Interview: DarkNerd

Today we’re joined by DarkNerd. DarkNerd is an awesome visual artist who works mostly in clay sculpture. Recently he has begun to dabble in sprite art and has done work in traditional media. DarkNerd is also an enthusiastic fanartist. His work has a very unique style and it’s very clear he has a great eye for detail. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

AC Gala Friga
AC Gala Friga

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I currently mostly do custom figures with Super Sculpey right now, along with sprites. I’ve been working with clay for around 3 years by now and spriting for around 8 years on and off. I also do traditional drawing and have very recently set my foot in the digital art realm. I mostly just throw stuff around and if something’s working, I stick to it for as long I feel good doing so. I have a really hard time coming up with original ideas I don’t plan on expanding into copyright stuff at some point, so most of the work I do post tends to be fanart, if not all. I have tried painting but I am not exactly the best at that. Though my working on figures is helping that a lot. While I don’t plan on getting a career in art, I do plan on making at least one toy that ends up in a physical store.

Fuchsia Amiibo
Fuchsia Amiibo

What inspires you?

Horrible/brilliant concepts tend to give me the most inspiration, along with a few games from my childhood and current life. This is pretty much a broader way of saying most of my art is inspired by the Gingerdead Man, Hamtaro, Animal Crossing, and Pokémon. I do look at a lot of artists, but most of them don’t have direct influence on my art style, the only ones I can really think of are a few of my old friends from a Pokémon forum I still hang out on. I did of course have an anime/manga phase, mostly inspired by Pokémon though. In terms of figures, Kaizahr from YouTube is my biggest inspiration, though Giovy’s Hobby, Cristhian Crafts, Nerdy Crafter, AkameruKawaii and a lot more channels, probably too many to list off.

Ham Collection vert
Ham Collection

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

The first figure I can remember doing is a Squirtle I made using Model Magic with Kaizahr’s tutorial. It started off as just me trying something new and kinda liking it. I then realized most of my fandoms didn’t really have accessible merch in the form of figures. So I figured, hey, if no one’s doing anything with this, I might as well. I always wanted to be an artist, but not as my primary career. Way too many people told me how bad of an idea that would be so I eventually developed a different goal for my job. Still doing art though and don’t plan on stopping.

GDC Fig
GDC Fig

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?

Nope. I have experimented with that a lot, though. I even had a logo for quite a few years. I stuck with that for a while, up until late high school, where I figured it wasn’t really that good. I did recently experiment with it again, using the head of my ACHHD character. I did not like it. Might bring it back soon, once I fix it up.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever you do, keep doing it. Drawing? Keep drawing, even if it is tracing, redrawing, using how-to-draw books about specific characters, just draw. Sculpting? Sculpt, whatever you feel like, abstract shapes, YouTube tutorials, etc. Paint? Keep painting, landscapes, figures, 3D figures, etc. Paint. Don’t enjoy doing something even after giving it a try for several months? Try something. Write a bunch of art forms on pieces of paper, put them in a box, shake it, and pull something out. Do that. Like literally, do that. I did. A box with pieces of paper, the perfect decision maker!

Howdys and Papyxter Pacifist
Howdys and Papyxter Pacifist

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

On the ace spectrum, definitely sex repulsed. Not even a fan of the internet’s primary resource. No, I am indeed a sex repulsed ace, never putting that auxiliary organ to use. That said, I have the mouth of a sailor and the mind of a miner. Which is to say my thoughts and words are very dirty and inappropriate. As for my romantic orientation, I’m not sure. Never been in a relationship and currently too busy to get into one right now. I have thought about it, but I have no idea how I’d actually feel in one. For now though, I’m Aro-Ace.

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

I haven’t really spoken to many people outside of friends about my asexuality, but on my campus I did at one bring it up because I was asked and got the typically, “People can’t be ace, you just need to try it!” response. I have never mentioned it ever again. I do however deal with a lot of people who just assume every single human being is anything but asexual.

Jax-O-Bomber S 1
Jax-O-Bomber

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

That we don’t exist. In truth, we do. I personally hang out with Elvis who is still totally alive. I’m also on a first name basis with Gregg, otherwise known as the Sasquatch. But seriously, those are myths people. Asexual people are not myths. We’re people. There are people who see people and do not think about sex. Sex is not the great motivator. People need to stop acting like it is.

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

If you can, ignore it. But I know there’s a lot of people who simply can’t and that’s okay. If you can, try to avoid those people who question who you are. If you can’t do either, you’re not alone. It’s okay. There’s plenty of us, feel free to talk to any of us. I will personally do all I can to help anyone who asks for my help. It doesn’t matter how small or how big whatever it is you need help with is. Sometimes a simple gesture of someone offering help is all you need. Sometimes what you need is someone to help you with the thing. I, and many others, will gladly help you. Even if it’s not directly, even if it’s just moral support, even if it’s just someone to help you deal with not accomplishing something, people can and will help you.

RooneyxChaz
Rooney x Chaz

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

You can check up my art blog, Captain-Waynes-Ship or my main blog, DarkNerd-Crossing. If you have any questions, I’m pretty open about my art, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask me. I will answer it as best as I can.

