Category: fanart

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: Luke

Today we’re joined by Luke. Luke is a phenomenal fanartist who I met at Indy PopCon. A few days later, he sent me an email and I was impressed with wonderfully passionate artist. He’s a cosplayer but he also enjoys writing quite a bit, mostly fanfiction. Luke is an incredibly dedicated, passionate, and excited 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.

I don’t think of myself much as a writer, but I do write
fanfiction (mostly Star Wars) and a
lot of backstories for original characters of mine. So, I don’t really consider
it “original” writing of my own, but it’s still a fun pastime for me to have.
My two main works that I have are (not so surprisingly) Star Wars fanfics on both AO3 and Wattpad because seriously, have
you seen the Wattpad app? It’s so nicely organized and easy to use. I also am a
cosplayer, but I don’t consider myself to be that good of one. I used to
cosplay Hetalia mainly, but I slowly drifted away from anime and found more fun
in cosplaying Star Wars and emo
stuff. (cough, cough MCR cough, cough)

What inspires you?

One of the main things that inspires me to write and cosplay
are my friends. I have so many friends who are amazing at writing and
cosplaying, I always look up to them and think “dang I wanna be like that
someday”. Other things that inspire me are the cool people I find through the
internet and social media, like Tumblr and Instagram. I’ve found some awesome
writers and cosplayers online and, although I’ll never have the confidence to
actually talk to them, I always look at them and get all teary eyed like “I
love you, let me be like you,” you know?

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

When I was younger, I loved to read. Like, I had an entire
shelf of books in my room and when I was bored, I would just pick out a book
that I’ve read 30 something times before and read it again. I wasn’t into any
specific genre, but I always steered away from romance and sci-fi. Which is
ironic because that’s basically all I write about now. But after entering high
school, I found myself hating reading. I’m not entirely sure why, but it
probably had something to do with the fact that I was forced to read books I
hated/didn’t want to read. But now, as of finally graduating, I’m trying to get
back into reading. And not just fanfiction, I mean actual books. When I was
younger, I wanted to be an author. As I’m going through old stuff that I wrote
when I was younger (and cringing, I might add) I would think back to how much I
loved to read and write. And now that I’m getting back into it, it’s making me
much happier. It’s like a coping mechanism for me. And as for the cosplaying, I
honestly have no idea when or how that started. It just kind of happened.  I have the memory capacity of a two minute
old goose, that’s probably why I don’t remember.

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 specific feature in my writing, other
than the fact that’s it mostly consists of dialogue and really strange
references to inside jokes I have with my friends. (It’s a whole fiesta) But I
do sometimes write fanfics based on really emo songs that I listen to. As for
cosplaying, I usually just carry around something funny with me at conventions
so people will get a laugh out of it. Like with my General Hux cosplay, I have
a stuffed orange tabby cat that I like to hold for pictures. Her name is Millicent.
I love her.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I may not have great advice for cosplaying because I’m still
an amateur myself, but for my fellow fanfiction writers, I’d say just keep
writing, Cliché, yes I know, but it’s true. Out of all the ways to improve your
writing, practice is the one of best answers. Look at other people’s writing
styles and see what you like about them, and try to incorporate some of their
style into your writing. But don’t copy them completely, trust me I’ve done
stuff like that before and it’s a bad idea lemme tell you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic. I don’t like the
sexytimes, but I will, in fact, hold a person’s hand if I like them. I like
guys more than girls, but that’s probably because I’ve only had a crush on two
people in my entire life, one a boy and the other a girl, and I got to kiss the
dude and oh goodness, I could go on for hours about this guy.

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

I haven’t really had to deal with any sort of hate from
people about my asexuality. At least, not yet.
But it’d be nice to keep it that way, ya know?

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

The only misconception I’ve really gotten was that asexual
people don’t like sex. Which is true for me, yes, but I do know some asexuals
who enjoy sex. I’ve had to explain to my sister a few times that me being ace
means that I don’t look at somebody and say “damn, I wanna bang that”, and that
I, instead, think “damn, I don’t feel sexually attracted to that”

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

Man, I’d just say keep searching around on the internet
(trusted places of course) and ask any friends who are LGBT+ and might know a
thing or two about asexuality. Or a person who is actually asexual, if they’re
around at all. It’s hard to go through those kinds of things alone, so try to
find someone who understands what you’re going through and is willing to help.

