Interview: Elyse

Today we’re joined by Elyse. Elyse is a wonderful author who has just released a book called “Thaw,” which features a F/F romance between an asexual librarian and a bisexual supermodel. It’s the second book in her “Seasons of Love” quartet (published by Riptide Publishing). Elyse has such a wonderful love of writing, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer, which in some ways feels more like therapy than creating art. But putting words down on a page (or typing them on a screen) can be both cathartic and an expression of self, so I guess it counts as art! I’ve written over a dozen books so far, five of which will see the light of day in 2017. My most recent release is Thaw, which is an asexual romance between a librarian and a supermodel, and is absolutely the most personal thing I’ve ever written.

What inspires you?

I find inspiration everywhere. It’s a curse and a blessing! My first book, Whiteout, came from a dream. My current work-in-progress series came from a radio commercial. I tend to exist with one foot in reality and the other in fantasy, always thinking about the ways I wish the world was different!

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I first ‘published’ my Sailor Moon fan fiction online at age 12, but was writing stories about detectives or animal creatures as early as 8. I’m lucky that my family has always supported my writing, and encouraged me to spend time on my passions.

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?

There is a signature “Elyse” line that definitely appears in almost everything I write. I’m not going to say what it is, though! Maybe someone will notice someday and point it out 😀

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep at it. Never give up. It may seem like you’re not getting anywhere, that you’re not improving, but you *are*. I published my first book at age 30. Every single thing I wrote before then was just practice, and everything I write after will continue to help me grow as an artist.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, and possibly gray-aromantic. It’s something that’s still evolving.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Oh, absolutely. Unfortunately, I don’t know many ace-spectrum folks who haven’t. I’ve had people flat-out tell me that my identity is “wrong” because “asexuality isn’t real, it’s just low libido”. I’ve had people tell me to “stop using made up words”. I’m not as vocal as some, which is in large part to protect myself from the aphobia out there, but I see it all the time and it hurts to know my friends and fellow aces are being attacked because of ignorance.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

That it’s just low libido. NOPE! People with low libidos can (and often do) still experience sexual attraction. Libido is physical; asexuality is an orientation, a lack of sexual attraction, and is not related to physical desires.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You are valid exactly as you are. Asexuality is a spectrum, and you are still ace no matter where you fall on that spectrum! If a word or identity doesn’t fit you exactly, you still have the right to use it if you want to. Identities are personal, and no one has the right to define yours for you!

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I’m on Twitter at ElyseSpringer, or my infrequently updated website, (http://elspringer.com/). I’m always happy to interact and chat, so feel free to tweet me or shoot me a message through my site!

Thank you, Elyse, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: AbsolXGuardian

Today we’re joined by AbsolXGuardian. AbsolXGuardian is a young aro-ace writer who specializes in fanfiction. She’s incredibly enthusiastic about her work and obviously loves to write, which always makes for a great interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write fanfiction. My first posted fanfiction was a story exploring a headcanon for the Fire Emblem games. It is under the f/m section of AO3, but it wasn’t meant as a romantic story. It simply had a big focus on a pairing for plot reasons (a pairing that wasn’t canon to boot). My main focus is angst and canon compliant stories expanding the backstory or what happens after the end of the series. I have a fair amount of Gravity Falls one-shots posted. Gravity Falls is also fandom of my current long-fic After the War. All my fics are mainly just headcanons that got really out of hand. They’re also really sad.

What inspires you?

My main inspiration are other big writers on Tumblr. I just want to get my ideas out there and have other people enjoy them. I was first inspired to write Return to Ylisse by seeing The Apocryphal One’s Fire Emblem fanfictions. The only fic I can really point to having a big inspiration is After the War. A lot of the ideas of the protagonists coping with the events of the series are based on the much better Fisherman’s Knot. Lyrical music does influence the plot or a character’s thoughts a lot. I’ll just be listening to a song and think “Hey, this fits a lot of the idea I have for a fic.” Then another line will inspire me to change the story a bit. They also help me with getting into a character’s thought process a lot.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

When I was in third grade I wrote my first Pokemon fanfiction. It was your typical self-insert fic. I also started a couple of original stories that I still have saved on google drive. Once I got over my president and lawyer phase, I wanted to be a computer programmer with some published books on the side. Now a days, I’m more focused on being a computer programmer when I grow up rather than publishing books.

