Vampiresses, Face-Overs, and Dead Things.

Posted in All Things Costume, Art & Illustration with tags , , , , , , on June 4, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

Ok, so I have a breather for the moment and have a new/old picture to share.  I drew this one in 2011 and loved this picture except for the face.  Hated the face but didn’t know how to fix the original.  Well after some creative knife skills I managed it.  And now I love it again!  So check out the before and after face and tell me which one looks better and more natural:


And here is is in all it’s completed and colored glory!


Had some real fun with the skulls as you can tell, hehehehe.


New Jewelry, New Con, and the sad/practical truth about my art.

Posted in Art Jewelry, Morbid Jewelry, Necklace & Earring Jewelry Sets with tags , , , , , , , on May 7, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

Had to miss last weeks blog, It is my busy season.  However I figured I needed to write something for this week so I decided I would talk a little about my art and how it goes.  Firstly, the new con news….  I passed the jury and was accepted into the DragonCon art show!!!!!!!  This is huge for me, I am so excited!

I am having some significant issues with a particular convention and their lack of communication.  I have been waiting for weeks for my art to be returned to me and it got me thinking.  I think there is this huge misconception out there about artists and they money they make.  I cannot afford in any way for a box of art to disappear.

I am going to open my studio doors and let you all in on a few things.  I make no money.  In the year and a half that I have determinedly been sending my art to shows and trying to be an actual artist I have not even made the money back that I have spent. Not nearly.

If I am lucky a convention show will only charge $5-$20 per panel space for their show and then $5 or so for print show space, $30 is totally reasonable and acceptable for getting in a show.  Then there are the mail in fees, some as low as $.25 per piece and some as high as $40.  Add to that shipping both ways which will run from $10-$20 each way and before you know it you are in $50 or so for a single show.  And I am lucky if I sell a single $20 piece at any given show.  This doesn’t take into account the costs for prints, foam board, mat board, adhesives, deco papers, time crafting each print, etc.

So why am I doing it?  Not for fame, not for money, not even for a sense of accomplishment.  I do it because I am a huge nerd.  I am so nerdy about the pictures and stories that I make up I just want to find others who like the same subjects and things.  I need more people to nerd out with me about Bustle racers and giant spider silk factories, Steampunk Fairies, and Victorian dead things…

And there it is.  My art does not yet financially support itself at all.  I will say this… My jewelry does sometimes, but I have nearly zero online sales (just a few from friends and family).  I only make a little at the 6 or so cons I do in a year.  It is rough going but the thought of quitting these creative endeavors just makes me sad.

With all that said I will leave you with some new jewelry sets that will be for sale at this summer’s upcoming events: ConDuit and Salt City Steamfest

Go ahead and click to see them closer.  I have more new jewelry sets coming next week including some that will only be available online in my etsy shop: Metallic Visions.

An Interview, Manufactured Demands, and Bottled Water.

Posted in Art & Illustration, Generic Musings with tags , , , , , on April 24, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

Today I am taking on something that make me rage.  The out of control ‘manufactured demands’ created by greedy corporations in the world.  Specifically the myths about bottled water.  I will spare you the super long tirade and rant and simply ask a few questions and give you a video.  Oh there is good news at the end too so make sure you make it though!

Do you believe that bottled water is cleaner and better for you than tap water?

Do you believe that everyone in our country has the right to free clean water?

Do you believe corporations like Nestle and Coke, care about more than the money in their consumers wallets?

Watch this and remember what corporations (Not all mind you but most) really want from you.

When I toured Europe in 1996 I was told not to drink the water in any country, not even England.  With a bottle of water costing $3 US and being on a VERY limited budget, I asked our tour director who had been doing this specific tour for years if any of the water was safe.  He looked at me like I was nuts and said “I have always used tap water and never had any trouble.”  So I drank the tap water and guess what… Nothing happened.

So for the good new?  Well yours truly was accepted to share some illustrations in the Young Raven’s Literary Review online Journal!  They interviewed me and that interview is up right now on their site.  They are featuring the following pieces: Beauty and the Beast, Snow White, and Little Mermaid.  This is a first for me, the interview part, and I am really excited!!!  Go see my interview!

Droofus, a book, and one lost head.

Posted in Art & Illustration, Generic Musings, Life Stories with tags , , , , on April 16, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

I got something fun for today. I thought it would be a good idea to share some of my very favorite books from my childhood and the very first one that comes to mind is Bill Peet’s ‘How Droofus the Dragon Lost His Head’. I adored this book so much that my copy of it is in tatters. If you haven’t read it check out this You Tube and listen to Sarah Strand read it to you.

