Category: panromantic asexual

Interview: Sabrina

Today we’re joined by Sabrina, who also goes by
how-to-sit-gay. Sabrina is a phenomenal writer and dancer from Germany. She has recently picked up fanfiction again after a five year hiatus. She started writing fanfiction over ten years ago and wrote in a variety of fandoms. When she isn’t writing fic, Sabrina writes a lot of original work, mostly short fiction and poetry. Aside from writing, Sabrina also danced quite a lot. She danced in a
Gardetanzgruppe, which is part of carnival culture in Western and Southern Germany (for an example, here’s a video). My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please,
tell us about your art.

It feels like I’ve been writing stories since I
was able to spell my name, even though this might be far from true. I wrote my
first proper fanfiction back in 2005, but I started writing poems and original
stories before that, way back to when I was in elementary school. Since then I
have written more short stories and poems than I can count, apart from
fanfiction.

Gardetanz is a very special dancing style that is
deeply rooted in the carnival culture of Western and Southern Germany. I
started dancing when I was a wee little 7 year old and only stopped 17 years
later when I moved away to a federal state that has no carnival traditions
whatsoever and hence no dance group for me to join. I still miss it so much.
Luckily, any kind of dancing or working with my body still comes naturally to
me.

What
inspires you?

Usually it is my latest obsession, which I think
is not uncommon for fanfiction writers. I’m quite often inspired by songs –
some lyrics fragment that just makes me immediately develop a scene in my head.

When it comes to original stories or poems I draw
a lot from personal experience, especially when it’s about struggle or going
into the dark places of one’s mind. I’ve only ever written two “happy” poems in
my whole life, and that just to prove myself that I can.

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

Looking back, it seems like I was born with a
pencil in my hand. Always either drawing or writing. And when I was not holding
a pencil, I was running and dancing around. Little Me didn’t care for her 39.5
°C fever, she just needed to relentlessly jump and flail.

How and why I started dancing I is a simple story.
Our across the street neighbour told my mother about starting a children’s
dancing group in our local carnival club, and she thought this would be a nice
way to have me use my pent up energy. It was one of her best decisions.

I never wanted to be any kind of artist, or at least
I hadn’t planned to. In the end I just became Me with a raving passion to
create stories, and to move my body.

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, except you count the main characters
having a snarky and sarcastic kind of banter going on. This just happens
naturally. But I’m actually thinking about implementing something like this
now, like in Bones where there’s always a clock showing 4:47 in key scenes.

What advice
would you give young aspiring artists?

Go for it. And of course practice makes (almost)
perfect. It’s actually a good sign when you look at your old work and cringe a
little (or a lot in my case), because it shows that you’ve grown and improved
yourself. This counts for works both of the mind and the body.

ASEXUALITY

Where on
the spectrum do you identify?

It’s really hard to tell, the safest bet would be
grey-asexual, but there are times when I go “full ace” for different lengths of
time. As I have figured out thanks to my last relationship, if there is any
sexual attraction to happen it definitely isn’t towards male identifying
persons. Romantically I’m pan, though.

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

Not personally, so far. I think when it comes to
writing fanfiction where people try to live out their own fantasies (not
necessarily sex-wise), there are a lot of misconceptions about ace writers.
Yes, I am ace. Yes, I can enjoy reading smutty scenes. Yes, I am also capable
of writing them myself and have already done so. No, I’m not an innocent child
who squeals ‘ewwww’ as soon as the characters kiss.

I don’t know how it is with dancing. Luckily for
me, Gardetanz isn’t a dancing style loaded with sexual undertones, even though
the skirts are so short and your panties are visible most of the time. In my
group there was never any other sexuality discussed than heterosexuality, so I
don’t even know if my fellow dancers realised I was and still am utterly queer.
In the end, probably the same common misconceptions apply there as in most
other cases.

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

First and foremost of course, that it doesn’t
exist and I just haven’t had good sex yet. That it’s not natural. That I must
have lived through some trauma but maybe can be ‘repaired’.

When I was looking for a therapist for my
depression and anxiety, one said to me that I probably don’t want to have sex
because I’m such a closed off person. That woman never saw me again.

And being on Tumblr for quite some time now, I
noticed the astounding misconception that ace people don’t belong to the
LGBTQIA+ community, that we’re basically just prude/virgin hets-to-happen. The
first ones I can shrug off, the latter one really riles me up.

