Category: sex-repulsed asexual

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: 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: Isis E. Prosser

Today we’re joined by Isis E. Prosser. Isis is a phenomenal writer and jewelry maker who I met at Indy PopCon. I was blown away by the gorgeous jewelry she made and then she told me about the web novel she was working on entitled Lamenting City (chapters are posted on her main blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/). Not only does it sound positively fascinating, but it’s an ownvoices work. The main character of the series is an ace lesbian named Axel and there are also two minor asexual characters. I highly recommend checking it out. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and passionate author, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I’m a writer and a jewelry maker. When it comes to my
writing, I tend to focus on humour and emotions, lots of humour and emotions.
Sometimes I write purely humourous stories and sometimes I write purely
emotional (whether angsty or uplifting) stories. Longer stories tend to swing
between both extremes and I like to think the more I write, the better I become
at blending the two together. I write a mix of fanfiction and original stuff,
and I’m also not the greatest at updating either in a timely fashion (sorry!),
but I am trying and getting better at that.

My jewelry is something I also do with my mom (she’s my
teacher!) and currently I’m focusing on Pride jewelry and fandom jewelry
(currently, Harry Potter-inspired
pieces with some My Little Pony:
Friendship is Magic
-inspired pieces coming…. eventually). I’m very new to
this craft.

In the future I’d like to make video games, too. I’ve
written scenarios/concepts and dabbled a little in RPG Maker over the years,
but haven’t yet finished a thing. Maybe one day soon I’ll have something to
show. In the meantime it’s likely the characters of those ideas will be
introduced in short stories or novels.

I’m very passionate about storytelling in general.

What inspires you?

Many, many things! From real life experiences to other
fiction, and to the beauty of the natural world and that of architecture, as
well as mythology (Egyptian mythology is my fave). I’ve also been inspired by vivid
dreams I’ve had. And my inspirations tend to shine through in my work, whether
original or fanfiction. For example, my current web novel project, Lamenting City, was initially inspired
by a dream I had that came about when I was marathoning every Zoids anime with a friend. The dream
introduced me to Axel and offered a tantalizing glimpse of her world, and
afterwards I knew I had to write it. And often times I’ll have scenes or entire
stories inspired by music I listen to.

When it comes to jewelry, I tend to find inspiration looking
at gemstones or browsing jewelry supply shops. Sometimes I also get inspiration
from media, hence the Harry Potter bracelets.

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

I’ve wanted to be writer for as long as I can remember. I’m
not entirely sure where it started, but I know it did start in some form with
kid me’s obsession with Beatrix Potter’s stories and later stuff like OT Star Wars and Disney’s Gargoyles. I would also read a lot and
then read some more, and the more I read, the more I wanted to write.

As time went on, I also noticed more and more that there
weren’t a lot of characters like me in fiction. There weren’t a lot of diverse
characters and author voices in general. So, a lot of my writing is me creating
the stories and characters I wanted to see, and to give myself a voice.

With jewelry, I played around with plastic beads as a child
but then the hobby faded for many years. Earlier this year I got interested in
it again after looking at pride jewelry and deciding I could make the types of
bracelets I wanted… and then a lightbulb turned on and I realized that, hey, if
I wanted jewelry like this, other LGBTQIANP+ folks might want it, too. And then
my love for fandom made me start slowly getting into making fandom jewelry as
well.

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, looking at my writing as of 2015, dream and nightmare sequences seem to be a pretty
big thing. They appeared in my (currently unposted) Metroid fic that I wrote
for my first NaNoWriMo (2015), appeared again in my Camp NaNoWriMo project, a Legend of Spyro fanfic (I haven’t yet
posted the chapter with the first dream sequence however), and then they’ve
appeared in every NaNo project since…

I find dream and nightmare sequences really fun to write.
They’re a good way to explore the character’s mind without having to worry
about realism or even my own canon.

In general, I like to use dreams/nightmares to introduce
concepts and foreshadowing in ways that (hopefully) aren’t immediately obvious.

With my jewelry, it’s a bit hard to say since it’s all so
new to me. But I like to add a touch of whimsy to everything I create!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

To not be discouraged, and to get your art out there. It can
be very daunting, yeah, I’ve been there (and in many ways still am), but your
voice is needed. Perhaps some people won’t get your story, but for the people
who do, it could mean the world.

Understand that you have room to grow, but to also be you.
Improve and become the best you.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

Homoromantic/demiromantic asexual. Also sex-repulsed.

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

More times than I’d like to count, especially offline. I try
to clarify things for people who simply don’t know, but find it’s easier on my
mental health to avoid actually prejudiced people who are unlikely to change
their mind. Sometimes both of those things are easier said than done.

