Bushwig Berlin, Baby!!

Hungry at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne ForbesWhat a glorious thrill ride of drag magic!

I was so excited to be a guest of international NY/Berlin drag festival Bushwig this summer. I knew superstar drag performer and makeup artist Hungry would be performing; I’ve been dreaming of drawing her for years. And I knew I’d get to see and draw a whole armada of international drag talents for the first time.

That is Hungry at the top; the crowd went WILD.

I got to speak to her briefly and show her my drawing after, and I have to admit I was a gibbering fangirl.

Hungry at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne Forbes face detailYou just can’t imagine how beautiful, how ethereal, how meta-human and naiad-like and perfumed with colors she is.

Her makeup is painterly perfection, her skin glows, her brocade corset by Misty Couture has an extraordinary pipestem waist, her smooth bone-tattooed chest is flecked with gold leaf and petals. Her nail gloves were made by Vie of Unicorns Poop Glitter and they waved like undersea fronds in the air!

Hungry is simply a living orchid, a baroque marvel, and the kind of talent you meet only a few times in a lifetime. And she was so sweet and kind!

Read about the development of her style and her collaboration with Björk here.

Betty Fvck at Bushwig Berlin Aug 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI got to draw Europe’s Cheekbone Queen, the beautiful Betty Fvck, twice in one week!

Always a thrill to see this beauty work it. Drawing her at both Bushwig and Extravagant Shambles “Pride, Not Prejudice” was a total drawing Lotto win! Betty is so elegant!!

I was seated right up against the stage, and had such a great view of everyone. The venue, Festsaal Kreuzberg, is really lovely, a kind of industrial/tiki forbidden island on the river.

Dirt the drag goblin at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

The variety and diversity of talent was marvelous.

This angel bby drag goblin is Dirt from the Ground. You can see them perform here!

I was very charmed by Frida Pussy, who was assigned acts of contrition for unsafe acts: “Repeat, ‘I’m on PREP it’s fine’ fifteen times”.

Nun to devil transformation is a classic for a reason, baby!

Frida Pussy at Bushwig Berlin Sept 4 2019 by Suzanne Forbes devil style

I loved Donna Trump, a sass queen from Manchester’s thriving drag scene.

She has a new weekly cabaret happening! You can get her goodies on DragQueenMerch here.Donna Trump at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Sookie Sterling at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnd check out Sookie Sterling of the Sterling Sisters, a full-on legend.

You can see her on her Insta here.Tyler Ashley at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Tyler Ashley, a trained dancer, hit the stage like a comet.

She is like a divine blend of Liquid Sky and Xanadu and is known as the dauphine of Bushwig! DJ Hannah Lou at Bushwig Berlin Sept 6 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

DJ Hannah Lou is an incredible professional who managed the music for a huge lineup impeccably.

She was in an amazing silver space angel look.

As usual these drawings are licensed Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) for all to share and enjoy!

In addition, I release the copyright on each drawing to the performer shown and they may use the drawings for their own profit and pleeeasssure in any way they choose.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work and release it for free. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.

I was pretty damn wobbly near the end of this show, as I have been sick on and off all summer and it was very, very hot in the venue.

I was lucky enough to have a kind stranger be my support team – basically as my health has deteriorated this past couple years the type of embedded, in-the-splash-zone, eight-hours-nonstop drawing I do has become much harder.

A stranger (or friend!) showing appreciation for the value of my work, offering to get me a non-alcoholic drink, helping to buffer my drawing hand against surging crowds, fanning me with a flyer, holding my seat while I hit the loo, giving me a Euro or two to help my crowd-funding – all matter so much. Thank you, Arthur!

 

August 2019 Make-Cation: bead embroidered applique on silk velvet and jeweled bugs.

Bead embroidery pillow and work in progress by Suzanne Forbes Aug 1 2019I started my second Make-Cation of the year on August 1.

Bead embroidery work in progress by Suzanne Forbes Aug 1 2019As a self-employed artist, I don’t really have the concept of “not at work”; I work, on some level, pretty much all the time.

But there is a type of creative work that feels like play to me, and that is bricolage and decoupage and textile art.

I had an assortment of projects planned, and started with embroidering a commercial floral applique to a silk velvet pillow cover I got at H&M for five euros.

I used my largest embroidery hoop to hold the applique to the pillow cover while I stitched it in place and then added oodles of beading, Swarovski crystals, and embroidery. I used a fine silver embroidery thread to stitch the applique down; it took a very long time!

Bead embroidering, the slowest possible art, makes me feel dreamy and relaxed.

You stitch the applique down and then cut away the excess netting with tiny scissors, which is super gratifying!

