Interview: Mary

Today we’re joined by Mary.  Mary is an exceptionally talented fanartist.  She draws various characters from different fandoms.  Her attention to detail is absolutely amazing and the colors are quite eye-catching.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I do mostly fan art for various things, like Homestuck and the Shadowhunter Chronicles. I draw in pencil and color my pictures digitally.

What inspires you?

Well, inspiration can be a bit of a problem for me. Sometimes I go through month-long periods where I can’t think of a single thing. Eventually, I’ll be reading a book or hearing about a concept and thinking, “Hey! This would be fun to draw.” My sister has great ideas for drawing (she’s a writer), so I ask her for advice sometimes.

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

At some level, I’ve always loved art. When I was little, I liked making my own paper dolls and building houses for them out of cardboard. I wasn’t particularly GOOD at drawing, though, until about a year ago. At the time, I was into painting and poetry, but I wasn’t really skilled with words or paints. I saw a tutorial on Tumblr about how to draw arms and legs, and I started looking up more anatomy tutorials. I soon found myself drawing in the margins of my notebooks! Over many months, I developed my own art style and started posting my work online.

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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 actually haven’t thought about that. I don’t have one now, but I’ll think about it for future drawings!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would say that you’re not instantly going to get better. Art may seem hard at times, but don’t tell yourself that you just don’t have enough “natural talent”. No one starts out good at anything, but with a little bit of effort, time, and practice, you can be great. 🙂

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Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m definitely asexual, and possibly aromantic or demiromantic, too. I’ve never really had a crush on anyone before, so I’m not sure.

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

In my field, not really. I’m not a professional artist, so I can’t speak for everyone in this field. In day to day life, yes. I’ve never “come out” as asexual before, but I have tried to make it clear to my family and friends that I’m not interested in dating anyone. My mom is probably the most okay with the fact that I may not get married or have kids, but even she  jokes about setting me up with one of my friends, and my dad is basically convinced every time I make a male friend that I’ll end up dating him. I generally brush off these comments and correct people, but it doesn’t always work.

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

Probably either that a romantic/sexual relationship is a necessary part of life, that asexuals just don’t know what they’re looking for yet, or that we’re all prudish or childish.

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

You know yourself better than anyone else, so only you can decide how you identify. Also, to anyone who’s been told “it’s just a phase,” it may be or it may not. Either way, it’s okay to change labels, keep the same one, or not use any at all. This doesn’t make your experiences and identity any less valid.

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

My tumblr URL is quietdoodling, and my art tag is marysdoodles. I also have a Twitter, but that’s a little more personal and I don’t feel comfortable sharing it publicly. If you want to contact me, whether it’s an art prompt, sharing some of your work with me, or just stopping by to talk, feel free to send me an ask! My box is always open, and I love receiving even anonymous messages

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

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