Category Archives: Berlin

The Hunger Moon at Full Moon Cabaret!

Viva Lamore at Full Moon Cabaret Hunger Moon event by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019This was my first time at one of Full Moon Cabaret’s secret suppers.

I have been to Berlin’s most transgressive burlesque show before, in another very cool secret venue, and I love to draw producer Viva Lamore, who is a fellow New Yorker. (That’s her above with her gong! She told me she was having so much fun with “the fucking GONG!”) The acts are always fierce and freaky.

Chika at Full Moon Cabaret Hunger Moon event by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019Plus, there’s a mooning contest which is pretty exciting!

So I was psyched to see this show and I was not disappointed.

Guests at Full Moon Cabaret Hunger Moon event by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019Behind a secret door was a long room with a stage, lined with a very long dining table.

I took a seat on the sidelines so I could draw. (I learned my lesson about trying to eat and draw simultaneously at a LOTR-themed immersive dinner theater event put on by the Greater Bay Area Costumers’ Guild in 2005 or 6!) Most of the Full Moon attendees were in ’30s finery and there was a crew of gorgeous performers in really wonderful Shanghai 1930s style. That’s stage manager Maylisss standing in the background above; she is an expert at vintage clothing and costuming. Chika at Full Moon Cabaret Hunger Moon event by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019Performers at Full Moon Cabaret Hunger Moon event by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019Viva and her crew are so vibrant and sexy, and there is a kink vibe to the shows so I feel right at home! That’s Chika, above and helping with the mooning-hole, and legend Vanessa Jupiter in the long gloves who is a trained massage therapist and was doing massages for the guests.

Marianne Cheesecake at Full Moon Cabaret Hunger Moon event by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019This was one of those events where I wanted to draw everyone a dozen times.

Marianne Cheesecake, performing with a very badly behaved dragon puppet, was SO beautiful!

The finale performance, by Crystal Tassels, was fantastic. Sadly, I cannot show you the drawing on a Patreon post. (It involved a cake and a chair!)

As always, I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to document Berlin life and art!

Live-drawing Pêdra Costa and Sadie Lune at the Schwules Museum!

Pedra Costa performing at Schwules Museum by Suzanne Forbes Mar 7 2019Valentine’s Day was the finissage of the EXTRA + TERRESTRIAL exhibit by COVEN BERLIN at Berlin’s Gay Museum, the Schwules Museum.

I was invited by Harley Aussoleil of COVEN BERLIN to do documentary drawing. (You can see my drawings from the Spoken Word event of the show here.)

Pêdra Costa, a Brazilian performance artist, performed hers work de_colon_isation. You can see hers beginning the piece above, with technical support from Maya Guttman.

In the background, on the wall, are drawn works by the incredible Mexican artist Rurru Mipanochia; you can see photos of them here!

Pedra Costa dancing in performance at Schwules Museum by Suzanne Forbes Feb 27 2019Here is Pêdra dancing as the scent of “Brazilian Bum Bum” cream fills the air.

I loved how the sensory experience of smell was incorporated into the work. There are photos on Instagram!

Sadie Lune and Jo Pollux filmed by Marit Ostberg at Schwules Museum by Suzanne Forbes March 7 2019My friend Sadie Lune, who is part of COVEN, was being filmed by the documentary crew of multidisciplinary queer artist Marit Östberg.

Here you can see Sadie, eight months pregnant, being interviewed as she and photographer Jo Pollux lie within Sadie’s piece, “Weird Sisters”. I feel like it looks like they’re in a field at night and Sadie is pointing out the constellations to Jo, telling her a story about the baby’s star sign.

Many thanks to Harley Aussoleil, who was in charge of the event programming for this exhibit and provided wonderful support to me as I worked! These drawings, like 95% of my art, are licensed Creative Commons for you to freely use and share if you credit me as artist.

And always, always, thank you to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly subscription support makes my work documenting queer Berlin possible.

Scenes around town, February 2019

Bartenders at the Lori Cafe by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019Here are the bartenders at the Lori Cafe in Kreuzberg.

I drew this waiting to be let through the secret door for the Full Moon Cabaret, and it feels like I drew it before I entered another world!

At the endocrinologist in Mitte by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019These ladies were waiting to see the endocrinologist, like me.

My endocrinologist is in a bizarre, deeply ugly modern building with walls – the walls inside!!!- literally covered in stainless steel. It’s the Galeries Lafayette building, but in the store at least a lot of the ugly is covered in fancy and you can buy delicious cake.

Audience at Le Grand Mess by Suzanne Forbes Feb 28 2019Some audience members at Le Grand Mess.