Zangrief Finished solo
Zangrief

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

Interview: Gremory

Today we’re joined by Gremory. Gremory is a phenomenal visual artist from Scotland who brings their ace pride with them wherever they go. An incredibly creative individual, most of Gremory’s work is original characters though they do occasionally dabble in fanart. Some of their pieces are rather dark, but they definitely have their own style, which is quite interesting. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a lot of writing so my art is practically all original characters though I do fanart from time to time. I used to be traditional mediums only, using ink pens, alcohol markers, white inks, etc but now my work is almost exclusively digital. I use an Ugee 1910B drawing tablet (19 inches) and recently my work has all been done using Krita. Recently I’ve been exhibiting and selling at artist alleys, notably Glasgow’s Rai Con which I’ll be returning to in October. My table banner uses the ace flag and I use my little catboy Ahceria (Ace-ehrea) as my mascot!

What inspires you?

Two things: people and the paranormal. My work is either perfectly normal people living perfectly normal lives or it’s demons, vampires and faeries. There’s no middle ground with me. Recently I’ve been doing a lot of reading on Black Eyed Kids, demonolatry, UFOs and the Missing 411 series and I’ve been combining elements from all for a new novel.

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

As far as I can remember, I’ve always been drawing characters. I was inspired by shows like Sailor Moon, Monster Rancher, Dragonball Z, etc when I was a kid – I’d come home from school and sit in front of the TV like a little zombie, devouring the shows. As I grew up, I never got away from the whole “character creation” thing. All of my problems would be projected onto new and interesting people that were born in my mind – I use art as a therapist. Recently however, I’ve realised that as an exhibiting artist doing the rounds at conventions, I have a voice and I can use it to promote LGBTQA awareness and issues. I’ve also become very vocal about my pro-Scottish independence, anti-war and anti-racist stances. My moral and politics issues are often translated more into my writing than my art though – I’d say my art is my LGBTQA space and my writing is my human issues space.

A really life-affirming moment for me was at Rai Con in Glasgow, March 2016. A young girl, maybe 13 or 14 approached my table with her mum and they began flicking through my portfolio. When they reached my “I AM NOT INVISIBLE” ace pride print, the mum nudged her daughter and said “honey, isn’t this what you are? Asexual? And you’re not invisible either!” That touched me so much, to see someone taking an asexual youngster seriously instead of the usual “it’s just a phase” or “you’ll find someone” stuff that we so often hear. That was the moment that I realised I had a platform to help other aces feel comfortable and raise awareness. I’m planning a series of characters for each pride flag with the hopes that the series will open conversations at conventions and I can discuss these people and issues with my fans.

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?

Recently my theme has been either dropping hints to my characters’ sexualities or occult symbolism. I guess you could say my excessive use of blood is a theme, haha. Not all of my work is dark but I feel much more comfortable when I’m working with my vampires or demon characters.

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What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t ever question yourself. Do you create? Yes? Then you’re an artist. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that you’re not good enough or that your style isn’t art. As soon as you breathe life into a new thing, whether it’s a character or a photograph, a song or a painting, you’re an artist. You’re a creator. You have a voice and you matter.

ace4web

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m a panromantic asexual.

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

Not as an artist or on my social media presence but in my personal life, quite a lot, actually. It’s mostly been in my work place. I work in a department store as an arts and crafts assistant. I actually had a conversation take place about who in the workplace we’d sleep with – when I was asked, someone interjected with “Don’t bother asking her – this is adult talk”, implying that I’m not developed or mature enough to understand the topic. I laughed but inside, I was deeply offended by the implication. I’ve been called broken, told by a couple of people online on my personal Facebook that they would “fix me” and I always get called out for being in a relationship, because apparently love is something reserved only for non-aces. I handle it by ignoring it. I know that sounds counter-productive to my promotion of asexual awareness but some people just don’t want to be educated and you can’t get through to them. I promote, I don’t preach. To those people I say, I don’t need your acceptance.

Dean Adams (905x1280)
Dean Adams

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

That asexual means unhappy. That you can’t be happy without sex. That you’re not allowed romantic (or sexual) relationships because you label yourself ace. Here’s the thing – aces CAN and do have sex. Not all, but some of us, and no one has any right to judge them for it. It’s just not something we’re interested in. We’d rather have cake (or pizza for me, please!)

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

Be honest with yourself and those you’re closest to and trust. My current relationship (which is also the most positive, honest one I’ve had) is the only one where I’ve been open about my asexuality and I’ve been able to have discussions and we’ve both compromised. You’re not broken. You don’t need to be fixed. Trust me, you’re not alone. Even if you can’t talk to your friends or family, you can talk to me and other aces. My inbox is always open for anyone who wants to talk or needs reassurance.

pluto (905x1280)
Pluto

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

I’m active on my Facebook page (www.facebook.com/gremdawg) and I’m always open to banter and chat and making friends. I also have a DeviantArt, Pixiv, Twitter and Patreon. You can buy prints of my work on Etsy and Merchandace.

https://www.patreon.com/user?u=3026710&ty=h
https://twitter.com/gremmu_art
https://www.etsy.com/uk/shop/Gremmu
http://merchandace.com/item/i-am-not-invisible-art-print/
http://gremdawg.deviantart.com/
http://www.pixiv.net/member.php?id=17554546

Saffy (905x1280)
Saffy

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

Interview: Iulia

Today we’re joined by Iulia. Iulia is a phenomenal visual artist who does both drawing and painting. Her work shows a touch of surrealism and it draws the viewer in. As I was going through the images for the interview, I was struck by the really intriguing dream-like quality found in many of them. Iulia has an incredible grasp of colors and lines, which you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

All of my art is traditional art consisting of drawings, paintings or a mix of the two. I like drawing people the most (and by that I mean females haha), either normal looking or magical creatures. I have also started drawing backgrounds more, now I can’t even imagine drawing something without one. I can’t say that I necessarily have a style set in stone though considering my drawings don’t really have a pattern.

