Category: visual art

Interview: Inbar

Today we’re joined by Inbar. Inbar is a phenomenal visual artist and writer who has been running a webcomic for almost a year and a half. It’s entitled Just a Sidekick and it’s a superhero story that sounds fascinating. Aside from the webcomic, she’s also currently studying animation and is working on her final movie. When she’s not working on the webcomic or animation projects, Inbar also writes fanfiction. It’s clear she’s a dedicated and enthusiastic 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.

The main project I am currently working on right now is a
webcomic called “Just a Sidekick”, it’s a superhero ensemble story
with a large focus on character interactions and character development. I’m
also studying to be an animator, I’m in my last (fourth) year – and although I
currently haven’t done any animation work that isn’t technically school work,
I’m fairly proud in my animations. Currently, I just started work on my final
movie, an urban fantasy called “Shoshi Ben-Abraham: Good Witch (Usually)”
about a soft pastel witch and outgrowing the influence of toxic parents. In
additions, I do some writing. The stories that I have online (and in English)
are mostly fanfiction on AO3 (I’m currently writing for the Ace Attorney
fandom), but I’ve also written original fiction before. Mostly short stories,
but I’ve dabbled in poetry too.  

What inspires you?

That’s the million-dollar question, isn’t it? Sometimes I
feel like I’ve got stories overflowing in my brain all the time and I just need
to grab the not-sucky ones and share those in the best medium possible. But I
guess my biggest source of inspiration is… other works of art and storytelling
media. Not in the sense that I consider myself a rip-off artist or that I steal
ideas, but I just… I look at a work of fiction and find something about it I
like; a particular character, a trope, a relationship, a plot point, a design
aesthetic or even just a feel that the work inspires, and I go “That’s
neat, I wonder what I could do with that. I wonder if I can give this idea a
take of my own. A spin that takes the stuff that I like but makes it unique
enough so it’s mine.” I used to go roaming on the TV Tropes website
all the time, find a trope I think has cool potential and think what I could do
with it. I’m a fan and analyst as much as I am a creator, and I think it
reflects in my artistic process. Also, “Just a Sidekick” started out
a middle-school piece of crossover fanfiction that mutated so much that I was
better off just making it original fiction, so that’s something.

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

I’ve been drawing and making up stories since I can remember
myself. As a kid, I used to draw in any given opportunity, on anything I could
find. On the final first grade, I had to stay after everyone had left to clean
up the desk in my classroom as punishment for all the desks I doodled on. After
that, my parents started buying me blank “drawing notebooks” to draw
on instead. I filled them up, sometimes an entire notebook in one school day,
with illustrations (and sometimes stories) I made up. I also always really
liked animation, cartoon shows were my favorite form of entertainment as a
child (I was always inherently biased against any kid’s show with live-action actors,
they were always less interesting to me.) However, up until middle-school I
didn’t consider animation, comics or art in general as a future career option.
I thought of them as a hobby, my first dream (well, after I outgrew wanting to
be a puppeteer-air hostess-cook-kindergarten teacher-robot scientist-farmer)
was to be a zoologist. I love animals and I love reading facts about them, I
thought I would enjoy becoming a scientist who studies them. But around middle
school I started realizing it wasn’t a very realistic dream, I didn’t have a
head for the sciencey subjects and I only really enjoyed knowing about animals
from a distance and without all the icky stuff. Around that time, as I was
reconsidering what I want to do with my life, I was watching some special
feature about the history of Pixar in one of their DVDs (maybe the
Incredibles?). Someone there said that they got into animation because they
grew up watching Disney animated movies and so they wanted to do so themselves.
That seemed like the right angle to go at, a lot of people answer ‘why did you
decide to become an X’ with “well, I grew up inspired by X and I wanted to
pay it forward to the next generation”. And what was my favorite form of
media as a kid? The one I would like to advance forward to the kids of
tomorrow? Cartoon shows! That’s when I decided that one I day I’ll be the
creator of a cartoon show, or if that can’t happen – I’ll at leas be an
animator. Also around the same time I was suddenly starting to have some
problems with art class in school because it was starting to lean more
‘realistic’ and toward live-drawing – while I, I realized, care more about the
art of telling stories via my drawing. The move to comics and animation is only
logical from there.

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 signature is the Hebrew Letter Ayin (the first letter of
my name) stylized and with a dot in the middle to make it look like an eye (another meaning for the word
“Ayin”). Although I don’t use it on a lot of online content. In terms
of recurring storytelling motifs, I guess most of my stories have a
mostly-female cast, and I really like the trope where a character has to face
against a pre-character development representation of themselves.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Find something that you’re both pretty good at and have fun
doing and focus on that. Also, originality is overrated. Having a unique idea
nobody ever thought before is not nearly as important as presenting and
delivering those ideas well.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

The identity I feel most strongly about is “Asexual, period, full stop.” For the sake of communication,
I can say that my identity is “Asexual Aromantic”, and it’s not that
I’m ashamed at my lack of romantic attraction or that I don’t feel
solidarity with other Aro people… but I’ve spent so much time questioning and
second-guessing my own orientation and worrying that I might be ‘faking it’.
But “Asexual” is the one label I’ve always come back to, the one that
feels the most ‘right’, the most like home.

