Interview: Kelline

Today we’re joined by Kelline. Kelline is a phenomenal visual artist who does both original work and fanart. She’s a hobbyist who mainly does traditional drawings and watercolors, although she also dabbles in digital art. Her work is gorgeous, making expert use of bright vivid colors and lines, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Michelle copy
Michelle

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My drawings tend to be human driven, I just really enjoy drawing people above all else.

I have my own set of characters that wander around my head, but as I can’t commit to writing anything about them, they’re not much more than vague muses that appear in my drawings sometimes. I have a bit of a world and a magic system that’ll also be referenced in some works but again . . . lazy writer.

I also do a fair amount of fanart, mainly video game related (Pokémon and Undertale are the most recent themes). I used to do a LOT of Nintendo fanart. A lot.

My favorite mediums are watercolors, colored pencils, and recently ink/pens/markers. I do tend to very lightly combine digital elements into my work through color edits or added effects, this is based from before I had a scanner and had to rely on Photoshop edits to make my photos of the artwork look at all decent. I also occasionally do digital drawings.

What inspires you?

Music, video games, nature, night skies and outer space, other artists, dreams, and I guess feelings in general.

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

Pretty much always! I’ve loved drawing as far back as I can remember. My first inspirations were my mom, she makes cool colored pencil drawings, and my grandmother (mom’s mom) who was an amazing painter. Plus I was an imaginative kid, and liked illustrating all of my stories and fancies.

My original plan for after high school was to study art and do it professionally, maybe as an illustrator, but my parents (who were kind enough to pay for my college education) wanted me to study something that would get me a quote-unquote “real job.” But the major I settled into “Digital Technology and Culture” (in a nutshell it’s basically digital communication and rhetoric), was a pleasant mix of writing and visual design, so I still have some graphic design work I do in my current office job, and I’m free to pursue art as my hobby outside of work.

Reset copy
Reset

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? I’ve been told my style is pretty unique, that’s good enough for me; I’ve never thought of adding a unique symbol/trademark.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Sorry I have lots of thoughts here:

Check thrift shops for cheap supplies! – Probably won’t have too much luck with more expensive supplies, like paints and higher quality tools, but I’ve found great grab bags of colored pencils, crayons, pens, pencils, and erasers at my local Value Villages. Part of why I have a giant shoe box filled with colored pencils. >w> I’ve also seen basic watercolors and pastels. You could probably find some sketchpads too!

Keep pushing through! – Almost every drawing I do there is a point, usually early on, where I absolutely hate it and want to scrap it. But over time I’ve learned that if you can push past that point, keep adjusting the sketch, add shading, change the colors, I can get it to a point where I love, like, or am at least “okay with” the drawing.

Don’t be afraid to erase! – This was a mantra of one of my college drawing instructors, and I still think about and use it. Basically if you just know something is off with your work, don’t be afraid to fix it, even if it means completely starting over. Don’t stress so much about messing up what you have now to not fix something that’s bothering you. If nothing else, I think forcing yourself to acknowledge and fix the error could lead to improvement in future drawings. But also keep in mind:

You have to stop at some point – Advice from an editing teacher that I also think about when I draw. If you’re a person who is a perfectionist or an overachiever, know that there’s never going to be a point where the drawing will feel 100%, completely perfect, flawless. Especially since we are our own worst critics (and also have spent the past 8 hours looking at the bloody thing), we’re going to see every little error in a drawing. But there has to be a point where you have to let go and call it done. It probably varies by artist, but for me it’s when it gets too exhausting to keep working on it, and I feel okay calling it done.

Above all, don’t give up! – Art can be frustrating, it can be emotionally draining, and it can be tough to see people who seem more talented or popular than yourself. But if you love it and/or it’s a part of who you are, don’t give up. It’s still so worth it, as an expression of who you are and what you feel, what you love and care about. It’s worth it to see yourself improve, and realize you’re creating things you once couldn’t, or better than you once could.

take care copy
Take Care

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual definitely, but I’m very unsure where my romantic orientation lies. I used to think I was hetero, but realizing I’m ace has kind of opened new ideas for me.

