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-

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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: May Barros

Today we’re joined by May Barros. May is a phenomenal Brazilian artist who does both visual art and writing. She has published a book in Portuguese, which has a short story about an ace princess. When she’s not writing, May does a lot of digital drawing. Her pictures are brimming with vibrant colors and beautiful characters. 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 very focused on original stuff, even if I like to interact with fandom, my own imagination has a bigger pull on me. My drawings tend to be character-driven, be them from my own stories or friends’ or even rp characters.

My writing, though, can go both ways. Sometimes it’s more metaphorical and emotional, even if there are characters in the tale I’m telling. Other times, I focus on characters and their struggles and it really makes me happy when people relate to them.

What inspires you?

Fantasy, all the way. I love anything magical. Be it full blown dragons-in-the-sky or small town witch shop stories, it just pulls me in. I have a collection of other artists drawings I save on my computer for inspiration, when I’m out of ideas, I browse the folder until something clicks (I never trace or copy anything, that’s just wrong).

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

Being a writer has been my dream ever since I was little, but it was Harry Potter that really made me consider it as a career. The drawing part came from watching anime and cartoons. I had a group of friends in high school that got together to learn how to draw manga style and I just never stopped.

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Witchsona

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?

If I do, I haven’t noticed. The only thing that I have to be careful not to do every time is draw girls with big thighs. I even forget to put my signature sometimes, one of the many things I’m trying to get better at.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up. If your art seems bad to you, it just means your inner critic has more practice than your inner artist and you have to work hard to catch up, but it’s not impossible. Also, never compare yourself to other artist, if you want to see how much you’ve improved, compare your work to your past works. Your journey as content creator is your own, no one can do the things your imagination can.

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Galáxia

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m demisexual / demiromantic.

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

I can’t say that I have because it’s not a topic that comes up often. I’m not hiding anything, I just don’t feel the need to bring it up. My personal life though is another matter entirely.

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

I’ve had people think it’s a choice or that it’s no different than “waiting for the right person”. I’ve also had asexuality be mislabeled / mispronounced and the person dismiss my correction.

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

Know that you are valid. Understand that whatever you are feeling is justified and you have every right to self-discovery. Your orientation and identity is your own and only you can define it.

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

I publish my writings on Wattpad (https://www.wattpad.com/user/MayFPBarros), though most of it is in Portuguese, my native language. My drawings are on my DeviantArt account (http://mayhigurashe.deviantart.com) and on my Tumblr (http://mayarab.tumblr.com). I also have a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/May_Higurashe/) and an Instagram (http://instagram.com/mayhigurashe)

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Unicornio

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

Interview: Dee

Today we’re joined by Dee. Dee is a fantastic musician who is currently studying jazz at university. She has dabbled in other arts like filmmaking and drawing, but it is clear that her heart and passion lies with music. An incredibly dedicated musician, Dee’s lively answers demonstrate a love of music. 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 do a couple of forms of art as a hobby. I draw the occasional fanart, which I’ve been doing as a hobby for about six years. I did art at school though the restrictive nature of it never appealed to me. I was also interested in filmmaking at school, and my best work would have to be the documentary I made on asexuality for my final project last year. I haven’t yet found a way to incorporate my interest in filmmaking into my everyday life as I don’t have access to a lot of the necessary equipment but hope to get back into it sometime in the near future. I also recently started writing thought pieces on subjects related to asexuality which helps declutter the many thoughts in my head and a lot of people seem to enjoy reading them.

My main form art is music. I have been playing the saxophone for 8 years now and it has become a central part of my life. I was a huge band geek at school, playing in jazz band, concert band and saxophone quartet and received some highly regarded awards in music from my school during my final year. The highlight of my time as a musician would be when I played in the Western Australian Youth Jazz Orchestra (WAYJO) back in 2014. A lot of the photos you’ll see are from back then as I don’t have any other performance photos. At the moment I am studying a Diploma of Jazz at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) which is an absolute privilege. I started study recently, though I have found I’m not getting much of an opportunity to do what I love (that is, playing in band) so I’m considering my study options at the end of the year including the Bachelor of Jazz.