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

I have like two whole places that I post my work, which are,
like I said before, AO3 and Wattpad. My AO3 is https://archiveofourown.org/users/sirbuttsalot
and my Wattpad is https://www.wattpad.com/user/sir-butts-a-lot
I also use Deviantart sometimes, which is https://sir-butts-a-lot.deviantart.com/.

Thank you, Luke, 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: Elin

Today we’re joined by Elin. Elin is a phenomenal writer from Sweden who currently specializes in fanfiction. She hopes to publish original work in the future. Aside from writing, Elin went to drama school and acted for a time, but found that writing is where her heart is at. It’s clear she’s a passionate 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 express my art form through writing. While I mainly focus
on fanfiction, I’m also currently writing three longer original works, which I
hope will be published one day, if I’m very lucky. In the past I have also had
a major interest in theatre and acting, and actually went to various acting
schools for some fifteen years, starting when I was five, but I’ve recently
moved on from that to pursue a different education.

What inspires you?

With fanfiction it’s not that hard to guess: the works I’m
basing my creations on inspires me. I love to explore worlds and characters we,
the fans, only get to know a limited amount about, and I love to expand on the
already known universe. It’s a way of getting to know the characters I love
better, and a way to express this love for them.

For my original writing, a number of things inspire me. When
you grow up in Sweden you learn about the Nordic gods in elementary school. The
memory of these lessons have stuck with me, and inspired me to write about the
legacy of said gods in a modern time (hopefully not ripping of Neil Gaiman too
much, but I don’t think that will be a problem, seeing as how I’ve never read
or seen American Gods ).

All in all, my inspiration comes from things I see and hear;
things that give me ideas. It can be anything at all, really. Just anything
that makes a thought pop up in my head, like: Huh, I can build
something from this
.

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

When I was little I loved to read. I read so much I knew all
the people working at the local library by name, and they knew me. The writing
didn’t start to become a thing until I discovered fanfiction at the age of fourteen.
That’s when I thought that maybe I could write something like that as well, and
that’s when my background with reading came in handy. I used the memory of the
books I’d read to see how a story was supposed to
be, but it did take me awhile to get there myself, and it wasn’t until senior
year of High School when I felt comfortable enough to write original pieces,
and create my own universes.

As for the acting classes and drama school, my mother signed
me up for the classes so I’d have an activity after school. She had a high
maintenance three year old at home and wanted the five year old out of the
house for a few hours a week. Frankly I don’t blame her, my sister is a lot of
work. I would have done the same. Anyway, I thought it was really fun to be on
stage with people my own age, so I stuck with it. We were playing around more
than actually acting, but it was really fun. It wasn’t until I was about
thirteen when I realized that there are people who act for a living, and that I
could be one of them. It sounded like a dream. As I said, I stuck to it for
fifteen years, starring in several small stage productions, until I went to
college. I’m kind of sad that I don’t act anymore, but I know that I can always
go back to it should I want to in the future.

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

Not really. I guess there are some things in my writing that
you could consider a pattern; certain things that I write in all my works,
particular phrases and words and such. I notice when I write that I sometimes
use a wording or a phrase one too many times. I probably use these phrases and
wordings in most of my works. Someone who reads them all could probably see the
pattern.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Take every step in your own time. Don’t rush yourself, or
let anyone else rush you. As in, don’t let the influence of anyone else affect
your creative process. You know what’s best for you. You know what you need to
do to move forward with your work. Just you, no one else. It doesn’t matter how
long it takes, or how much life gets in the way. Do things at a pace you’re
comfortable with. It’s never too late to start over, or even to start. Take a
deep breath. There’s no rush. You’ve got time. There’s no expiration date on
art.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m definitely asexual and sex-repulsed- or at least when it
comes to my own involvement. I can read about it, or even see it sometimes, but
that thought of participating makes me shiver and feel a bit sick. It’s not
just sex that I don’t feel comfortable with, but also the acts leading up to
it, i.e. kissing and physical intimacy. As for the romantic part, I’m not sure.
I’ll call myself aromantic for now, but that might change, who knows.

