Interview: Baylee Morris

Today we’re joined by Baylee Morris. Baylee is a phenomenal musician who has been playing the clarinet for almost ten years. When she’s not playing, Baylee teaches younger musicians. It’s very obvious that she’s an incredibly talented and dedicated musician, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve been playing the clarinet for about 10 years now and I still love it. I mostly played in school, but after I graduated high school, I still continue to play at church and teach up comers at my alma maters. I also teach children at my church how to read sheet music and piano basics. After I graduated, I didn’t think I would be able to continue music, but luckily, I found small, but meaningful ways to keep going.

What inspires you?

Mostly music. I can’t handle silence, and music feels empty space like no other substance. I’ve always felt this way. Plus, as a sufferer from ADHD, fidgeting was a problem I had in my younger days in school, so being able to use my own body to make music… it’s just fantastic.

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

My older brother was in band two years before I was and all his stories from marching band and the concerts that I witnessed myself pretty much made up my mind. I got my clarinet two years before I joined in 6th grade, and love every bit of 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 was the youngest person in my band’s history to be section leader in marching band and also the first person in years to take on the section leader role, as well as another head role in the band- mine being Uniform Chief. I’m really proud of this and was incredibly happy to help younger students reach their own potentials.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Stick with what you love, and things will fall into place. In a group of 70+ people, you are going to encounter people that don’t appreciate it as much as you, or the work that you put into it. Keep going though. Keep doing what you love.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual/Biromantic

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

Since band kids are sometimes labeled as “sexually active” (LOL mean girls), being not sexually active surprises some people. I’ve heard it all; “Why are you sooooo prude?”, “You just haven’t found the right guy!”, and “Maybe you could find someone if you’d just lighten up.” These were from people in band and out of band.

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

The most common (and most hurtful) thing that I’ve encountered were from past significant others is “You just don’t love me enough.” or “What’s wrong with me?” This can hurt your feels, but remember, you are not obligated to do anything, no matter how much you love the person or how guilty the try to make you feel.

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

Accept yourself the way you are! There are so many people out there that share your same views. Why focus on the negative people when you can befriend the amazing people who are willing to talk to you like an actual human being?

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

If you want to see my specific band, you can YouTube search Jackson County Bands NC. But if you want to see some wicked cool stuff, try look for BOA (Bands of America) bands, Drum Corps (Cadets are a personal favorite of mine), or head to your own school’s concert. Those band kids will appreciate it. Believe me, they will.

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

Interview: Lana

Today we’re joined by Lana, who also goes by Deact. Lana is a wonderful visual artist and writer. She does a lot of portraits of women and girls, as well as mermaids. She uses both digital and traditional mediums. When not drawing, Lana also dabbles in writing and tends to write a lot of short stories. It’s very obvious she’s a dedicated artist who enjoys what she does, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I predominantly deal in drawn visual art and short story writing. My art is mostly self-taught and usually involves portraits of women/girls and a lot of mermaids. I use both traditional and digital methods (although not together) and I have recently picked up watercolour painting, but I tend to stick with line art and block colour. My writing is very vague and laconic and feedback usually deems it unsettling. I prefer short stories because the reader never really finds out what’s going on (also I can’t seem to stick with a long term story for more than a fortnight).

What inspires you?

With art, I’m inspired by colours, light, and biologically plausible mythology (e.g. mermaids coming in different fish species and the way the human part of the body would adapt to the sea). With my writing, I write mostly about the places I’ve been or have knowledge of, or situations and places that everyone has experienced (e.g. train stations, restaurants etc.). The familiarity of these places and the subversion of safety is a common theme in my work. Writers like Angela Carter, Daphne du Maurier, and Stephen King all contributed to the short story element of my writing style. The mangaka Junji Ito and the manga Fuan no Tane also inspired me due to their simple-yet-scary art.

restaurant gothic
Restaurant Gothic

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

I think I probably got myself into art, and I think my first dream job was ‘novelist’. Not a lot of people around me growing up considered art a big part of their lives. I have always enjoyed creating things and learning new techniques. Handing impressionable thirteen year old me a stack of manga pushed me to copy the style and then develop my own further down the line. I tried to pursue art seriously, but disliked the way my education system taught Fine Art and dropped it in favour of Classics. The story’s pretty similar with writing too, only I have always excelled in literature classes regardless of my interest level, whereas art classes felt a little too restricted. A tiny part of me is always going to want to be a successful artist, though.

