Category: drawing

Interview: Sara

Today we’re joined by Sara. Sara is a phenomenal visual artist who I met at this year’s Indy PopCon. I was so excited when I realized she was ace and made sure to hand her a business card for the blogs, because good heavens she had such beautiful art. She draws mostly fantasy and original work, favoring a stylized look rather than realism. The result is her work has a wonderful dream-like feel with vibrant colors and soft lines. It’s clear she’s an incredibly talented and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I draw a lot of fantasy pieces, whether it’s sketching or
digital paintings. I like painting/sketching in a stylized style instead of
realistic one. I mostly paint my own characters but I love to do fanart of
characters in my own style just to see what they’ll look like.

What inspires you?

My biggest inspiration is music. I love listening to
classical or instrumental music when I draw/paint. Music helps art flow and it
opens up new ideas for me. I hear a melody playing and think I can turn that
into something. I paint a lot of fantasy pieces and nature also helps add to my
inspiration especially flowers.

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

When I was little I wanted to go into animation.
Traditionally animated Disney movies were some of my favorite things to watch
as a child and I always wanted to know how they made everything move. Now that
I’ve gone to school for animation I’ve gravitated more towards concept art and
illustrations.

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?

As of right now, no I don’t have a special signature. But
maybe some day I will.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I know this has been said and done many times but Practice,
practice, practice. Having raw talent is the start of being a good artist but
honing that skill and perfecting it will make you an even better one. That
there are gonna be days where you second guess your art, style or your skill
but always remember there are ups and downs in all aspects of life even art.
Many talented artist out there still have those ups and downs. So don’t quit and
don’t lose hope in your abilities.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual/aromantic.

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

Towards me, personally, no I haven’t. But one of the things
that does irk me is that there is barely any representation in media. Sure
sometimes they have hints that a character is Ace but then they sweep it under
the rug as if it wasn’t an important part of a character or that Asexuality is
a disease that needs to be cured (I’m talking about the House episode
that centered around that).

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

“How do you know if you’re Asexual if you haven’t had sex
yet?” or “You haven’t met the right person yet.” These questions drive me up a
wall and make me feel uncomfortable since I don’t necessarily wanna be in a
romantic/sexual relationship with people. So when these questions are directed
at me I feel a bright glaring spotlight put on me and it absolutely embarrasses
me.

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

Take your time with your orientation it’s not a race to
figure everything out in one night. It took me maybe 3 years to final except
what my orientation was. Talk it out with people you trust and do research
(it’s what I did). You are not broken because you don’t want to have sex or be
in a relationship.

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

I have a two Tumblrs and an Instagram. You can find them
both here:

http://the-lady-saron.tumblr.com/
https://sarahartart.tumblr.com/
https://www.instagram.com/sara_hart_art/.

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

Interview: Hampermarketplace

Today we’re joined by Hampermarketplace, who also goes by Sophie. Sophie is a phenomenal visual artist and fanartist. For visual art, they mostly do digital illustration, both original work and fanart, They also do some photography as a hobby. Aside from that, Sophie also cosplays and writes 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.

Sure thing! I’m mostly a digital artist, though I don’t know
if “drawing” or “painting” describes best what I do, but in any case, I have a
lot of fun doing it. I draw a lot of Homestuck,
(I’m unfortunately rather obsessed with it—and it’s easy to share online), but
I also do original work, when the inspiration strikes. Since, when it comes to
hobbies, I’m very much a jack of all trades, I’ve done writing (I once wrote a
40k fanfic, several one-shots, and began some original stories I’m probably
never going to finish, I’ve got a word doc somewhere full of cringy poetry),
cosplay (once again Homestuck—so
basically, I’m just really good at putting on grey facepaint), and photography
(I take my iPhone and try to take pretty pictures I then post on Instagram so
it’s not just all filled with selfies).

Basically, I just like to create stuff, no matter the
medium.

What inspires you?

You mean, apart from Homestuck? I’d say my life. Ok, I know
that’s vague, but I haven’t quite got a more specific muse. There is a lot to
show and tell about the subtleties of everyday life, the things I see, hear, or
feel. I’m ADHD, so perhaps trying to put my constant zoning out to good use is
my main inspiration after all. I think sunsets are good, too. They’ve got lots
of pretty colors, there’s nothing like a rainy autumn sunset to get a good
photoshoot full of pinks. The city inspires me, too. The sort of aesthetics
born of the layered lives of so many people, written in the concrete and the
weed peeking through it, the graffiti’s, the decaying factories and the shiny
skyscrapers. In painting, I draw people a lot, too. I think it’s because the
figure is so evocative. I like the humanity, the feelings, the fleeting joys
and pains of life, and so I try to capture them whenever I’m bored enough. It’s
cheesy, but it’s true.