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

The most common seem to be “Asexuals are incapable of love
in any form” and “Asexuals can’t have sex/be sex positive”. Trying to correct
either misconception isn’t usually a fun time for me, especially the latter
(where being a sex-repulsed ace with no intention of having sex gets thrown
back in my face as if it’s some kind of gotcha).

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

That you’re not broken, and that you’re ace enough.  You’re loveable and amazing as you are, and
there’s nothing to be ashamed of.

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

My main home of operation is on my website/blog: https://lairofthestormdragon.com/

There I post short stories, chapters of Lamenting City, and blog posts where I yell about video games and
music.

And while there’s not as much content as I’d like (I’m
working on it!), you can find my newer fanfiction on AO3: https://archiveofourown.org/users/MetroidReploid/profile

I will be updating my Legend
of Spyro
fic (well, the first one) soon and will be adding a Metroid fic and a Star Wars fic at some point this year. I like many fandoms!

And you can check out my jewelry here: https://www.etsy.com/shop/StormDragonsWares

More designs coming soon!

Thank you, Isis, 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: Chimney

Today we’re joined by Chimney. Chimney is a wonderful poet from Germany. He writes mostly for a hobby and his poetry tends to focus on emotions. Chimney mainly writes in German though he has translated some of his poetry into English. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate 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 am a writer and
poet. I write a lot of poems about love and being heartbroken by love, but also
other stuff. In my writings I concentrate a lot on the emotional side, like how
the characters feel, why they feel that way. I want the reader to understand my
characters and feel with them. I really want to have this transparency in my
stories and poems.

My poems
especially are very personal. And I try to throw as much emotions and pain as
possible in them, that’s why it often hurts
to read them, because their pure emotions.

What inspires you?

I get inspired by
a lot of stuff, actually. Obviously I get inspired by real life experiences,
but music is one of those things that inspires and influences me the most. When
I listen to songs there are always popping up some lines and ideas in my head.
But I also get inspired by other people or artist who achieved something in
their life. Seeing them getting from bottom to almost the top inspires me and
gives me the courage to try my best. And even if I don’t made it there will be
always people who I can inspire and that’s it what keeps me going forward.

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

Honestly at first
I hated writing poems, because I never was able to rhyme something good. So I
first started with writing stories, because some guy in my class wrote a very
funny story and I wanted to write something funny as well xD. But after finally
starting to rite I realized how much fun this is to me. I love creating
stories, telling  stories and share them
with others. Being an artist was never my main goal. It was and unfortunately
still is one of my greatest hobbies. But I really hope that it someday will be
more than just this little hobby of mine.

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 that I’m
aware of. I try to change my still very often and I like to experiment a lot.
Especially with my poems. I often change the metre and sometimes even use
different languages.

But more like
snippets or a few specific words. Other than that all I can say is that my
writings are full of emotions.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I would say:
“Have the courage to post your art online!“ Why? Because there will always be
at least one person that will like it. Art is very important and it can help
people, inspire people etc.

So it doesn’t matter how
insecure you feel about your stuff, there will be people who supports you and
by sharing it you can grow. Be open-minded accept critique and advice, so that
you can grow.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as quoiromantic
asexual. And I think more on the sex-repulsed side.

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

Yes I did, from
one person actually. Who actually very radical and I don’t want to explain the
details. They said horrible things to me. First I tried to have a real in-depth
conversation with them about it, but after that didn’t worked I broke contact
with them, because in the end it was better for my mental health.

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

From what I’ve
heard most people think that asexuality = anti-sexuality. Like that we’re all
against sex and everything that has something to do with it. Which is just not
right.

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

Seriously, the
most important part is that you accept yourself how you are and that you
understand that you’re fine, lovable and not broken by being asexual. The
sexuality is just one small part of you and what really matters is your
personality. I can understand that finding out that you’re ace can be
frightening, but when someone really likes or loves, they will do it because of
your personality, because you make them smile and give them a reason to stay
strong.

You’re all valid.

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

So for my German
fellas you can always read my work right here: https://www.fanfiktion.de/u/Chimney

For the others I
suggest you to follow me on my Tumblr where I’m planning on releasing little
English poems and snippets: megahyperchickenwing.tumblr.com (yes, that is my name)

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

Interview: Sierra

Today we’re joined by Sierra. Sierra is a phenomenal poet and dancer. She uses art as an outlet. When she’s not choreographing dances, Sierra enjoys writing poetry. It’s clear she’s a passionate artist with a great amount 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 am a dancer and poet. I write or choreograph what I am
feeling and use my art as an outlet for my emotions. I try to address issues
and subjects many people deal with such as mental health, grief, etc. I think
it is important for everyone to express themselves, and if my art can be used
to help someone express themselves, I feel I have reached my goal.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by everything, but my main inspiration is people.
When I see someone being purely themselves, I can see the art in them and want
to be able to express that to others. I also get a lot of my inspiration from
music of all kinds.

