Interview: Eleanor Price

Today we’re joined by Eleanor Price. Eleanor is a fantastic visual artist who specializes in traditional mediums. She does painting and sketching. Eleanor also did a bit of installation for her A-level exam. She’s quite obviously passionate about art, 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’m a traditional artist and work in a variety of different mediums but tend to lean towards watercolour and fineliner. At the moment, most of the art I produce is for my a-levels, so I don’t often get to do much work for myself. My most recent work has been a large 3D suspended paper sculpture based on a beehive. That was a lot of fun. I occasionally dabble in photography too but I’m actually rather appalling.

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What inspires you?

Anything and everything. For the most part it’s stories, often fairy tales, as it leads to surreal and the fantastical imagery that I love. Outside of that it tends to be nature, especially bees and clouds.

The artists that inspire me all tend to be impressionist and nouveau, The colours and style just draw me in. So really Van Gogh, Mucha, Monet and Henri le Sidaner.

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

I have always wanted to be an artist, even when I changed my dream career choice every day when I was younger I never thought I wouldn’t involve art in it somehow. I can’t really say what got me interested, but I would probably put it down to my mum also being a very artsy person. Whenever I wanted to do something involving craft as a kid she would leap at the chance, I was a little spoiled for choice to be honest. While she doesn’t always understand and we disagree more than agree, she really nurtured that love of art for me.

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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?

Nothing as of yet, however I really like the idea, so when I get a chance to develop my own style (hopefully in uni) I might consider working something like that in. I love details and easter eggs so the idea really appeals to me. Although to be honest it will probably just end up being a bee….

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

You may think your art looks nothing like how you imagined, or how that artist did it, but it really is practice, and you mustn’t give up on something if you love it. And to be perfectly honest if you want your work out there then you need to be on as many platforms as possible and starting out with fan art is always a good idea as it gets you known.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m still working things out, but at the moment I think the label that fits best is Grey-aro and Ace.

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

Nothing within my field thankfully, but outside of art there is the fact that I get laughed at for being a ‘late bloomer’ or ‘sweet’ and ‘innocent’ for not really being interested in pursuing sex related relationships. It’s patronising and irritating, but I know that there is worse ignorance that I could be facing so most of the time I smile and stay quiet until that irritation fades away.

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

The flipping plant joke.

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

You are not broken. There is nothing wrong with you. I know it can be hellish and awful and sometimes you will just wish that you could be ‘normal’ or not you, but it’s something you cannot change; so find an outlet, a positive and reinforcing one that helps you become more comfortable with yourself. It may take a while but there’s a whole network of people here and around that are more than willing to help you and listen to you. Just take that step and reach out to one of us.

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

I mostly use my Tumblr: http://ellayouneedtostudy.tumblr.com/

And my Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cloudofaesthetics/

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

Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily.  Emily is an amazingly talented visual artist who specializes in watercolors and fineliners.  She enjoys drawing a number of things and her work is quite visually striking as you’ll soon see.  The use of color and attention to detail is quite remarkable.  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 tends to vary greatly, but my main focus is a tribal or zentangle style. Lots of lines, patterns and shapes, usually with a splash of colour for extra life! I usually draw animals, particularly in motion or with some kind of flow. This can vary from a running hare to a cat sitting, with the natural flowing, curved shapes. I also recently branched into more realistic painting, starting with flowers as I’ve never really touched on those before! My favoured mediums are watercolours and fineliners.

What inspires you?

The natural world is what gives me the most inspiration! Colour and flow are the two things that really attract my eye, so flowers, birds and animals feature heavily in my work.

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

I’ve always been creative as a kid, right down to sculpting tiny dinosaurs from blu-tac at the age of four, or the time I painted a unicorn in the leftover curry sauce on my plate. (It was a beautiful chicken korma-corn!) Anything I could get my hands on, I’d use for art. My mum very much encouraged my artistic side and I took art up to the last years of high school. What made me really pursue it as a career were the kind and helpful words of a self-published artist, Mary Ann Rogers. She was the first to really look at my skills and go ‘hey, this would sell’.

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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?

Only my signature, which is really just my name. I really ought to design a little symbol to pop in though!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There is so much advice to give, but I think I can narrow it down to a few important points. First of all, and you’ll hear it a lot; practice. Someone with natural talent can easily be surpassed by someone who puts the time and effort in. There’s plenty of references and helpful websites that can teach you to draw specific things but ultimately, it’s time, patience and hard work that pays off.

Secondly, don’t beat yourself up about mistakes, and don’t push yourself too hard. For me, creativity ebbs and flows; I can get a ton of work down when I’m in a good mood, but if I push myself to draw, even just practice sketches, when I’m not feeling it? It never works out and I get frustrated. Get to know your own pattern of creativity and work with yourself, not against!

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to talk to artists who are already established! Everyone was a newbie; if you reach out and ask for advice, we might be able to tell you about our mistakes so you don’t make them as well! There are so many different artists with so vast and varied experiences, there’s a wealth of knowledge waiting for you, so don’t be shy!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m plain old ace! No sexual attraction and actually sex-repulsed, so very much a virgin. As for my romantic attraction? While I’ve only had crushes, and one genuine romantic, interest in guys, I could easily see myself settling down with anyone if they were ‘right’. So…maybe mostly heteromantic? Honestly I still don’t know myself!

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

I, fortunately, have not. Then again, I’m only ‘out’ to a couple family members and a few close friends. On a professional level and to most people I know, they probably just think I’m straight. If I did face such problems, really I abide by the idea of ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’. I know who I am, and while I’m happy to explain and educate, I’m not going to weep over the deliberately rude and ignorant individuals who refuse to learn.

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

That I’ll ‘find the right guy/girl’. This is even something I get from the people who are understanding about it. Nope. No sex for me. No sexual attraction, even the one time I had very strong romantic feelings for someone. I will find the ‘right’ person for me, but that doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly find them sexually attractive or engage in sexual relations.

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

Take your time to identify yourself. Don’t worry about springing out of a ‘closet’ before you’re ready; it’s no one’s business but your own. It sounds cheesy to say ‘do some soul searching’ but I mean it; really take the time to get to know yourself. After all, you are the one person you’ll always have to live with! Try to separate who you are from what society and people say they think you are, or what they expect you to be; I was very tangled up in that myself.

And above all; you are a wonderful, fascinating, intricate human people. Every second you’re alive is a complex jumble of chemical reactions that somehow translates into motion, thoughts, feelings and life.

You are a miracle, is what I’m saying, and you damn well deserve to be treated as such.

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

Easy peasy! I’ve a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TemplemanArt

A tumblr page here: http://templemanart.tumblr.com/

Or you can check me out on Instagram (bearing in mind that’s mostly WIP sketches!) https://instagram.com/templeman_art/

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