2

What inspires you?

Mainly music (like any other artist I guess), but there are also things from my everyday life that I take, add a magical twist, and then transform into drawings. I also like traveling by car, in the backseat, just me, alone, with my thoughts. I had so many ideas just from that.

3

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

When I was a kid, I didn’t really like drawing or crafting I wasn’t what you’d call a creative child not even close since I was into math and science. But I met a person whose drawings really inspired me to create. I remember that when I was in middle school, I wanted to be a fashion designer, I think it was my biggest dream. Now I don’t want that anymore, I don’t know what I want to become (maybe a comic book artist) but what I know is that I want to create.

4

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?

No not really, though I draw a lot of daisies (since they’re so easy to draw) and they appear in many of my drawings.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Well besides the obvious advice “practice a lot”, they should try to make as much original art as possible and believe in their ideas. Don’t be afraid to explore your creative minds (◡‿◡✿)

(I don’t know if I should give advice though since I’m just an amateur)

5

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Just a normal asexual. (I might be aromantic too I’m not sure yet)

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

Not really because I don’t usually talk to people about this, because I don’t have a reason to. I only talk about my orientation with people I believe will understand me.

6

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

The well-known “you don’t know until you’ve tried”. Or most of the time people just don’t believe you and call you an attention seeker.

7

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

It might help you to join the community that’s already building up on Tumblr and other social media just so you won’t feel like you’re alone. Let us spread our pure unsexualised love.

(。・ω・。)ノ♡

8

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

This is my personal blog: http://becreativeblog.tumblr.com/

And this is my recently made art blog: http://daisies-salad.tumblr.com/

9

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

Interview: Jessica

Today we’re joined by Jessica (who is better known as Master-Assassin-Den online). Jessica is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. She is also a 3D animation student and has the most wonderful enthusiasm for animation, which shows in her interview. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

asks 2
Asks 2

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I do a lot of digital artwork and also do animations. The artwork I post on my Tumblr and DeviantArt are mostly personal work and are usually original character based work. They’re a variety of sketches, ranging from rough to refined, but I also do fully illustrated work, some of them I even animate or add special effects to when I have the time.

Being a 3D animation student, I also do 3D visual effects and animation. A little bit of 2D at times, I just don’t feel they are of posting quality to any of my blogs at this moment.

gwen
Gwen

What inspires you?

Boy, a variety of things. Mostly fantasy based stories, mythology, ancient cultures, fashion, video games of ranging genres as well, their concept art is incredibly inspiring. Artists such as Edgar Degas, Alphonse Mucha, JC Leyendecker.

My own original characters also inspire me as I do create their own worlds, their stories, their friendships and relations. Making their world into something believable is my main goal when creating them.

That’s a whole lot of stuff, but really I think the most important inspirations are my friends and their incredibly creative characters which they have so happily let me draw sometimes, and interact with my own characters. My imagination and creativity would be nothing but shambles and ruin without them.

laiton
Laiton

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

I’ve been drawing since I was a little kid, drawing cartoons that were on TV and endlessly trying to perfect them. I drew so much that my teachers would confiscate my crayons from my desk. I always drew because I thought it was fun and silly, so I never really took it seriously until 9th grade and got my first graphics tablet, a dinky little (CTE-450) bamboo fun tablet, where I discovered the world of digital art. I also got into animation the following year when I found out my high school had an animation class, which I kept learning on my own after class, my teacher even let me teach a few times because I actually knew more about the program then she did after only half a semester.

Vladimir
Vladimir

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?

No, I don’t think I do have any of those. I just have my own way of doing things I guess and if there are then I usually don’t notice things until someone points it out.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t be afraid to make mistakes, draw what you love, and don’t let the number of notes or the quantity of followers get you down. They do not make the artist. What does is the fact that you go and create what you love and keep on doing it because you love doing it, that makes you an artist.

And the most important advice is practice, practice, PRACTICE! Even if it’s just a doodle a day, it still adds on to your drawing mileage.

Redgie
Redgie

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aromantic, Friendships are the best relationships for me.

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

No, not really. I do have one commissioner/now friend who was curious and honestly didn’t know there could be people like that and he was incredibly and understanding when I educated him on the subject.

Muertos
Muertos

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

I think that would be that we are just confused, innocent, or “do you think there could be something wrong with you?” and “You’ll change your mind when you meet the right boy/girl” “that’s sad that you can’t feel LOVE”. My favorite is when they think because you are asexual or that you aren’t sexually aroused by people or things in movies or comics etc. That you can’t enjoy them, hun I can like a nice pair of shoes without wanting to put them on.

It’s hurtful sometimes, but you can’t educate someone who’s not willing to understand or listen.

Selfie_Foggy
Selfie Foggy

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

Don’t listen to anyone who talks you down about it. You are not broken, there is nothing wrong with you. It’s OK not to feel romantic or have any sexual feelings for someone. You are normal and you are fine just the way you are.

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

You can find my artwork on my Personal blog at: http://master-assassin-den.tumblr.com/tagged/mydrawings

And my two art blogs featuring mostly Original character art: http://itsavampiremasquerade.tumblr.com/

http://demondomain.tumblr.com/

cave
Cave

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

Interview: Rose

Today we’re joined by Rose. Rose is a young visual artist who does a lot of graphic design and fanart. She is also rather passionate about animation and hopes to do more with it in the future. As you’ll see in her interview, she has a wonderful eye for detail. 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 draw my own personal pieces in Graphics Designs, I draw Fanart, I plan to draw Commissions some time in the future, but out of all of this I prefer to animate anytime I can on a computer, because that’s my passion. Sadly, I don’t have much time to access animating programs, so for now that’s on the side until college.