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

I have always loved the arts, specifically dancing. I grew
up dancing and felt like it was the only thing I could relate to others
through. As I got into high school I discovered a love for poetry and began to
write. I have not published any of my work, but it is a goal I have for the
future. Art has always been something very close to me.

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

There isn’t anything special about my work. I just try to
capture raw humanity and convey it to others.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Do what you love and don’t worry about what others think.
You will grow into a uniquely beautiful artist no matter what you do. Not
everyone will love your work, but if you reach just one person and help them
feel something, you have done the best you can as an artist. Push yourself to
your artistic limits and allow your creativity to flow freely.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as aromantic-asexual. I consider myself
sex-repulsed and between romance-neutral and romance repulsed.

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

Not specifically in my field have I encountered prejudice or
ignorance, but in life in general I find a lot of ignorance. So many people
can’t understand how something so engrained in their minds can be non-existent
in ours, and therefore ridicule us for it. I think as long as you can stand
tall and ignore that hate that comes towards you, you can be whoever you want
to be. Anyone and everyone is valid.

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

I’ve found the most common misconception of asexuality is
what it actually means and that it is different for everyone. Many people don’t
understand asexuality and try to decide for themselves what it is. They then
have an incorrect idea and/or opinion of asexual people which can be hard to
change.

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

If you embrace who you are, you will feel amazing. Its okay
if you don’t know what that is yet, you will figure it all out in due time. If
you don’t feel like coming out yet, then don’t. Just know that the ace
community is such a loving family that is always looking for new members.

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

You can find out more about my work on my Tumblr, at poeticaceinspace. P.S. I’m
pretty bad about keeping up with my blog but I’m trying to get better.

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

Interview: Elin

Today we’re joined by Elin. Elin is a phenomenal writer from Sweden who currently specializes in fanfiction. She hopes to publish original work in the future. Aside from writing, Elin went to drama school and acted for a time, but found that writing is where her heart is at. It’s clear she’s a passionate and talented artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

I express my art form through writing. While I mainly focus
on fanfiction, I’m also currently writing three longer original works, which I
hope will be published one day, if I’m very lucky. In the past I have also had
a major interest in theatre and acting, and actually went to various acting
schools for some fifteen years, starting when I was five, but I’ve recently
moved on from that to pursue a different education.

What inspires you?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

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

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interview: 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.

Interview: PJ

Today we’re joined by PJ. PJ is a phenomenal actress and a singer/songwriter. She’s also a YouTuber and a former state title-holder for talent. PJ has recently finished filming her first film role, which is super exciting. When she’s not working on her art, PJ is also an asexual and autism self-advocate. She’s clearly 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 do a variety of things. My strength is definitely music
(singing and songwriting), but I also have a passion for acting, YouTube, and
modeling. I just recently finished filming my first movie (sorry, no details
can be shared yet)!

In music, my strength is opera (even though ironically, I
don’t like singing it that often). I’ve also written a song about
asexuality/aromanticism, but since I’m not with a record label yet, I can’t really
share my music with the world. I have this huge vision that can’t be done
without a little help. I hope to be signed one day!

What inspires you?

Coldplay. As an autistic person, they’re my obsessive
interest. If it weren’t for me being exposed to Coldplay at such a young age, I
wouldn’t be involved in music at all. At 5 years old, I was already mimicking
Chris Martin’s recognizable vocals. It’s honestly how I learned to sing.
Coldplay inspires me on a daily basis. They’re all I really listen to. Then
again, I also really love Owl City. My music is kind of like a mix between the
two.

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

I’ve wanted to be a singer-songwriter and actress for as
long as I can remember. My interest in YouTube started a couple years after
YouTube launched. My dad was also a professional drummer, so I suppose I got
some of my musicality from him. I just always knew in my heart that I was meant
to enter the entertainment field; even though it’s still a bit of a struggle
for me.

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 wish I did!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Here are my 10 rules for success:

1. Go for it and don’t hold anything back. Give it your all.
Be confident in your work.
2. Listen to your heart/audience. I’m only here in this position because people
kept telling me, “Hey, you’re really good. Have you ever thought about putting
yourself out there?” If people believe in me, I’m not going to let them down.
It was people encouraging me to be my best that got me this far.
3. As for the haters, just ignore them (which I know, can be difficult). Haters
come and go. Followers stick around as long as you do.
4. Be your awesome self! If people don’t like that, too bad. They’re probably
missing out on how wonderful you really are.
5. Reach out. Some connections are pretty important.
6. Keep perfecting your craft. Your work can ALWAYS use improvement; even if
you think it doesn’t. I’ve surprised myself a lot. I always thought I was done,
but then switched a few things up and-BAM! It was even better than before!
7. Keep persisting and working. If you’re having a writer’s/roadblock, don’t
let that stop you from working on something else… and then coming back to that
block when you’re ready!
8. Stay positive. I know this part is difficult as well, but trust me. It’s
important.
9. Learn from your mistakes. Let’s be honest, you’re going to screw up at one
point or another. The good news, however, is that the next time you come back,
you’re going to be even stronger than you were before.
10. Strive to be YOUR best. I don’t aim for the #1 spot; I aim for the best I
know I can be. The only thing I’m good at is being me. Don’t pay attention to
what someone else is doing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am heteroromantic asexual, and extremely sex-repulsed
(apothisexual, if you want to get technical). Yet, I LOVE kissing, cuddling,
etc. Just everything except sex (which makes me physically sick for some
reason).

