Interview: Luke

Today we’re joined by Luke. Luke is a phenomenal fanartist who I met at Indy PopCon. A few days later, he sent me an email and I was impressed with wonderfully passionate artist. He’s a cosplayer but he also enjoys writing quite a bit, mostly fanfiction. Luke is an incredibly dedicated, passionate, and excited artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I don’t think of myself much as a writer, but I do write fanfiction (mostly Star Wars) and a lot of backstories for original characters of mine. So, I don’t really consider it “original” writing of my own, but it’s still a fun pastime for me to have. My two main works that I have are (not so surprisingly) Star Wars fanfics on both AO3 and Wattpad because seriously, have you seen the Wattpad app? It’s so nicely organized and easy to use. I also am a cosplayer, but I don’t consider myself to be that good of one. I used to cosplay Hetalia mainly, but I slowly drifted away from anime and found more fun in cosplaying Star Wars and emo stuff. (cough, cough MCR cough, cough)

What inspires you?

One of the main things that inspires me to write and cosplay are my friends. I have so many friends who are amazing at writing and cosplaying, I always look up to them and think “dang I wanna be like that someday”. Other things that inspire me are the cool people I find through the internet and social media, like Tumblr and Instagram. I’ve found some awesome writers and cosplayers online and, although I’ll never have the confidence to actually talk to them, I always look at them and get all teary eyed like “I love you, let me be like you,” you know?

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

When I was younger, I loved to read. Like, I had an entire shelf of books in my room and when I was bored, I would just pick out a book that I’ve read 30 something times before and read it again. I wasn’t into any specific genre, but I always steered away from romance and sci-fi. Which is ironic because that’s basically all I write about now. But after entering high school, I found myself hating reading. I’m not entirely sure why, but it probably had something to do with the fact that I was forced to read books I hated/didn’t want to read. But now, as of finally graduating, I’m trying to get back into reading. And not just fanfiction, I mean actual books. When I was younger, I wanted to be an author. As I’m going through old stuff that I wrote when I was younger (and cringing, I might add) I would think back to how much I loved to read and write. And now that I’m getting back into it, it’s making me much happier. It’s like a coping mechanism for me. And as for the cosplaying, I honestly have no idea when or how that started. It just kind of happened.  I have the memory capacity of a two minute old goose, that’s probably why I don’t remember.

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 I have a specific feature in my writing, other than the fact that’s it mostly consists of dialogue and really strange references to inside jokes I have with my friends. (It’s a whole fiesta) But I do sometimes write fanfics based on really emo songs that I listen to. As for cosplaying, I usually just carry around something funny with me at conventions so people will get a laugh out of it. Like with my General Hux cosplay, I have a stuffed orange tabby cat that I like to hold for pictures. Her name is Millicent. I love her.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I may not have great advice for cosplaying because I’m still an amateur myself, but for my fellow fanfiction writers, I’d say just keep writing, Cliché, yes I know, but it’s true. Out of all the ways to improve your writing, practice is the one of best answers. Look at other people’s writing styles and see what you like about them, and try to incorporate some of their style into your writing. But don’t copy them completely, trust me I’ve done stuff like that before and it’s a bad idea lemme tell you.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and biromantic. I don’t like the sexytimes, but I will, in fact, hold a person’s hand if I like them. I like guys more than girls, but that’s probably because I’ve only had a crush on two people in my entire life, one a boy and the other a girl, and I got to kiss the dude and oh goodness, I could go on for hours about this guy.

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

I haven’t really had to deal with any sort of hate from people about my asexuality. At least, not yet. But it’d be nice to keep it that way, ya know?

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

The only misconception I’ve really gotten was that asexual people don’t like sex. Which is true for me, yes, but I do know some asexuals who enjoy sex. I’ve had to explain to my sister a few times that me being ace means that I don’t look at somebody and say “damn, I wanna bang that”, and that I, instead, think “damn, I don’t feel sexually attracted to that”

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

Man, I’d just say keep searching around on the internet (trusted places of course) and ask any friends who are LGBT+ and might know a thing or two about asexuality. Or a person who is actually asexual, if they’re around at all. It’s hard to go through those kinds of things alone, so try to find someone who understands what you’re going through and is willing to help.

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

I have like two whole places that I post my work, which are, like I said before, AO3 and Wattpad. My AO3 is https://archiveofourown.org/users/sirbuttsalot and my Wattpad is https://www.wattpad.com/user/sir-butts-a-lot I also use Deviantart sometimes, which is https://sir-butts-a-lot.deviantart.com/.

