Category: fanart

Interview: Morgan

Today we’re joined by Morgan. Morgan is a phenomenal artist who is currently studying to become a fashion designer. When they’re not studying, Morgan cosplays as a hobby and they also draw as well. It’s clear they’re an incredibly talented and dedicated artist with a very bright future ahead of them, 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 am
studying to be a fashion designer and also cosplay and draw casually. I have
various designs as well as cosplays and art pieces.

What inspires you?

As a
cosplayer and artist, I am influenced by shows and characters I love and feel
passionate about. For original art and designs I am inspired by issues I care
about as well as interpretations of my environment and my own feelings. My
gender identity and sexuality also inspire my art.

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

I
was always interested in drawing, especially nature and humans. My passion and
creativity extended to my self-expression through clothing and led me to create
my own clothing.

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
necessarily. When I start to have more clothing designs that I have made and
created I plan to name my brand after my grandmother’s last name, because she
has always supported my art and all aspects of my identity.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Explore
different ways of expressing your creativity and don’t limit yourself to one
media. Even if you aren’t as experienced or skilled in other areas, trying
different methods opens new ways to interpret your feelings and your art.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am
asexual and sex-repulsed.

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

Not
yet. Though I feel as though some of my family/friends doesn’t understand why
some of my art/designs are more revealing or “sexual” in nature when I myself
am not sexual.

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

That
being asexual (and/or sex repulsed) means you think sex and people who have sex
are dirty/wrong. I believe sex is a very natural thing and if all parties
concerned are happy and consenting, then that’s great. Do what makes you happy.
Just because there are people who aren’t into it doesn’t mean they are against
it.

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

Even
if you are worried that you might change your mind in the future or that you
should be sexually attracted to others, remember that your feelings and
identity NOW are valid, no matter what you have felt in the past or could
potentially feel in the future.

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

I
have an art Tumblr under the URL mmmdraws and a cosplay Tumblr with
the URL maeroncosplays. I also post a lot of my
cosplay/cosplay progress on my Instagram irish.i.was.dead. My clothing design Instagram is morrisroe_designs though I haven’t posted a whole lot on there yet.

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

Interview: Ell

Today we’re joined by Ell. Ell is a phenomenal fanfiction writer who writes in a few different fandoms. She’s currently focused on Star Trek and Babylon 5, but has also written some Sherlock fics. She is very passionate about fandom and finds a great deal of enjoyment through writing fics. It’s clear she’s a very talented and dedicated writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I write fanfiction. I mostly write for my ships from Star Trek and Babylon 5 at the moment, but I sometimes write for other things. My
first published fanfictions were Sherlock
ones. I love fanfiction and fanfiction writing because the community is (for
the most part) amazing! There are so many lovely and interesting people I have
met through reading and writing fanfiction.

What inspires you?

All sorts of things inspire me! Personal experiences, other
fanfictions I’ve read, songs, anything could inspire me! Mostly it’s personal
experience (or wanting a personal experience) and stories I want to give
characters that I feel deserve it. My friends and fellow writers also inspire me.
Their stories always seem so carefully thought out, and they’re never afraid to
do something different.

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

I have adored writing since I was 8 years old. I actually
started out writing original stories. Now I look back on my first story and
think it’s really cringey, but I also know that that was where I started, and
look at me now! I may only have two complete original stories, but I stuck with
almost all of the fanfiction I started, and I know that just as much effort has
gone into those stories as my original ones, if not more so. I can’t actually
remember how I got into fanfiction writing. I guess I just started to read a
lot of it and thought that maybe I could do it too!

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

I usually project at least one thing about myself onto the
character I relate to most. Whether that is my sexuality or my state of mind. I
also tend to focus on writing from the point of view of the character I don’t
relate to that much but still love just as much. For example, when I’m writing
Spock/McCoy, I usually focus on McCoy. I also usually put an author’s note
before the beginning of a chapter.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Dare to be different. Go against stereotypes. If something
hasn’t been done that you think should be, do it yourself. That may seem scary,
but if you care enough about it, your care will overrun your fear.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic. I am also mostly
sex-repulsed.