Bead embroidery bug work in progress by Suzanne Forbes Aug 30 2019For some reason I stalled out on this bead embroidered moth on pink velvet a while back.

I was feeling unsure about the technique I was trying for its ruff, with bugle beads layered into a 3D effect. I did another six hours of work on it, finishing the ruff, adding pearls, crystal beads, resin flowers and metallic thread, and I feel more confident about the style now. It’s still not finished, but it’s coming along.

And I also “uplifted” this little metal bug clip.

I used gold wire to stabilize its acetate wings and then jeweled and microbeaded the hell out of them. Please ignore my grimy nails – it’s charcoal, not dirt!

I had several other projects I was planning to get done on this make-cation, but unfortunately I came down with bronchitis on the 10th and then it turned into strep! What the even hell. Most of this month since has been resting and doctor visits. So I am home sick, posting the stuff I made 🙂

August 2019 Make-Cation: Bead Embroidered Insect Corset.

Bead embroidered bug corset project work in progress Suzanne Forbes Aug 28 2019 I know some of you have been wondering, where is the bug corset, Suz?

Bead embroidered bug corset project work in progress Suzanne Forbes Aug 28 2019 leftBecause of how much I like bugs (“Bugs are Nature’s jewelry! Put a bug on and you’re ready to go out!”) and how very, very many bug things I have made.*

And how much I like corsets and how many elaborate bead embroidered and embellished corsets I’ve created.

It does seem like a natural match! But for whatever reason, it hasn’t happened – UNTIL NOW!!!!

Bead embroidered bug corset project work in process Suzanne Forbes Aug 28 2019Oh dear heavens, bead embroidery is a time sink.

Bead embroidered bug corset project work in progress Suzanne Forbes Aug 28 2019This is a commercial corset with a lace overlay, and at this point I have put about 150 hours into embellishing with bead embroidery, appliques and metallic thread embroidery. I watched two seasons of “Colony”, a season of “Lucifer”, and a season of “Supernatural”.

Shockingly, “Supernatural” gradually recovers its footing in season 11, after some bullshit fridging in Season 10 that just about made me give up.

But season 11 has representation, diversity, fan service, precious cameos (I yelped with joy!) and the focus on family and Dean being kind of an idiot that I love.

Bead embroidered bug corset project work in progress Suzanne Forbes Aug 28 2019 bottomThe bugs are commercial appliques I’ve been collecting for a while; they are coordinated by using colored Sharpies to tint areas that are too bright or plain white. I sewed them on with plain black thread, then used many shades of metallic thread to integrate them with the glittering beads.

I estimate there’s another forty-fifty hours of work to finish this project.

Since I have strep throat and I have to have surgery on my knee in September, I should have plenty of time. If the cat lets me! Morgan le Fay had surgery on a melanoma on her ear and is SO MAD about the cone of shame.

I just need to choose some shows to run in the background. Supernatural season 12 is on Amazon Prime here; after that I gotta figure out some other options. “Lucifer”, in Season 4, has descended into “Will they/won’t they” hell (ha ha) and I am just about ready to start skipping episodes based on spoilers. Or I might just bounce over to “Legends of Tomorrow”, which is so good and so gay and so weird and so dumb.

*Bug stuff, some of it:

Bug footstool

Bug Mirror

Embroidered Bug

Bug Bricolage

Mauve Moth Embroidery Shadowbox

Bead Embroidered Moth Shadowbox

Mantis Shadowbox and more

Collage with butterflies and snakes

Bee bricolage and cicada shadowbox

Moonlit Moth with real Mohair fur

Grasshopper Golden Jubilee carriage

Hideous Insect Gothic Rococo Mirror

Articulated Mantis OOAK doll in translucent FIMO

Jewelled bug and talk about insect themes in womens art

Bead embroidered beetle

Making is my medicine Moth embroidery

Beaded embroidered pink grasshopper

Beadwork spider for Halloween

Glitter grasshopper and beetle frame

Horrifying rococo insect OOAK doll

Horrifying Victorian insect OOAK doll

Bead embroidered beetle

Jeweled flies and cold porcelain moths

Fauvist mantis embroidery

Jeweled mantis on wire armature

Pride, Not Prejudice: an all-queer Extravagant Shambles at Monster Ronsons!

Eden Lost at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice August 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThe minute producer Cadbury Parfait announced a Pride Week show with an all queer-identifying lineup, I was in!

I love to go to shows at iconic venue Monster Ronsons, even though it’s on the absolute opposite side of town (and of course in the summer getting to the East is a nightmare because U-Bahn construction). Because, a) the place just feels like home, and b) Ronsons actually has some shitty air-conditioning, which puts it WAY ahead of basically every other venue in Berlin. And Pride, Not Prejudice was a can’t-miss Extravagant Shambles lineup!

