Tag Archives: “Glücklich in Berlin”

The genderqueer glamour of Kabarett der Namenlosen, at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin.

Le Pustra and Mama Ulita dancing at Dr Sketchys Berlin Dec 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAh, the magic of these performers!

What glorious muses these Weimar angels of debauchery are!

Le Pustra and Mama Ulita posing at Dr Sketchys Berlin Dec 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI haven’t managed to see the theatrical performance of Berlin’s legendary Kabarett der Namenlosen yet, but I got to draw several of its wonderful characters. Above, Le Pustra and the sublime Mama Ulita.Le Pustra and Lars posing at Dr Sketchys Berlin Dec 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesLe Pustra, the producer of Kabarett der Namenlosen, has also been co-producing Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin with LalaVox. So it was natural they would do a session featuring the styles and sensuality of the dark cabaret.

Le Pustra and Lars dancing at Dr Sketchys Berlin Dec 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAnd how beautifully the 1930s dance hall setting of Ballhaus Berlin frames them. It’s heartbreaking to feel the spirit of Weimar Berlin right now, as LGBTQIA rights are under attack in places where so much progress had been made.

The Weimar era’s freedom of sexual and gender expression is so fucking poignant right now.

We must not go back, we must protect everyone’s right to be and love who they are, and wear whatever they want.

If you’re in Berlin, see the Kabarett der Namenlosen while you can! Thanks again to Le PustraLalaVox and all the performers/models/crew for another lovely time at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin! Here’s the Insta 🙂 and thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to make art!

previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin:

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!

Gay lovebugs at Ludwig!

Lovers watching Olympia Bukakis perform at Ludwig Nov 23 2018 by Suzanne ForbesThese sweethearts are watching a performance by Olympia Bukkakis.

Olympia is the founder of Queens Against Borders. QAB is a performance party in solidarity with queer and trans refugees.

Transophonix performing at Ludwig Nov 26 2018 by Suzanne ForbesHere’s Transophonix performing.

These two cuties are newlyweds!

Relaxing at Ludwig Nov 24 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAnd here is a member of community just chilling the heck out.

They are relaxing in the safe space that is queer bar and art gallery, Ludwig Berlin. Opening a radically inclusive, trans, lesbian and nonbinary welcoming, gay art bar in Neukölln has been a challenging journey for Maurus and Ceven, who run the space. I am so grateful the community has stepped up to support Ludwig, a beautiful and warm clubhouse for creative queers and their companions.

Thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon, who make it possible for me to make this art and share it open source, licensed with Creative Commons for all to share, print and enjoy.

Another lovely Extravagant Shambles!

Cadbury Parfait at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018What a great job Cadbury Parfait does putting together her burlesque shows at 800a in Wedding.

That’s the lady herself above, doing a routine to “All by Myself” that showcased her comic timing as much as her great beauty. I really like the cosy theater-bar venue 800a and was able to fight my way to the front of the stage this time!

MC Sarah Tonin, below.Sera Tonin at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

The very beautiful Ruby de Cadence!Ruby de Cadence at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

Stella von Fersen, celebrating Halloween’s candy-related pleasures.Stella von Fersen at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

A new-to-me performer, marvelous La Loba Lucía.

Loved her warrior woman cowgirl routine and she makes costume parts herself, using cosplay materials like Worbla!Lalobalucia at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 29 2018

Burlesquer and drag king Fifi Fantome!
At Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018

Agata D Mon at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 20 2018And Agata D’Mon , above, spooky in mask and then eating some fire! Like you do.

Agata D Mon eating fire at Extravagant Shambles by Suzanne Forbes Oct 29 2018Thanks so much to my Patrons on Patreon, who make it possible for me to document Berlin’s queer intersectional burlesque scene and release the artwork free to all.

You can learn more about sharing and using my free documentary art here, and you can help for a little as a dollar/euro a month!

 

Goats of West Berlin!

