safety pins;

if you are capable and willing to defend someone who is being harassed or harmed, this is a great idea. I’m fully in support. there may be some naysayers but I think expressing this willingness to help others is a good thing.

you shouldn’t feel bad if you can’t help others or may be victimized yourself; but if you are able and willing to step in and stop others from being harassed and harmed this is a good way to express that, just in case.

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because I support this idea, on November 20 I’ll be doing safety pin silhouette tattoos (visible places only, wrist/hands/neck) or semicolon tattoos (any place on ya) for $50 (below our minimum.) first come, first served, from noon till five.

for each tattoo I do I’ll also donate ten bucks to the Southern Poverty Law Center to aid in their efforts to stop racism and misogyny.

 

I’m doing the semicolons as well, because not every person is able to step in and help others. some are not physically able, others are likely to get targeted themselves, or have other reasons.

bullying is often a contributing factor to suicide and suicide rates spiked in vulnerable populations this past few days, so I’d like to support those who are struggling with that, as well as those who are allies willing to step up and defend others.

 

feel free to share.

in other cities/areas, for safety pins,

Brent Schlemmer , (Indiana)
Kimber Teatro, (Portland, Oregon)
Curby Dickens (Salem, Oregon)
Club Tattoo Scottsdale (Arizona)
Suzen Tattoozen-Tanton (Eugene, OR)
Denise Gardner (Corvallis, OR)
Jessica Parrish, Ink Dreams Tattoo (TN)(will be donating to local soup kitchen for each tattoo done, the 21st)
George Long (Seattle, WA)
Premium Tattoo (Oakland, CA)
Steph Burnside (San Diego, CA)

 

I don’t know if they’re donating to anything, what day they’re doing this, or what they’re charging but you can look them up to find out.

 

if you’re a tattoo artist or shop doing something related, please comment- I’ll add you to the original post. then we can all share it so people in different regions can find someone who’s doing these.

xox #safespace #support #ilovemyclients #safetypin #semicolon #spokanewa #spokanetattoos #solidarity

all-saints’

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I’m not religious by any stetch and no amount of ceramic dominicans can change that.

all-saints’ day. i’m not religious but i was mainly raised catholic, my middle name is a saint’s name. patron saint of migraine sufferers and writers. she liked to read. she was a rebel at home so they sent her to the convent, which was a lot less strict than her family had been.

she of course was religious but not nearly enough. she had malaria and seizures and visions, and decided to promote reform in the church. “The only right prayers are those that create actíon. Prayer without action does go unheard.”

this was a bit of a mistake. the catholic church persecuted her and disliked that a woman was ‘teaching’. she lived a good long time though.

http://www.catholic.org/saints/saint.php?saint_id=208

I’m pretty sure that my middle name was intended to be the name of the “little flower”, st. therese. however it’s spelled as the english version of st. teresa of avila, which means they done screwed up and gave me a hotshooter as a namesaint rather than a quiet little girl, and I’m ok with that.

tomorrow is all-souls’, or dios de los muertos if you’re latinx/excatholic. a much more meaningful day for me. but I figured I’d share this tidbit about saints and middle names. what’s your middle name? who’s watching out for you?

Dr. Seuss and childfree artists.


I am childfree, and do not feel comfortable around, nor interested in, kids.

They disturb my mind in many ways. I do not have interest in them.

I do however remain childlike as myself; my life is lived even now as a Ville Villekulla, a bright and giddy place full of friends and art and craft and fun, and freedom. I live now the way I dreamt I would live when I was a child. I have built the life of my youthful daydreams into reality around me like a coiled shell.

It satisfies me.

Dr. Seuss had little interest in children. He found them disturbing to his peace of mind, he stated that he was opposed to the population boom, and he rarely made time for children in his life. He and his wife had no children, didn’t want them.

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(Originally Published on: Oct 26, 2011)

He lived in his imaginary world IN REAL LIFE, and the cares and concerns and woes that a child requires would not allow those things to stand. So he stayed away from children, for the most part.

Adults are just obsolete children and the hell with them both.””~Dr. Seuss

He did not enjoy the noise and commotion of children, and thought that perhaps if they were encouraged to use their minds and their imaginations instead of screeching and leaping around, they would become more capable and interesting adults one day.