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?

Winged eyeliner, and I try to draw different noses!! Noses are pretty cool but it’s easy to fall back into the acute angle shape. In writing I tend to use short sentences and the second person ‘you’.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw what you feel and don’t worry if it doesn’t have a deeper meaning. Also use references and take specialised classes for your art form if you can.

reddd
Reddd

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual. I’m not going to pretend to understand what my romantic orientation is doing, but I’m not worried about it either.

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

I study Translation. The first person I came out to was in my language class, who told me on three separate occasions that I would find someone later in life I’d want to have sex with, that I should wait until I’m twenty to decide, and that they thought I was “just afraid of men”. I wasn’t sure how to handle it as I’m a fairly reserved person, so I just never brought it up again. Another person who previously identified as grayace realised they weren’t (and y’know, there’s zero problem with that), and tried to convince me relaxing in a club would make me want sex. I don’t think I’ve talked to them since, as their insistence kinda pressured me to say I would sleep with someone if I loved them enough (which I felt very uncomfortable saying).

Luckily the majority of people I’ve told have been super accepting (shoutout to my cheer team for accepting me in a pub, of all places), and when they haven’t understood they’ve asked for clarification.

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

That I’ll meet someone and my feelings will change. I think it hurt the most coming from my mother.

Also ‘lol is that like a plant’

A friend once asked me if chickens were asexual as if a) I was an expert on chickens and b) I knew every asexual being that existed. Bless her.

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

Take your time. Try things out if you want, or don’t if you don’t want to. Never let someone else try to dictate your feelings to you. Don’t think there’s some sort of hierarchy amongst ace communities either – whatever you feel is what it is.

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

My Tumblr.
https://imdeactivating.tumblr.com/

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

Interview: Jai M. King

Today we’re joined by Jai M. King, who was interviewed quite a while ago. Their company has since evolved into something almost completely new. Jai is a fascinating and unique artist that has a style that’s entirely their own. They’re behind Madjaw Dolls, a brand gearing toward multimedia arts. They do a lot of illustrations but also quite a lot of writing as well. Jai is currently working on a science fiction series, which is part of the Madjaw Dolls universe. Based on their interview, Jai is a fascinating and dedicated artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

(WARNING: Some images contain nudity and are risque)

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King watercolor

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Madjaw Dolls is brand gearing towards the multimedia arts. There is one main universe in which all products and creations stem from. The stories under MJD combine influences of retro-fantasy, raypunk and Grimm’s fairytales to create a distinct branch of dark tales that are both innovative in terms of character and world design but also blunt in terms of political and social commentary.

My work ranges from traditional illustration to digital most recently with working on the IPad Pro. I am also going into producing for multimedia to expand MJD so I am also a creative director in collaborative projects.

Currently I’ve been in the process of producing a science fiction series called “Sector M.I.” which takes you through a multi-world war. The world design is very distinct to the universe in which a multitude of my stories derive from. Most of what will be seen at Madjaw Dolls exists within that universe.

What inspires you?

My inspirations range from the array of media I grew up on to naturally being attracted to retro-media such as anime/manga from the 1970s-1990s to western influences such as Ralph Bakshi’s “Cool World” to much of the bizarre fantasy works from the 1970s and also the strange futuristic narrative of 1970s funk music. I also grew up loving the Grimm Brothers which has influenced my work and story process quite a bit. I love creating words that feel at least a little uncomfortable. A lot of my work has a warped quality that I’ve developed purposefully for the stories. I’m not so much about supplying reality as I’m about creating something entirely new.

Since my last interview with Asexual Artists I do think I’ve returned to my roots a little more with my influences. Every project I take on entails a good amount of research which I personally love as I often find that people tend to overlook just how much time and research it takes to develop a well-crafted creative process. I think my influences change the more I grow and learn.