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

The first thing that comes to mind is one time when I was in
a play and I was supposed to kiss a guy on stage. This was before I identified
as ace, and was just incredibly uncomfortable with the thought of kissing
someone I didn’t like romantically in general. I told the director that I didn’t
want to do it. That I couldnt do it.
She said “Yes, you can” in an encouraging voice, like it would help if she
believed in me. I almost cried right there, the thought scared me so much, but
she still didn’t listen to me. Luckily the script changed and I didn’t have to
go through with it, but that is the most clear memory I have of my orientation
coming into play, and being ignored, in my creative outlet.

Not so much in my field when it comes to writing. At least
not yet. I suppose it might in the future. In my original works I hardly ever
write romantic plots, and when I do they are very much in the background.
Perhaps, if I get published one day, my popularity increases, I might have to
take some complaints about not writing romance, but the fact of the matter is I
don’t know how to write romance, or sex,
or anything like that. I just don’t think it’s important, so I don’t. If you do
see me writing romance, it’s because I’m experimenting and hoping for the best.

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

That we don’t exist. I’ve heard this from people who’ve I’ve
just met, people I’ve talked to on social media, and a person I was in a
relationship with. They doubted that there was such a thing as asexuality or,
if they did believe it existed, they didn’t think it applied to me (because I
kissed him, and that meant he thought I would want to have sex with him. Don’t
worry, he didn’t force me, but I still feel like I dodged a bullet there).

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

You don’t owe anything to anyone. You don’t owe anyone to
have sex with them, or to do anything else physically or relationship-wise, if
you don’t want to. You don’t owe anyone an explanation as to why that is. You
don’t owe it to anyone to come out if you don’t want to. I’m out to all my
friends. Anyone who knows me knows I’m a proud Ace. However, I’m not out to my
family. I don’t know why, it just never seems like the right time to talk about
it, and I don’t feel the need to do so.

My advice is the same as I gave about your art: don’t rush
it. Take your time, and think about things. What are you comfortable with? Do
you want to tell anyone? It might help if you talk to someone, but it’s up to
you. Express yourself in whatever way you’re comfortable with. Your sexuality,
like your art, isn’t going anywhere. You’re allowed to take some time and
figure things out, whatever those things may be.

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

My acting was only on small stages, so that’s a bust.
However, you can find my fanfiction on Archive of Our Own. My name there is KingsNeverDie100.
Frankly, I think it’s a pretty unsatisfactory name, but I’ve had it on most of
my accounts since I was about fifteen, and I can’t be bothered to change it 😛

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

Interview: Iranka

Today we’re joined by Iranka. Iranka is a phenomenal artist who does a bit of everything. While art is mainly a hobby, Iranka has a variety of talents that she enjoys using for her creative pursuits. She does a lot of visual art, mostly drawing and painting. She depicts a variety of subjects, both fanworks and original ones. When she’s not doing visual art, Iranka enjoys playing music or writing. 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.

I do a little of a lot of things. Mainly, I paint and draw
fanart, original characters, or real life people or things such as flowers and
scenery. I’m also a pianist and flautist, and I also like to write –
particularly short stories or just creating characters/worlds.

What inspires you?

It could be anything really, often a film I have seen, other
artists, or nature.

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

I can’t remember how I got interested in drawing actually, I
just know I’ve been drawing for fun since I can remember. As for music, I got
jealous when my sister was learning piano so I wanted to learn too. I haven’t
always wanted to be an artist, and I still am not quite sure what I want to do,
but I really enjoy doing it. I also really love the idea that something I
create could touch someone or make something happy, so that’s what I aspire to
do. I think that realisation hit me while watching some Studio Ghibli movies,
because they’re so beautiful and explore such amazing and important themes. So
yeah, although art has mostly just been a hobby to me, if I could do anything
it would be that.

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?

No, I don’t have one.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Keep trying! The more you do it, the better you will get, so
don’t give up! It’s okay if you get a block sometimes and can’t seem to create
anything; it will pass. Some of your art will be bad too, and that’s okay too,
because no one has to see the bad stuff, you just learn and improve from it. No
one is perfect on their first try.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am definitely asexual but I’m still not 100% certain. At
the moment I’d say I am pan/demi romantic asexual.

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

Personally I haven’t experienced any prejudice. I’ve had the
odd few people not believe me, or tell me I “just haven’t found the right guy
yet". One person said they thought I can’t be asexual because I “dress
like a girl.“ Yet to understand how that relates to my sexuality but yeah

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

That we are all prudes, all hate sex, that we just haven’t
found “the one”, or that asexuality means you just don’t want sex. Oh, and
that asexuals are just “special snowflakes on Tumblr" or something.

