Interview: Andi

Today we’re joined by Andi. Andi is a phenomenal visual artist who specializes in a cartoon style. They also do a bit of realism and do both original and fanart. Andi is inspired by many things and has a wonderful amount of enthusiasm, as you’ll soon read. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

aang
Aang

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m a cartoon style artist first and foremost! I love digital art and watercolor the most, but I’m well versed in graphite, acrylic, colored pencil, pastel, and most recently oil paints. I also have a touch of skill in realism! I do a lot of fan art, but I also make original art.

What inspires you?

Nature and animals most of all! I love plants and animals and natural things. I’ve also been heavily inspired by media about magical characters and fantasy worlds. I usually combine features from whatever I’ve most recently been obsessing over, and different aesthetics I enjoy. Video games and TV have had huge influences on my art.

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

Art has always been a part of me for as long as I can remember. I feel like Pokémon probably had the biggest impact on my early art direction and interest. Both the games and the anime drove me to create and helped fuel my love of art. Art is life.

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 include diverse features and shapes to my art to create variety! I love unique nose shapes a lot and different body types are lovely uwu

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

USE REFERENCES PLEASE! Honestly I’m still taking my own advice here. Learning from life and having patience to do so will take you far. You begin to develop your own shortcuts that you can translate into cartoon styles and simpler designs.

Also sketch! Build up shapes and lines before you solidify details!

Charconcept
Charconcept

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am Panromantic Asexual! I experience no sexual attraction, though I’m not sex repulsed. I actually find it really fascinating? I have no interest in participating but I’m totally comfortable talking about it. I’m rather frank, actually.

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

Luckily I haven’t. Only people I’m friends with know I’m ace and they’re supportive. It’s pretty easy for me to avoid sharing with others. People I know are open to learning.

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

People thinking that I can’t/won’t/don’t have sex. I have and honestly, not impressed.

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

Please be patient with yourself. Don’t force yourself to do things you don’t want to. It’s hard to recognize a lack of something, and it’s confusing watching other people do and say things that you may not experience the same way, or at all. Be good to yourself!

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

My art Tumblr!
https://ag-art-things.tumblr.com/

My website!
http://andreargraham.wixsite.com/agart

My FB page!
https://www.facebook.com/ANDILION5356/

And my Twitter!
https://twitter.com/Andilion5356

panther
Panther

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

Interview: Orion

Today we’re joined by Orion. Orion is a wonderful visual artist who does both original and fanart. They’re currently doing a lot of work with ink and watercolors. Their work has a delightful sense of whimsy and playfulness to it. Their characters are so expressive, as you’ll soon see. My thanks to them for taking the time to participate in this interview.

New Doc 2017-04-25 (1)_1

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I like to try many different types and styles of art, though at the moment I’m focusing on inked and watercolour fanart and original visual art.

What inspires you?

I am inspired by my desire to see more positive representation of LGBT+ people in art and media. And by the desire to continue to develop my artistic skills.

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

My grandfather is an artist. Throughout my childhood I loved to visit him, I’d look through his hobby room at the artworks on the walls, the huge painting station, the sketches and canvas spread throughout and I loved it. I’d draw with the art set (a plastic half oval case filled with pencils, crayons, etc.) he had for his grandkids and a drawing I had done as a child of a girl in a dress (me? I cannot remember) was always proudly displayed in Grandpa’s study.

I’ve been interested in art since childhood thanks to Pa’s influence, and messy drawings with crayons slowly turned into something better.

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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 have any intentional things like that, though at the moment, binders have been featured in a lot of my works.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Be a good consumer of art.

Learn to give reviews to other artist’s works, even a short sentence explaining what you like about it. It helps to encourage a culture of interacting with art and sharing it rather than just letting it go by unnoticed and it’s a nice thing to do for the artist.

New Doc 2017-04-17 (1)_2

Additionally, if you learn to see what makes an artwork good (e.g. “Hey! This is a great work and I really love the detail put into the hair and freckles!”), you’ll know what to put into your own work to make it better (e.g. Detailed hair/freckles).