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

Oh boy. Well, I’ve always hung around people who drew, and
the envy that I felt at their cool talents pushed me to try my hand at it.
Around maybe 11 or 12, I got into manga and anime, and the thing with those, is
that they make the human figure very appealing, and yet very simple-looking to
draw, for someone who is just starting out. I’ve been a casual artist ever
since my early teens, and recently, when I graduated high school and all my
friends entered art programs, I started to realize just how much I didn’t know
about art, and that’s really what helped me get much better really fast. Just a
year ago, I didn’t draw half as well as I do now, because now I draw almost
every day, pay attention to the world and put a lot more effort in studying the
theory of art than I ever did in any of my school classes, ever.

I’m still in college, and I’m not planning on making a
career out of my art, but I’ve still got some ambitions to reach a point where
I can paint and draw at a professional level, for myself.

Maybe one day I’ll write an actual book or make money from
my art—I’ve been offered to be an assistant photographer once, when I showed my
Instagram feed to the woman whom we had hired to take our family portraits, but
it didn’t work out. In the end, I take opportunities as they go. Art is just
one of the things for which I have potential and interest, it’s a refuge, and I
don’t want to ruin that by forcing it into a business perspective.

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

Well, I’m known on most platforms (Instagram, deviantart,
tumblr—although only for Homestuck in
the last one) as hampermarketplace, and I sign my digital paintings (some of
them—I often forget) as HMP. By now, it’s how I sign pretty much all of my artwork.
Often, I won’t put it in the lower corner, but try to include it within the
drawing, if there is writing somewhere, graffiti or posters in the background.
It’s my thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You’re going to feel bad sometimes, like you can’t quite
illustrate what you want, or like everyone is better than you. It’s important
to learn to use that dissatisfaction as motivation, not as a deterrent. The
process of improving is an adventure, to be taken one step at a time, so awaken
your inner Moana or whatever, and sing about wanting to know how far you’ll go.
When you’re stalling, and nothing works, push through by going back to your
basics, and putting less pressure on yourself. Take a chill pill. Go watch some
Bob Ross. It’s ok to just doodle for 15 minutes sometimes, you’ve got to make
art time a time to meditate, to enjoy yourself. If you do it right, it won’t
feel like a chore (too much—I can’t make any promises if you decide to make a
living out of it). One day you’ll look back and be amazed by how far you’ve
come.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m asexual, low libido but not sex repulsed per se, and
somewhere in the grey areas of romance, probably demi, although I still think
of myself as a lesbian because I’ve always had a strong aesthetic attraction to
women, and if I were to fall in love, I feel like it would be with a woman, or
someone woman-aligned. I identify *mostly* as a woman, although I won’t deny to
some gender fluidity as well.

Usually, the womanlier I feel, the gayer I get, then on some
days I’m just what is gender and what is love, I want to blog about cats. My
main on Tumblr is like 75% cats, 20% beautiful women and 5% ace positivity. I
think that sums it up pretty well.

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

The most kind of ace prejudice or ignorance I’ve personally
encountered is from myself. I’m usually quite down-low about it, I’ve come out
a couple of times, but not to everyone, and I’m pretty sure most people going
through my art aren’t even aware of my sexuality—I come off quite gay in real
life. Since I don’t do commercial work, I can easily surround myself with
people who are OK with my orientation, and anyway, I live in some of the most
progressive places, where no one would openly challenge you on stuff like that,
even if they disagreed with it. I’m lucky in that regard. I’m always afraid
that people will still hold subconscious prejudice towards me, though, I don’t
think I’m paranoid, but I need to get over it if I want to be myself, and work
towards deconstructing those prejudices. When I’ve actually come out, I’ve been
met mostly with love and acceptance—just once a bit of confusion. Also, once I
came out to a sex-loving vegan by saying “I don’t like sex, but I do like ice
cream” and she just told me “You go girl! Live your best life!” and anyway, she
gets it.

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

I think this one is not an explicit, but an implicit
misconception that even well-meaning people will hold, and that is this idea
that aces don’t like to talk about sex, or be exposed to sexuality, and that
the goal of asexual activism is to make a world where it’s possible to ignore
the fact that sex and romance exists. I mean, some aces may be uncomfortable
with discussions about sex, or don’t want to be exposed to explicit sexual
content, but truly, anyone may have these holdups regardless of sexuality. The
basics principles of consent, human decency and content warnings should be
plenty to cover that. In my experience, most aces I’ve met are more than eager
to talk about sex and the different types of attractions, so long as they are allowed
to openly share their experiences without feeling like outcasts or weirdos. Unless
they tell you otherwise, it should be perfectly fine to share your latest
thirst with your friend who came out to you as ace. You don’t have to stop
being yourself, and most asexuals don’t want to be treated like little kids
with bleeding hearts that can’t handle the sexiness, neither do they want you
to stop being yourself: they just want to be allowed to be themselves as well.

