Today we’re joined by C.nick. C.nick is an amazing visual artist who specializes in oil painting. They enjoy painting people and pets, especially corgis. C.nick also draws pictures based on Celtic culture. Their drawing of a crouching Border Collie made me a little weepy, as I have a soft spot for the breed. It’s very obvious that C.nick is incredibly passionate and they’re also remarkably talented, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
Where to start? Well, I draw and paint. I draw mostly in charcoal and graphite and I paint mostly in oils. Once I figure out which watercolors and coloured pencils are vegan then I’ll re-add them to my list of ‘things I do’.
I create portraits of both people and pets. My portraits are mostly realistic, but every so often I do something in Peanuts style or Garfield style or some other cartoon style. It’s fun to get out of your style comfort zone.
I also draw on themes from Celtic cultures. Mainly from the Scottish and Irish cultures. Last year I did a series on the holiday Samhain. A gallery local to me had it as their October/November show. It was a great experience.
What inspires you?
Stories. Every person, place, and thing has a story. Even Donut Day has a story! When I’m working on a portrait, I love knowing the story of the model. I’m currently working on a portrait of a dog who walked up to her now owner’s front door and was like ‘Hi! I live here now’. She thinks she’s human and won’t be convinced otherwise. When I paint something from history or a story I love capturing a moment in time and examining it. I love to compare and contrast things, sometimes I even make charts. I think my love of stories comes from being homeschooled. I had a lot of time on my hands to read books, articles, and Wikipedia. Lots of Wikipedia articles. Yeah, I read the electronic equivalent of an encyclopedia, I know. I was a nerd okay. I still am, actually.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I started drawing at nine and painting in my early teens. Ever since then I’ve wanted to be an artist. I wanted to be a portrait artist that specialises in pets because of having them throughout my childhood. My mother’s Corgwn were my first models and to this day my Corgi, Balyn, is my most frequent subject. Probably because he pushes everyone out of the way to get in front of the camera. But that’s just a maybe.
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 like to work my signature into the texture of the piece if possible. My signature on my paintings is a triskele inside a trinity knot. For my drawings and sketches, it’s just my initials.
I would say I have a limited colour palette and it’s kind of like a signature style. Not on purpose though. I just gravitate towards blues and greens of all hues. The other colours I tend to pick are darker jewel tones e.g., deep reds and purples. I’m neutral to orange so it appears frequently, but I avoid yellow and pink at all costs unless they’re absolutely needed. If a lot of yellow is called for I usually shift my palette darker so I can use light orange instead. This is because I have bad reactions to certain colours. In one instance, I was painting something that involved a lot of yellow and it made me physically sick. Literally not in a figurative sense. I have a strange relationship with colour because of my synaesthesia.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Practice, practice, practice. Also study, study, study. Study and create art in genres you don’t necessarily gravitate towards. This sounds counter intuitive, but it actually gives you a solid foundation and a fuller understanding of art. It encourages your own signature style as well since it helps you be innovative instead of just following the standard of your preferred genre by enabling you to blend what you like from different styles. You might possibly develop a new art style and/or movement one day! Remember the number of art genres is huge, if you really don’t like one then you can certainly move on to the next. You are not going to run out of styles to try anytime soon.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m aro and ace.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t because I’m not fully out in real life, at least this aspect of it anyway. It’s not a secret, but I don’t go out of my way to discuss it. I want this to change because I want to add more aroace themes in my art and writing, but I feel uncomfortable just bringing it up out of nowhere. I want it to be known and I want to be present and do things for the community, but I don’t want it to take over my life since I have a tendency to go all in or not at all; balance has always been a problem for me. Maybe others have some advice for me. How does one seemingly effortlessly and tactfully bringing up asexuality?
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Do I have to pick one? I guess it’s ‘life’s really easy being an asexual’. This sentiment is pervasive. From the people who say “Wow, I’d love to be that it sounds so uncomplicated!” (someone actually said this to me when I told them I was asexual) to people that deny our oppression because it isn’t ‘enough’. Aces live very much on the outside of a hypersexual culture, even without the direct opposition and abuse we get, that’s never easy.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You know your own experiences best. If anything, a person, a pamphlet, a website, etc. says that your experience didn’t happen or doesn’t exist, don’t listen to it. It’s wrong, you’re not. This your identity.
Being aro I obviously can’t give much advice about the romantic side of things. But I feel a good thing in general is to know your boundaries and make your boundaries known. And don’t settle for less than respect in any relationship! You are worth more than that.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
People can get in touch with me on my Facebook page:
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/cnickartist/
They can view my work on my Foundmyself profile: http://www.foundmyself.com/c-nick
I currently have four Tumblrs:
http://cnickart.tumblr.com/ – fine art, portraits (people & pets), paintings, and drawings
http://cnickdesigns.tumblr.com/ – my designs for my Redbubble and Zazzle accounts
http://craiconthepavement.tumblr.com/ – sidewalk chalk art
http://sketchbookofbalderdash.tumblr.com/ – sketches, works in progress, art history, quotes, and whatever
I love hearing from people so don’t be shy!
Thank you, C.nick, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.