And keep practicing, create as often as you can, and, if you feel comfortable with it, show as much of your work as you can to the world.

BLOOP

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am an asexual nonbinary person. The romantic part is slightly more complex as I go by many terms, grey-biromantic, aromantic, and cupioromantic.

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

I’ve gotten hate mail and death threats on Tumblr for being openly ace but overall most people are okay with aces and if they’re not (or send hate mail) I block them immediately.

New Doc 2017-03-09_1

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

That asexuals just don’t like sex or haven’t found ‘the right person’.

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

Understand that if the issue is figuring out where on the asexual/aromantic spectrum you lie there’s no rush. There’s no real reason you need to have that figured out by a set date, just let yourself explore and eventually you’ll figure it out.

And if it’s becoming comfortable with your orientation that is the issue, firstly try to find other aces to talk to about it and then try to remind yourself that there’s absolutely, 100% nothing wrong with being asexual.

New Doc 2017-04-04 (1)_1

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

My Tumblrs: orioart.tumblr.com for original artworks and orionsfanart.tumblr.com for fanart.

Or my Deviantart: amazingacearmy.deviantart.com

New Doc 2017-04-16 (3)_2

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

Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily. Emily is a fantastic younger artist who enjoys drawing. Using mostly traditional media, Emily draws in ink, colored pencils, and has begun experimenting with watercolors. She also enjoys music and plays the alto saxophone. Her art shows a phenomenal attention to detail and a wonderfully vivid imagination. This artist has a bright future ahead of her. 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 a lot. I’ve managed to take 3 art classes so far in school and will be taking another in the upcoming year. Within the past year I’ve been inspired to sketch more than ever and have filled a little over one and a half sketchbooks with drawings of various things. I enjoy drawing dragons and other fantasy-related art. I normally work with ink, whether it be by using ballpoint pen in the margins of my notes, or using nicer pens in my sketchbook. Recently I’ve also started using dip pens and ink which has been an interesting experience. For color I normally prefer colored pencils, although recently I’ve dabbled in watercolor. I normally use colored pencils because they are significantly more portable and cleaner.

I also play alto saxophone in both full and jazz band, and enjoy participating in school plays and musicals as an actress.

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What inspires you?

For visual art, I’m inspired by the books I read and the world around me. I often find myself drawing flowers or things inspired by the curves and colors found in nature, even for fantastical doodles. For music and theatre I’m just inspired by the passion of the people around me. Music and theatre can be filled with so much emotion. I also have been grateful to have such talented musicians/actors as my friends in my school.

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

I’ve always been a doodler and recently decided that if I’m going to keep doodling, I might as well put it to good use and try to improve. I still don’t know if I will pursue art as my only career path, but it will definitely be a constant in my life even if I don’t only make money via art. I’ve always been interested in band and theatre. Both of my parents were involved in both subjects in high school and college and their stories intrigued me. I also have always loved music and singing, so musicals are great fun.

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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 really have a signature object in my art, although I do always sign it with Em.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I know everyone says this, but just keep drawing, or playing, or doing whatever you want to do, even if you’re just doodling a quick BB8 in the margin of your history notes, or learning how to play the Sherlock theme song, or memorizing a dramatic monologue about cheese. Just do what you love and don’t force yourself to fit in with what others think you should do. Even if you don’t want to become a full time artist, actor, or musician you can still do those things casually. They’re meant to be enjoyable.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual and who knows what romantic.

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

I’ve only recently (as in, this summer) started identifying as asexual. I feel like we are generally ignorant of the concept of asexuality as a society, but I haven’t encountered any prejudice.

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

As I’ve only recently identified as ace, I haven’t really encountered many misconceptions other than the general thought that I might someday meet “the one” from my relatives who I have come out too. In all they were pretty accepting of the general idea of asexuality though.