What inspires you?

I love to draw, I’ve always loved to draw since 1st grade. I’m often found with a pencil in my hand and face focusing on my many sketchbooks. I love seeing my finished projects and having people ask questions about them. I strive to better my art the best I can without completely abandoning my own styles of drawing.

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

Around the end of elementary school (4th-5th grade) is I started to get really passionate around animation and arts in general. I loved watching new animated T.V. shows and watching people draw, paint, and colour. I started thinking, “Hey, if they can do it, why don’t I try?” And I’ve been drawing ever since then. Animation as a major in college after High School has been my main focus since 9th Grade.

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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 like to sign my preferred name of ‘Rose’ in my art in cursive sometimes so nobody steals it.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t let people tell you it’s not promising as a career or discourage you from drawing. Be who you want to be as an artist and ignore the hateful things some might say about your art… but be sure to know Constructive Criticism from Sly Hate. Otherwise you’ll never know how to improve your skills or, worse, might try to fit an artwork to every hater’s opinions. But most of all, be happy with every piece of art work you have and keep it for your future self to compare with your future artwork and see how well you’ve improved.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as Homo-Demisexual specifically.

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

Often people try to say ‘so you’re a plant???’ but I that—at least where I live— it’s just a lack of education on what it can mean besides a scientific term for plant reproduction.

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

I found it very difficult to narrow it down to one thing, but I did manage to get it down to two. I hope you don’t mind.

1.) I’ve heard some people say people on the Asexual Spectrum don’t exist and it’s just a lack of sex drive or that they just haven’t met the right person.

2.) However, I’ve also seen lots of people saying that because a person is on the Asexual Spectrum, they can’t have ever had or have sex or be in love at all. This one irks me the most

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

Come out when you feel it is right, not because people are pressuring you or asking you about it. Your safety and comfort on the topic are more important than getting it out there in the world. And don’t worry if you feel your orientation changes over time: that’s okay and it happens. Nobody should hate you for it or change you for it (though sometimes people haven’t gotten that memo). And lastly, be happy with who you are in the Spectrum.

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

For right now, people can find out more about my work at stupidpersonbabe.tumblr.com and searching the hashtags “my art“ or “my artwork“ (more recent tag) on my blog. Some of it might not be tagged though, which I’ll fix (hopefully) when my computer gets back fixed.

However, sometime between this summer (2016) and when I plan to go to college (Fall 2017) I plan to move posting my art and reposting old art to a new blog to clear up all the clutter on my dash and personal blog when I post art.

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

Interview: Rachel

Today we’re joined by Rachel (who goes by badasszombiespinster on Tumblr). Rachel is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in conceptual art. She has a variety of interests including character and creature design. Much of her work is fantasy and scifi based and she has also done some 3D sculpting. Rachel also happens to be a fellow badass feminist (yay!). Her work is absolutely amazing, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Black Shuck (finished) copy
Black Shuck

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a visual artist, who works mostly in conceptual art! I design characters, creatures and environments (though mostly the two former), in the hopes that I will be able to study Games Art and Design at degree level! I also do my own pieces now and then, including little doodles, that are either fantasy, sci-fi, or animal based (one of my favourite doodles, a cat called Inky, is actually my blog icon). I’ve also done a small amount of 3D work in the programme MudBox.

What inspires you?

My art is influenced and inspired by lots of things, but when it comes to the creatures I design, it boils down primarily to nature. Nature creates some of the freakiest things and some of the most beautiful things you can ever encounter. Nothing I can create will ever match the sheer mass and unique qualities of animals already alive and walking around, but I can draw inspiration from them for my own work. When it comes to characters, well, my and other people’s stances on subjects such as sexism, racism, transphobia, homophobia, etc. has a definite influence on what characters I create. As my political and moral stances have changed over the years my characters have become more diverse, and furthermore more interesting! I want my characters to be engaging, and to break the mold – not to be the same old white, straight, cisgender and primarily male characters you see everywhere in fantasy and sci-fi art.

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

No, actually, I haven’t always wanted to be an artist. When I was younger, I was determined to be a marine biologist and even pursued scuba diving in this desire, becoming a certified Open Water diver when I was thirteen. Then I realized that open water (no reefs or ocean floor beneath) terrified me; that and I barely passed science. I decided then I was more of a creative, and went for creative writing, no hard-focused on becoming a fantastic author. Then after my first year of A Levels I discovered I hated English Literature (which was necessary to do Creative Writing – something which still bamboozles me a bit), and I actually loved Media Studies, where I was learning all about the male gaze, representation and racism in movies, games and magazines. I was also studying Art and Design at the time because, while I wasn’t considering it for a career choice for a long time, I still enjoyed it and wanted to do more (though the A Level Art and Design course was a bit too academic for me, I still managed to pass!). It was through the two of them, and with the support of my Media Studies teacher, that I first learnt of Games Art and Design, though I didn’t consider it seriously until this year, when I started my Foundation Art and Design course.

Now, I’m surprised I hadn’t learnt of it sooner!

Deer
Deer

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?

