Interview: Dominique Cyprès

Today we’re joined by Dominique Cyprès. Dominique is a phenomenal writer who has dabbled with various forms including fiction and nonfiction. Their first love is poetry and they have written plenty of different kinds of poetry. They have a story in Unburied Fables, an anthology from Creative Aces. It’s obvious they’re a passionate and dedicated writer, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve dabbled in a lot of different sorts of writing – from fiction to creative non-fiction, poetry in both verse and prose. As someone with an overlapping interest in tech, I’ve also experimented a little with interactive fiction. I’m really interested in what new ground can still be broken with Infocom-style text adventures.

I’ve also forayed a little into video editing and stereographic photography. I’m pretty much the prototypical “jack of all trades” in that I keep trying new media and I don’t often stick with one and try to master it. In the end, though, everything seems to come back to poetry. I often find that when I’m working on fiction, or text adventures, or visual media, I’m compelled to find a way to inject poetry into that medium.

What inspires you?

My primary motivation in making art is a sort of practical mysticism; my goal is to give voice to the enormous wonder and bewilderment I feel trying to make sense of both the natural world and interpersonal interaction. As an autistic person, I often find myself in the sort of situation that Temple Grandin refers to as being “an anthropologist on Mars.” The world often seems an altogether foreign place to me, and my art (when I have the time to make it) acts essentially as fields notes on this inscrutable country.

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

The artistic role models who have most informed the direction I take in poetry are probably Emily Dickinson, Miyazawa Kenji (whose work I have read only in English translation), and Charles Simic. Dickinson and Miyazawa together really pulled me toward poetry as a medium in the first place, and their biographies and work share certain themes in common. Both were disabled and regarded as odd by their communities. Both expressed in their work an immense love of humanity and of nature, but wrote from a perspective of looking upon these subjects from the outside, and both wrote largely for themselves and did not manage to sell much of their work to professional publications during their lifetimes.

Simic’s influence on me comes through his seminal Pulitzer-prize winning volume The World Doesn’t End, and largely has to do with his pioneering work on the form of prose poetry, and his use of ambiguous and discordant sensory images to cultivate what poets refer to as “negative capability,” the ability to draw art out of questions that have no answers, out of confusion and non-rational thought.

I tend to think of art as something I am inclined to do, and not as a feature of who I am, perhaps because I’ve long had it drilled into my head that writing poetry alone is not a viable professional path for someone who needs to support themself and their family financially. I’ve heard this even from former U.S. Poet Laureate Mark Strand, who derives much of his personal income from his work as a college professor.

As a young person I wanted to devote my life to art in some way professionally. As I neared the end of high school I told my parents I wanted to study acting full-time in college and choose that as my field. They asked where I would find the money to feed myself and I didn’t really have an answer, so I studied psychology instead, and wound up dropping out of college after three years when I reached a point where my undiagnosed learning disabilities had started to make it impossible to complete my coursework.

At that point, in 2012, my self-esteem just bottomed out entirely, and one thing to I did in an effort to pull it back up was to take a bunch of poetry I had been working on while I was at school (where I was pursuing a creative writing minor) and build on that work, flesh out its themes a little bit, and compile it into a book I could have printed through a major self-publishing-platform. That was Dogs from your childhood & other unrealities. I had neither the money nor the energy to engage in any serious promotion for it at the time, but being able to share my work with some appreciative friends in that manner was the kind of encouragement I needed.

Now I’m working on a new volume of poems. It’s necessarily very different from my last book, because I’ve changed a lot since 2012. It’s in verse, whereas my last book was entirely in prose. It’s much more concerned with overtly political questions, with the relationships between the wage worker and their work, with the struggles of a young and growing family. I hardly find time to work on it, as a full-time retail worker, part-time student, and parent, but I’m excited to share the personal growth I’ve experienced in this form.

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 often feel that I’m walking a metaphorical tightrope in my work, attempting to balance impulses toward self-deprecation, disillusionment, and cynicism on one hand and an irrepressible sense of naïve wonder on the other. That’s a feature of my everyday life, too, but I expect it comes out a lot in what I make.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

My advice would be to try to hold on to your art, to what you do that moves you on a deep level, even when it doesn’t pay the bills. And if you have to step aside from making art because you’re depressed or just too busy struggling to survive for a while, you need not be ashamed. Go back to your art when you’re ready and let it accept you with open arms.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual, and I’ve identified myself as such since age 20 when I first heard about other asexual people. I’m quoiromantic. I’m married now; I have two spouses and a child, and the fact that I’m asexual doesn’t come up very often in my day-to-day life. But if I had never identified myself as asexual in the first place, I probably wouldn’t be married now, because it was identifying as asexual that allowed me first to accept myself for who I am, and then to find people who understood and accepted me enough to start a family with me.