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

I’ve encountered ace prejudice, but not in my ‘field’, so to
speak. I’m not very vocal about my asexuality outside of the internet, and
online (where I am very vocal) I’m just not that well-known as a creator. One
time I made a piece of art as schoolwork about my AroAceness, and the teacher
started out with “Oh that’s very sad that you felt like you have to fake
attraction to a boy” but ended up constantly talking about her husbands
and soulmates and how wonderful relationships were as if me talking about how I
was hurt by heteronormativity is insulting her relationship somehow. That kinda
hurt me, especially since it was such a personal piece. I am very afraid of the
possibility I might be the target of ace prejudice, though. It’s an anxiety
that’s constantly on my mind.

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

That it’s not ‘real’. When I first mentioned Asexuality to
my dad, before I came out, he dismissed it as “what crazy thing they’ll
make up next” and it really hurt me. I’ve seen all sorts of crazy
antagonism and misunderstanding about Ace People online, but the outright
dismissal of our identities is still what hurts me the most.

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

Surround yourself with good friends who respect your
identity. Even if the world can be really crappy sometimes, a good community to
take refuge in can make you feel a lot better. Also, try and not get stressed
about your identity the way that I did, okay? You’re probably not faking it or
lying to yourself, and if asexuality feels like the most ‘right’ label for you
and makes you happy – that’s all you need.

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

My webcomic, Just a Sidekick, is found at http://justasidekickcomics.tumblr.com/
and http://justasidekick.thecomicseries.com/.

My fanfiction is on Archive of Our Own under “Invader
Ham” https://archiveofourown.org/users/InvaderHam

I might upload some animated projects to my YouTube channel
soon, which is https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTL3B4o0qQzpyd_cvzHw-jg

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

Interview: Aodhan

Today we’re joined by Aodhan. Aodhan is a phenomenal visual artist who is a first for asexual artists. His works involves a lot of rotational symmetry and either extremely light or heavy contrast between them. I was studying the work he sent with his interview and there’s something almost hypnotic about it. His work is incredibly interesting to look at and it draws the viewer in. It’s clear he’s a very passionate artist who enjoys what he does, 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 do mostly visual art that deals with colors, gradients,
and rotational symmetry. It’s all done digitally through mirroring and color
changing software. The main stylistic choices that I use are very soft and very
heavy contrast with minimal blur, or sometimes forgoing some levels of symmetry
for a level of blending or shadows.

Most of my base pictures are pictures I take or random
gradients. Sometimes I use random memes or just odd pictures just for the level
of fun I get from realizing that I just turned some random image from my
gallery into a piece of art.

What inspires you?

My main inspirations were funnily enough my cat Cider, eyes,
and many types of butterflies and moths. I was always fascinated my cat’s fur
and the patterns in it despite how minimal they could be, and wanted to
recreate them in digital art. When it came to eyes, I was always enthralled by
how they looked, especially the iris. Then for butterflies, well they were
pretty and symmetrical, what more was there to like?

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

Oddly enough, I started doing it for the sheer purpose of
messing with people and using it to add more “pylons” to a picture. The meme of
“You must construct additional pylons,” was one that I enjoyed, and someone bet
that I couldn’t make a bunch of copies of the Starcraft pylon in an image look
pretty. I took this challenge in stride, made five dollars, and found a passion
in creating these odd pieces. As one could guess, I wasn’t always too keen on
becoming an artist. However when I found a medium I enjoyed, it kind of just
sparked.

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 they’re usually symmetrical as the term rotational
symmetry implies, but other than that there is no real signature that can be
found.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

For life, I’d say to find and do what makes you happy. When
it comes to art, I’d suggest to try weird styles and challenge yourself in
weird ways. You may just find exactly what you love doing.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as a homoromantic asexual.

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

Only once, and it was with a friend who did not know what
the term meant. He acted rudely at first but thankfully he’s an accepting
person and with an explanation of how it worked, he understood and became
rather nice about it. In general, if it would happen again, I’d just explain
the details and if it doesn’t help, I’d back off and recognize that it wasn’t
working.

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

That we identify as asexual because we can’t find someone to
have sex with.

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

You aren’t broken, you weren’t made incorrectly, and most
importantly you are absolutely valid however you express yourself or identify.

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

You can find some of my work at my Tumblr at tripping-ace where I sometimes post
art but usually drop some stupid humor.

