Interview: Al

Today we’re joined by Al. Al is a wonderful visual artist who has her own style and characters. She is a self-taught artist, who creates some absolutely beautiful imagery as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

CeeCew
CeeCew

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoonist. Overall though, I like doing my own thing. Own style, own characters, and own stories to go with them.

I’m more or less self taught, I enjoy drawing both digitally and traditionally, and I also animate. Usually on my DSI and 3DS though, as I don’t own the appropriate tablet yet.

I mostly draw my characters and occasionally I don’t know, draw a tree or something.

What inspires you?

The idea that someday, I might be able to put my ideas and creations out there and they will be forever immortalized so that when I die, they will continue on without me.

flyte and marquel refs
Flyte and Marquel refs

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

Oh, I’ve been interested since I was a little kid. I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember, even before I hit preschool. My parents seemed to like what I created with my grubby little hands- so being the attention seeker that I was, I just kept drawing and drawing, until I eventually started to really like it and here I am.

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?

Sure. I have an art logo I created a few years back, and although it’s not in all of my art, it gets some cameos here and there. It’s of a dead fish, looks like this-

Logo <div class="question"></div>

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice. Practice a lot and stop comparing yourself to others and belittling your art just because you don’t think you’re good enough. No artist improves at the same rate or the same way, and the only thing that will happen if you keep drawing is that you get better and better, until you become absolutely fantastic. The worst thing you can do is give up.

Monstrosity
Monstrosity

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

For sexual orientation, I just call myself ace/asexual. On the romantic side, I’m grayromantic.

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

Honestly, I never really got anything bad directed towards me in terms of my asexuality. There was one time where a person believed that it was the same thing as celibacy, saying that being ace is a choice and if you have sex, it automatically makes you well, not ace. But y’know, it’s just ignorant words coming from an ignorant person.

As for parents/family, I hinted it at them a few times but I’m pretty sure they just think I’m some sort of late bloomer or saving it for marriage or something. They’re no doubt just waiting for me to suddenly wake up one morning and be like, “HEY!!! I’M NOT A SQUEAMISH SISSY ANYMORE!! I’M GONNA HAVE SEX LIKE A NORMAL PERSON!!!”.

It never really bothered me though. The worst kind of prejudice/ignorance I’ve seen is from Tumblr itself, but it’s not exactly personal so, I just get angry for a second and then move on.

panic icon
Panic Icon

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

Oh, there’s a lot. “Only girls are asexual.” “If you have sex, you’re not ace.” “It’s just a phase.” “I wonder what made you decide to be asexual?” etc. Yknow, the usual ace myths.

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

First, don’t beat yourself up for how you feel. Not only is it possible that other people are already hurting you for being ace, but now you’re hurting yourself, and that just makes things ten times worse. Your lack of sexual attraction is fine and normal, and if you’re gonna take the word of someone else about how YOU feel, then you’ll be as misguided as they are.

Second, if along the way, you end up discovering you aren’t as ace as you thought, don’t beat yourself up about that either. You’re not a fraud. You just learned more about yourself, or changed over time and that’s perfectly fine. And don’t feel obligated to keep calling yourself something just because that’s what you already told others. Like I said, labels can change and you should accommodate them to describe yourself.

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

Oh, mostly Deviantart or YouTube. My YouTube account is SaltyMilk and my DeviantArt is Captain-Dark-Kitty.

skele duck
Skele Duck

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

Interview: Starr Myers

Today we’re joined by Starr Myers, who also goes by iSpazzyKitty on Tumblr. Starr is a phenomenal visual artist who is currently working on a webcomic entitled Justice Roulette. Starr enjoys creating worlds and stories with her art. Her passion really shines through in this interview, as you’ll soon see. Starr’s enthusiasm is wonderful and she definitely has the heart of an artist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I draw cartoons!  I started out using markers a lot, and got fairly decent with them, and as I learned more about digital stuff, I eventually ended up moving on to doing fully digital work (save for scanning in sketches sometimes).  I use a Wacom Bamboo Tablet and SAI (with a sprinkle of Photoshop 7.0).

I create stories and worlds with my characters, namely a webcomic called Justice Roulette, and other future concepts that I have yet to officially start writing.

