Suzanne Forbes, an expat New Yorker in Berlin. Made possible by the generous support of her Patrons. https://www.patreon.com/SuzanneForbes. Former DC Penciller for Star Trek, former courtroom artist, painting portraits and teaching drawing.
Sadie is VERY pregnant with her second child! Nonetheless, she is a very experienced model and the vibe was extremely chill. She wore several pairs of SUPER high heeled Fluevogs!
I didn’t plan for the drawings of Jo to come out all anime-superheroine, but I was working with a new type of pen and really working fast! I’m super grateful to Jo and Sadie for letting me share this moment.
I did a pastel drawing of Sadie posing on the couch en déshabillé but you’ll have to go to my flickr to see it!
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!
She 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!
Two 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.
I wound up having to take a lot of transit this week cause I had medical tests at various doctors, so I had more unterwegs time. There were actually two more women, on either side of these three, also with bent heads reading screens or books, but only these three had bags with rectangular bases in their laps. I imagined the young woman on the right to be a fashion student or designer. She was wearing these cream-colored wide-legged pants that were so striking and unusual for January.
Here you can see me being mesmerized by all the textures and shapes of how people bundle up.
As I mentioned in the first unterwegs of this month, it blows my mind how wrapped up people stay on the warm train!
edit. to add one more train drawing, which I did on the way to yet another doctor appt!
Previous unterwegs below, all unterwegs courtesy of my Patrons on Patreon whose monthly financial support allows me to make this free art available!
Drawing a foreshortened face is always a good challenge.
I appreciate people who are reading a book very much for this! I have a tutorial about drawing skulls here where I talk about my approach to the face in perspective.
People in Berlin are all so bundled up in the winter!
Thanks to menopause I run hot and wear about half as much wrapping as most people. Sitting on the cozy subway and buses and trams, I marvel at their bundling. Many people do not even open their coats on the train! While I get on and am immediately clawing mine open 🙂
edit. to add one person who DOESN’T bundle up: this very tall pole dancing guy I’ve seen several times on the U7!
All the thanks to my beautiful Patrons on Patreon whose monthly financial contributions make it possible for me to make documentary art of life in Berlin.
I 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!)
She is hilarious and poignant and writes about lots of Bay Area experiences I could relate to 🙂
Here 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!
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!
Hello all my dear ones, readers/friends/muses/Patrons/collectors! It’s my 52nd birthday!
I made over 250 individual pieces of finished documentary art in 2018, despite a year of health challenges (including being in a bus accident that busted up my drawing hand, ongoing menopause & auto-immune problems and my hb’s health issues!). That’s right baby! More diversity, representation and beautiful human stories than ever!
The only reason it was possible: the financial support of my Patrons on Patreon. Thank you, my darlings!!!!!!!
As always, the best birthday present you can give me is sharing and tweeting and facebooking my Patreon and Ko-fi!
I don’t make art if I don’t get paid. I don’t have the strength to make art for free.
To me, there is no greater validation of my work than getting money (to use for food and medicine) for it. So the last three and a half years on Patreon have been amazing, a total revelation in how happy and fulfilled I can be. You can help on Patreon, for as little as a dollar/euro a month. Or chip in on my account on Ko-Fi, the dumbest-named artist support platform ever!
I love you all so much, and I’m so grateful to you for supporting my work.
I am not giving up and I will keep working. Despite advancing arts censorship in the US and UK, I believe crowdfunding and releasing my art open source is the way for me. And of course I am available for private portrait commissions too 😉
Yours in love, hope and solidarity,
my best wishes for 2019,
Sample text/project descriptions for submission to art news websites:
Former courtroom artist makes a life’s work of open source documentary art, live-drawing scenes from sex parties to the Berlin subway.
Former DC artist documents alternative culture by drawing live on the scene, then distributes her work open-source.
Huge open source queer and alternative culture art archive in jeopardy from SESTA/FOSTA.
Suzanne Forbes is an expat New Yorker by way of the Bay Area, using the skills she developed as a courtroom artist to live-draw queer, trans and alternative culture. Much like the embedded combat artists who traveled with troops in World War One, she draws live on the scene for public distribution. Instead of newspapers, her drawings are published open source for anyone to print and share on flickr and her blog. Her documentary art project has been running since 2005, and is crowd-funded through Patreon. Her mission is to tell unique human stories, with a focus on visibility and representation.
We had to go to the visa office, nowadays known as the LABO, to get the hub’s work visa renewed.
As I have said before, the “foreigners office” is not really that bad a place. Although in winter there are no families picnicking on the grass outside, there are still lots of folks eating and drinking. The fact that food and beverages are allowed is such a humane detail. People buying snacks from vending machines and eating vegan salad from Scoom make it seem normal, not terrifying, to be waiting there. It’s also pretty shabby, with this random desk shoved in front of an unused door, in our waiting room. As you can see in the picture. The seats are stained, and everyone is pretty casual about their kids running around.
It’s all of a piece with our experience of German bureaucracy, which has been that they care about getting the procedure correct, getting you what you need, and getting you outta there, not about denying you. The agents in the offices are generally irritated, at you, but not cruel. Their end goal is the same as yours.
Following correct procedure is seen as a public good, so if you don’t follow correct procedure, you are inconveniencing everyone, and why would you do that? Hence the irritation. We actually screwed up, for the first time, forgetting Dan’s most recent paystub, but they found a workaround for it. His visa was renewed, and off we went. I hope things worked out as well for the sweet family I had a few minutes to draw while we waited.
Sometimes in Europe you see very European things, like this guy in another waiting room.
I was waiting at the gastroenterologist office and saw this fellow in the most totally bland minimalist Swiss look. I drew him because I liked the geometry of his folded legs and the boxy chair, even though his style choices were putting me to sleep.