I first got reinterested in fanfiction last summer when I was hyper fixated on Fire Emblem. It was the summer and I had an idea (also a lot of free time). That was when I wrote most of the Return to Ylisse chapters. Once I got into the Gravity Falls fandom, I decided I wanted to write After the War. But wanted to finish what I started. So I finished up Return to Ylisse and started working on After the War. I’m forcing myself to order all my long fic ideas and eventually get to them. I have written some one-shots between After the War chapters.

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?

There’s no real special signature my fics have. Other than a lot of sadness, but that’s a common thing throughout all fandoms.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I mean, I’m kinda one myself, but I’ll give it a try.

Just keep at it. Treasure compliments. Use suggestions. But completely disregard the haters. Don’t let it go to your head.

Also if you’re experiencing a great emotion, just try to log off. Analyze what you are feeling. This will let you repurpose it in your writing. You (hopefully) won’t be experiencing anything as extreme as your characters, but you can exaggerate it. Try to do the same with other emotional scenes in books.

Oh and here’s a tip I got once that I’ve taken to heart. If you don’t know what your characters would say and you feel awkward writing it, so do your characters. Add in awkward pauses. “X didn’t know what to say, it was all just so overwhelming”

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic asexual.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

With fanfiction, the community of each fandom is a lot more important than the field as a whole. But with fanfiction as a whole, it may be the popularity of smut/romantic fics over gen fics. For someone that’s aro/ace, that’s hard to write, but also hard to empathize with as you read. I just deal with it by creating the content I want. I’ve never been directly questioned/harassed about my orientation, but that’s what I’ve seen.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

In general, just the misunderstanding with the dual meaning asexual has. For people who only learned the scientific meaning in school, it can be confusing to adapt. But it isn’t hard if the person is open minded.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

You’re valid. Also anyone who is bothering you about not finding a partner with or without knowing your orientation is a jerk.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Other than my AO3 and FanFiction.net profiles, you can find me at my Tumblr blog: https://absolxguardian.tumblr.com/. It’s mostly just a mulit-fandom, but it’s the easiest way to contact me. I’d love to talk about my own fics, asexualitly/aromantism, my fandoms, or even read gen fics you send me and give feedback. Also I liveblog while I’m writing with the tag #writingwoes.

Thank you, AbsolXGuardian, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Nilah Magruder

Today we’re joined by Nilah Magruder. Nilah is a brilliant visual artist and writer who I met at Capricon. She moderated a great panel that I was on about friendships in SFF and I was ecstatic to find out she was a fellow ace creator. Nilah’s work is absolutely gorgeous and I’m so excited to check out her new projects. Her upcoming graphic novel, M.F.K., looks particularly intriguing. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

By day, I’m a storyboard artist in the animation industry. In my free time, I make comics and children’s books. My most recent projects are HOW TO FIND A FOX, a picture book about exploring the outdoors and perseverance, and M.F.K., originally a fantasy webcomic that will be hitting bookstores in graphic novel form in September.

What inspires you?

Life! Stories! Observing the world, its nature, its people, its politics is a huge inspiration. I also get inspiration from other people’s art.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I saw the pencil tests for The Lion King for the first time when I was twelve (I’m old, and The Lion King was still under production at this point) and from that moment I wanted to work in animation. I’d loved drawing from a young age, but I don’t think I ever considered it a serious profession. I had no concept of how to become an animator; it was more a pipe dream than anything. So at first I was interested in pursuing music, writing, or something more practical like accounting. It wasn’t until I was applying to colleges that I found out you could study animation, and it rekindled my interest.

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?

