Category: fanart

Today we’re joined by Civvi. Civvi is a phenomenal visual artist who mostly does digital art. She does a lot of fanart, but has also done some original work as well. Her work is bright and colorful, making use of vibrant shades to make the drawings pop. 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 mostly digital art these days, I highly favor drawing
cute girls because, well girls are cute! I draw mostly fanart, as it was what
first inspired me to draw.

What inspires you?

The media I consume! Most of my urges to draw come from
seeing a character in a show and being filled with the desire to create my own
rendition of them. Fanart makes me really happy and I love sharing it with
other people who like the same things that I do.

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

I started drawing casually in middle school, 7th
grade, because I was so enamored with the Warrior Cats book series. I remember
the very first drawing I actually put effort into. I spent the whole school day
carefully sketching out a drawing of a cat, laying on her side with several
kittens around her, I used my thumb to rub the pencil and smooth the texture, I
started scratching through the notebook paper going over the lines too many
times. It’s probably been about 10 years since then, but I can still remember
the almost foreign feeling of pride I felt looking at what I had done. Until
then I had been praised for my intelligence and nothing else. Now I made
something, and creating felt good. I
did art very casually without trying to improve up through high school, and
only got semi-serious about improving my skills about a year or two ago. Since
then I’ve made such great progress I’m really proud of how far I’ve come!

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?

Ah I don’t really think so. Some friends have said that the
noses I draw make it easy to recognize my art? But my style is always changing
and shifting so I don’t settle on one thing for very long at all.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do what makes you happy! For a long time, it made me happy
to draw without thinking critically about what I made and how I could improve,
and that’s totally fine! Then when that stopped making me happy, and I wanted
to improve, I started doing that. If you just want to draw the same
self-indulgent stuff over and over, don’t let anybody tell you that that’s
wrong or that you aren’t “allowed” to just draw for yourself. Whatever makes
you happy is the right thing to do.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromatic.

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

Ah not really, not in real life at least. It’s always very
disheartening to learn that artists I admire and aspire to be like are aphobic,
but that’s just another one for the block list.

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

That I’m not allowed to make dirty jokes! My sibling called
me “a weird asexual” for liking a song with a sexual meaning, and almost
everyone I’m out to has made comments about how weird it is that I make dirty
jokes “despite” being ace. My sexual orientation does not determine the music,
comedy, and media I enjoy! I have the humor of a high school aged boy and I
won’t let anyone take that from me.

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

It’s okay, whatever you’re feeling, it’s okay. You’re not
broken, and you’re not alone. I wish I had heard about asexuality in high
school, it would have saved me so much self hatred. I thought I was so wrong
for not being like everyone else. But I’m not wrong for being me! At first I
thought I wasn’t “allowed” to be asexual because I had a partner, and we would
have sex, and sometimes I would enjoy it. But that doesn’t make me any less
ace! As soon as I learned that, and accepted who I was, I know it sounds cheesy
but it really did feel like a huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. It
feels so good to be me! I hope every questioning aspec person out there reaches
the point where is just feels good to
be themselves.

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

I’m on Tumblr civvi-the-civilian, and civvi-draws-lapidot, and on
Instagram civvithecivilian.
Those are the best places to reach me.

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/civvithecivilian

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

Today we’re joined by Ruby. Ruby is a wonderful young artist I met at a recent convention I was at. She is a fanartist who specializes in redrawing screencaps. Ruby really loves to focus on characters, particularly characters she enjoys. It’s clear she’s a talented artist with an admirable amount of passion, 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 mainly consists of screencap redraws of fictional
characters from video games, TV shows, or movies. I have autism and get very
obsessive over certain characters. I sometimes draw my own ideas but I am not
very imaginative so it is difficult for me to think of an idea.

What inspires you?

Mainly I am inspired by fictional characters that stand out
to me or I can relate to. For example I really like Shadow the Hedgehog because
he’s quiet, prefers to be alone, and had a major struggle in the past like me.
I also like to draw characters that I think have an interesting design.

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

I’m not really sure what got me interested to be honest. I
drew Sonic characters as a kid and I didn’t really start drawing until I was 13
and thought it would be fun to draw my friend’s favorite Mortal Kombat characters for her. Mainly I draw now to relieve
stress but unfortunately do not have a lot of time for it since I started
college.