I think I’m either heteromantic, panromantic, or aromantic. Pan is my current thought, but I feel generally not wanting a relationship right now, so it’ll be hard to say until my heart’s ready for that again, if it ever is.

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

Ace ignorance is pretty common everywhere; I’ve never personally encountered ace prejudice, either in my drawing/art sharing experiences or in my past or current jobs. I see ace prejudice on Tumblr more than anywhere else. <_<

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

The most common? I don’t know, I don’t really talk to people about asexuality (I mean I ramble online sometimes, but that’s different). Going off of general attitudes, probably that “real” asexual people would never experience any kind of sexual feelings or enjoyment ever. And that they probably wouldn’t experience romantic feelings either.

It’s definitely a giant part of why it took me so long to identify as ace, and I think also a large part of why asexuality either never came up or wasn’t taken seriously in past romantic relationships, even when I was trying to explain to past partners how I could care for them deeply yet still be very disinterested in sexual activities.

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

Listen to yourself. If something feels right or really uncomfortable/wrong, listen to it. Don’t let others dictate what you are or aren’t, listen to yourself; you know your feelings better than those who only have an outside view. Even if you think it is “just a phase” and things will change, your current feelings are still worth listening to. If identifying as ace (or any other orientation) is what makes you feel comfortable and happy, do it!

And do your research; if you think something but aren’t sure, look into it. Find the science, listen to other experiences. Don’t just say nah and ignore your feelings.

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

In a few places!

DeviantArt: http://kelline.deviantart.com/
Tumblr: http://artsyagnostis.tumblr.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SweetAgnostis

While mostly similar, there are some differences between them. My DeviantArt is the oldest, has the most on it, and where I’ll talk the most about my drawings. My Tumblr is where I’ll post the more personal thoughts or less finished work. My Twitter is pretty new and kind simple and breezy, but I also just started a Throwback Thursday where I’ll be posting REALLY old stuff, currently from the my first ever “sketchpad” I had when I was 5 or so, and might eventually move on to some of the sillier/wackier drawings I did when younger.

Poketale Undyne copy
Poketale Undyne

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

Interview: Vide Frank

Today we’re joined by Vide Frank. Vide is a phenomenal illustrator from Sweden. They’re part of a group made up of asexual and aromantic individuals. Vide was also on a panel about asexual and aro issues at Stockholm pride. Their work is gorgeous and vivid, evoking an incredible amount of emotion, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

final1-details

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a visual artist, which is a very broad term. I paint and draw both digitally and traditionally but have also dabbled around in sewing, sculpting, writing and jewelry making. I mostly stick to painting and drawing though. I use a lot of different mediums, like watercolor, markers, graphite, oil paint, acrylic paint, colored pencils, photoshop and paint tool sai.

What inspires you?

So many things, like music, movies, books, fanfiction, poetry, photos, drawings, paintings and real life. I’m very driven by my emotions though, so it all depends on how I’m feeling in that moment.

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

I guess I always had this fascination with art, I used to beg my mom to draw things for me and I loved to use my hands to create things. Art has always been a part of my life, although I didn’t really try to improve until I was around twelve, and it wasn’t until I was fifteen that I actually thought of making it into a carrier. I don’t believe enough in myself to actually take that leap though, so I’m studying to become an assistant nurse at a gymnasium in Sweden.

untitled

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 really have a symbol or feature, since I think I would grow tired of it and start to hate it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

It’s okay if your art look like crap, your dance can be off or you could have fucked up that seam, and that’s okay. Perfection isn’t necessary, it’s just tiring. Keep practicing, keep making mistakes, keep working and someday someone will say that you did well, and maybe that won’t be enough, but maybe it will. Learn to love the journey, not the result (as cheesy as that sounds).

yvfinal-resized2

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Demi gray asexual, which means (according to me) that I need to have an emotional connection to a person to feel sexual attraction to them, but it’s still very rare for me to experience sexual attraction.