This is pretty abstract, I’m not sure if I’m making sense,
but I feel like this needs to be said more. Asexuality doesn’t exist within
queerness as a form of “Don’t force sex on me”, because, honestly, sex
shouldn’t be forced on anyone, but rather as a force of “It’s OK to live in
accordance to how you feel, regardless of social norms or whether or not it
aligns with the majority around you,” because that represents much better the
aroace community as I’ve known it: diverse, open, with a wide range of
worldviews and experiences, just wanting to live their truth.

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

It’s not easy to find out who you are. Being asexual is
challenging, because it’s probably even only one part of the identities you’re
going to have to cope with—asexuality doesn’t mean you won’t have to deal with
the prejudice of being gay, bi or trans—but it’s also challenging in and of
itself. You’re going to have to deal with conflicting cultural ideals about
chastity, lust, marriage and family, with a world that you’ll never quite
understand despite your best efforts to do so, and which probably won’t even
try to understand you. You’ll fidget in your psychology or sexuality class, not
quite capable of explaining how you know for a fact the textbook is wrong
without sounding like you’ve spent way too much time on Tumblr. You’ll smile,
glad, at queer representation in the media, not quite daring to ask for some
yourself—afraid it’ll take away some gay or trans kid’s chance to see
themselves on screen. You’ll feel like you don’t exist, like there are no
historical figures or public personalities who can bear your flag in your name,
you’ll doubt yourself.

Don’t. There is nothing to doubt about it, there is nothing
to be ashamed about. You’re on the frontline of progress, of our growing
understanding of love and sexuality, as a society. Asexual people have always
been there—the world just didn’t have a box to place them in until recently.
Before that, we erred like bohemians among dandies and spinsters, bisexuals, pilgrims
and nuns. But today, there are words for it, for asexuality, for aromanticism,
for all the maybes and in-betweens. We are many, more than you would think, and
we are solidary—to one another, and to the gay, lesbian, bisexual and trans
people, and to all other minorities, and it is our strength. Through sharing
our experiences, through creating new words to define how we feel, we help
people from all walks of life define themselves. So maybe, really, we’re
something like great.

You can be proud.

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

My main blog on Tumblr is chaoticintellectual, though,
like mentioned previously, it’s mostly  filled with cats and pretty women.

I have a Homestuck
blog where I post art frequently, called Hampermarketplace, for all the
filthy Homestucks out there

I write on AO3 under the name miki_and_company

Hampermarketplace
is also my DeviantArt, though I don’t post much on there, but I do show my
original art there more,

And finally, my Instagram, still hampermarketplace,
where I post a lot of my photography.

My inboxes are open to talk, I’m quite friendly and impishly
verbose, however I’ll be gone and inactive for most of the summer, sadly, but
I’ll be back without question next fall.

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

Interview: Morwenna Greenleaf

Today we’re joined by Morwenna Greenleaf. Morwenna is a wonderful writer who specializes in poetry and fanfiction. She also dabbles in music, mostly song covers, and visual art. Morwenna takes inspiration from subjects that aren’t often talked about. It’s clear 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.

My art is mostly written word, though I occasionally draw,
and sometimes post covers of songs on my YouTube channel, and I have had dance
lessons, though I don’t really showcase dancing and don’t really do much
anymore. I occasionally write poetry, but the majority is fanfiction written in
prose, usually with a theme of fantasy and they can cover really heavy, or not
commonly talked about, subjects.

What inspires you?

Well, I guess that events in my life have inspired my
stories, but also the stories of others. For example, I’ve always loved
watching crime shows with one of my personal favourites being Law and Order S.V.U. and I think that
inspires me, because they go into subjects such as rape, kidnapping, and human
trafficking. These subjects intrigue me, so I find myself researching them to
add into existing stories, or I piece together new stories featuring things
like them, which results in a lot of half-finished stories, some of which
aren’t yet published so the public can’t read them.

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

What got me interested? Well, I’m not sure. When I was
younger, I would always make up stories, whether they be epic sea battles with
phoenixes, all from a cluster of clouds, or fanfiction, before I realised it
was a thing. I always used to just insert myself into the shows/movies/books
and tweak the storyline slightly to involve myself. Drawing? I kind of just
slipped into it, like with the writing. I was always drawing over my books and
scraps of paper, pretty much anything I could find. Dancing, I think one day
when I was about three or four, I saw a ballet on TV, probably Swan Lake, and
fell in love. After about four years or so of pestering my mum, I ended up
doing four years of classical ballet classes, including character, and two
years of jazz classes. Singing has been a part of my life as long as I can
remember. I’d sing around the house as a child, and my dad started taking me to
karaoke at bars in town when I was about seven or eight, I think, and I’ve
recently turned eighteen, so that’s about ten years of karaoke.

