Signal Boost: Ace Appreciation Day 2016

Hi all!

Last year, I started something that I’m hoping to make into a trend. It’s called Ace Appreciation Day and it happens on September 27th.

Here’s the original post (cross-posted from Tumblr):

Hello all!

This is a really strange signal boost, but hopefully it will work.  My birthday is on September 27th.  I’ve never given my birthday much thought (it has never been all that important to me, just day like any other).  A couple days ago, I had this really weird random thought:  “It would be really cool if I could get the followers of this blog to do something nice for an asexual artist and/or activist on my birthday.”

Asexual artists and activists often struggle to be heard.  Some days it’s way more frustrating than others.  Asexual activism can be somewhat thankless at times.  Just running this blog I’ve gotten my fair share of hate mail and messages (I’ve even had aces throw some fairly derogatory terms at me because I’ve called people out on shitty behavior or for ignoring the work of ace artists.  Rarely a week goes by I’m not called some name).  However, we keep doing it because it’s important to make things better for future aces.

So, on September 27th, I want everyone reading this, allo and ace alike, to do something nice for an asexual activist and/or artist. Obviously in an ideal world, you could commission an ace artist or buy their books.  However, if you don’t have the money, there are a number of other ways you can support aces:

  • Follow them on social media
  • Send them a message thanking them for their work and/or complimenting their art (and remember, the more specific you are, the more meaningful it is).  I cannot emphasize enough how good it feels to receive a message that your work has touched someone or helped them in some way.
  • Recommend them to friends.  Signal boost their social media sites
  • Leave a review of their work
  • Write a post in your social media accounts (Tumblr, Facebook, whatever you use) about asexual artists and activists who you think are under-appreciated or just an appreciation of an ace who you really admire.

If you don’t know of any asexual artists, please look under the links pages in this site.  Skim through them, find an artist whose work you really enjoy, and then show them some love.

If someone wants to create a hashtag, that would be awesome.  Signal boosting this would also be much appreciated.  I want to reach as many aces as is possible, because most of them deserve a lot of love.

Thank you, everybody!

So this Tuesday, do something nice for an ace.

*Commission an ace-identifying artist or get a book from an ace author
*Send an ace a nice message
*Fangirl over an indie ace artist
*Signal boost aces
*Hug an ace you know and let them know how much you love and appreciate them.

Go out there and show those aces some love😀

Interview: Carly Ann

Today we’re joined by Carly Ann. Carly Ann is a phenomenal artist who does a lot of visual art and SFX makeup. She works in a wide variety of mediums when she’s drawing. Carly Ann is also incredibly passionate about makeup and it’s truly something she loves to do. Her work shows an incredible attention to detail and it’s very apparent Carly Ann’s a gifted artist. Her passion shines through in her interview, 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’m a bit of a jack of all trades in the visual arts as I never hesitate to take on a new challenge or venture into a new medium. My main focuses tend to be in drawing and special effects makeup, though I even work in costume design and prop making. I’ve been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon and have continued with it as a hobby into adulthood. It has only been in the past couple years that I decided to make it my life’s work, that art is what brings me the most joy. My typical drawing mediums include graphite, charcoal, and ink, though I have even dappled in oil pastels and gouache. Even my subject matters tend to bounce from everything to photo-realistic portrait work, abstract expressionism pieces, and even still life.

As for special effects makeup, this interest has been a more recent development. Upon reaching my teenage years and continuing into the present, I have stepped into alternative fashion. Makeup has always been a means of self-expression for me in this unique lifestyle, from simple dramatic looks to bordering on stage makeup. But I never considered it as a form of artistic expression or a potential career path until two years ago. I hit a state of severe depression about halfway through my sophomore year of college. I was not happy with the career path I was originally on, but too scared to take on art as it is stereotypically thought of as not a reliable income source. One of the few daily activities in my life that kept me going during this time was waking up hours before class to do intense, dramatic makeup. I would watch YouTube videos and teach myself all these creative ways to manipulate your features through cosmetics. After I reached my lowest point in my depression, I asked a friend what they thought I should do and they said I always look my happiest when I am doing my makeup. That was all the convincing I needed to realize that my heart truly was in the arts, thus I became an art major and dedicated my life to it. Since then my work has been focused in sculpture and I have done numerous projects in special effects makeup. Needless to say, I have never been happier or more confident in myself than I have at this point in my life.

