Interview: Leon

Today we’re joined by Leon. Leon is a wonderful writer and dabbles in crafts. They are an eclectic artist who has done a bit of everything. They have worked in theater (acting, tech, stage management, directing) and do quite a bit of writing. When they’re not writing, they also do a lot of knitting as well as coloring. It’s very clear they’re a passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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Please, tell us about your art.

I’d consider myself something of a ‘jack of many (creative) trades’. I have a short attention span, the constant need to be busy, a long-standing habit of having whimsical trains of thoughts I can hardly keep track of myself and I grew up with the internet where any number of basic skill sets are a quick Google search away. I collect funny little ideas and random hobbies and nifty bits of information that eventually I figure I will find use for (like book binding … haven’t gotten around to using that info quite yet but some day)

I’ve been a storyteller practically my whole life and a writer for most of that. My dad was a writer, so I picked that up from him. I got involved with theater during middle and high school. First acting, then various back stage and tech theater works. I lived in a small town a few years ago where I was the designated ’emergency backup’ person for the local theater company, always available for lighting, sound, props, painting, costumes, whatever they needed. I picked up knitting in my early teens, played around with that, taught myself how to knit plush animals and dolls and such. I’ve made several based on some of my favorite video game characters. I also like just experimenting and messing around with various creative projects.

I got really taken in by the adult coloring book trend, which has been exciting for me. I don’t really have much of a talent for drawing and that kind of visual art, and not enough patience to really develop it. But I love coloring. I love messing around with my colored pencils and my gel pens and figuring out how to make nifty little effects with glitter. I can work on multiple different pages from multiple different books as the mood suits me. Plus, I am so absolutely a crafter. So I get to think of fun ways to use the pretty colored in pages when I’m done. (I am in a ‘modge podge the heck out of everything’ phase right now) and then I get to figure out how to do those things and pick up a bunch of little crafting skills. It’s been tons of fun.

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Bat Box

What inspires you?

So many things. I have a real habit of latching on to little ideas or tropes and just trying to figure all the possible ways I could express them and in what medium and why. And then latching onto random ideas that come up when I think about this stuff.

Example: I got stuck on this nifty idea of inverting the ‘The Dead Have Names’ trope and giving a related speech to the villain. Because it’s such a ‘hero’ thing, giving it to the villain gets really chilling and strange. So then I think about the general idea of inverting tropes along those lines. Since I’ve been coloring a lot lately I start thinking about color inversions. And now I have two dragon pictures, one of which is a ‘water dragon’ which I’m going to coloring in various shades of red and orange and the other is a ‘fire dragon’ I’m going to be coloring in shades of blue.

With all the coloring I’ve been doing lately I tend to get inspired by the pages themselves. I know I want to color this or that page in with only metallic gel pens. And I’ve been working so much in color lately I’ll get color schemes stuck in my head even if I don’t know where I want to utilize them yet.

And in a more abstract sense… my dad taught me to look at creative ‘problems’ (in the loosest sense of the word) like riddles, to apply whatever creative skills/knowledge I did have to fill the rest in. So I tend to have a ‘make it up as I go’ approach to all my art/creative stuff. And that inspires me too, just trying to work out a ‘problem’, the constant thinking and wondering and ruminating.

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

I guess I always sort of wanted to be an artist, but I never really had a specific idea of what that meant. I liked writing so I figured I’d just … write stuff. Which I did. I liked theater so I did that too. I liked knitting and coloring and wood shop and cooking and so on.

I got the writing and storytelling thing from my dad. And everything else just sort of blossomed from that in a weird organic kind of way that I can’t really pin down, even looking back on it. A lot of the stuff I’ve learned to do was to facilitate a vague idea of storytelling. I got into tech theater, into lighting and sound design, so I could figure out how to make the best use of that to facilitate a stage show. I started knitting plush dolls of video game characters to be able to bring those characters and ideas into another aspect of my life, off the screen (also the reasoning for why I write fanfic). I love looking at the different ways people color the same coloring page because of how drastically different the end results of coloring the same image can be. I over analyze the crap out narrative heavy video games because I like seeing how different narrative tools can slot together and all of the ways video games making story telling weird or strange or unique.


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?

When I do visual type art (in the broadest sense) I very often end up using various pride flag colors (which makes me chuckle to myself) just because I can

I also have a serious love of inverting various tropes, just turning basic common assumptions on their head. Not so much a signature as a ‘reoccurring theme’.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Anything worth doing is worth doing badly.

Not just for the experience or for the opportunity to get better either. But because it’s fun, it makes you happy, it’s something to stave off the boredom, it keeps you busy, it just something you want to do. It’s worth doing because it’s worth doing.

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Flower Lantern


Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a bi/pan ace.

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

Yeah, typically of the general, non-malicious ignorance variety, which usually results in me just offering some basic 101-type information.


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

The ‘attraction = behavior’ thing. Like the assumption that celibacy and asexually are the same thing

And because the fact that I’m trans often comes up around the same time as the fact that I’m ace comes up, I also get the ‘hey do you think maybe you’re ace because you’re trans’ thing a lot personally, usually with the implication that if this is the case it means one of those IDs is therefore less valid. Which usually results in me just going flat ‘no’ because I often don’t have the time (or emotional energy) for a long nuanced discussion.