Nothing unique or consistent like that. My work is kind of all over the place, actually, because I’m always trying new things. If there’s anything, I guess I draw a lot of girls.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Work on the fundamentals. Explore styles and influences. Be a sponge. Work hard, but don’t work yourself sick. Your health and life are important. Take breaks, stretch, exercise, eat well, sleep, enjoy the world around you, and learn to say “no” when you need to.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am asexual and aromantic.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I guess ace erasure is what I encounter most commonly. Most people don’t seem to have a concept of what asexuality is, so there’s very little representation in animation and comics. I’m trying to be more open about my own sexuality, but in the meantime, I include asexual characters in my work. The main characters of M.F.K. are asexual. In my own canon, asexuality is always present.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I’ve been hearing the “asexuals are just straight people who wish they were queer” rhetoric a lot lately. And also the idea that it’s the same thing as celibacy, like it’s a choice. It’s sad, and also annoying to have your identity and feelings treated as invalid… something that I’d think more people would relate to, honestly.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Asexuality is a fairly new term, but asexuals have always existed; we just used different language in the past. So don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t belong in the queer community. We’ve always been here.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I’m on Twitter (nilaffle) and Tumblr as nilaffle, and Instagram as nilaffles. My website is nilahmagruder.com. You can find M.F.K. at mfkcomic.com.

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Thank you, Nilah, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Kerstin

Today we’re joined by Kerstin. Kerstin is a phenomenal fanartist and visual artist. She writes a lot of fanfiction and cosplays as well. When she’s not writing, Kerstin enjoys drawing. She has been drawing and writing for years and has a great deal of passion for both, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m mostly a writer, especially a fanfiction writer nowadays. I started with original stories when I was about nine or ten years old and continued to write original works until I was maybe sixteen. I never lost interest in writing but somehow I barely ever finished anything because I didn’t have the drive to write without getting any feedback. That’s where fanfiction came in. It’s a great way to practise writing, explore different styles and genres and also get feedback from people who love the characters as much as I do.

Drawing has always been important to me, too. I’ve drawn for pretty much my entire life, anything from little doodles or abstract art to manga to attempts of realistic art. I mostly draw people, many original characters, but recently I’ve started using real people for references as well and tried myself in art studies.

Lastly, I also started cosplaying about four years ago. I don’t do it regularly but it’s a lot of fun, especially when you see other people’s reactions to your portrayal of their favourite character. I’ve made cosplays that were close to the originals as well as freeforms.

What inspires you?

Honestly, pretty much anything can inspire me. Photos, buildings I pass, sceneries I see while going for a walk, music, people or objects around me, characters I adore,… Occasionally I’m inspired works by other artists, especially when it comes to drawing – I just love Renaissance and Romantic art. In fanfiction it’s the canon characters mixed with headcanons, oftentimes also conversations with friends that give me ideas. I’m also a big fan of thrillers and medieval European literature and I try to combine these two types when I write.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Ever since I was a child I’ve been reading tons of books and soon started coming up with my own stories. It just fascinates me how words can create worlds and capture one’s imagination but everybody still has their own pictures in their mind while reading the exact same story or sees different things in the same painting. I love the emotions art can elicit. I’ve wanted to become an author for years now and just graduated in art history and German literature and I hope that it will help me pursue my dream.

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 don’t really have any signature.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep creating, no matter what field of art you like. You will get better, even if it might not seem like it occasionally. Practice is crucial, but so is having fun. Create what you’re interested in, not what you think you should create. Accept constructive criticism and don’t beat yourself up if you think your art isn’t getting any better. It is. You just need some time. And remember, no one will ever be able to create the exact same things you do – your art is one of a kind and you should be proud of it.

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Jensen Jeffrey

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as akoisexual and akoiromantic. Now and then I find some people attractive but it usually doesn’t last very long and if this attraction is ever reciprocated it just fades away.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

So far I haven’t since I only recently started including asexual characters in my writing and most people don’t even know I’m on the spectrum.