What inspires you?

The concept of duality is something that I not only embody in my artwork, but in my life. Contrasting ideas, beauty meets horror, life meets death, dark meets light, have always fascinated me. Much of the artwork that I do for myself embraces these conflicting elements. People tend to fear the darker aspects of our world as they hold uncertainty and the unknown, but I want my art to show that there is no need to be afraid. There is beauty in darkness and just as the shadows can conceal, the light can blind. Finding balance between the two, understanding that life and death go hand in hand, is the root of much of my work.

As for artists I find inspiration in, they range from tattoo artists to special effects makeup artists, both of which are career paths I am looking into for the future. One of my favorite tattoo artists is Ryan Ashley Malarkey, an independent artist from Kingston, Pennsylvania. Her fine line black and grey pieces are simply breathtaking in their detail, and tend to feature many of the dual elements I mentioned before. In special effects makeup, Mykie, also known as Glam and Gore on YouTube, has been an incredible source of not only inspiration, but information. Much of her work does not involve expensive products, which when you’re a poor college student, it’s much appreciated. Not to mention her YouTube channel caught my eye with its contrast. Many of her tutorials marry beauty and blood, from gory Disney princesses to neon zombies. I’ve referenced a number of her videos in order to achieve my own unique looks.

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

I suppose you could say I have always been interested in in the arts. My family has been very supportive, always making art supplies available, signing me up for dance classes, as well as encouraging theatre and music-related extracurricular activities throughout my education. The arts, in all its vast forms, are something I could not imagine my life without. Music and theatre helped my cope with my shyness and social anxiety. Drawing became an outlet for my vivid and creative imagination. Makeup has taken on a form of self-expression, a means of showing the unique individual that I am, inside and out. I even currently work within the costume shop on my college campus, it has already become a means of sustaining myself financially. Though, I never really considered the career path of an artist until recently due to the financial risks society likes to associate with it. There was always this fear that my art would never be “good enough”, that I would not be able to apply it in a way to sustain myself and it could never be anything more than a hobby. But thanks to dedication, practice, and the encouragement of those around me, I have gained a lot of confidence that being an artist is the right field for me.

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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?

I have actually put a bit of thought into my signature. Writing out my full name can be such a hassle, and admittedly I am not a huge fan of my handwriting. Instead my signature consists of a rather stiff and scratchy looking moon with a star hanging off the top. The intention is for it to not only mimic the imagery of the night sky, but also hold my first and middle initials (the moon for “C” and an “A” hidden within the lines of the star). It’s simple, but unique, and once more embodies the idea of lights in the dark.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Honestly, I feel as if I could write an essay of advice alone for aspiring artists, but to be brief I will touch a few main points that helped me pursue my passion. The first being, do not be afraid of risk, whether that is taking on an unfamiliar medium or dedicating your life to art in general. It’s all a learning experience, and you are bound to make mistakes, but do not let those hold you back or make you believe that your art is not worthy. Practice does not make perfect, practice gives you a better understanding of who you are and how your art is an embodiment of that. All art is “perfect” in its own way as it is an extension of yourself, and you are wonderful. Do not feel pressured to meet the expectations or abilities of those around you, or you run the risk of losing the creativity that is the root of all art. That is when it becomes more of a chore than something enjoyable. Also, it is okay to take breaks from time to time. Do not think that you need to dedicate every waking moment to creating something. There is value in stepping away from a piece and allowing yourself time to meditate on your ideas, as well as recharge your creative energy. Finally, never let anyone devalue your art or the life of an artist. There are those out there who will attempt to discourage you, make art seem trivial, almost juvenile. But they just fail to see how we are all constantly surrounded by art. Art enriches our lives, gives us beauty and even an escape from reality from time to time. There will always be a need for art, your work will always hold value. You will always have a purpose in this world as an artist.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as both asexual and aromantic.