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

Interview: Ray Wyse

Today we’re joined by Ray Wyse. Ray is a phenomenal visual artist and writer. They mostly write fanfiction but hope to publish some original work in the future. Aside from writing, they are also a dedicated visual artist who enjoys drawing and painting. They do a lot of portraiture work and their art is extraordinarily detailed. It’s clear they’re a passionate and talented 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.

My work varies, but I enjoy writing, drawing and painting.
My writing is most often fictional pieces with characters I’ve created, and
while I try and branch out with my artwork my strongest pieces have always been
portraiture. In all my work I try and integrate what I know, in terms of my
experiences and imagination. I’ll mainly referencing my artwork in this
interview as it’s what most of my time and my education is dedicated to!

What inspires you?

Other people inspire me. I’m driven by seeing creators do
what they love and doing it well, it really pushes me to try and be better.

But for choosing what I want to draw or paint I’m inspired
by perception. I find drawing exactly what I can see boring, and I want to
explore more emotive ways of portraying people and places. Usually this means
playing with the features of the subject matter, taking them away or changing
them through distortion or obstruction.

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

I’ve always wanted to create art. I’ve taken it at every
level available to me through primary and secondary school, but it’s only
recently at college I became determined to find some sort of career in it. I
think most of our everyday life is the way it is because of artistic people,
from film to advertising to product design, and yet it goes by unnoticed.
Almost every field has a need for us, and when I realized that it only helped
push my interest in the subject.

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? There are maybe certain things I always do
that I’m not aware of, but as someone who’s still trying to find their own
style and techniques I don’t think I have any repetitive patterns, but I
suppose I always draw specific attention to the eyes or the obstruction of
them. I feel like that makes or breaks a good portrait.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I would say that I know, I understand it’s frustrating
sometimes. There will always be others that are around your age, who you think
has work that surpasses your own. There will be times where you can’t get a
picture JUST right. But you have to realize that your art is always changing
and improving. It’s hard to notice day to day but try and redo a piece from
just a few years or even months ago to see how you’ve changed! Practice, there
isn’t a shortcut to progress! Support and learn from each other!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as asexual, but I don’t know where on the
spectrum. I’m in a serious relationship, but I haven’t been for long enough to
know whether or not I could be demi. Currently I identify as a panromantic ace,
meaning I can have romantic attraction to any gender but sexual attraction to
none.

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

I generally encounter confusion when talking to someone
about my sexuality. It’s difficult, because as someone who didn’t find a label
that worked for them until their late teens, I spent a lot of my childhood
thinking I was ‘broken’ or otherwise ‘wrong’. And hearing it insinuated from someone
else saying ‘how do you know? Maybe you just haven’t found the right person,
etc. etc.’ can hurt a lot. Especially if coming from other people in the LGBT+
community.

But I have to remember I’m valid, and that’s what I tell
them. I calmly explain that I just don’t feel sexual attraction, I never have,
and it really isn’t a big concern. And if they don’t accept that, I stop
conversing with them.

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

The most common misconception is that asexuality is
comparable to practicing abstinence, as if sexuality is some sort of choice.
Another common one is that all ace people ‘become’ asexual after some sort of
traumatic experience

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

I would say it’s not your job to educate others, and it’s
okay to not have everything figured out! You’ll hear about how it’s a ‘phase’
at some point in your life, and this will suck. But remember that no matter
what, whether how you identify changes over the years or if a label you found
at 13 still works for you at 33, you’re valid.

I’m not going to tell you it isn’t a phase and you won’t
experience doubts. I’m going to tell you that if it is, that’s okay too.

Take time figuring yourself out, research the spectrum of
different sexualities, and don’t feel bad if things change. How you identify at
this moment is still 100% valid and don’t settle for anyone that doesn’t
respect that.

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

You can find more of my work on Instagram! I also do
commissions; my username is at Rachel.Wyse
<3

I’m hoping to branch into other social media sites soon, but
for now the majority of my work is on Instagram.

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

Interview: E.T.Vise

Today we’re joined by E.T.Vise. E.T.Vise is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in 2D cartoons and photography. He has recently gotten into filmmaking and is exploring that medium as well. It’s clear they’re a passionate and enthusiastic 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 primarily do 2D cartoon and pen art but I do go into
photography and I’m starting to get into Filmmaking and the art of
filmmaking.  

What inspires you?

The world around us and how our brains are built with what
we feel & think.

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

Wanting to create something that said me and just the influx
ideas for art.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Make whatever the hell you want to make, grab a pencil and
paper and experiment and find your creative voice.

ASEXUALITY

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

No… not really that and I haven’t really been active in the
community but I’m sure as I become more active the situation will arise one
day.

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

That we don’t have any physical interaction (cuddling,
holding hands kissing etc.). I’ve had to tell people so many times “no it’s
just sexual things”

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

Embrace it and just know that this doesn’t affect who you
are as a person.

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

You can find more of my work on my YouTube Channel: E T V,
(and while there’s not much there right now a big project of mine is coming
soon so be on the lookout for that.)

