Today we’re joined by Rowan. Rowan is a fantastic artist who dabbles in drawing and sketching. He has studied graphic design, animation, and fine art. However he has recently become incredibly passionate about costume design and construction. He has only recently begun working with costumes, but he’s already very enthusiastic about it. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’ve sort of bunny-hopped between different artistic fields for a long time now. I don’t have as much time for art in the ‘creating images’ sense as I used to but I manage something now and then. Depending on the style of the piece it can take me upwards of ten hours and I like to get as much done in one sitting as possible otherwise I become distracted and it doesn’t get done. I have probably half a dozen sketchbooks that are mostly gesture sketches, and a whole file on my computer of unfinished artworks.
I’m really excited about costume design and construction. It’s the first time I’ve stuck with something for over a year but the historical work is simply fascinating. I lose myself when I’m sewing – next thing I know a whole day has passed, but I have something very tangible to show for it.
What inspires you?
It’s less inspiration and more a drive to create something. I’ve taken to doodling little designs for costume at home, or sketches of little image ideas, but oftentimes I’ll just sit down in the mind frame of ‘it’s time to create’ and see what comes out.
I tend to be drawn to creating things based around characters from media I like or identify with. Some of my images can be quite dark and are driven by struggles I have with my family and mental/physical health. This can be where some of my favourite details in costume ideas I do at home – away from study – come from.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always wanted to be an artist but I had no idea in what sense. I started off applying for fineart, and while I still consider a lot of my paintings and things my best work it just isn’t something I can gear myself up to do very often. I tested the water with a few different mediums, everything from hand drawn animation to graphic design, even trying out traditional photography at one point. None of them really stuck as something that felt enough like work – more hobby kind of things. My drive to get costume pieces as perfect as possible is what separates them from my other art styles, where I’m more content to let the odd mistake slip by.
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?
Afraid not, only my signature on my drawn pieces and even that is not very unique.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Oh – so much okay. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t – don’t be afraid to admit that something isn’t working out for you. When you get criticism give yourself a break, let it sink in before you look at the work again; the fresh eyes with the critique in mind will make it easier to see what you are being told, never be mad when someone says something isn’t right. If you don’t like something or something looks wrong or didn’t work? Change it. Immediately. It won’t look better later just because you ignored it. There will always be someone ‘better’ than you. That doesn’t make you bad at what you do and half the time they aren’t even ‘better’ they are just ‘different’ and you happen to like their style more than your own. Different, isn’t better and different isn’t worse – it’s just different.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m somewhere in the grey-ace area. It’s always been tricky for me to figure out if truth be told.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t really, or at least not directed at me personally – though I’ve seen some of it online directed at others, including my partner.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That asexual automatically means sex-repulsed and that there is no sex drive. Its a bit frustrating and honestly I don’t like people assuming they know anything about the frequency or lack of frequency in my sex-life based on my sexuality alone. And honestly its nobody elses business. I do not find anyone sexually attractive, that is what my orientation means to me.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Even though I’m grey-ace I don’t feel qualified to answer this – I’ve not had much struggle with my orientation so I do not know what advice I’d of liked to hear. For me discovering the term “grey-ace” was a moment of “there’s a word for this!!” Embrace who you are, and don’t rise to people just trying to get a reaction.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m over on DeviantArt at http://a-wing-and-a-flair.deviantart.com/
I’m afraid most of my traditional pieces are not available online as I can’t get high quality pictures of many of them and a vast majority are no longer owned by me.
Thank you, Rowan, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.