Heyyo! I’m a queer trans artist and writer who goes by the name Aster. Some of you might know me as that, others might know me as Painted Shuet or Double Decker Duelist (my Yu-Gi-Oh blog). I work primarily on longer pieces of fiction and lineless paintings, though I don’t stray from exploring in either field.
What I love most, and what motivates me to explore both fields, are stories. I’m lost in daydreams a lot of the time, especially when I was younger, when the lights and sounds of the world would overwhelm me. Since then it’s developed into a passion for exploring the subtleties of life and our existence, shining a little spotlight on small aspects of it and seeing what I can find. From nuances of relationship dynamics, to the nature of people in general, and even to what it means to be such a small individual soul in a universe so big. I guess it’s a way for me to make sense of the world around me, while appreciating how beautiful it is, even if it’s a little scary and confusing.
I also sometimes draw cute things because it’s fun.
I don’t know how I’m going to accomplish this, or if it’s even possible for me to do so, but I have hope I will. I want my art to be an inspiration for self expression, and my extension to make a community that circulates positivity.
The world tries to push us into neat little boxes, but let’s face it, humans are nothing if not messy. Nothing has ever been quite so black and white as people want you to believe. Those people want it to be black and white when it’s clearly not, because blurry lines are scary.
And that’s because, collectively as a species, we fear the unknown. When we aren’t able to define something right away, as soon as we see it, we are scared.
For survival instincts, this appears as seeing a vague shape and flinching (what I remember from psych class being referred to as the “fast route amygdala” colloquially among my peers haha), but realizing it was just your cat all along (long route through memory to define the shape and better determine if it is actually a threat). As a more modern example: gender roles. “A woman wears a dress. A man does not.” Simple clear cut lines, nothing to be left open ended.
So when people break those boxes, the others lash out. They’re scared, and they’re defensive. And they try to stuff you back into the boxes, and by doing so repressing and trying to forget the true nature of humans.
We are messy, emotional, odd, diverse, complicated. There are so many of us, each with our own experience of this life, this consciousness, this world, that it doesn’t make sense to try to uniform us by superficial things.
And I guess that’s my long winded way of explaining why I believe so much in self expression. Breaking those boxes from force of your heart. Your own voice and feelings. Not only is it freeing personally but it shows what people are all about.
Freeing to be able to show your true self, even if it’s get to a handful of people. And for those people to accept that. That’s what I want to make. Even if it’s small, that’s what I’m aiming for. So yeah. That’s why I’m here.
I’m currently working on a novel called At The River’s Brink, a novel with canon queer characters set in Old Kingdom Ancient Egypt, under the rule of Pharaoh Userkaf. I don’t want to spoil too much, plus it’s hard to explain, since it’s more about the relationships between the characters and each individual’s personal growth than their situation.
I’ve worked on book covers, most notably for Derik Fung’s Dragon Kin and working on the cover for his second book in the series. I’ve commissioned several tattoos and smaller drawings as well. Though, my portfolio is a little incomplete at the moment; it only has more recent works, but I’ll be trying to fill it with more of my relevant works a.s.a.p.
If you want to contact me, you can direct message me on twitter or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org (through my contact page or otherwise). If you’d like to order a commission, take a look at my ordering page on Ko-Fi!