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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Poketale Undyne

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

Interview: Claire Marie

Today we’re joined by Claire Marie. Claire is a marvelous singer who has her own YouTube channel. She mostly does song covers (which she uploads) but she also writes her own songs. Claire is very obviously enthusiastic about music, as you’ll 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 am a musician and actress. I upload covers on my YouTube channel, and I also write songs, although I only have two videos of those online at the moment. As for acting, I did theatre all four years of high school, and have attended multiple acting camps throughout those years as well. I actually attended a summer camp this year focused around Shakespeare and his works (which I basically fell in love with), and although I haven’t gotten the chance to do anymore acting since, I’m planning on adding Theatre as a minor next semester!

What inspires you?

I am a person with a lot of emotions, and that’s where all of my art comes from. But I am also inspired very much by other artists. I believe very strongly in the principle that if you want to become better at something, you should watch how the pros do it. When writing songs, I look up quite a bit to great lyricists such as Sia and Ed Sheeran. I love the way they describe the subjects of their songs, and how they express their emotions so beautifully and poetically. Acting-wise, I’m inspired a lot by David Tennant, who I first grew attached to in Doctor Who, before finding his other amazing work in movies, TV shows, and Shakespeare! Whenever I’m watching him, I always make sure to take lots of notes on his acting style.

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

I have always wanted to be a singer, ever since I was little, and my love for music has never wavered in the slightest. I never really thought about acting until I was older, in middle school, but once I got into that, I was just as passionate about theatre as I was about music. Back then, it was the stardom and spotlight that drew me in, but now, although those things are definitely perks, it’s more about doing something that I really love and know that I’m good at.

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 really – the thing that makes my work unique is just me! 🙂

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There are people out there who aren’t going to believe in you. Everyone thought my dream to be a singer was adorable until I hit about 6th grade, and then, all of a sudden, I was being told I needed to be a doctor or a lawyer, something that would actually make money (even now, my mom keeps telling me it’s not to late to start becoming a dental hygienist). This extremely sudden change really devastated me and was a huge blow to the relationship I had with my friends and family. My advice is that it’s going to hurt, but don’t let it stop you. Although it might be wise to pursue something more “practical” for financial reasons, make sure you are still doing something you are passionate about, and don’t drop your dream until you find another dream you like better. I ended up double-majoring in International Affairs and French, but that doesn’t mean I’m forgetting about my love for music and acting. It just means I . . . . found something I love just as much music and acting.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and questioning-romantic, although I am leaning more towards pan-romantic.

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

All the theatre communities I’ve been a part of have always been super open and accepting ones, so I’ve never had any problems with ace prejudice there, and a couple of times, I’ve actually even been able to find other aces! However, music is a lot of times very sex-centric and much of it includes all kinds of sexual objectification, and that’s where I usually hear the line, “How can you not want sex?” or “How can you have a relationship (or find someone attractive) if you’re asexual?”

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

I think the most common misconception about asexuality I’ve encountered is that every asexual is exactly the same with respect to their comfort with sexual activity. While some asexuals love to hook up, others are completely averse to the idea, and I think that just confuses a lot of people.

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

If you’re looking for a romantic partner, make sure you find one who acknowledges your asexuality and won’t try to push you to do anything you aren’t comfortable with doing. Sexuality is confusing enough as it is without someone trying to convince you you’re something you know you’re not.

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

You can check out all my music on my YouTube channel, The Clurricane. I’ll hopefully be releasing an album and another music video (along with the usual covers) by the end of the year, so stay tuned and subscribe!

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

Interview: ursa-bruin

Today we’re joined by ursa-bruin. She’s an incredibly versatile writer who enjoys writing in a number of forms. She’s writing quite a lot of long form fiction, specializing in many speculative genres. ursa-bruin is also a poet who writers a number of different styles of poetry, as you’ll soon find out. It’s very obvious that she’s an incredibly passionate writer. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

First and foremost, I’m a long-fiction writer specializing in high fantasy/soft sci-fi/light cosmic horror fusion. I’ve been working on the same enormous project for ten years. I also write poetry — structured, free-verse, and experimental — and will be beginning to seek publication soon. On the side, I’m teaching myself to draw and I write the occasional tune and make mashups/remixes.

What inspires you?

Science, actually. A fair number of my poems are inspired by or somehow involve scientific knowledge. And despite my main project being primarily fantasy, there’s a fair amount of research put into it—I like to know the rules so I can break them in interesting ways.

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

I was an avid reader as a child, and when I was younger I wanted to be a full-time author. My interest in poetry didn’t come about until high school, when I attended a magnet school as a literary major. My interest in drawing came from watching too many cartoons, and as for music—it runs in the family.

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?

My signature in writing and in art is something I refer to as “grand caricatures”. I feel drawn towards archetypes and stylizations, although not necessarily towards traditional ones. I like creating internally consistent systems of symbolization, and creating a sense of grandeur by, unapologetically, placing those symbols on display.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

As I’m primarily a writer, this advice is for writers: be patient and be unafraid. Keep a journal with you at all times and write down any idea that crosses your mind, no matter how crude or transgressive or wrong it might be. Keep everything you write and come back to it in a few years—if you can’t make anything new of it, at the very least you will gain a fresh perspective on your own growth. And don’t wait for inspiration. Inspiration is a lie. Wait for understanding. Wait for the full comprehension of what you are writing and why.

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am definitely asexual, though not sex-repulsed. I am probably bi/panromantic. As I don’t have a full grasp of my romantic orientation yet, I identify as, simply, asexual.

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

I tend to “fly under the radar”. As a resident of a very conservative area, I am very selective about who I tell. I don’t believe that I have ever encountered prejudice, but as for ignorance….

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

The most common misconception I’ve encountered is that my reproductive systems are faulty on a biological level and that I am not only unwilling but also unable to have sex or bear children. Also the classic “it’ll be different after you try it”. Spoiler alert: I tried it. Nothing changed.

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

You aren’t broken or defective. That’s what I thought, when I was first coming to terms with my orientation. I would study myself in the mirror, wondering why I even have this body if I’m not going to use it. Listen: there is so much more to a person than their reproductive system. You have a brain, and a heart. You have a soul. Those things are what make us human, not what’s in our pants or how we’re using it.

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

I don’t have much about my primary project up, but what little I do have can be found at ursa-bruin.tumblr.com/thridda. If you want to know more, or just want a chat, my askbox is open.

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