Above, Eden Lost shakes off the patriarchy.

Eden Lost is one of those performers who just blows my mind. They have the kind of star power and gorgeousness that comes off the stage in waves. I was so thrilled to meet them and have been following their adventures on the Insta, where I just saw they cosplayed 80’s Punk Storm!!! You must click!!! So good I am basically rolling around on the floor SHRIEKING.

Sarah Tonin at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice Aug 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesHostess Sarah Tonin as a seven-foot tall Gothic Lolita in mint and black outfit by Harry Hardon.

HP Loveshaft at Pride Not Prejudice July 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThere was a terrific showing of local drag kings.

Above, gentleman dandy HP Loveshaft bringing hard thrills! (My Patrons got to see these two hot drag king portraits a month earlier than everyone else, as an exclusive treat).

Daddy Sparkles at Pride Not Prejudice July 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesAnother fabulous performer I was drawing for the first time, Daddy Sparkles!

Daddy Sparkles is an explosion of colorful charisma!

Stella von Fersen at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice Aug 27 2019 by Suzanne ForbesStage Kitten Stella Von Fersen wore one of my favorite classic cabaret looks, tux and topper!

Betty Fvck at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice August 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesEveryone loves glamour queen Betty Fvck, she always brings her A game!Miss Strawberry Moon at Extravagant Shambles Pride Not Prejudice August 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesMiss Strawberry Moon came over from the UK!

You know I love me some tentacles, and Pride flag tentacles, well hell yes!!!!

Coming soon, more drawings with breathtaking Lily Lustre, genderqueer Harry Potter cosplay from Skirt Vonnegut, and rock’em sock’em showgirl Felicity Felicis!

An important note to all my lovelies: I’m at home finishing all these drawings while I have a horrible case of strep throat AND bronchitis.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.

Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin, Barbarella Edition part two!

Lucille Spielfuchs as Barbarella Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes loungingYou can take the girl out of comics, but you can’t take the comics out of the girl!

It doesn’t get more superhero than Lucille Spielfuchs as Barbarella at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin.Sebastian Stone as Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes

Her companion Sebastian Stone as Pygar was equally superheroic.

Would ya look at that guy!

Lucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes profileLucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes profileAnd these two lovelies posing together!

Pure comic book goodness. Below, a three-minute drawing of Lucille. Powerhouse lady!

Lucille Spielfuchs as Barbarella Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne Forbes 3 minDr. Sketchy’s Berlin and the good folks who make it happen are one of the best things in my life in Berlin.

All the thanks to producers Syren Joey and Miss LaLa Vox aka @lalavox, UFO Hawaii, @pixie.scarlett and Matthias for all their hard work, and @marenmichaelis  who takes the amazing photographs, and to @lepustra and the hardworking team at the gorgeous vintage venue @ballhausberlin!!

And all my love to my Patrons on Patreon.

I’m a disabled artist with chronic, unpredictable, debilitating health issues.

My Patrons’ monthly financial support allows me to make this art and make it available as free art! You can help, right here.

Painting Cadbury Parfait, second sitting.

It’s been a busy summer for performer/producer Cadbury Parfait, and I’ve been sick an awful lot, so it took a while to schedule our second sitting.

It went great though!

Portrait of Cadbury Parfait second sitting by Suzanne Forbes August 21 2019Cadbury is a total professional and working with her is terrific.

The painting is coming along very well.

I have a new tool, a USB-powered LED light bar with multiple color temperatures.

It replaces the bulky, expensive full-spectrum OTT-Lites I used in the US, which I donated to the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse when we left for Berlin. My new light has LED bulbs and is much lighter and smaller. It’s working great, and was super cheap.

Cadbury’s next Berlin solo show as a performer is at Zum Starken August on August 31.

And this Fall there is gonna be a fantasy-themed Extravagant Shambles, which I’m super excited about!

 

Dr. Sketchys Berlin Nr. 70 – the Barbarella Edition!!

Lucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone posing as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne ForbesWow, that was a hell of a good time!!

I returned to my comic-book roots with this edition of Dr. Sketchys Berlin. I have a new tool, a giant PITT brush marker, and I just dashed the drawings out like a wild woman!! Using a combination of the PITT marker and my beloved white chalk marker on Strathmore Toned Gray paper, I was able to treat the drawings like paintings, working additive-subtractive. This method gave me tremendous freedom and confidence.

Lucille Spielfuchs and Sebastian Stone posed as Barbarella and Pygar Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 11 2019 by Suzanne ForbesThe fact that the models looked exactly like the superheroes I spent my teens drawing made it so easy!

