Today we’re joined by Ria, who also goes by rainbowbarfeverywhere. Ria is a phenomenal character animator and digital illustrator. She has worked on a TV show and does animation for a living. On her free time, Ria loves to draw. She does a lot of fanart and enjoys focusing on friendships between characters. It’s clear she loves what she does, 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 part time as a character animator in an outsourcing studio, Toon City Animation. I’ve only been working there for a year and I’ve worked on the television series Big Hero 6. Though I’ve been animating for a while now, I haven’t really made any personal animations though I hope to do some someday.
I mostly draw fanart in my free time. I’m a digital artist and I mostly use Clip Studio Paint and Adobe Photoshop. I love drawing for anime and other animated series or films. I’m not as active as the average fanartist but I love drawing for fan events like fandom weeks or big bangs. Although I used to be a big shipper and drew my pairings all the time, now I like to focus on individual characters and friendships.
What inspires you?
When I fall in love with a work, a character, or a relationship, I want to convey my love for it through art. When I appreciate something, I want others to appreciate it too and I can do that either by exchanging ideas or thoughts, or by making fanart of that something. It’s my little way of giving more love to the series.
I also get inspired by other fanartists. Their skills become a goal I want to work towards. When I see an artwork that stops me at my feet, I become driven to also touch someone like that.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been drawing forever. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t draw. Even as far back as preschool, I already remember when I drew my favorite cartoons. Art is a part of me and I can’t imagine myself without it. When I thought about what I wanted to do in life, it seemed like a no-brainer to be an artist of some kind.
Becoming an animator came later in my life. I, at one point in my childhood, wanted to be an animator since that was the only field I thought I could work in as an artist. But I let go of that dream pretty early on. I had to be practical and while I liked my drawings, I didn’t think they were exceptional.
The opportunity to learn animation and become an animator only came late into my university life. I had taken a leave of absence and my cousin told me about an animation workshop that happened near me. I fell in love with animation instantly.
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?
I used to have a special cat symbol that I always included in my drawings when I was young. I used it as a sort of artist signature. I did realize later on that it would be hard to identify whose signature it was unless you were already familiar with me. In the end, I just use my artist handle when I want to sign my work. It makes things easier for my audience.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Love both yourself and your work. It will be hard to get far and stay far in life if you don’t.
You will never be satisfied if you don’t love your work and people can feel the emotion you put into your work. Without love, it will be hard to touch other people’s hearts. You also need to take care of yourself. So many artists have fallen sick or died because they didn’t care for themselves. There can be no art if there are no artists. Be kind to yourself.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as aromantic asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I don’t share my sexuality to a lot of people. Only a handful of people in real life know that I’m ace and none of them are people I know from work.
On the other hand, I’m open about my sexuality online. I have it in my description and I occasionally talk about it in my posts or tweets. Still, I only interact with an intimate amount of people online. While I don’t hide my asexuality, only the people I interact with would know. And I make sure that the people in my internet circle are accepting.
I’ve never been outright attacked or singled out, but I’ve seen hate for my sexuality in different parts of the internet. I simply choose not to engage in them because I feel they won’t listen to me either way.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
The two most common misconceptions about asexuality is that it’s only temporary (that it’s a phase or asexual people just haven’t found the right person yet) and that there’s something wrong with us for us to feel this way. People think that we’re just misguided and need to be taken to the right path.
But asexuality is just a part of us. Just because we’re not attracted to other people that way doesn’t mean that we’re broken. It just means that we care more about our friendships and families. There’s nothing missing in our lives just because we don’t have a significant other.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
No matter what anyone says, you and what you’re feeling are valid. There’s nothing wrong with you and you’re not broken just because you don’t feel that kind of attraction for other people. There’s more to life than romantic love or sex. It can be just as fulfilling with the people you have in your life.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My primary account is at Twitter and you can find me here: https://twitter.com/rainbowbarf_/
I’m also at Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/rainbowbarfeverywhere/
You can support me through Ko-fi: https://ko-fi.com/rainbowbarfeverywhere
Thank you, Ria, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.