I remember spending a lot of time at the drawing desk in
kindergarten and going to exhibitions with my best friend’s grandmother. But
only in middle school did I start to take art more seriously, when I got into
manga thanks to a classmate. That’s when I wanted to get better at it.

To be honest, I never wanted to be a professional artist. It
was always other people suggesting it to me and at one point in my life I
thought it’s the only option available. I mean, I am an artist and I love being
one and creating things but there are some aspects of being a professional
artist that leave me uncomfortable with pursuing this career path. I’m afraid I
won’t like drawing anymore when it’s what I have to do for a living.

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

There is a set of symbols that I use in my more personal
artworks. Arrows for example. But you don’t really get to see a lot of them.
Because personal.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Challenge yourself and set yourself a goal. I for example
want to create more “finished” works this year and not just elaborate sketches.

I love to do challenges or make lists of projects I want to
realize because when I don’t know what to draw, I already have some to work on
and don’t have to spend time thinking of something.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m aro ace.

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

Not much actually.

My boyfriend asked me once if I was sure I am ace as he
couldn’t understand that even though I like physical intimacy, I am still
asexual. I explained to him that even if I don’t feel sexual attraction, I still
like how it feels and that I think it’s fun.

I myself have never actually experienced prejudice or
ignorance against aromanticism, but my friend has. Their mother keeps
pressuring them to find a romantic relationship. So that’s something.

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

That

  1. I don’t have,
  2. don’t want or enjoy and
  3. am not able to have sex.

A lot of people don’t have sex. This doesn’t make them
automatically ace though.

Second, I can understand how someone could think that this
is what it means being asexual, as it was something that kept me from calling
myself ace for some time. I don’t really know how to put this in words but you
can still want to or enjoy it to sleep with someone without finding them
sexually attractive. Sex is something very intimate and wanting to share this
intimacy with someone does not in any way conflict with being ace.

The last one… What has my lack of sexual attraction to do
with my body? It’s just another way to say that we are “broken”.

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

You are not broken. Your needs are as valid as those of
allosexual people and your boundaries are to be respected, don’t ever think
they are not.

If you have a hard time telling different attractions apart,
look up their definitions or people describing them.

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

I am the most active on Instagram. Then of
course on Tumblr and on Amino.
Actually, you can find me everywhere under schattenmitternacht.

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

Interview: Skye

Today we’re joined by Skye. Sky is a fantastic visual artist who specializes in drawing heads with colored pencils. She’s starting to work on drawing landscapes and nature. Skye is also planning to branch out into digital art as well. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I
use Prismacolor Colored pencils currently, but I just got a Huion tablet so I’m
hoping to begin digital art soon. I’m best at drawing people (mainly headshots)
but I’m trying to do more landscapes and animals.

What inspires you?

I
get inspired by aesthetics and moodboards, as well as random people I see on
the street and other artists’ work.

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

I
honestly don’t remember. I just remember always loving to draw and it’s always
been a big part of my life.

I’ve
always wanted to draw, but I’ve only just began to have the confidence to begin
sharing about a year ago.

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
still developing my style, so I definitely do not have and special features
yet, but I have a few ideas in mind.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Accept
that you probably won’t like everything you make, but that doesn’t mean it’s
not amazing, because it is.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I
don’t know the exact label, but I am definitely on the sex-repulsed side of the
asexual spectrum and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum. I’m currently doing
research to find my exact place.

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

Not
specifically in my field, but I have with family and other people. I usually
just say that they can’t change who I am and that if they have that big of a
problem with it then they have a problem with me and should just leave me alone
then.

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

That
people on the asexual/aromantic spectrum are that way due to a mental illness
or traumatic past experience and that we should see a therapist to be “fixed”
like we’re broken.

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

You are not broken. All throughout life until I
learned about asexuality I would hear people talk about who they had a crush on
and who they wanted to date or have sex with and I never felt that. I never had
a crush or a desire for a relationship and I felt so broken and different until
I learned there were more people like me and I was normal.

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

I
post WIPs on my Snapchat (skyberson4) and completed works on my Instagram (skyberson). But I do post other
stuff on both, not just my art. 

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