Interview: Brenna

Today we’re joined by Brenna. Brenna is a wonderful young artist who is quite versatile. She does visual art, writing, and singing. She’s currently studying art in school and is incredibly passionate, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do many arts from painting and drawing to singing- but the one I’m most passionate about is my writing. I even go to an arts high school for it.

What inspires you?

Music usually inspires me, but other times it’s dreams or TV shows, movies or books that I really like.

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

I really got into writing in sixth grade, I loved it and I realised that that’s what I want to do for a living. When I was younger I really wanted to be a vet- then I wanted to be a singer, then I wanted to be an actress, so you can say I’ve always been into art- but it wasn’t until the sixth grade that I was sure of which art.

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’m not sure if I do- I’m sure if you look intently through my recent works you would be able to find something. I usually write first person from a female protagonists view, that female protagonist is usually quite arrogant and sarcastic. That’s all I can notice for now, but I’m positive that there has to be something else.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

To young aspiring artists: Go out there, experience new things, work on your art- because you’ll never be perfect, there’s no such thing as perfect- but you can pretty well damn try.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as heteromantic, demisexual.

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

I haven’t actually experienced any ace prejudice or ignorance in my field, as I said- those in my field that I interact with all go to the same arts school as I, and so we are exposed to many sexual orientations, many genders, many religions- and so we kinda have to go into everything with an open mind. I say I’m very lucky not to have experienced it in my field.

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

The most common misconception that I’ve encountered is that since you identify as somewhere on the asexual spectrum you are also aromantic. It actually gotten tiring explaining it to people when I tell them that I identify as demisexual and then in later conversations say that I want a boyfriend, they’re always like “oh but aren’t you aseuxal?” Yes, I am- but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel romantic attraction.

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

It’s okay if you don’t understand where you identify on the spectrum- you honestly don’t need to put a label on it, no, or ever. It’s okay if you don’t know why you feel, or don’t feel these things- we don’t know either, the best thing I can tell you is to embrace it and move on with your life, it’s a part of you and you can choose what to do with that knowledge.

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

People can find more of my work on Wattpad at: https://www.wattpad.com/user/JazzHz0o0 but I would advise not reading the stories I wrote before 2016, because they are cringey and make me visably cringe when I read them. But you can do what you want with your life, just don’t say I didn’t warn you. Other than that I am working on another story that will come out soon, because it is almost finished- so look out for that.

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

Interview: Nick

Today we’re joined by Nick. Nick is a fantastic writer who specializes in fantasy, science fiction, and mainstream fiction. Although he’s currently unpublished, he hopes to change that soon. He has just started a project with an ace protagonist. It’s very clear that he has a great love for the art of writing. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a writer!  I write fantasy, Sci-Fi and mainstream fiction. Depending on what I’m writing, I prefer novels to short stories, since it gives me a little more space to world build (probably my favorite part of writing fantasy).  I love writing stories with strong characters and fascinating worlds that those characters can explore.

What inspires you?

Anything and everything! Seeing a picture of something in a magazine, conversations with friends, everything!  I never throw anything away and have a big folder on my computer of just old ideas that didn’t come to fruition.  Conversations with other writers inspire me, tossing ideas around and seeing what happens.

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

I’ve always been a fan of stories.  I loved world building, exploring the physics of alien planets or worlds with magic.  I always liked with creating magical creatures and monsters when playing pretend.  At some point, I just started writing them down and had a blast.

I don’t know if I’ve always wanted to be a writer.  I was the worst speller in 3rd grade, so if you’d asked me then, I never would have said it.  But in high school, I started writing longer stories for my own entertainment and people enjoyed what I was creating.

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?

No real single thing. I like having surprises and twists, but most of my stories tend to focus around the development and creation of the characters.  I like having characters with unique perspectives (deaf or blind characters, characters in oppressed positions, non-human characters).  I believe that diversity in a book is incredibly important.

I also like having a splash of comedy in whatever it is I’m writing.  Just cause we’re hunting dragons doesn’t means there isn’t room for a barbeque joke.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t give up.  It’s hard to make a creative endeavor work the first time through.  That’s why we have drafts.  They’re formal permission to mess up.  It doesn’t have to perfect every draft.  Just try things and get it on paper.  From there, just edit and rewrite until you get something you like.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I consider myself demisexual, but I’m unsure at the moment.  I’ve only recently started identifying on the spectrum, so I’m still not sure.  I still consider myself heteromantic, but identify on the ace spectrum.