Have I always wanted to be an artist? I think I have,
somewhere deep down. I love writing stories and singing, and have always, in
the back of my mind, wanted to do something artistic. True, it was always
performing, like singing/dancing/acting, but it’s all artistry anyway. I even
have the small amount of acting experience that comes from primary school
plays, hehehe. I love what I do, but I also have no clue exactly what I’m going
to do once I leave high school, because I also love things like science
(chemistry and physics), ancient history, and learning languages (I’m currently
monolingual, but who cares?).

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 most of my stories where I use an OC, her name is generally
Jessica McCarten, which is my real name outside of the internet. She’s
basically me, but with different hair and sometimes different backstories
depending on age, situation, and things like that, which are usually dependent
on the story. If she isn’t the protagonist, then she’ll usually appear as a
secondary character, but pretty close to the protagonist. Also, my profile pic
tends to be the same on all platforms except for Tumblr, and if there’s a
running obsession for another fandom or a certain type of music, it’s because
that’s most/all of what I’m listening to at that time, or obsessing over when
writing the parts of those stories.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Advice to young aspiring artists? Technically you could say
I’m one of them, *insert awkward/exhausted laughter here*. I would say to keep
doing whatever you’re doing and always, ALWAYS, look back over your old work to
see how you’ve changed, grown, and evolved. I personally hate doing this,
because my voice recorded, to me anyway, sounds terrible, and I cringe as I
read over things like my first story on Wattpad. However terrible you think you
were, always go back over your work, and you might find something better. Hell,
I’m still looking for a story I started in year 4 or 5 because I want to read
over it and build on it! The thing is, it doesn’t really matter. Just keep
practising and looking over your old work. Maybe if you’ve finished a story,
wait at least a year or so then, keeping the original, rewrite it, edit it, do
what you need to to make it fit your current style, or to correct grammar and
punctuation errors, because I can almost guarantee that you will have them, no
matter how much you think you don’t.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

At the moment, as it could change when I’m older and such, I
identify as asexual, but I am not aromantic. I still haven’t figured out my
romantic orientation, properly, but that doesn’t really matter.

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

No, I haven’t. However, this could be due to the fact that
aside from Tumblr and Quotev (my original platform) and about four people IRL,
I haven’t really come out, as I’ve been hesitant about it, and I’m not really
sure how people will react. The few people that I’ve come out to IRL have been
really nice about it, and not made a big deal. I have to admit though, that I
have a plan on coming out to my entire high school if a certain event I wish to
partake in (public speaking) occurs before I leave, a term afore the other
years. *Spoiler* If I do manage to, I’m doing a speech about asexuality, and
will hopefully have a homemade flag to show people before I wrap it around my shoulders.
As far as everyone that I haven’t come out to knows, I’m just a straight white
girl.

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

Well, probably that asexual people don’t like sex, or don’t
have sex. I know that this is true for possibly the majority of aces, but it’s
also false for a certain percentage of aces. This has come from people that
identify as bi/pan and do a subject that requires presentations on the LGBT+
community, though I’m not sure if any have included aces. As an eighteen year
old female ace, I have never understood how sexual attraction works, or had a
partner, romantic or otherwise aside from an occasional partner in
science/chemistry. However, I have always been intrigued and curious about what
the act of sex feels like, just never felt the attraction to anyone pertaining
to it. Whenever I’ve heard this one, I stay quiet and just get silently
annoyed/irritated/mildly mad, because I’ve learnt if I speak up about things
that I’m interested in/passionate for, I tend to receive a lot of shit from
people, and this is mostly to people I’ve known since year seven but haven’t
come out to as I don’t really consider them friends.

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

Do your research, read the stories of other aces, watch
videos on YouTube, whatever you need. I actually procrastinated for at least a
year before I decided Yes, okay, I think
I’ll identify as asexual now
. It doesn’t matter how long you take to figure
it out. Take your time, and remember that no-one other than you can tell you
who you are or what your sexual orientation is, and don’t feel bad if it
changes because sexuality is fluid. For example, here I am identifying as
asexual, when for all I know, I could be demi-sexual or grey-asexual, but I
haven’t explored anything that would let me know, so until anything changes, if
it does, I identify as asexual.

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

People can find out more about my work by looking me up on
different platforms. My *main* email is crush.girl.101.at.high.school@gmail.com
because I made it in year nine when I was seriously crushing on a guy. My Quotev, Wattpad, Deviantart, and YouTube are
all under the name Morwenna Greenleaf, and I have a Facebook page by the name Morwenna
Greenleaf
, managed by my actual account, and you can message me through the
page. I also, obviously, have Tumblr
that people can feel free to message me on, and I have Instagram under my
actual name, though, like YouTube, I don’t really post often (at jess_mccarten). In fact,
you can message me on any of the sites, though there is a high chance that the
majority of videos on my YouTube may have their comments turned off, due to fuckheads
being, well, fuckheads. When it comes to any of them, I do requests for things,
songs, stories, whatever. Feel free to request some things, because, while I
procrastinate pretty much everything *Hello! Procrastinated my sexuality!*, if
I enjoy the request, I will, eventually, get around to fulfilling the request,
and, just feel free to talk to me. I can be really awkward, and drop a lot of
terrible, terrible, puns, jokes,
whatever the fuck I’m in the mood for, on you, and just be extremely weird in general.
Live long and prosper, aces, and remember, Barty Crouch Jr stopped drinking
because it was making him Moody! 😉

