Category: grey asexual

Interview: Phoebe Barton

Today we’re joined by Phoebe Barton. Phoebe is a phenomenal science fiction author who specializes in hard science fiction. She enjoys writing women-centered fiction and has published a few stories online. Her work has a lot of relevant themes and sounds positively fascinating. 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.

Portrait by Philippe McNally

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I write science fiction; people have tended to describe it
as hard science fiction, and while I don’t agree with the way “hard science
fiction” is often wielded as a hammer to invalidate peoples’ work, I do try to
get things as correct as I can with the knowledge I have access to. If I can’t
believe the accuracy of something, what business do I have expecting a reader
to believe it?

I prefer writing stories that centre around women, and some
of my favourites are the ones that include no men at all – even before I knew I
was a trans woman, I knew that was what made it more comfortable for me to
inhabit the story’s world. Since I started being published I’ve only written
from two masculine perspectives, and one of them is a character in my
still-unpublished, desperately-in-need-of-redrafting novel. Themes of isolation
come up a lot in my work as well, with stories set in places like the rings of
Saturn or Earth orbit or the fringes of the known galaxy, which owes a lot to
my own isolation growing up on the suburban edge of Central Ontario.

What inspires you?

Thinking about all the wide and diverse possibilities of
what the future could hold, of what could become of us if we’re wise enough to
know what we’re doing while we reach for it. A lot of my characters are
genetically engineered or technologically enhanced in some way or another, and
I’ve always been inspired by how the vast canvas of science fiction can allow
us to look at new things in new ways, as long as we’re careful to not fall into
familiar pitfalls.

I’ve also been inspired to write stories as rebuttals to
obscure, nearly-forgotten science fiction stories from decades ago. There were
a lot of problems with the genre back then – there still are, to be honest –
but I think that building something modern on its foundation is beneficial.

Sometimes, too, it’s just things that jump out at me in the
course of ordinary reading that sends me on trajectories I never would have expected.
Sentences in Wikipedia articles have unfolded into stories, and Foz Meadows’ Manifold Worlds books got me thinking
about new story possibilities I might not have considered otherwise.

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

I don’t remember a time when I wasn’t interested in science
fiction – I grew up with a library of Star
Trek
VHS tapes and tie-in novels – and I’ve been writing for about as long.
My earliest breakthrough was in high school, when my Grade 9 English teacher
gave me a 10/10 for a short story that, honestly, wasn’t very good, but it was
the first time I’d ever got a hint that there might be something to stringing
all these words together. I never thought of pursuing it in an organized, focused
way until fairly recently, though.

When I was a teenager, I read the Writer’s Handbook 1998
Edition over and over, as if it contained all the secrets for success I’d ever
need to know. My original copy disappeared in a move, so I bought a used copy a
little while ago and still read through it occasionally. I think it’s good to
be aware of your personal journey, where you started and how far you’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?

I enjoy building puns into the framework of a story, but
mostly the sort that don’t immediately present themselves as such. The entire
concept behind my story “One to Watch,” for example, was derived from a
multilingual pun.

Beyond that, all my stories take place in the same setting,
in different points of space and time. There’s something calming and focusing
about gradually building something intricate out of ordinary parts. The
unifying threads can be hard to see sometimes, but they’re usually there.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Don’t wait until everything feels perfect. Press on with
what you have, and keep pushing. Some of it will taste pretty sour after you’ve
been at it for a while, but that only means you’ve learned and grown as an
artist.

Be curious, and be aware of the context your art lives in! I
didn’t even know that there were
markets for short science fiction when I was just starting out. The more you
know, the more you’re capable of.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a sex-repulsed grey-asexual. It took me a
long, long time – we’re talking decades
– before I realized that, no, this is not the way everyone is. Most people
don’t think of sex the same way as that Fear
Factor
challenge where they put you in a giant tank and then fill it to the
brim with wriggling mealworms.

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

I’ve been fortunate to not encounter very much of either.
Granted, it’s not something I talk about much either, so it may be that my luck
comes from not bringing it up.

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

That it’s not a thing that exists.

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

You are valid and you are not broken. As much as this
culture might want to justify it as “being a late bloomer,” sex is not the be-all
and end-all of life. You are not the only one going through this, and you don’t
have to justify yourself to anyone.

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

I’ve recently opened an author website at www.phoebebartonsf.com with a
bibliography, links to my online fiction and non-fiction, and some other bits
of interest. Some of my stories are available to read for free online at www.curiousfictions.com. I also
maintain an older blog, www.actsofminortreason.com,
where I run a couple of science fiction review series, among other things.
Additionally I’m active on Twitter at aphoebebarton.

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

Interview: Wolfberry Studio

Today we’re joined by Jay at Wolfberry Studio. Jay is a phenomenal visual artist who works in digital illustration. Their work is mostly in the science fiction and fantasy genres and features people of color, who are underrepresented in such genres. Jay’s work shows extraordinary attention to detail and the images evoke such an amazing sense of imagination and beauty. It’s clear they’re a very dedicated and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

image

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a digital illustrator who works mostly in vector. My
fantasy and sci-fi illustrations focus on people of color who are
under-represented in these genres.  