JR Banner
“Justice Roulette” Banner

Also, while I do write stories as much as I draw, I’m gonna use “draw” as an easy umbrella term for me because it’s easier than typing “draw/write/make music/etc.”

What inspires you?

Sometimes the weirdest things can inspire me haha!  But notably dreams, other artists and writers, and my favorite media.  Steven Universe and is a huge inspiration to me for story-telling in general, A Certain Scientific Railgun was a huge inspiration for JR, and some of my friends as well as YouTubers like TheMysteriousMrEnter and The Nostalgia Critic have really helped me improve my ability to pick apart plots and put them back together in a stronger form, so to speak. ❤

Grem
Grem

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

I started drawing when I was about 7-8 years old, and I recall watching Foster’s Home for Imaginary Friends and Krypto the Super Dog.  I drew my first character inspired (design-wise) by Bendy from an episode of Foster’s, and gave him Superman(dog) powers.  His name was Nossy (pronounced “nosy” because I have two Rs in my name, therefore I thought having two Ss would be cool).

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 always sign and date my work, preferably with my own hand writing.  And I don’t remember when, but I’ve taken to drawing a tiny little star at the end of my name, which I use a * for in text.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

First of all, TAKE CRITICISM, or at least consider it.  Even if it’s said in a very harsh way, it can still help you improve.  Don’t let harsh or negative words destroy you or make you want to quit.  If you love what you do, KEEP TRYING.  Criticism is there to make you the best you can be, not to get you to give up or build a wall.

Secondly, draw for you. While improving is always a good thing, what I mean is don’t only draw because people will pay you or people ask you to.  Making money off your art is great too, but I feel like it’s important to truly love what you’re doing, ya know?  At least for me, commissions are not nearly as fun to work on as personal art.  And if I like how my art turned out, I’m more proud of it than if someone else tells me they like it.

Thirdly, you can’t please everyone, so if someone bashes your art just because they don’t like the subject matter, kick em to the curb.  And on the flip side, don’t ever EVER tell an artist that they’re terrible for creating something you may not like.  I don’t care if it’s “problematic” or “gross,” people have different interests, and FANTASIES ARE OKAY.  ← Obviously very important to me.

Fourthly, USE REFERENCES. There’s no shame in it.  In fact, it can make your art tons better even in the long run!  Tutorials, references, photos, whatever you need!  How do I shade this?  What’s a nose look like?  Feet? Horses?  Three-armed caterpillars?  (well…) Yeah.  DO IT! ❤

References
References

Fifthly (are these words?), I know it’s in our nature to copy things we like.  It’s fine to take on a style you like in order to grow; however, it’s best that you eventually build your own.  That way, you’re original and memorable as more than “that artist that draws like this more popular guy.”  Also, be careful when creating characters and stories inspired by other things!  There’s inspiration, and then there’s flat-out ripping something off.  I went through a terrible “ripping everything off” phase, and I literally did not understand why it was bad until years later. So maybe this’ll spark people to think it over early. 🙂

Sixthly, you do not have to be the best at realism or landscapes to be an artist.  You don’t have to paint to be an artist.  You don’t have to be good at all mediums.  Being decent in various places is great, but there’s nothing wrong with focusing on what you love the most, AS LONG as it doesn’t hinder you from learning new things or researching when you do draw/write things you don’t know much about.

Lastly, I could go on all day.  I really hope some of this stuff was helpful haha.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m sliiiiiightly unsure at the moment, but I’m pretty comfortable with biromantic asexual. Though, I’m also considering changing that to demiromantic.  I know not many people use that term, but I’ve never found myself desiring romance with anyone I wasn’t already close to (except when I was a dumb little kid who just wanted a boyfriend because “that’s what girls do”).

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

I don’t recall anyone ever being intentionally rude or unaccepting over me being ace, and that’s regardless of the field lol.  But I’m still fairly young and I’ve only been identifying this way for about a year. Also I don’t leave the house. xD

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

The most annoying questions I get asked:

“Wait, but how can you like porn/smut?”
“So you don’t feel pleasure?”
“That must suck.  That means your man don’t get screwed.”
“You never masturbate?”

Etc. Etc.  None of that is true in my case (though asexuality is a spectrum, so it may be for others).