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

One thing I’ve really noticed is the erasure of asexuality in general.  Not just in media, but also in the community in general.   I feel like asexual characters are very hard to come by in normal writing.  Romantic relationships, usually culminating in sex, seem to be the norm.  I enjoy characters with strong connections, but don’t think they need to be sexual all the time (particularly in YA and Adult).

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

That it’s not a real thing. Which is very confusing when first attempting to understand it.  I’ve heard that it’s not a real thing and that anyone who says they’re ace is trying to invade the LGBTQ+ community, particularly if they’re attracted to people of the opposite gender.  I’ve seen a lot of angry messages directed toward aces online, but I haven’t had the chance to interact with the larger community.  I’ve met many people very accepting, but some discussions I’ve seen have been less than friendly.

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

You’re not wrong.  It feels wrong, but you’re perfectly fine not wanting sex, not having sex or not feeling like you need sex.  It’s hard to find words for it, but you’re perfectly OK for not knowing yet.

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

Come check me out my Tumblr!

I have some writing hidden around there and there are plenty of other things for you to check out on there.

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

Interview: Robin

Today we’re joined by Robin. Robin is absolutely wonderful artist who works in filmmaking. He’s a screenwriter, a video editor, and an actor. Some of his films have already been selections in film festivals. The links he sent along are fascinating shorts. There are two horror shorts (“The Music of Erika Zann” and “Memento Mori”) and a noir (”I Blog Alone”), which are awesome genres. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

I Blog Alone
Still from “I Blog Alone”

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a screenwriter, video editor, and actor.  I’m a part of Portland, OR’s Wheelhouse Media.  We mostly do short films, horror, but we’re looking to branch out.  We currently have a superhero satire piece in the works and we’re hoping to do our first feature in 2016.  I’ve adapted the HP Lovecraft short story “The Music of Erich Zann,” into a short film, “The Music of Erika Zann,” and this year wrote a short inspired by the Gabriel Knight video game series entitled Memento Mori.

What inspires you?

I really like hearing other people’s stories.  I’ve been lucky enough to live in a lot of places and meet a lot of kind and interesting people which has enriched my own life.  Also, the collaborative nature of filmmaking.  I love bouncing ideas off people and watching them grow.

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

I didn’t really discover my talent for writing until I got into college.  It took me a while to figure out my passion for film too.  I was taking a course on Major Filmmakers where our professor showed us some of the great underappreciated directors.  I remember watching The Red Shoes and really seeing what film was capable of and thinking “damn, I want to do this.”

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 like to put little nods to my friends in my work.  Either naming characters after them or using a little quirk from someone I know.  I’m from New Jersey and like using references to there too.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Just keep at it.  It takes as much time to not make anything as it does to make something.  Even if it’s bad, it’s a learning experience.  And if enough people see your bad work, someone will want to work with you to make good work with.

Memento Mori
Still from “Memento Mori”

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m heteromantic demisexual.

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

As of this writing, I’m only out to one producer who happens to be a friend of mine.  Of the ignorance I’ve encountered outside of my field, it’s mostly just been about the existence of asexuality rather than misconceptions about it.  The people I have come out to have been fantastic and supportive about it.

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

Mostly that people don’t believe it’s real.  Sometimes it seems the more you explain it (the spectrum, demi and graysexuality) that you’re getting away from a definition by broadening it too much.  When I first came out to my friends, I did have to explain that yes, we can date and form meaningful relationships without sexual attraction.  Like I said though, I’ve been lucky that I’m surrounded my caring and supportive people.

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

Like all the blogs say, you and your sexuality are valid and you’re not alone.  And if even if you’re not sure, it’s okay to take time to find out.

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

My blog is RobIsAWriter.Tumblr.com.  I don’t update it as much as I’d like to but I’m planning on turning into a home for short fiction and other film projects next year, including a documentary project I’m currently planning.  You can also like Wheelhouse Media on Facebook.

The Music of Erika Zann
Still from “The Music of Erika Zann”

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