Today we’re joined by Puck Von Nida. Puck is an incredibly talented cosplayer I met two years ago at Archon. Being a fellow ace, we hit it off almost immediately. Puck is awesome when it comes to cosplay and also works in sketches. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art is mostly graphite/pastel sketches and knitted and sewn cosplays. With my sketches I really am still in the process of mastering proportions and playing with values of light and dark, it’s still very rough and raw for me and really lacking in themes at this point. With cosplay I find myself playing with gender and mythology finding balances between realism and accuracy to characters while still taking them into fun and creative directions. My best works involve either myself presenting as a gender I am not associated with or changing the gender of a character in much the same way.
What inspires you?
I am inspired by many things; artwork of master painters and sculptors such as Titian, and Artemisia Gentileschi, or Polyklytos, and Gian Lorenzo Bernini, block prints depicting Japanese folklore and myths, Icelandic sagas, and the various feminist movements. I try to takes ideas from each and incorporate them into each piece I create.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Art was always something I loved and was around me at all times growing up. My mother would hang prints of impressionist paintings around the house as well as buy art from local and out of town artists she liked. My father would sketch often in his free time. When I was old enough to begin actually creating my own I knew that it was something I would spend the rest of my life on. Unfortunately I was discouraged by many of my teachers growing up and thought I had no talent or potential. Two years ago however I realized that talent is learned and renewed my artistic vigor. It began with sketching costumes and slowly I built up to learning other things like proportions of the human form and shading.
Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?
At the moment I don’t really have anything too unique to my work though I do sign my name on each piece in elder futhark runes. I also have a technique I use for my color pieces, I paint on pastels with makeup brushes to create an unsaturated look.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If you love art and you love making art learn about it and learn about yourself. Do not be afraid to experiment and do not be ashamed of your early works. Many of the artists in history books changed their styles multiple times. Another thing if you are unhappy with how something turned out just do it again, Artemisia Gentileschi redid her masterpiece “Judith Slaying Holofernes” several times and she got the idea from Caravaggio doing the same scene. He got the idea from Michelangelo’s version in the Sistine Chapel. Art is always meant to evolve with the artist and you will never be finished with it. If you can’t tell I’m a bit of an art history nerd.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a homoromantic asexual, sex repulsed in practice but not theory. In other words I can talk about sex in graphic detail but hate to actually have it. I usually say “I’m an asexual entomology enthusiast, I rather be stung by hornets than fuck you”.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
For the most part my fellow artists accept my asexuality and my Mentor proudly tells people that I am ace. I do however encounter a bit of acephobia from some of my coworkers. They don’t understand it and I appear to be unable to communicate what it is to them.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Oh my, what misconceptions haven’t I encountered. That I have no passion because I’m not interested in sex. That I am repressed or ignorant to sex. That I can’t recognize aesthetics because I don’t experience sexual attraction. That my heart is cold and black and bitter because I don’t have sex. (it is but that has nothing to do with my lack of a sex life and everything to do with my terrible choices when it comes to romantic partners). That I must have something medically wrong with me, which once again has nothing to do with my sexual orientation and more to do with prior terrible decisions namely not wearing insect repellent.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You are not alone we are few but many and a great and accepting community. No you are not broken, yes you are different, but hey that’s what makes you awesome. Never be afraid to shine with your asexy self.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Um well at this point my twitter is your best bet. You can Follow me @GodOfTheGallows under the pseudonym Odin Alfrodr Bolverk. Many of my cosplays can be found online from the Facebook pages of St. Louis conventions as well as the local news outlets. I take commissions via email firstname.lastname@example.org and I am currently working on getting a local show in southwestern Illinois. Though nothing substantial yet.
Thank you so much, Puck, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.