Today we’re joined by Alison Kilvington. Alison is a wonderful visual artist who specializes mostly in digital art. However, she does also use traditional media. She is mainly an equine artist, but enjoys drawing many other subjects whenever she gets a chance. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Well, I’m namely an equine artist. I do like to draw other creatures every opportunity I get, but I always seem to default to horses. In terms of medium, I mainly use digital art because it’s convenient and I can take my laptop and tablet with me virtually anywhere. But this also certainly does not mean that I can’t do traditional! I particularly love to use watercolors, first time I used them, something just naturally clicked. I also use colored pencils as well as graphite.
What inspires you?
Generally music, like for most people. But in other cases its movies, watching another artist draw, or just strong feelings. No one thing truly inspires me, but as long as something pops in my head, it’s going to come out sooner or later.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I never really “got interested”, art has always been a fundamental part of my family. My mom used to paint, my aunt likes to sew, my grandma made funny poems, and my great-grandfather built buildings, and during the Great Depression, he sometimes exchanged his work for some old records in return.
I have known for pretty much ever since I first scribbled on a wall that I wanted to be an artist. It was something that was always so vital to who I was as a person, that even when I was considering other careers, I knew I would still be an artist regardless. Unfortunately, I don’t consider myself “creative” enough to be a freelance artist, so I’m currently going to college with hopes that I’ll make myself into an animator someday.
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?
Hm, not that I can think of! However looking at my art, I notice that they all have similar trends, in that I prefer to use darker colors, and have been drawing a lot of trees and mountains in my backgrounds lately. And even though I only rarely draw them, red roses have a lot of symbolic meaning to me. I don’t really want to say exactly what, but they mean a lot to me and I am obsessed with them.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Just to never quit. You’re always going to look at the thing you just made and say “Well, this is utter crap.” No matter the skill level that you are at. It’s something every artist faces. You’re also not going to like your own art. My friend once told me that my art was better than hers, which I still think is total crap, she’s better than me. This is something that’s always going to happen, and I’ve learned to just deal with it. I’m not as bad at art as I was a year ago, that’s something that always makes me feel better. It also helps to envision how much better you’ll be in 5 years from now. I know that if me from 6 years ago looked at my art now, I’d feel totally in awe.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Ummmmmm… A sex-repulsed asexual, I think. I know for sure that I am ace, no doubt about that, not sure if I’m exactly “sex-repulsed” though. As for the romantic spectrum, I’m a hetero-demiromantic, though this is iffy because I’m attracted towards hatred as opposed to close friendship or something of the likes. I say demi though, because it’s only described as a “strong emotional bond”.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Thankfully, no! Not only are people in the horse art community super inclusive, but the people I know in real life also haven’t treated me any differently. Given, I’m not open about it because it’s nobody’s business, but the people I have told were supportive. There was this one guy who kept claiming that he hated me and wanted me dead, but when it came to my sexuality, he was very supportive of it. And it also turns out that my sister is pansexual.
However, I do know of people who are homophobic, such as my brother and step-brother. When my brother tells my step-brother that his demeaning language towards females isn’t cool, he gets teased about being gay. But on the flip side, when I was watching Ellen one day, my brother came in and said “She’s a lesbian.” For no real reason, and explained it by saying that he was only stating a fact.
I’ve been very fortunate.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we can create clones of ourselves or something. However, my college has a very active LGBTQ+ program (my roommate’s mom is actually the head of the LGBTQ+ services here), and inclusiveness is in abundance! It also really helps that the building most people go through is where the services are located, so whenever people walk through, there’s ALWAYS going to be something regarding the LGBTQ+ community somewhere.
And to emphasize how inclusive my college is, this week just so happens to be the college’s pride week. I go to NKU, if anyone’s wondering. I’m very lucky that I go to a place that’s so accepting of everyone, I know it’s not the case for some places.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
There’s nothing wrong with you, there’s nothing wrong with any of us. It’s everyone else who can’t understand. Because we do not fall victim to the earthly notion of wanting to bang someone we see, we are obviously gods.
But in all seriousness, there really is nothing wrong with you, and you can even use your orientation to embrace yourself. You are a perfect and beautiful human being, and even though words can hurt, you are stronger than them. Words can be like chains that have been wrapped around your ankles, but chains will not cause you to lose yourself. Sometimes you feel like you died inside because you can’t escape the chains, but just remember that in due time, they will become old and brittle and will break apart when you make an attempt to leave again.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I just wanna say real quick that I think it’s interesting that there are so many asexual artists out there. In one of my high school art classes, it turns out that there was a guy who was also asexual, which is really intriguing! I wonder why that is?
Anyway, I flip flop between websites I post my art on, however for the past six years I haven’t failed to post on DeviantArt. I do have Instagram, Tumblr, Facebook, and FurAffinity accounts for my art, however I almost never use them.
Thank you, Alison, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.