Bill Peet is just an awesome artist, he was a story man for Disney and by himself drew out the storyboards for 101 Dalmatians and The Sword in the Stone. Check out his son’s website for him: Bill Peet

This book had a big influence on my life in a few ways. Artistically it further fueled my love of fantasy and dragons, and things medieval. I loved Peet’s layouts across the pages and the way he used black and white spaces to help illustrate and visually tell the story.

Through the course of the story Droofus has some sad things happen to him but through it all he adapts and he helps others. The idea that no mater what happens to you, you can choose how you adapt to it was a huge and wonderful idea to me. There have been a lot of unfortunate things that have happened to me in my life, and I know that this book and the concept of positive adaptation helped me get through a lot of garbage.

I have a bunch of other books I would love to share and in the future you may see fairies, tin men, unicorns, more dragons, and much more.

Snakes, Spiders, & Fear

Posted in Generic Musings with tags , , , , , , , on April 10, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

When I was a child I was afraid of everything that I could not control. This included but was not limited to… snakes, spiders, natural disasters, black holes, the space under my bed, asteroids, plagues, public speaking, vampires, murderers, people yelling, and the bottom of the stairs. I lived in terror, and one day I may explain some of why, until then I am going to talk about how those fears changed.

Like most little kids I was terrified of spiders. They had the power to make me freeze in my tracks and yell for my parents until they saved me. I remember my mom used to just kill them then eventually she would catch them in a jar so we could watch them up close for a while then release them in the garden. Between her and my neighbor Linda, who is also my other mother, spiders started being less terrifying. Oh they still scared me, but as I learned about them from Linda and how important they are as natural pest control, that fear began to turn to fascination. I remember one experience with a fuzzy jumping spider in my bedroom window. I was struck by how it stared at me like it understood that I was another living being and was just as curious about me as I was about it.

Now I adore jumping spiders. I think they are adorable with their big wide eyes and their fuzzy arms. I usually don’t kill spiders in my house. I either let them be (depending on what room they are in), or I usher them outside.

I used to be so scared of snakes that I wouldn’t even touch a picture of one. Then when I was in college there was this fair and the halls were lined with tables advertising or displaying things and there was a snake at one table and this woman was showing it off. I decided it was time to embrace my fear and touch a snake. The way that those smooth glossy snakes felt on my skin was so interesting and not scary at all. And just like that my fear turned into adoration. Since then I have been a sucker for all things snake. And skulls. Snakes and skulls, yep that’s me.

In a nutshell, as I learned about the things I was so afraid of I went from fear, to mild curiosity, to fascination to fan. I can’t get enough of weather and disaster shows now. My fear of black holes has turned into a life-long love of all things astronomy.  And I may just be a little obsessed with all things dark and monster-ish. As a stroll through my house will attest…

Depression, Juggling, and Friendly Pigs

Posted in Generic Musings with tags , , , , on April 6, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

I know it isn’t Thursday… Easter totally threw me off… yeah that’s it.

Brace yourselves folks, this is gonna be a bumpy ride as they say…

I have what they call a clinical depression. It can be classified as bi-polar type 2 where instead of swinging between manic and depressive I just swing between middle of the road and depressive. This was from a combination of my genetic make-up and a brain injury I sustained between age 16-17. On top of that I also developed Agoraphobia specifically social anxiety in my early 20’s. There is my mental health in a nutshell.

The last 2 years I have been relatively happy and stable hanging out in the middle of the road with most people. Just recently, like the past month, I have noticed that I am beginning to swing back down into a low period. The previous low lasted a year. It sucked, not only for me but for my family. We all made it thought without scars and I have my excellent councilors (especially Gail Szakula) and my parent’s teaching and faith from my youth (birth to 28, more on that in later posts) to thank.

As I have been railing against the downward slide, an image came to mind. It is an image that I have asked my husband, Steve, to illustrate for me in his most expressive stick-figure-ese. It isn’t a perfect metaphor, just some imaginary scenario that felt appropriate to my life.


That’s me, there in the boat, juggling all my responsibilities, hobbies, family, and health-spoons. We all have to do this. And we all have to do this while riding a unicycle, because life is unpredictable and spending time on our work and play is like riding a unicycle. You have to pay attention and plan ahead if you are going to stay balanced and upright. On top of that we have to do all of this perched in the bow of the boat in the middle of a lake. Usually the lake is pretty placid, but placid or not it is hard to balance in the bow of a boat without help.