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

Interview: Brit

Today we’re joined by Brit. Brit is a wonderful fanartist who is mostly active in a few different fandoms. She enjoys writing fanfiction as well as drawing her characters from her favorite fandoms. Brit is most active in the Undertale, Homestuck, and Hiveswap fandoms. It’s clear that she’s an incredibly dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am mostly a fanartist, be it with drawn fanart or with
written works (fanfiction). I’ve been mostly active in the Undertale fandom, but lately I’ve been on a bit of a Homestuck/Hiveswap kick. I also do a lot
with original characters (OCs). The biggest project I’ve had going on for a
long while now is a fanfiction titled With
and Without
, a Sans/OC fanfiction that now has 59 chapters.

What inspires you?

It’s difficult to say what inspires me…but I think, more
often than not, anything that gives me an idea of an emotion, or makes me
experience that emotion, then I get inspired. That’s part of what I always aim
for in my written work, too, to make people feel something.

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

I’ve always had an interest in being an artist. I’ve always
done well with creative writing in school, and that’s what really got me
started with writing fanfiction.

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 necessarily have a special signature…but this has
made me think about it, and I might start making one from now on!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

My advice would be to keep going. I know that sounds cliché,
but no matter what, you’ve got to keep going. That doesn’t mean go nonstop,
though! Sometimes I’m just not in the right mood to write or draw, so I don’t. I
take a break, play a game, or do something else. I feel that it helps me be
able to come back to it with a fresh mind and renewed motivation. But you can’t
give up on it. I used to draw using bases off of DeviantArt and tracing, and
with all the effort I’ve put in, I’ve gotten to the place where I am now.
(Which isn’t that far, compared to other people, but that’s the other thing.
You can’t compare your journeys to one another because each one is unique.)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a mostly sex-repulsed pan-romantic asexual.
It’s difficult, and I say mostly sex-repulsed, because on some days I’m
repulsed and suddenly on others I’m not. It can even change by the hour. It’s
very frustrating at times, but I’ve come to accept that that’s just how I am.

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

I don’t know about prejudice, but I have been asked how I
can write NSFW content if I’m asexual (especially being mostly sex repulsed). I
just explain that the two aren’t really related, and that usually clears it up.

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

The most common misconception I’ve encountered personally is
that all asexuals don’t like sex, which just isn’t true! Even though I
personally don’t always like it, I’ve met others who have a high libido.

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

I would say to definitely surround yourself with people who
are accepting, and have patience with the people who have been in your life if
you’ve only just now come out. To those who aren’t asexual, it can be difficult
to understand. But yeah, keeping away the people who are negative or
unsupportive will definitely help with accepting your orientation. If someone
who’s unsupportive is someone you can’t avoid (i.e. family) then you can always
try limiting your contact with them if at all possible. But seriously, surround
yourself with support and love and kindness. It’ll help more than you’ll ever
know.

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

I mostly post on Tumblr these days, so you can find me here
(https://life-sans-sin.tumblr.com),
but I also post on DeviantArt (https://life-sans-sin.deviantart.com).
I have an archive account here on Tumblr as well, where more of my older stuff is
posted. You can find that here (https://life-sans-sin-archive.tumblr.com).
For Tumblr, my tags are #brit writes and #brit arts.

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

Interview: Kir

Today we;re joined by Kir. Kir is a phenomenal artist who does a little bit of everything. They write, draw, voice act, and design games.They have a voice acting demo reel, a Steven Universe comic dub, and an author-approved full-cast narration of the first chapter of The Order of Odd-Fish. 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 dabble in a lot of creative areas, like writing, drawing,
voice acting, and making games! If it’s an art, I’ll probably try it at least
once.

What inspires you?

Lots of things! Podcasts, cartoons, video games, my friends,
my pets, weird bugs I see on the sidewalk. I conceptualized a whole cartoon
series based on a cluster of garbage cans on the side of the road once.

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

Honestly, probably Pokémon. I’ve been obsessed with that
since I was a kid. It’s what first inspired me to draw, then to write, and it’s
definitely been a big inspiration for making video games.

I’ve wanted to be an artist in some form or another since I
was at least 12 (before that I actually wanted to be an ornithologist and study
birds all day, haha). For the longest time, I wanted to be a novelist, and it’s
only been the last few years that I’ve been really exploring other writing
styles and other fields of 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 don’t really have anything like that at the moment, no!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Explore! Create! Learn about different areas of art,
whatever interests you, and just try your hand at it! If it’s fun, learn more
and continue on! If it isn’t, stop for a while and come back if/when you’re
ready.