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

Don’t doubt yourself and your feelings (or lack
thereof), everything you experience and feel is valid. You don’t need to put a
tag on yourself if you can’t or don’t want to. There are times it feels like
the world just wants to spit in your face, but there will be a time all that
sh*t will go away to make room for all the good things.

I basically try to live by some wise words by
Charlie Chaplin: “Nothing is permanent in this wicked world – not even our
troubles.”

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

After a very long writing hiatus, I finally
published a fanfiction again. It can be found on AO3 under my username how_to_sit_gay. I’m
thinking about uploading my old (English) RP fanfiction after re-reading and
editing it as well, but this might take some time.

Said old tennis RPF can be found at poetry-of-dance.livejournal.com/tag/fic
but I probably really have to revise them as they are more than 8 years old.
Last but not least, a lot of my German short stories and (revised) fanfics
(2006-2009) are on fanfiktion.de/u/AngelOfFreedom

Unfortunately there are no videos from our Garde
performances online. You have to search YouTube for “Gardetanz” to get an
impression of it.

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

Interview: Ash Kleczka

Today we’re joined by Ash Kleczka, who also goes by Umber online. Ash is a phenomenal visual artist, an all-around fantasy enthusiast. They love using visual art to tell a story and highlight beauty. Their images show a unique style and a very vivid imagination. It’s clear Ash loves to create, 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 a fantasy illustrator, a painter, concept artist, and
all around enthusiast… I was going to add more to that statement, but
honestly I think ‘enthusiast’ about covers it. I get really excited about
concepts that are self-reflective in some way, or that highlight an unexpected
beauty.

I really try to create art that tells a story.  

What inspires you?

Nature, mythology, the occult. Things that are taboo or
archaic. I’m also deeply inspired by role-playing games like D&D and the
character building process.

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

The simple, inelegant answer is that I got into visual arts
because I was dissatisfied with the attractiveness of some characters from a
video game I was into at the time – and I wanted to make characters that would
appeal to me.

It’s an ongoing struggle haha.

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 super-secret naming convention for pretty much any
character I’ve ever created ever is to try to match their
personality/appearance/some interesting feature to a bird or other natural
flora or fauna and then I build their name around the scientific binomial of
that thing.

So for example, one character named Cyril Alcyon is based
around the belted kingfisher megaceryle
alcyon
. Another is named Melia Edarach which is taken from the chinaberry
tree, or Melia azedarach.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

My advice is to just keep going. It’s OK for things to not
look exactly as they do in your head, or to be dissatisfied with where you are
with your art. It means that you have room to grow! Stay open to new ideas and
roll with the punches. Art, like life, is full of happy accidents.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Grey-Ace/Pansexual

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

I’m not particularly open about my sexuality in the
workplace, but the few times it’s come up typically end with the person I’m
talking to feeling sorry for me. It’s not hateful – just a lack of
understanding. So I try my best to explain that it’s not a negative part of my
life experience. It’s just an orientation in the same way that being gay, or
bisexual is.

I have encountered prejudice
in my personal life however. One instance was in my last D&D
campaign. I played an ace/aro character, and was met with some questionably in-character commentary from
another player. That was really the first time I’d encountered something like
that in the wild before, and honestly…I’m open to advice myself.

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

That it’s something to be fixed.

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

Find people you trust that you can talk to, and be patient
with yourself. Sometimes it’s not as simple as just being one piece of the big
sex/gender pie. Sometimes you’re a triple decker slice of pie with whipped
cream and cherries.

I’ve found it really helpful to talk to my husband (who’s
allo) to see where we differ. Sometimes the answers you’re looking for are in
the empty spaces between two truths.

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

I have a website umbertheprussianblue.com!

