Are you aro-spec or questioning? Are you creative? If you answer “yes” to both questions, I invite you to participate in our series of Aro-Spec Artist Profiles: interviews with aro-spec creatives on being aro-spec, the aro-spec community and their creativity.
This is a chance for the aro-spec community to get to know, support, celebrate and promote the creators who are the backbone of this blog, while also featuring creative aro-specs whose work doesn’t fit our usual content parameters.
Your creations don’t have to relate in any way to being aro-spec. You can talk website design, crafts, cooking, masonry–any kind of creativity merits a profile! Creators of fanworks are more than welcome to participate, as are independent, emerging and amateur aro-spec creators. If you’ve made anything and you want to talk about it, this is for you!
To participate, all you have to do is copy and paste the following template into a Tumblr submission or the WordPress contact form. Your submission will be formatted into a new post and added to the queue, so depending on my workload, pain levels and the number of other participants, it may take a few days or more to be posted.
Things to consider:
- If you’d prefer to not have your primary Tumblr blog attached to the submission, please submit via anon or WordPress. You will need an email address to do this, but nobody but me will have access to it.
- All discussions about your creativity need to be safe for work. You can link to not safe for work content if you advise for this, but everything that can be seen, heard or read (text, images, embedded videos or music clips) on the profile post itself must be SFW.
- You may answer as many or as few of the questions as suits you–you do not have to answer them all.
- There is no deadline. Participate whenever!
- You don’t have to be following this blog. If you list a Tumblr account in your response that can be @ mentioned, you’ll get that alert when I post the profile.
- Profiles will be listed on a master page accessible via the description box or sidebar. If you’d prefer not to be listed here, please mention this at the top of your submission.
- If you want one of your images to be an author/artist photo, by all means include one.
- Profile submissions shouldn’t include any content not allowable in the Unacceptable Content section of the about page.
- Much of the introductory section will be rephrased into an introductory paragraph and a links section, so please be aware that it won’t be presented in the profile as you enter it below.
- Please note that all profiles will be posted to both the Tumblr and WordPress sites.
Ready to participate? Copy the following text into a submission and answer away!
Name: [Username, pen name or real name, to whatever degree is comfortable.]
Tumblr blog: [If you’re not listing your Tumblr username as your name.]
Tumblr side blogs: [If you have any other blogs you want to promote, go for it.]
Website/other social media: [Link to any website that isn’t Tumblr!]
Patreon, PayPal or Ko-Fi: [Or links for any account to which aros can donate to support your creativity.]
Vendor or publisher links: [Etsy, Amazon, Wattpad: link us anywhere folks can get or find your creative works.]
Creative expertise: [Name the area/s of creativity you want to talk about.]
Aro-spec identities: [Tell us how you are aro-spec.]
Other identities: [If there’s anything else important to how you identify, mention it here. For example, this is where I’d tell people I’m genderless and autistic.]
Pronouns: [This is so I don’t refer to you in third person with the wrong pronoun set, which would be terrible.]
Preferred language/identity words: [For example, I’d say that I prefer the word “person” over “enby” and I do not like language that is historically associated with a binary gender used in reference to me.]
URLs to five (5) images or other embeddable content you wish featured in your profile: [If you have any art examples, cover images, author photos, embeddable videos or visual material, upload it somewhere and paste the URLs here so I can download said images and insert them into the post (or embed the video). Please make sure these images are under 1000 pixels wide, small enough for easy uploading to Tumblr!]
If you wish, you can embed these images at the top of the submission or in separate submissions; I’ll just save them and add them to the post myself. Tumblr can be horribly dodgy about letting you do this, so uploading and linking me may be more effective.
I may do a little Photoshopping in terms of arranging images together, depending on size, dimension and post content (for example, positioning three smaller images together in a row to make a single image easier to place in the post). This will involve the placement of two or more images on a transparent background. I will not change your images in any way.
Can you share with us your story in being aro-spec? [Tell us here how you feel, conceptualise or connect to your aro-spec identity, or us how you came to identify as aro-spec. This is not about affirming any traditional aro-spec narrative but celebrating the diversity of aro narrative, identity and experience. It is perfectly okay to have little or no narrative relating to this.]
Can you share with us the story behind your creativity? [Tell us here how you feel, conceptualise or connect to your creative identity, or tell us how and why you came to create what you do. Again, this is not about forcing ourselves into traditional narrative spaces. It is perfectly okay to have little or no narrative relating to this.]
Are there any particular ways your aro-spec experience is expressed in your art? [I am not asking here that your art be aro, although if it is, please discuss it! If you write romance differently because you’re aro, that counts. If you focus more on platonic relationships because you’re aro, that counts. If you really like the colour green because you’re aro, that counts. If your aromanticism doesn’t shape your creativity, tell us that, too.]
What challenges do you face as an aro-spec artist? [You might talk about how amatonormativity, aromisia or aro-antagonism shape, impact or limit you as a creative; or you might talk about how being aro-spec makes it difficult to write romantic attraction. Or something else entirely–whatever speaks to you!]
How do you connect to the aro-spec and a-spec communities as an aro-spec person? [Tell us something about your relationship, as an aro-spec person, to the aro-spec or a-spec communities. It can be love, it can be frustration, it can be a lack of connection or a list of improvements–anything. I think aro-spec folks have a lot of feelings here, so I want to give folks space to discuss this if they choose.]
How do you connect to your creative community as an aro-spec person? [Tell us something about your relationship, as an aro-spec person, to your creative community. Do you feel accepted and understood? Do you feel isolated or erased? For example, I feel extremely alienated from other writers by being aro! There’s important conversational space in discussing how being aro-spec shapes our place in our creative spaces, so feel free to talk here.]
How can the aro-spec community best help you as a creative? [Answers like “reblog my book posts” or “donate to my Patreon” seem pushy, but these are what I’m hoping to get. You’re a marginalised creator in a tiny community, and you need our support. Tell us, freely, how best we can support you, because the idea that creators shouldn’t ask this directly does everyone a disservice.]
Can you share with us something about your current project? [Tell us about your characters, your latest design, something you’ve made, your favourite line, the plot of your comic, anything. Go wild. This does not have to relate in any way to anything aro-spec.]
Have you any forthcoming works we should look forward to? [Tell us what we should get excited about. Provide descriptions, blurbs, teaser trailers, teaser images, sound clips, whatever. If you have links, include them. Go wild. This does not have to relate in any way to anything aro-spec.]