Also my Twitter ETVtwutter
and my Instagram etvinstagrem
and my Tumblr, apersonwholikestodraw.  

Thank you, E.T.Vise, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Announcement: Ace Art Show!

asexualartists:

Hi everyone!

I come to you today with a huge exciting announcement. Next year, April 26th – 27th, I’m co-curating an art show for asexual identifying artists. Next April, there is going to be an international asexual conference in Canada entitled,

“Unthinking Sex,
Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” As part of the conference, there’s going to be an art show in a gallery featuring the work of asexual-identifying artists. This would be an amazing thing to put on your resume. We’re also going to have a table to display books and zines written by asexual writers.

I am super excited to have been offered this opportunity and I hope that some of  you will consider submitting work. I have interviewed so many talented artists and I’d love to show off your work to the world.

My co-curator, Heather, and I have written up the following call for artists. I’m looking forward to hearing from many of you.


CALL FOR ARTISTS

The inaugural
international conference “Unthinking
Sex, Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”
will be held April 26-27, 2019 at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre
Campus in Vancouver, located on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional
territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We are
excited to announce an Asexual Art Show to be held in tandem at a local gallery
in Vancouver, and we want your work!

Submissions will be received up to 12:00pm
(Pacific Standard Time) on:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Eligibility:

  • To apply to this Call for Artists you must be
    someone who self-identifies as asexual and/or aromantic (including
    gray-asexual, demisexual, or on the ace spectrum).
  • You must be someone who creates art, broadly
    understood (including, but not limited to: painting, digitized art, visual
    poetry, mixed media, photography, drawing, printmaking, etc.).
  • Authors and zine-makers are also welcome to
    submit work (there will be a table to display written works by ace-identifying
    creators).

Details:

  • This exhibition does not charge exhibiting
    artists to display their works.
  • Unfortunately, due to
    the size and nature of our gallery space, we are unable to accept any
    sculptures or installation art. Please only submit 2D, and/or ready wall-mounted
    3D works.

Application:

  • Attach to email no
    more than 5 images of your work (.jpg format- 300 dpi, no more than a total of 5MB).
  • Should you be
    submitting more than one work for consideration, please provide only 2-3 images
    of each work.
  • Proposed artwork must
    include title, material(s), dimensions, and date.
  • Please include a short
    bio (75 words max).
  • Please also include an
    artist statement that provides an introduction to your practice and artworks
    submitted (250 words max).
  • Selected artists are
    responsible for delivery, or shipment (as well as return shipping), of their
    works. Low-income artists, or artists that need financial assistance to
    participate, may be eligible for financial support.
  • Artwork must be ready
    to display (printed, ready-mounted, or framed).

All submissions must
be in pdf format and emailed to aceartshow[at]gmail[dot]com by January 1, 2019 at noon. Artists will
be notified no later than February 15,
2019
if their submission has been accepted for the art show.

Contact:

Should you have any
questions regarding the conference or your application, please direct them to Lauren Jankowski and
Heather Prost at aceartshow[at]gmail[dot]com


I will periodically reblog this to remind artists who follow this site as well as for anyone who may miss it the first time around.

Thanks, everyone!

Interview: Wolfie

Today we’re joined by Wolfie. Wolfie is a phenomenal makeup artist who uses makeup to create extraordinary looks. She has done a number of different things with makeup, from standard beauty to more fantasy and horror related looks. She has also done special FX makeup. Aside from makeup, Wolfie also dabbles in a couple other mediums as well. She’s a passionate and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about
your art.

One of the things I do is makeup and special FX. Be it beauty, fantasy or horror. I mostly do whatever has
caught my fancy that day or week. I have done photoshoots, short films and even a wedding or
two with my makeup.

Which plays into my other mediums, such as drawing and
painting. I have a ton of sketch books filled with art, some I give
away and the same with my paintings.

Along with costuming which has been trial and error. As for my leather working I am still a beginner, which I was
learning from my aunt and now my dad. Also have been dabbling into jewelry making.

What inspires you?

When I was a kid, fantasy (books, art etc.) and music played
in a big part in my creativity.

Along with a rich family heritage that led to being a Pagan
Witch, lets me see the beauty in magic and life that goes into my art.

My Aunt also who is deceased now, was also a big inspiration
to me.

Being a writer and creative person herself, part of the LGBTQ+
community and Pagan, she always encouraged me to not give up and to pursue what
I love.

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

Ever since I was little girl, I was always drawing and then
moving onto other things as I got older. Heck, I even wanted to be a manga artist at some point!

As for my makeup and special FX, I give that one to my
family. We have always been big on Halloween and doing creative
costumes, which led to me eventually finding conventions in my late teens. It would also be my early 20’s to mid-20’s that I would go
to makeup school for it.

Which I am always learning new and creative ways to improve.