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

It’s okay. There are lots of people either online or in real
life who could help you figure out your orientation or come to terms with it. I
found out I was asexual only after researching stuff online and finding other
asexual people’s stories that I could relate to a lot. Forums like AVEN can be
helpful. Also, know that you don’t HAVE to come out if you think doing so would
hurt you, like if you know your parents are against the LGBT+ community for
example.

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

I am at iranka on
Tumblr, and at iranka.art
on Instagram 🙂

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

Interview: Keam

asexualartists:

Today we’re joined by Keam. Keam is a wonderful fanartist who is currently most active in the Doctor Who fandom. They write fanfictions, mostly one-shots, and also some long-running projects. When they’re not writing, Keam does a lot of visual art, including recolouring and photo edits. 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.

Well,
I write fanfiction and occasionally draw fanart, as well as making a wide
variety of picture edits, icons and recolouring black and white photos. I’m
mainly in the Doctor Who fandom at
the moment, but have been around in several other book and TV series fandoms
before. Most of my fanfics are one shots, but I also got a couple of long
running projects. My drawings are always hand drawn and coloured in with
ink/crayons/coloured markers or regular pencil.

What inspires you?

My
never ending mind. Due to having ADHD, I got a mind that never slows down. When
I get into it, I can be thinking about a show or book 24/7. It also means that
there’s always new ideas appearing, encouraging me to draw something new or
write a new story. It never ends, and I don’t want it to.

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

I
suppose I partly have it from my family. My mum is a self-published author
who’s currently written 5 books, and both my grandmothers are talented at
painting and drawing. I’ve never really intended to be an artist in any
professional manner, but as I’ve matured as a fanfic author the idea of writing
an original book seem more and more appealing.

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 particularly have any special thing that represents my writing
like that. I am told I have a bit of a unique pattern in my writing, which I
think comes from not being native to the language and there for using a
vocabulary and word combinations you wouldn’t see used by a native writer.

Otherwise,
I always try to include a tall, blond haired person in my fanfics. That’s me by
the way. The author standing there and enjoying her own work. Just a little
symbol of my emotional investment in my own writing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t
give up. It sounds so cheesy, but is there something I’ve learned it is that
it’s absolutely true. I’m not native to English, you see, and when I wrote my
first fanfic I still did not know how to string two words together. I was 13
and had five years of theoretically learning behind me.

I
had a dream in my head and with some help from my mother I managed to put it on
paper. It’s still published out there on the internet on fanfic site somewhere.
A horrific, self-indulgent drabble about pastel ponies.  But even if it was bad it taught me the joys
of writing.  Because after that, I kept
writing, one year after another, and now I’m five years down the line from when
I started. Today, I even spend more time writing than sleeping (it’s 10.30 PM
as I write this!). And for all that work, I really think I’ve gotten better,
too. Today I feel proud of myself. I read my fanfics and enjoy them and I get
good reviews.

Just
recently a work I’d done in collaboration with another friend actually got a
comment from the actress behind one of the characters we were writing about.
She loved it. Another of my fanfics  got
published in a fan letter/ezine for an American Fanclub in my fandom back in
February. I got a free PDF copy of the ezine as a thank you, and on the first
page was a content section with the title of my name proudly displayed.

All
this is a far cry from the pastel Pony drabble I wrote at age 13. And the
reasons I’m here, the reason I’m 18 and growing more and more professional,
getting more and more attention from people that you want attention from, is
because I kept going. Because I kept going, and I didn’t give up. Giving up is
the worst disadvantage you can give yourself, so please don’t!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m
a Bi/Quoiromantic Asexual who is partially sex repulsed.

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

Well,
as a part of the Doctor Who fandom,
Asexuality is always a hot topic. The show has 36 seasons, and during the
majority of the 26 first seasons the main character appears as though they are
asexual. A lot of people try to bypass this by referring to the character not
acting in such a way in the ten newest seasons after they rebooted the show.
There are a lot of fights over the fact that newer fans gladly write smut and
ship the character as of old with characters from the newer episodes,
completely ignoring the implied asexuality of the character back then, which is
hurtful. Mostly, I just ignore this and instead look up content creators that
treat the character fairly and knows to be aware of the characters implied
asexuality.