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Kingfin

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

I’ve been illustrating since I was little though around 17 was when I landed my first job illustrating a children’s book, though I didn’t know very much about illustrating at the time and taking on the process of illustrating a book was hard, I learned a lot about what to do and what not to do when illustrating books. I went back and forth for a while as I was potentially good at so many things, ultimately illustration is where my roots have always been, I’ve been looking into multimedia producing for the very reason that I can expand in the future through different platforms and ways to tell the stories, starting with graphic novels; which the graphic novels under MJD will be a combination of written and illustrative narrative, a format I’ve been working on to be a little more unique to MJD.

I learned quite a bit in the last year after interning for another comic artist and developing sound connections with illustrators and comic artists who’ve helped me a lot with both communications and not to let the mainstream dictate my vision.

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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?

At the moment, I’m working on the first installation under “Sector M.I.” Which is currently titled “The Hanged Man’s Plan” though changes are always possible in editing. I’ve been quiet about much of the story, in previous experiences I’ve had, I’ve learned to do so, haha. What I will say is that HMP occurs 200 years prior to the main events of “Sector M.I.” It was a story I started last year, nixed, and then decided that it had more potential as it establishes the birth of a lineage with one of the main characters of SMI, King. At least right now, all of the stories will be told in relatively short books, similar to a children’s book, but with a more mature story. HMP is relatively benign compared to what I have lined up for the future editions in the series. All of the stories cover particularly controversial subjects, one of the mains in HMP suffers through a smear campaign within his own workplace, and there’s a huge focus on the destruction and outcome of jealousy as well as laying the groundwork for the world seen in “Sector M.I”

The story has undergone rights and registration along with the entirety of the Sector M.I. series so it’s a matter of completely the first story. I’ve been experiencing the ever-so-lovely world of publishing but I’ll be happy when it’s done.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Take pride in the effort you put into your work, but always be open to learn more. It’s a process first and foremost, there is no golden finish line where you’ve made it as an artist. The moment you close yourself off to growth, you’ve basically cheated yourself from the next level of your journey. It takes time, and at times it really sucks. Also, if you have an idea you believe in, don’t bend to please other people. I’ve learned that the hard way throughout my journey so far, there are literally thousands of ways to be an artist, if one idea doesn’t work, keep pushing and don’t take no for an answer when you know what you have to offer. Also process the rights to your work, haha I also learned that the hard way after experiencing content theft!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m still asexual and aromantic, I don’t really know if that will ever change.

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

Yes and no. It’s not so much in my field as it has been coming out of art school. Oddly enough, most would think art school is particularly accepting of every type of person but I’ve learned the opposite. My art tends to trickle over into my daily outfits, I still work as a creative director for photo shoots from time to time, so I love to express through creating extravagant outfits, but I’ve found that with creating flamboyant outfits people tend to assume you’re an equally flamboyant person. Flamboyance has its own set of stereotypes as people assume I’m someone who goes out and dates a lot or dressing up to impress others. I’m a bit of a contradiction in that sense, how I dress is mostly because I love to create myself every day, it’s an extension of my art to me. I’ve faced the expectation to “stop being ace” because of what someone else expects or wants and it’s very uncomfortable. It’s disturbing that much of society doesn’t accept no as a valid answer when it comes to relationships (this is when “no” should be taken as an answer!).

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

I would say for me that it’s a phase. Or that I’m waiting for some knight in shining armor to save me from asexuality as for me, it was never a choice. I can’t speak for every asexual but I have always been this way, though there were times in high school before I knew who I was, where I tried to date and be “normal” due to social pressures. In many communities, even in black/mixed communities, asexuality isn’t fully accepted due to the heavy stigmas black people still face. Black women tend to automatically be sexualized and stereotyped (and it’s even worse for non-binary folks, as I am as well) that it’s even harder to say I’m asexual without being laughed at or denied.

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

Definitely to speak up when you feel uncomfortable. If you feel like someone is pressuring you, speak up and leave the situation. You shouldn’t have to explain who you are to those who don’t get it.

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

“The Hanged Man’s Plan” is still in production, so whenever all the cards are in place is when it will come out, there’s no telling how long it may take but I’ve recently be finishing the process for the rights and registration for “Sector M.I.” and Madjaw Dolls so it’s all in that awkward phase of planning to put out actual products and not just prints of works.

http://madjawdolls.com/
https://www.instagram.com/madjawdolls/
https://www.facebook.com/Madjawdollsmjd/
https://twitter.com/MadjawDolls

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

Interview: Pierre

Today we’re joined by Pierre. Pierre is a wonderful artist who does both visual art and writing. They mostly make digital art, though they also dabble in photography on occasion. They have written a book, which they’re currently making into a webcomic. They’re a very enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

interview1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I make drawings and write some books. I don’t really post the books I write, and normally I make digital art

What inspires you?