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?

If I am majorly obsessed with a character, I will put a
heart or something to show that I am obsessed.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

A lot of artists compare themselves to other artists saying,
“I will never be as good as them” and I don’t want people to do that. There
will always be someone better than you. Don’t give up, keep drawing and
practicing. You don’t even have to take expensive classes, there are hundreds
of videos on the Internet of artists sharing their techniques. Do not rush your
artwork, make sure you take your time. I know it’s hard not to rush when you’re
almost done with a drawing but it’ll look better if you spend more time. Try
and take breaks.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Asexual.

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

I have not had any ace prejudice or ace ignorance in my
field.

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

When I first revealed to my family I was ace, my parents
were okay with it. But my aunts/uncles/grandparents/etc. all tell me that I
will change my mind, I am not ready, or have not met the right person. I am an
adult. I have never dated. I do not want to be interested. I love being alone.
Sex disgusts me.

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

Finding your sexuality can take time. Do not let others
control you. I know there is a forum site called AVEN where you can ask questions. Don’t be afraid to
research.

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

Nowhere, really. All I have is Snapchat and Discord and I’m
barely on those because I’m either in college or working.

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

Today we’re joined by Ria, who also goes by rainbowbarfeverywhere. Ria is a phenomenal character animator and digital illustrator. She has worked on a TV show and does animation for a living. On her free time, Ria loves to draw. She does a lot of fanart and enjoys focusing on friendships between characters. It’s clear she loves what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I part time as a character animator in an outsourcing
studio, Toon City Animation. I’ve only been working there for a year and I’ve
worked on the television series Big Hero
6
. Though I’ve been animating for a while now, I haven’t really made any
personal animations though I hope to do some someday.

I mostly draw fanart in my free time. I’m a digital artist
and I mostly use Clip Studio Paint and Adobe Photoshop. I love drawing for
anime and other animated series or films. I’m not as active as the average fanartist
but I love drawing for fan events like fandom weeks or big bangs. Although I
used to be a big shipper and drew my pairings all the time, now I like to focus
on individual characters and friendships.

What inspires you?

When I fall in love with a work, a character, or a
relationship, I want to convey my love for it through art. When I appreciate
something, I want others to appreciate it too and I can do that either by
exchanging ideas or thoughts, or by making fanart of that something. It’s my
little way of giving more love to the series.

I also get inspired by other fanartists. Their skills become
a goal I want to work towards. When I see an artwork that stops me at my feet,
I become driven to also touch someone like that.

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

I’ve been drawing forever. I don’t remember a time when I
didn’t draw. Even as far back as preschool, I already remember when I drew my
favorite cartoons. Art is a part of me and I can’t imagine myself without it.
When I thought about what I wanted to do in life, it seemed like a no-brainer
to be an artist of some kind.

Becoming an animator came later in my life. I, at one point
in my childhood, wanted to be an animator since that was the only field I
thought I could work in as an artist. But I let go of that dream pretty early
on. I had to be practical and while I liked my drawings, I didn’t think they
were exceptional.

The opportunity to learn animation and become an animator
only came late into my university life. I had taken a leave of absence and my
cousin told me about an animation workshop that happened near me. I fell in
love with animation instantly.

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 special cat symbol that I always included
in my drawings when I was young. I used it as a sort of artist signature. I did
realize later on that it would be hard to identify whose signature it was unless
you were already familiar with me. In the end, I just use my artist handle when
I want to sign my work. It makes things easier for my audience.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Love both yourself and your work. It will be hard to get far
and stay far in life if you don’t.

You will never be satisfied if you don’t love your work and
people can feel the emotion you put into your work. Without love, it will be
hard to touch other people’s hearts. You also need to take care of yourself. So
many artists have fallen sick or died because they didn’t care for themselves.
There can be no art if there are no artists. Be kind to yourself.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as aromantic asexual.

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

I don’t share my sexuality to a lot of people. Only a
handful of people in real life know that I’m ace and none of them are people I
know from work.

On the other hand, I’m open about my sexuality online. I
have it in my description and I occasionally talk about it in my posts or
tweets. Still, I only interact with an intimate amount of people online. While
I don’t hide my asexuality, only the people I interact with would know. And I
make sure that the people in my internet circle are accepting.