You can also follow me on Instagram and Twitter at ThePrussianBlue

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

Interview: Sean Shannon

Today we’re joined by Sean Shannon. Sean is a phenomenal artist whose a bit of an artist-of-all-trades. She has two main focuses at the moment: writing and creating webseries. She has written a novel entitled The Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban that was up for an international award. Sean has also written two ebooks of classroom exercises for humanities instructors, several poems, some short stories, and a seventeen-year-old blog. As if that’s not impressive enough, Sean has also created a couple webseries. It’s clear she’s a dedicated artist who 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 am the author of the novel The
Prostitutes of Lake Wiishkoban
, which was shortlisted for the Dundee
International Book Prize and a quarterfinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough
Novel Award. In addition, I’m the creator and host of the teaching webseries Socratic Sense, which explores
current issues in teaching, and the intersection of education with politics and
popular culture, as well as a personal webseries called Musecast. Those are my (current)
major efforts, but I call myself an “artist-of-many-trades” because I work in
all kinds of mediums, from writing to the visual arts.

What inspires you?

I could name specific artists whose influences I can see in
my work, but what inspires me more than anything is the desire to leave the
world a better place than I found it. That’s a drive that influences all my
work, across all mediums.

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

My parents were both artists, so I kind of come by it
naturally. I also had a very difficult childhood, and while I’ve never had
formal sessions in art therapy, my art has always been a refuge for me, and a
place for me to work out the problems I’m having (then and now). I’ve always
wanted to be an artist on some level, but I’ve always wanted to be everything. I still haven’t decided what
I want to be when I grow up.

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?

Whenever I’ve tried to include something like that in my
work, it always feels forced to me. Other artists don’t seem to have that
problem, so I guess I’m just not very good at that sort of thing.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Absorb everything you can. Consume art far and wide, even if
it’s not in a medium or genre you want to work with. Everything you experience
will fill your artistic well, and could inspire your art five minutes or fifty
years in the future.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am a panromantic asexual.

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

The biggest problem I’ve come across is people who assume
that I can’t write a novel about sex work, or a novel with sex scenes, because
I’m asexual. (Never mind that I fit some people’s definition of the term “sex
worker” because I’ve taught safer sex practices before.)

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

That asexuality is synonymous with celibacy, and that
asexuals can’t have (or enjoy) sex.

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

Above all, you are not alone. I don’t believe in making
promises like “it gets better,” because I’m not in a position to be able to
keep that promise to anyone else (or even myself), but know that some of us out
here are at least trying to make things better for asexuals. We would very much
like your help if you can provide it, but it’s okay if you need to stay private
about your asexuality for now, regardless of the reason.

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

My blog, seanshannon.org,
has links to my books and videos, examples of my photography, and short written
pieces about everything on my mind these last couple of decades, ranging from
political essays to narrative non-fiction.

Thank you, Sean, 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: 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: Snig

Today we’re joined by Snig. Snig is a phenomenal poet who has recently come out as asexual. They write a lot of blank-verse poetry and most of it has to do with emotions. They have a book out titled Girl Behind Scars, which is definitely worth checking out. It’s clear they’re a passionate author with an admirable dedication, as you’ll see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a writer/poet on WordPress.

A lot of my work is blank verse poetry
usually relating to my emotional status at the time. But more so than often you
can find me also ranting about some topic that has caught my eye, or just
random thoughts that go along in my head. Ya, I’m pretty much all over the
place when it comes to writing.

What inspires you?

To be honest, too many things inspire
me. It can be a conversation I’ve had with someone, my mental illnesses, the
people around me, a meme I saw online that made me feel a certain one. But I
think at the crux of all of them is the fact that they evoked a raw, undeniable
urge to write about them.

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

I’ve always written. Even as kid,
penning my thoughts down on paper provided me with more clarity than anything
else could have. So that’s where it all started I guess, a need for little me
to understand the world around her, and so I would write down every perspective
or thought I could about something that had caught my eye. If I couldn’t
understand how I truly felt about someone or something, I’d write about them.

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 any unique
signature, symbol or feature that I include in my work.

What advice would you give young
aspiring artists?

Art has very little to do with success
and more to do with how it personally makes you feel and that’s what make
someone a true artist. So no matter what art form you choose to pursue or do as
a hobby, always keep it true to yourself and your perspective on life. Success
will follow.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as panromantic asexual.

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

In my field? Not really, but that’s
probably because my sexuality isn’t something that’s ever brought up in my
discussion with people. However, I have encountered people in daily life that
do think me identifying as an asexual, is just a typical “women” thing because
apparently women aren’t sexual beings. A thought process which is just
appalling.

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

That it means we will never have sex or
enjoy sex. Nah bruh, it just means I don’t have to deal with panties in a twist
just from seeing someone particularly attractive.