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

In my field? No, but that’s mostly because I’m not very open about my “queer-ness” around my art. In other places? Yeah, defiantly. I mostly try to keep a calm and open mind when I meet these people, and try to calmly explain my point of view with examples and such. Most of the time they understand or we agree to disagree.

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

That we don’t have sex or that we just need to find “the one”. Both are complete bullshit, I can have sex with a person and still be ace, asexuality isn’t about our actions, but about our attractions.

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

You don’t have a find a label or figure everything out, it’s okay to just be. If the people around you don’t support you there’s always other people in the world, someone out of the seven billion are going to understand.

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

You can find my art on my Instagram at plantrot:
https://www.instagram.com/plantrot/

Or my portfolio http://vide.teknisten.com/

You can also buy some of my works at my Redbubble: http://www.redbubble.com/people/videfrank
(or contact me at vide.frankh@gmail.com)

tattoo

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

Interview: Bridget

Today we’re joined by Bridget. Bridget is a phenomenal hobbyist who loves to draw. She loves to draw a variety of things, mostly using pens and markers. Her images are positively beautiful and show a great eye for lines and color, which you’ll soon see. Bridget is a passionate artist with a wonderful amount of enthusiasm. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

cdjolslviaa3yqg

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m not a professional artist, but drawing has been a hobby of mine for as long as I can remember! I mostly draw in pen or marker and usually just in black and white. Color is still something I find a little intimidating except for in little splashes!

What inspires you?

Seeing the work of other people definitely is inspiring. An artist I follow closely at the moment is Dana Terrace…seeing her work made it click for me that as an artist you can truly make anything you want, even if it’s a little creepy or strange. The wonderful thing about art is that there are so many ways to make it, and none of it is wrong!

cef98ihuiaeezjt

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

Art is not my professional field, but it is something I’ve practiced on and off since I was a little kid. I actually got my degree in technical geography, so while art is not at the center focus of my work, it still helps to have a good eye for visual displays.

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?

Not at the moment!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I still consider myself to be a young inspiring artist, but something I’ve picked up along the way is to look at a broad variety of artistic styles. I know that I always have trouble drawing eyes, and so I’ll go and look up several different artists and practice drawing in their style until I find a combination of something that works for me! I’d never claim or post anything that I copied from another artist, but it is definitely very helpful to practice by copying the pros.

lantern
Lantern

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Until recently I identified as asexual, but recently I’ve discovered that I’m closer to demisexual.

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

In my field I have not encountered any, but I also don’t tend to bring up my sexual preferences in everyday conversation, ha ha! In my personal relationships I have had some difficulties…I dated someone for several years, and about halfway through the relationship it dawned on me that I did not experience the same desires as my partner did. My partner didn’t understand, and often left me feeling like I was ‘broken’ or not fulfilling my side of the relationship. It caused a lot of heartbreak. I ended the relationship; there were several reasons why we didn’t work out, but our differing sexual goals definitely played a part.

At this point I thought I was completely asexual. However, I entered a new relationship about six months ago, and it surprised me to find that I was experiencing some attraction to my new partner in ways I never had before. This has led me to the conclusion that I’m demi, and also that it’s entirely possible for my identity to shift with time and experiences.

space
Space

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

That something is wrong with you for not feeling sexual attraction, that you have a disorder of some kind. It took me a long time to come to terms with the fact that I’m not ‘broken’…when I finally found resources describing asexuality, I was thrilled to have a word to describe how I identify myself.

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

That it’s totally okay to shift your stance on your identity. Assigning a label to your identity is a great thing to be able to do, but don’t feel like you’re locked into it forever. It’s okay to change your identity as you explore your preferences!