The young woman shown here is a standup comedian. Going to live-draw at a standup open mic is one of those things that’s on my list of things to draw, like drawing at a tango session again, like visiting the circus center and drawing people doing aerials again, like drawing people ice-skating which I’ve never done, like drawing people playing pool again…there is enough time, but not always energy! And first, before any of those things, I’ve been invited to draw The Berlin Bruisers, Europe’s only gay-inclusive rugby league!!

As always, my deepest thanks to my beloved Patrons on Patreon, who make it financially possible for me to document Berlin life.

More Valentines beauty from Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin!

Biszhop Blaczk and Martini Cherry Furter at Red Hot Love Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne Forbes detailMore drawings from the most recent Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin production from LaLa Vox and Syren Joey, at the beautiful Ballhaus Berlin.

Above, Martini Cherry Furter in sharpest 80’s styles and BiszhopBlaczkx in a Pierrot collar and gold trunks. Below, Martini’s amazing performance, which included the audience setting her on fire.Martini Cherry Furter performs at Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Biszhop Blaczk in sarong at Red Hot Love Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne ForbesWe started with gesture drawings, which I love.

I added a bit of detail and color afterwards to this gesture pose of BiszhopBlaczkx in a sarong.

Valentina Demonia at Red Hot Love Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne ForbesLoving the Vampirella look from Valentina Demonia, who I will never tire of drawing.

Cannot thank you enough, @lalavox and @syrenjoey and @ballhausberlin!

and thank you, always, to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make art!

Previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin posts:

Red Hot Love number one

Kabarett der Namenlosen one

and two

Hansel and Gretel

Baba Yaga, posts one and two

Viva Lamore, à la Baroque

Betty Fvck, Trixie Tassels and More, Berlin Burlesque Week

Broken Baroque

Victorian Spiritualist edition with Valentina Demonia and Syren Joey

More Victorian Spiritualist edition

Weimar Berlin, with Le Pustra and Bridge Markland

More Weimar Berlin

and my first Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin with Viva Lamore, Syren Joey and live painting outdoors!

Red Hot Love at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin!

Valentina Demonia and Martini Cherryfurter portraits at Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 by Suzanne ForbesOh, what a gorgeous show this was!

Another absolute knockout of a Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin production from LaLa Vox and Syren Joey, at the beautiful Ballhaus Berlin. The models were Valentina Demonia, who I’ve drawn many times, Martini Cherry Furter who I was discovering for the first time, and BiszhopBlaczkx. I had been wanting to draw @thebiszhopblaczkx for YEARS!!! I was sick for the last #drsketchysberlin he performed at and no way was I missing this one!!!

biszhopblaczk at Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnd he wore flowers on his head!!!

Valentina Demonia detail at Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI just loved everything about this session.

Many of the poses and outfits were too racy for a Patreon sponsored post, so I’ll finish those drawings and you’ll have to find them on my flickr 😉

I especially loved Valentina’s pasties and red thigh-high boots look, and Martini’s red and black corset! Most of Biszhop’s outfits consisted of his extreme good looks, a pretty accessory and a smoky gaze. His bits were covered, but not by much!

Martini Cherry Furter both posed and performed, an exhilarating number involving the audience setting her on fire!

Martini Cherryfurter detail at Dr Sketchys Berlin Feb 17 2019 by Suzanne ForbesShe has incredible stage presence. She  looked so good I actually lost all decorum and shouted, “Girl you are SO BEAUTIFUL!!”. She accepted that as her due, with a gracious smile.

thank you so much to these amazing artists who brought their hearts and souls to the show, it was a privilege to draw you!

Thank you again, @lalavox and @syrenjoey and @ballhausberlin !

and thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make art!

Previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin posts:

Kabarett der Namenlosen one

and two

Hansel and Gretel

Baba Yaga, posts one and two

Viva Lamore, à la Baroque

Betty Fvck, Trixie Tassels and More, Berlin Burlesque Week

Broken Baroque

Victorian Spiritualist edition with Valentina Demonia and Syren Joey

More Victorian Spiritualist edition

Weimar Berlin, with Le Pustra and Bridge Markland

More Weimar Berlin

and my first Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin with Viva Lamore, Syren Joey and live painting outdoors!

In which I am interviewed at Le Grand Mess by Liliana Velásquez and Fannie Headaek!

Liliana Velasquez and Fannie Headaek at Le Grand Mess Feb 9 2019 by Suzanne ForbesTwo of Berlin’s hardest working entertainers invited me to their talk-show-with-a-twist.

Le Grand Mess takes place at the charming little theater InnovationArt just two subway stops from us, so the hubbin and I made an evening out of it. I have enjoyed drawing both Liliana Velásquez and Fannie Headaek before.Liliana Velasquez and Fannie Headaek dancing at Le Grand Mess Feb 9 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

You can see my drawings of Liliana performing at Folsom Europe, emcee’ing the Tom Petty tribute show and at Lagari, and of Fannie at Monster Ronson’s. Liliana is the host of The Freudian Slip Club (every Sunday! no matter what!), co-producer of Big Broad Revue, and so many other things.

