Today we’re joined by Bob Josef. Bob is a wonderful visual artist who specializes in Zen doodles, which he puts his own spin on. He draws a number of fandom related things as well. His works show an interesting use of space and lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I think I’m kind of all over the place, and what I do is for my own satisfaction, but in the last like 2 years I’ve been doing a very simple version of what is called “Zen doodles” I say it’s simple because if you Google it what comes up looks nothing like what I do. I also do this squiggly thing that fills up a page and you don’t know where it begins or ends, what part is the object and which is just empty space…I do these the most because coming up with ideas of what to actually draw.
What inspires you?
Way too many things honestly. Probably my biggest inspirations are the internet (other people’s fanart), books, movies, Podcasts (Welcome to Night Vale), just looking at cool things gets me going. I LOVE taking pictures of sunsets because they are absolutely stunning pieces of natural art.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Um…I don’t really know what got me interested in drawing, it kinda just happened when I was in school, and it happened all over my homework and notebooks. Freshman year of HS I specifically dedicated the left side of my notebook pages to just doodling while taking notes. I haven’t always wanted to be an artist but at the moment I really enjoy spending time to create something…actually I hate the process, drawing is super tedious but the result is always worth the work.
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?
Well, it’s not something I put in my drawings but I like it’s my style for drawing faces, it’s an ever slightly modified version of the Epic Face. It’s just so simple to draw that I use it for like signatures on cards and things like that and my sketch/notebooks are filled with them.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Let people compliment what you’ve created, you may absolutely hate it because it doesn’t compare to the work of pros on Tumblr or Deviant Art. But to your friends and family it might as well be just as good, so accept their compliments and use them to motivate you to improve and impress them more with the next thing you make.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
At the moment I am Aromantic Asexual, I am totally open to the possibility that it can change should I meet a special person. Or maybe it doesn’t and I’m alone forever…that’s OK too.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
In relation to art? No not really, I’ve just started posting anything on a dedicated account outside of my personal one, and it’s not really ace-centric. I do however reblog ace positive things in-between my doodles. In real life, when I came out I had a cousin say I was going to hell with the “gays” because instead of liking the same gender, I like none (attraction wise, I’m sure all genders are nice people), and that means I won’t make the babies to “replenish” the earth. It was a real punch in the gut that anyone, especially one of my relatives, could say something so ignorant and (insert sexuality)-phobic.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Probably the “you just haven’t met the right person yet,” which may be true, but in my experience I don’t want none of that sexy-time mess. And I don’t feel the need to date people. (Not that I don’t want a partner, cuz I do, I just don’t feel the need to seek it out.)
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Give yourself time to come to terms with it, there is no rush to figure everything out and then come out, and get all the things ace (or any other orientation) pride. Just slow down, breathe, research, and when you are comfortable with what fits you, feel free to come out. Just be prepared that people won’t understand and you will most likely have to explain yourself over and over. If you ever feel like it’s all too much, search Ace Positivity on Tumblr and just scroll through all the cool things people make and say for/about us.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Well like I said before I just started out so I’m only on Instagram and Tumblr. On Insta; I’m at gandalftheace42 and gandalf-the-ace on Tumblr so it’s easy to find me! I don’t post things terribly often but I am in a painting class at my college so I will be posting updates on my projects that we are working on there. But yeah perhaps later down the road I will be super cool and make art and make them into shirts like all the cool people on tumblr.com do! Thanks for checking out my stuff if you do and I’m always open to talk to anyone if you want (desperate for human interaction) okay BYEEEEEE!!
Thank you, Bob, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.