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?

Mostly just my name and other account names I would hid in
it, or just smack dab where you can see it.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Just go for it. Self-doubt will happen where you think you
art, or you’re not good enough.

But it will be, maybe not in your eyes.

But others will love your art even if you think they don’t.

Never compare yourself to another, each of us is unique and
different. We go at our own pace and our artistic journey happen sometimes now
or a little bit later.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I am a proud Asexual Pan romantic 29 year old.

In my early 20’s I thought I was just Pansexual, but that
didn’t seem right to me.

It wasn’t until my mid 20’s that talking with a friend, that
they said “Uh Wolf, I think you may be Ace.”

So I looked it up and it started making more sense to me.
While giving me a feeling of relief that I wasn’t “broken”.

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

Oh boy, in my makeup field I have, since it slipped out one
time during class.

And mostly I just educated them, while being calm about it
and maybe a ‘wee’ bit of Sass when they asked a personal/ignorant question. But mostly, I just refuse to apologize anymore for being who
I am.

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

“Well, how can you be in a relationship if you don’t have
sex?” Is probably the most common thing I get.

Again I just calmly answers/educate, or (at times) Sass back
with a witty clap back that makes them go “Oh! I see! Sorry about that.”

But it is also just standing my ground and not letting other
tell me “oh but you just haven’t met-”

“Or have you seen a doctor?” etc.

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

It may seem you’re alone and others tell you that you are
broken, but you are not.

Don’t let anyone tell you differently, this is your journey
of discovery and your identity is real.

For your community sees you and you are loved, valid in your
right to not be silenced or harmed as you keep learning who you are.

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

My Instagram which I welcome anyone to join me! wolfie_shieldmaidenswitch

Deviantart: Moonlightwolfos

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

Interview: Runesael Johansson

Today we’re joined by Runesael Johansson. Runesael is a wonderful digital artist who specializes in character design. He works mostly in roleplaying games like Dungeons and Dragons. He has recently gotten into drawing World of Warcraft characters too. It’s clear he’s a dedicated and passionate artist who loves what he does, 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.

Most of my work these days centers around Dungeons and
Dragons player characters and NPCs, alongside other TTRPGs and roleplaying
games. I’ve also done a fair amount of people’s characters from World of
Warcraft.

I work almost exclusively in Photoshop CS-6 or Procreate.

What inspires you?

Primarily, stories. One of my absolute favorite things about
doing the work that I do has to be hearing other people’s stories about their
characters and the adventures they’ve had with others. There’s such a broad
variety of individuals and experiences across the TTRPG community, so every
character I ever get to draw tends to be unique or unusual in some way. Even if
you have two chaotic good fighters from a small village who’ve sworn an oath to
protect their friends, say, those two fighters can and often will be radically
different people.

The TTRPG and WoW communities are both enormously creative,
and getting to see all of the various ideas that people come up with is
something I’m really grateful for and honored to be able to help bring to life.

Additionally, music – I can’t paint without it!

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

I began drawing because I wanted people to be able to see
the characters and places I described in my stories as a kid. However, it was
never really anything more than a serious hobby until about 2016.

As obnoxious as this might sound, I’ve never not been an artist, so I’m not sure what
it’s like to want to be one. I’ve been drawing since I could hold a crayon.

My original career was in music performance. An injury
exacerbated by overuse and stress pulled me out of a performance career, and I
kind of spent my twenties wandering around with absolutely no idea what I
wanted to do with myself or my life. I was really lost. I’d gotten a full
scholarship to a small school, and figured I’d make my way through a four year
degree before going on to pursue a masters. That did not happen.

During my late teens and twenties, I was also a volunteer
storm chaser with ARES (Amateur Radio Emergency Services), and working
emergency telecommunications. I loved the work, but it stopped being fun after
I realized the extent of the impact that natural and man-made disasters had on
the human lives around me. Though the work was fulfilling, I knew I didn’t want
to do it for the rest of my life.

There were a few attempts at other careers. Honestly, all
they ever taught me was about all of the things I didn’t want to do with my life. The last one being that I wanted to
become a French translator and a linguist.

As a sort of last hurrah, I posted a thread on Reddit in
2015 offering to draw people’s World of Warcraft characters. There, I met a
handful of really incredible people who brought me into the WoW art community,
and from there I got into Critical Role and started becoming increasingly
engaged with the TTRPG community. The rest, as they say, is history.

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?

Most of my work these days is done for other people, so
you’re not going to find much of my own personal motifs in the majority of my
portfolio.

The signature that I put on my artwork is the text symbol
for “thunderstorm.” (It looks like this: ☈) It’s a play on my first name and it’s a nod to the work I’ve
done in the past. Also a reminder to myself – if it’s not a tornado, it’s
probably not worth getting super worked up about.

I use a lot of blue and gold – they’re my favorite colours,
mostly because I’m from a coastal town in Florida and have always loved the
water.