There isn’t something specific than inspire me, sometimes is the sky, sometimes are people, but I just do what comes into my mind, the place and stuff than are around me don’t matter anymore when I get into my own world and the random creativity never ends!

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

Writing, well every time I see something I want to do it, so I saw a character who write books and I wanted to write about it too! I wanted to write books for a veeery long time, and started studying about them, how they were made, the number of chapters, the number of pages and etc., than I made my first official (I made more than one history but this was official, it was actually a book and I actually study for that, so I put more effort and professionalism on it) book. (It’s called Sleep on life, I never posted it, but I made a comic about it.)It felt so great, finally writing a book, one of my biggest wishes! But I never really wanted to become a writer or something

Drawing, well, I grow up with my mother and sister, and both wanted to be art teachers, so it didn’t take too many time to I get interested in drawing too. For a long time I wanted to be an artist, then an animator, then nothing else related to art…but, to be honest, I feel very happy drawing original comics and fanarts on Tumblr, even if it takes a very very veeeery long time to make those, I feel happy and sometimes proud to still being able to draw the stuff I like

interview2

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?

No, not really, just do random things and improve them to become big and good projects. I don’t work with a special feature, at least not than I know or remember

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Well here are some short texts than when I was starting to become an artist I needed to listen:

Just cause people tell you your art is bad, it doesn’t mean it’s really bad; Just cause you tried it for the first time, second time or fifty time and didn’t end like you wanted, it doesn’t mean you should give up; Still trying and trying until it gets satisfying to you; You don’t need to make this perfect, just do the way you want, not the way other people want, okay?

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as panromantic asexual at the moment, but life is full of surprises, right?

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

Not really, I don’t really tell everyone I’m ace. I put on my bio, where normally nobody cares to read, actually this interview is the only place I am telling in an actual post I am Asexual

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

I read a lot of people talking “ace people aren’t from LGBT community!” “Ace people are straight girls trying to get on LGBT community!” “Ace people don’t exist!” and like…this is wrong in so many ways…Ace people are from LGBT+ community, ace people are ACE not straight dude, and Ace people DO exist. Ace people just don’t feel comfortable doing sex or just don’t like it, after all sex isn’t the only thing then can let a human happy, and humans aren’t just “sex and reproducing!”, nose and reproduction isn’t the biggest talent of the human being! Remember that time he discovered a way to make humans fly? Or that time he discovered how to make images have life? Or that time he discovered a way to talk to someone when they are far away, so when you miss that person or when you are feeling bad and need to talk to someone you can talk with a person you trust in the moment even if that person is far away from you? Or that time he discovered then not every woman/man liked each other, what means every person is different, what just make them more special? Human beings have a lot of talent and you can’t say sex and reproduction are the biggest talent of the human being so ace people are wrong or not human for don’t have this “big talent”. We are amazing with or without sex, with or without romance and being or not being just like you; and on my opinion the human being biggest talent is just the fact then every human being is different.

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

It’s okay to not like sex mon ami, it’s okay being different. Don’t like sex doesn’t make you least good or special, actually is something you should be proud of, because don’t like sex is just a part of you, and you should be proud of being the amazing human being you are!

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

It’s sad the interview ended so I guess I have to put some links to my comic than was a book than I never posted here?

Anyway here is the link of my webcomic than were a book https://tapas.io/series/Sleep-on-life

And here is more of my art: https://aliens-on-neptune.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art or you can go to this blog I made recently https://aliens-on-neptune-art.tumblr.com/

and sometimes I post some draws on my Twitter, some are on Tumblr, other I just post on Twitter so if you want see a little https://twitter.com/_cursedGhost_/media (just don’t see the videos please or my sis will kill me, she is in them..)