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

Interview: Hill

Today we’re joined by Hill. Hill is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital mediums. She draws mostly people and dabbles in fanart, though she also enjoys drawing original character. She is currently working on a comic called “AVG” and plans to draw more comics in the future. It’s very clear that she’s a dedicated and enthusiastic artist, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

AVG c1p7 fin
“AVG” c1p7 fin

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I mostly draw people! Faces are my favorite part to draw; it’s all about the wacky expressions! I started at a young age (about 3rd grade) using traditional methods. I tried all kinds of mediums like pencil, inks, paint…but my favorite for a long time was inks. I liked them because you could create a stark contrast. I would draw characters from “One Piece” and “Bleach” in inks all the time.

In high school I started the change from traditional to digital art, mostly because my sister was doing it and so it was cool. I had no idea what I was doing, but stuck with it. I currently use Photoshop Elements 12 and a Wacom Intuos Tablet. Doing digital art allows me to make speedpaint videos set to music! I love creating comics and portraits of my own characters. I have one comic that I’m currently working on, called “AVG” and several more planned.

What inspires you?

Music is my greatest inspiration! I can hardly ever draw without something playing. I feel like it adds more emotional strength to any piece I work on. My best friend is a music teacher and she always inspires me when she shares her knowledge.

I’m absolutely inspired by other artists! There’s so many artists I look up to and have learned from, like: Eiichiro Oda, Tite Kubo, Kohske, and Rebecca Sugar. They’ve each influenced my art style in some way. My friends on DeviantArt have inspired me too! They’re always trying new things and it makes me want to be better!

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AVG c3p0

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

My sister is the person who got me interested in art! She was drawing long before I ever wanted to. When we were little, we loved playing with paper dolls and you couldn’t buy Pokémon or Digimon paper dolls, so my sister drew them. I picked up art, because there were so many characters we wanted to add and it would take a while for her to draw them all! I wanted to help out! Next thing you know I was drawing celebrities with giant heads and tiny bodies (they were awful)! It was always just for fun, but I really became invested in art when I started reading “One Piece”. I wanted to learn to draw the characters and I needed to practice for an upcoming art scholarship opportunity. It worked out!

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 is my initials HRH with three lines through it. I wanted to have a cool signature and played around with a bunch of options. I’m not sure when I got to that one, but it stuck!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

What always helps me, especially if I feel art block coming on, is sketching. Sketching has led to some of my favorite pieces. It takes pressure off and can result in some really fun ideas! Always keep trying, because in just a year you can make so much progress!

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Princess Leia (grey)

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Asexual. I don’t know where I am on the romance end yet, that one hasn’t quite clicked like being Ace did. I had originally identified as Demisexual, but when I explored Asexuality, I felt it fit me better.

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

I haven’t encountered much prejudice or ignorance in my field. I’ve really only told those I’m close with or potential significant others. The only time I personally experienced it was when I identified as Demisexual and someone I know said they “never heard of it, so it must be fake”. I wanted to cry, so after that, I mostly kept it to myself. Since I’ve identified as Ace, I’ve only had positive reactions from those I’ve told. I’m happy to be a part of this interview, because it is a positive experience for everyone, especially artists, in the community.

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SU Crystal Gems for V 6 fin

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

“If you haven’t tried sex, how can you know you’re Asexual?” I just know. I don’t experience sexual attraction. I don’t mind talking about sex and I am interested in the possibility, but I don’t feel I need it to happen.

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

It’s okay to wonder about it. You don’t have to figure it out, now or ever. It’s about what suits you and your needs and what makes you feel comfortable. Either way, you’re always welcome in this community! You’re valid and you’re loved! 🙂

I’m very proud to be a part of this community! I’m even crocheting a scarf, though I dropped an abysmal number of stitches haha … I hope that if you find yourself in this community, that you can be proud too!

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

You can find me on DeviantArt: https://drawuntooblivion.deviantart.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/drawendlesstars
YouTube, where I post short animations and speedpaints: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC-RyTP_dlLqlkuF2hBIEAIw
and my comic is on Tumblr: https://avgcomic.tumblr.com/ and my website: (where I also plan to share other comics) https://avgcomic.com/.

We Go Everywhere Together 4
We Go Everywhere Together 4

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