Today we’re joined by May Barros. May is a phenomenal Brazilian artist who does both visual art and writing. She has published a book in Portuguese, which has a short story about an ace princess. When she’s not writing, May does a lot of digital drawing. Her pictures are brimming with vibrant colors and beautiful characters. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m very focused on original stuff, even if I like to interact with fandom, my own imagination has a bigger pull on me. My drawings tend to be character-driven, be them from my own stories or friends’ or even rp characters.
My writing, though, can go both ways. Sometimes it’s more metaphorical and emotional, even if there are characters in the tale I’m telling. Other times, I focus on characters and their struggles and it really makes me happy when people relate to them.
What inspires you?
Fantasy, all the way. I love anything magical. Be it full blown dragons-in-the-sky or small town witch shop stories, it just pulls me in. I have a collection of other artists drawings I save on my computer for inspiration, when I’m out of ideas, I browse the folder until something clicks (I never trace or copy anything, that’s just wrong).
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Being a writer has been my dream ever since I was little, but it was Harry Potter that really made me consider it as a career. The drawing part came from watching anime and cartoons. I had a group of friends in high school that got together to learn how to draw manga style and I just never stopped.
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?
If I do, I haven’t noticed. The only thing that I have to be careful not to do every time is draw girls with big thighs. I even forget to put my signature sometimes, one of the many things I’m trying to get better at.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t give up. If your art seems bad to you, it just means your inner critic has more practice than your inner artist and you have to work hard to catch up, but it’s not impossible. Also, never compare yourself to other artist, if you want to see how much you’ve improved, compare your work to your past works. Your journey as content creator is your own, no one can do the things your imagination can.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m demisexual / demiromantic.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I can’t say that I have because it’s not a topic that comes up often. I’m not hiding anything, I just don’t feel the need to bring it up. My personal life though is another matter entirely.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
I’ve had people think it’s a choice or that it’s no different than “waiting for the right person”. I’ve also had asexuality be mislabeled / mispronounced and the person dismiss my correction.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Know that you are valid. Understand that whatever you are feeling is justified and you have every right to self-discovery. Your orientation and identity is your own and only you can define it.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I publish my writings on Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/user/MayFPBarros), though most of it is in Portuguese, my native language. My drawings are on my DeviantArt account (http://mayhigurashe.deviantart.com) and on my Tumblr (http://mayarab.tumblr.com). I also have a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/May_Higurashe/) and an Instagram (http://instagram.com/mayhigurashe)
Thank you, May, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.