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

Interview: ImprobableDreams900

Today we’re joined by ImprobableDreams900. ImprobableDreams900 is mostly a dedicated fanartist who does a little traditional fanart, but specializes in fanfiction. She’s currently working on some great fics. ImprobableDreams900 also does quite a bit of graphic design by trade. She also has a very clever way to apply her skills in graphic design to her fanfiction, as you’ll soon read. She’s incredibly passionate and it makes for a great interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Aziraphale and Snake Crowley
Aziraphale and Snake Crowley

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

In the world of fandom, I’m primarily an author, with my best work in the Night Vale and Good Omens fandoms. I really wanted to be an author when I was young, but I knew it wasn’t a very economically feasible career path, so I switched my aspirations to something a little more likely to allow me to pay rent: graphic design. I’m also a visual artist, with a few pieces of traditional fan art under my belt, but I find myself doing a lot of fandom-related things using my graphic design skillset — I’ve laid out, designed covers for, printed, and bound my own fanfiction, for example.

What inspires you?

There’s nothing I regularly go back to for inspiration, because I usually have more ideas than I could possibly execute, but I do draw a lot from history. Due to my current interest (read: obsession) with Good Omens, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading very old books on early Biblical mythology at the library — not weird at all, right? But they’re great mines for information I can spin into stories.

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

As I said before, I always wanted to be an author. When I was very young, I used to take pieces of paper and write all over them and pretend I was writing a book. I’d only get about a page done before I started just drawing squiggly lines on the paper, though, lol. When I got around to actually writing, I didn’t start with fanfiction. I cranked out several “books” in middle school — a pursuit my mother encouraged far too much — and when I was in junior high I spent a summer writing a 200k novel. It was pretty terrible, but all of this writing (along with an incredible amount of reading) taught me how to write well, and at a relatively young age. In addition to art, I also seriously considered careers in history or physics (particularly astrophysics, particle physics, or quantum physics), but history doesn’t pay any better than writing does, and the day-to-day work of a particle physicist isn’t half as interesting as reading about the conceptual aspects.

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, though most of my fanfiction is fairly angsty; I exact an unhealthy pleasure from severely injuring and killing off my characters. I nearly always abide by the ‘angst with a happy ending’ tag, though, and I do my very best to leave them in a better place than I found them. I’m an optimist at heart, you see.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Oh dear — I think technically I’m still a young aspiring artist, lol. If you’re interested in writing, though, 100% the best advice I can give is to read and write a lot. Trial and error and learning by doing are really the best ways to improve, in my opinion.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Generally speaking, I’m just very confused, but my current state of mind is gray!ace or demi (and possible biromantic on top of that); I’m leaning towards demi at the moment, because I’ve noticed that it takes an incredibly long amount of time for me to form any sort of emotional attachment to anyone. I really take the friend-to-relationship route, and haven’t had a relationship yet where I wanted to even consider sleeping with the other person. Most of the time I was struggling with whether or not I even wanted to cuddle.

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

I’m glad you asked! I haven’t seen a lot of prejudice personally, but I have seen some ignorance, even within the queer community. I was reading a fanfic the other day, and the author introduced a great many original characters, of which practically every one ticked a different box on the LGBTQ+ checklist. I didn’t have a problem with this, but I did notice that the author hadn’t included an ace character (though ace-exclusion was by no means the author’s intention). So in my latest fic, I decided to form an asexual relationship between the two main characters. Due to some complicated plot shenanigans, one of the characters ends up walking into what is basically a porn shop created by his subconscious — meaning that he walks into a porn shop completely devoid of porn, and instead populated with things he cares about, and finds romantic. I put in a lot of little ace Easter eggs, because I’m beginning to realize that if I want to see more ace representation, it’s not going to write itself.

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

Someone I know very well in real life came out as asexual before I even had a suspicion that I might be, so I haven’t had a lot of firsthand experience with misconceptions of asexuality. I think the most common misconception is either that a) you just have a low libido, b) you’re going to grow old and die alone as an old cat lady (this being a pitiable fate), or c) that you’ll grow out of it (which is admittedly not helped by the fact that a lot of people seem to do just that).

