Today we’re joined by Marine. Marine is a phenomenal fanartist who enjoys writing fanfiction in different fandoms. She hopes to start posting in English soon. She is an incredibly passionate writer, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I write fanfiction. I never really considered it as an art, more as something I could rely on when I felt bad, or happy. I write alone a lot, but I used to write with my best friends too. However time and fandom has made us all change, so now I only write alone. Recently I have discovered the Harry Potter fandom and have almost totally let go of my ancient vice: Johnnys. It’s the name of a Japanese agency that trains boys to become idols, and some are very renown. I spend 4 years of my life writing things about them, and I think if I add all my documents, I have about 3000 pages. The stories I write can go from very happy to very depressing, and I have to admit I have a soft spot for sad endings, difficult storylines, and usually character death.
I also really like drawing and painting a lot, and I especially like finding a beautiful picture, and drawing it back again with pencils and charcoal. Adding water colors to the clothes looks great too, and enables me not to draw the folds, because even though I find peace in drawing, I will never say I can draw.
What inspires you?
Very random stuff. For examples, I can watch a movie, and then during a specific scene I will start feeling an emotion, and tell myself: This, I want to see them feel this. Or even random sentences I hear, a painting I see on the wall with colors that speak to my mind, or even a short tune. I always have a specially created playlist for the story I want to write in order to sustain the emotion I want to get through.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I started writing fanfiction when I was around 14, because I stumbled on a blog and fell in love with a story. I read it again two years ago, and now don’t see the appeal I saw in it when I was younger, but that was what initially got me into writing. I wanted to create a beautiful story that would inspire others too. My grandmother always tried to get me into writing but it never succeeded, so when I finally started I think I was more fulfilling her dream than mine at the beginning (even though it was gay fanfiction, never would I let her read that). But then I really got into it, and as I said, I wanted to write something beautiful to make other people feel how I felt. As a kid, I wrote a lot of poetry and dreamt of being a painter, but had never touched story-writing before, and now it is the kind of art I practice the most. I think it’s wonderful how words have so much power over human beings.
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?
If there is a signature in my works, I think it’s definitely the names Eri and Hiroki. They are Japanese names, and you can be sure that, if I’m writing a long story, they will appear at least once (even now I have changed fandom, dedicating myself to Harry Potter, although I may write something about Lord of the Rings one day. However, these names will not appear there, for obvious reasons). Eri is a very important name to me, and can be a nickname for Elizabeth, which is also very important to me. Hiroki is a name I used in my first fanfiction, and that has always been there when I needed a name, and it has almost become a joke with a friend of mine. Otherwise, a symbol or feature? I don’t think I have anything, except these two names. Or maybe I just don’t know yet and in several years someone will reveal some to me, that would be very interesting!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If I had one piece of advice to give is: go for it. The first step is hard, and the second is worst, because you have to continue going on. To be honest, I would never re-read what I wrote when I started writing, because it isn’t good, and I don’t understand why I ever thought this was an acceptable thing to publish on forums. But, in a way, I’m proud of it, because even if the style isn’t good, there are so many ideas in the script! And it was the first step to a great journey. Because of writing and fanfiction, I met new people, learned new things, and grew up in so many ways. I think art makes you grow up, because at some point, you have to look at it, and then you see what isn’t good about it, and what is great, etc. Then, you try and making something better of your next piece. And it goes on, and on. And finally, someday you will compare what you did recently with what you started with. I think this is really revealing, because when you compare your works, you will see what has changed in your work, your ideas, your life, and how you made yourself grow. So just go for it, passion will change your life. Don’t care if it’s good or bad, just do your best, that’s all that counts. Do it because YOU want to.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I would identify between sex indifferent and having a sex-drive. It’s actually pretty difficult because it depends on the day, and the person. For example some days I will switch the TV off if I encounter a sex scene, and some days I will ring a friend and ask her if she wants to have sex. But most of the times, I will be sex indifferent, and I don’t feel bad engaging in sexual intercourse. I don’t care if I don’t get anything during it, because I like the way it makes me feel close to someone, and the heat of a body. I like making people happy, and figured out I could do with sex.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I don’t think I encountered prejudice, or just don’t remember it. When I wrote and published a lot, I didn’t know that asexuality existed, and now I don’t publish anymore, preferring to take my time. But ignorance, certainly did. Most of my friends either co-wrote, or beta-ed some of my stories. I got comments on how maybe I shouldn’t get involved in the romantic things because I “couldn’t understand” (I also identify on the aromantic spectrum), or sexual activity because “I had no idea how it felt like”. It is true, I never had sex with someone I love, or taken particular pleasure from stimulation by another, but hey, I don’t always write things about people who are in love. Furthermore, some of these friends were virgins, and in ANY case, they were all girlfriends, so there was no way that, following these principles, we had any right to write gay male sex scenes, or romance, or just everyday life. That made them think, and also took this opportunity to explain more about asexuality to them.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
In my everyday life, it must be “So you can’t orgasm?” or “You’re sick”. My own grandmother told me that I had to see a doctor when I came out to her and it hurt.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
I’m not officially out for the moment to my family or relatives, but most of my friends know. And they genuinely don’t care. Of course I got a lot of questions that would not have been asked in another context in the beginning, but being an honest and open person I didn’t mind them that much. And answering questions or comparing your experience to other situations can help them understand you better so it’s all good for me.
So if I had any advice to give is, do what you want. You don’t have to out yourself to everyone you know at the second you understand. Take your time, do as you feel. There is no need to feel rushed. Also, if you are not sure of what you are, it’s okay, don’t worry. If you can’t fit under a single label, I don’t care. A friend of mine is struggling to find out what she is; lesbian, pansexual, whatever. She doesn’t know, and she feels guilty for not finding a label to belong to, but I don’t care, I love her as she is because she is a wonderful person. Life is too short to try and define exactly what you are. If you know, that’s great, well done! But if you’re still unsure, don’t worry. The only label that people will remember anyway is “nice person”. So be nice to people.
And also, very important, asexual doesn’t mean you’re condemned to a sad life, because you’ll have no partner (if you’re aro too, but I don’t think soulmate can be used only to describe a romantic partener with whom you want to start a family, like, friends are really cool too and I’d say my soulmate is my best friend rather than some random partner) and sex (because “heeeeey, sex is so great, it’s life” … like no? Don’t let people tell you this, sex is something like everything else, you’ll not be telling someone who doesn’t like green peas what he’s missing, he doesn’t care, and neither should you. And, I think baking cookies is as good as having sex, maybe even better). Don’t let anybody tell you that, it’s not true, I’ve never been happier than when I found out what asexuality meant. Sure, sometimes I feel jealous of people who feel attraction for other people, because I would really have wanted to know what it felt like. Sometimes I tell myself it would be sooo much easier if I were heterosexual, or even just gay. But I’m pretty happy to be what I am, because I can’t change, there’s only one of me, and I’ll just try my best in my everyday life. Find the best in what you can!
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
Hopefully, one day on archive of our own under PsychoFrog. When I finish my fanfic. Because I want to publish in English from now on (it isn’t my native language), so I have to find time to work on new projects!
Thank you, Marine, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.