Today we’re joined by Janina Franck. Janina is an incredibly versatile artist. She has just published her first novel entitled Captain Black Shadow, which is currently available on Amazon. It’s a fantasy adventure involving pirates and it sounds like a great read. Aside from writing, Janina is also a filmmaker and website designer. She’s incredibly dedicated to her work, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I make films, design websites, and write.
I’m a bit of a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to film at the moment, but I’m trying to specialize. It’s a lot of fun working on something like that with a team.
Writing isn’t something I’ve ever been able to stop. It doesn’t matter if it’s a short story, poetry, or a novel – I’m constantly writing something and there’s not really a day that passes without me even putting a single sentence on paper. I also just published my first novel: Captain Black Shadow. It’s available on Amazon in both hard copy and e-book.
I also have a writing blog with a friend where we both write a short story a week based on a common prompt.
What inspires you?
Honestly this is going to sound cheesy, but I’m really inspired by the reactions of others when they see or read something I made for the first time. It’s incredibly motivating and it keeps me going and gives me faith in what I do.
Aside from that, long walks by myself can also do the trick.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been writing and making up stories, but I rarely ever thought of it as being an artist. I started writing my first novel when I was 11 and finished it when I was 16. It was never published though, because let’s face it – your first work is never great. I sometimes look back over it and cringe before making some adjustments to make it slightly more bearable again.
I also always wanted to be involved in films, but that desire wasn’t quite as pronounced when I was little.
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 animated a signature that I can put at the end of the films I direct, but I’ve only applied it to one short film so far. Though I am considering adding it to my books as well.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Never give up. Be stubborn. Don’t make it for someone else or with the intention of selling it and becoming famous. Make it for yourself and then see how it goes from there. But the most important part is to keep going. Don’t lose courage if you haven’t worked on your art for a few weeks or months – it’s never too late to go back to working on it, and you should do it. No one else is going to create it for you, so you have to make it happen.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a pan-romantic asexual which can be tricky at times since there are so many people who don’t really get what it means to be asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Oh yes, very few people I speak to in real life have any idea what it means to be asexual, unless they are ace themselves. I’ve been broken up with because of it as well.
Usually I just explain what asexuality is and they at least begin to understand on some level. With narrow-minded people I just avoid bringing it up, because they’re not worth the agitation.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Most people seem to think that asexuals simply won’t have sex for any reason. They also seem to think that being aromantic and asexual is the same thing. Aside from those, I have encountered plenty of people who point-blank refuse to acknowledge the existence of asexuals, so I guess that means I’m not real?
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
You’re not broken.
You’re fine just the way you are. There is nothing wrong with you.
There are a lot of us. You’re not alone.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a Tumblr, please feel free to message me about anything! http://xilaya.tumblr.com
Here’s the writing blog I run with my friend: http://twoforonewriting.tumblr.com
And a Facebook page for my books: https://www.facebook.com/chroniclesofthebat
As for my short films, there is my YouTube account: https://www.youtube.com/user/Njurana
And I just finished my Master Thesis project which is an ARG: http://glimmer.men
Thank you, Janina, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.