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

Don’t worry about it so much, especially if you’re young. If you’re demi or gray (the only orientations I feel comfortable dispensing advice to), I find it’s rather hard to force romance to happen. I know I don’t have that ‘look, that person is hot’ instinct at all, so I just try to make friends with people I think I might like, and see if anything happens from there. Also, if you’re having trouble finding someone who’s right for you — and again, especially if you’re young (that’s under 30 in my mind) — remember that you are under no obligation to be in a relationship. Mainstream media has misled you and societal norms have shaped your thinking, and I don’t think it’s just asexuals they’ve done a disservice to. Sex isn’t the end-all-be-all, but neither are relationships. Don’t undervalue the advantages of being single — I know I for one really love having enough free time to write all those fanfics!

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

I’m ImprobableDreams900 on AO3 (fics) and Tumblr (occasional bit of art). The fanfiction behemoth I’m currently working on is a series called Eden!verse for the Good Omens fandom, which is GONNA BE AWESOME when I’ve finally finished writing it. If you’re interested in reading the asexual porn shop scene I mentioned, it’s in Chapter 4 of The End of Eternity in that series, starting about halfway through. If anyone’s interested in commissioning a printed book of their fanfiction (or another author’s, with their permission), send me a message on Tumblr, and I’d be happy to give you more information!

Thank you, ImprobableDreams900, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Brianna Rose

Today we’re joined by Brianna Rose. Brianna is a wonderful visual artist and musician. For visual art, she specializes in cartoon style and is incredibly passionate about children’s media. For music, she does a couple of different genres, from blues to soft acoustic songs. It’s very obvious she loves to create, as you’ll read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1. afirst

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is kind of like a big cartoon-medley. I can draw more realistic-looking stuff but I’ve always had a better way with exaggerated shapes and cutesy features. I’m really passionate about children’s media and making it as fun and imaginative as it was when I was young.

I work with a lot of different styles and I like to experiment a lot with them! I also love the process of designing characters, so a lot of my art leans heavily in that direction.

Aside from that, I’m also a musician! I mostly sing blues and rockabilly-type music (that’s what I usually write, anyhow) but I often record just… soft acoustic songs. They’re easier to play on guitar haha.

a1

What inspires you?

People, honestly! The best way to design a character is when they’re based around something you’re familiar with in reality. Of course, this doesn’t always hold true– but at least for personalities, it works pretty well.

Music also inspires me a lot. Like most artists, I listen to music nonstop while working– and I’m a musician myself, so it helps visualize things a bit better, and also drives me to make my own tunes too!

Also, other artists. Who isn’t inspired by looking at or listening to other peoples’ art, y’know?

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

Other artists, really. Artists like Jhonen Vasquez or Craig McCracken (my main inspirations while growing up) are what made me REALLY interested in cartoons.

As for always wanting to be an artist… I’d say more or less, yeah! I’ve always wanted to be an artist or a musician. Art just seems like a more… stable route. (Sad, ain’t it? Haha)

Also, for music, Joe Strummer (lead singer of The Clash and many other bands) is what got me interested in becoming a musician. I could always sing, but he’s what made it feel possible to make something of it (if I ever choose to.)

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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?

Mmm… I’m not so certain. I think the most reoccurring “feature” is that I have all of my protagonists be Native American. I, myself, am Plains Cree, and I know us natives don’t really have much representation, so I do my best to help fill that gap.

But, of course, that’s not really a unique symbol or anything. Though, sometimes I have a few characters in different projects that look or act the same– and that’s for a very top secret reason, that isn’t (always) coincidence!

Nothing for my music, though. Other than the fact I don’t know many chord progressions and try to desperately hide it!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep going. There are some people out there that will be better than you or be younger and have a similar skill-set as you — etc., etc. Don’t let that hold you back. What you perceive as “better” is just… different. There is no “better,” only different. What you can do is unique to you, whether you know it or not. What you have to offer is worthwhile — just sometimes it takes a lot of work. Often, too, a lot of time. But anything worthwhile is worth working and waiting for.

This goes for any type of artist.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an Asexual Demiromantic! (as in… not sexually attracted to anyone, but I can be romantically attracted to anyone if you give me a little time to get to know ya on a deeper level!)

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

I think aces encounter ignorance no matter what, truthfully. I’ve faced a lot of ignorance both in and out of my “field” — though the prejudice I’ve faced hasn’t really been relevant in what I do.