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

There’s a strong push for writers of creative non-fiction and poetry today to candidly confess intimate details of their personal lives, and that very often includes one’s sex life and sexuality. That can be an uncomfortable demand for an asexual writer and I encourage other writers to share only what they can share confidently. As it happens, though, I have made very few connections “in my field”, so I don’t yet have any direct experience with ignorance around ace issues directed at me as a writer.

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

As much as you can insist to people that asexuality is your sexual orientation, some people will be determined to see it as a medical symptom that you should somehow be treating, or as an ideological position. There’s only so much myth-dispelling educational material you can provide to someone before it becomes a waste of time.

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

The decision to reclassify Pluto as a dwarf planet, and not as a proper planet, was an arbitrary taxonomic exercise, motivated by mounting discoveries of Pluto-sized objects in our solar system. Essentially, if we continued to count Pluto as a planet, there would be so many newly-found planets of similar size that we could never hope to make elementary school children memorize all their names. But Pluto is still out there in the Kuiper belt, and it’s still an important target for scientific research.

Similarly, your experiences as an asexual person are real and an important part of your life even when other people find it inconvenient to acknowledge them.

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

Dogs from your childhood & other unrealities is still available in print and as a free e-book via my blog. My next book, tentatively titled dead monochrome doggerel, is still in the works and I’ll be sure to announce it on my blog when it’s ready.

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

Interview: Lahraeb Munir

Today we’re joined by Lahraeb Munir. Lahraeb is a wonderful writer who writes a lot of poetry and is currently working on a novel as well as some short stories. They’ve published some creative non-fiction and have been published in some literary magazines. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I consider myself a writer, albeit an experimental one! I mainly write poetry, though am working on a novel & I also have a couple of short story projects on the side. My poetry is definitely what you’d call abstract – I like readers to take their own interpretations & I love reading their understanding of the words, which is so different to mine, yet just as valid. It’s pretty cool. In books, I like to write underrepresented or misunderstood characters, such as poc, queer or disabled people. I have had poetry & creative non-fiction published in a few literary magazines, which is a heck of an experience & I am thankful to anyone who reads my work, enjoys it & connects with it.

What inspires you?

I focus very much on the human condition: why we do what we do & how we do it. I often draw on personal experiences to write pieces & tend to use the written word as a form of communication. I am inspired by the relentlessness & fragility of humanity & how people are different in all the same ways. I am both scared & awed by people & that is what I try to express. Also nice comments from my readers keep me going.

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

I have always been an avid reader, but only started writing myself in my early teens. I think words are incredibly valuable & so many people misuse or abuse them, which is quite sad. I am drawn to their perfect infallibility – try as I might, I can never really get across what I am trying to say, so in that way I can tell the same story an infinite amount of times & I think that`s rather amazing. I am not really sure what career path I want to take & writing has always been more of a hobby than anything else – though that does have the potential to change.

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?

Well, as you can see, I like to write in lowercase & use “&” – for no other reason than I find it aesthetically calming. I am aware that some people may find it annoying, so I tend to capitalize properly in novels. I also like using {these brackets} because I think they are cool {that being said by a vastly uncool person!} I am also a fan of puns & wordplay & having more than one meaning attached to a particular phrase so people can take it to mean what they want to – & so I end up playing around with format and structure a lot.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I would tell them to always make sure they enjoy what they create – it’s easy to get lost in the demands and whims of people, particularly in this technological age, so if you find that you are not enjoying the creative process as much or just creating for other people and not yourself then it’s perfectly acceptable to step back and take a break to evaluate what your art really means to you. Also, take risks – most of the time, they might not work out, but that one time it does, it’s freaking awesome!

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3. second bit of poem [JPEG]

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual – simply using the umbrella term, as I don’t really connect with any of the more specific terms. All I know is I am not sexually attracted to people & I am fine with that.

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

The writing community itself is so diverse, so I have been lucky not to encounter any prejudice regarding my sexuality.

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

that we are all broken or damaged in some way – we’ve either been abused, have hormone imbalances or some other underlying pathology to make us this way – & why that may be true for some aces, they are still valid aces regardless. People seem to find it hard to comprehend that asexuality is not a choice, and although it may be influenced by life events, it is not caused by it.