I’ve never been outright attacked or singled out, but I’ve
seen hate for my sexuality in different parts of the internet. I simply choose
not to engage in them because I feel they won’t listen to me either way.

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

The two most common misconceptions about asexuality is that
it’s only temporary (that it’s a phase or asexual people just haven’t found the
right person yet) and that there’s something wrong with us for us to feel this
way. People think that we’re just misguided and need to be taken to the right
path.

But asexuality is just a part of us. Just because we’re not
attracted to other people that way doesn’t mean that we’re broken. It just
means that we care more about our friendships and families. There’s nothing
missing in our lives just because we don’t have a significant other.

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

No matter what anyone says, you and what you’re feeling are
valid. There’s nothing wrong with you and you’re not broken just because you
don’t feel that kind of attraction for other people. There’s more to life than
romantic love or sex. It can be just as fulfilling with the people you have in
your life.

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

My primary account is at Twitter and you can find me here: https://twitter.com/rainbowbarf_/

I’m also at Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rainbowbarfeverywhere/

You can support me through Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/rainbowbarfeverywhere

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

Today we’re joined by Hannah. Hannah is a phenomenal visual artist whose current focus is on digital art, though they have worked in traditional mediums as well. Hannah does a fair amount of fanart, but they also have a lot of original work as well. It’s clear they’re a passionate artist who loves what they do. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

Currently I’m putting most of my focus into digital art and
graphic design. I tend to sketch everyday nonetheless. I love acrylic painting,
but watercolor definitely happens to be my favorite traditional medium. Most of
my art nowadays is done in Photoshop with a Wacom Intuos tablet. My art is
mostly about people, bodies, and the mind. I’m hoping to branch out and do more
landscapes or animal based drawings, but I haven’t found the inspiration for
it. Aside from fanart of video games, musicals, or shows, I like to draw a lot
about personal struggles. I have a lot of pride themed art on my account as of
this moment. 🙂

What inspires you?

Impressionist and expressionist style paintings have always
been a key focal point in my art growing up. I’ve definitely branched out and
taken aspects from comic books and even animated movies, though. On top of
that, I especially love music. Whenever I’m in a funk, or have art block, music
is generally the best way for me to slip out of it.

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

As a young kid I’ve always just been drawn to painting and
art. I’ve always dreamed of being an artist, but that mentality has kinda
slipped away over the years. I still love art, but I don’t think I could ever
follow it as a full time career. Nonetheless, I am currently studying graphic
design to keep my creative juices flowing.

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?

When I did more traditional art I always tried to hide my
name in paintings. However, this has gotten harder for me with digital art.
I’ll probably start doing it again soon, but as of this moment my main
signature is just my first name in Korean.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

PRACTICE. I feel like everyone says that, but practice is
the best way to improve your art and get better. It can be discouraging seeing
amazing artists around, but you have to work hard to improve yourself. I like
to take aspects of other artists’ work and see how I can mold it into my own.
That’s not to say copy other people, but inspiration from already existing
works can really help you take steps to finding your stride. Secondly, for
anybody who likes drawing books and how to guides, do yourself a favor and
actually read the words. The pictures are pretty and nice to look at, but
reading the meat of the books is really helpful.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I currently identify as demiromantic asexual. For me I
personally use the split attraction model. I don’t experience sexual attraction
to anybody, but I’d be open to dating someone of any gender assuming I have a
decent relationship with them.

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

I’ve met many people who find asexuality stupid or invalid.
Some people have changed their minds upon further research, but others aren’t
as informed or kind. There are certain situations where I do try to lay down
some facts as one would with any other kind of LGBTQ+ style problem, but I have
had to learn when to back off. Some people just won’t bother trying to respect
aces. It sucks, but sometimes not interacting with toxic people is the best way
to go.

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

People tend to be inherently confused about asexuality as a
whole. Often times people think I’m too young to decide, or I just haven’t met
the right person yet. Other people don’t see how you can be asexual and like
someone romantically; they assume the two attractions are tightly connected for
everyone.