I’ve gotten some flack from a past band for wanting to avoid sexually charged lyrics in some covers they wanted to do… being told that I was overreacting, and all that. (Being looked at in a sexual way makes me extremely uncomfortable, but this didn’t matter to them.)

I handle it with aggression, mostly. It’s caused by anxiety. I tend to snap at those who don’t understand, which isn’t really the healthiest way of handling things. If it’s in a situation where I don’t feel threatened, then I’m better at calmly explaining things. Those who purposely try to be contrarian or disrespectful, however…

They don’t get my “nice” way of handling things.

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

That we’re all just robots. That we’re less human. That even if there are aces that are really into sex, that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t matter. There’s a common misconception that we have to fill a quota to be “normal”. A lot of people use the “well some asexuals are fine with sex and love it!” which detracts from the issue at hand. Many of us don’t, and that’s OKAY. We don’t need to find these little loopholes so we’ll be accepted. A misconception in and of itself is the fact that we’re not “normal”. So what, you know? So what.

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

Don’t let idiots tell you who you are and who you have to be or should be. Whatever. That’s none of their business. You know yourself better than anyone– even if you don’t know yourself very well at all! What you feel is what you feel. Stick to that. Even if it’s ever-changing– that’s fine! Let it change.

If you’re young and identify as ace or anything of the like– don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong. Don’t let anyone sexualize your preferences. That’s wrong of THEM, not you. You don’t always get to choose how you feel, but you DO get to choose how you handle it. If you feel comfortable in a label, then label yourself that. Even if it doesn’t necessarily fit you perfectly. For most of us, there is no “glass slipper” label. They’re not always going to fit perfectly. That’s okay.

Just don’t let anyone tell you that you’re something you’re not. Don’t let people dictate that for you.

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

My Tumblr is Gunkers, so is my Instagram! If you wanna catch me on DeviantArt, then my handle is YouEatBugs

You can catch my music in the “gunk sangs” tag on my Tumblr blog as well!
I draw a hodgepodge of stuff, so if you don’t have any really specific interests, feel free to come find me!

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

Interview: Andi

Today we’re joined by Andi. Andi is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in a cartoon style. They also do a bit of realism and do both original and fanart. Andi is inspired by many things and has a wonderful amount of enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

aang
Aang

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoon style artist first and foremost! I love digital art and watercolor the most, but I’m well versed in graphite, acrylic, colored pencil, pastel, and most recently oil paints. I also have a touch of skill in realism! I do a lot of fan art, but I also make original art.

What inspires you?

Nature and animals most of all! I love plants and animals and natural things. I’ve also been heavily inspired by media about magical characters and fantasy worlds. I usually combine features from whatever I’ve most recently been obsessing over, and different aesthetics I enjoy. Video games and TV have had huge influences on my art.

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

Art has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I feel like Pokémon probably had the biggest impact on my early art direction and interest. Both the games and the anime drove me to create and helped fuel my love of art. Art is life.

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 like to include diverse features and shapes to my art to create variety! I love unique nose shapes a lot and different body types are lovely uwu

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

USE REFERENCES PLEASE! Honestly I’m still taking my own advice here. Learning from life and having patience to do so will take you far. You begin to develop your own shortcuts that you can translate into cartoon styles and simpler designs.

Also sketch! Build up shapes and lines before you solidify details!

Charconcept
Charconcept

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am Panromantic Asexual! I experience no sexual attraction, though I’m not sex repulsed. I actually find it really fascinating? I have no interest in participating but I’m totally comfortable talking about it. I’m rather frank, actually.

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

Luckily I haven’t. Only people I’m friends with know I’m ace and they’re supportive. It’s pretty easy for me to avoid sharing with others. People I know are open to learning.

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

People thinking that I can’t/won’t/don’t have sex. I have and honestly, not impressed.

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

Please be patient with yourself. Don’t force yourself to do things you don’t want to. It’s hard to recognize a lack of something, and it’s confusing watching other people do and say things that you may not experience the same way, or at all. Be good to yourself!

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

My art Tumblr!
https://ag-art-things.tumblr.com/

My website!
http://andreargraham.wixsite.com/agart

My FB page!
https://www.facebook.com/ANDILION5356/

And my Twitter!
https://twitter.com/Andilion5356

panther
Panther

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