Category Archives: Art

Artwork and various creative projects and obsessions from Berlin artist Suzanne Forbes.

Guest artist: the incredible doll art of Dollicious Life by Tinu!

Dollicious Life Asians for BLM Juneteenth 2020I recently discovered the work of Tinu, creator of Dollicious Life, on Instagram.

Dollicious life family at prayerIt was a #toyphotography hashtag that led me to Tinu’s amazing doll photographs.

And I was blown away!

You have got to see Tinu’s powerful and beautiful images using dolls as storytelling, as well as her charming videos with her gorgeous kids and doll collection!

This lovely scene of a family at prayer was created for the world’s first social distancing Ramadan.

The doll clothes were made by OMODE, a bespoke clothing company for ladies and kids, with many beautiful African prints.

Here is Tinu’s introduction from the #CollectionVsCollector challenge that’s going around:

I’m Tinu, publisher & editor, mother of 2 living in NYC. I’ve been collecting dolls since the late 90s as a young girl. Now housing over 300 vintage Barbie, Cissy, Blythe, Erte, Integrity Toys, Franklin Mint, etc in storage and only just now slowly starting to bring them out to play with my kids regardless of value.

Watching my 2yr old daughter’s reaction during unboxing is priceless! (You can see videos in the YouTube link on my profile page.) I love taking pics using outdoors, real life. Welcome to my happy place! So buckle up, it’s going to be one fantasy ride of art imitating life here!

The tender scene below shows the Hameed family leaving the hospital with a newborn.

Dollicious life Hameed family leaving hospitalTinu’s signature as a fashion doll photographer is using real backgrounds, made by placing the dolls in front of the real place!

And as a native New Yorker, she uses the city as a backdrop!

Her doll pictures in the last months include protest art, with photographs of her dolls she took while joining the protests in midtown.

She describes Dollicious Life as “the place where art imitates life”, and says she uses her dolls to teach her kids about the world.

The scenes she creates are warm and inclusive, a hopeful vision of human connection.

Dollicious life pride june 2020I love the family dinners and Pride pictures, which show gatherings of stylish folks.

Dollicious Life Moms 2020Her dolls are responsible and have tiny masks!

The scenes include cancer survivors and breastfeeding.

I also really value the education about traditional African fashion Tinu’s work provides, like this scene with Yoruba attire and this king in Ghanaian Kente style.

Tinu is a serious lifelong fashion doll collector (although now she lets her two-year-old open valuable boxed dolls!) and through her I learned about the fantastic doll company Integrity Toys, which celebrates its 25th anniversary this year.
Tinu twinning in Ndebele for Human Rights Day by Dollicious Life March 2020

Dolls have tremendous intrinsic energy, and using them for education is powerful.

I hope you’ll follow Tinu on Instagram or Youtube and see what stories her dolls have to tell.

Dollicious Life Juneteenth Black Lives Matter art by Tinu

You can also read Tinu’s reporting on New York protests here and see her coverage of the NYC Juneteenth events here.

NYC protest by Tinu June 2020Plus, check out her coverage of last year’s events like Curl Fest, Afropunk and Pride!

Tinu’s beautiful Sisterhood in White video:

Tinu’s Black History Month doll unboxing with her daughter!

The Pansy’s Birthday shows of Pansy’s House of Presents!

Dalaa for Giezas Poke House June 9 by Suzanne Forbes July 8 2020So many incredible performances for Pansy’s birthday!

Dalaa is a fantastic dancer; she was in the first half of the fab evening on Gieza’s Poke House.

If it were not for lockdown, I might never have gotten a chance to draw beauties like Dalaa. Getting across town to Monster Ronson’s is a huge effect for me, and one I am usually only able to make a couple times a year.

Katana Six for Giezas Poke House June 9 by Suzanne Forbes July 8 2020So I am very glad to be able to see every single Poke House and House of Presents show, for this period of time.

You can watch Gieza’s Poke House and Pansy’s House of Presents in Quarantine EVERY TUESDAY at 21:00 for The Poke House and 22h CET for House of Presents!

And see new-to-the-Pokehouse performers like the marvelous, gorgeous Katana Six!

Alexander Cameltoe for Pansys House of Presents June 9 by Suzanne Forbes July 8 2020Always a joy to see and draw Alexander Cameltoe.

Alexander’s show for Pansy’s birthday started in their workshop, which is loaded with tool goodness. Intergalactic Trash Prince  Alexander answered the Batphone and then proceeded to a gorgeous art-laden altar.

Pansy by Suzanne Forbes July 9 2020Note, I did not draw Pansy on her actual birthday.

She was dressed as an adorable baby, and I do not like children unless they are my friends’ children. So this is a drawing of Pansy from another show, when she was dressed as an adorable diner waitress bunny!

BIG NEWS: Pansy’s Pop-Up Pantry is HAPPENING Aug 2!!!

Pansy has been doing a fantastic series on her Insta stories called Pansy’s Pantry, where she demonstrates the baking of fabulous treats, with recipe, and provides education and tips for activism. Now the Pantry is coming to IRL life for a hot summer day!

You can pre-order her legendary key lime pie for pick-up here!

And always, I am so grateful to my Patreon Patrons, whose monthly financial support lets me keep documenting Berlin’s queer, intersectional drag performers while I work safely at home.