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

Honestly, I still struggle with it because I personally wish I wasn’t asexual, and I’m soooo used to hearing “oh, you just haven’t done it right yet” or “try doggy style.” >.< But that doesn’t mean it’s bad to be ace, and there are lots of people who understand how you feel even if you don’t like the fact that you are.  It really, really helps me to find blogs like this to remind me that I’m not alone and that it’s totally okay to be asexual.

I can still be proud to be ace even though I wish I did get pleasure from sex, and I think with time I can learn to be okay with that too.  I’m already starting to.  In fact, now that I’ve accepted the fact that I don’t like it, I’m more comfortable identifying this way, because I know it’s something I cannot control and there’s no reason for me to feel bad about it.

Also, don’t let anyone make you feel like you owe them anything.  I have sex with my fiancé because I love him, and I enjoy it on a romantic level.  But you don’t have to if you don’t want to, and if you have a partner, they should understand that and be open to the relationship never including sex.

And of course, remember that you are really awesome!

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

I am iSpazzyKitty here on Tumblr, as well as many other sites!  I have an art tag, and also a link to ALL my other social media profiles haha.  Here is that list: http://ispazzykitty.tumblr.com/links

Thank you for reading!! ❤

Thank you, Starr, for participating in this interview and this project. It is very much appreciated.

Interview: Hollie

Today we’re joined by Hollie.  Hollie is a wonderfully talented hobbyist who draws a lot of animals and cartoons.  The images she produces are quite colorful and have a sense of whimsy about them.  She obviously really enjoys drawing, judging from the images.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

pegasus thing rear_

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well, I have been a hobbyist for years and it has really been down to an enjoyment thing with gradual improvements. I prefer to stay along the lines of animals rather than humans and I find pleasure in a cartoonish style rather than realism!

What inspires you?

So many things do! Mostly, it’s artists on Tumblr or a really cute style I’d like to pick up, but most of the time it’s my interest in improving.

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

I only really started to pick up my art last year because I found extreme interest in making my own world with my own characters and etc. What got me interested? I’d have to the idea of being able to create whatever I liked!

Screen Shot 2015-04-28 at 4.59.33 pm

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Uhh… Most of the time I personally sign my work but most of the time I forget or I’m super lazy baaha

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If what you’re doing isn’t working, change it up! Work in another area, try different styles!

squid u fucking idiot

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as an Asexual, questioning Biromantic

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

Well, the topic of asexuality doesn’t really come up in the hobbyist side of work.

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

Either that we don’t exist or that we’re broken.

TARSNSl

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

If you’re struggling, my ask box on Tumblr is always open for you babes!

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

You can see more in my art tag: http://shadow–deity.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art
Or on my art blog: http://www.queen–nebula.tumblr.com/

セクシーな天体メッセンジャー

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

Interview: Eva Holder

Today we’re joined by Eva Holder.  Eva is an amazingly talented illustrator.  They’re currently a student by show a remarkable amount of skill and a great eye.  Their work is incredible and quite interesting to look at.  This is an artist with a very bright future ahead of them.  My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Anomie
Anomie

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to experiment here and there but mostly I’m a student illustrator with a style somewhere between manga, BD and British comics, and more recently American children’s cartoons and the illustrative styles that have become prominent from the renewed popular interest in them. Contrary to popular belief though, I don’t want to write comics for a living, I don’t think.

What inspires you?

Anything goes! Things in pastel, unusual people on the street, Japanese and British street fashion, cute things, shoujo manga and “otaku” culture in the Western sense, other comics and books and things and sometimes current affairs- I’ve illustrated about Islamophobia, North Korea, feminism and gender identity before, for example.

App
App

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

In primary school they got you to write down what you wanted to be when you were older every year and every year, without fail, I put that I wanted to be an “artist or an author”. I think the author thing came first for a loooong time until I read the start of “Blackbird” at about 14, which is a shoujo manga that seemed to be in with all my friends- all the volumes got passed around person to person. Soon after that I got an iPod with internet connectivity and discovered reading manga online, I started copying panels obsessively and it just kind of went from there?

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I think I’m really bad at detailing backgrounds and things but sometimes there are little references- I wrote a comic back in January that was scripted and briefed for me by and indie publisher Planet Jimbot, and they asked for a sort of style/feel around manga and Doctor Who, so although I’m not hugely into Doctor Who, the main character’s Erin’s tshirt has “42” on, which I hope is sort of tongue in cheek in a similar way.