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

Story time- the first time I heard about asexuality was probably around 2 years ago in an online chat with a gay guy who was my age. We had met from an online art app and were generally discussing outlooks on life and religion. Somehow the conversation turned to crushes/sexuality and I mentioned that I’ve never had crushes. He proceeded to try to explain what crushes felt like, and then asked me if I had heard of asexuality. I looked it up and then decided that I was probably demisexual because at that point I thought that announcing that I had no sexual attraction was a bit extreme and weird. Now, a year later, I am very chill with the idea that I don’t experience sexual attraction, and there are others like that, and we’re all pretty cool people. Coming out of that story, my advice is to identify with what you feel fits your feelings. Other people don’t know how you feel or what you experience. Worst thing, you’ll end up changing your label at some point in your life. It’s not the end of the world. Someday I might find that I was right a year ago and I am demi or gray. Or I might be an 80 year old cat lady, or happily married with a great romantic relationship. Who knows? God made you the way you are and loves you like that.

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

All of my reblog stuff can be found (at) ladyknighttime which is where I also post any ace stuff I do beyond art. My art blog is (at) themanyartsofemily.

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

Interview: Stella

Today we’re joined by Stella. Stella is a young artist who displays an incredible amount of skill. She specializes in traditional mediums, favoring watercolor and ink. There’s an eerie dreamlike quality to her work as you’ll soon see. It’s quite interesting visually, demonstrating a wonderful imagination. This artist has such a bright future. My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Warning: there is some blood and mild body horror in one picture (the 2nd one in the interview)

after strawberries (new)
After Strawberries

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I am a primarily self-taught artist, but I have recently finished a foundations art class and will soon be taking an intermediate course. My favourite mediums to work with are watercolour and ink; I typically combine the two together. I enjoy creating phantasmagorical scenes and portraits.

What inspires you?

I often seek inspiration for my artwork from the ocean, music, and literature.

There are also many artists who inspire, most notably Tim Burton. Other artists I admire and find inspiring, even if their styles don’t directly influence my art, are Carson Ellis, Mab Graves, Mark Ryden, and Camilla d’Errico, They are all incredibly talented & kind individuals who are able to make a living doing what they love, which is my ultimate goal as an artist.

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

I have always gravitated towards art, and ever since I was a young child, I hoped my future career would involve art. Unfortunately, I felt discouraged from this dream for many years, as pursuing artistic careers is frowned upon and seen as illogical by much of society. However, this past year I realised the only way I would be happy making a living is by making art. I am now filled with new determination to achieve my goal of becoming a children’s book illustrator. This would allow me to combine two of my loves, books and illustrating, into one!

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’m afraid not! But the things that you will frequently see in my work are octopi and whales.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Do not listen to the voice inside your head that tells you your dreams are pointless or useless to pursue. Do not listen to others who tell you those things. Instead, follow your artistic instincts. Never stop creating. If you are young and want to work in an art field, and you are filled with ambition, I really do think you can succeed. Be relentless! Prove everybody who thinks you can’t be successful wrong.

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I am a heteroromantic asexual.

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

I have not encountered discrimination amongst other artists, but I have encountered discrimination amongst other folk. The worst of it was when someone told me my asexuality was a disease. Negative remarks like that can be very disheartening, and sometimes angering, but on the occasion they happen, I always remind myself nothing anyone says can invalidate my asexuality.

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

A lot of people confuse asexuality with the inability to love (typically romantic love). I find this to one of the most unfortunate misconceptions for a whole slew of reasons–first off, aces are completely capable of developing loving relationships, whether they are romantic or platonic; secondly, this helps perpetuates the incorrect idea that sex = love, and therefore sexless relationships are meaningless; and finally, this misconception reinforces aromantic erasure.

interpretive self portrait
Interpretive Self Portrait

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

Always remember, your feelings are valid, and you are not alone, no matter how much it may feel that way. Know it is okay to be uncertain about your orientation, as sexuality can be very confusing. Also, I know many aces deal with rejection and invalidation from family and friends after coming out, which is no doubt incredibly disheartening. If this is you, I promise you will meet so many others who will love and accept you for who you are, even if this may take time.

