Today we’re joined by Brianna Rose. Brianna is a wonderful visual artist and musician. For visual art, she specializes in cartoon style and is incredibly passionate about children’s media. For music, she does a couple of different genres, from blues to soft acoustic songs. It’s very obvious she loves to create, as you’ll read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
My art is kind of like a big cartoon-medley. I can draw more realistic-looking stuff but I’ve always had a better way with exaggerated shapes and cutesy features. I’m really passionate about children’s media and making it as fun and imaginative as it was when I was young.
I work with a lot of different styles and I like to experiment a lot with them! I also love the process of designing characters, so a lot of my art leans heavily in that direction.
Aside from that, I’m also a musician! I mostly sing blues and rockabilly-type music (that’s what I usually write, anyhow) but I often record just… soft acoustic songs. They’re easier to play on guitar haha.
What inspires you?
People, honestly! The best way to design a character is when they’re based around something you’re familiar with in reality. Of course, this doesn’t always hold true– but at least for personalities, it works pretty well.
Music also inspires me a lot. Like most artists, I listen to music nonstop while working– and I’m a musician myself, so it helps visualize things a bit better, and also drives me to make my own tunes too!
Also, other artists. Who isn’t inspired by looking at or listening to other peoples’ art, y’know?
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Other artists, really. Artists like Jhonen Vasquez or Craig McCracken (my main inspirations while growing up) are what made me REALLY interested in cartoons.
As for always wanting to be an artist… I’d say more or less, yeah! I’ve always wanted to be an artist or a musician. Art just seems like a more… stable route. (Sad, ain’t it? Haha)
Also, for music, Joe Strummer (lead singer of The Clash and many other bands) is what got me interested in becoming a musician. I could always sing, but he’s what made it feel possible to make something of it (if I ever choose to.)
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?
Mmm… I’m not so certain. I think the most reoccurring “feature” is that I have all of my protagonists be Native American. I, myself, am Plains Cree, and I know us natives don’t really have much representation, so I do my best to help fill that gap.
But, of course, that’s not really a unique symbol or anything. Though, sometimes I have a few characters in different projects that look or act the same– and that’s for a very top secret reason, that isn’t (always) coincidence!
Nothing for my music, though. Other than the fact I don’t know many chord progressions and try to desperately hide it!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Just keep going. There are some people out there that will be better than you or be younger and have a similar skill-set as you — etc., etc. Don’t let that hold you back. What you perceive as “better” is just… different. There is no “better,” only different. What you can do is unique to you, whether you know it or not. What you have to offer is worthwhile — just sometimes it takes a lot of work. Often, too, a lot of time. But anything worthwhile is worth working and waiting for.
This goes for any type of artist.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am an Asexual Demiromantic! (as in… not sexually attracted to anyone, but I can be romantically attracted to anyone if you give me a little time to get to know ya on a deeper level!)
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I think aces encounter ignorance no matter what, truthfully. I’ve faced a lot of ignorance both in and out of my “field” — though the prejudice I’ve faced hasn’t really been relevant in what I do.
I’ve gotten some flack from a past band for wanting to avoid sexually charged lyrics in some covers they wanted to do… being told that I was overreacting, and all that. (Being looked at in a sexual way makes me extremely uncomfortable, but this didn’t matter to them.)
I handle it with aggression, mostly. It’s caused by anxiety. I tend to snap at those who don’t understand, which isn’t really the healthiest way of handling things. If it’s in a situation where I don’t feel threatened, then I’m better at calmly explaining things. Those who purposely try to be contrarian or disrespectful, however…
They don’t get my “nice” way of handling things.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That we’re all just robots. That we’re less human. That even if there are aces that are really into sex, that doesn’t mean the rest of us don’t matter. There’s a common misconception that we have to fill a quota to be “normal”. A lot of people use the “well some asexuals are fine with sex and love it!” which detracts from the issue at hand. Many of us don’t, and that’s OKAY. We don’t need to find these little loopholes so we’ll be accepted. A misconception in and of itself is the fact that we’re not “normal”. So what, you know? So what.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t let idiots tell you who you are and who you have to be or should be. Whatever. That’s none of their business. You know yourself better than anyone– even if you don’t know yourself very well at all! What you feel is what you feel. Stick to that. Even if it’s ever-changing– that’s fine! Let it change.
If you’re young and identify as ace or anything of the like– don’t let anyone tell you that you’re wrong. Don’t let anyone sexualize your preferences. That’s wrong of THEM, not you. You don’t always get to choose how you feel, but you DO get to choose how you handle it. If you feel comfortable in a label, then label yourself that. Even if it doesn’t necessarily fit you perfectly. For most of us, there is no “glass slipper” label. They’re not always going to fit perfectly. That’s okay.
Just don’t let anyone tell you that you’re something you’re not. Don’t let people dictate that for you.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
You can catch my music in the “gunk sangs” tag on my Tumblr blog as well!
I draw a hodgepodge of stuff, so if you don’t have any really specific interests, feel free to come find me!
Thank you, Brianna, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.