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

That
we’re incapable of having loving relationships, and that if you’re asexual it
means aromantic as well. Naturally, aro aces exist – I’m an aspec ace myself –
but it feels very ignorant and prejudiced to assume such things.

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

Relax.
Take it easy. It is fine to be uncertain. The Ace community is very open and
inclusive, and we’re ready to welcome everyone – even if you’re still
questioning or not quite comfortable yet. We’ll give you some friendly cuddles
and advice and it’ll be alright.

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

I
have several social media accounts!

My
Tumblr is at Gemvictorfromtheponyverse
My AO3 & Ff.net
is Pearlislove
My Instagram is at aesteticfandomdreams.

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

Interview: Keam

Today we’re joined by Keam. Keam is a wonderful fanartist who is currently most active in the Doctor Who fandom. They write fanfictions, mostly one-shots, and also some long-running projects. When they’re not writing, Keam does a lot of visual art, including recolouring and photo edits. 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.

Well,
I write fanfiction and occasionally draw fanart, as well as making a wide
variety of picture edits, icons and recolouring black and white photos. I’m
mainly in the Doctor Who fandom at
the moment, but have been around in several other book and TV series fandoms
before. Most of my fanfics are one shots, but I also got a couple of long
running projects. My drawings are always hand drawn and coloured in with
ink/crayons/coloured markers or regular pencil.

What inspires you?

My
never ending mind. Due to having ADHD, I got a mind that never slows down. When
I get into it, I can be thinking about a show or book 24/7. It also means that
there’s always new ideas appearing, encouraging me to draw something new or
write a new story. It never ends, and I don’t want it to.

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

I
suppose I partly have it from my family. My mum is a self-published author
who’s currently written 5 books, and both my grandmothers are talented at
painting and drawing. I’ve never really intended to be an artist in any
professional manner, but as I’ve matured as a fanfic author the idea of writing
an original book seem more and more appealing.

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 particularly have any special thing that represents my writing
like that. I am told I have a bit of a unique pattern in my writing, which I
think comes from not being native to the language and there for using a
vocabulary and word combinations you wouldn’t see used by a native writer.

Otherwise,
I always try to include a tall, blond haired person in my fanfics. That’s me by
the way. The author standing there and enjoying her own work. Just a little
symbol of my emotional investment in my own writing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t
give up. It sounds so cheesy, but is there something I’ve learned it is that
it’s absolutely true. I’m not native to English, you see, and when I wrote my
first fanfic I still did not know how to string two words together. I was 13
and had five years of theoretically learning behind me.

I
had a dream in my head and with some help from my mother I managed to put it on
paper. It’s still published out there on the internet on fanfic site somewhere.
A horrific, self-indulgent drabble about pastel ponies.  But even if it was bad it taught me the joys
of writing.  Because after that, I kept
writing, one year after another, and now I’m five years down the line from when
I started. Today, I even spend more time writing than sleeping (it’s 10.30 PM
as I write this!). And for all that work, I really think I’ve gotten better,
too. Today I feel proud of myself. I read my fanfics and enjoy them and I get
good reviews.

Just
recently a work I’d done in collaboration with another friend actually got a
comment from the actress behind one of the characters we were writing about.
She loved it. Another of my fanfics  got
published in a fan letter/ezine for an American Fanclub in my fandom back in
February. I got a free PDF copy of the ezine as a thank you, and on the first
page was a content section with the title of my name proudly displayed.

All
this is a far cry from the pastel Pony drabble I wrote at age 13. And the
reasons I’m here, the reason I’m 18 and growing more and more professional,
getting more and more attention from people that you want attention from, is
because I kept going. Because I kept going, and I didn’t give up. Giving up is
the worst disadvantage you can give yourself, so please don’t!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m
a Bi/Quoiromantic Asexual who is partially sex repulsed.

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

Well,
as a part of the Doctor Who fandom,
Asexuality is always a hot topic. The show has 36 seasons, and during the
majority of the 26 first seasons the main character appears as though they are
asexual. A lot of people try to bypass this by referring to the character not
acting in such a way in the ten newest seasons after they rebooted the show.
There are a lot of fights over the fact that newer fans gladly write smut and
ship the character as of old with characters from the newer episodes,
completely ignoring the implied asexuality of the character back then, which is
hurtful. Mostly, I just ignore this and instead look up content creators that
treat the character fairly and knows to be aware of the characters implied
asexuality.