Grandma and grandbaby at The Charlottenburger Ziegenhof by Suzanne Forbes Oct 24 2018During the horrible week in September, friend and fellow artist Sue and I made a plan.

Suze hand and goats at the Charlottenburger Ziegenhof by Suzanne Forbes Oct 24 2018We would go to see the secret urban goat farm of West Berlin.

We would draw strength from the goats. This plan gave us great comfort and an important thing to look forward to.

And it was deeply restorative.

Look at the grandma and grandbaby enjoying the goats, above – what a wonderful sight it was!

To the left you can see Sue’s hands as they petted the sweet goat! Goats are good magic.
The Charlottenburger Ziegenhof by Suzanne Forbes Oct 24 2018

The secret goat farm, the Charlottenburger Ziegenhof, is quite near our house. It is in a city block, with a cafe and art gallery and Indian restaurants right there. It is a heavenly place, a restful oasis. There are goats and fluffy chickens and myriad places for children to play. We slid down the slide!

Goats at Charlottenburger Ziegenhof by Suzanne Forbes Oct 24 2018The goats are gentle and calm. They amble over to you and present their necks for skritching.

These goats are cats. They are deeply slothful, and assume loaf position on their Goat Resting Shelf most of the time.

Resting goats The Charlottenburger Ziegenhof by Suzanne Forbes Oct 24 2018They are chill as fuck. Nothing has ever bothered them, and if it did, they would just eat it. Important info from the goat feeding guide:

The Ziegenhof is entirely volunteer run and donation supported.

I made these goat drawings with the financial support of my Patrons on Patreon and they are free to use and share!

Hansel and Gretel at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin!

Evilyn Frantic as the Witch Dr Sketchys Berlin Oct 24 by Suzanne ForbesSecond in the Fairy Tale series, and full of witchy goodness.

I had a lovely time as always at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin. Wonderful costumes and posing by models Banbury Cross (Gretel), Hedoluxe (Hansel) and Evilyn Frantic as The Witch.Banbury Cross and Evilyn Frantic Dr Sketchys Berlin Oct 24 by Suzanne Forbes

Hedoluxe and Banbury Cross at Dr Sketchys Berlin Oct 24 by Suzanne ForbesAt one point the witch got a bit less clothing, in gorgeous vintage lingerie.Evilyn Frantic as the Witch en dishabille Dr Sketchys Berlin Oct 24 by Suzanne Forbes

Co-organizer LalaVox and The Narrator, Marijn van der Waa.
LalaVox and Marijn Van der Waa at Dr Sketchys Berlin Oct 24 by Suzanne Forbes

My mom was here visiting and got to see the beautiful and historic Dr. Sketchy’s venue, Ballhaus Berlin.

Thanks again to Le Pustra, LalaVox and all the performers/models/crew for another lovely time at Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin! Here’s the Insta 🙂

and thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial support makes it possible for me to make art!

Here’s the previous Fairy Tale session, Baba Yaga, posts one and two, and

previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin:

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!

Pansy’s House of Presents at Monster Ronsons!

Pansy at House of Presents Monster Ronsons Oct 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesEpic drag show House of Presents is a Tuesday night institution in Berlin.

Hostess Pansy  is above, warm and welcoming. It takes place at Monster Ronsons, a Queer Berlin clubhouse I am always hitting for friendsshows!

The night opens with Gieza Poke and her newcomer’s hour, to warm up the crowd to a frenzy. I have never seen such a wild hollering lovely audience! People here are SERIOUS about drag shows!Gieza Poke at Monster Ronsons Oct 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesGieza Poke, above, who performs in a Scottish burr, is hilarious.

Lots of performers were in a form of meta-drag, dressing as themselves in Goth drag AS the crew’s Goth drag girl, whose birthday it was. The birthday girl, Antina Christ, is below. I was so pleased I could make her happy with a drawing on her day! Here’s her site too.

