Today we’re joined by Matthew Maione. Matthew is a phenomenal visual artist who also writes and creates fanart. He enjoys drawing faces and also does quite a lot of fanart. When he’s not creating visual art, Matthew enjoys writing and writes both fanfiction and original work. He’s particularly fond of historical fiction and crime suspense. It’s clear he’s an incredibly dedicated artist who loves to create as you’ll soon read. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.
Please, tell us about your art.
I am a virtual artist and creative writer. I enjoy drawing faces and fanart. I like playing with colour and texture a lot. I write almost entirely fanfiction and fiction. Historical fiction and Crime Suspense novels are some of my favourite to write.
What inspires you?
Music is a huge inspiration in my life, it can get me in certain moods that are perfect for writing. My fiancé often inspires me with the little things she does, dances around the house that make me want to write romance. Nature gives me a breath of life, revitalizes me and makes me want to draw.
What got you interested in your field? Have you always wanted to be an artist?
It was actually my older sister, she is a cosplay and traditional artist. She is 5 years older than me and I, being a younger sibling, was jealous and decided I needed to be better than her. Now I do it because I love it, of course.
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 used to but since I lost most of my sight I’ve just been trying to re-explore what my art is. Playing with styles and shading to recreate it so I can still actually create, I used to sign my older works.
What advice would you give young aspiring artists?
Don’t give up! Make your weaknesses your strengths! There is no reason why you can’t pursue art if it’s what you love. Always do what makes you happiest, not what others want you to do.
Where on the spectrum do you identify?
I identify as Grey-ace. I don’t really experience sexual attraction, but if I have a strong romantic connection with someone I am able to connect with them in that way as well. But it’s more of a, I do it because I love them and want to make them happy. Not to say that is the only way to do so, there are many ways to connect with your partners and sex is never a mandatory part of a relationship, but it can enhance your romantic connection. Simply put, while I don’t experience sexual attraction, for me, being intimate occasionally makes me feel emotionally closer.
Have you encountered any kind of ace prejudice or ignorance in your field? If so, how do you handle it?
I haven’t really in my field. It’s not something that just casually comes up in conversation but those I have told have all been very understanding. A few people I told were even comfortable enough with me after the fact that they were able to come out to me as well. In my daily life a few people have said that it’s because I hadn’t met the right person, or claimed they could fix me, very common things to run into. I mostly just ignore this and do my best to stay safe.
What’s the most common misconception about asexuality that you’ve encountered?
That I’ll never be able to have a permanent partner or that it’s a phase. I have a fiancé who has no problems with it, we have been together for two years. She is always very understanding if I’m having a repulsed day, because there are good and bad days. Some days I’m totally okay with the idea of sex and others I can’t stand to watch movies with implied scenes in them. But if you’re worried about finding someone who will love you, of course you will. There’s somebody for everyone.
What advice would you give to any asexual individuals out there who might be struggling with their orientation?
Being asexual, while it is a way to identify, does not define you. If the thought of it is new or uncomfortable, it’s just another part of wat makes you, you. It’s not something to be ashamed of or hide, there are so many people out there who will accept you for exactly who you are.
Finally, where can people find out more about your work?
My Tumblr is Naoki-arts, I have AO3, Ammarettu. I’m currently working on getting my first novel published so any news on that will be found there as well!
Thank you, Matthew, for participating in this interview and this project. It’s very much appreciated.