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

I post my art to Instagram, at bridget_tuttle_art

dance
Dance

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

Interview: Lon

Today we’re joined by Lon. Lon is a fantastic visual artist who also does a lot of crocheting and writing. She hasn’t met a medium she doesn’t like. Lon is an incredibly passionate artist who loves creating, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

img_0005

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Well I guess I should start out by saying that I draw primarily in traditional style using pencil, ink, and markers. But I do also dabble in digital artwork. I also crochet everything from blankets to hats to fingerless gloves. I write as well and I am currently, working on a novel which I hope to publish.

What inspires you?

My digital artwork is inspired by stained glass windows and my traditional artwork is inspired by old school storybook style artwork.

As for what I draw, I tend to step outside and look at the area around me or look back over old vacation photographs. I live in Iowa near the Loess Hills on the boarder of South Dakota and Nebraska. It’s an absolutely beautiful area; especially in the fall. I tend to pull inspiration for my crocheting from the colors in nature and what kind of patterns I see among the forested area near me.

For my writing I pull inspiration from authors like C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, R.R. Martin, Brian Jacques, Patrick Rothfuss, J.K. Rowling, and Ted Dekker. Each of them unique in their own right and amazing at how they pull all the pieces together. I strive to create as unique and indepth works as they have.

img_0008

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

I started out drawing traditionally very young. I would see both of my parents drawing and tried to draw along with them. My mother drew mostly with charcoal or oil pastels and though I grew to dislike both mediums simply because I draw more finely I still admire how beautiful her artwork is. My father drew with pencils and ink. His style of more precise and realistic sketches eventually inspired my personally style, although I kept my moms more whimsical and storybook tone in whatever I drew.

As for my crocheting, my mother taught me. I distinctly remember watching her crochet when I was young and trying to copy her for years until my mom decided ihad enough coordination to handle using the crochet hook and string. From there I took off on my own trying to teach myself as I went and learning her more unique tricks and stitches along the way. The style of crochet I use was apparently invented jointly by my mother and my great grandmother and is unique compared to most stitching styles. I didn’t know this until recently when a stranger made thr observation but I am delighted to know that I’ve continued something unique to my family.

The inspiration for wanting to write in general and my writing is more difficult to pinpoint. I would have to say the roots of it started with my dad reading to b before bed. My dad used to read The Hobbit, The Lord of the Rings, and later Harry Potter with different voices and brought the stories to life. I would have to say that looking over that period of my life it must have been then that I realized somedayI wanted to create a story that would bring people together and create fond memories as well.

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?

As I touched on with my crochet work I use a unique stitch that I’m quite fond of but for my artwork I tend to combine a storybook style into everything I draw. I rarely use full realism but rather draw in a very stylized way. With my writing I strive to bring in detail without overloading the story. I try to “paint” the world I see in my head fro my readers to see as they read.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice, study anatomy, do your research, and don’t give up. It took me nearly twenty years of constant practice to get where I am on all of my pusuits. Also for crocheting, make sure you’re stretching and holding your fingers/wrists correctly or you’ll hurt yourself.

img_0009

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’ve only recently realized I’m in the asexual spectrum but I’m comfortable in saying that I’m asexual.

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

Mostly I’ve seen ignorance or confusion with the few people I’ve worked up the courage to talk to about it. I’m not “out” quite yet as I’m still learning about it myself.

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

Just from observations on Tumblr and online in general I’ve seen a lot of misconceptions and denial. In person? Again I’m not out yet so I’m admittedly naive of people’s perceptions in my area.

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

Find a community, do your research, and I guess realize ultimately you aren’t broken. You never were.

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

You can find me on DeviantArt at Ecanusiofiel or StarryFeathers. I crocheting stuff will be up on an Etsy shop eventually once I’ve finished a few more pieces to post.

img_0586

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

Interview: Sam

Today we’re joined by Sam. Sam is a phenomenal digital artist who works with a variety of different media. They use both traditional and digital media and a lot of their inspiration comes from their love of webcomics. Sam’s work demonstrates a remarkable skill and vivid imagination. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

charge!