What inspires you?

When it comes to art, my direct influences which I am often inspired by are my other interests. In the past I have always drawn my favourite characters from video games and anime, and also write the rare fanfiction of my favourite ships. I have found in the past year that asexuality (and aromanticism) have become more and more of an influence on my art. It started with my documentary when my media teacher suggested we each pick a topic we are passionate about. I have been increasingly interested in writing on asexuality and after contributing to a couple of the Carnival of Aces I decided to give hosting a try, and did February on platonic attraction. Recently I have started a side blog where I’m posting my writing pieces from my main blog.

With music it is very different and a little more vague. As a musician I am inspired by the feeling that I get when I perform in a band setting and if I’m not feeling it, I will follow paths that are likely to lead me to it. It acts as a driving force in my life and shapes a lot of  the decisions I make. It’s involved me taking some risks, such as prioritising music over academics and even pursuing it as a career though everyday I feel like I’m closer to where I want to be (that is, playing in a professional band setting).

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

I guess just being exposed to different forms of music (particularly jazz) was what got me into music. I had no musical experience or interest until I started playing the sax at age ten, and my teacher dove me into jazz within my first year of playing and that’s how I came to love it. I didn’t know how much I’d love playing in band until I actually experienced it, and that was definitely a turning point for me.

I’ve definitely always been interested in art, though. I was always drawing, colouring in and making crafts when I was little and that has continued to this 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?

I’d say I’ve developed a particular style when it comes to drawing, especially my way of colouring and shading. It’s a little unrealistic and more bright and fun. I want to make my drawings pop off the page in a cartoony way.

Music has taken a bit longer but I’ve recently started to develop my own style of playing and what I’m aiming for is a crisp tone that’s rough around the edges, if that makes sense? Haha

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t listen to people who tell you you can’t do it! While it is always important to keep back up plans in mind, your passions should always be a priority. Set short term realistic goals and don’t let yourself be effected by other people’s negativity. If they’re not giving you constructive criticism, then they’re not worth your time.

Another piece of advice is have patience. Improvement can be slow and hard to notice at first, but over the long term you’ll start to notice your improvement in different areas so it’s important to be patient, not be so hard on yourself and stay positive!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as aromantic and asexual, though it has taken me a long time to realise because I only found the asexual community a year ago.

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

When it came to school there wasn’t any ace prejudice but there was an abundance of ignorance when it came to LGBTQ issues. It became frustrating listening to conversations where people were trying to decipher trans identities because if they can’t even understand transgender people, how would they understand asexuality? There was even a time when I was talking to a guy in my tutor group who was going off about how marriage equality isn’t a big deal. Because school can be a toxic place, I only came out to my group of friends and even then I had to get out my dictionary. I suppose just keeping in mind that ignorance is not intentional and that people don’t mean to come off as amatonormative in their everyday conversation got me through my final year of school.

It’s been a lot better since I started university, as I’ve already made a bunch of queer friends that I was comfortable enough to come out to and they all seemed to know what aromantic and asexual were, which is great! University tends to be a more openly sexual environment but in a more casual way that isn’t so in your face like school was for me, which is a lot easier to deal with.

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

The only misconceptions I’ve encountered since coming out have been from my sister, otherwise, everyone else has been very understanding. She has that attitude where everything she says is gospel and it’s included cliches like you don’t know until you’ve tried it (and funnily enough I have) as well as being convinced that I’m putting myself in a box and closing myself off from experiences. So I guess it’s pretty obvious why I’ve only come out as asexual to my family, and avoided using the word aromantic (while still expressing my disinterest in further relationships).