Also, I don’t think it’s a secret but if I can, I get eggs into a composition. Fried eggs, specifically.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I’m going to skip all the stuff that’s already been said and say: don’t get starstruck! Don’t look up to artists too much- I see crazy skilled artists beating themselves up because they’re not as good as so-and-so, or have worked on projects where people will go out of their way just to please a certain artist! To start with, a singular obsession isn’t healthy; taking inspiration from here and there and nicking a dozen different styles and colour palettes from a dozen different artists all in one go is what leads to a unique style, not obsessing over one artist. Plus, man, your art is rad, appreciate it for what it is and don’t compare yourself to others too much dude!  Take a minute to be proud of your achievements!!

Beyond this Earthly Realm
Beyond this Earthly Realm

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aromantic asexual, and sex-repulsed at that.

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

I’m fortunate that the people I work with are chill about it and I don’t think it comes up much, but maybe I don’t like bringing it up because it has come up in work environments before and the results weren’t good. Besides the basic “that doesn’t exist” or “so you reproduce asexually?” I had someone straight up say that if I wasn’t interested in people then I must be interested in animals. Mostly though it’s just erasure, like getting asked “so are you gay or straight?” as if those are the only two choices.

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

Probably that it doesn’t exist- it does!! And if more people knew about it earlier, I feel not only would it be way better for people on the ace spectrum to feel normal and validated, but also I think people in general would have a much healthier attitude to sex.

Within the ace community too, I feel sometimes there’s a lot about ace peeps being so worried about being alone and not having some kind of SO that there’s the inference that ace people can have sex to please their SO. I realise it’s cool if you’re fine with that and that’s what you’ve worked out, but asexuals aren’t second class and in a world so saturated with sex and sexual imagery, I don’t think it occurs to some allosexuals that maybe sex is not the be-all and end-all and that maybe putting the sexuality (or lack thereof) and feelings of your SO before your own libido isn’t such a bad thing.

Finn
Finn

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

Take your time homie! Unfortunately, with the lack of education on asexuality, you might upset people in your journey to working out who you are and it can also be dangerous, so please stay safe! In the end though, when you come out the other side potentially with a better understanding of what’s romance, what’s sex and what you like (or not!! That’s also cool; labels can help you feel part of a community but also not wanting labels is fine, don’t let anyone gatekeep that community for you) you will hopefully feel like things you’ve overcome have taught you things about yourself and other people.

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

My art blog is evacchi but I also have a Facebook, Instagram and Storenvy!! Also I like a good natter so hit me up if you want to chat about anything uvu

Numérisation
Numérisation

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

Interview: Disdainful Loni

Today we’re joined by Disdainful Loni, who also goes by Loni.  Loni is an amazingly talented visual artist who does a lot of cartoon and animation work.  Her work is fun to look at and she definitely has her own style.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

artist_ii_by_disdainful_loni-d8frp1u

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My main interest in art has always been cartoons and animation, which is a huge factor in my style and design.  It ranges from sketches to inklings and sometimes tomfoolery in Photoshop CS3.  I am constantly evolving my style, but I never forget my Saturday morning cartoon roots.

What inspires you?

Mostly making myself happy with my talent, as well as bringing smiles to people’s faces.  Music also helps set the tone of my art.  Also, sitting in a public area, watching people move about me and studying their posture and movement.

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

I have always been into art for as long as I can remember.  I always drew for fun (years before the Internet was available for showing other people), but it was in high school through my four years there that my Art teacher gave me the drive to pursue my talent, advancing into college with the determination to become a serious artist.

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?

Most of the time, drawing self-portraits, I include the cocky grin with one raised eyebrow into my features.  Also, because of being left-handed, nearly every character I draw is facing the same way.  And, once my piece is complete, I always sign it with a large letter ‘L’ and the rest of my name kinda squiggled beside it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Draw, draw, DRAW.  Never settle for what you think is your “limit”.  There are no limits in art, so always be open to improvement and tackling different media.  Also, always remember to draw for YOU first.  You will feel better not feeling forced to accumulate a gathering with cookie-cutter things to get attention.  Also, draw.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just . . . asexual.  It’s taken me years to even figure that much about myself, so I try not to burden my mind with specifics.  I’m all about aesthetic as far as the human body is concerned.