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

Most of my art is a combination of traditional and digital. I draw and ink by hand, and then color on my computer. I also sometimes use colored pencils or markers, and lately I’ve been practicing with gouache, which is a type of opaque watercolor paint. I’m not very good with paint yet, but I’m getting better!

I mostly draw my own characters, the majority of which are from a comic I’m currently working on. On occasion, I’ll draw little bits of fan art when it crosses my mind, but not as often. I’ve been branching out a bit lately, trying some more world-building type art, and art with clearer settings/backgrounds.

furry fyrry furry

What inspires you?

I read a fair assortment of webcomics that I love and that are good inspirations. Three of the biggest inspirations for me, comic-wise, would be Paranatural, The Glass Scientists, and Harpy Gee. Some cartoons/animated movies with nice art styles inspire me, as do some games. I like Legend of Zelda and Pokemon a lot, and draw stuff from them sometimes. Some books make me want to draw too! The main one I think would be the How to Train Your Dragon books.

is this gay

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

I’ve been drawing for a very long time! I drew a lot when I was very little, and just kept doing it and improving myself. It was a nice way to control stress and boredom, and it just makes me happy.

I got interested in comics because I love the idea of visual story telling, and I saw how happy different webcomics I read made people, and I wanted to make something like that. I hope my art makes people happy.

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?

Not particularly. I’ve tried a couple of times to do something like that, but I’d only do once or twice, and then forget.

spade's pet

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

If you want to draw, or wish you could draw better, you can! Lots of people I talk to say all they can draw is stick figures or something like that; when I first started drawing, that’s all I did. Stick figures!

You can draw, it just takes practice. You’ve gotta do it a lot. Doodle on the bus, or the margins of your notes in class, or on your napkin while waiting for your food.

If you draw something and it doesn’t look very good to you, that’s no reason to stop. It’s why you should try again, and try to make it better the next time. Please don’t compare your art to someone else’s. That won’t help at all. However, you can try looking back at your old art and see how much you’ve improved.

You’ll always be changing and improving.

spicey greys

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m aro/ace!  I’m also panplatonic

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

Eh, not so much, but that’s mostly because I’m not out nor have I mentioned it ‘in real life’. Although, my family is of the mindset that you have to get married and make a family to be successful, even though none of them know asexuality actually exists.

There’s the ‘you just haven’t found the right person yet’, or ‘you’ll change your mind one day’ floating around also.

stabbing pain

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

That being ace makes you more ‘pure’ or ‘innocent’. That ace people cannot have sex/don’t have sex ever. Stuff like that. Asexual doesn’t necessarily mean sex-repulsed.

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

If you think you’re ace, that’s okay and normal! If you’re not sure you’re ‘ace enough’, remember, it’s a spectrum! If you’re ace, you’re ace; you’re on the spectrum somewhere.

And don’t feel like if you’re ace now, you ‘have’ to be ace forever. It’s okay to grow and change. Maybe twenty years from now you’ll decide you’re bisexual, et cetera, or maybe you’ll still be asexual. Both are good and okay, and whatever happens in the future doesn’t change what you are right now.

two

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

You can find my stuff lots of places!

I have an OC blog which is where most of my art is: http://halfwaytown.tumblr.com

A more ‘normal’ art blog (aka, not just my characters): http://licantaur.tumblr.com

A DeviantArt: http://licantaur.deviantart.com

And a webcomic! : http://forgottenpassages.smackjeeves.com

Although, the comic still being worked on and no pages are up yet. When it updates, there will be an announcement on the above listed locations.

I also have an ask blog for the How to Train Your Dragon Books: http://askhiccupandcompany.tumblr.com

villian kids

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