Combine different fields of art! My writing’s gotten a lot
better since I started making video games, and my voice acting’s gotten a lot
better since I started doing audio editing!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

It’s kinda hard to figure out! I consider myself bi-aroflux
and asexual, but honestly everything seems to fluctuate quite a bit. Some days
I’m 100% sex-repulsed and aromantic, other days I’m more…graysexual and
biromantic? It’s confusing, but I don’t really mind it.

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

Not much, luckily! After the game my zucchini and I made for
Ace Jam was released, we definitely had some rude comments about asexuality,
and people who say that kinda thing aren’t generally open to discussion of the
topic, so there’s nothing you can really do except ignore them.

And block them. I’m very liberal with my block button.

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

That it doesn’t exist! Too many people think asexuals are
just making it up for…attention, I guess?

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

Take your time and explore your feelings! Learn the
terminology used for different areas of the spectrum and try and figure out
what fits you best. It might take you a while, and you might change labels a
few times, and that’s okay! I identified as aegosexual for a while before figuring
out that my sexuality fluctuates fairly often. There are labels out there that
would probably fit my orientation exactly, but right now I’m comfortable with
just using the ace label. Maybe that’ll change in a few months or years, but
for now it fits, so that’s what works for me!

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

I have several blogs dedicated to different creative areas,
so you can find me in several places!

For my voice acting, audio plays, etc., you can find me at owlyvoices.tumblr.com or on YouTube as
OwlyVoices.

For my games, you can find me at owly-games.tumblr.com or owly-bee.itch.io

For my writing: prucanada on AO3

For my drawing, and for a mix of everything else, you can
find me on my personal blog, owly-bee.tumblr.com

You can even buy some of my drawings and audio dramas on my Etsy, AudioAce, if you’re so
inclined!

I’d love to hear what you think of my art! 😀

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

Interview: Monica Stuffle

Today we’re joined by Monica Stuffle. Monica is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in realistic drawing and portraiture. She has also dabbled in sculpture. While she prefers realistic drawings, Monica also draws in a cartoon style on occasion. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

My art ranges from digital to traditional, and even
occasionally sculptural. I usually draw as realistically as I can, but my
people-pleasers tend to be more simple and cartoonish. My art is almost always
portraiture, and my strongest portraits are in plain old graphite.

What inspires you?

People around me, both on and off the internet. I’m drawn to
aesthetics, so I’ll be inspired my a pretty face, a lovely themed blog, or
another artist’s work.

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

I’ve been an artist for as long as I can remember. I never
really considered my talent and important thing until recently. I’ve been
trying to incorporate my passion into my life more and more, including doing
commissions (open 😉 ) and
posting my work to try and build a career out of it.

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

I wish! Maybe I should come up with one. Like a tiny ace
flag in the corner or something.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Young or new artists should always remember to breathe,
taking a step back and looking at where they are. I know I struggled a lot with
not living up to my own expectations, so I had to learn to sit back and
remember how far I’ve come already in my artistic journey. There will always be
someone better than you, and that’s okay. My advice is to take what you can
from your experiences. Learn from other artists, acknowledge your mistakes and
fix them, and never give in to frustration.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m aromantic asexual as far as I know! Still unsure of my romantic
orientation but very set on the asexuality.

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

Very little. There’ll always be someone who just doesn’t
understand when you come out, but for me they have always grown either
accepting or quietly confused yet still loving. I’m very lucky in that sense.

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

That aroaces have no soul! Honestly, there are different
kinds of love. We aren’t all apathetic!

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

Take your time. There’s no pressure to find a label, soon or
ever. If you feel that you’re asexual or aromantic, that’s your own business
and no one else’s. If you figure that you don’t identify on the ace spectrum
even if you thought you did, no worries! The LGBT+ community is one of self
discovery.

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

I have a Redbubble and an art Tumblr, both at monic-artt. (Again,
commissions are open!! It’s dirt cheap!)

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

Interview: FurvaNoctua

Today we’re joined by FurvaNoctua. FurvaNoctua is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in drawing characters and party members from RPGs and Dungeons and Dragons campaigns. Aside from character art, FurvaNoctua draws things from cartoons and games. They draw both in a cartoon style and a semi-realistic style. It’s clear they’re a passionate and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I really
enjoy drawing my characters and other party members from the DnD and Pathfinder
RPGs I participate in as well as fun scenarios that happen in the sessions. I
have also started to sometimes draw animal mash-ups, I’ve drawn a lot of
stylised owls, occasionally do some small comics and sometimes draw things from
games and cartoons. I enjoy drawing with my girlfriend and draw stuff for her
sometimes.

I do a lot
of traditional drawing as well as digital. I often fluctuate between mostly
drawing traditionally or mostly drawing digitally. I most often draw in a
cartoony – I guess also semi-realistic – style. Sometimes I do some more
realistic stuff.