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

That
we’re incapable of having loving relationships, and that if you’re asexual it
means aromantic as well. Naturally, aro aces exist – I’m an aspec ace myself –
but it feels very ignorant and prejudiced to assume such things.

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

Relax.
Take it easy. It is fine to be uncertain. The Ace community is very open and
inclusive, and we’re ready to welcome everyone – even if you’re still
questioning or not quite comfortable yet. We’ll give you some friendly cuddles
and advice and it’ll be alright.

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

I
have several social media accounts!

My
Tumblr is at Gemvictorfromtheponyverse
My AO3 & Ff.net
is Pearlislove
My Instagram is at aesteticfandomdreams.

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

Interview: Marie-Pier

Today we’re joined by Marie-Pier. Marie-Pier is a phenomenal seamstress who uses her incredible skills for fashion design and cosplay. A dedicated cosplayer, Marie-Pier has cosplayed as various characters from different fandoms. Aside from her costumes, she also makes the accessories that go with her cosplays. Marie-Pier has also designed regular everyday outfits as well. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Hello! I am Marie-Pier and I am an artist in the broad sense
of the term. From drawing, to writing and even programming (it’s an art,
believe me!), I enjoy many
aspects of art, but my favorite outlet at the moment is sewing and cosplaying.
For me, the main appeal of this activity is the fact that it’s so versatile and
it encompasses most of my other passions. I draw my own concepts, I make my own
patterns and I often have to handmake accessories, which allows me to build up
so many skills. I haven’t made a ton of outfits and costumes thus far, but
that’s because a lot of care is put into everything I make, which ends up being
quite time consuming. Among the characters I’ve cosplayed, one can count Queen
Elsa, The Evil Queen (Regina Mills from Once
Upon a Time
, Emma Swan (“Dark Swan”, also from Once Upon a Time) and a few other simpler cosplays like Wednesday
Addams.

When I make “regular” outfits, I often go for little black
dresses, although my most recent creation is an autumn/spring wool coat.

What inspires you?

I’m mostly inspired by the gothic aesthetic, as well as
fabrics. I love things that look graceful and elegant, but I also have a soft
spot for more structured/tougher looking outfits.

As far as cosplay characters go, I am mostly drawn to evil
or dark characters, because more often than not, they’re the ones with the best
outfits! It’s also always fun
to portray villains or anti-heroes because they’re usually really confident and
completely unashamed to be themselves.

One of my
idols in the designing world is Eduardo Castro, the costume designer for Once
Upon a Time, hence why most of my cosplays are from that TV show. Let’s just
say that I am easily won over by impressive gowns and really captivated
by anything that sparkles.

When I make actual clothes, I usually go for things that I
am unable to find in stores. I don’t really care about what’s trendy; I simply
make what I want to own and what I know would look nice on me.

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

I’ve always loved arts and crafts, as well as dressing up. Both
my grandmothers used to make clothes and costumes for me. I would draw what I
wanted to have and give them the drawings so that they could make it.

In high school, I decided it was about time I learned to sew
on my own. As a longtime fan of Halloween, I started making my own costumes and
I attempted to outdo myself every year. By the time I finished High School, I
learned about conventions and cosplaying and began to consider it.

A year later, in 2014, I joined a fashion design club and
took that opportunity to make my first wearable garments and my first real
cosplay (Queen Elsa from Frozen).
What I grew to love the most about cosplaying is the amount of skills I got to
learn from it. Each costume of mine came with different challenges that allowed
me to learn things I wouldn’t have otherwise. (E.g. woodworking, making 18th
undergarments, sourcing screen-accurate materials…)

However, despite my love of sewing and costume making, I would
not want to make a career out of it, because it is my own way of clearing my
mind and relaxing. I never really try to force myself to work on a project; I
just let out my creative energy whenever I feel like 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?

There is a little something special I try to include in all
my cosplays and it’s a bit of an inside joke. It began when I made sequins out
of plastic soda bottles to cover the entire surface of my Queen Elsa bodice. Ever
since I discovered how versatile a material plastic bottles could be, I’ve
incorporated at least one element made from them in all my costumes. Thus far
I’ve used them to make sequins, a hair comb, detailing on a dagger’s handle,
and a necklace.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

There are three things I would tell young aspiring artists.
Firstly, practice makes perfect. The more you practice your skills, the better
you’ll get. Don’t be scared to tackle huge challenging projects, they are the
ones that provide the most learning experience. Also, don’t be scared to ask
for help when you need it.