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

I have not, thank god! And I hope I never do, though that’s
unlikely. I know that there is a lot of it out there, and what to expect, so
I’m prepared.

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

That we’re all the same. That if one of us is sex-repulsed,
so are all of us. That if one of us is aromantic, so are the rest of us. We are
not all the same, and people need to realize that.

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

Go with your heart. If your heart says you’re asexual,
believe it. If it’s confused, maybe look up some other a-spec orientations.
Don’t trust people who aren’t asexual to tell you whether you are or aren’t
asexual.

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

I post things occasionally on my Tumblr, which is fangirl-star.

My active fanfiction account is on Archive of Our Own is FangirlStar. I post my
Star Trek and Babylon 5 fanfiction on there, along with a few other bits and
pieces. The ships I currently write for are Spock/Leonard McCoy (Star Trek) and Vir Cotto/Lennier (Babylon 5), but I’m going to start
writing Thor/Bruce Banner (Marvel) soon. Everything I post on there is slash
and rated T at most. I only ever imply at sexual content.

My very first fanfiction account, which I don’t post on
anymore, is Ellis
Jenkins
on FanFiction.net. About two thirds of my stuff on there is Sherlock Holmes. I wrote OC/Mycroft
Holmes. My very early Star Trek slash
is on there as well.

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

Interview: Embo

Today we’re joined by Embo. Embo is a phenomenal artist who specializes in cross stitch. She has recently cross stitched a number of Pride badges, which are absolutely beautiful. Embo also does some embroidery and she has recently started dabbling in drawing as well. It’s clear she’s a driven and passionate artist 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 mostly
cross stitch, sometimes embroider, and occasionally draw. Cross stitching is my
main art though. I favour working on smaller pieces, and recently I’ve spent
most of my time making small Pride pieces.

As for
drawing, I’ve taken up doodling fan art of Mass
Effect
with the intention of writing fan fic in the future.

What inspires you?

I follow
many talented people on Tumblr, and seeing their work inspires me greatly! If I
see someone has created a wonderful piece of art, I find it spurs me into
action and I will immediately start trying to create something of my own.
Drawing is more accessible for me, but I can’t resist taking on new cross
stitch projects, to the detriment of older forgotten WIPs!

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

Admittedly
my reasons for getting interested into cross stitch aren’t very inspiring. I
kept seeing subversive cross stitch popping up online and thought it was really
funny and wanted to get into that. As soon as I started though, I realised that
cross stitch is an amazing craft, really fun, and especially good for stress
relief! And to this day, I’ve only produced one piece of subversive cross
stitch haha.

I started
as a fan artist when I was younger, but found that no matter how hard I tried,
I was never satisfied with my drawings. Cross stitch, however, has always been
really satisfying.

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?

To be
honest, not really. I still haven’t gotten into the habit of signing my cross
stitch pieces, which is something I really ought to get into doing. I used to
sign my drawings, but I dropped the habit some years ago when I stopped being
happy with what I was making.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t get
bogged down in getting lots of Likes on social media. Be proud of what you’re
making, and don’t stress about what other people think.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Somewhere
between ace and demisexual. Possibly panromantic and demiromantic too, but I’m
still figuring that part out.

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

The worst
I’ve encountered was coming out to a family member and being told that I just
hadn’t met the right person yet. This was frustrating, as talking about my
asexuality has always been hard in the first place, and I felt like I was being
shut down. In response, I just never brought it up with them again. Nowadays I
rarely come out, unless it’s necessary for the situation. This… is not a great
way to be. I shouldn’t have to feel the need to hide this aspect of myself, but
the fear of prejudice tends to take me over a lot. I’ve also had to quit
visiting some “LGBT-friendly” websites outright, because the audience was
completely acephobic. I realised that I just wasn’t welcome there, which was a
shame because I otherwise enjoyed the site. I… was angry and sad for days
afterwards. It’s not an easy thing to process.

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

That we’re
all a bunch of prudes. Or that we’re just trying to make ourselves out to be
special for something that isn’t even a thing. I also worry that, because I’m
in a relationship, people think I’m not ace anymore which… is not how that
works at all.