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

Over all, within my work as an artist I have never faced any ace prejudice (outside the field is another story). Since I have only recently taken on the ace/aro terms to describe my orientations (about half a year ago), I have only just begun expressing this aspect of myself openly to a select few individuals in my field, all of whom have been incredibly open-minded. My employer in my college’s costume shop (who identifies openly as both heterosexual and heteroromantic) has spent hours discussing sexuality and the LGBT+ community over our work with me in a completely accepting manner. Any questions she has had have been asked both politely and completely out of curiosity with a desire to gain a better understanding of the ace/aro spectrum. In general my college campus is very friendly towards the non-heteronormative and non-cisgendered community. We even have posters currently up around our buildings welcoming those that identify as agender and asexual to the LGBT+ organization on campus. However, as I am a senior with the intent to graduate in the spring, I am a little apprehensive if that will change once I am involved in the professional art world. But with more light and acknowledgement being shed on asexuality and aromanticism as valid identities, and the spectrum they encompass, I am confident that with time we will all be better understood.

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

The most common misconception that I have personally encountered is that ace/aro individuals are cold-hearted or emotionless. While this has not been expressed by anyone within my artistic field, I have been confronted with it by people in other areas of my life. I have been called a “man-hater” and told that I “do not even count as a girl” because I do not experience romantic or sexual attraction and am personally uncomfortable with affectionate physical contact. In reality, ace/aro people, including myself, hold just as much emotion as anyone else. These aspects of our identity pertain only to our lack of sexual and romantic attraction and by no means imply hatred or devalue our sense of humanity. I have found this to be one of the most toxic forms of ace/aro misunderstandings as it enforces the ideas of being “broken” or inhuman, which simply are not true. Regardless of attraction or lack thereof, ace/aro people are just as deserving of respect and love.

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

Just as I could for aspiring artists, I feel as if I could go on for pages of advice for fellow ace/aros, despite having only come to understand my own identity less than a year ago. The best advice I could give is to love in the way that you feel most comfortable with (and is obviously consensual). As I have questioned my sexuality over the years, trying to put a name to it, I have caused myself an incredible amount of unnecessary stress and grief. Even after accepting my own ace/aro identity, I still find myself dwelling on these unnecessary thoughts. What if it really is just a phase as society tries to accuse? What if it’s rooted in a medical issue relating to libido? What if I never find anyone who will be satisfied with being in a platonic relationship and I spend the rest of my life alone (albeit with a lot of cats)? But in the end I just need to take a deep breath and clear my mind. I need to remind myself that I am human, I am not perfect, but I am not broken. Most importantly, what it all comes down to is what makes me comfortable and happy, whether that is being in a strictly platonic relationship or finding in time that I identify somewhere else on the vast spectrum of sexuality. Regardless of labels, regardless of any changes I may experience as I further understand myself, I am still valuable as a person and deserving of love.

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

Most of my work gets posted on my personal social media; this includes Twitter (necromanticdoll), Instagram (necromanticdoll), and Tumblr (necromanticdoll.tumblr.com). As I build my portfolio and career I may make accounts dedicated solely to my art, but I will be sure to keep things updated on any changes via my personal accounts.

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

Interview: Mat

Today we’re joined by Mat. Mat is a wonderful aspiring writer who is currently working on a project that will include multiple characters, many of whom will be LGBTQ+. He writes a wide variety of genres, including horror and fantasy, and has a fondness for myths. It’s very clear he’s incredibly dedicated to his writing, 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 write, well type (as I have the hand writing of a salamander) myths, occasional horror stories, several types of fantasy, I try to stay away from romance in my stories as I don’t really understand it but yeah. I’m working on  a bigger project at the moment, that has a vast multitude of characters, and will include most of the different identities with the LGBTQ+ spectrum, it also includes magic, gods and goddesses, characters are splattered across the timeline of earth (not just in the past but also in the future (with a couple in present time).

OH I almost forgot I also have an interest on making a completely gender neutral line of t-shirts (i.e. anyone can wear them and they will look good and like they belong on you)

What inspires you?

In my writing, my friends, my family, the people I encounter day to day, music, TV.

In life well yes my friends/family and everyday people, but I find that the YouTuber Casey Neistat is very inspirational, oh jeez there’s a long list of people I find inspirational, my great grandmother who graduated high school in the early 1900s when she was 13, my dad the first person in my family to go to college, my sister the first person from my family to go to university, I learnt through from all the people that I look up to that you never really fail unless you stop trying to get back up.