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Metallic Bookmarks

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

It’s okay to not totally have your orientation strictly defined. It’s okay to take time to figure it out. It’s okay if you never figure it out completely and if whatever labels you use are basically ‘as accurate as I can be right now’. It’s okay to be as specific or as nonspecific as you want, you have no obligation to define your orientation to any arbitrary degree of specification. It’s fine if your ace-ness is/was influenced by some external factor. It’s okay if you weren’t ace before but are now. It’s okay if you stop IDing as ace later. It’s okay if you only ID as ace with no other labels.

You don’t have to justify your orientation to anyone. You don’t even have to explain any more than you want. It’s fine if you can’t explain. It’s fine if you just don’t want to.

Just… you do you.

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

Some older tags on my blog have some of my knitting stuff.

I have an Etsy shop up that has the results of my ‘what can I do with these pretty colored in coloring book pages’ adventures.

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Metallic Cat Purple

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

Interview: Louisa

Today we’re joined by Louisa. Louisa is an amazing visual artist who also does a lot of sewing. She creates the most adorable plushies ever (seriously need to check out her work, it’s so awesome). As a digital artist, Louisa draws mostly her own original characters. She really enjoys making toys and dolls. Louisa has such an incredible amount of talent, which is very apparent in her work. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Cloth Doll Face


Please, tell us about your art.

My art is a real mix. For a really long time I classed myself as a digital artist, and in a way didn’t count anything else I did as ‘upload’ worthy. But now I’m slowly getting used to the idea that other stuff I do can be ‘upload worthy’ too. (I need to get better at taking photos of the stuff I make) I love sewing (both by machine and hand) and spend far too much of my time making plushies.

I have been sewing a lot recently as I find it really helps my depression. I am currently working on making my own toy patterns, as someday I would love to sell what I make. It is a lot of trial and error, but very fun and satisfying.

Cloth Doll Swing

What inspires you?

Music and song lyrics tend to get ideas going in my head.

I also like to see what other people do. I also sometimes see ‘professional’ artwork on adverts or menus and stuff and think, “I could do better than that!”

Felt Doll

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

I just like to make stuff, it is how I fill my time. I know it is a horrible cliché; but I have been drawing since I could hold a pencil (according to my mum anyway!) I guess a lot of the reason I want to express myself in an artistic way is that having dyslexia sometimes makes it hard to do so with words.

Despite this I am attempting to write a novel (an other form of art). All the non doll, non pony pictures are characters from it. Don’t hold your breath for it though, it going to be years before I am done. (if at all)

When it comes to sewing, it is in my blood, my great grandmother was a seamstress, and some of that talent must of come down the bloodline. Although I don’t make clothes, I make toys.

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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? If I do, I am not actively trying.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Oh, oh I have lots of these!

– Learn the rules before you break them (get a basic knowledge of anatomy down, then work on a style, and for the love of all that is good do not pass off a bad anatomy error as ‘style’)

– Have your own style (being able to draw show accurate fan art is great, but doesn’t look so good in a portfolio) but do practice drawing in other people’s styles, just make sure you have your own.

– Bases are evil and are a terrible way to learn how to draw. Don’t use bases…ever

– Tracing is a great way to learn, just don’t pass it off as your own- someone will find out.

– There is nothing wrong with using a reference though.

– Remember that you never stop improving. I’ve seen so many good artist just plateau as they thought they were the best they could be. I’ve even seen people regress and get worse as they think they have no room for improvement, it is sad to watch.

– Try not to compare yourself to others, you are your own person

– This one is really important (and something I need to learn myself)
There is more to art that favs, likes, reblogs, page views etc. Do not measure your worth or talent on how many people click on, or look at your art. On this page? Looking at my art? Think my art is good?  Well… I get little to no attention. Most of the time when I upload to DeviantArt I get no comments, no page views, a few favorites if I am lucky.

It hurts to spend weeks, if not months on something, and just have it overlooked. I still struggle to upload even now, as I gained something of a “What is the point, no-one cares anyway.” Attitude

It is hard to work on when you basically feel like the whole world is ignoring you, but keep going, please. You are so much more talented than you know, I promise.

Lemon Drizzle Cloud


Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a panromantic (I think…) Grey Asexual. Grey as I sometimes I feel attraction, sometimes I don’t. (Mostly don’t) I don’t know what controls this; it seems almost random at times.

I did think I was Aro Ace for a good few years, until I met my boyfriend, felt sexual attraction for the first time and got very, very confused.

Pie Hand

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

I am not sure where I got this thinking from (possibility my own paranoid mind) but I felt that I may not be welcome or seen as being a ‘proper’ asexual because I am grey and in a relationship.

Also had someone tell me how wonderful and pure I was because I was an asexual… which was…um creepy to say the least.

Also the whole “we are not broken!” thing…

Thanks guys for pushing me (someone whose asexuality I am pretty sure was cause by, or made more prominent by abuse) under the bus to prove a point.

Also I think it is very easy for most aces to be ‘straight passing’ or at least ‘sexual passing’

It is something that if you don’t ask, you would never really know, and seeing allosexual and straight is the ‘default’ (sadly) people will just assume you are that.

Pie Bust

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

That asexual= Aromantic and sex repulsed and that only

Also the whole “We are not broken’ thing I mentioned above

Plum Pillow

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

No mater where you are on the spectrum, you still count, you are still an ace.

Even if it caused by trauma, don’t let those stupid Tumblr posts get to you, you still count.

Sock Doll

Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
It is about the only place I am active anymore.
Feel free to follow me, and note me, I’d love to make new friends.

Wish Doll

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