Portrait of Fannie Headaek Feb 9 2019 by Suzanne ForbesFannie does her own special effects makeup!

And is also an absolutely banging pole dancer. We had such a lovely time, and I really enjoyed talking about my work with these lovely folx, and my hubbin  cracked up at all the jokes.

I am so grateful to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make art documenting queer culture in Berlin. 

You can help, for a little as a dollar/euro a month! My live documentary art is licensed Creative Commons and free for all to share and print, you can read about how that works here.

BEDx at Lovelite!

Cameryn Moore at BEDx by Suzanne Forbes Jan 28 2019Wow, what lovely cozy queer community there is in Berlin!

I was a presenter at Cameryn Moore‘s BEDx, a mini-conference for sex-geeking. My hub and I taxied across town (first taxi of the year! luxury!) to the gorgeous, welcoming venue, Lovelite. I had an absolutely wonderful time and so did my hub, who said it was like SF in the old days. It really was like the events he and I used to go to together at places like Femina Potens and the Center for Sex and Culture. Everyone relaxed and friendly and supportive, and so kind.

I talked about my work doing documentary drawing at events like play parties and dungeons. It was my first time doing a presentation with slides, but Cameryn set it all up for me and there was a lovely AV person named Yasmin who worked with me running them, and I think the slides were very appropriately filthy 🙂 That’s Cameryn in the top drawing.

Erin Bell at BEDx by Suzanne Forbes Jan 28 2019Erin Bell talked about (and briefly demonstrated!) the practice of “Thinking Off.”

I was very interested because I am reading a book called “The Body Keeps the Score” and am learning that breathwork has healing potential for trauma survivors. Erin is a delightful personality and knows so much about somatics and sex-positive bodywork!Jane Flett at BEDx by Suzanne Forbes Jan 28 2019

And Jane Flett read her amazing poetry!

Wow, she is a terrific writer. I was knocked out by the power of her words. So vivid and fierce, in the warm red-lit room. Really Lovelite is an amazing venue for queer performance.

Altogether a lovely evening out for us and thanks so much to Cameryn for including me! You can check out Cameryn’s other events like the incredibly popular Smut Slam on her Facebook I believe, follow her on twitter and support her on Patreon!

My work documenting queer culture in Berlin is made possible by my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make art. 

You can help, for a little as a dollar/euro a month! My live documentary art is licensed Creative Commons and free for all to share and print, you can read about how that works here.

In Berlin, even charity benefits are punk as fuck.

Baron Anastis and Rah Hell of The Erinyes by Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2019I was invited to draw The Erinyes at a WOŚP Berlin charity fundraiser at Werkstatt der Kulturen (Workshop of Cultures).

The Werkstatt is an amazing castle-like building near Hermannplatz. It focuses on transculturality and diversity and showcases Berlin’s migrant forms of culture, art and action. Amazing right?!? There is a big concert auditorium and for this event there was a delicious Polish food pop-up. I ate the most scrumptious vegetarian pierogi, the best I’ve had since those middle of the night feasts at the Kiev in the 80s.

My friends and muses Rah Hell and Baron Anastis were performing, with Antony Buzz who flew in from Greece that morning. I had had some trouble controlling my line the night before at the Schwules Museum, as my hands are a bit shaky from various medication adjustments.

So I decided to take a break from pencil and ink and do some ballpoint drawings. 
The Erinyes by Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2019The Erinyes by Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2019

Ballpoint is so great for gigs!

It’s so fluid, I just let my hand move with the music, swirling and slashing. It feels incredibly good to draw with a ballpoint, but in general it is other artists who really like the drawings rather than the larger audience, so I tend to avoid it. Still, some of my favorite musician drawings I’ve ever done are in ballpoint or rollerball.

It was so rad to see The Erinyes rocking out, howling their signature raw sexypunk, at an event to raise money for medical care for kids. So gloriously Berlin. I love this city so much.

Spoken word at the Schwules Museum!

audience at the Schwules Museum by Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2019I finally made it to an event at the Schwules Museum!

Thanks to my friend Suzanne Wegh, who is always on top of the cool events, I knew there would be an evening of poetry, prose readings and talks at the SPIRITS Dyke Bar at Schwules Museum. I’ve been wanting to visit Berlin’s Gay and Lesbian museum for ages, but with chronic illness I can’t do as much as I want.

The Schwules Museum is 34 years old this year, and it is so lovely.

I came in out of the rain and immediately was happy and comfortable and wanted to see everything, read everything and buy all the cool stuff at the gift shop. The SPIRITS Dyke Bar has been a year-long installation by Ernest Ah, T Blank, and C Detrow set up in the cafe, which is super cozy and comfortable. The event was held by COVEN Berlin, a sex-positive transdisciplinary genderbender collective that my friend Sadie Lune belongs to. (Sadie has a piece in COVEN Berlin’s current exhibition at the museum, EXTRA+TERRESTRIAL!)

