Today we’re joined by T. Hueston. T. Hueston is a veterinarian and an incredibly talented sculptor. Their animal sculptures are just so remarkably beautiful (and cruelty-free). I was seriously just staring at the images they sent in complete awe. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I love to design and make soft sculptures out of faux fur and wire. I draw upon my expertise as a veterinarian to make realistic animal and fantasy sculptures.
Some of my favorite pieces are Poochie the Shetland sheepdog, designed after a three-legged dog who belongs to one of my friends, and my Howling Wolf Anthro pieces, a collection of anthropomorphic wolves. It was also a pleasure to work on Charity the Goffin’s Cockatoo. She was based on a real cockatoo, and I puzzled over how to best create a feathered animal with fabric. I ultimately made the wire base first, and then I sewed fake leather over the wire to produce a more life-like appearance. I custom-molded and lacquered the beak to match the desired color and texture. Feathers were individually cut, shaped, and fastened on an armature shaped like the bony portion of a bird’s wings, and I replicated the feather pattern of real cockatoos. It was a fun challenge, to say the least.
What inspires you?
Nature and biology. I’m just holding a mirror to the natural world.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been scientifically-minded, and enjoyed thinking about and working with animals. Biology is particularly fascinating to me. I love learning how every species functions in its environment and adapts to changes. Currently, I work full-time as a veterinarian.
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?
I have always loved wolves, and I enjoy incorporating them into my artwork.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Draw exactly what you want to draw. Many artists are frustrated by lack of interest in their art. For many years before I found a medium that other people seemed to prefer, I did not enjoy much interest in my art. Honestly, don’t feel pressure to make something that does not personally interest you.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am an aromantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Many people who don’t believe that asexual people exist assume that I am either hetero or homosexual. I usually try to correct this misconception and explain myself. Unfortunately, some people still refuse to believe me and insist that my “true” orientation will emerge after I meet the “right” person or get over a phase. I ignore these ignorant people.
I think we need more representation of QLGBTA characters in media in general.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That my asexuality will be reversed when I am introduced to the right person.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Embrace your difference. Don’t let people convince you that you aren’t human because you don’t feel sexual attachment, and don’t feel forced to do anything that you don’t want to do. Members of the QLGBTA spectrum often face unique social barriers on the path to happiness. Find a supportive social community and consider reaching out to support groups.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can look on my deviantart blog at Jarahamee.deviantart.com or at jarahamee.tumblr.com for more information about both my personal art and current art projects. I’m doing a comic book project with Darcie LittleBadger and Nick Robles called The Shining Ascension (https://darcielittlebadger.wordpress.com/shining-ascension-comic/ ). It’s a fantasy story with a diverse cast.
Thank you so much, T. Hueston, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.