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

Don’t be
afraid to embrace yourself! Labels can be greatly helpful, but use them
carefully- don’t cling to them completely. You’re 100% valid in who are, and
don’t let anyone take that from you. And don’t worry if you find your labels
change over time. Mine did, and I had nobody to talk to about it at the time,
but don’t worry if that happens to you, it does not make you any less valid!

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

I post
cross stitch and embroidery at http://stickyfigs.tumblr.com/ and doodlings at https://potatopotholeakastickyfigs.tumblr.com/.

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

Interview: Minerva Cerridwen

Today we’re joined by Minerva Cerridwen. Minerva is a phenomenal SFF author and visual artist. For writing, she has a story published in Unburied Fables and recently released her novella, The Dragon of Ynys (which features an aro-ace main character). Visual art is more of a hobby for her, though she does do commissions. Minerva does handlettering and draws, using traditional mediums such as pencils and ink. It’s clear she’s a very passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve always
loved writing, and to my great joy I can call myself a published author these
days. I mainly write fantasy and science fiction and sometimes dabble in poetry
and horror. So far I’ve got a short story in the queer fairy tale anthology Unburied Fables and my debut novella, The Dragon of Ynys, came out in May 2018.

The Dragon of Ynys is a light fantasy tale suitable for all ages,
starring aro/ace main character Sir Violet, the knight of Ynys. He helps Holly,
a trans woman, to find her missing wife, the baker. They suspect the
ever-thieving dragon who lives near the village might have something to do with
her disappearance…

Cover by Kirby Crow

I also love
drawing and handlettering, using traditional materials—mainly because I haven’t
had the time yet to learn more about digital art. I like to experiment with
different techniques: I’ve been using pencils, watercolour, brushmarkers and
ink, both for original works and fanart. I wouldn’t mind taking this to a
professional level someday, but so far I’ve mainly been drawing for myself and
my friends.

What inspires you?

I grew up
with fairy tales, both the ones my mother read to me as a child and all the
Disney movies I watched so many times. It’s no wonder that I love writing fairy
tales myself. However, the big difference with the tales I consumed at a young
age is that there will always be queer characters in my stories. It’s so
important to be able to relate to characters when you’re trying to figure out
your own identity, and I feel like it took too long before I finally
experienced that moment myself. Once you’ve seen your identity validated in
popular media, it’s so much easier to accept who you are, rather than to
believe those who say you can’t feel the way you feel or be the way you are.

I hope that
my writing will make it easier for future generations to find stories that tell
them they’re not alone, not broken, and that teach them acceptance towards
others as well. In that light, I write the stories that I would love to read
myself, with all the dragons and magic and hopefully wittiness that I adore in
the works of Pratchett, Rowling, Tolkien and other masters.

For more
specific inspiration, my friend Fie and I started a project in 2013, inspired
by Erin Morgenstern’s Flax-golden Tales. Every week, she took a picture for
which I wrote a ten-sentence story. These days we’ve dialled it down to two
photo-story combinations per month, but Paranatellonta
is still going strong after five years! Getting random prompts from friends is
a great way to stay inspired at all times.

When it
comes to visual art, getting an Instagram account has definitely done wonders.
There are a lot of awesome artists out there whose samples inspired me to try
new techniques. Every month there are challenges going around in different
themes, for any kind of art actually, but in my case those mainly influenced my
handlettering. Practice really helps! I also finished Inktober last year. It
once again proved that an inspiring prompt doesn’t need to be more than one
word or one image. You can see my Inktober drawings if you scroll down a little
on my Instagram.

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

I’ve been telling stories for as long as I can remember. As
I said, my mother read fairy tales to me from a young age, and once I learned
to read myself, my greatest joy was to discover more fun stories. There were
never enough of them, so it only made sense that I wrote down my own as soon as
I could. Surrounded by those fictional adventures, somewhere deep inside I knew
what adventure I wanted to have myself, even when I was five years old: I
wanted to be an author, like those wonderful people who’d given me all those
beautiful tales to enjoy.