The Internet, on the other hand, is full of acephobia and ignorance. I most often see the you can’t be asexual if- line as well as that asexuals can’t identify as queer unless they experience same gender attraction or are trans (which I completely disagree with).

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

If they’re struggling to figure out their orientation, I’d say don’t rush it. You can take as long as you want to find the word that’s right for you, and even then, you don’t have to use labels. If they’re struggling accepting their asexuality I’d suggest surrounding yourself with people who accept you, and get involved in the ace and LGBTQ communities if that will help you feel better about your orientation. (I couldn’t tell which you meant)

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

– For my asexual writings check out http://ramblings-of-an-aro-ace.tumblr.com/
– For my drawings take a look at sexyaussiekirkland.deviantart.com
– My main blog is sexyaussiekirkland.tumblr.com

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

Interview: Bxndit

Today we’re joined by Bxndit. Bxndit is a phenomenal artist who is incredibly active online. She contacted me after a number of her followers directed her to this site and I’m grateful they did, because her work is awesome. She is currently working on a webcomic and her work is very character focused. There’s a wonderful lightheartedness to her drawings, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Warning: the last picture with some blood in it.

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Angel 2

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mainly based around a set of characters that I’ve created to be featured into a web comic that is currently in the works. Up until recently, I kinda moved between different styles before settling on a very cartoony-style. My art consists mainly of these characters that I’ve been working on, and their developments. I’ll sometimes dip into fanart from time to time, of whatever I’m into at the moment, and I’ll do quite a lot of art for other artists, whether it’s in trades or commissions or even just gift art. I’ve started to create silly little comics that are very rough and sketchy, mainly for humour purposes. I’ll usually use these to convey a zany persona for myself, and they’ll usually feature me with another friend. All in all my art isn’t super serious and it’s meant to be quite light hearted and follow my sense of humour, which is pretty zany and goofy. Some of it will be serious, but man that is pretty rare.

What inspires you?

SO MUCH! Especially the art style from any of the Gorillaz’ music videos, I adore that style and have tried to incorporate it. A lot of shows that I watched as a kid inspired me a lot, I was super into Disney, which lead to my art having a very limited sense of realism to it, I’ve always tried to show the same kind of flow and emotion that Disney character art show in my own work. One of the biggest inspirations to my art and the characters I work with especially was a lot of the anime-ish styles from shows that I was into, especially Fullmetal Alchemist and Teen Titans. These shows in particular are still a driving force in my desire to create very in-depth and relatable characters. As I think about this I keep pulling more things that inspire me, even things with really nice atmospheres and aesthetics like Rapture from the Bioshock series and the Wastelands from the Fallout series. More importantly I take a lot of inspiration from the artists that I speak with and the encouragement I get from the people around me. I have quite a few friends that really push to get me to be the best that I can, which is awesome. Both my parents help quite a bit too. Just seeing that genuine love and interest in what I’m doing really gives me this rush of motivation to keep going and to get better, even if I’m not feeling great about my art.

For any of my dumb-humour comics that I’ve done, they’re usually based on something that has happened, and all I’m doing is recreating it.

angel
Angel

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

I’ve always been encouraged to draw, from the moment I was able to hold a crayon I’ve been encouraged to create. Back home my Mum has every drawing I’ve ever done tucked away in ring binders and boxes, and we used to hang up a lot of my drawings from when I was very young. My grandparents did the same thing. I remember specifically one day I was in a group project at school when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old and we were drawing animals out of picture books to create puppets for the story we were putting on for the class, and my best friend turned to me and said something along the lines of “Wow! That is really good you should draw them all” and at that point I started thinking about whether I was good at drawing. I mean, speaking as someone who is training to go into teaching, kids adore those kind of compliments, and I totally rode on that compliment and it drove me to get better and better, it was even better that I found that I really enjoyed drawing. I was encouraged to doodle on my jotters a lot going through Primary School, since it really helped my focus. So it’s really all been down to encouragement from others and then actually realizing that I liked drawing. Creating my own stories and characters just seemed to fit in naturally with that, especially since I’ve never been good at actually writing stories down, it fit in nicely with my want to draw. I did get made fun of it for a while in school from kids outside of my social circle, but my love for it has been too great to actually let it get to me.