Secondly, don’t feel bad if you start preferring another art
form over what you currently are into. Do what makes you the happiest and build
as many new skills as you like.

Lastly, follow your own quality standards no matter what
others say. If someone tries to tell you that you can’t possibly do something
of a certain quality, don’t listen to them. Trust in your abilities and in your
will to learn and perfect your craft.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual greyromantic/aroflux.

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

Since my favorite character to cosplay (the Evil Queen) is
known for being quite sexy and alluring, some people think that I dress like
her to attract the male gaze and seek attention. Some even said that if I
really was asexual, I wouldn’t choose to dress like that. I had thought about
that sort of thing before making my costume and it almost stopped me from
making it because I was afraid of conveying the wrong message, but ultimately,
I decided to not care. I cosplay the Evil Queen/Regina because I love her as a
character and because her outfits are beautiful and intricate works of art. I
chose to not let people spoil that for me.

Orientation has nothing to do with the way we dress and
asexuals have the right to be confident, comfortable in their own bodies and
wear whatever they like.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality that I’ve
encountered is that asexuals simply haven’t met “the one” and that they’ll
change their minds one day. There are a lot of people who think we need to be
“fixed or cured” and that does get very tiresome in the long run. Also, some
people think that we can’t be in a relationship if we’re asexual, which is not
exactly true.

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

This is not really an advice, per say, but I think that those
people need to hear that they are not broken, no matter what society tells
them. Today’s world is so overly sexual, but we must not let that discourage
us. Even if we’re a minority, we’re out there, we’re valid and we shouldn’t let
other people tell us otherwise. If you think that you might be asexual, just
follow your gut feeling and let that guide you. Set your own boundaries and
limits and respect yourself; do what makes you happy.

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

I am on
multiple social media under the name Silyah246.

For sewing
and cosplay progress (and the occasional daily life post), find me on
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/silyah246/
For more professional high quality photos, you can head over to my DeviantArt
page: https://silyah246.deviantart.com/
For more fandom orientated things and the occasional makeup tests, my Tumblr is
the place to go: http://www.silyah246.tumblr.com/

I am also
on Twitter (https://twitter.com/silyah246) and YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/user/Silyah246), but I use those less frequently
than the others.

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

Interview: Wren

Today we’re joined by Wren. Wren is a phenomenal fanartist who specializes in fanfiction and drawing characters. They currently write mostly in the Person of Interest and Lost fandoms, though they have also dabbled in the Saw fandom. 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.

I like to write and draw, but really
I spend most of my time I have writing. A lot of what I do is fanfiction,
mostly for the Person of Interest and
Lost fandoms (and I sorta used to
write for the Saw fandom too). I’m
actually trying to write my own original story with some asexual among other
queer leads, but it’s on hiatus until I can actually find the time to write it.

For drawing I just draw characters
from movies and stuff I’ve seen, usually just in simple poses

What inspires you?

Listening to creepypastas on YouTube

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

I used to want to draw really nice,
but I was pretty bad at it so I took up writing instead.

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

I like never draw faces on my
characters. Not for any deep reason, I just can’t draw faces.

As for writing probably movie and
book references?

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You’re gonna feel embarrassed about
what you’re writing/drawing sometimes, but let’s be real, with 50 Shades of Gray existing you’ve got
nothing to be ashamed of.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do
you identify?

Aromantic-asexual

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

Not so much in the field as just on
Tumblr, I try and just block the people I see but ya know

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

People confusing asexuality for
aromanticism is something I’ve seen a couple times

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

Uh for this I would just say think
about past experiences and how you felt and/or go through like a list of labels
and see which ones you think might fit you

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

On my AO3 at Chains_and_Pasta: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Chains_and_Pasta

Or on message me on my Tumblr at blazingcitrine (seriously, please do, I have so much to say)

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

Interview: S.R. Hunt

Today we’re joined by S.R. Hunt. S.R. is a phenomenal fanartist who creates art for a variety of fandoms. She specializes in hand-drawn sketches and animatics, which I highly recommend visiting her blog to check out because they’re really cool (some examples: Guns and Ships, Farmer Refuted, Coco animatic, Coco animatic 2, It’s Quiet Uptown). Her work is brimming with color and an extraordinary amount of detail. It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented 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 fan artist, mostly. I create hand-drawn sketches,
comics, animatics, and occasionally I dabble in photography and cosplay. I
strive to improve my craft every time I get inspired by a different piece of
medium, often times stepping outside my comfort zone just to get better (I
mean, how can you get better if you don’t step outside your safe, artist
bubble?).

image

What inspires you?