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

I have an art Tumblr where I post most of my works (although I’m afraid I don’t post very often). The url is itsalovelydaytoleavemealone.tumblr.com. I hope within the next couple of years to make a professional portfolio website, however.

suspension
Suspension

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

Interview: Chelsea

Today we’re joined by Chelsea.  Chelsea is an amazingly talented, versatile, and passionate artist.  She works in a number of different traditional mediums as well as digital.  Her work is absolutely beautiful and a pleasure to look at.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Morning Mommy
Morning Mommy

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I’m kind of all over the place with art.  I love traditional mediums; watercolor and charcoal and oil paint. I love mimicking these mediums in digital, with all the fun special effects that digital brings to the table. I very much enjoy ceramics and sculpting though I am horrible at them. And lately I’ve been doing all sorts of experiments with resin casting.

I lean towards an illustrative style most the time, but very much enjoy realism and abstract in equal measures.  And I absolutely adore fanart.  I pretty much make art just to make myself happy.  Sometimes that drawing my favorite characters, or learning a cool new technique for something, and sometimes that’s painting squiggles until my mind is empty.

Endless
Endless

What inspires you?

Color seems to be the first thing to grab my attention. Movement and abstractions really inspire me as well. I’m also a big fan of space and anything aquatic. My favorite TV and movies are always a good start, and of course my cats can often be found in my art.

John SM
John SM

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

I come from a long line of crafty and creative people, so the love of art has always been there, although most people in my family did not pursue it quite like I have.  I remember finding my mom’s drawings when I was a kid and thinking that it would be great to be able to draw like she did when she was younger, and it always made me sad she didn’t keep it up.  I was heavily influenced by anime and manga in the 90s, and was sure I wanted to be involved in that world.  Once I got to art school I realized I loved classical and traditional art just as much, and grad school taught me how to appreciate modern art as well.

Sick Derek
Sick Derek

Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

I sign my fanart with a little square “tea-is-hot”, but my most noticeable feature would probably be my love of over exaggerated color.  Rainbows everywhere!  Even my mostly black and white work has little baby bits of my favorite colors in them.

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

I still struggle a lot with perfectionism.  Perfectionism kills art.  You have to learn to let things go, to remember that all masterpieces come from dozens or even hundreds of studies and practice pieces and failures. Just keep doing as much as you can, as often as you can.  And don’t be ashamed of your inspirations.  If a TV show makes you want to draw, that’s amazing!  A cool leaf outside makes you want to take some pictures? Fantastic! Studying the old masters and trying to recreate them?  Look out, Leonardo!

Memes
Memes

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I currently identify as bi/panromantic-asexual.  I find many people of all genders attractive, and would love to be in a relationship, but there have only been a couple of times in my life that included any desire for physical intimacy. (This would probably fall under Gray-ace technically, and definitely has some elements of autochorissexualism.)

Rainbow Cat Small
Rainbow Cat Small

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

I have only recently publicly identified as ace, so no personal prejudices in my field yet. In my personal life, I’m tempted to start carrying around cards with the definition of ace on it, though.

Rainbow Cat Big
Rainbow Cat Big

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

The classics: “did something happen to traumatize you?” or “so you hate sex?” and “you’re not asexual, you just haven’t met the right guy yet”. (And it’s always the right “guy”, too.  Jokes on them, if I wasn’t ace, I would still be a lesbian-leaning pansexual.)

Blackbird and Bee Closeup
Blackbird and Bee Closeup

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

Sexuality is fluid; your past and your future shouldn’t dictate how you feel comfortable identifying now.  Being asexual isn’t being broken, and it isn’t synonymous with aromantic.  Just because you’re asexual doesn’t mean you can’t have a happy and healthy relationship, if that’s what you want.

Diptych FieldBee
Diptych FieldBee

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

I post all my fanart at tea-is-hot.tumblr.com, and my professional website is chelseartist.weebly.com!