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 art styles have been changing quite rapidly since I started drawing seriously after school, so there isn’t anything consistent other than my watermark, which I’ll fit in somewhere in each drawing. It depends on the characters I’m drawing, some of them have specific symbols relating to them that I’ll fit in. For example, my character Bandit has the alchemical symbol for Earth on him in a few places (He’s similar to an earth-bender from The Last Avatar series)

bandit
Bandit

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice! I’ll always preach that drawing and art is a skill, not a talent. Like any other skill, you’ll have to practice it to get better. No-one is born drawing flawless art, in the same way that no-one is born being able to swim perfectly. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, either. Comparing yourself to a ‘better’ more experienced artist is one of the most disheartening things to do. It’s happened to me a few times where younger, new artists have compared their work to mine and felt like they’ll never get to the level they’ve put me at. I’ve been drawing since I was able to pick up a drawing utensil and I’m 21 now, which is such a long time to be drawing, you’re just starting out. It’s your art, not anyone else’s so don’t compare it (the only comparison you should make is when you look back on your old art, and honestly when you look back and see the difference it’s the best feeling.)

Don’t feel invalidated because you don’t produce the kind of art that gets attention, a lot of artists, including myself, feel like they’ll never be ‘popular’ unless they draw fanart. If you want to draw fanart go for it! But if you wanna draw some of your own characters don’t let that stop you, draw for yourself, the attention from others will come later. Personally it is a much more satisfying way to treat art. Don’t think you’re creative? Quick! Think of two things and mix them together, what do you get?

Finally, speak with other artists! I know that starting out can be really daunting with artists that appear to already have their own groups of friends that they work with, but you’ll be surprised how many of us want to talk with others and work with as many artists as possible. Personally, I’ve set up quite a few groups that artists are welcome to join and just hang out and get to talk to other artists. Just speaking with and getting advice from other artists is great! There are a lot of ‘popular’ artists that love helping out aspiring artists, we all started out in the same place, it’s good to help others.

isa believe
Isa Believe

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aromantic Asexual. For a very long time I wasn’t really sure where I would fit in, and there was a period of time that I was convinced that there was something wrong because I just wasn’t interested in relationships or sex. Even after trying being in relationships it still got nothing out of me. It wasn’t until I was doing research on inclusion for a teaching module at university and I had come across the treatment of LGBT+ kids in secondary schools in Scotland, and after a little further I realized that, hey, other people are like this, I’m not crazy!

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

Personally, no. I have seen it around the internet, but it’s never actually happened to me. Whether that is down to the fact that I am very sparing with sharing my personal life online or if I have surrounded myself with the correct people, I don’t know. Though in the rare times I have spoken about asexuality I’ve been informed that it’s not real, though I find myself ignoring those kind of comments, the only person that actually gets to have a say is me.

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murkIPLERGH

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

That it doesn’t exist? I dunno, so far it’s been the only way that I’ve been able to explain to myself about where I sit in the spectrum.

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

There is nothing telling you that you must find what you identify as at this very moment, and don’t stress out that you haven’t found yourself yet. One day everything is going to fall into place and it’ll all work out, you’re just working up until that day at the moment. Regardless of what happens and where you place in the spectrum I believe in you.