Also people who confuse it with asexual
reproduction and then say “oh so one day you’re just going to split into two”,
not funny guys, not funny.

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

You aren’t broken. I know in the hyper
sexualised world that we live in it can feel that way, but you aren’t broken.
You are just as valid an orientation as someone who is gay or lesbian, and even
though the LGBTQ+ community may sometimes also treat us as broken, there are
many of us out there who exist and will always be willing to help you out. You
are queer and you are here.

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

As of now most of my work is on my
WordPress blog, Semblance of Normality.
https://justanotherdepressedsoul.wordpress.com/

But I’ve also had a poem be published
in a collective anthropology called Girl
Behind Scars

https://www.amazon.in/Girl-Behind-Scars-about-Writing/dp/B078WQJSDX.

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

Interview: Alex

Today we’re joined by Alex. Alex is a wonderful visual artist who works with both digital and traditional media. A lot of their work is experimental or abstract. They have a particular affinity for the strange and enjoy drawing monster people. Their work is interesting, with muted colors adding a sense of eeriness to it. It’s clear that 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.

Oh man, what is there to tell? I draw original works and a
lot of abstract and experimental ideas. Be they my own or friend’s characters,
ideas, scenes, bad puns, you name it. I am constantly challenging myself to
improve and draw all the strange ideas that come into my head.

I do have an intense interest in monster people though.

What inspires you?

It’s more along the lines of “What doesn’t inspire me?”
Being disabled I’ve spent a lot of time inside my own head; built species,
characters, worlds, ideas. A bit of music, a bit of nature, a phrase, a person
in a state of emotion, smells even can get my brain working and thinking; ‘Who
does this remind me of, what would this character do in this situation? How
would this species interpret this?’

I’ve ended up creating entire characters after waking up
after a rough night in the hospital from drug fueled dreams, desperately
pleading with the nurses for some paper and pen so I could get it out of my
head before I forgot all of it.

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

I always drew but didn’t always want to be an artist. I
remember my duotangs in elementary school being filled to just an inch short of
the brink with doodles, shapes, silly cartoons, puzzles, patterns and a lot of
dragons. I remember then never hitting the edge of the duotang because I used
the work paper inside to hide the fact that I used drawing to pay attention to
my lessons.

It was honestly my paternal grandmother that really got me
into art, she paints but never had a knack for drawing things from her
imagination. And when she found out I could and did, she actively encouraged
me, often getting me to draw fantasy creatures for her to use as references for
her own art.

I didn’t start doing digital art seriously until a few years
ago when the arthritis in my hands started to make using pen and pencils
difficult to use for long periods of time. Its been a fun learning process that
I’ve been lucky to have other artists that inspire and encourage me along the
way.

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 sort of do but I tend to forget to put it as a watermark
on my art. I designed a crest for myself that is in desperate need of an
update. (My digital art skills have evolved a lot since then)

Other then that, maybe intense colours and lots of flowing
lines.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

As dumb as it sounds, practice the basics. When you find
yourself frustrated with your art go back to doing basic gesture pieces and
pages of doodles. Once your ready to draw something big that practice will be
ingrained into you and will make things easier in the long run.

And don’t be afraid to fuck up! Making mistakes is how you
learn, its allowed, and sometimes you end up finding out how to use those
mistakes to make your art even cooler!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual in a polyamorous relationship. I’m
also a transitioning agender person. Two months on hormones now, woot woot!

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

Not overly, I’ve faced more backlash for being non-binary
transgender then I have for being asexual. Most of the time my sexuality
doesn’t come up when I’m drawing for someone, and the few times it has those
I’ve been working with have been openly curious or even relieved because WOW
there are a lot of Ace artists out there.

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

‘You can’t be asexual, all humans have sexual urges, you’re
not a plant’ –Said to me by my abusive mother at 15 when I was trying to
explain why I wasn’t really okay with identifying as just bisexual.

Another big misconception people seem to have is that I
won’t have a raunchy as hell sense of humour. Admittedly my humour tends to go
from raunchy to ‘wtf’ in seconds flat because I don’t view sex as anything but
funny, so see no issue mixing it with other things I find absurd and funny.