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

Sexuality can be fluid for many; at a younger age you might
not have everything quite figured out. BUT DO NOT WORRY! What you’re feeling is
valid and OK no matter what others tell you. If you identify as ace now, but don’t
feel the same later, you’re still valid, and that’s ok! If you discover your
ace and have sex or you feel like something has invalidated you, don’t worry.
If you identify as asexual, you are 100% normal and valid even if you don’t
feel like it. 🙂

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

As of this moment my social media presence is tiny; I don’t
have a huge following. Though if anyone is interested in finding my art I am _conspiracy_of_ravens_
on Instagram.

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

Interview: Mushki

Today we’re joined by Mushki. Mushki is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in comics. She has recently finished a comic specifically about asexuality. She has a running manga-style comic entitled Peripety. Aside from that, she also does mini comics, random illustrations, and fanart. 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 make comics! I got one long manga-style comic called Peripety that I hope will reach about FMA length. And many mini comics and random illustrations/fanart.

What inspires you?

Stories that are about found families, adventure, brotherhood…psychology, compassion, human depravity mixed with human beauty…etc.

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

Reading stories or playing video games with compelling stories – that’s the language I understand, and I guess I just couldn’t help it when I started speaking that language as well. So yeah. I’ve kind of always wanted to do it in some way, though at first I thought I wanted to be a novelist 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?

Ummm… When it comes to stories, I guess, I’m always putting secret symbols in my stuff. Flowers, motifs, animal parts, etc. Things that represent certain things or mean something to a certain culture.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Make LOTS of stuff, make lots of BAD stuff, keep good posture, and have FUN.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Ace / Aro

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

Not so much about my work. But when people want to show me their work, and it has sexual content in it, some berate me and tease me about me being ace. I really just ignore that? And give them a solid critique anyway. I find kindness is the best way to make people feel bad.

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

That I just haven’t found the right person. That I need to try it. Many people who express this have good intentions, but seem unable to understand that not desiring sex or romance is even possible.  

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

Don’t be pressured into things. There’s a difference between getting out of your comfort zone, and doing things you don’t want to. When people tell you to try things, ask yourself if you actually WANT what they’re suggesting. If you don’t, that’s okay. It doesn’t mean your denying an opportunity for growth.  

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

I post my comics on Tapastic, (https://tapas.io/MushkiKizou) and I sell my art on Etsy! (https://www.etsy.com/shop/MushkikizouArt) Still working on a good way to sell my comics online, but you can bet it’ll be on Etsy someday.

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

Today we’re joined by Celine Chin, who also goes by

Rururinchan. Celine is a phenomenal fanartist from Singapore. She loves to draw her favorite characters and write fics as well. Celine also creates YouTube videos. She also does a bit of original work on the side. Her work is beautiful, brimming with emotion and detail. 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 primarily focuses on things that spark emotion in
both myself and others. I am a fan-artist most of the time, and I love just
drawing my favourite characters, putting them into stories in fanfiction, and
making videos to express how much I love the shows/books/movies etc. I also use
art/writing especially to express myself, often during the more stressful times
as it helps me get through those times a little easier.

What inspires you?

Inspiration and I have a weird relationship. I tend to get
random bursts of inspiration at any given time, sometimes for ideas that are
simple enough, and sometimes the ideas are just so ridiculous and wild it’s hard
to figure out what to do with them. I write most of it down as soon as I can
though, and these little lists I keep are what I would go to first if I need an
idea for content. If not, I like to go on YouTube, and pick videos and music to
watch/listen to based on my artistic mood of the day. Music tends to give me
more inspirational vibes though.

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

Art has been a hobby to me for literally all my life. My
parents tell me that I learned to draw in colourful crayons before I could
speak. I remember being a child and drawing whatever made me happy or sad, and
I was always so proud of them even though my art was not of average kid-quality
back then. I was proud of the fact that I created something myself, and it
never went away, only growing more and more over the years.

Drawing was my primary art form as a kid, then when I got to
my teens, I started trying out more creative art forms, like sewing, baking,
singing and dancing, etc. The one that stuck was writing, as book had become a
major part of my life around then too. Again, that pride of being able to
create something with my own hands was no less than a wonderful feeling. Also,
it was the first time I was creating full stories. It was amazing.