My drawing
story is completely different. For a very long time I was convinced I couldn’t
draw at all. I just didn’t have the talent. Looking back at art class in
school, I feel like they never stressed the importance of studying references
enough. I was always doodling in my school books for fun, but it never felt
like that counted.

Fast-forward
to when I’d finished university and my parents were celebrating their 25th
wedding anniversary. I didn’t have much gift inspiration, and they joked about
a “grown-up” child making a drawing for their parents—and the fact it
was a joke tells you enough about how much the arts are respected unless you’re
a Big Name. I often feel like our society expects people either to be a grand
artist or talentless, and the fact that there must be a learning process in
between is often completely neglected.

Anyway, I
went through with it, and as I was drawing my parents from a reference photo,
it turned out pretty okay (especially considering it was supposed to remind
them of a child’s drawing). Most important of all, I had a lot of fun working on it. I’d been looking at a
lot of art online since I’d last taken up a pencil, and combined with using a
reference for the first time, I could see I’d massively improved since my last
school drawing years earlier.

From that
point on I let my more artsy friend Fie convince me to take part in courses on
Skillshare to improve my drawing techniques and handlettering. Now, almost five
years after that anniversary drawing, I actually feel like I’ve made some
pretty things!

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

As I
mentioned above, you’ll find many fairy tale elements and queer characters in
my writing. More specifically, you’ll encounter a lot of dragons and spiders.
The dragons are a more conscious choice than the spiders, who just always
happen to show up… Just like in real life, I suppose.

I don’t
think I have any recurring elements in my visual art, but I’ve been using a
signature since late 2016. It’s made up of the initials of both my pen name and
legal name.

What advice would you give young aspiring
artists?

I think
it’s an important message that you can always learn and improve. That’s
something I only truly learned from starting to draw. I’d always been
“born” a writer: I started at a very young age and people told me I was
talented. But I had to work to become
better at visual art, and that made me realise that the reason why I’d loved
writing all my life was that I’d been exposed to so many stories to learn from.
Having played with words from a very young age, stories had never been the big
“mystery” that a beautiful piece of art was. So what I mean to say
is: people aren’t born a Grand Artist. They become them. And going down into
history means you’ve worked hard, but also that you were lucky (or, in some
cases, unlucky) enough to have your name picked up and talked about. But that
luck, too, is something you can influence by promoting your work. Like doing
interviews on awesome websites. 😉

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual
and somewhere on the aromantic spectrum, but I usually go with “aro-spec”
rather than a more specific label, because it’s difficult for me to figure that
one out.

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

There’s
certainly a lot of ignorance. Even in some queer organisations, it seems the A’s
are often forgotten. I can only hope that my stories will spread more
knowledge, while still being entertaining rather than feeling like a lecture.

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

That
asexuality would mean you never have sex. It can mean that, and I guess it does for me. There’s certainly
nothing wrong with a life without sex. But for sex-positive aces it makes
things all the more confusing to figure out their orientation when people keep
asking: “But you’ve enjoyed having sex, how can you be ace?”

Aside from
that, I think that asexuality and aromanticism are too often considered the
same thing. This also makes it hard to find a label that fits you when you do
experience romantic attraction but no sexual attraction, or the other way
round. When different sources tell you that you need to feel things a certain,
very specific way in order to identify as ace or aro, it can be a long search
to find a label that fits. And of course not everyone needs to label their orientation, but in my own experience finding
the names and other people who used them certainly helped to stop thinking I
might be broken or wrong.

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

You’re not
alone and you’re not broken. For me it was a massive help to enter queer spaces
(in my case on Tumblr) and read experiences from other queer people. It made me
discover terms (like asexual and aromantic) which I’d never heard of before I
made a Tumblr account almost 10 years ago. It showed me that they weren’t some
kind of theoretical concept, but a whole spectrum of people who experienced things in different ways—and some of their
experiences were just like mine! Suddenly I was no longer “the weird
one”. Which actually took me some time to adapt to, because I’d become
quite used to being “just odd” and labelling myself that way 😛

However, in
the long run, learning about all flavours of queer (be it through books, blogs,
or directly talking to others) taught me to be more open-minded in general and
made me more comfortable with myself.