Antina Christ at Monster Ronsons Oct 9 2018 by Suzanne ForbesEveryone was super nice and lovely, and I was very glad to be escorted to my first time at Ronson’s by regular Sebastian, who is posing for a painting. More drawings from this super-fun evening coming soon 🙂

My live drawing is made possible by my Patrons on Patreon. You let me document Queer Berlin and share it open source, licensed with Creative Commons for all to share, print and enjoy. Anyone can help for as little as a euro a month!

More drawings from Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin Baba Yaga session!

Marin van der Waa Narrates at Dr Sketchys Berlin by Suzanne Forbes sept 23 2018Marijn was the narrator, reading a spooky fairy tale in a voice that filled the room like smoke.

I have drawn Marijn before at Dr. Sketchy’s and was pleased to be able to do so again. Having a narrator really added to the experience of the show! Marijn is an illustrator herself, and you can follow her on the Instas here or check out her website here.

Women artists at Dr Sketchys Berlin Sept 27 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI also drew some of the artists this time!

I wound up sitting right next to the organizer of Berlin Museum Crew, artist Samantha Stover, (her mane of 60s movie star hair was covering her face alas!) and several other young woman artists. That’s Lucille Lehr with the two-colored hair! Plus my dear friend, artist and art teacher Giulia Caruso, was just a few seats away! That’s her with the fuschia streak and tattoos 🙂

Models at Dr Sketchys Berlin Sept 21 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAnd the one sketch I made of the other model besides Valentina Demonia, Hurricane Irina !

Another amazing Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin, thanks to LalaVox and Le Pustra. So excited for the Hansel and Gretel session, October 21 at Ballhaus Berlin!

More drawings from this session here; previous Dr. Sketchy’s Berlin:

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!

Thanks so very much to my Patrons on Patreon, and welcome to the new Patrons who joined this month! You make it possible for me to make this art and share it open source, licensed with Creative Commons for all to share, print and enjoy.

September 2018 Unterwegs!

phone call on the bus by Suzanne Forbes Sept 21 2018The thing about this guy with the phone on the bus was…

He was really excited about the phone call he was trying to get his friend to listen in on, and his friend was extremely “whatever” about it. Also, I don’t think I conveyed it in the drawing, but the phone was the thinnest I’ve ever seen, an absolute wafer.

Large shoes on the U1 by Suzanne Forbes Sept 21 2018This young woman had very large shoes.

And patterned pants that were definitely skating the edge of being Hammer Pants.

Bears on the U7 Sept 21 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI actually drew these two bears lovin on each other during the summer.

I saw them on the U7 at 4am, during CSD weekend. Christopher Street Day is the big Gay Pride weekend in Germany. They were headed home, like me, and the one with the Yankee hat was definitely German, but I guess the Yanks transcend nationality. The one with the curly hair had a Bear flag pendant, but I couldn’t figure out how to show it.

This is an example of a drawing I didn’t finish for a long time because I was frustrated with it; it’s not my best draftswomanship, coming at the end of a long night. And I am rarely pleased with my execution of horizontal compositions, which I why I rarely do them. However I loved these two and so I finally sucked it up and did my best to finish it. Not my best drawing, but two of my sweetest subjects!

Thank you, my Patreon Patrons, for making it possible for me to draw these Berlin people and share their stories. People are fucking beautiful, and it brings me the purest joy to tell you about them.

previous unterwegs posts:

August 2018 unterwegs

July 2018 bonus round

July 2018

April 2018

March 2018

February 2018 bonus round

February 2018

January 2018 bonus round

January 2018 round 1

December 2017

November 2017

September 2017

July bonus round

July

June

May bonus round

May round one

April

March 2

March

January

December

November

 

A gorgeous night at Uke Boogie, featuring local music heroes.

Gorjeoux at Uke Boogie Sept 13 2018 by Suzanne ForbesIncluding Gorjeoux!