What inspires you?

Cartoons,
webcomics and video games I like, and just a lot of art I come across.

I often get
motivated to draw by watching Doodle Date from YouTube. It’s a couple who draw
together and it’s just really relaxing and uplifting to watch!

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

I have
always loved drawing and been fascinated with the process of creating animated
movies/cartoons, comics and video games. Since I was a kid I wanted to make
video games, but I thought that couldn’t be a possibility.

I’m not
currently actively pursuing making video games, but I plan on trying in the
near future. Even if I’m just going to make a small game on my own, for myself,
I’m definitely going to do something with video games!

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 made
signature that looks like a small owl with an F and N for wings (to stand for
FurvaNoctua) that I often forget to sign my work with. Otherwise I don’t think
so.

What advice would you give young aspiring
artists?

As someone
with depression and ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder, so ADHD without the
hyperactivity) I have struggled a lot with actually getting around to draw when
starting any task feels impossible and overwhelming, especially a few years
ago. What I found helped was to not beat myself up for not drawing and instead
just soak up any information about art that came my way. Even if I wasn’t
drawing often I could still learn a lot about drawing while being too low on
energy. I watch drawing tutorials on YouTube, read any drawing tutorial I come
across, examine the colours/lines/light of any drawings I like and look at how they
are build. Besides learning a lot, it might also give you
inspiration/motivation/energy to get drawing yourself! But either way you
learnt something and probably had some relaxing time for yourself in the
process.

I felt this
helped my art grow a lot after I got out of (my equivalent of) high school and
got more time and energy to focus on drawing. I had gotten a lot of knowledge
about drawing and now I could really try it out in practice, which was really
nice.

So, focus
on getting to a better place, passively take in any art tips you come across,
do art if you can, but don’t beat yourself up if you can’t. You will have
plenty of time to improve.

Another
thing I have struggled with which is tied to what I have already talked about,
is feeling like I’ve fallen behind and not being where I could have been if I could
have just drawn regularly. What I feel has helped me feel happy with where I’m
at (but still excited about improving of course) is imagining showing a recent
piece to my younger self. Who hasn’t wondered how much their skills will have
grown in a few years? If you could actually answer your younger self and show
where you are now, they would flip out (for many reasons, but let’s focus on
the art)! “Those hands look so good!” “I love this character, they are so cool!!”
“I can’t believe I will get this far!” “I’m so glad to see I’ll get better at
poses.” You might wish that you were further than you, but I’m positive your
younger self would already be very impressed. Knowing my younger me would be
happy with where I am helps me be happier with where I am too.

I focused
on drawing, but I think both things can apply to about all art and I hope it
helps someone.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aroace
and feel zero percent sexual attraction and romantic attraction.

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

Not
specifically in regard to being asexual, but being sex-repulsed certainly creates
some struggles. I’m not very good with nudity, so learning to draw proper
anatomy still feels difficult to me as most common ways to improve is to do
things like croquis. A lot of artists I have asked about good ways to learn
anatomy that isn’t croquis have almost all told me that croquis is really just
the way to go and everyone can be uncomfortable at first, but you quickly get
absorbed by the drawing. They don’t tend to get that I wouldn’t just be
uncomfortable, but most likely will have a panic attack before I get the chance
to draw… I have however gotten some nice resources from a nice fellow ace
artist recently (who doesn’t share this problem, but can understand how it’s
difficult), and I’m excited to look at them further!

I find it
difficult to find good resources on my own. Having something like croquis, but
have the models be in underwear so the anatomy is still very clear, would be
nice, but I don’t quite dare to search for people in underwear on the internet.

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

Probably
that aces don’t have sex or that aces and allos can’t be in any lasting
relationships because the allos would leave at some point because they would
eventually want something the aces can’t give.

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

Take your
time and don’t do anything you don’t want to do. The expectations and pressure
of society might make it feel like you should just go do some stuff you don’t
want to in order to be normal and happy, but that’s not true and it won’t help.
So just listen to yourself and take your time.

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

Anything
that I post goes on my Tumblr: https://furvanoctua.tumblr.com/
My Instagram, where I post anything that isn’t digital art: furvanoctua
My Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/furvanoctua.

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

Interview: Allyssa

Today we’re joined by Allyssa. Allyssa is a wonderful author and visual artist. For writing, she specializes in realistic fiction with plenty of LGBT+ characters. In visual art, she does drawing and painting, both in abstract and realistic styles. It’s clear 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 usually write, paint, and draw. My writing is typically
from the point of view of a girl facing deep personal issues or mental health
issues. I would classify my writing as realistic fiction. I write characters that
are LGBTQ+ and are not considered the norm by society. My paintings are usually
either abstract or realistic people. My drawings tend to stay on the side
realistic portraits of women.

What inspires you?