I took media and animation studies in polytechnic after
secondary school, and there my love for video work and photography took off.
Now, I could put my art and my stories to good use in video format. It’s
ridiculously tedious half the time, but the satisfaction at literally watching
all your hard work pay off at the end? It’s the best.

So yes, I’ve always wanted to be in artist, but really, I’ve
been one all along haven’t I? Career or not, art is what brings the most joy to
my life, aside from those close to me of course!

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 at the moment. I’m working on my name as an artist, and
would love to create my own signature symbol but I’m a little stumped on that
for now as I’m still figuring out what defining feature I would like to
highlight about myself.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

The best advice I can give is: Please never try to hold
yourself back by making your own expectations too high. I’ve seen many, many
people give up on creativity despite loving it simply because they felt like
their content was never “good enough”, and it’s only harder when they compare
themselves to people around them.

On that note, I’d also like to say that you should never
assume art is something that strictly requires “talent”. Would having a natural
affinity for being creative and good with your hands be useful as an artist? No
doubt it would, I can’t deny that. However, once you firmly decide that
“talent” is a strict requirement and that you may not have that “talent”, it’s
over for you, because once you get into this mindset, everything you do will
never feel “good enough” to you, as you’ll keep feeling that you simply don’t
have the “talent”. It harms your creative self more than you may think, I knew
someone who hated their own art and gave up because they taught they were the
only one in their family without the “natural born artistic talent”, and
despite being fairly decent at their craft, they ultimately gave up because
they resigned themself to believing that they would never do as well as they
didn’t have the “talent”. Also, by believing “talent” is necessary, you
undermine all the hard work artists put into their work. Many spend years and
years and years working on their craft, and trust me when I say that most of
them still think their work isn’t as good as they would’ve liked. But they post
it anyway, because it’s at least “good enough”.

Don’t weigh yourself down with invisible chains. Let
yourself be “okay” instead of “perfect”. You’re only human, let your art
reflect that. Study the art form you want to learn, look up references and helpful
tips, practice and practice.

All artists will hate their art sometimes. Even I stopped
for a while during some darker times in my life, but if you feel that art is
truly something you love, never give up on it, even if nothing BIG ever comes
out of it. If you love it, if it makes you happy in any way, it’s already doing
it’s job for you right.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m asexual! Still working on the romantic side, but it’s
somewhere on the aro-spectrum. I do find girls at least aesthetically
attractive a lot, so I overall identify as a a sapphic aro-ace person.

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

Unfortunately yes. I live in Singapore, where anyone that
isn’t gay/lesbian/trans is considered a “weird normal person” (“normal” as in
cishet, it sucks). I’ve tried to include asexuality in my works in school, and
have often received comments about how it was childish, misinformation, or
simply something that didn’t exist. Explanations don’t work when people don’t
want to listen. I’m not free from the prejudice online either. Sometime ago on
Tumblr, I made asexual headcanons for characters that were popularly seen as
gay and pan respectively within the fandom (but were not confirmed in canon)
and got quite a bit of anon hate for it, the comments ranging from how I was
homophobic or how I shouldn’t be “forcing a ace headcanon on young teens since
they aren’t sexual anyway”.

It’s hard to handle, that’s for sure, but in the end it’s
not my job to educate the ignorant. I will support those who do and help to
bring up fellow aces in my community when I can, but the bigoted don’t deserve
my attention as far as I’m concerned. I block them when I can, and move right
on to making more asexual headcanon posts out of spite. As far as I’m
concerned, I’m just here to live my life and exist as a person, not be an
informant for people who refuse to take in any information they’re given
anyway.

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

Definitely the misconception that we hate sex. I myself am a
sex-repulsed ace with a very low sex drive, but it irks me when people assume
we’re all exactly like that. Let asexuals who are open to sex be sexual without
calling them fake aces. Like damn.