Gorjeoux has a sparkle ukulele and performed “Toxic”, which I think is a Britney Spears song? With her own pun-ny lyric enhancements. In the funny songs category, The Ukelele Bandit performed a really good song about Brexit, but I did not draw him.

Rah Hell and Roberta at Uke Boogie Sept 13 2018 by Suzanne ForbesHowever I drew hostess Rah Hell and her roomie Roberta singing a Grimes song!

and this lovely fellow who performed a virtuoso piece on the musical saw. There’s always some mystery at Uke Boogie, someone who shows up and does a spectacular turn on some instrument you’ve never heard of. It’s part of the Uke Boogie magic. I don’t know why he removed his shoes to play the saw, but he did.Musical saw at Uke Boogie Sept 13 2018 by Suzanne Forbes

And I drew co-host the Great And Famous Crayon Jones in his marvelous cape and his very shiny very tight outfit!Crayon Jones at Uke Boogie Sept 13 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAlert readers will recall Crayon from my “Loving The Alien” drawings last summer.

The evening ended with Crayon, a bit drunk, playing the piano and singing “Heroes”. To hear “Heroes” in Berlin, played by someone who loves it deeply, in a roomful of people you care about, after midnight in the early Fall – well. Life is full of magic.

You can catch Uke Boogie the second Thursday of every month at Lagari. You never, ever know what’ll happen.

And keep up with drummess and ukulelist Rah Hell on the twitters and Instas. Of course, thanks to my goooorgeous Patrons on Patreon for providing the monthly financial support that makes it possible for me to document queer life in Berlin!!

Previous Uke Boogie drawings here and here.

A huge new tiny project: a School for Gifted Youngsters at last.

Primed dry build Gables DollhouseOh my word, I am building a new dollhouse.

Dollhouse planning drawing Suzanne Forbes Aug 30 2018

Dollhouse planning drawings by Suzanne Forbes, Aug 30 2018

My first dollhouse became a kind of Valhalla, a safe haven for all the characters and stories I love. it is a large, unwieldy, fragile metaphor for healing, hope and closure.

I imagine the School for Gifted Youngsters will work in a similar way, but more specific. My feelings about the X-Men and The New Mutants are my strongest of all and there is a lot of processing happening within even starting this project.

Also, my first dollhouse took ten years to complete, so I must be out of my mind. But actually, not so much; I have a plan.

I knew from pretty early on in the construction of my first dollhouse, around 2000, that I would need a second dollhouse. I already had too many action figures, even then, and too many weird geek jokes and visual puns and obscure heart-wrenching vignettes to tell with them.

Plus, as more and more X-Men action figures were made, it became clear the X-Men and the New Mutants would need their own house.

As I searched for a second dollhouse over the last ten years, I knew I wanted it to look a certain way. More “mansion”, less Victorian curio. Designed to be front-opening and kept for display against a wall in the English “Dolls House” style rather than open in the back for play like an American “Dollhouse”.

And I wanted it to be a “quick-build” routed MDF style, for fuck’s sake, rather than the insanely laborious die-cut kits that are now almost completely replaced by slightly less laborious laser-cut kits.

I never want to do a die-cut kit again, though I’m glad that I did get the very last Cambridge Dollhouse available on the West Coast in 2000. (For some reason I was obsessively determined that the Cambridge was superior to the nearly identical Greenleaf Beacon Hill).

There’s an excellent explanation of the different types of dollhouse kits here on Mysterious Miniatures for anyone curious about the hell that is punching out and sanding hundreds of die-cut pieces from a stack of 1/8″ plywood sheets. You can also see lots of pictures and read more about the process of building my first house here.

Below, the far superior routed/sawn MDF pieces of my Gables Dolls House kit, primed and laid out yesterday.

primed Gables Dolls House parts Aug 2018

The reason I pulled the trigger and bought my first dollhouse kit was that the model I had been eyeing suddenly disappeared from the tiny pool of online shops that existed then.

Windows for the new house primed and drying before painting.