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

I consistently post on my Instagram and I’m the most active on there.
I am working on getting all my work over to my Tumblr and eventually set up my own site, but for the moment it is mainly Instagram that I operate on.

oz
Oz

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

Interview: Rebecca Mann

Today we’re joined by Rebecca Mann. Rebecca is a wonderful and talented art student who does both 3D and 2D art. Her 3D art is sculpture, which focuses on feminine forms. She also does a lot of drawing and sketching. There’s an emotion and vibrancy to her work that draws the viewer in. She’s definitely an artist to watch out for. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Demi Kids Design

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am an AP 3D Art student in my final year of high school, so I do a lot of sculpting while I’m there, but when I’m not I sketch in my notebook and draw on my computer. All my 2D art is just for hobby and consists of characters I made up when I was in 6th grade or characters from games or shows I am currently infatuated with. My 3D is usually the female human figure, as it is my concentration.

What inspires you?

Women, absolutely women. Specifically, diverse women, as in diverse bodies, colors, cultures, religions, backgrounds, everything. Drawing them and sculpting them gives me so much more love and respect for myself, as a woman, through them. I also love telling stories, even if they are only to myself. I love showing those close intimate moments that don’t need sex and I love facial expressions and hands. That is why I keep sketching the characters from my own stories and the stories I love the most from others.

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Demi Kids Design: Just Shappur and Loretta

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

Well I have always drawn, but I got the want to draw when I was first shown anime (Bleach) in 6th grade. I was a total weeaboo and wanted to live in Japan and draw manga, but I haven’t wanted that life in a looooong time. I honestly do this as a hobby to relax myself, which is why almost everything I do is a sketch, but I hope it can be used to make videogames in the future as a way to share stories in an interactive way. I never sculpted until this year for art class because I hate painting and didn’t want to do it, so sculpting is a new adventure for me.

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?

Well I always draw in cartoonish ways, but one of the things I find most noticeable about my work is how the eyes face the same way. I feel it gives the face better flow. And a lot of people tell me my women are often very muscular, which they aren’t wrong. And I remember one time I saw a character that would be impossible to cosplay, and it pissed me off, so I told myself I would make all my characters down to earth enough to cosplay. I don’t think I have much of a signature, but I do think I have a recognizable style that reflects who I am.

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Dragon Slayer

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Oh my gosh, OK, never, and I mean NEVER, let anyone tell you your art won’t take you places, because it most definitely will!! And NEVER stop creating! Art blocks are a given but never let your limits define you, break you limits by not giving up, eventually they can’t catch you. Look at other people’s art, the art that inspires you, and let it guide you! And something very important that always pissed me off when other people told me: LOOK AT REAL LIFE! It doesn’t matter if you are doing abstractions or cartoons, basing it on realism, even if just a little, helps give your art the solid foundation it needs!

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Just Spew It

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a sex repulsed heteromantic asexual. I have always been indifferent about sex but became sex repulsed after ending an abusive relationship.

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

I am actually not out in my school except for a few close friends and my boyfriend, who actually goes to a different school. It will forever annoy me, however, how I will make a purely non sexual situation or create a human figure in a nonsexual way, and it will be seen as sexual, and labeled as sexual without my say. This is why I am scared to ever create an asexual character and share them with the public.

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

That it is a choice or that I am faking it. I haven’t come out to many people, I don’t want to deal with the harassment, but when I did and they rejected me, they always said I would find a man who would change my mind or I was just a lesbian that hadn’t figured it out yet. One case of “it’s not real” rejection I received is when I came out to my mother, who laughed at me in my face and didn’t discuss it further. (I didn’t even try my dad)

poc kids
POC Kids

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

Test things out! There is no shame in trying something and finding out it is or isn’t for you. If you later find out your romantic or sexual orientation isn’t what you thought that is perfectly fine! If you don’t fit perfectly in any box or label, feel free to use what you think best describes you, even if that means you have to kinda explain things to others after introducing yourself.