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

You might hate it sometimes at first, especially if you’re
younger and/or on the aro-spectrum. With how our society focuses so much on
romance and sex as a requirement of love and happiness, it’s sometimes easy to
fall into a trap that no one will ever love you and that you won’t ever be
happy. Even after you get more comfortable with your sexuality, you still might
feel like that every now and again, even if you’re an allo-romantic ace who’s
fine with sexual intimacy. Just remember that who you’re attracted to, or lack
thereof, doesn’t define who you are. There’s nothing “broken” or “unnatural”
about you for being ace, and I want you to know you’re valid and you and your
sexuality deserve to be respected. There are so many types of love out there,
not just romantic and sexual. Keep those you see as your family close and
treasure them, and don’t let go of your passions and things that bring you joy.
Don’t forget that self-love is important too. If you’re like me, who took a
long time figuring out how to love myself, don’t try to force things, but also
give yourself chances to be proud of the things you’ve done. If you’re an
artist like I am, take pride in your artwork (within reason), and let yourself
be confident in your skills in yourself. You’ll get there. 🙂

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

Tumblr: http://rururincreative.tumblr.com/
(Art Blog)
AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/Rururinchan
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCE_pHKt0IeMJVwbjdWtvA0A
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rururinchan/

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

Today we’re joined by KelbremDusk. KelbremDusk is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in digital art. She does a bit of everything, including webcomics. Her work is eerie and interesting to look at. It’s clear she’s a passionate individual who loves to create, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a digital artist, I’ve been working
with a tablet for about 11 years now. I was never big on traditional art, even
when I didn’t have access to a tablet but recently I’ve been trying to get into
oil painting and so far it’s been kinda fun.

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

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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

Sometimes things just happen I guess???

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

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

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

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

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can always lend an ear for anything.

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

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

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

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

Today we’re joined by Jasmine Aguirre. Jasmine is a wonderful fanartist, who also does a little original work. Her art has a very dreamy and surreal look to it with quite a lot of bright and vibrant colors. Jasmine is a very dedicated and driven 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 mainly consists of like 95% fanart and the other 5%
is some original art, which I don’t make a lot of. I usually get much more
enjoyment working with already existing characters and worlds, whatever holds
my obsessive interest at the time.

The art I create has a lot of hours and passion put into it.
I dabble often with pairings, I love the inspiration they give me after a small
artist’s block. I draw a lot of romantic pieces as well, it’s what adore doing.
I love drawing details of the clothing and hair and expressions and actions in
my own art style. I go for very semi-realistic vibes and bright, fun colors.
Colors are my favorite part of any piece, pink and purples are my go to!

What inspires you?

Music, day dreaming and other artists, so much really, but
what towers over those is self-improvement. I struggle with still needing
practice on different aspects of drawing. But, with every frustration that
emerges from me when I can’t get something right, I tend to reverse that and
use it as optimism that I’m still learning. It might not look right now, but in
the future I will get way more better and get less stressed. Looking at a piece
from 2012 until now causes a huge boost of confidence and satisfaction, knowing
you heavily improved on drawing eyes the way you wanted to or getting better at
legs, etc.

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

I have always wanted to be an artist (more specific an
Illustrator), since I was super young. I remember how obsessed I was with
Disney’s The Little Mermaid and loved
Ariel so much, I tore out a piece of notebook paper and opened my Little Mermaid illustration book and
drew Ariel on the paper on one side of the book while her image was on the
opposite end.

Since then, I was enthusiastic about drawing at school and
even my art teachers supported it and wanted me to thrive, knowing I had this
creative ability. I did especially well in high school where my final year
there I won an art contest and got a medal. My biggest art related
accomplishment goes to having my illustration design as one of my local
libraries new library card designs while I worked there, it was the most
popular and it was flattering seeing everyone adore my card.

There isn’t anything I see myself being but an artist for
the rest of my life! There isn’t a day I go without drawing something,
anything.

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 suppose my art style is quite unique, it’s a mix
semi-realism, yet it’s still got cartoon vibes to it. At the moment, I don’t
have anything special to reveal.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Never compare yourself to anyone, you’re never a step
behind. Never say to anyone that you can’t draw and what’s the point in trying.
Drawing does take loads of time and patience, but it’s honestly extremely
rewarding. Go above and beyond with drawing, with the whole media of art. The
best things about the art field is that its big, so you can try your might with
animation, painting, cartooning, watercolors, markers, even sculpting. It’s all
about creativity and we all have a great deal of creativity to find within us
and use and show.

Always be proud of what you make. Make mistakes. Learn from
them. Let yourself thrive.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

It’s slightly complicated, but let me break it down.

