Today we’re joined by Shelly. Shelly is a wonderful performance artist and writer. She is studying to be an arts educator, focusing on drama and filmmaking. When she has spare time, Shelly writes. She aspires to be published one day and writes LGBTQ YA fiction. It’s very obvious that she’s a dedicated and passionate artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I’m finishing my studies as an arts educator, in the areas of Drama and Film making. In my spare time I also write YA fiction with LGBT voices as a primary focus. Hopefully I’ll get something published in the future. This is a space that’s getting more attention but our young LGBT people deserve stories that have romances, not just characters struggling with their sexuality and that’s what I hope to bring to the table. I’ve also started dancing recently and I really hope to incorporate this into my arts education practice in the future.
What inspires you?
The world around us. Truth is stranger than fiction.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve always loved telling stories, whether it be through writing or the stage. As a child I wanted to be an actor, then I studied producing at uni but I realized I could bring art to more young people through education.
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?
In my writing definitely. My characters are artists even if they don’t realize it. Creativity is so important to me and that’s why my characters are always involved in dance or cheerleading as a sport. I know there’s been a recent push towards STEM subjects of late, but I think that’s made the arts even more undervalued than they already were. That’s why I’m trying to push back. I want young people to see the value in their art.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Play and explore your art, mix styles. See other artists. Network with artists (this one is so important) you might meet a future collaborator. Learn entrepreneurial skills. In this industry you need to be able to create a job for yourself.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I’m a Demisexual, Bisexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not in my field no.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
People think you’re not just there maturity wise or you just haven’t met the ‘one’ who’ll change how you feel about sex, which I really don’t like because it suggests that we need rescuing and that reinforces the patriarchy’s status.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Find a support group. You are not alone. We’re not expected to go through life isolated, so don’t isolate yourself while you figure things out.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
I’m planning on growing this platform further once I’ve completed my arts education studies.
Thank you, Shelly, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.