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The misconception I get confronted with all the time is that people on the spectrum don’t ever have sex and can’t have functioning relationships because sex “is a crucial aspect to any romantic relationship”. People don’t seem to understand that sexual attraction and enjoying sex are two different things, that you could have sex even if you’re not physically attracted to that person and that there are people who make relationships work just fine without sex.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Personally, I was glad to find a term that describes me because I felt a little less alone, but it’s not the most important thing to find a label for yourself so if you’re unsure, that’s okay. You’re not strange, you’re not alone, and you’ll be fine. You might encounter individuals who won’t be able to understand your orientation but their opinion doesn’t matter. Find people who accept you the way you are. Try to stay true to yourself – I know it can be hard, but it’s okay to struggle and question your orientation, I still sometimes do that, too. Your orientation does not define what kind of person you are.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I occasionally post some of my artwork and cosplays on my Tumblr: http://crazy-walls.tumblr.com/

My fanfictions can be found on AO3: http://archiveofourown.org/users/crazywalls

Thank you, Kerstin, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Darius

Today we’re joined by Darius. Darius is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in making beautiful digital art. He specializes in photo editing and makes wonderful pieces with inspiring quotes on them. Darius loves creating, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I make art digitally. I would love to make things physically but I’m afraid that I have a low aptitude for that. I like photo editing which is a bit hard to describe because it can be so varying. I think the only necessary component to photo editing is that a photo be incorporated. Typically a subject is masked out and we use various softwares and applications to bend that photo to our will and make it into whatever we imagine it to me. I know that’s not the best explanation but it’s the best that I can offer (sorry), at least for now.

For about a year now I’ve started using shapes to make art. Basically what I do is I take shapes such as a square and triangle or maybe even an inorganic shape and combine them in whatever way I want to make whatever I want. For example, I may put an equilateral triangle on top of a square to make house looking figure from the too. The example is very simplified explanation of my process as for a given piece, I may use 100 different shapes and have a few thousand shapes in all in one photo. I can change the opacity, stroke, shadow, height, width, color of these shapes to give a piece even more depth or uniqueness.

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I mainly make relatively simple pieces and put inspirational quotes on them. I’ve always really liked those pictures quotes that we all have seen somewhere on the internet. About 5 years back I thought that they were so great because one could positively touch another with word in an art form. It inspired me to start making digital art.

I’ve put my shape art and quote into one, combining the things I love and sharing them with others in the hopes of inspiring them or touching them in some way and of for my own enjoyment as well.

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What inspires you?

I am mostly inspired by plants.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I’m not arting as a career or anything. It’s more of a very time consuming hobby.

Though I have been paid to create local campaign posters and store signs.

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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?

Hmm, no I don’t believe so

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would like to young artist that perhaps aren’t as confident or capable in the art to not give up. I encourage them to try new mediums or to even make up their own.

I encourage them to try different art styles because there are so many and just because one doesn’t work for you doesn’t mean they all won’t. Most of all, have fun and love what you’re doing.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual Aromantic

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Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

I’ve only realized my asexuality for hmm about a month now and I’ve only told two friends who received me positively, so I haven’t had much opportunity for that. Though I’m certain people in my life would tell me that I’m a closeted homosexual or that I’m making it up. Something out there like that. I’ve decided that I won’t really tell people, partly to avoid predicaments like that but also because I feel people aren’t obligated to tell everyone.

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What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

I’ve realized that most people don’t even realize that asexuality exists.

They think that it’s something made up and laugh, but not before bringing up asexual reproduction … sigh

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I honestly haven’t encountered misconceptions because everyone in my life either doesn’t know what asexuality is or has a great understanding of it.

I’m sure I’ll encounter those with misconceptions in time. I just hope that I’m equipped enough to better educate them

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What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Take your time and breathe.

If you’re not sure if you’re ace or not, you’re more than welcome to use it as a title.

If you don’t know where you fall, that’s okay also.

Don’t feel like it’s necessary to give who you are a title or a name. You don’t have to have one.

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You don’t have to use the split attraction model if you don’t want to.

You can be ace yet still enjoy sexual interaction with another.

Please understand that the only person who decides if you are ace or not is you, no someone else.

You aren’t broken. You aren’t going to die alone. You’re still capable of love. And you are very much loved by many.

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Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

I mostly keep my art to myself and friends but I do post them on my Tumblr if I remember to.

