Tag Archives: urban sketching

Roundup of my open-source crowd-funded documentary art for 2018!

Suzanne Forbes crowd funded open source art 2018Hello 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!

For the biggest boost of all, totally free to you!!!, PLEEEEAASE, I beg you, submit my documentary artwork project to ColossalBoingBoingLaughingSquidMy Modern MetBoredPanda, Women’s Art on twitter, and/or any of these other sites. Starter text at bottom to give you an idea how to do that!

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!

https://www.patreon.com/join/SuzanneForbes?

 

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,

Your Suz

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.

An immigrant family at the Ausländerbehörde.

Immigrant family at the visa office Dec 18 2018 by Suzanne ForbesWe 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.

In the waiting room Dec 2018 by Suzanne ForbesSometimes 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.

More visa office

More medical waiting rooms:

Charité one and two

December 2018 Unterwegs!

Enormous dog and his human on the U Bahn Dec 20 2018 by Suzanne ForbesPersephone phones home.

I saw this red-headed woman and her enormous Cerberus and just HAD to draw them, I was drawing so fast because of course you never know how long you’ll have, what station the person will get off at. I was lucky and got a decent amount of time to get the details.

Day drinker on the U6 Dec 18 2018 by Suzanne ForbesThis punk as fuck guy was having some lager at 10 a.m.

I’m not normally out in the world before one in the afternoon at the earliest, but I had an endocrinologist appointment so I was on the U6 with the morning folks. Which included this very tall dude, who drained one pint can, crushed the can and immediately opened another. Ah, Berlin!

It is my Patrons on Patreon whose monthly financial contributions make it possible for me to work as I can, when I can. Given how rocky my health has been this year, with multiple autoimmune illnesses and a bus accident that busted up my drawing hand, it’s an indescribable blessing. I am so grateful to you!

My documentary art is licensed Creative Commons and free for all!

Previous unterwegs are here:

Fall 2018

September 2018

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

Goths around town.

Goth girl and her mom at Dussmanns Nov 24 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI drew this tall goth girl and her mom at Dussmann’s.

I was waiting for a friend and they were waiting for a concert in the beautiful underground cafe with the living wall.

goth guy on the U Bahn Nov 23 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI saw this guy in the U station and loved his outfit.

The combo of plaid skirt, heavy socks and turtleneck looks great and I immediately fell to wondering how I could get my husband to rock a similar look…

Unterwegs for Fall 2018!

On the S Bahn Nov 24 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI know there haven’t been many unterwegs this Fall!

I have been having some autoimmune issues with my health and I am sometimes terribly weak, so I haven’t been out and about anywhere near as much as I’d like. It took me ages to finish this drawing of two guys with very different style on the S-Bahn!

Unterwegs couple Nov 24 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAnd this is a very sweet couple, the lady enjoying her bouquet and her attentive companion.

I am so incredibly grateful for the support of my Patrons on Patreon, whose monthly financial contributions make it possible for me to work as I can, when I can. My documentary art is licensed Creative Commons and free for all!

Previous Unterwegs are here:

September 2018

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

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!

More drawings from Pansy’s House of Presents at Monster Ronsons!

Alucard and partner at Monster Ronsons Oct 24 2018 by Suzanne ForbesSuch a lovely time. Here is one of the performers waiting in the audience with his partner. Fannie Headaek at Monster Ronsons October 24 2018 by Suzanne Forbes

Fannie Headaek, doing a poignant and unusual performance.

Zoe dancing at Monster Ronsons Oct 24 2018 by Suzanne ForbesAnd artist and drag king Alexander/Zoe, and more, dancing.

The previous drawings from this edition of Pansy’s House of Presents at Monster Ronsons Berlin are here!

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!

 

Feminist performance art in East Berlin: Mad Kate at Monster Ronsons!

Mad Kate performs at Monster Ronsons Sept 20 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI was at Monster Ronsons last week for a double feature of performance artist Mad Kate and my friend Dawn’s band Das Fluff.

Mad Kate played the stripper pole, using a sensor on the bottom of their platform shoe. It was very, very cool. You can follow Mad Kate on twitter here, Instas here, and their website here.Mad Kate plays the stripper pole at Monster Ronsons Sept 20 2018 by Suzanne Forbes

The dance floor was full of beautiful young queer folx.

The joy, fury and strength of young queer people in Berlin! They are living their way into a better world, and it sustains me.
Dancer at Monster Ronsons Sept 20 2018 by Suzanne Forbes

Thank you, always, to my Patrons on Patreon, who make it possible for me to make this documentary art of queer Berlin.

 

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

 

Queer portrait drawings from a benefit at Ludwig!

Sigrid at Ludwig Sept 16 2018 by Suzanne Forbes in installationI am on a big gay drawing binge!

Kaey onstage at Ludwig Sept 16 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI was asked by Maurus, our friend who runs Ludwig bar and art gallery in Neukölln, to do some live drawing at a fundraiser. Of course I said yes! And I think I hit it out of the park.

Above is singer Sigrid Grajek, who the benefit was for. I snuck the portrait into the installation currently in Ludwig’s main exhibition gallery, The Serpent Eats its Tail by Russell James Redwood Harris.

Harris‘s work features textiles, textures and rich symbolism, like the men’s y-fronts (tightey-whiteys!) soaked in a salt solution until they became a pure crystalline mass of snow-white glitter.

And several beautiful feathers carefully cut out of gold leather.

Kaey and Transophonix at Ludwig Sept 16 2018 by Suzanne ForbesI also drew Kaey, the MC, both while onstage and while chatting at the bar with a friend from “queer trash orchestra” Transophonix.

And amazing multi-talented singer-dominabondage artist Kristina Marlen, who was there with her lovely mom. Ms. Marlen knocked the room out with a classic Berliner cabaret tune.

singer at Ludwig by Suzanne Forbes Sept 16 2018Her mom bought the drawing in the fundraiser auction, which delighted me!

It is my goal to always make myself available for LGBTQIA, sex-positive, kinky, and alternative community benefits if my spoons/health allow. In the Bay Area I did a ton of benefits and fundraisers, and I am slowly ramping up here!

I can do this work because of my wonderful Patrons on Patreon, who provide the monthly financial support that makes it possible for me to document queer life in Berlin!!

If you want an art donation for a benefit or want me to draw at an event, just let me know 🙂 I’m on Instagram here.