There’s so much
music in my work, to the point where all of my Inktober pieces this year were
just based on songs.

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

There’s enough tutorials and technical advice these days on
the internet that I feel like anything I could say on those subjects has
already been said. So, instead, here’s some lessons I learned the hard way.

First of all. Don’t
be an asshole.
It does not matter if you are the most skilled artist in
your particular field, if you treat people like garbage, no one will want to
work with you. This includes being vocally critical of other artists. This
includes treating the artists around you as competition or as enemies, rather than
potential friends or coworkers. This includes being a sarcastic, sardonic shit
about everything. Cynicism doesn’t make you cool. It doesn’t make you some
enlightened sage of the ages, it makes you a prick. Empathy, kindness,
understanding and patience will get you far, far further than raw skill alone.
Praise others in public, critique if
asked
in private. Don’t be an ass to younger artists, they’re doing their
best.

Second. Art is extremely hard work. There is
nothing cute or fluffy about being a creative of any sort. You don’t get to
float around waiting for inspiration, or depending on some “muse” to bring your
ideas. If you do you’ll never get anything done, and you’ll never get better.

When you first start making stuff, you will suck at it.
You’ll suck at it for a while. It’s normal, don’t stress. Art isn’t something
you master overnight or in a year or even in ten years. You will be fighting a
continual, uphill fight for most victories and breakthroughs. When you “level
up” as an artist, it will be because you worked your ass off. The answers to
the problems you face will not be written out for you in books. You will need
to find those answers for yourself. If that doesn’t sound like a good idea to
you, don’t be an artist.

Third. Talent is a
myth and an excuse.
There is no bullshit force in the universe that
~magically~ gives you the ability to create anything. There is the only the
work, the desire to do it, and the determination to keep doing it when it gets
hard. That’s all. You get better by practicing and studying your craft.

Fourth. Art is for
everyone.
See number three. Art is not for special talented people who have
~the gift~. The arts in general, creative work – they are for everyone and
anyone. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. If someone says you’re talented,
say, “Thank you, I work very hard.” They mean well, take the compliment.

Fifth. There are
a bunch of people who will tell you in kind ways and not-so-kind ways that the
arts are for fools who can’t manage a “real” career. What they do not and
perhaps cannot understand is that not
being an artist when you want to be simply leads to a chain of unfulfilling and
meaningless careers that you never fully commit to or enjoy. Life is far too
short to go through it longing.

Sixth: Don’t be
alone.
Involve yourself in a community. Isolation is death for artists.
Surrounding yourself with artists of all different skill levels will teach you
more than any class ever can. A good community will raise you up when you’re
struggling, and will keep you grounded. There will always be someone better
than you, don’t let that discourage you or inhibit your progress.

Seventh: Rest. If
it hurts, stop. If you’re frustrated, take a break. If you need help, ask.
Don’t let pain and exhaustion be a point of pride and don’t work yourself to
death. Sitting in front of your tablet or easel for sixteen hours a day without
eating or drinking is going to fuck you sideways when you get older. It doesn’t
say that you’re devoted and hardworking, it says you don’t take care of
yourself and don’t manage your time properly.
Eat regularly, take your medication, make sure you drink water. Don’t
survive on sleep deprivation and energy drinks. Your work suffers when you
suffer.

On that note. Great
art does not come from great suffering.
If you create beautiful things
from pain, imagine the things you could make when you’re safe and okay.

Tragedy, trauma,
angst, anger and sadness don’t make you interesting.
They inhibit your
feelings, keep you from growing, they keep you from forming good and healthy
relationships with the people around you. They keep you from becoming the
person you want to be. Don’t wear your sorrow like a trophy, because it isn’t.
The fact you survived it makes you strong. What will make you interesting – and
your work interesting – is how you recovered and grew beyond those
circumstances.

You are worth more than the things you produce. Don’t tie
your self-worth and self-esteem to your craft.

Stay humble. Work
hard, be sincere in your passions and in your relationships with others. Be as
good to the people around you as you can be, and if you can’t say anything
kind, shut the actual fuck up because no one needs your bullshit.  The most important thing in this world that
we can be is kind. Life is difficult. Life as a creative is even harder. Do not
be the reason someone else decides to quit doing what they love. Everyone has
something amazing about them, be receptive to finding it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I’m demisexual.

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

Personally, no. I don’t talk about it much as I’m a pretty
private person about my romantic relationships.

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

That asexual people are sex-repulsed. That we’re frigid or
cold. That we don’t actually enjoy any form of physical contact whatsoever.
That we’re broken or defective.

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

“Even if it gets hard

don’t lose that light.”

