Today we’re joined by Lisa Dawn. Lisa is a phenomenal author and blogger who writes about a number of things. She loves fairy tales and focuses on it. Lisa also enjoys analyzing princess movies, books, and TV shows on her amazing blog. It’s clear she’s a passionate and creative individual, 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’m a self-published author, blogger, and screenwriter. I love stories, especially fairy tales. The Disney Princess movies were everything to me when I was growing up. I’ve written several fairy tale adaptations and original fairy tale novellas at www.amazon.com/author/lisadawn and regularly review and analyze princess movies, books, TV shows, and more on my blog at www.theprincessblog.org. I studied screenwriting in college and am about to complete the UCLA Professional Program in Screenwriting Online. My latest screenplay is an original princess story that draws inspiration from one of the hardest times in my life.
What inspires you?
I’m inspired by beauty, but not just the visual kind. I love musicals with songs that tug at the heartstrings, stories that are cathartic and empowering, and of course beautiful artwork of mermaids, faeries, and magical princesses in lacey flowing gowns. My love of animation has been a driving force for my creativity even though I can’t even draw a circle. I was devastated when traditional animation got replaced by CGI, but I attended a visual effects school in Florida to learn how to animate on a computer, which landed me a job in Los Angeles.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
Yes, I have always wanted to write. I can’t remember ever not wanting to write, even when I was a very tiny Little Mermaid-obsessed preschooler. I love stories and the effect that they have on people’s psyche. A good story will simultaneously bring someone to tears and allow them to accept something in their life that they were struggling with. When I graduated college and had to deal with the hardships of being an adult for the first time, I wanted to tell my own stories even more because there’s a comfort in viewing life through the lens of a magical fairy tale instead of facing the harsh reality head-on.
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?
You’ve probably noticed the princess theme by now. Not all of my stories are about princesses, but I focus on them because princesses are the most magical and empowering female characters in any given fantasy story. I love how princesses have evolved over time from damsels in distress to strong warriors. I analyze the dichotomy between these archetypes in The Princess Blog and try to find a healthy balance between them in my own writing. For me, Ariel from Disney’s The Little Mermaid is the perfect combination of vulnerability and inner strength.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
It has never been easier than it is today to promote yourself through technology. Everyone is connected through social media, so if you’re willing to share your art, people will find you. You can also easily reach out to the people you admire via Twitter, which is something that used to be much harder. Unfortunately, that also means there’s a lot more competition out there. In that respect, I would say to work even harder than you think is necessary. Write, draw, sing, and create every single day, even on the days when you don’t feel like it. I thought I would never make it as a screenwriter, but now I feel like I’m closer than ever because I’ve learned how to make connections and get valuable feedback from my peers. Yes, I do occasionally take breaks, sometimes even year-long ones, but I know now that the more time I take off, the longer it will take me to accomplish my goals. Promote yourself and keep it up!
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am a heteroromantic repulsed asexual. I’m also married, which still surprises me sometimes, so for those of you lonely romantic aces out there, there is hope!
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I write independently, but I’ve experienced ignorance in the workplace a few times. I once had a job converting movies to 3D, and some of my co-workers there were a little immature. There was one man in particular who would not stop harassing me after I blurted out that I was asexual. He kept naming all sorts of different scenarios and asking me if I would have sex under those circumstances (not with him). I probably should have reported him to HR, but he was part of a large company layoff shortly after that, so I never saw him again. A few years later, I did an interview about asexuality for a famous magazine right after my wedding that promoted my husband and myself in a humiliating way on several Facebook pages with millions of subscribers. A co-worker I had at that time tagged several fellow employees, including a supervisor, on one posts and didn’t tell me. I only found out about it after going through all the comments. I did report that to HR and got an apology out of her. If this happens to you, do not tolerate it sitting down! That’s what Human Resources are for.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
“You’re not capable of love?” is always a classic.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
The world is a very different place today than it was when I came out as asexual in 2005. Hollywood is pushing for more diversity in the media. Uncommon sexual orientations are becoming more commonplace. Social media is all about expressing yourself. You are living in one of the best eras to be different. Embrace it. Know that there are more people willing to accept you today than there would have been fifty, thirty, or even ten years ago.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I have a subscribe link on www.theprincessblog.org, but most people find out about new posts through my Facebook page at www.facebook.com/theprincessblogger. I’m also on Instagram at www.instagram.com/theprincessblogger and Twitter at www.twitter.com/PrincessOfBlogs. I have a YouTube channel where an animated version of myself reads my blog posts at http://yt.vu/+theprincessvlog, and of course you can find my books on Amazon at www.amazon.com/author/lisadawn.
Lisa Dawn also has an author site: http://lisadawnbooks.wixsite.com/lisadawn
Thank you, Lisa, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.