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Thank you, Darius, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Sturm

Today we’re joined by Sturm. Sturm is a wonderful musician from Germany. He plays with a band that sounds as though they play quite an eclectic assortment of music (a mix of Rock, Punk, Metal, and Core). He’s an incredibly passionate musician, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Currently my art is the music I put out with my band. I write all lyrics, as well as the music. Our style is hard to grasp, even for us. We describe it usually as “music with distorted guitars” therefore something between Rock, Punk, Metal and Core. Since my band mates are apparently not really interested in the topics of the lyrics, I’m free to write whatever I like to. Therefore many of the songs are LGBTQ-related or in one case explicitly ace-related.

What inspires you?

Basically everything. I believe that not the topic, but the situation makes the inspiration. If something touches me on “that certain level” it might be a piece of inspiration for me. Social, politics, personal, it’s all more or less a part of the life you live, and a part of your art.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

I started playing guitar after a friend introduced me to the metal scene, as well as the guitar as an instrument. While staying in the metal community, different styles of guitar music influenced me and formed my musical progress. After many years also Jazz and Prog-music got me.

Since I started early to dream the dream of being a musician, the idea behind it is just as old. I mean “Playing music and make money” is  just THE dream. Being an artist is better than sitting in a regular company all day.

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. I try to keep the songs groovy and catchy. Even though we do not play a very hard style, we use 7-string guitars to have a heavy sound for the guitars. Maybe that is a signature move.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. There are bands being successful with more or less bullshit. Whatever your style is people will listen to it, and like it. The first step is always to bring your music out.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual, but with the possibilities of being gray- and /or demisexual

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Unfortunately way too often. It’s usually the old stereotypes. I can laugh them off, mostly because the people, who make those jokes don’t know one thing about asexuality or the LGBTQ community

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

Basically the general stereotypes. “You hate sex” “You have to find the right partner” “You seem like a lost child.” Stuff like that. And of course that I’m “faking it’.’ Why would I do that?

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

First of all. RELAX

And then, take your time to be, to discover, and to realise yourself.

Yes this might take some time, but it’s your time, and therefore, so important.

You and yourself are more important than any ideology, i.g. religion.

So: Be always sure that millions of people stand with you, and know exactly what you feel right now

Or short

YOU ARE NOT ALONE.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

Currently not at all, but soon our FB page will be active

Thank you, Sturm, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.

Interview: Kelline

Today we’re joined by Kelline. Kelline is a phenomenal visual artist who does both original work and fanart. She’s a hobbyist who mainly does traditional drawings and watercolors, although she also dabbles in digital art. Her work is gorgeous, making expert use of bright vivid colors and lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Michelle

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My drawings tend to be human driven, I just really enjoy drawing people above all else.

I have my own set of characters that wander around my head, but as I can’t commit to writing anything about them, they’re not much more than vague muses that appear in my drawings sometimes. I have a bit of a world and a magic system that’ll also be referenced in some works but again . . . lazy writer.

I also do a fair amount of fanart, mainly video game related (Pokémon and Undertale are the most recent themes). I used to do a LOT of Nintendo fanart. A lot.

My favorite mediums are watercolors, colored pencils, and recently ink/pens/markers. I do tend to very lightly combine digital elements into my work through color edits or added effects, this is based from before I had a scanner and had to rely on Photoshop edits to make my photos of the artwork look at all decent. I also occasionally do digital drawings.

What inspires you?

Music, video games, nature, night skies and outer space, other artists, dreams, and I guess feelings in general.

What got you interested in your field?  Have you always wanted to be an artist?

Pretty much always! I’ve loved drawing as far back as I can remember. My first inspirations were my mom, she makes cool colored pencil drawings, and my grandmother (mom’s mom) who was an amazing painter. Plus I was an imaginative kid, and liked illustrating all of my stories and fancies.

My original plan for after high school was to study art and do it professionally, maybe as an illustrator, but my parents (who were kind enough to pay for my college education) wanted me to study something that would get me a quote-unquote “real job.” But the major I settled into “Digital Technology and Culture” (in a nutshell it’s basically digital communication and rhetoric), was a pleasant mix of writing and visual design, so I still have some graphic design work I do in my current office job, and I’m free to pursue art as my hobby outside of work.