Thankfully, there is help. Our trusty pig, who balances out our boat and keeps us company. For me, my husband and step-kids and the family I grew up with are there to help level my boat. The trouble for me is that there is more to it. See that jerk with the boulder on the shore? That would be my self-doubt, my fears, my paranoia, my anxiety, and my bad habits. He stands there with a pile of boulders waiting for the perfectly mean moment to throw one in the lake and make waves to toss my boat. He is there all the time, and though I have significantly lessened the amount of boulders he has to throw, I have not yet been able to get rid of him. Everyone has one of these guys, and they all suck.

This is normal for me; I guess you could call it sane. Spoons in the air, helpful pig by my side, relatively well balanced on this silly unicycle. And then the depression starts to grow. It grows from a chill wind that threatens bad weather to a full blown angry storm. And it rages over my little lake, tossing waves over the sides of the boat. Has it come to stay for a few days, a month, a year? I don’t know, I never know. And that darn boulder guy still tosses rocks at me. I will keep going. I know it is a cycle and that means the lows cannot last forever. As long as I keep doing my part with medication, mindfulness, and faith, the sun will shine on me again.

I am still peddling on this unicycle, still juggling, still afloat, and my faithful pig is still cheering me on. So what is the point of all this? Two things really; I have never been shy about letting people know that I am clinically depressed, but I usually don’t let anyone in further than that. Not even my Husband. And the communication over this silly metaphor with my dearest Steve and sharing this post with all of you is me taking a step away from isolation. The second thing is for the sheer humor of it. Humor is the only thing that gets me through, it is the most attractive thing to me about my husband and is the attribute I love the most in my friends.

I hope this made you laugh and if it made you think a little… well I hope they were good thoughts.

Carry on my friends. There is light at the end of the tunnel and you must cherish it when you get there. As the old saying goes, “This too shall pass.”

Random Thoughts 01

Posted in Generic Musings with tags , , , on March 26, 2015 by Bobbie Berendson W.

It’s Thursday.  I said to myself, ‘self, every Thursday you are going to write a blog about something..  Or Else!  Got it?’  And i replied to my self, ‘Ok sure, that sounds like a good idea.’  That was in January.

Let’s look at that… There have been 12 Thursdays since the start of the new year and I have posted, let’s see, 7 times.

So that isn’t going quite how I imagined it would, but hey, it’s Thursday and I am writing now!

Not sure what to write about so I am just going to randomly think things.  Welcome to my head space. You have been warned.

Why is it that things have gotten so politicized and polarized in this country we can’t have a simple and rational discussion with anyone any more?  I have found out that more of my friends are anti-vaccination people and it makes me crazy.  Tried to share a good video about the triangle shirt factory fire and world wide workers rights with people on facebook only to be ignored.  Mostly facebooks fault I am sure.

Going to the doctor’s office in 30 min. to see if I can adjust my meds up because I am in a lot more fibro pain recently and I feel a ‘down’ phase coming on in my depression so I will need more anti-depressants.  Fed up with pain and it’s negative effects on my stamina both physical and emotional.

Constantly worrying about my sister’s and my parents who all have to live together (that is mom and dad and 3 grown women in the same house, poor dad.)

Trepidatious (it should be a word!) about submitting art to the DragonCon art show jury for the 1st time.  Excited about my hubby and I getting to make a story with art to be published in the ever awesome and annual  ‘Cliches for a Cause.’ (go buy the 1st anthology here, it is for a good cuase.)  Also going to be published (3 of my 12 tales pictures) in the upcoming ‘Young Ravens Literary Review‘.

Sad I didn’t sell a single thing in the ConDor art show, but I kind of expected that.  Need money as always to secure booth spaces.  Like really need to secure them like now.  Don’t have moolah to advertize my etsy shop.

Miss my Grandmother who was my patron and my kindred spirit.  And the first person I want to share every finished work of art with but can’t anymore.

Very happy to have my hubby, he is my rock and never ceases to make me laugh.  Also my Step-son Tim, his daily hugs keep me going.

So there you have it.  My mind at the moment in a… nutshell?  Nutshell may be to small (or too big depending on who you ask).  Hopefully I will have more art to share or something by next week so I don’t bore everyone. 😛