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

I’ve always been writing, when I was younger I wrote about dragons and many different versions of the end of the world, and now although what I write about has changed I still like to bring characters back.

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?

Erm no not at the moment, I also don’t really have a symbol anyways:/

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I answered this with a bit of ….. not so nice language (p.s. I’m not rude though)

It’s okay to relax, it’s okay to be late once in a while, it’s okay to get things wrong, it’s okay not to have an opinion on something, it’s o-fucking-k to not care, it’s okay to spend hours upon hours working on something only to hate it afterwards, it’s okay, your art’s okay, you’re okay, your hatred of your art is okay, it might be absolutely fucking beautiful, it may be starry night V.2 and if you hate it, that is okay, you may have done absolutely fuck all, all day and you’re exhausted that’s okay.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual

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

No I have been lucky enough not to encounter it

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

That I’m a plant, obviously I’m fucking not, and also people say asexual isn’t a sexuality have usually no idea what a fucking homonym is but are the first group of people to bring out the dictionary definition

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

Referencing my above post, its okay, I’ve been out for a year, and although it’s Scary as all fuck, its okay, there’s nothing wrong with you, you ain’t fucking broken, you’re perfect the way you are, you’re okay, it’s okay, also don’t come out until you are 1001% ready, don’t worry about coming out if you don’t feel safe, if you don’t feel 100% certain you’re ready, even if you’re at 99.9% don’t do it, it can be a scary thing coming out do it when you’re for sure you’re ready.

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

If there’s enough interest I will start a new blog and post my work there (eventually my major project as well)

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

Interview: ZutaraBeliever

Today we’re joined by ZutaraBeliever. ZutaraBeliever is a first for Asexual Artists: she’s a stop-motion fabricator. Aside from that, she’s a phenomenal illustrator and animator. ZutaraBeliever has this wonderful enthusiasm that shines through in her work. Her art demonstrates a sense of whimsy and a real attention to detail. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Chris sticker base

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am an illustrator, animator, and Stop-Motion Fabricator! I love working with my hands and sculpting. I went to college for stop motion, but drawing wise, I am mostly self-taught.

What inspires you?

Honestly, other people. And things I love. I am a creative person, and if you look around, there are really cool people just waiting to be turned into your own characters. Everyone has a story to be told, and no matter what the medium, being creative is a great outlet for your stresses and ideas.

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Cutie Patoots

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

Yes! I have always wanted to be an artist. Cartoons were a huge inspiration. I remember that PowerPuff Girls was a huge influence on me! And, obviously, from my username, Avatar: The Last Airbender was a HUGE inspiration.

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

I love eyes. That sounds creepy, but I think they are the most amazing part of people. They are the first things I notice about someone.  I usually put a lot of detail in the eyes. I also love thick outlines. I will try to sneak those in when I can!

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Drag Trio

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

FANART IS OKAY TO DRAW! I can’t believe how many posts I see a day or how many times I hear my fellow artists rant or criticize younger artists about making or using bases, or making O.C.’s from fandoms, and it makes me so mad. EVERYONE DOES THAT. No one comes out of the womb knowing how to draw, or making cartoons, or comics, you have to learn. If you use a base, give credit. ALWAYS GIVE CREDIT.

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Ice Cream

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteroaromatic Asexual!

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

Oh man. Yes. I have been kicked out of parades, support groups, I have been called a plant (cliché, I know). I have had people tell me that ‘There’s no way you can be asexual, you like dudes’.

I am 23 and still haven’t told my parents. I’ve talked about adopting instead of giving birth to kids, but that’s about as close as it gets. But, your parents and over ones may surprise you. We are living in a culture that is constantly changing, and though it may seem scary, tell someone. Tell someone, especially if you are being pressured by someone else. And don’t hate your parents if at first they don’t understand. Most parents automatic reaction is ‘Did I do something wrong?’ —‘Was it something I did that made them this way?’ Most parents want to try and understand, even if it takes a while.

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Sex Sticker base

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

That you can’t have a relationship if you’re asexual. Boundaries need to be set, like any relationship, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make it work.