Unfortunately no! The most I stick on my work is my signature which looks like a weird scribble.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Whatever you do, don’t believe the claptrap that there is no work in Art. This is what I believed for donkeys years and it was actually what made me put off looking into the creative industry for so long! Everyone I knew told me there were no jobs in Art, that people who went on to study it left with no jobs and starved on the street. It wasn’t until I started looking into University with my Art and Media tutors that I realized there was much more diversity of subjects in art that I believed, and all of them could be a possible job, and it was mind-blowing! There is an incredible range of jobs out there for artists – illustrators, graphic designers, costume designers, concept artists, architects, 3D modelers, jewellers; art is such an intrinsic and important part of our culture! It takes up a place in everything from the advertisements on the billboards, to the houses on every street – all of them had an artist at some point behind them, so don’t believe these people who say there’s no jobs there for you! If you’ve got the passion and love for your art, you can find a way to go!

Gold-Crested Tropics Dragon
Gold-Crested Tropics Dragon

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Asexual biromantic! I’m not yet certain how I feel about sexual stuff, but for the moment I stand as sex-responsive.

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

Generally just the ignorance it exists, but I have encountered a few people who have flat out told me it was a made-up sexuality. I’ve only ever had men say it straight to my face though, and I’d say that was definitely coupled with misogyny. Unfortunately my field of art does generally have a higher ratio of men, particularly white, cisgender, straight men who are usually the ones making the decisions. Thankfully, the numbers of people of other genders and sexualities are starting to increase in the sector and I hope it makes a difference!

As to how I handle it? Social anxiety keeps me from ever really having an argument with them, but I do like sticking asexuality jokes all over their monitors and talking over them whenever a conversation comes up about sexism and homophobia in the media – usually a “screw you I studied this for two damn years” sort of attitude.

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

There are quite a few misconceptions that I’ve bumped into about asexuality. For a start, a lot of people seem to assume that the term only comes from the “Tumblrs” and is a way to identify ourselves as “special snowflakes” which is demeaning, patronizing and completely wrong. People outside of the ace community also seem to be completely unaware that asexuality is, like all sexualities, a spectrum with a lot of variety, including a variety of romantic attractions (which they seem incapable to separate from sexual attraction; the assumption is usually that all asexuals are automatically aromantic as well) That or the forever unfunny “so you’re a plant” response.

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

It sounds weird, but the Internet is a wonderful tool. Its how I recognized my own asexuality and gave it a name – and no longer felt like I was weird – and gave me access to a much wider community who are more accepting of asexuality. I’m utterly thankful for it. And, if you’re concerned that maybe you’re not ace enough, there are lots of blogs on Tumblr that are super helpful about asexuality and romantic attraction that might be able to help you figure things out (and believe me when I say, you’re ace enough).

About coming out, I can’t say. I have personally never come out to my family, though I do plan to this year (wish me luck!), but I have come out to my friends. If you’re concerned that maybe they won’t understand you, or be nice to you, or even like you anymore, try to prompt some discussion on it first, get their point of view. If they don’t seem accepting, don’t come out to them. Your safety and happiness is top priority, and if people aren’t willing to be kind or accommodating of that, then they don’t need to know. Take care of yourself loves ❤

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

I currently don’t have one set art blog, but I will be setting one up soon! I do have a more casual Tumblr blog, at badasszombiespinster.tumblr.com, and I will occasionally post my doodles and artwork there.

Tundra Dragon
Tundra Dragon

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

Interview: Sini

Today we’re joined by Sini. Sini is an amazing, versatile artist who dabbles in a number of different mediums. She enjoys watercolors and paints beautiful scenery. Sini also really enjoys doing various crafts and specializes in three-dimensional ones, as you’ll see. She’s a very passionate artist who enjoys what she does. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

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WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art has a lot of variability, I really like to try different things. Watercolors are still the medium I use most and I love painting sceneries and backgrounds. Lately I have been practicing digital art with my first drawing tablet.

I like to do both original art and fan art of various fandoms.

I also really like to do three dimensional crafts, mostly with polymer or silk, clay and needle felting.

What inspires you?

Many things inspire me but I get a lot of inspiration from nature. Other inspiring things are books, videogames, TV-series, animation, other people’s art, photography etc.

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Paltamossa

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

I have always drawn and liked to create things. I suppose that a lot of children like to draw but only some continue doing it, especially after school ends. I don’t have any kind of artistic degree, I’m just a hobbyist but sometimes I wonder if it would be nice to have a job that has something to do with art.

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?

Hmm, I don’t know. I often like to think a short story behind every original picture I do, even if I only use that character once.

I signature my work just using first letters of my first and last name.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice! No matter what you do, practice is important. If you do visual art it is good to know how to draw correct anatomy even if you don’t draw figures. (I know that I should do it more)

Also, draw what you like, do what you enjoy doing.

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Sauna

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Right now, heteroromantic grey asexual or something similar.

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

Not really but I have really spoken about it with couple of people. I have never cared very much what my sexuality is. Later I started to think that I might be some kind of asexual because I never cared about it. That is why I don’t even care to speak about it, it simply doesn’t matter much to me. My mother said that she would be a bit disappointed if I never found anybody.

yveltal
Yveltal

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

You haven’t found the right one yet is common. My favorite is that one of my teachers from school told us that everybody has sexuality, they might be hetero- or homosexual but everybody is sexual. It was years ago now, but I didn’t like it back then either. I think that teachers who teach health education should know more.

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

We are what we are. Any kind of orientation isn’t unnatural. Most of it can happen in other animals than humans too.

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Wasteland

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

My DeviantArt page has more of crafts and older works. http://halwen.deviantart.com/

Tumblr blog has more fanart and quicker drawings. http://kivihattu.tumblr.com/

silkclaylohis
Silk Clay Lohis

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

Interview: Bxndit

Today we’re joined by Bxndit. Bxndit is a phenomenal artist who is incredibly active online. She contacted me after a number of her followers directed her to this site and I’m grateful they did, because her work is awesome. She is currently working on a webcomic and her work is very character focused. There’s a wonderful lightheartedness to her drawings, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Warning: the last picture with some blood in it.