Panicked, I called all over, looking for a Cambridge, and actually found one, the last one, at The Hobby Co. of San Francisco on Geary. I hauled the box home in triumph and terror, and spent the next three years just building the structure.

Of course, I “kitbashed” the hell out of it too, custom building the extension, rebuilding the dormers and adding new walls and high quality Houseworks wooden windows and doors.

To use routed wood doors and windows I had to reinforce all the interior and exterior walls individually, from 1/8″ to 3/8″, cutting all the pieces to size. Without power tools.

I had to learn to solder to use tape wire for the electrification, because it didn’t have grooves for round wire. It was insane, and I said “I am never doing this again”.

So I kept an eye out for a front-opening, high-quality, quick-build dollhouse that was also really cheap. For a decade.

During that time several models I liked went on and off the market. I didn’t have the wherewithal, on many levels, to acquire any of the models I liked. I finally completely finished the first house and added the landscaping, walls and greenhouse in Oakland around 2013, but  I waited to secure it to its base because I knew we were leaving the US.

I knew if we moved to Europe I’d have access to a completely different dollhouse kit supply chain, the mother lode of front-opening English dollhouses. And when we did, I started researching and pinning and comparing all the houses available. I got my first house set up and truly finished here in 2015.

Then this year, I finished the underground laboratories. It was time to be seriously thinking about a new house.

It had to fit a very specific space, and be a very specific style. After two years of research, I had pretty much settled on The Gables kit from The Dolls House Workshop, a family-run British company.

It was gorgeous, it fit the space next to the first house perfectly, it had big rooms, it had an entry hall, it had bay windows, it had an attic for Ororo, and it was the very epitome of quick-build, including channels routed for the goddam wiring.

Most of all, it was incredibly cheap for a heirloom dollhouse kit, only £209 when they can run to the thousands.

So I was thinking about it, but I am cheap and terrified of spending large sums, so I was hesitating.

Then it started disappearing from the four online sites I had it pinned from. Marked “Discontinued”, then “Permanently Discontinued”. It was still listed on the company’s own site, so after a week of nerve-wracking waiting til my Patreon money came in, I wildly took the plunge and ordered it. Two days of euphoric planning and excitement later, I got an email from DollsHouse Workshop.

They politely explained the kit had been discontinued some time ago and it shouldn’t have been on the site.

They would process me a refund. I was crushed and at a loss. I just didn’t know what to do next. None of their other models had the turned wood windows l love, were the right size, or even had grooves for the damn wiring. The other companies’ houses didn’t move me the same way.

After a couple of days of moping, I emailed the company to check on the refund, which hadn’t shown up. I mentioned that I was devastated, that I had really wanted that particular house. I don’t why I did, I guess I just figured it couldn’t hurt to share my truth!

Later that day, I got an email back from Kelly Wiltshire-Tokeley, co-director of the company, saying she had tracked one down and it would ship that week!

What an angel! Isn’t that amazing?

Oh joy! Oh happiness! The X-Men will have a home at last!

Seriously, this is such a big deal. And of course, such a big project.

Even a quick-build dollhouse is a huge DIY project, with many stages, many decisions, and many materials involved. First I did a dry build, to check for fit and parts.

Then I had to prime. The MDF walls had to be primed with a specialty MDF primer, and the turned wooden parts primed with a wood primer.

On the left you can see some of them! Our whole house smells like primer right now. The stairs will be stained with gel stain, which I’ve ordered.

I have all the paint ready for the exterior and have ordered all the wallpaper and carpets. Putting those in before actual final assembly will make a difference of at least a hundred hours’ labor between this house and the first house.

I will use modern battery powered LED lights and run a single wire through each room rather than tapewiring the whole thing.

Plus, this house has a perfectly simple rectilinear floor plan, rather than the incredibly complex layout of House #1. Which I think I will call SlurkCroft, from now on.

So I’m not making any promises or predictions, but I’m hopeful that the School for Gifted Youngsters will be open by Christmas.