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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 don’t think so? I’ve been told my style is pretty unique, that’s good enough for me; I’ve never thought of adding a unique symbol/trademark.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Sorry I have lots of thoughts here:

Check thrift shops for cheap supplies! – Probably won’t have too much luck with more expensive supplies, like paints and higher quality tools, but I’ve found great grab bags of colored pencils, crayons, pens, pencils, and erasers at my local Value Villages. Part of why I have a giant shoe box filled with colored pencils. >w> I’ve also seen basic watercolors and pastels. You could probably find some sketchpads too!

Keep pushing through! – Almost every drawing I do there is a point, usually early on, where I absolutely hate it and want to scrap it. But over time I’ve learned that if you can push past that point, keep adjusting the sketch, add shading, change the colors, I can get it to a point where I love, like, or am at least “okay with” the drawing.

Don’t be afraid to erase! – This was a mantra of one of my college drawing instructors, and I still think about and use it. Basically if you just know something is off with your work, don’t be afraid to fix it, even if it means completely starting over. Don’t stress so much about messing up what you have now to not fix something that’s bothering you. If nothing else, I think forcing yourself to acknowledge and fix the error could lead to improvement in future drawings. But also keep in mind:

You have to stop at some point – Advice from an editing teacher that I also think about when I draw. If you’re a person who is a perfectionist or an overachiever, know that there’s never going to be a point where the drawing will feel 100%, completely perfect, flawless. Especially since we are our own worst critics (and also have spent the past 8 hours looking at the bloody thing), we’re going to see every little error in a drawing. But there has to be a point where you have to let go and call it done. It probably varies by artist, but for me it’s when it gets too exhausting to keep working on it, and I feel okay calling it done.

Above all, don’t give up! – Art can be frustrating, it can be emotionally draining, and it can be tough to see people who seem more talented or popular than yourself. But if you love it and/or it’s a part of who you are, don’t give up. It’s still so worth it, as an expression of who you are and what you feel, what you love and care about. It’s worth it to see yourself improve, and realize you’re creating things you once couldn’t, or better than you once could.

take care copy
Take Care

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual definitely, but I’m very unsure where my romantic orientation lies. I used to think I was hetero, but realizing I’m ace has kind of opened new ideas for me.

I think I’m either heteromantic, panromantic, or aromantic. Pan is my current thought, but I feel generally not wanting a relationship right now, so it’ll be hard to say until my heart’s ready for that again, if it ever is.

Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field?  If so, how do you handle it?

Ace ignorance is pretty common everywhere; I’ve never personally encountered ace prejudice, either in my drawing/art sharing experiences or in my past or current jobs. I see ace prejudice on Tumblr more than anywhere else. <_<

What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?

The most common? I don’t know, I don’t really talk to people about asexuality (I mean I ramble online sometimes, but that’s different). Going off of general attitudes, probably that “real” asexual people would never experience any kind of sexual feelings or enjoyment ever. And that they probably wouldn’t experience romantic feelings either.

It’s definitely a giant part of why it took me so long to identify as ace, and I think also a large part of why asexuality either never came up or wasn’t taken seriously in past romantic relationships, even when I was trying to explain to past partners how I could care for them deeply yet still be very disinterested in sexual activities.

What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?

Listen to yourself. If something feels right or really uncomfortable/wrong, listen to it. Don’t let others dictate what you are or aren’t, listen to yourself; you know your feelings better than those who only have an outside view. Even if you think it is “just a phase” and things will change, your current feelings are still worth listening to. If identifying as ace (or any other orientation) is what makes you feel comfortable and happy, do it!

And do your research; if you think something but aren’t sure, look into it. Find the science, listen to other experiences. Don’t just say nah and ignore your feelings.

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?

In a few places!

DeviantArt: http://kelline.deviantart.com/
Tumblr: http://artsyagnostis.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SweetAgnostis

While mostly similar, there are some differences between them. My DeviantArt is the oldest, has the most on it, and where I’ll talk the most about my drawings. My Tumblr is where I’ll post the more personal thoughts or less finished work. My Twitter is pretty new and kind simple and breezy, but I also just started a Throwback Thursday where I’ll be posting REALLY old stuff, currently from the my first ever “sketchpad” I had when I was 5 or so, and might eventually move on to some of the sillier/wackier drawings I did when younger.

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Poketale Undyne

Thank you, Kelline, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.