Today we’re joined by Xanthe. Xanthe is an amazing young artist who specializes in visual art and her images are phenomenal. She’s currently in uni where she does a lot of printmaking, but she also does illustration work in traditional mediums and digital paintings. Aside from that, she also dabbles in book binding (which might be a first for Asexual Artists). The amount of detail in the pictures she sent to go with her interview is nothing short of incredible. Xanthe is a dedicated artist who obviously loves her craft. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
At the moment I’d say my art is split between my practice for uni where I’m specialising in printmaking, and at home where it’s a mix of digital painting and traditional illustration. I also dabble in bookbinding.
I have many varied interests, but my style is always fairly realistic no matter what medium I’m using. I’ve always loved drawing animals and supernatural creatures and these tend to make up most of what I create. I also make fan art sometimes.
I’m still trying to find a single direction for my work, it’s all over the place at the moment but I’m hoping to reconcile it this year.
What inspires you?
I get inspired by many things but looking at the works of other artists has always been the greatest help. Seeing the kind of variety that’s out there these days validates my own work for myself, in a way, and helps me to push myself to create more and to try new and interesting things. Other than that I tend to look towards nature, music, science fiction and fantasy, especially concept art for movies and games for inspiration.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
I’ve been drawing for as long as I can remember. Art has been one of the only things I’ve consistently been good at so it seemed natural to want to pursue it.
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?
Other than my initials, not really!
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
If you have a passion for it, never ever give up. There will always be people who will try to discourage you from pursuing the arts because it’s not a ‘real career’, but they’re wrong. There’s so much reward in doing what you love. Don’t give in to self-doubt either, because most of the time the only thing holding you back is yourself. Always keep practising! No one becomes good at anything overnight. It does sometimes take years of dedication, but it is always worth it in the end.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I am a heteromantic, sex-neutral asexual.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
Not personally, no. I haven’t told many people as I consider it a non-issue, but those that do know are very close friends of mine and they have been incredibly accepting. There have been some occasions where I’ve had some intrusive questions asked about myself from people who didn’t understand what it meant to be asexual, but they’ve always only been politely curious instead of prejudiced or anything like that. I think it’s good to encourage people to do their own research, there’s so much information that’s readily available now.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
Mostly just the mindset that everyone must want sex because it’s ‘part of what makes us human’. People seem to be confused when I say I just don’t care for it.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Always remember that you are valid; you are not broken or wrong, you are important, and you are loved. Don’t ever feel pressured to have to justify yourself to other people either; it’s OK to take time to figure things out and it’s OK if the way you feel changes over time. Labels are only there to help you figure out yourself, they certainly aren’t the be-all-end-all of anything.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
The only place I put my art online is my Tumblr, http://many-times-over.tumblr.com/
Thank you, Xanthe, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.