Also, people seem to think that the concept of being queer & the concept of being religious are so dramatically opposed that should the two collide in one person, the notion is completely rejected! Although this refers to queerness in general, it is still something that annoys me a lot because I am pretty sure I exist, but people seem to want to challenge me on that.

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

It’s okay to be struggling, but the struggles do not define who you are & it is important to remember that. It’s best to surround yourself with a positive network of people with similar experiences – & there is loads of ace positivity online {try your best to avoid the discourse}. Remember: you are not a freak, you are accepted and valid – even if it doesn’t feel that way. & it’s okay if your orientation changes – there are a wide variety of terms to accommodate whatever it is you feel & you will always be valid no matter what labels you choose.

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

People can see more of my work on Wattpad: thefineideayoucrave
I also have a blog: https://uncoveringthefineideaswecrave.wordpress.com/
& a Tumblr: https://thefineideayoucrave.tumblr.com/

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

Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily. Emily is a wonderful writer who mostly writes poetry and fanfiction. She has been included in a few anthologies and is currently working on a couple different projects. She’s very dedicated, as you’ll soon read. 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 writer — I mostly do fanworks, though I do have few poems published in local anthologies. I also have a blog (though updates are not nearly as regular as they should be) and I’m currently working on a one-act play. I’ve competed in NaNoWriMo twice and Camp NaNo once, winning each time. My novels are as yet unfinished and still in very rough drafts.

What inspires you?

Music, usually. A lot of my stories follow the structures of songs, and I actually wrote a novelette based on an album I loved. I also have a hobby of collecting people’s stories, especially older people. I’ve got a stack of them at home that I flip through when I get stuck and several of them are woven through pieces I’ve written.

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

I started reading really young. They actually ran out of books at my elementary school for me to read before I finished fourth grade. I was encouraged by my grandma and several of my teachers to work hard in writing, but it was my sophomore year English teacher who really believed in me and made me think that I could do it. She wrote me countless recommendation letters to writing programs and still sends me notes of encouragement.

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 necessarily have a unique signature in my pieces, but I do tend to work references to my other stories into many of them. Even if they stretch across universes, timelines, or fandoms, there’ll be one line in there that calls back to a previous work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

When you get started, you’re going to suck. Once you accept that, keep going. That’s the only way anyone gets anywhere.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a lithromantic asexual.

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

There is a distinct lack of asexual characters in the traditional publishing world. I’m starting an editing internship soon at a firm that specializes in LGBTQ+ stories, and hope to work towards correcting that.

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

One that I’m told a lot is that I’m only ace because I’m a Christian and to be anything else would be a sin. Correlation does not equal causation, and religion and sexuality are not mutually exclusive.

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

You don’t have to do something if you’re not comfortable with it. And there’s nothing wrong with these feelings. Surround yourself with people who understand and accept that.

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

Check me out on AO3: archiveofourown.org/users/meandmybrokenfeels
My writing Tumblr: write-likeyourerunningoutoftime.tumblr.com
My personal Tumblr: meandmybrokenfeels.tumblr.com
Or my blog: istilldontgetitall.wordpress.com

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

Interview: Justine

Today we’re joined by Justine. Justine is a fantastic young writer who enjoys writing poetry and short stories. She’s also working on a novel and hopes to make a living through writing one day. Judging from her enthusiasm, she has a very bright future ahead of her. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I write poetry and short stories, and am currently writing a book. I’m in the business for making more stories with ace characters 🙂

What inspires you?

Many things inspire me, but it’s mostly my past and things I have been through. Most of my poems are pain based.

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

I’m super into just… words. Literature. The idea of putting things down on paper.

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 yet, but I’m working on developing one.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As Nike would say… Just do it.

As I would say… write it like you mean it.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m heteromantic Asexual

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

As a white, straight, young (16) ace, I have received many “opinions” that were more than just hurtful. I have always just brushed it off, educated the person to the best of my own knowledge, and left them with that. The truth.

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

“You’ll change your mind later” or my favorite: “you’ll want the D on the honeymoon”

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

You are 100% valid, and there is nothing wrong with you. There is power in the word “Ace”.

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

On my side Tumblr: spaceyscrawls.

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

Interview: Alex Clarke

Today we’re joined by Alex Clarke. Alex is a talented young aspiring novelist. She’s written a novel and is quite a productive poet. She has a wonderful enthusiasm and love for the art of writing, 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’m a writer with a particular passion for novels and poetry. Many of my writings deal with complex societal matters such as war, mental health, and religion, but I also reflect myself into my work. My poetry in particular deals with my own life and thoughts, often serving as a mode of emotional catharsis.