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

My website
is http://minervacerridwen.wordpress.com/. There you find everything about
both my writing and drawings, with links to my social media. Feel free to
follow me!

Paranatellonta,
a flash fiction project inspired
by my friend’s photography, can be found at http://paranatellonta.tumblr.com/. It updates twice a month and you can read
all the stories and see all the pictures for free.

My visual art can be found
here: https://www.instagram.com/minerva_cerridwen/. I’m posting pretty much everything I draw
on Instagram, showing my learning process with both the pieces that worked out and
the ones that didn’t. Mainly because I find it interesting to track my own
evolution and learn from that in turn!

Other places you can find
me:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/minerva_cerr
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/minervacerridwen/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15904760.Minerva_Cerridwen

And places
to buy my stories:

– The
Dragon of Ynys (Publisher | List of other retailers)
– Unburied Fables (Amazon)

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

Interview: Lucy Cyclone

Today we’re joined by Lucy Cyclone. Lucy is a wonderful visual artist and fanartist. She mostly uses digital mediums although she also dabbles in traditional ones as well. Lucy enjoys drawing comics and animations, which allows her to convey more emotions in her work. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate artist with a lot of enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I draw mostly digitally nowadays, rarely finishing sketches
I do on paper. I like to tell stories with my drawings, and am very attracted
to comics and animation, as those can convey a lot of feelings more efficiently
than a single picture.

Externally I live to learn and can appear sturdy, while art
is my vent of things I don’t trust to show in company as well as sources of
enjoyment I can’t possibly show any other way.

I also suffer from the very common Can’t Draw Properly With
A Tablet 2 At Pm But Definitely Will Make A Realistic Portrait At Midnight With
A Ball Point On Lined Notebook Paper syndrome.

What inspires you?

Music, random ideas, other fanwork and personal thoughts. My
biggest muse would be sitting up late while staring at the ceiling, and
Sleeping at Last’s music. Currently really into Transformers comics and Boku
no Hero Academia
as well.

Once I get a good idea it tends to completely overwhelm me.
I don’t finish a lot of them because I always find myself caught up in
something else before I do. It takes a while for me to set foot on solid ground
and decide that I want and I will do something.

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

Currently – art is a hobby. I drew while young but only took
it seriously around two years ago, when I started practicing more often. When I
was 12 I got dragged into cartoons – most notably My Little Pony at the time – and I suddenly wanted to create more
and more visions of fictional worlds – and create my own.

My appreciation for animation and expression grew from
thereon. I still struggle with some human anatomy aspects (legs-) but overall
I’ve come a really long way in the past years.

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 settle on having my signature being legible. With style
being the subject, I prefer to pander to natural proportions as much as I am
able to. Big fan of Disney and western styles, and while I do refrain from
anime and chibi, I do try to replicate the styles of eastern animation work I
enjoy.

Even though chibi is always a go-to when I am tired and just
want to draw something cute.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t take criticism personally, tracing is superb as long
as you credit the original, and studies of photos do miracles

Also don’t be like me and spend 3 years of your life drawing
almost exclusively cartoon horses. Ultimately it helps with general quadriped
anatomy but…just don’t.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Ace and Bi – I prefer not to directly use SAM unless someone
insists.

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

Luckily, no so far! Asexuality isn’t widely known (which I
personally don’t mind) and I like to be hopeful enough to dare to say a lot of
the young generation in the connected world doesn’t really care about which way
one swings. We’ve come a long way!

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

Being somewhat young, I can understand people suggesting it
is just a phase, and I accept that as a possibility, but I notice that a lot of
other aces experience this as well. Whether or not it is a phase, if the shoe
fits I’ll wear it.

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

It’s okay not to know and never okay to hurry! Take some
time to know yourself, it’s a very long way and ultimately has meaning only to
you, but can still affect others, so keep your head cool. Reason is the best
road.

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

On Tumblr, I post my work at lucy-cyclone, and I try to post at
least once per week. I plan to reboot my DeviantArt soon, though this is enough
for now.