McClanahan Field
McClanahan Field

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

Interview: Puteri Hana

Today we’re joined by Puteri Hana.  Hana is an amazingly talented artist who does a little bit of everything.  She’s mostly a visual artist who works both in digital and with traditional mediums.  Aside from the visual arts, Hana also plays the piano and violin.  This is an artist who has a very bright future ahead of her.  My thanks to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

Ace Closet
Ace Closet

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

I enjoy drawing! I’ve loved drawing ever since I was a little girl. I’m currently a graphic design student, and I draw for my webcomic in my free time. I draw a lot of characters, be it my own or fan art of cartoons, anime, or games. I like to experiment on facial expressions and different art styles, and I love to use bright colours in my work. I used to only draw animals as a child, but I started drawing humans when I was around 11. I started with an anime style, but now I’m starting to lean towards a more Western style, while also developing my own style. When I’m not drawing digitally, I love to draw with pencils and pens, and colour with markers and/or watercolour paints.

Besides drawing, I also like to sew plush toys and make props, like I did and still do for school clubs and cosplay. I play piano and violin and I used to be in my school orchestra as a violinist. I’m currently taking acting classes as an extra activity in my pastime in order to improve my skills in my voice over work.

What inspires you?

My sister was my first inspiration; she was the one who got me to start drawing at a very young age. The cartoons I watched on Nickelodeon, Disney Channel, and Cartoon Network were and still are a big part of my inspiration for art; not only the shows as a whole but also specific characters and music. I was inspired by a lot of manga to start drawing comics.

Hana in a Skirt
Hana in a Skirt

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

I would have to answer “cartoons” again! Almost my whole life revolved around the animated shows and movies I watch. I even learned how to speak English from the cartoons I watched. Yes, I have always wanted to be an artist, but I never knew which kind, until I started reading “Naruto” which inspired me to become an illustrator.

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?

Not that I know of, though I always seem to draw myself as a character in a green T-shirt with a yellow star and green earrings. Does that count? :B

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

Don’t stop doing what you’re doing! If it makes you happy, then keep going. Try anything you want and everything you can, and keep practicing to get better and better at it. Just be patient with yourself and your work will all be worth it. When someone says you can’t, you show them you can. Never, ever give up!

Raaaaain for Nandos
Raaaaain for Nandos

ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I identify as asexual. I spent six years of my life thinking I was bisexual until just recently when I became very interested in learning more about “people like me” and did a lot of research on the LGBTQIA+ spectrums, heh!

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

Yes, both online and in real life. I tried explaining all I could from my own experience to them and when that didn’t work, I linked them to some websites explaining asexuality in a more detailed manner.

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

“Oh, that means you’re straight and just haven’t found the right man for you yet. You will want to do ‘it’ and bear children when you’re older.”

Skylanaffie
Skylanaffie

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

You are not alone. Sexual orientation is very fluid and nobody can say otherwise. You will be loved and accepted by the right people in your life; and until then, don’t give up. There will always be people who frustrate you, but just be patient. If and when they are willing to learn, give them a chance. If not, they will when we aces take over the world (okay, no). I love you all in the most asexual way (heehee!) ❤

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

You can look at my drawings and other artworks on my deviantART http://flowerbanana.deviantart.com/ and read my webcomic(s) on Tapastic http://tapastic.com/flowerbanana

Trickster Gurls
Trickster Gurls

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

Interview: Emily

Today we’re joined by Emily.  Emily is an amazingly talented visual artist who specializes in watercolors and fineliners.  She enjoys drawing a number of things and her work is quite visually striking as you’ll soon see.  The use of color and attention to detail is quite remarkable.  My thanks  to her for taking the time to participate in this interview.

butterfly

WORK

Please, tell us about your art.