What inspires you?

Nature is my primary inspiration, as my mind is never as clear as when I am alone with the world. Every novel I’ve written was begun shortly after a long hiking trip with my family, and I’ve been amazed to see the extent to which those landscapes have influenced the storylines of my books. I’m also inspired from seemingly unspectacular moments, such as conversations with strangers, the way sunlight streams through windows, or the tingling tactile sensation of climbing into a hot car. Questions of science are constantly bombarding my mind, and thus often make their way into my work as well.

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

I started writing at the age of five after discovering dozens of empty notebooks in my grandfather’s dresser. I scribbled the stories down, rife with spelling errors, in multicolored crayon until my penmanship advanced enough to warrant more precise instruments. I would write countless short stories in those beginning years, culminating with the completion of my first novel five years later. That same year, I wrote three different plays that were performed by my school’s theatre program. My grandparents bought me a book of poems for my twelfth birthday, which catalyzed my passion for poetry. My childhood dream was to be a professional writer, and now, as a high school senior, I’m in the process of applying to college to make that dream a reality.

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 love weaving in subtle aspects of old legends and folklore into my work! Other than that, there are motifs that I thread throughout individual works, but not one single thing that encompasses them all.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There are lots of people who do, in fact, make their careers out of art and do not starve. I am also a young aspiring artist, and it’s been very important for me to learn that happiness and passion are much more important than any salary can ever be, no matter what society says.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic.

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

I haven’t encountered any direct prejudice targeting the ace community among other writers, although I do often see sexual attraction represented as a necessary component of all characters in a multitude of books. This can be very problematic both for readers who cannot identify with many characters in this aspect and society as a whole, as asexuality’s lack of substantial presence in the literary canon can contribute to widespread ace erasure. To combat this, I try to always include ace-spec characters in my stories and discuss asexuality in my poetry.

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

Many people I know have confused asexuality and aromanticism, and are unable to wrap their heads around the fact that I can be ace while having had crushes in the past. Also, several people have asked me if I’m sure I’m not just gay and in denial.

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

It’s okay to be confused! I struggled for a long time about where exactly on the spectrum I fit in (and to some extent, still do), and it’s okay not to know. Do a lot of research, and I’d recommend browsing the internet ace community to find stories of people with experiences similar to your own. There are plenty of people out there that feel the same, and accept you just as you are!

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

I’m not currently published, but I’m in the process of sending a novel out to agents at the moment, so hopefully that will happen soon! In the meantime, I recently started a blog for my poetry, which you may visit at wistfulwordsmith.tumblr.com!

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

Interview: Rey

Today we’re joined by Rey. Rey is a fantastic writer who writes a lot of poetry. She also writes a fair amount of fiction and published a couple pieces at a very young age. She’s currently working on a novel entitled Fearless that features an ace protagonist. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m an author and poet. Ta da? I guess?

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by the people around me. My day job is an EMT and aspiring biologist (maybe), and it’s in my nature to be curious about the people I see and their stories. I have a bad habit (is it a bad habit? I don’t know) of writing stories about people I work with, or people I meet briefly. I love to write about things that could have been or maybe things I want to turn out differently.

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

Despite my love of science, I’ve always been a writer. That’s how I’ve defined myself for, pretty much, my entire life. I wrote my first story when I was four, and it was about a skateboard and a clown running away from their families to start a jelly bean factory.

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 love to make characters that make people confront their own biases and really consider something that they haven’t beforehand. For example, in the book I’m currently working on, there’s a character who’s introduced as a black sex worker, and then it turns out she turned to exotic dancing/sex work as a way to pay for her PhD in Contemporary English Literature. The character is portrayed as very sexual and very in touch with her own sexuality, which is a bit taboo for women these days.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Keep writing. Be creative for creativity’s sake. I self-published two of my own works before I turned sixteen, and, granted, they’re not the best I’ve ever written, and they’ll probably never see the light of day, but it’s incredibly gratifying to see your own work come to life. Don’t let other people bring you down for not putting your art out there. It’s your own art, and if you want to release it to the wider world, go for it! Just make sure it’s your own decision to do so.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m asexual. I previously thought I was ace/biromantic, but some encounters with the male gender at my college have sort of made me really reconsider my own identity. This just goes to show that you, as a person, don’t have to confine yourself to one label! Things change. You find out things about yourself that you didn’t know beforehand.