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

http://www.twitter.com/runesael

http://runesael.squarespace.com/

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

Interview: Jessie Cook

Today we’re joined by Jessie “Jess” Cook. Jessie is a phenomenally talented theater artist. She does a number of artistic activities: art, dance, singing, and writing. However, her passion in life is the theater. Jessie plans to study theater in college. It’s clear she’s a very talented artist with an incredibly bright future, 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 involved with lots of different types of art. I draw and
write as a hobby, but I do dance, theatre, musical theatre, and technical
theatre at my school. I’m also in a Women’s Chamber Choir at my school. I also
work at a haunted attraction as an actor! I’ve done theatre for 6 years, and I
plan on studying it in college.

What inspires you?

The world around me inspires me, and my love and passion for
my art. I have a constant drive to do better than what I’ve done before.

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

When I was younger, I had always wanted to be an actress.
Like any kid my age, I wanted to become famous and have a bunch of nice things.
I did not realise how deep I would get into my craft. I started doing theatre
and musical theatre in middle school, and I immediately fell in love. I owe my
love for theatre to my middle school theatre teacher. She helped set the flame
that has given me my passion for what I do.

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 have any unique symbol or anything in my acting. I
do have a signature in my art, but it’s just my nickname in cursive. Nothing
too special!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

Never give up! Your pace will be different than others,
everyone’s pace to success is different. Also, do not be afraid of rejection!
That just means your moment is not here yet, it will soon come! Keep improving
yourself and let rejection help you mold your art. Know the difference between
constructive criticism and nasty comments. Choose which comments to use, there
will always be those comments that you agree with and ones that you don’t. It’s OK!

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

I identify as an Asexual. Not interested in that kind of
stuff.

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

My asexuality is not known by anyone. I’m still in the
closet when it comes to my asexuality.

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

The most common misconception about asexuality I see often
times is that “asexual people do not belong in the LGBT+ community”. It’s sad
that a community of inclusivity that preaches messages of being yourself and
embracing yourself shuns people who are asexual. People state that acephobia
does not exist, yet I see so much of it.

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

Don’t rush yourself to find an orientation. It is OK to not
know exactly what you identify with. It’s common to suddenly change your
orientation. Just because you don’t fit into a perfect mold of an orientation
doesn’t mean you don’t belong. It’s ok. Take your time. This is YOUR identity,
it’s okay not to know who you are yet!

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

People who are interested in what I do can find me on
multiple social media platforms! My theatre work is (sadly) strictly local, but
I love talking about my work to other people. Don’t be afraid to talk to me or
ask any questions. I don’t bite!

Twitter: at Jsle3
Tumblr: at Jsle3
Instagram (haunt page): at _cameliadoll_
Discord: at Jsle3#9381

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

Announcement: Ace Art Show!

asexualartists:

Hi everyone!

I come to you today with a huge exciting announcement. Next year, April 26th – 27th, I’m co-curating an art show for asexual identifying artists. Next April, there is going to be an international asexual conference in Canada entitled,

“Unthinking Sex,
Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives.” As part of the conference, there’s going to be an art show in a gallery featuring the work of asexual-identifying artists. This would be an amazing thing to put on your resume. We’re also going to have a table to display books and zines written by asexual writers.

I am super excited to have been offered this opportunity and I hope that some of  you will consider submitting work. I have interviewed so many talented artists and I’d love to show off your work to the world.

My co-curator, Heather, and I have written up the following call for artists. I’m looking forward to hearing from many of you.


CALL FOR ARTISTS

The inaugural
international conference “Unthinking
Sex, Imagining Asexuality: Intersectional and Interdisciplinary Perspectives”
will be held April 26-27, 2019 at Simon Fraser University’s Harbour Centre
Campus in Vancouver, located on unceded Coast Salish Territory, the traditional
territories of Musqueam, Squamish, and Tsleil-Waututh First Nations. We are
excited to announce an Asexual Art Show to be held in tandem at a local gallery
in Vancouver, and we want your work!

Submissions will be received up to 12:00pm
(Pacific Standard Time) on:
Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Eligibility:

  • To apply to this Call for Artists you must be
    someone who self-identifies as asexual and/or aromantic (including
    gray-asexual, demisexual, or on the ace spectrum).
  • You must be someone who creates art, broadly
    understood (including, but not limited to: painting, digitized art, visual
    poetry, mixed media, photography, drawing, printmaking, etc.).
  • Authors and zine-makers are also welcome to
    submit work (there will be a table to display written works by ace-identifying
    creators).

Details:

  • This exhibition does not charge exhibiting
    artists to display their works.
  • Unfortunately, due to
    the size and nature of our gallery space, we are unable to accept any
    sculptures or installation art. Please only submit 2D, and/or ready wall-mounted
    3D works.