My art tends to vary greatly, but my main focus is a tribal or zentangle style. Lots of lines, patterns and shapes, usually with a splash of colour for extra life! I usually draw animals, particularly in motion or with some kind of flow. This can vary from a running hare to a cat sitting, with the natural flowing, curved shapes. I also recently branched into more realistic painting, starting with flowers as I’ve never really touched on those before! My favoured mediums are watercolours and fineliners.

What inspires you?

The natural world is what gives me the most inspiration! Colour and flow are the two things that really attract my eye, so flowers, birds and animals feature heavily in my work.

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

I’ve always been creative as a kid, right down to sculpting tiny dinosaurs from blu-tac at the age of four, or the time I painted a unicorn in the leftover curry sauce on my plate. (It was a beautiful chicken korma-corn!) Anything I could get my hands on, I’d use for art. My mum very much encouraged my artistic side and I took art up to the last years of high school. What made me really pursue it as a career were the kind and helpful words of a self-published artist, Mary Ann Rogers. She was the first to really look at my skills and go ‘hey, this would sell’.

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Do you have any kind of special or unique signature, symbol, or feature you include in our work that you’d be willing to reveal?

Only my signature, which is really just my name. I really ought to design a little symbol to pop in though!

What advice would you give young aspiring artists?

There is so much advice to give, but I think I can narrow it down to a few important points. First of all, and you’ll hear it a lot; practice. Someone with natural talent can easily be surpassed by someone who puts the time and effort in. There’s plenty of references and helpful websites that can teach you to draw specific things but ultimately, it’s time, patience and hard work that pays off.

Secondly, don’t beat yourself up about mistakes, and don’t push yourself too hard. For me, creativity ebbs and flows; I can get a ton of work down when I’m in a good mood, but if I push myself to draw, even just practice sketches, when I’m not feeling it? It never works out and I get frustrated. Get to know your own pattern of creativity and work with yourself, not against!

Thirdly, don’t be afraid to talk to artists who are already established! Everyone was a newbie; if you reach out and ask for advice, we might be able to tell you about our mistakes so you don’t make them as well! There are so many different artists with so vast and varied experiences, there’s a wealth of knowledge waiting for you, so don’t be shy!

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ASEXUALITY

Where on the spectrum do you identify?

I’m plain old ace! No sexual attraction and actually sex-repulsed, so very much a virgin. As for my romantic attraction? While I’ve only had crushes, and one genuine romantic, interest in guys, I could easily see myself settling down with anyone if they were ‘right’. So…maybe mostly heteromantic? Honestly I still don’t know myself!

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

I, fortunately, have not. Then again, I’m only ‘out’ to a couple family members and a few close friends. On a professional level and to most people I know, they probably just think I’m straight. If I did face such problems, really I abide by the idea of ‘no one can make you feel inferior without your consent’. I know who I am, and while I’m happy to explain and educate, I’m not going to weep over the deliberately rude and ignorant individuals who refuse to learn.

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

That I’ll ‘find the right guy/girl’. This is even something I get from the people who are understanding about it. Nope. No sex for me. No sexual attraction, even the one time I had very strong romantic feelings for someone. I will find the ‘right’ person for me, but that doesn’t mean I’ll suddenly find them sexually attractive or engage in sexual relations.

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

Take your time to identify yourself. Don’t worry about springing out of a ‘closet’ before you’re ready; it’s no one’s business but your own. It sounds cheesy to say ‘do some soul searching’ but I mean it; really take the time to get to know yourself. After all, you are the one person you’ll always have to live with! Try to separate who you are from what society and people say they think you are, or what they expect you to be; I was very tangled up in that myself.

And above all; you are a wonderful, fascinating, intricate human people. Every second you’re alive is a complex jumble of chemical reactions that somehow translates into motion, thoughts, feelings and life.

You are a miracle, is what I’m saying, and you damn well deserve to be treated as such.

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

Easy peasy! I’ve a facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/TemplemanArt

A tumblr page here: http://templemanart.tumblr.com/

Or you can check me out on Instagram (bearing in mind that’s mostly WIP sketches!) https://instagram.com/templeman_art/

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