I like to write porn (my favourite people to write it with
are other Asexual people or Demisexual people) and think dildos are the
funniest things on the planet. Just because I don’t want to hear about my friend’s
sex lives or be physically involved myself in sex doesn’t mean I can’t see how
it can be important in other people’s relationships.

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

Its okay to be unsure, its okay to question things. But know
this, no matter what anyone else says, you know you the best. You always will.

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

I’m mostly active on Tumblr: bohgeyboss.tumblr.com

Or at my Redbubble shop: www.redbubble.com/people/agentboss.

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

Interview: Nambroth

Today we’re joined by Nambroth. Nambroth is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in painting fantasy and wildlife, with the occasional overlap between the two. While she worked a lot with digital painting, Nambroth recently moved back into traditional mediums. She currently favors oil painting and creates the most extraordinary visuals. Her work shows both a vivid imagination and incredible eye, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I am a fantasy and wildlife visual artist, with some
crossover between the two genres. I started out with traditional materials when
I was a kid/teen, and when Wacom tablets and painting programs became available
to the public, I became primarily a digital painter. Recently, in the last ten
years, I’ve started working more in traditional mediums again, and in 2017 I
started oil painting in earnest for the first time and I’m really in love with
that medium right now.

What inspires you?

The list of what inspires me has blossomed over the years; I
think oil painting has re-wired me a bit and I find myself getting excited to
paint over nearly anything. That said, I am especially fond of nature (which is
pretty general, I know) and birds in particular. I am often inspired by music
and other’s art, and love seeing other artist’s paintings in person.

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

I have wanted to be an artist from the age when I realized
that such things were possible. I used to sit for hours with “Wildlife Artist”
magazines in the 80s and early 90s, daydreaming about the career. Dragonheart
came out when I was a young teen and starting to decide what I might want to do
with my life; I was very inspired by the thought of making dragons (etc). When
I neared graduation from high school, I was advised art wasn’t a good career
choice, and did consider my other passions (ornithology / avian medicine) very
seriously, but in the end I was stubborn and chased art as a career. I worked
several minimum wage jobs for years after graduating high school before I could
take the scary plunge and go full time with my art.

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

I’ve had a few friends tell me that my paintings of
clouds/skies stand out to them, but beyond that I don’t think I have anything
specific! I tend to be drawn to warm, and sometimes dramatic light, so I do
often paint that sort of look.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I am nervous about offering advice, because it makes it seem
as if I am a purveyor of wisdom; in truth, I have been doing this for about 15
years now and I still have next to no idea what I’m doing. Many people really
don’t know exactly what they’re doing, especially in this field. We’re all
experimenting and making it up as we go, to some extent. I suppose that can be advice
in of itself; don’t be afraid if you don’t know what you’re doing or how to get
there, because we’re all sort of in the same boat, even if we have a few miles
behind us! There is often no destination, even after a lifetime of art, I’m
told.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify strongly as asexual, and possibly panromantic.

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

I have not been very open about being ace, especially
professionally. I am married, and so carry a lot of privilege that way, as I’m
seen as “typical” I think. To this end I have not faced much prejudice in
regards to my asexuality, specifically.

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

Mostly that it’s not real, or that it’s a “cop-out” or
avoidance tactic.

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

I think it can be useful to see the labels for sexuality as
something to help empower yourself, and not to try to force yourself into it,
especially if you are still questioning. It was a relief to find a term for how
I felt for so long when I discovered the term “asexual” as an orientation in
the early 2000s. That said, it’s okay if you don’t feel that way; a perfect
description doesn’t exist for every person out there and I think that’s just
fine! We are living creatures and one term might feel right for now, and can
change over time, or it might remain static. It’s all good. Be excellent to
each other, and party on, dudes.

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


Personal website
Twitter
Tumblr
Deviantart
Patreon
Instagram
Ko-Fi.

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

Interview: Kayla Rose

Today we’re joined by Kayla Rose. Kayla is a phenomenal young visual artist who specializes in a variety of mediums. They mostly use graphite and colored pencils, but have recently gotten into charcoal drawing and they also paint. While they mostly do visual art, Kayla also writes and sometimes dances. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I draw, mostly using graphite and colored pencils, but I’ve
recently started using charcoal as well. I paint as a therapy activity. I have
dabbled in clay sculptures, found-object sculptures, foam carving, and ceramic
tiles. And I write whenever I have brain power left over. My style is still in
flux and I have varying subject matter.