What inspires you?

I am inspired by legends and myths from around the world. I
enjoy exploring the differences and similarities between stories from different
cultures. Stylistic influences include Chinese classical painting and Japanese
animation.

In addition to visiting museums and galleries regularly to
gain exposure to a wide range of styles, I do live drawing outdoors. Nature can
inspire, even if you are not a nature painter.

image

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

I’ve always enjoyed drawing. I was one of those kids who got
reprimanded for doodling in class in elementary school. I saw drawing as a way
to tell stories. I drew comics about my classmates.

As I grew older, I became increasingly aware of the role of
visual art in disseminating social messages. I had observed the lack of
diversity in certain genres. One day, I realized that instead of complaining
about other artists not drawing what I want to see, maybe I should draw what I
want to see. That was when I decided to pursue formal artistic training.

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 studio signature is consists of the Chinese characters
for Wolfberry Studio.  Wolfberry is
another name for goji berry.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

It is OK to feel disappointed with your work sometimes.  The fact that you are self-critical is a good
thing. It shows that you are ready and willing to improve. In art school, I saw
that the artists who improved their skills most quickly were the ones who were
the most open to critique.

Regarding how to deal with the gap between where we are as
creatives and where we want to be, Ira Glass of This American Life says it best
in a 2009 interview:  (http://www.mcwade.com/DesignTalk/2011/04/nobody-tells-this-to-beginners/)

He was talking about video producers, but his comments can
apply to just about any field.

We are all on a journey to getting better. It never ends.

image

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Gray-A. Aromantic.

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

Not in professional relationships, since the subject has
never come up with clients.

I do want to say that I am pleased by the presence of out
asexual artists of all levels in online communities. Their visibility paves the
way for the rest of us.  

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

Some people think that asexuality is pathological, and that aces
would be happier if they weren’t asexual.

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

There is no need to fit yourself into someone else’s concept
of a happy, fulfilling life.  What’s right
for others might not be right for you. You are the only one who knows what’s
right for you.

People shouldn’t be giving you a hard time for being asexual
any more than you should be giving than a hard time for being allosexual, or
for being a football fan, or liking ice cream, or being into whatever else
they’re into but you’re not into.

You’re the only one who has to live your life. You’re not
living it for anyone else. Seek out people who respect you and accept you the
way you are.

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

https://wolfberry-j.deviantart.com/
https://wolfberrystudio.blogspot.com/
https://www.instagram.com/wolfberrystudio/
https://www.redbubble.com/people/WolfberryStudio/portfolio.

image

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

Hello! Recently I've been thinking I am a…

Hello! Recently I've been thinking I am ace. I do not feel any physical attraction(or only slightly only after I get strongly emotionally attracted to someone.. Basically the only physical thing I feel towards my crush is the need to be close to them and touch them somehow) and that is the same with my sexual attraction, only way less. Like I want to have sex in the future but at the same time I don't? I want to know how it feels but at the same time i don't care.. What could I be? Love you💜♥

Sounds like you could be demisexual or grey asexual.

From our FAQ 

What is Demisexuality/romantic?
Lack of sexual/romantic attraction until an emotional bond has been formed

What is Grey/Gray asexuality/romantic?
Sometimes experiencing sexual/romantic attraction, but under specific circumstances, and/or not strongly enough to want to act upon it

Aspec & Arospec YouTube List Part 2!

asexual-society:

Apparently there are a lot more ace youtubers that I missed on the last list

The descriptions for each channel are pretty much just copied and pasted from their channel descriptions. Unless they didn’t have a description, in which case I just wrote ‘vlogger’.

Please note: All the content of the channels below may or may not reflect the views or opinions of this blog or it’s moderators. Nor is all of it safe for work or free of problematic elements. Please use your own discretion. 

Note 2: If your favorite youtuber is not on this list, feel free to add on! 

Enjoy!

madison-acespace: Ace Valentines by the Madis…

madison-acespace:

Ace Valentines by the Madison Acespace members.

For your loved ones this Valentine’s Day.

polyromaesthetic: graysexual/gray asexual + R…

polyromaesthetic:

graysexual/gray asexual + Ravenclaw

Can I say I’m asexual as an umbrella ter…

Can I say I’m asexual as an umbrella term when I’m more of a demisedual or grey ace? I find it easier to tell people that so they can understand

If it makes it easier for you to describe yourself, go ahead. it’s not hurting anyone if you do. Grey and demi people are under the ace umbrella after all. 🙂

– Mod Britt

Aro aces be like:

aces-and-anime:

Aspec & Arospec YouTube List Part 2!

asexual-society:

Apparently there are a lot more ace youtubers that I missed on the last list

The descriptions for each channel are pretty much just copied and pasted from their channel descriptions. Unless they didn’t have a description, in which case I just wrote ‘vlogger’.

Please note: All the content of the channels below may or may not reflect the views or opinions of this blog or it’s moderators. Nor is all of it safe for work or free of problematic elements. Please use your own discretion. 

Note 2: If your favorite youtuber is not on this list, feel free to add on! 

Enjoy!

Regular

aspecpplarebeautiful:

gray a-spec identities are not up for debate.