Monday, January 6, 2014

I'm in The Atlantic talking about Bettie Page!

Hey neat! I'm in a major online news source talking about pinup icon Bettie Page like I'm some sort of expert on the subject. Heh. I was approached by the writer of the piece, Tori Rodriguez right before the holidays after she found my artwork, notably my Bettie-homage pieces and asked me some questions. Some of my answers were used for the article, some weren't. I figured I'd post the rest of the interview here. Def check out the article above though, it covers a lot of ground, delving into her past, the musings of other fans including the illustrious Dita VonTeese (whom I had an intimate run-in with back in 2012) and a review of the new documentary Bettie Page Reveals All!

1. How did you first learn of Bettie, and what initially drew you to her?
I first learned of Bettie as a teenager in the early 90's when I would go shopping at Tower Records and saw Bettie's image on lunchboxes and other merch. As a young goth, it was initially her black and white Irving Klaw era photos that hooked me in. All those boots and corsets and those iconic bangs. I've heard of her being referred to as the 'Marilyn for brunettes'.

2. What is it that you love about her/what does she represent to you?
As a pinup artist, her photographs are an invaluable resource. Her posing, expressions and choices in attire are what pinup art is all about. She can run the gamut of fun-loving beach bunny to whip-cracking dominatrix.

3. Any thoughts on why she appeals to so many women in general?
I think it's that she represents a freedom to express her womanhood in a very repressed time. Even though her outfits (or lack thereof...) aren't as shocking today as they were when they were taken, she owns it. I have several books in my reference library that feature her spreads from men's magazines back in the day, and how she unabashedly owns the outfits she wears is inspiring. No matter how over-the-top, or scandalous or even downright silly, you can see her rock it. Such confidence is inspiring.

4. Some women see Bettie as an alternative to unhealthy societal pressures to look perfect and behave in a certain way. Where do you think these unhealthy messages come from, i.e. who/what is sending the opposite message to what Bettie represents? (I know the answer to this seems obvious, but we want to hear fans' perspectives.)
To me Bettie was a gateway into subcultures like rockabilly and burlesque, which are very body-positive environments to women with ample curves who want to celebrate their bodies. From Bettie I learned about other pinup models and burlesque superstars like Tura Satana. From Tura I learned about the movies of Russ Meyer and from there I've monkey-barred into this whole wonderful world of showgirls and rhinestones and pencil skirts and cleavage, cleavage, cleavage. So I surround myself with these images of powerful women and try my best to ignore what the standard of beauty is that other people or entities try to push on me.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

My Society 6 Merch in REAL LIFE!

This Christmas about 99% of my presents given were items purchased thru my Society 6 store. Admittedly my intentions for doing this were a bit selfish. They don't offer samples of your work (which is understandable as that could be easily abused...) so if I want to check out the quality of the plethora of items Society 6 has to offer with my artwork on it, I have to cough up the money myself. Also my family is notoriously hard to shop for, and having a gift of my artwork on usable items like coffee mugs, pillows and totebags makes it hard to regift or return. Plus they really dug them all, so yay! Double win! Check out my Society6 store HERE!
The Queen coffee mug: get it HERE
I was rather happy with the quality of printing on my items. Some colors were a little off or washed out (Society6 prints using RGB colors instead of CMYK colors...) especially on the mugs, but the printing on the totes and pillowcases is bright and beautiful.

Knockout tote: get it HERE
 Now I want to buy a ton of stuff from both mine and my friend's sites on Society6 for myself. I mean, one can never have too many tote bags, right? Also, all friends/family going forward get Society6 merch for their birthdays/holidays.

Blonde and Brunette Sailor Mermaid mugs:
  get them HERE and HERE.
 For the most part my only gripe now is that I can't buy my own pieces in bulk to have available at my convention table. Or I could, but the prices would have to be crazy expensive to make any sort of profit. Or I could buy one and label it 'Display Only' and then explain where they can get one, which would be a giant pain in my tookus.

Card Queen throw pillow: get it HERE.
Also what's cool about Society6 is that with every sale I get a percentage. Not necessarily enough to retire on as of yet, haha more like get a Venti from Starbucks. But I can definitely see how it can add up. Be sure to check it out for yourself! As I get more stuff I'll post it here!

Amor Eterno coffee mug: get it HERE.

Check out my Society6 store for yourself HERE!

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Home from the holidays and looking forward to 2014!

Phil and I at the Balsmans house in Missouri.
 It's officially 2014 and I am back home after my yearly double-up of family time, traveling from New York City to Baltimore (to see my family), then from Baltimore to St Louis (to see my in-laws), then St Louis back to New York. Even though it's usually no more than a week that we spend away, by the time we get home it feels like I've been gone a month.

Our little vintage ceramic Christmas tree. We're all about low maintenance holiday decor.
 January-March is usually my slow time for events, so I'm looking forward to really digging deep into some more involved projects I have lined up for 2014. I will have to fire up the engines on my merch making early this year however for my appearances at conventions starting this April. 2014 is looking to be my busiest year yet, and I am pumped.

One of my most cherished vintage Christmas ornaments, given to me by my Mommom.
Me, Mommom and Mom.

Newest acquisitions from Mommom's vintage Christmas collection. I was OBSESSED with that tiny porcelain Santa as a kid.
I'm impressed we're this well put-together before noon.
I just do what the wall tells me to.
Michelle and Joshua's commission
This is a commission I did of a couple as a Christmas present, requested by the guy for the gal. Big fans of mine, she got choked up opening the framed version this morning and sent me a lovely note. Warm fuzziness all around. It gives me great satisfaction when my art makes people happy.

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