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Angel 2

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art is mainly based around a set of characters that I’ve created to be featured into a web comic that is currently in the works. Up until recently, I kinda moved between different styles before settling on a very cartoony-style. My art consists mainly of these characters that I’ve been working on, and their developments. I’ll sometimes dip into fanart from time to time, of whatever I’m into at the moment, and I’ll do quite a lot of art for other artists, whether it’s in trades or commissions or even just gift art. I’ve started to create silly little comics that are very rough and sketchy, mainly for humour purposes. I’ll usually use these to convey a zany persona for myself, and they’ll usually feature me with another friend. All in all my art isn’t super serious and it’s meant to be quite light hearted and follow my sense of humour, which is pretty zany and goofy. Some of it will be serious, but man that is pretty rare.

What inspires you?

SO MUCH! Especially the art style from any of the Gorillaz’ music videos, I adore that style and have tried to incorporate it. A lot of shows that I watched as a kid inspired me a lot, I was super into Disney, which lead to my art having a very limited sense of realism to it, I’ve always tried to show the same kind of flow and emotion that Disney character art show in my own work. One of the biggest inspirations to my art and the characters I work with especially was a lot of the anime-ish styles from shows that I was into, especially Fullmetal Alchemist and Teen Titans. These shows in particular are still a driving force in my desire to create very in-depth and relatable characters. As I think about this I keep pulling more things that inspire me, even things with really nice atmospheres and aesthetics like Rapture from the Bioshock series and the Wastelands from the Fallout series. More importantly I take a lot of inspiration from the artists that I speak with and the encouragement I get from the people around me. I have quite a few friends that really push to get me to be the best that I can, which is awesome. Both my parents help quite a bit too. Just seeing that genuine love and interest in what I’m doing really gives me this rush of motivation to keep going and to get better, even if I’m not feeling great about my art.

For any of my dumb-humour comics that I’ve done, they’re usually based on something that has happened, and all I’m doing is recreating it.

angel
Angel

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

I’ve always been encouraged to draw, from the moment I was able to hold a crayon I’ve been encouraged to create. Back home my Mum has every drawing I’ve ever done tucked away in ring binders and boxes, and we used to hang up a lot of my drawings from when I was very young. My grandparents did the same thing. I remember specifically one day I was in a group project at school when I was maybe 6 or 7 years old and we were drawing animals out of picture books to create puppets for the story we were putting on for the class, and my best friend turned to me and said something along the lines of “Wow! That is really good you should draw them all” and at that point I started thinking about whether I was good at drawing. I mean, speaking as someone who is training to go into teaching, kids adore those kind of compliments, and I totally rode on that compliment and it drove me to get better and better, it was even better that I found that I really enjoyed drawing. I was encouraged to doodle on my jotters a lot going through Primary School, since it really helped my focus. So it’s really all been down to encouragement from others and then actually realizing that I liked drawing. Creating my own stories and characters just seemed to fit in naturally with that, especially since I’ve never been good at actually writing stories down, it fit in nicely with my want to draw. I did get made fun of it for a while in school from kids outside of my social circle, but my love for it has been too great to actually let it get to me.

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 art styles have been changing quite rapidly since I started drawing seriously after school, so there isn’t anything consistent other than my watermark, which I’ll fit in somewhere in each drawing. It depends on the characters I’m drawing, some of them have specific symbols relating to them that I’ll fit in. For example, my character Bandit has the alchemical symbol for Earth on him in a few places (He’s similar to an earth-bender from The Last Avatar series)

bandit
Bandit

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Practice! I’ll always preach that drawing and art is a skill, not a talent. Like any other skill, you’ll have to practice it to get better. No-one is born drawing flawless art, in the same way that no-one is born being able to swim perfectly. Don’t be too harsh on yourself, either. Comparing yourself to a ‘better’ more experienced artist is one of the most disheartening things to do. It’s happened to me a few times where younger, new artists have compared their work to mine and felt like they’ll never get to the level they’ve put me at. I’ve been drawing since I was able to pick up a drawing utensil and I’m 21 now, which is such a long time to be drawing, you’re just starting out. It’s your art, not anyone else’s so don’t compare it (the only comparison you should make is when you look back on your old art, and honestly when you look back and see the difference it’s the best feeling.)

Don’t feel invalidated because you don’t produce the kind of art that gets attention, a lot of artists, including myself, feel like they’ll never be ‘popular’ unless they draw fanart. If you want to draw fanart go for it! But if you wanna draw some of your own characters don’t let that stop you, draw for yourself, the attention from others will come later. Personally it is a much more satisfying way to treat art. Don’t think you’re creative? Quick! Think of two things and mix them together, what do you get?

Finally, speak with other artists! I know that starting out can be really daunting with artists that appear to already have their own groups of friends that they work with, but you’ll be surprised how many of us want to talk with others and work with as many artists as possible. Personally, I’ve set up quite a few groups that artists are welcome to join and just hang out and get to talk to other artists. Just speaking with and getting advice from other artists is great! There are a lot of ‘popular’ artists that love helping out aspiring artists, we all started out in the same place, it’s good to help others.

isa believe
Isa Believe

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

Aromantic Asexual. For a very long time I wasn’t really sure where I would fit in, and there was a period of time that I was convinced that there was something wrong because I just wasn’t interested in relationships or sex. Even after trying being in relationships it still got nothing out of me. It wasn’t until I was doing research on inclusion for a teaching module at university and I had come across the treatment of LGBT+ kids in secondary schools in Scotland, and after a little further I realized that, hey, other people are like this, I’m not crazy!