My sexuality was fluid for years. It wasn’t easy, I was
actually scared to find out I was a-spec and worried about what I should label
myself, but once I did research and found out it was normal and I wasn’t alone,
I felt more comfortable.

Since I was 20, I generally identified myself as being
Asexual to anyone that’s curious to know. In a nutshell I would say, “Im Ace,
I’m not interested in sex or anything sexual.” I have asexual merch, like the
ace flag, pin, shirt and popsocket. However, if you want a more detailed look
into who I am, I’m on the a-spectrum, I am autochorissexual.

Autochorissexual is “Predominantly or entirely
fantasize about fictional characters or celebrities, rather than people in real
life they know. Identify as asexual and feel no sexual attraction to people,
but enjoy masturbating, are aroused by sexually explicit content, and/or have
sexual fantasies”
(Quote from
Asexual’s Wikia).

Now this isn’t 100% believed to be a real sexuality. But,
personally as someone who knows themselves and has experienced such strong and
similar feelings, I know I am.

As for romantic, I still have yet to fully figure out what
I’m comfortable with, or if I want to ever put a label on it. All I know is
that it’s on the aro-spectrum at the moment while I do.

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

Luckily, I have not at this time. Everyone I have
encountered and that know I am on the a-spectrum are quite positive and
supportive.

For pride month last year, while I worked at the library at
the front desk with my co-worker (who I also found out was queer and was ace as
well, very happy revelation,) we put the flags on the window. The one people
asked about respectively was the asexual flag. I would nervously but proudly
tell them about it and they would nod and understand. It was nice to know that
others were genuinely willing to know.

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

That it’s a phase, we’re doing it for attention, we wanna be
unique and quirky, or we have yet to find the right person; also, that every
asexual person is sex-repulsed. Or the worst one, we don’t really exist, so to
say. But, none of those are true.

We’re entering a new generation of people who identify more
as asexual than ever before and we’ve always
been here. It’s even more incredible to see older folk learn about what
asexuality is and finally come to a conclusion that they’ve felt that way all
their life and never knew why, or that it had a name, and that they were not
alone.

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

It’s okay to keep questioning what you like and don’t like,
your sexuality is fluid, there’s an entire spectrum for you to discover. It
took me my entire life until I was 20 and a few relationships to figure it out
completely.

You’re not broken at all and you’re not alone. It does get
so much better, I promise. Don’t give into pressure either. If you feel like
you have to be in a relationship of any kind like your peers, don’t push
yourself to that degree. Trust yourself and your feelings.

All in all, it’s your label if you want one or not. No one
knows you better than you! You know who you are, you are valid and you are
real.

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

I’m almost all over the place, but here’s where you can
easily find me!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/supernovajazzy
Art Blog: https://www.tumblr.com/blog/supernovajazzy-art
Twitter: https://twitter.com/supernova_jazzy

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

Today we’re joined by Connor. Connor is a wonderful artist I met at ACE Comic Con Chicago. He’s a visual artist who specializes in character design, both original characters and fanart. He works in mostly traditional mediums. It’s clear he’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

My art consists of characters both original and already
existent ones. I enjoy creating things from video game or fandom characters, to
more animated self-portraits and original characters with unique traits. I’m
fairly skilled in creating sad pieces, though I also like making happier ones
with two or three characters, too. I’ve stuck almost strictly to traditional
art, but I have done a few digital on a preloaded desktop application.
Traditional is more preferable, though.

What inspires you?

Things that inspire me may vary, but sometimes my
inspiration comes from boredom, emotions I’m feeling at the moment, or even
from random thoughts. I can sketch blankly, but the higher quality art comes
from the things I think more thoroughly of. If I’m extremely dedicated to one
of the pieces, I will take hours to add detail and make sure it looks decent at
the very least. Sometimes others inspire me as well! Something they say that’s
funny or neat could give me a click to create something.

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

I believe I’ve always wanted to be in some sort of art
field, though I guess it’d be more of a hobby than a job. I’m not sure about
selling commissions just yet. I’ve done art since quite a young age, so that
may tie into the progress I’ve had with tuning and bettering myself with what I
draw.