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

Luckily, no. In fact, it’s just the opposite. Some people
praise me for figuring myself out at such a young age. I actually receive more
prejudice and ignorance for my autism than my sexuality (and I’ve been openly
asexual for years). I’ve been dealing with the autism stigma and stereotypes my
whole life, so at this point, I’m pretty much immune to any hate. It doesn’t
bother me at all. I actually think it’s quite hilarious.

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

“It’s just a phase.”

I first suspected I was asexual when I was 14, found the
term at 17, and still identify this way at almost 21 years old. I don’t think
it’s a phase if it lasts for several years.

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

Ask yourself, “Has this always been me?” I’ve had many
things happen to me that further confirm that I’m asexual. Most of the time,
I’ve just felt out of place. What was this “sexual attraction” that people kept
talking about? Why do I only feel the need to hug, kiss, and cuddle someone?
Instead of being “turned on”, why do I experience nausea? There were just too
many things that lead to me finding asexuality.

If you’re struggling about coming out, I feel you. I was
once there. If someone doesn’t like you because of your orientation, again,
that’s too bad. Your orientation does not define you; you define it.

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

I highly encourage anyone who may have questions about
asexuality to message me on my ace blog: at theapothisexualace. Other
than that, my Instagram is at peytonjustine,
my personal Tumblr is at peyton-justine,
my YouTube channel is Clodplaye;
named after my original Coldplay-themed Tumblr: at clodplaye and my Coldplay-themed
Instagram: at clodplaye.
Lastly, my Twitter is at Clodplaye
as well. I have other social media accounts, but I don’t really post to them
that often.

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

Interview: Domonick

Today we’re joined by Domonick. Domonick is a wonderful self-taught visual artist. They started out drawing characters from Transformers: Animated and have since begun drawing their own comics and webcomics. Their work shows an incredible amount of detail and is brimming with bright vivid colors. It’s clear they’re a passionate and dedicated 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’ve been drawing for eleven years, and almost all I’ve drawn
since I started has been robots. I started to watch Transformers: Animated and that’s what inspired me to draw in the
first place. Since then, I’ve been trying all sorts of tutorials to improve for
the past few years, but for the most part I am self-taught.

What inspires you?

I want to tell stories that make people happy through my art!
Because that’s almost all I know how to do. All I want is to make it so that at
least one person’s day is made when they look at what I make.

I also take much inspiration from the songs I find, and I listen
to them all the time.

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

I drew my first piece that made me feel like I could draw forever
in 2007, when I drew a picture of Prowl from Transformers: Animated, and
since then I’ve filled sketchbooks, notebooks meant for schoolwork, and
dozens of sheets of printer paper with sketches and doodles. I always draw
whenever I can, on whatever I can, and nine times out of ten I’m storyboarding
for my comic.

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 jot down a lower-case “d” and the date on all of my art,
but I also sometimes use the “B” heart from the title of The Bar Bots, my webcomic.

Other than that, I usually add a thick outline to all the
characters I draw, and I digitalize my inked drawings through Medibang.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

You are good at art. Everyone is good at art in their own way and
we’re all still learning. I’m still learning. And if someone says your art is
bad, then they have a lot to learn themselves.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m fairly sure I’m sex-repulsed, because the idea of it has always scared me and
made me very anxious, but I’m still discovering new things day-to-day.

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

Not necessarily prejudice, but I’ve had a bunch of ignorance
around me. A few of my friends still don’t understand the concept of
asexuality, and they don’t get that romance and intimacy doesn’t have to be
inherently sexual, but I’m trying to explain it to them eventually.

Besides them, I haven’t really encountered a whole lot of
confusion.

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

That I don’t love anybody enough or that I won’t be committed to a
relationship. I’ve loved before, and I didn’t need sex for that.

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

You’re you, and you’re the one and only person who can interpret
how you feel. And if you feel asexual, then you can be asexual. However you
discover you is the best way to do it.

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

I’m glad you asked! I have two blogs on Tumblr where you can see
my work: thebarbotscomic.tumblr.com and pickle-rocket-art.tumblr.com

I’m also constantly updating my Patreon at patreon.com/picklerocket!

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