Today we’re joined by ImprobableDreams900. ImprobableDreams900 is mostly a dedicated fanartist who does a little traditional fanart, but specializes in fanfiction. She’s currently working on some great fics. ImprobableDreams900 also does quite a bit of graphic design by trade. She also has a very clever way to apply her skills in graphic design to her fanfiction, as you’ll soon read. She’s incredibly passionate and it makes for a great interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
In the world of fandom, I’m primarily an author, with my best work in the Night Vale and Good Omens fandoms. I really wanted to be an author when I was young, but I knew it wasn’t a very economically feasible career path, so I switched my aspirations to something a little more likely to allow me to pay rent: graphic design. I’m also a visual artist, with a few pieces of traditional fan art under my belt, but I find myself doing a lot of fandom-related things using my graphic design skillset — I’ve laid out, designed covers for, printed, and bound my own fanfiction, for example.
What inspires you?
There’s nothing I regularly go back to for inspiration, because I usually have more ideas than I could possibly execute, but I do draw a lot from history. Due to my current interest (read: obsession) with Good Omens, I spend an inordinate amount of time reading very old books on early Biblical mythology at the library — not weird at all, right? But they’re great mines for information I can spin into stories.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
As I said before, I always wanted to be an author. When I was very young, I used to take pieces of paper and write all over them and pretend I was writing a book. I’d only get about a page done before I started just drawing squiggly lines on the paper, though, lol. When I got around to actually writing, I didn’t start with fanfiction. I cranked out several “books” in middle school — a pursuit my mother encouraged far too much — and when I was in junior high I spent a summer writing a 200k novel. It was pretty terrible, but all of this writing (along with an incredible amount of reading) taught me how to write well, and at a relatively young age. In addition to art, I also seriously considered careers in history or physics (particularly astrophysics, particle physics, or quantum physics), but history doesn’t pay any better than writing does, and the day-to-day work of a particle physicist isn’t half as interesting as reading about the conceptual aspects.
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?
Not really, though most of my fanfiction is fairly angsty; I exact an unhealthy pleasure from severely injuring and killing off my characters. I nearly always abide by the ‘angst with a happy ending’ tag, though, and I do my very best to leave them in a better place than I found them. I’m an optimist at heart, you see.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Oh dear — I think technically I’m still a young aspiring artist, lol. If you’re interested in writing, though, 100% the best advice I can give is to read and write a lot. Trial and error and learning by doing are really the best ways to improve, in my opinion.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
Generally speaking, I’m just very confused, but my current state of mind is gray!ace or demi (and possible biromantic on top of that); I’m leaning towards demi at the moment, because I’ve noticed that it takes an incredibly long amount of time for me to form any sort of emotional attachment to anyone. I really take the friend-to-relationship route, and haven’t had a relationship yet where I wanted to even consider sleeping with the other person. Most of the time I was struggling with whether or not I even wanted to cuddle.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I’m glad you asked! I haven’t seen a lot of prejudice personally, but I have seen some ignorance, even within the queer community. I was reading a fanfic the other day, and the author introduced a great many original characters, of which practically every one ticked a different box on the LGBTQ+ checklist. I didn’t have a problem with this, but I did notice that the author hadn’t included an ace character (though ace-exclusion was by no means the author’s intention). So in my latest fic, I decided to form an asexual relationship between the two main characters. Due to some complicated plot shenanigans, one of the characters ends up walking into what is basically a porn shop created by his subconscious — meaning that he walks into a porn shop completely devoid of porn, and instead populated with things he cares about, and finds romantic. I put in a lot of little ace Easter eggs, because I’m beginning to realize that if I want to see more ace representation, it’s not going to write itself.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Someone I know very well in real life came out as asexual before I even had a suspicion that I might be, so I haven’t had a lot of firsthand experience with misconceptions of asexuality. I think the most common misconception is either that a) you just have a low libido, b) you’re going to grow old and die alone as an old cat lady (this being a pitiable fate), or c) that you’ll grow out of it (which is admittedly not helped by the fact that a lot of people seem to do just that).
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Don’t worry about it so much, especially if you’re young. If you’re demi or gray (the only orientations I feel comfortable dispensing advice to), I find it’s rather hard to force romance to happen. I know I don’t have that ‘look, that person is hot’ instinct at all, so I just try to make friends with people I think I might like, and see if anything happens from there. Also, if you’re having trouble finding someone who’s right for you — and again, especially if you’re young (that’s under 30 in my mind) — remember that you are under no obligation to be in a relationship. Mainstream media has misled you and societal norms have shaped your thinking, and I don’t think it’s just asexuals they’ve done a disservice to. Sex isn’t the end-all-be-all, but neither are relationships. Don’t undervalue the advantages of being single — I know I for one really love having enough free time to write all those fanfics!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m ImprobableDreams900 on AO3 (fics) and Tumblr (occasional bit of art). The fanfiction behemoth I’m currently working on is a series called Eden!verse for the Good Omens fandom, which is GONNA BE AWESOME when I’ve finally finished writing it. If you’re interested in reading the asexual porn shop scene I mentioned, it’s in Chapter 4 of The End of Eternity in that series, starting about halfway through. If anyone’s interested in commissioning a printed book of their fanfiction (or another author’s, with their permission), send me a message on Tumblr, and I’d be happy to give you more information!
Thank you, ImprobableDreams900, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.