Today we’re joined by Anila. Anila is a wonderful fanartist and jewelry maker. They write in a variety of fandoms and enjoys writing fanfiction. They aspire to publish some original work some day. When they’re not writing, they enjoy making jewelry. It’s clear they’re a dedicated and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m primarily a creative writer – mostly fanfiction but I’m working hard to finish my original works. It’s a dream to be published someday.
Other than that I make wire jewelry.
What inspires you?
To be honest, it can be anything from a long-forgotten scribble in the margins of old lecture notes to something a passer-by might be wearing. On one hand that means I’m lucky because I can draw from most things but on the other hand all these WIPs can get me down.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always been good at writing – and when I started showing it to other people they were interested and, more importantly, they were affected. That made me want to write more.
As for jewelry, my mum bought a jewelry making book when I was a teenager and it seemed to stick.
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?
My writing tends to have an overabundance of commas, an abuse of semicolons, and a tendency for things to come in threes. Just like that previous sentence ;D
It’s hard to have a signature when it comes to wire jewelry, since it’s so freeform.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Try not to put yourself down too much, though I understand it’s easy to do so.
Having friends act as cheerleaders is a blessing and can be one of the few things to keep you out of a slump.
Also, specifically for writers, if you understand the importance of receiving feedback in your work please be the change you wish to see the world – when you read online works, leave comments you yourself want to receive.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a biromantic grey-ace. Basically I can have feelings for just about anyone regardless of gender, but wanting to be intimate is not necessarily included in that.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
While writing there is a big lack of ace representation. And of course there are the people who insist that so-and-so character simply cannot be ace because there’s no evidence that that is so – to which the reply is that this is fanfic, everything is possible, and ace-spectrum people do exist. There was also one person who tried to tell me that I couldn’t be grey-ace because of my smutty works, which… still makes me sigh.
On the outernet, where I’m closeted anyhow, there is very casual prejudice – the expectation that of course everyone has sex and you’re some sort of deviant otherwise. I do my best to educate when I can, though admittedly I tend to get defensive and annoyed very quickly.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That people need to have sex to live. Nope, bzzt, wrong, try again.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Take your time. There’s no rush to find out who you are. Do your research because knowledge is power. And, if you ever decide down the line that your orientation on the spectrum isn’t exactly what you thought it was, then that’s okay too.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My writing’s on AO3 (http://archiveofourown.org/users/diemarysues), and I do yell about writing on my personal blog (http://diemarysues.tumblr.com).
Jewelry stuff is on my side blog (http://rustypliers.tumblr.com) though I am currently taking a break while I take better photos and edit them.
Thank you, Anila, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.