Tons of things! Most recently, I’ve created fan art for
Pixar’s Coco, Hamilton, DuckTales, Darkwing Duck, and the occasional Pokemon drawing. But if I had to
pinpoint a specific inspiration, I’d have to say the animated works of Disney
and Pixar. I grew up with those movies, I was born a hop, skip, and a jump away
from Disneyland, and Finding Nemo was
the first movie I saw in theaters. When I was 15, I sent a letter to Pixar,
telling them that I wanted to work there when I grew up, and they actually
replied back! They sent me a letter telling me to become an intern when I
reached college, and they included an autographed photo of Finding Nemo signed by the film’s director, Andrew Stanton, and the
film’s producer, John Lasseter! I carried that letter with me every day for the
rest of my high school career as a reminder of what I want to do with my life;
create something that moves people. So, I draw, I create storyboards and
comics, and I try to improve so that one day I can walk into that building and
create something that’ll inspire and move millions of people.

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

I started drawing in elementary school. Just simple comics
drawn on notebook paper starring Pokemon and Neopets. I was never much of a
writer (I’m still not), but it gave me something to do when no one wanted to
talk to me. My doodling habit continued all throughout  junior high and high school, and even though
I wasn’t as good as the other young artists in my class, I just kept chugging
along. When I decided I wanted to join the animation field, I didn’t really
have a specific job in mind. I wanted to animate, but I lack the nifty wacom
tablets and photoshop tools that every other animator on YouTube has. I’m also
not very detailed when it comes to my drawings (I’ve described my drawing style
as “glorified stick figures”). That’s when it hit me; storyboarding, the
blueprint for animation. So, with a pencil and sketchbook in hand, I began
making animatics. I began by making animatics set to songs from Hamilton, then silly little gags with
the cast of Coco. They aren’t as
polished as other animatics, but they get the job done.

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

Oh…that’s a toughie…I’ve never really thought
about it…I guess it’s that my drawings are very round. There aren’t many sharp
edges. Even my signature is very round.

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What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Draw what you want. Don’t let people tell you what
to draw. If they request something you don’t feel comfortable with, it’s your
right as an artist to say “no”. Don’t worry about the number of likes,
comments, notes, reblogs or whatever. If people like what you do and it gets
popular, great! Just don’t let that be the driving force for your art. When I
create, the thought of “will this be popular?” or “gotta keep the fans happy!”
never crosses my mind. I make it for me, and I make what I want to see. And finally,
work with what you got. I wanted to create animatics, but instead of sighing
and saying “I don’t have the technology to do such a thing…” I worked with what
I had. And what I had was a pencil, a sketchbook, an iPhone with a free movie
editor app, and an idea in my brain. Don’t let your financial situation hold
you back.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m not sure what the technical terms are (my apologies),
but I’m interested in having a partner with no sexual interaction. Kissing is
fine, but no…ya know. I’ve never had a boyfriend or girlfriend in order to
learn my boundaries, so that’s where I stand at the moment.

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

I haven’t, actually, because it never really comes up. I can
only think of one moment where I brought up that I was asexual to a classmate
in high school, and he was very supportive. He said that he never met someone
like me, and that he was interested that such people exist. I’ll show my
support for my LGBTQ friends and fellow artists who are open about their sexual
orientation, but I don’t bring up my asexuality that often.

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

Probably that I’m not interested in a romantic relationship.
Like, I’m not interested in dating or getting married. That’s not really the
case. I would like to date, and I’d like to get married, but only with the
right guy (or gal, ya never know). I’m just not comfortable with…ahem “getting
it on”. There’s sort of a reason behind that, but I’ll spare you the details.

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

Don’t listen to the people who tell you being single sucks
or that being a virgin is dumb. It’s your body, and your life, and it’s okay if
you aren’t interested in a sexual relationship.

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

I have a Tumblr (judgechaos),
a DeviantArt (JudgeChaos), an
Instagram (s.r._hunt), and a
YouTube channel (S.R.
Hunt
). Those are the main places I post my art and animatics, so feel free
to say “hi!”

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