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Undyne

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

I don’t share much of my work online, but I do post fanart on my personal blog eatallthefoods.tumblr.com from time to time. I have never posted my OCs or because I don’t think people would find them interesting and I haven’t posted my 3D because I haven’t done it long.

witch lizard sketch
Witch Lizard Sketch

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

Interview: Cierra

Today we’re joined by Cierra. Cierra is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. She’s also a wonderful Pokemon fanartist and she dabbles in animation. Cierra is a versatile artist who obviously loves what she does. Her work shows an incredible eye for detail, 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 mainly focus on digital art, since it’s easy for me to use and easier for me to share with others. My art is mostly expressing my love of character design and interest in creating diverse characters. To me, my art is a way for me to focus all of my scrambled thoughts into a single flowing idea, and I love nothing else more than to express my ideas in a visual manner! I also love to create art meant to appeal to people with the same interests as myself.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people. I’m inspired by their personalities and appearances, their thoughts and their emotions, and I’m inspired by their ideas as well. Everyone is unique to themselves, with their own individual traits that make up who they are. I love to be able to create unique personalities and characters and settings, because it only makes the art work come to life more than it would have before.

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

Ever since a young age, I’ve always drawn the things I saw around me, whether it was a person or an animal, or even a toy. I constantly scribbled on MS Paint, eventually drawing cats of various colors and personalities. Around middle school I was introduced to manga and anime, which brought the realization that it was possible to do something with this hobby I loved. Of course, being a mangaka was a silly dream, but it motivated me to become better and to become a part of bigger artistic communities I would never have known about! Now that I had this motivation, I drove myself to improve and express myself to the world. I would still love to make a career out of my art and nothing else, although for now I’m fine with keeping it to commissions every now and then. I always loved being an artist, and I still do!

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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 believe there’s anything I really include in my work that’s specific to me…well, not on purpose, anyways. I’m a huge fan of colorful overlays to make my work more vibrant, and eyes are always going to be featured somewhere in the work. Heck, I even focus on them a lot sometimes by making them glow, or by adding an effect to them! Other than that, however, I don’t think I have any specific signature to my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never, EVER give up on drawing. If you love drawing, then do it, it’s as simple as that! You will improve with time as you draw, but in the meantime, simply draw if that’s what you love to do. Your skill level is irrelevant, because the main reason you should ever be drawing is for yourself. I could go on for hours about why you have to keep pushing forward to improve and get better, but I feel like that’d bore you more than anything. Just remember: Even if you think you’re horrible at drawing, it’s okay to be bad at what you love. It’s your love and motivation and passion that counts in the end! (Wow, that was all really cheesy.)

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am somewhere between graysexual and demisexual on the ace spectrum! (I’m still working it out, but it’s somewhere around there I guess?)

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

I encountered a lot of it from a partner, actually. They were very negative towards it and kept pushing that I could get past my asexuality and do things I simply had no interest in doing. Other times, whenever I mention it to people they simply seem not to believe that it’s possible, although they never outright say it to my face. I just keep pushing forward and staying within my limits, and I generally don’t mention it unless it’s brought up. I always have a bad habit of going out of the way to make everyone happy, but I’ve found that it’s much better to worry about yourself above anyone else.

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

The most common one has been that asexuality is simply not having sex at all, or hating sex. People don’t realize that asexuality is simply the lack of sexual attraction, meaning that we can go throughout the day and not feel a sudden urge for sexual activities that other people might feel. Asexual people can be sex-repulsed or sex-positive, they may even enjoy several sexual activities! In the end, however, they still lack the sex drive many other people have. That’s the best I can explain it, anyways, although I’m sure there are much clearer explanations than mine. There’s also parts of the spectrum to include, but that’s more detail than we probably need here.

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

Don’t even worry about trying to label what you feel in regards to attraction. It feels a lot better to have a label for what you feel, but first and foremost, don’t upset yourself over it. If you think you’re on the ace spectrum, then great! If you change your mind later on, that’s fine too! It’s not easy to understand what you feel or who you are, and whatever you feel is valid. In addition to that, don’t let anyone tell you that your identity isn’t real or right, because no one should dictate how you feel. I also advise to eat a lot of food you like once in a while and buy some nice things. That doesn’t have to do with asexuality, but you probably deserve some nice stuff anyways.