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

One day, it’ll just hit you. I have had that moment, and I think every other ace has. That moment where you think ‘Wow…I really am Asexual’. Labels are nice. They really are, bring able to name something you feel is fantastic. And sexuality is fluid. Don’t worry what others think, and don’t let ANYONE pressure you into something you don’t want or aren’t comfortable with. OH! And make sure you prepare snappy comebacks if someone calls you a plant.

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

You can always send me a message on Tumblr or message me here:

https://twitter.com/ZutaraBeliever
http://zutarabeliever-art.tumblr.com/
https://www.etsy.com/shop/CraftyFandom

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Ace

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

Interview: Jacen

Today we’re joined by Jacen. Jacen is an incredibly versatile artist who works in a few different mediums. She’s a very passionate visual artist who does both original work and fanart (her Eevee is truly delightful). She hasn’t met a medium she doesn’t like and uses both traditional and digital mediums. Aside from visual art, she’s an incredibly dedicated oboist who was an admirable love of music. It’s very clear that she loves creating art and that’s always awesome to see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Ahsoka

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a digital artist, primarily, but I love to experiment in all different mediums. I’ve worked with pencils and pens, Copic markers, watercolors, oil paints, India ink and more, and I like to combine different mediums as well. Be it fanart or original works, I enjoy taking an interpretive approach to my pieces.

In addition, I am a passionate musician. I’m one of the few oboists in the city and even though I haven’t been playing for all that long, I have an extensive background in music and theory.

What inspires you?

With my art, a big part of my inspiration is geometrical shapes. I like arranging irregular shapes and making them work together to form an image. As someone who heads out to the Rocky Mountains on a regular basis, I also enjoy taking inspiration from nature, both living and inanimate. And, of course, my favorite TV shows and movies. I just really love seeing my pieces come together and make sense.

My music is a lot of the same idea. I absolutely love just the sound of my oboe, and I actively enjoy practicing on my own, but my real passion is for sitting down with the entire band and hearing all the parts together. My favorite pieces are always the ones that send chills down my spine to hear and to play. I’d say that’s really why I play, to hear mine and everyone else’s parts combine to make something incredible.

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

Ever since I was very young I’ve drawn and played instruments. Growing up as a longtime student in the Gifted program, creativity was always massively encouraged. I would definitely say that being in such a program was what got me continuing to draw and make art into middle and high school. I wouldn’t say I’ve always wanted to be an artist, it’s more something that slowly and unconsciously evolved into a hobby; I’ve never really been interested in a career in art, but it’s still a big part of me.

As for music, I actually hated piano lessons when I was young, and I stopped playing anything for a long time. In eighth grade my best friend convinced me to join band and I started out on the clarinet, which I can still play, and the next year I took up oboe. That, I can see myself continuing for a long time, for sure.

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Flareon

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 mentioned earlier incorporating geometric shapes into my work, that’s really my thing. I like the challenge of taking an image and turning it into shapes, and making it still make sense. That’s something I do with a lot of my work, even sometimes when I do semi-realism.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You really have to stop worrying about getting it right. Especially if you’re a perfectionist like me, you have to stop trying to get it right every time. You gotta experiment with styles and techniques and mediums and don’t feel that you have to know anything about that medium to just try it. If you like it, that’s when you do your research, take some classes, whatever you want. Just practice your art without worrying about how it might turn out.

For any oboists who may or may not be reading this: FIND A GOOD TEACHER. Band is great but oboes are so weird and specialized that you need an expert to help you. Oboe reeds need a lot of tweaking and I’m gonna guess you don’t know how to make reeds yet. Not to mention that damn Db key. Trust me, a teacher you get along with and who knows their stuff will be invaluable to you.

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Wolf Inverted print

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic asexual.

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

Ignorance, definitely, more than prejudice. But I’ve found that artists and creative-types in general are quite accepting and open-minded. When the odd person arises who has a real issue with it (mostly only existing on social media) I try to not let it get to me. It’s not the minority’s job to educate anyone on their community, but when someone genuinely doesn’t know what they’re talking about, I try to clear it up for them.

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

That we just don’t like sex, or we’re scared of it, or that we’ve had some kind of sexual trauma. Of course there are aces who are scared of sex or have been traumatized, but it’s inaccurate and rude to place that assumption on all of us, because it often leads to us being dismissed or harassed for it.