Application:

  • Attach to email no
    more than 5 images of your work (.jpg format- 300 dpi, no more than a total of 5MB).
  • Should you be
    submitting more than one work for consideration, please provide only 2-3 images
    of each work.
  • Proposed artwork must
    include title, material(s), dimensions, and date.
  • Please include a short
    bio (75 words max).
  • Please also include an
    artist statement that provides an introduction to your practice and artworks
    submitted (250 words max).
  • Selected artists are
    responsible for delivery, or shipment (as well as return shipping), of their
    works. Low-income artists, or artists that need financial assistance to
    participate, may be eligible for financial support.
  • Artwork must be ready
    to display (printed, ready-mounted, or framed).

All submissions must
be in pdf format and emailed to aceartshow[at]gmail[dot]com by January 1, 2019 at noon. Artists will
be notified no later than February 15,
2019
if their submission has been accepted for the art show.

Contact:

Should you have any
questions regarding the conference or your application, please direct them to Lauren Jankowski and
Heather Prost at aceartshow[at]gmail[dot]com


I will periodically reblog this to remind artists who follow this site as well as for anyone who may miss it the first time around.

Thanks, everyone!

Interview: Emily Jane

Today we’re joined by Emily Jane. Emily is a phenomenal artist who does a bit of everything. She enjoys singing, writing, and drawing, but her main passion is photography. Emily has a great passion for creating and is incredibly enthusiastic, 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 sort of jack of all trades artist to be honest. I love
to sing, write, draw, photograph…I love many things, and try not to limit
myself to just one. When I sing, I often sing about my personal experiences,
but when I’m writing, I try to immerse myself in my characters. To me, art
should express something about the artist or the subject that he or she has not
or cannot share with the world. I try to capture that in my photography as
well- to find a secret and exploit it on camera- though the person seeing the
photo won’t see the secret, they might catch a hint of emotion tagging along
the end of it.

What inspires you?

Oh, gosh, the list is endless. A current inspiration is just
the existence of people. People, as a whole, are so miraculous. They live, they
breath, they exist and one of my favorite things is catching them doing that. I
also try to find myself in my work. I try to ask myself, who am I? What person
do I show to others, and is that person really me?

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

Unfortunately enough, I think the person that got me into my
field was my mother, though I really don’t want to credit her with anything
that I love. She was a graphic designer in college, and just frankly an
extremely creative person… Without her influence, I doubt I would have found
myself as deeply entrenched in the artistic world as I do.

Ever since I’ve remembered, I’ve wanted to be an artist, but
I often wonder about the differences between nature and nurture. Had my father,
who is an engineer, had more to do with my growing into myself, would I be
leaning more into the STEM fields? Or had I grown up in a family that didn’t focus
me on anything, would I have begun to lean towards a completely different
field? The world may never know.

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 know if I have a specific symbol in my work… I often
draw young women. I think that might be because of my sexuality, me trying to
draw potential girlfriends haha!

What advice would you
give young aspiring artists?

I would encourage them to never give up! I have received so
much backlash from my work- being labeled the weird emo girl (because
apparently only emo people draw??), people yelling at me for drawing different
body types… it’s not ideal, that’s for sure. But never give up on your art. And
remember, while it’s not wrong to want praise for your work, the person you
most need to accept your work is yourself.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum
do you identify?

As of now, I identify as a panromantic asexual. I’m
attracted to people, not what’s in their pants- probably because I never want
to touch what’s in their pants haha.

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

Not so much relating to my field as to me as a person. As of
now, I am only halfway out of the closet with one person, which means that she
knows I’m asexual, but not that I’m panromantic. I have experience aphobic
things in my dating life, unfortunately. Guys seem to be under the impression
that everybody loves kissing and sex, and they get angry when you say you
aren’t into either of those things. Since I’m not out of the closet, I’ve never
dated a female, so I’ve no idea how they would react to being told that I do
not like sex.

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

The most common misconception I see about asexuality is the
idea that people who identify as asexual also do not have romantic
relationships, or that all ace people are also aromantic. Not only is this
patently false, but it harms people who are asexual by promoting the idea that
we don’t want romance. It also harms people who are not on the asexual scale by
promoting the idea that all romantic relationships must involve sex or it’s not
really a romantic relationship, which can be INCREDIBLY toxic.

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

Sure! Just remember that no matter how many people turn you
down or scoff at you for your sexuality, you are VALID!! You may be more on the
graysexual scale, and that’s totally fine. Humanity is filled with so many
people of so many types- it only makes sense that you won’t fit in a box
completely perfectly. And remember also- you don’t have to figure it all out
yet! People change- you may change as well, and that’s totally okay and valid.

Sure! Just remember that no matter how many people turn you
down or scoff at you for your sexuality, you are VALID!! You may be more on the
graysexual scale, and that’s totally fine. Humanity is filled with so many
people of so many types- it only makes sense that you won’t fit in a box
completely perfectly. And remember also- you don’t have to figure it all out
yet! People change- you may change as well, and that’s totally okay and valid.

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

I’m not really online at all except for my Tumblr account.
Feel free to stop by and say hi to me at uppercase-ace 😉

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