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

Personally, no. I have seen it around the internet, but it’s never actually happened to me. Whether that is down to the fact that I am very sparing with sharing my personal life online or if I have surrounded myself with the correct people, I don’t know. Though in the rare times I have spoken about asexuality I’ve been informed that it’s not real, though I find myself ignoring those kind of comments, the only person that actually gets to have a say is me.

murkIPLERGH
murkIPLERGH

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

That it doesn’t exist? I dunno, so far it’s been the only way that I’ve been able to explain to myself about where I sit in the spectrum.

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

There is nothing telling you that you must find what you identify as at this very moment, and don’t stress out that you haven’t found yourself yet. One day everything is going to fall into place and it’ll all work out, you’re just working up until that day at the moment. Regardless of what happens and where you place in the spectrum I believe in you.

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

I consistently post on my Instagram and I’m the most active on there.
I am working on getting all my work over to my Tumblr and eventually set up my own site, but for the moment it is mainly Instagram that I operate on.

oz
Oz

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

Interview: Cierra

Today we’re joined by Cierra. Cierra is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in digital art. She’s also a wonderful Pokemon fanartist and she dabbles in animation. Cierra is a versatile artist who obviously loves what she does. Her work shows an incredible eye for detail, as you’ll soon 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 mainly focus on digital art, since it’s easy for me to use and easier for me to share with others. My art is mostly expressing my love of character design and interest in creating diverse characters. To me, my art is a way for me to focus all of my scrambled thoughts into a single flowing idea, and I love nothing else more than to express my ideas in a visual manner! I also love to create art meant to appeal to people with the same interests as myself.

What inspires you?

I’m inspired by people. I’m inspired by their personalities and appearances, their thoughts and their emotions, and I’m inspired by their ideas as well. Everyone is unique to themselves, with their own individual traits that make up who they are. I love to be able to create unique personalities and characters and settings, because it only makes the art work come to life more than it would have before.

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

Ever since a young age, I’ve always drawn the things I saw around me, whether it was a person or an animal, or even a toy. I constantly scribbled on MS Paint, eventually drawing cats of various colors and personalities. Around middle school I was introduced to manga and anime, which brought the realization that it was possible to do something with this hobby I loved. Of course, being a mangaka was a silly dream, but it motivated me to become better and to become a part of bigger artistic communities I would never have known about! Now that I had this motivation, I drove myself to improve and express myself to the world. I would still love to make a career out of my art and nothing else, although for now I’m fine with keeping it to commissions every now and then. I always loved being an artist, and I still do!

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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 believe there’s anything I really include in my work that’s specific to me…well, not on purpose, anyways. I’m a huge fan of colorful overlays to make my work more vibrant, and eyes are always going to be featured somewhere in the work. Heck, I even focus on them a lot sometimes by making them glow, or by adding an effect to them! Other than that, however, I don’t think I have any specific signature to my work.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never, EVER give up on drawing. If you love drawing, then do it, it’s as simple as that! You will improve with time as you draw, but in the meantime, simply draw if that’s what you love to do. Your skill level is irrelevant, because the main reason you should ever be drawing is for yourself. I could go on for hours about why you have to keep pushing forward to improve and get better, but I feel like that’d bore you more than anything. Just remember: Even if you think you’re horrible at drawing, it’s okay to be bad at what you love. It’s your love and motivation and passion that counts in the end! (Wow, that was all really cheesy.)

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am somewhere between graysexual and demisexual on the ace spectrum! (I’m still working it out, but it’s somewhere around there I guess?)

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

I encountered a lot of it from a partner, actually. They were very negative towards it and kept pushing that I could get past my asexuality and do things I simply had no interest in doing. Other times, whenever I mention it to people they simply seem not to believe that it’s possible, although they never outright say it to my face. I just keep pushing forward and staying within my limits, and I generally don’t mention it unless it’s brought up. I always have a bad habit of going out of the way to make everyone happy, but I’ve found that it’s much better to worry about yourself above anyone else.

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

The most common one has been that asexuality is simply not having sex at all, or hating sex. People don’t realize that asexuality is simply the lack of sexual attraction, meaning that we can go throughout the day and not feel a sudden urge for sexual activities that other people might feel. Asexual people can be sex-repulsed or sex-positive, they may even enjoy several sexual activities! In the end, however, they still lack the sex drive many other people have. That’s the best I can explain it, anyways, although I’m sure there are much clearer explanations than mine. There’s also parts of the spectrum to include, but that’s more detail than we probably need here.

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

Don’t even worry about trying to label what you feel in regards to attraction. It feels a lot better to have a label for what you feel, but first and foremost, don’t upset yourself over it. If you think you’re on the ace spectrum, then great! If you change your mind later on, that’s fine too! It’s not easy to understand what you feel or who you are, and whatever you feel is valid. In addition to that, don’t let anyone tell you that your identity isn’t real or right, because no one should dictate how you feel. I also advise to eat a lot of food you like once in a while and buy some nice things. That doesn’t have to do with asexuality, but you probably deserve some nice stuff anyways.

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

I have multiple places with my work! I have a DeviantART which is GlitchWifi (http://glitchwifi.deviantart.com/), my art blog is artsy-wifi (http://artsy-wifi.tumblr.com/), and my Pokemon art blog is at mega-luxrite (http://mega-luxrite.tumblr.com/tagged/artsy-wifi). All three have different content to them, but all of them are still very much active. I’m glad to have had the chance to be a part of this interview. Thank you so much!