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

I used to create my signature with large first letters for
my first and last name, but lately it’s either been a mixture of all capitals
or simply small cursive. I’ve been told that my cursive is small enough to
resemble chicken scratch, which I do find pretty funny! But, even that’s honed
to look better over the years. Once in a while I’ll add tiny hearts or a smile
next to my signature, but it varies.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

For advice, I’d like to tell young artists that guidelines
are important! No matter what you draw, try to make it mandatory that you plan
your piece! It may take some time to try and get used to it, but it will help
with proportions and spacing. It’ll look pretty neat in the end, I’m sure of
it! Be sure to make guidelines softly on pages (or in a light colour if using
digital) so as not to see them as much whenever you go over it with a better
outline.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

As of now, I’m currently a questioning, panromantic,
transgender male!

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

Sadly enough, I have. I try to tune it out unless directed
towards me. Then, sometimes I’ll ask them about why they’ve said what they did
to try and understand them. If they become ignorant, I try to leave it at that.

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

The most common things I’ve heard would tie into the biology
topic with the whole “you cannot multiply with yourself” or “you have to like
one or the other, that’s how it is.”

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

I would try to get them comfortable with themselves and
mention that I’m willing to support them. I’d try to also remember to let them
know that their orientation is okay to be and that they’re fine the way they
are.

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

In regards to art, I post mainly on Instagram on my
art/cosplay account (timaeusterror0),
though I haven’t managed to keep a regular posting schedule. I have some older
works on my Tumblr (frickonfanta),
too!

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

Today we’re joined by Anila. Anila is a wonderful fanartist and jewelry maker. They write in a variety of fandoms and enjoys writing fanfiction. They aspire to publish some original work some day. When they’re not writing, they enjoy making jewelry. It’s clear they’re a dedicated 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’m primarily a creative writer – mostly fanfiction but I’m
working hard to finish my original works. It’s a dream to be published someday.

Other than that I make wire jewelry.

What inspires you?

To be honest, it can be anything from a long-forgotten
scribble in the margins of old lecture notes to something a passer-by might be
wearing. On one hand that means I’m lucky because I can draw from most things
but on the other hand all these WIPs can get me down.

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

I’ve always been good at writing – and when I started
showing it to other people they were interested and, more importantly, they
were affected. That made me want to write more.

As for jewelry, my mum bought a jewelry making book when I
was a teenager and it seemed to stick.

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?

My writing tends to have an overabundance of commas, an
abuse of semicolons, and a tendency for things to come in threes. Just like
that previous sentence ;D

It’s hard to have a signature when it comes to wire jewelry,
since it’s so freeform.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Try not to put yourself down too much, though I understand
it’s easy to do so.

Having friends act as cheerleaders is a blessing and can be
one of the few things to keep you out of a slump.

Also, specifically for writers, if you understand the
importance of receiving feedback in your work please be the change you wish to
see the world – when you read online works, leave comments you yourself want to
receive.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m a biromantic grey-ace. Basically I can have feelings for
just about anyone regardless of gender, but wanting to be intimate is not
necessarily included in that.

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

While writing there is a big lack of ace representation. And
of course there are the people who insist that so-and-so character simply cannot
be ace because there’s no evidence that that is so – to which the reply is that
this is fanfic, everything is possible, and ace-spectrum people do exist. There
was also one person who tried to tell me that I couldn’t be grey-ace because of
my smutty works, which… still makes me sigh.

On the outernet, where I’m closeted anyhow, there is very
casual prejudice – the expectation that of course everyone has sex and
you’re some sort of deviant otherwise. I do my best to educate when I can,
though admittedly I tend to get defensive and annoyed very quickly.

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

That people need to have sex to live. Nope, bzzt,
wrong, try again.

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

Take your time. There’s no rush to find out who you are. Do
your research because knowledge is power. And, if you ever decide down the line
that your orientation on the spectrum isn’t exactly what you thought it was,
then that’s okay too.

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

My writing’s on AO3 (http://archiveofourown.org/users/diemarysues),
and I do yell about writing on my personal blog (http://diemarysues.tumblr.com).

Jewelry stuff is on my side blog (http://rustypliers.tumblr.com) though I am currently taking a break
while I take better photos and edit them.

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