People that inspire are Dodie Clark and Luna Lovegood. I
love how they are unabashedly different and true to themselves. Dodie’s music
is so full of heart and soul and emotion that I can’t help but feel inspired
from it. The state of the world also inspires my writing and themes for my
paintings. My art typically has undertones and themes of despair and how messed
up the word is. On the other side of things, the beauty and complexity of
humanity and nature never ceases to amaze me. My own issues with mental health
and my poetic sort of view of the world helps me with using my words, choosing
colors and shapes, and writing the darker parts of stories. My personal
experiences with mental health gives me the ability to portray mental health in
a more realistic way.

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

I first got into writing when I read the book Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare.
It was written so beautifully and held so much emotion and creativity that I
wanted to make something as wonderful. Family members, my older sister and my
aunt, also influenced me with their art. I think I have always wanted to be an
artist, especially when I look back and see how I was more content making
something as a child rather than letting it disappear once playtime was over.

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?

Something that I always include in my writing is a character
that is LGBTQ+, neurodivergent, or defies gender roles. My paintings and
drawings are also almost always a portrait of a young adult woman that has some
kind of physical flaw.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Though I am a young aspiring writer myself, my advice to
others like me is to write what you love to write and to write something with
feeling. Write what you feel passionate about and that you feel could make an
impact on someone, even if it’s just one person, and if that one person is
yourself.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as noviromantic asexual. I have never had a crush
on anyone and did not want to have sex with anyone now or in the future. My
romantic orientation is complicated and a mixture of many different romantic
orientations. Some of the basics are hetero and demi romantic. Most parts of my
romantic orientation seem contradicting to each other and is hard to describe,
so I use novi. Majority of my romantic orientation is part of the aromantic
spectrum.

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

I haven’t encountered any prejudice, but that’s mostly
because I haven’t told anyone besides my two closest and open-minded friends. I
don’t hide the way I feel. When the topic of sexual orientation comes up and
anyone asks me, I just say that I’m not attracted to anyone in that way. No one
has had an issue with that so far, though I have only used the word asexual to
describe myself to the two friends.

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

The most common misconception I’ve seen is that it is cut
and clean, that you either don’t feel any sexual or romantic attraction or you
do. This is something that my struggles with accepting the labeling I use fed
on.

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

I advise anyone who is struggling with their asexuality to
not be afraid of the terms and slang used. You can identify however you feel
suits you. Once I found a community and people that didn’t criticize my
orientation, I felt so much happier and comfortable with myself. Know that you
don’t have to use terms you don’t feel comfortable using to please the people
around you. Your orientation is for you, not other people. Orientation is
fluid, and it’s not your obligation to make other people feel comfortable with
who you are.

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

You can find me on Tumblr. I have two separate accounts. I
post my writing and artwork on this account. My other account is mostly quotes, art,
fandom, and other things I enjoy and inspire me. You can find that account here.

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

Interview: Ashley

Today we’re joined by Ashley. Ashley is a wonderful visual artist and writer who enjoys drawing mostly original characters from her books. When she’s not drawing, Ashley loves to write thrillers and fantasy. It’s clear she’s a very passionate artist who loves what she does, 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 love to draw and write. I love drawing people, primarily my
book characters. I write many different genres, but the biggest ones are
fantasy and thriller.

What inspires you?

My passion for writing inspires me the most. I want to make
a difference with my work by including many types of characters. My goal is for
my readers to be able to find themselves in my work, or see their specific
traits represented. This goal is what inspires me to keep writing and to keep
putting faces to my characters.

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

When I was younger, being an artist had never occurred to
me. Later, however, I began to love to read, and I soon realized how many
different types of people can be represented through fiction. As for drawing,
my love for animation is what sparked that interest. So, I guess you could say
I became interested because of books and cartoons.

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?

The closest thing to a symbol I can think of would be in my
writing: I always try to include a little piece of myself into any one of my
characters. It can be anything from a personality trait, a sexuality or gender
identity, or even traits I wish I had.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

My advice for aspiring artists is to always keep going. Keep
pushing forward and doing what you love. It also takes time to improve, but as
long as you keep going, you’ll see yourself getting better and better. Believe
in yourself.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m demiromantic asexual, but I might be biromantic as well.
Not entirely sure on that front.

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

I haven’t, mainly because I’m not out to anyone besides my
close friends and a few family members.

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

That just because we experience no sexual attraction, it
means we are never willing to do anything sexual.

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

It may take time to get used to your identity, and that’s
totally okay. Also, never let anyone tell you your sexuality isn’t real; you
are valid.

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

I have a Wattpad where I post my books, however I’m mostly
drafting right now. My username is PandoraOfficial.

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

Interview: Melissa Wilkinson

Today we’re joined by Melissa Wilkinson, who also goes by Art by Little Miss Luna. Melissa is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. She frequently draws cutesy characters. For the most part, she has been drawing anime stuff for artist alleys but has recently branched out and done some drawings of plants. It’s clear she’s a talented and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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