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

Not “in my field” exactly, but I’ve had to grit my teeth when people—especially older women—tell me that I will change my mind about having kids, and when I assure them I won’t, I literally have to spell it out for them:  I.  Don’t.  Have.  Sex.

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

Finishing the above paragraph, people oftentimes tell me I am a saint or something or that I’m missing out, and I am neither because I’m far from a saint and I have plenty of animals that fill in any gap I “might” have about child-rearing.  Also, “budding”.  That one never gets old.

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

Do not let anyone tell you what you like and dislike.  Don’t feel reluctant about who you are because someone says ‘you won’t know until you try’.  You be you.  Do NOT let anyone pressure you into anything.  You are perfect and as normal as anyone else in the world.  Accept yourself for who you are.  Your orientation is just as important as anyone else’s.

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

Sadly, I am still attached to DeviantART where a lot of my old works are archived.  (disdainful-loni.deviantart.com)  I also fuddle around on Tumblr and have a RedBubble shop.  One day, I may have a site specifically for my work.  But, for now, you can find me on Tumblr (disdainful-loni.tumblr.com).

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

Interview: Cliffe

Today we’re joined by Cliffe.  Cliffe is a phenomenally talented visual artist who specializes in drawing.  She uses a lot of pastels in her work and tend to favor a more cartoon-like style.  Cliffe includes a lot of diversity in her work and her pictures are quite lovely.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Picture 1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My work is more cartoony. I like drawing diverse characters and places. I love drawing in pastel colors because they aren’t has blinding to look at. I also like adding special traits to each of my characters.

I like drawing things that can cause people to feel emotion as they look at it. Maybe happiness or sadness. It’s nice to hear that art can get to someone.

Most of my drawings tend to be of original characters and things from stories I want to draw and write but every now and then I do fanart.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by various fandoms I get into and animations. Seeing things that animators and cartoonists can create really inspires me to start drawing, watching people draw and seeing how they go from stage one to two can drive me to draw, as well as if I see incredibly detailed and well done pieces. I love to think about all the work other artists put into their creations and it makes me think that I could try just as hard and become better at what I do.

Picture 2

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

I became interested when I was really young, I think what drove me to draw was actually the Barbie Rapunzel movie oddly enough. Seeing how her art had the ability to take her into far off places, and create things like dresses made me want to do something similar. What made me want to do comics would I guess be sailor moon, I always loved the magical girl genre, and sailor moon was the first made me really want to work towards drawing my own comics. And I guess animators like Vivziepop and Emptyfeet made me want to try my own hand at animation.

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I don’t have any particular features I include. I tend to try making each thing I do different and unique in its own way.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up on what you do. It doesn’t matter if you’re not as good as someone else, you can always improve. And as long as you love what you do you don’t necessarily need to be good at it, you just need to try.

Picture 3

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an asexual, and am unsure of my romantic orientation. I just know I’ve never felt sexual attraction.

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

I’ve never encountered it from other artists, though I’m not well known enough so that might be why I haven’t. I did meet someone who called me a plant when I mentioned it though.

Since that person had never heard of asexuality I informed them of what it meant to the best of my ability. I prefer to keep calm about ignorance because most people genuinely don’t understand and just need someone to explain it. However I also know that some don’t care enough to understand no matter how many times you explain. And while it’s infuriating you can’t force someone to listen and agree. Sometimes you have to let them think they’re right and move on because they don’t want to listen.

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

For me it’s that we’re plants, or that we’re only like this for a short while, there’s also the idea that we’re robotic. People often think of it as something like celibacy. And they don’t realize we don’t have a choice on our sexuality.

It’s also kind of sad heartwrenching to hear someone say you’re emotionless or distant.

Picture 4

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

It’s alright to sometimes doubt your sexuality, it’s alright to question yourself about who you are. Nobody deals with sexuality in the same way. Let yourself have time to figure things out and it’s okay to find out later in life who you are. And don’t beat yourself up over being confused, it happens, trust me I know.

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

http://ace-toilet.tumblr.com/

Picture 5

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