So. Ace. Maybe aro. Maybe homoromantic. Who knows?

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

Yeah… Well, my mom isn’t the most accepting of people. When SCOTUS legalized same-sex marriage last year (yay!!) she picked me up from the airport when I came back from a competition and gave me a lecture the entire ride home on why same-sex marriage is terrible and is going to send our economy down the toilet, and all that. When I told her I believed I was ace, she laughed at me and told me I wasn’t. (I know. Ouch.)

I just ignore it. (And I write about it)

I am who I am. I have the best friend in the entire world, and when I came out to her, she immediately accepted me and planted me among her little community of cute ace friends. She’s my validation that I need, and I stopped seeking any of that from my mother.

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

That ace people are prudes, or that they “just haven’t found the right person yet.” It’s actually really insulting to reveal a really intimate thing about myself and to be denied the validation that even lesbian/other minority folks may get. I believe there is a difference between being a sensual person and being a sexual person, and many people tend to believe that ace people aren’t either.

We are people, just like all of you out there. So, like, chill? ‘Kay?

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

You don’t have to come out. I’m not going to be out to my mother until I am financially stable and independent. It’s not a phase, but it’s also okay if you change! People change! They grow! I thought I was biromantic, but there’ve been a couple guys at my college that are like “hey pretty girl” and I feel like I want to throw up.

All these fancy words and the split identification (ace-biromantic etc) are just that. Words. Let yourself change and grow and become something better than what you were yesterday. It’s all okay.

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

Well…. LOL. I post occasional tidbits on my blog, theemsprincess.tumblr.com

I’m hoping to get a website up sooner or later, but if y’all follow me there and pretty please be patient, I will post teasers and info about Fearless.

A fair warning: I am depressed, so some of the poems I post tend to be dark/depressing. I usually tag them under baddaypoems

PS: Fearless is going to be amazing. Just sayin’. 😉

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

Interview: Momo

Today we’re joined by Momo. Momo is a wonderful and incredibly creative craft artist. They specializes in flower crowns and adorable little fairies. They work in a variety of media and have a true passion. Momo is actually the 400th artist interviewed on Asexual Artists (YAY!) and is hoping to make some extra funds for textbooks. So please, check out their work at their Etsy store. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’ve always been creative, and thankfully I was born with parents that encouraged individuality and my mad experiments with mixed medias. One of my favorite things to do is knit, because it just makes sense in my brain and I can do it without thinking about it too much. I also crochet, do several types of embroidery, and use various medias to create pictures. I taught myself how to make flower crowns out of fake flowers and yarn, because why not? I’ve written poetry and prose for a long time now, but favour poetry. I’ve also been taught basic wheat weaving, which is a traditional art that involves plaiting strands of wheat together.

What inspires you?

Mostly I create because I can, but the oddest things will cause a spark in me. Sometimes I’ll see or hear or smell something that sets me off on a creative tangent. I have a lot of anxiety, and crafting helps me soothe myself and get out the negative emotions so that they won’t build up and eventually hurt me even more. This causes a dichotomy in my work that I think is unique. On one side I’ll have sunshine and daisies, and on the other is a graphic representation of how it feels to be part of several minorities in a globalized world that worships Normality.

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

I’ve wanted to be an artist, most specifically a writer, since I was young. Sadly, my over-pragmatic brain has kept me from perusing it as a career. I have Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome type III and I need to get a career where I can save up plenty of money for the medical care I’ll eventually need. Special-order braces, various levels of pain medication, and carpal tunnel surgery are inevitable.

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 sign my pictures with an MH, where the right side of the M goes down to form the left side of the H. It’s easier to explain than describe.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t ever try to blend in. You were made unique, and your worth is not lessened by the fact there’s so many other humans.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a Demiromantic Asexual.

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

I’m still mostly closeted, and it’s never come up in conversation for me before.

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

When I came out to my big brother, he thought I meant that I was genderless at first. To be fair, I started the conversation by asking how he’d known that he’s transgender. Other than that, people I’ve come out to are mostly confused about how I’m Asexual and make so many sexual innuendos. I know that one of my oldest friends still has a difficult time wrapping her head around the notion, even though she never says anything about it.

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

Your orientation is something entirely unique to you, and only you really know how you experience it. This is both a blessing and a curse, as it can be difficult to find somebody with the same experiences. Believe in yourself, because even if you feel alone there are so many of us out there. We’re hidden under the eaves and marching in parades and living fulfilling lives.

You are not alone.

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

I have an Etsy shop called RomoMomoMakes.

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