The models were Lucille Lehr and Sebastian Stone, two extremely muscular and fit humans who totally embodied cartoon heroes. They are both extremely talented multi-disciplinary artists, and they brought such marvelous energy to the show. Lucille’s resemblance to Jane Fonda was UNCANNY. I had SO MUCH FUN!!!!!

UFO Hawaii at Barbarella session Dr Sketchys Berlin Aug 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI also drew Dr. Sketchy’s house DJ, Berlin legend UFO Hawaii!

His sound is always the sickest in town. When he breaks out the T. Rex I get so happy!

I am so grateful to have Dr. Sketchy’s and the good folks who make it happen in my life.

All the thanks to producers Syren Joey and Miss LaLa Vox aka @lalavox, UFO Hawaii, @pixie.scarlett and Matthias for all their hard work, and @marenmichaelis  who takes the amazing photographs, and to @lepustra and the hardworking team at the gorgeous vintage venue @ballhausberlin!!

And so much love to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support allows me to make this art and make it available as free art!

 

Performers’ Panel Discussion about Cultural Appropriation at Berlin Burlesque Week 2019.

MisSa Blue speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 30 2019This international panel discussion was facilitated by MisSa Blue, from Germany, and co-hosted by Denise “Seven” Bailey, from the US.

MisSa Blue, sword swallower, TEDx speaker and POC activist, above.

Sydni Deveraux speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 30 2019Sydni Deveraux speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 30 2019Sydni Deveraux, the Golden Glamazon, from the USA (International special guest!).Knockout Noire speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 31 2019Knockout Noire – from Norway and the USA.

Luna TikTok speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 31 2019Luna TikTok – a Berlin-based New Yorker!

Viva Lamore speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 31 2019Viva Lamore – another Berlin-based New Yorker.

Misty Lotus speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 31 2019Misty Lotus – based in Switzerland, fire-eater and doyenne of the Swiss Burlesque Academy.

Kim Khaos speaking at Berlin Burlesque Week by Suzanne Forbes July 30 2019And Kim Khaos, the Exotic Ecdysiast – Scotland based, producing and performing internationally.

Funding for the panel and MisSa Blue’s work around the topic is through Paypal. Please feel free to contribute so that the speakers on this discussion are not doing this emotional labour for free.
https://www.paypal.me/MisSaBlue

My own work was funded by my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly donations allow me to make documentary art of Berlin’s queer, intersectional burlesque scene and release it for free to all.

A summer finissage at the Schwules Museum.

Layana Flaxx and L at the Schwules Museum July 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI have made so many drawings this summer!

I’m still catching up from the beginning of June, with events like this finissage at the Schwules Museum. It was a beautiful event for the closing of the incredible “Objects of Desire” exhibit, with two live performances.

Above, gorgeous model, makeup-artist and advocate Layanna Flaxx shows off her purple hair. I was sitting with my friend Sadie Lune and saying how amazing her makeup in her latest film was, and she was like “Yeah Layanna did it!”.

Photographer at Objects of Desire Finnissage and Liad performance Schwules Museum July 29 2019 by Suzanne ForbesI also drew this young photographer who was documenting the live performance of Liad Hussein Kantorowicz. I need to get the photographer’s name!

The performances involved nudity, so I can’t create those drawings for this site – look for them on my other site in the next few days.

A night at the Circus – Martini Cherryfurter MC’s!

Martini Cherry Furter at Zum Starken August by Suzanne Forbes July 27 2019I met up with Suzanne in Prenzlauerberg for a visit to the Circus Bar!

There are two circus bars, actually, kitty-corner from each other as we used to say in the Old Country.

Zum Starken August has burlesque Friday and Saturday nights, with an MC like Martini Cherry Furter, above. Toast Hawaii has bands and also something called Pornokaroake which I don’t know what that even is. Toast Hawaii, btw, is a disgusting German dish. Do not google it.

Martini Cherry Furter at Zum Starken August by Suzanne Forbes July 27 2019I’ve drawn Martini before and it is always SUCH a pleasure. She is so beautiful, all glamour and cheekbones and legs and sass. The straight boys she was teasing as I drew this were blushing like little kids.

La Labo Balucia at Zum Starken August Suzanne Forbes Aug 29 2019Here’s performer La Loba Lucía, one of my favorite people in Berlin to draw!

She always looks like a super hero, even doing her gangster routine here. She brought the routine out of retirement just for this night so I was super excited! It was so important to me to be there on this night, and yet I was so sick I almost gave up and went home. Only the support of my friend and fellow artist Suzanne Wegh kept me there.

As a fat, queer, disabled artist, crowdfunded support is the only way I can make this work. 

You can join my Patreon Patrons, for as little as a dollar/euro a month, to keep me working and releasing my documentary art of Queer Berlin as Free Art.