What inspires you?

I tend to take inspiration from a lot of things: life,
death, depression, my own experiences, and things I find beautiful or haunting.

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

For as long as I can remember I have been drawing in
notebooks and copying pages from coloring books, but about four years ago I
started working in theatre and it has helped fuel my desire for skill in as
many forms of art as I can manage.

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?

Right now I don’t have any trademark or signature, though I
am trying to come up with one centered around a rosebud.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Since I fit in that category myself, I don’t feel super
qualified to say anything, but I would want to remind artists to chase what
they are passionate about and fight through all the blocks because you will
come out better than before.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am a Pan-romantic Asexual, and I fluctuate between
sex-neutral and sex-repulsed.

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

I’m in the arts and most people around me are very open-minded
and welcoming of any and all, so I can’t say that I’ve run into much prejudice,
but there is a lot of ignorance about it. There are people that I’ve had a hard
time convincing that Asexuality is real, and it’s vastly unrepresented so I
often feel lonely. But I try to keep my chin up and live my own life regardless
of other’s point of view.

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

That none of us have any interest in sex whatsoever, or that
discussion of sex will make us very uncomfortable.

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

You are valid, you are not broken. No matter what the masses
or media try to force on you, believe in yourself and don’t let the haters get
you down.

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

I post pictures of my work on Instagram as moonstruckmernerd and
my blog at http://thewordsmithysshop.blogspot.com/.

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

Interview: Kai Collart

Today we’re joined by Kai Collart. Kai is a phenomenal fanfiction writer who writes fics in the One Piece fandom. He particularly enjoys writing Zosan fics. While he mostly writes short stories, Kai also has a few multi-chapter fics too. It’s clear he loves to write, 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
mostly write fanfics for the One Piece
fandom, specifically Zosan. They’re mostly just short stories but I
have a few multi-chapter fics in mind that I may create someday. I do also make
my own short stories and what not but I keep those for myself and my close
friends. I’m not as active as I used to be, as I’m
spending more time editing other people’s
work rather than making my own.

What inspires you?

The
thing that inspires me most is music. I can’t
write unless I have music in the background, usually set in the mood of what I’m
writing. Going outside on walks also inspires me and helps me create new
ideas, as well as brainstorming with my fiancée also helps.

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

I’ve
always been interested in writing and storytelling since I can remember really.
My grandpa used to make up these elaborate stories for us and get us to add
onto it with him and since then I’ve
been hooked. I can’t go a day without creating my own
little world and making little stories along the way.

Reading
fanfics is what got me into writing them as I wasn’t
always satisfied with the content, or the lack thereof that I had access to. I
wanted to provide my own ideas for others to enjoy in their own time without
having to pay for it.

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

I don’t really have anything that I can
think of that’s unique to my work.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

No
matter what anyone says to you, good or bad, just keep creating. There will
always be at least one person that will love and be inspired by your work and
that in itself is worth it. But even then, create your art for you. Be your own
inspiration when you can.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m
a sex repulsed asexual, panromantic. I also happen to be a transgender male and
also polyamorous.

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

I
have indeed encountered plenty of ace prejudice in my time, mostly by my
ex-boyfriend. At first I tried to educate him on it but when he seemed
uninterested I just distanced myself from it. If a person isn’t
willing to learn about or accept who I am, there is only so much I can do
before I just have to walk away and take care of myself.

More often than not, people will accept it and move on for
me.

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

Mostly
I have encountered people saying that asexuality isn’t
a thing and I just need to find the right person, that I’m
picky, or even that I’m just afraid of sex because I’ve
been hurt. Most people who have said these things tell me that it’s
impossible not to be attracted to a gender and that I just need to choose
something.

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

Just
be yourself. Find people that will accept you, reach out to other aces if you
can and talk to them. Share your story if you feel comfortable doing so. Don’t
let people pressure you into doing something you don’t
want to do, if you’re in a relationship with a person who
is guilt tripping you over not having sex or not being sexually attracted to
them, maybe it’s time to get out of that relationship
if you can’t work it out. You’re
not alone, we stand with you.

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

https://archiveofourown.org/users/Torchi_chan
is
where I post the work that I’m comfortable sharing. Some may be NSFW and most are pretty sad.

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