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

Interview: Sark

Today we’re joined by Sark, who is the 800th artist interviewed on Asexual Artists. Sark is a phenomenal fanartist and writer. He mostly draws, focusing on drawing characters in fandoms he enjoys. Occasionally, he draws people’s original characters. When he’s not drawing, Sark enjoys writing. It’s clear he’s an incredibly passionate and dedicated artist who loves creating, 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.

Well, I’ve been
drawing for about four years now, and I’ve been writing since, well, actually
since I can remember! I usually focus my work on creating fan content as a
method to express my enjoyment of things, but sometimes I draw people’s
characters because I like seeing people get happy, honestly.

What inspires you?

A lot of things.
One of my main inspirations is the works other people have created, especially
music. I have playlists for all of my characters to get my writing and art in
character for them. And sometimes I just go outside and see something
beautiful. Most of the time I see someone do stupid things and it reminds me
how great people are, and why I enjoy writing and drawing in the first place.

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

Well, I know it’s
probably the tale of everyone ever, but really it was people. When I was
younger- I think maybe eleven- I used to watch a lot of YouTube. It was a lot
of gaming, all these wildly popular channels that were popular a couple years
ago. I enjoyed them a lot, but the idea of making fan content didn’t occur to
me until I met someone who became my role model. They made a lot of animations
and art of these people, and they wrote stories about them. I thought it was
really cool, so I imitated them. I was really bad at drawing and writing, but
they were always really nice. They also were my introduction to the LGBT
community, which obviously is really important to me now. I don’t know where
they are nowadays, I lost track of them along the way, but they’re still my
inspiration.

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 art is about as
consistent as my memory, which is to say not at all, but my signature is
usually a stylized S- I’ll see if I can show an example, I’m really mosh at
description. Which is probably bad, considering I’m a writer.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I still consider
myself an aspiring artist myself, but if I could look back at some of the
worries I used to have about my content not being good enough, or my writing
being cliche, I think I’d only say one thing. And that is that it doesn’t
matter. If you’re just starting out, you probably think your art, or your
music, or your writing sucks. And I won’t lie to you, it probably does. But it
doesn’t matter. Anyone who looks down at people who aren’t as practiced as you
yet aren’t worth your time. Because we were all beginners. Most of us still
are, really. Just keep pushing the boundaries of what you can do until they
grow. And then push harder. That’s what I’m doing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual
Panromantic. I’m seriously mulling over my romantic identity right now, so I’m
not sure about being pan, which I think is okay, but I’m confident in my
sexuality.

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

Really no one in
real life that I’ve worked with that are in the LGBT community has treated me
any different than they would treat a gay man, or a lesbian, which is to say
I’ve been treated really well offline. My works are, for better or worse, not
really well known online, which I don’t really mind that much. It means I
haven’t had anyone here really target me for my identity, though from other
cases I’m well aware how nasty people can be when they can be anonymous. I’m
trying to keep my hopes high that I’ll be able to make it in the art and
writing world without too much backlash right now. I think as long as I keep
thick skin, I should be able to do it.

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

Really that we’re
all one flavor. People really don’t seem to realize how a diverse of a group we
are. Aces come from all walks of life, and we have all kinds of identities. I’m
a trans man that lives in the suburban south, but I’m far from the only ace
experience. It’s cool. Aces are a cool group of a lot of people, and I really
like it. I wish more people thought about that before talking about us the way
they do.

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

Really, whether or
not you’re Ace is something only you can discover. But if you stay away from
people who will try and influence you and just explore your identity, it can
help you get into touch with how you feel about people. Don’t let people tell
you who you are; only you get a say in that.

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

My writing is over
at Sarkshine on Wattpad,
and my artwork can be found at sarkiesark
and at fantrolbs as well as Sarkshine on DA.

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

Interview: Hampermarketplace

Today we’re joined by Hampermarketplace, who also goes by Sophie. Sophie is a phenomenal visual artist and fanartist. For visual art, they mostly do digital illustration, both original work and fanart, They also do some photography as a hobby. Aside from that, Sophie also cosplays and writes fanfiction. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

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

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

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

You can be proud.

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

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

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

I write on AO3 under the name miki_and_company

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

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

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

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

Interview: 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.