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

I have multiple places with my work! I have a DeviantART which is GlitchWifi (http://glitchwifi.deviantart.com/), my art blog is artsy-wifi (http://artsy-wifi.tumblr.com/), and my Pokemon art blog is at mega-luxrite (http://mega-luxrite.tumblr.com/tagged/artsy-wifi). All three have different content to them, but all of them are still very much active. I’m glad to have had the chance to be a part of this interview. Thank you so much!

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

Interview: Brenna Pryor

Today we’re joined by Brenna Pryor.  Brenna is a phenomenal cosplayer and an extremely talented digital artist.  She does a lot of fanart and judging from the quality of her work, she’s an incredibly passionate artist.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is inspired by things I love and what goes on around me. I draw things that come to mind and I draw fanart from fandoms I’m very active in. Cosplaying is also another big part of my life. I’m always finding new characters to cosplay as and the process of making the costume and wearing it proudly at conventions knowing I crafted it myself is probably one of the best feelings in the world.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by many things. I’m inspired by my friends, my boyfriend, fellow artists, my emotions, my fandoms, etc. These things keep me going with art and motivating me to never stop. My fandoms inspire my cosplaying. Every time I enter a new fandom and find a favorite character I immediately want to cosplay them and I get to work. I have many cosplays and fanart of many characters that I love.

Bipper
Bipper

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

I have been drawing since I was old enough to hold a pencil. I don’t really know what got me started on drawing but I could just never stop. I would draw and draw and fill up many sketchbooks. I began cosplaying when I discovered it at age 12, around the same time I discovered anime. I cosplayed L from Death Note and I really enjoyed it! My family wasn’t too keen on it though, especially since the character I was cosplaying wasn’t my gender. I was pretty torn up about it, considering my family made me quit cosplaying. I made a revival when I was about 16 and started getting serious about it at age 19. I have been an avid cosplayer ever since and have made costumes!

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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 have my artist’s signature which is a PR, the initials of my tumblr URL “punkrockula”

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never give up. Even when you feel like you should. There will be times where you may feel inadequate. You may want to quit art because you aren’t at the skill level you want to be. I’ve been there. But always keep trying. References are your friend, and practice. I know it seems like it doesn’t help, but trust me. You WILL see the difference!

Juliet
Juliet

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am Grey-Asexual. I had a hard time figuring it out, first speculating if I was Demi-Sexual, or just fully Asexual, but discovering the existence of Grey-Ace really helped my final decision of knowing where on the Ace spectrum I belong.

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

I have encountered prejudice from my family and coworkers. My father told me that asexuality wasn’t real, that I was making it up or that I just wanted attention. Coworkers would just roll their eyes at me and laugh at me, saying I was only claiming to be Ace because I am still a virgin and no one would sleep with me. I’ve encountered a lot of backlash for who I am, but as far as I can tell, what they say doesn’t matter. They may think my sexuality is fake but, hey, I’m happy. And their opinion doesn’t mean anything.

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

“You just haven’t met the right man yet” “Isn’t that just abstinence?” “Once you experience sex you’ll think otherwise” Basically anything that can be said about asexuality, I have heard. Including that I’m a terrible and selfish person and my boyfriend should break up with me because I won’t have sex with him.

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

You’re not broken. If you feel like you could be ace, whether it’s Demi-Sexual, Grey-Asexual, or purely Asexual or Aromantic, you aren’t broken. You’re not wrong for your sexuality, and no one can tell you otherwise. Be proud of it, and don’t listen to anyone who wants to ridicule you.

Stardust
Stardust

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

You can find my artwork here on Tumblr at punkrockula.tumblr.com/tagged/my-art

And you can find my cosplays at www.facebook.com/itsalivecosplay
Or at my Cosplay Amino: It’s Alive Cosplay
Or my Instagram: itsalivecosplay

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