Alex Alvina at the Schwules Museum by Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2019Here is my drawing of Alex Alvina Chamberland reading from one of her amazing pieces about travelling while trans.

She is hilarious and poignant and writes about lots of Bay Area experiences I could relate to 🙂

Lee Richards at the Schwules Museum Suzanne Forbes Jan 12 2019Here is Lee Richards telling the audience about how “Voodoo doesn’t give a shit who you sleep with” during their talk.

Lovely picture of me with Lee! What you can’t see is that there was a cute doggie right behind us. Photo by Bard!Suzanne Forbes and Lee Richards at the SPIRITS Dyke Bar at Schwules Museum Jan 12 2019

The doggie is named Milka which is a brand of chocolate, candy and cookies; I don’t know the name of the person petting it but the man who is a chair user is Ed! I will get the name of the performer below and add it shortly 🙂 their writing was excellent.

edit: Mine Serizawa is the writer seen below!

I am so grateful to begin another year documenting queer culture in Berlin, thanks to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make art. 

My live documentary art is licensed Creative Commons and free for all to share and print, you can read about how that works here. And if you can visit the Schwules Museum, I definitely recommend it!

A “Reserved Parking for Eliza” OOAK spell doll!

Eliza Gauger doll by Suzanne Forbes Dec 30 2018 with Problem GLyphs bookI made this doll as a sort of summoning spell/eidolon/telepresence device for my friend Eliza Gauger.

Eliza lived in Berlin at one time, and may return someday. The idea is that the doll holds a space for her here, whenever she’s ready to return, and when she does arrive she can have it as a gift. Until then, it will sit on my shelf with my Alien figures from a beloved friend/muse/Patron and cards from friends.

Eliza is, of course, the artist/creator of the Problem Glyphs open source art project and book. Which is a healing spell of love and sacrifice, a work of sustaining power.

Eliza Gauger doll by Suzanne Forbes Dec 30 2018Eliza was also one of the people who sent us money when we were desperate, the first couple months in Berlin, cause Dan couldn’t work and we had to pay cash for my meds.

And Eliza had a hard year, this year. You can support her work on Patreon and download open source Problem Glyph art here, buy your own copy of the Problem Glyphs coffee table book here, buy Problem Glyph t-shirts here, request a sigil for your own problem here, buy original art and prints here, and follow her shitposts on twitter here.

I started the doll months ago, when I noticed one of the porcelain fairy heads I bought at a craft store in St. Paul, Minnesota in the early 90s reminded me of Eliza. At the same time, in the doll parts drawer, my gaze fell on a little leather jacket. It was from a Living Dead Doll I bought in the early Oughts, which I had cut up and redressed for some other project. The vision of the Eliza Reserved Parking doll came together in minutes, scrabbling through the drawer.

But – there were no arms in the doll drawer! Just a grubby baggy of taxidermy weasel feet.

Video of this disappointing moment on my IG video here. I found the fairy mint-colored ones, from a Monster High body sold withouten any head, online. The arms have ball joints and pegs, which I inserted into shoulder pieces of epoxy clay, thus meaning the doll has some posability.

Weasel feet in the doll parts drawerTheir body (the doll is definitely non-binary) is made with the traditional batting-stuffed cotton body, and their legs are porcelain ballerina legs that I made stockings for and gave boots from a totally different Monster High doll. I used grey nail flocking, just like the flock I used on the White Witch’s reindeer’s ears, to give the doll’s head some pale, glinting texture. Adhesive testing for micro rhinestuds Suzanne Forbes Dec 30 2018

During the time I was making the doll, Eliza got a dog.

A gallumphing nightmare beast of a lolloping moor-rambler, with glowing eyes and black fur. Luckily, while searching through a box of action figure bases for Sentinel parts for my upcoming Danger Room project (which will go under the School for Gifted Youngsters), I found a nice black wolf. Maybe he came with a Wolverine figure? Idk.

Terror Goggie for Eliza doll modified by Suzanne Forbes Dec 30 2018Anyway I had exactly enough left of the deep purple glove leather trim I got from an LA handbag manufacturer on etsy back in 2005 to make the terror goggie a harness. And while I used silver Sharpie and a bit of drybrushed gray acrylic to reduce the albedo of the micro-rhinestuds on the doll’s jacket, I left the ones I glued on the dog’s eyes alone. Hence, the glittering.

So here it is, “Parking Space Reserved for 3Liza”, a work which will hold a space of love and protection here until such time as Eliza collects it. 3Liza doll on shelf by Suzanne Forbes Dec 30 2018