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

Interview: Christian De Mohun

Today we’re joined by Christian De Mohun. Christian is an absolutely fantastic visual artist who has a number of inspirations (a fellow Da Vinci fan!). His work is incredible and there’s a touch of dark surrealism to a few of the pictures. The wings in some of the pictures are so beautiful. This is an artist with a lot of passion for his medium. My thanks to him for taking the time to participate in this interview.

angelic wishes colour
Angelic Wishes

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art’s very much a mish-mash of things. Though I specialise in people, I pull from varying things I love – from surrealism to pre-Raphaelite to whatever emotion I’m working from at the time. Mostly I’ll draw something spontaneously. I’m not good at planning drawings out and the amount of times a single piece will go through re-dos entirely depends on my level of focus at the time.

bad day for scum
Bad Day for Scum

What inspires you?

Things that have happened to me, music I’m listening to – if I hear a piece of music that immediately puts a picture in my head, I’ll listen to it on repeat until I’ve finished it, for instance – varying roleplays I’m in and games I play. I draw inspiration from my favourite artists as well – Dali, Da Vinci, Hugh to name a few – and also from abstract things like emotions, my own nightmares/personal things, and from my transition.

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

This’ll sound very bad, but my first ‘art’ was graffiti! And not even pretty graffiti at that. I was a ‘tagger’ – someone who scrawled a nickname on a wall – though I’d occasionally do little pictures with it. After I cleaned up and found my now-fiancée, she asked me if I could draw angel wings for a tattoo idea she had. I decided to try, and she encouraged me to keep doodling. I never thought I’d be good enough to be professional, though, until I was accompanying a friend to a college induction and just for the hell of it I thought I’d look into the art courses. I showed my sketchbook to one of the lecturers, and despite not having any qualifications he enrolled me on the spot based off of that.

I took the opportunity with both hands, and I’ve never regretted it.

hooded icicle
Hooded Icicle

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 it’s not my initials – CDM for Christian De Mohun – hidden somewhere in the picture, it’ll be some little nod somewhere or – in the style of the old classics – the picture will be full of symbolism.

I like symbolism!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Never, ever give up. Remember art is personal, and whatever style you use, you rock it because it’s your style. Never let someone dictate it for you. Learn from other artists – if you see a picture that has a technique you think looks amazing, study it! Don’t be afraid to ask – artists as a rule love to pass on knowledge because someone’s showing an interest. Even if you’re not pumping out masterpieces like you feel you should be, always be drawing – doodle something every day, whether it’s a stupid little face or something you use as a base for something bigger, ALWAYS draw.

jack angel
Jack Angel

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

This one’s a weird one. I’m a hypersexualised Ace, meaning I enjoy sex a lot but have no sexual attraction. At first I thought I was more demisexual as I am attracted to one or two people, then grey ace, but as I searched harder I discovered I didn’t really know what attraction was. It didn’t help I felt bad because I do have sex and I enjoy it a lot and I didn’t want the partner I have it with to think that I didn’t find them attractive, because I do, I’m just … not really bothered if I don’t get it. It’s like chocolate – I like it, if it’s there I’ll have it, but if it’s not and there’s none in the house I won’t go looking for it.

And just to confuse things further, along the way I also discovered I’m quoiromantic too – in other words, what the hell is romantic feeling and what do I do with it, does my best friend have a crush on me or are they just being nice, oh my god are they in love or is it platonic?! About the only thing I know for sure is I’m in love with both my fiancée and my partner (yup, I have two in a happy polyamorous relationship) and they’re in love with me. Beyond that … nope.

jack comic tryout
Jack

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

Personally? No. I’ve had prejudice for being trans, but not Ace. However, I’ve seen the erasure and such and some prejudice towards my fiancée and when I didn’t know better and was – frankly – dumb I was just as bad with said erasure and ignorance. Luckily, through no small part of my fiancée’s patience, I got better.

Oh, there was the fact we aren’t really welcome in Pride marches, being as at the time I was considering myself Bisexual and I’m trans and my fiancée was Ace. That wasn’t really nice.

otterme
Otterme

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

The sodding ‘reproduce asexually’ thing. That and ‘is your partner going to see a shrink about that? You’re really brave, I don’t think I could last that long without sex’. That was quoted from my tattoo artist, but I’ve heard the ‘you can go to a psychiatrist for that’ from too many people. The ‘you haven’t had a real man in the sheets’ was one particularly hurtful one towards my fiancée, as in one fell swoop they’d erased her sexuality and misgendered me at the same time.

phoenix
Phoenix

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

Screw ’em. Remember, they aren’t in your head, they can never know how you perceive and think, what you enjoy or why. It’s not up to them what you identify as, they’re only labeling you against their own desires and perceptions. Do your research, find what makes you comfortable, find your safe place and stand proud. It’s also none of their business – you don’t NEED to ‘come out’, you don’t have to tell them anything.

You are not broken. You are not alone. And you do not need to force yourself to do anything that makes you uncomfortable. You are you, and unique, and strong. Be proud of that fact.

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

These days, it’s pretty exclusively found here on Tumblr at http://rimewasted-icequeen.tumblr.com/tagged/mine – though I will warn, I do have NSFW pieces. They’re tagged, though, so if you have Tumblr Savior or a similar blocker that has ‘NSFW’ added they shouldn’t show up. I hope.

remix
Remix

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