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

When I was figuring out I was asexual, I was scared to identify as such in case I really was just a late bloomer. There’s so much emphasis put on the fact that aces are definitely never going to change or start feeling sexual attraction that it’s easy to forget that it’s alright if it is a phase. It doesn’t make it any less valid. If you identify as ace now and you don’t later in your life, who cares? Sexuality can be fluid, so if it feels right at the moment then just go for it.

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

I have my Tumblr (http://the-cat-in-the-fez.tumblr.com/) that you can always message me on.

I post art to my Instagram (stcrmpilxt)

I have a couple works-in-progress on my AO3 (http://archiveofourown.org/users/satancat)

And I sell my art on Society6 (https://society6.com/suncat) and I’m working on uploading stuff to Redbubble (http://www.redbubble.com/people/satancat)

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Eevee

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

Interview: Axel

Today we’re joined by Axel. Axel is a phenomenal and versatile artist from France who does a bit of everything. He enjoys writing when he finds inspiration, does a fair amount of visual art, and is very enthusiastic about SFX makeup. While there’s a bit of darkness to his work, there’s also an incredible attention to detail. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a super-productive ace during some days of the year. I write, I draw, I do some SFX make-up, and some other things. I am not an art student, I am learning everything myself, and decided to simply express myself through various medias, depending on which one I find more appropriate to speak my mind.

What inspires you?

My nightmares are a good inspiration. I am not talking about real nightmares that I have had during my sleep: I am talking about my fears, my doubts. I like to create things that can recreate how I live, what I see, and how I feel during my days.

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

When I was in elementary school, I wanted to draw but was persuaded that my skills were so bad that trying was not worth it. I figured out I was wrong, once, as someone told me I did not draw how they wanted me to draw, but more in a particular way. And that was my way. I liked it. I kept it. I bought books, I watched videos, I learned, and I kept drawing.

Still, I always wanted to be an artist but always have had a low self-esteem. My work could not be of any interest as so many people did things much better than I did. But I was wrong: I am not drawing to be good, I am drawing to express myself. As well as I am writing or creating make-up to express myself.

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

I don’t think I have anything like that for now.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do not give up. Even if your family is not supporting you – which was my case. Even if your friends are not understanding your art. Even if you feel like many others are doing better.

Do it for yourself. To feel better. To communicate. To create. To live.

Remember that being great in an artistic field does not make you the best : you have to express something. Keep exercising, do not stop trusting yourself. You are the best at being you.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a grey-romantic (aromantic most of the time) asexual.

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

As I did not speak of my asexuality to many people, and did not show it in my drawings until … a few hours ago. I did not directly encountered any prejudice or ignorance. I just know that there is a lack of representation that is more than obvious, and it often leads to misconceptions that can be hurtful. It affects us, but we are not the only ones to lose something by this lack of understanding: everyone is, sadly enough.

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

“If you are an asexual, you must have lived through a traumatic experience, or are depressed, or have a biological dysfunction”. I had this one talking to old lesbians that were surprised that LGBT+-phobia are still existing today. Funny thing: they were saying to me exactly what people said to them when they were younger.

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

Be proud of yourself. That’s the most powerful thing ever. Be proud of who you are. It does not mean that you have to tell everything to everyone: it just means that you are yourself, and you can be. Go wherever you feel safe, and talk with people that have similar experiences. Help each other. Remember that you are not alone, and that you are a fine person.

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

I will soon create a blog to post my stuff. But for now, I am creating a series of sketches about ace/trans/aro issues and jokes on my Tumblr: naerlhyss.tumblr.com

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

Signal Boost: Aromantic Project

Hello all!

I received an email from a lovely individual by the name of Arianna, who is working on a project for the aromantic community. She asked if I wouldn’t mind giving her a signal boost and I agreed. Note this is open to all members of the aromantic community, not just aromantic asexuals.

Hi! I am currently working on a project for the aromantic community, and am looking for aromantic artists willing to share their work. I am looking for visual art such as (paintings, drawings, etc.), poetry, books, and music. I will disclose the project in more detail for interested parties. Contact me [at] assemble-the-fangirls or through my email, arospecinitative@gmail.com. All artists will be credited and linked.

So if you’re interested, please drop Arianna a line. I’m super interested to see what comes of this project😀