“This book is to be read in bed.” 
― Dr. Seuss

Theodore Giessel was a very active man with unlimited skills in doggerel and inking strange creatures to fit. He was childfree- he had no children and wanted none.

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have a heart, NRA.

Originally published on 06/24/2012.

I don’t really think I need to re-state my position on gun control laws, since it’s obvious that I am a gun owner, and that I think owning weapon is a right, not a privilege.

However, I want to re-state them anyway.

I think everyone who has not committed a violent crime should be permitted to own whatever weapons they choose, without having to register them or alert the government. I see the need for background checks; it only takes ten minutes to run a name and see any violent convictions on someone’s record. I see no need for waiting periods, for anything else.

I am very, very lefty. I’m basically a retired anarchist; I would still love to live in a gift economy, but I do not think this can happen during my lifetime, so I’ve modified my actions based on what I think is possible to accomplish.

I believe in spending public funds on welfare, schools, higher education, and healthcare for all citizens. I believe that religion has no place in ANY publicly-funded system or in ANY politics. I think that people who want abortion to be illegal are idiots. I think that patriarchy is bad, that our culture is set up in many wrong ways. I believe in class warfare, unions as a concept, the rights of workers, and of the underclass to act out.  I dislike  the way we use our military to screw up other areas of the world, and I think our policies are a direct result of corruption and patriarchy. In other words, I’m not right-wing, I am NOT republican, and I am NOT in favor of god, the bible, and apple pie. I’m basically a commie pinko.

heart tattoo art

So- while I agree with some things the gun lobbyists stand for- such as my right, and everyone else’s right to bear arms- I can’t donate any money to them, can’t support them in any way, because when I go to an NRA site and see people rooting for assholes who would put me in prison for my reproductive choices, or touting some bullshit flag-waving nonsense about how we should bomb “camel jockeys”, or condescension to female members or participants-

Well, that just sucks, and all of that is what I am against, and passing laws to restrict what I can do with my body is just as repressive as passing laws to restrict what weapons and means of defense I can own, and you guys, THAT is some BULL SHIT.  Women want to bear arms too. As do socialists, abortion providers and people who have had abortions, pro-choice folks, people who aren’t in favor of recent wars, people who dislike racism and sexism- we carry too. So putting us down on the regular is just foolish.

Now I’ve said my piece for the day. Time for more coffee, I think. Again, I know that speaking out means some people won’t buy my art, or like me, or whatever. That’s ok. Fuck it- I’d rather just speak my mind and be broke (because people who agree with me are poor) than keep my mouth shut and pander for the sake of a few bucks.

skulls, bones, dead things, and where they come from.

Originally published on 11/16/2013

raccoon skull mount taxidermyI want to talk a little bit about my materials. Mainly because I read a lot of forums and craft and art blogs, and tend to see the same comments over and over about artists that work with taxidermy or animal remains.

Nature isn’t cruel or kind; it’s just hungry. 

I get a lot of questions about various things I use- mostly about bones and skulls, but a lot of people have asked about other things too- plants, rocks. Usually people are just being dense- “did you kill all those raccoons?” or “who do you have buried in the crawlspace?” or, even better, “ewwww it’s dead!” A lot of people saying this also eat fast food, buy meat at the grocery store, and let their cats roam outdoors…

I work humanely- in a sense. I don’t kill anything to make my art but yes, they are real bones and skulls. I get them from a lot of different sources. Most of the game animal bones and skulls I get from hunters- I have friends who hunt for food, and who will give me remains to work with. Most of the deer, elk, and turkey skulls and bones I use come from these sources. I also get bones from family farms- chicken, pig, and goose or turkey bones, even a few ostrich and cow remains. Most of these animals are also killed for food.

I don’t use anything from factory farms, just farms where the animals are treated well. I know this is enough to upset some people but since I also eat meat I don’t feel bad about it- I WOULD feel awful using factory-farmed items. However if I came across some, or had a source, I might use them; that piece would probably be pretty damned dark though. I tend to work with the feelings the animal’s remains give me, to make a piece that expresses the creature’s life.

I know a lot of artists who work with animal remains are a bit more humorous than I am, or more light-hearted about it in general. I do see the remains as a medium but at the same time I don’t feel good making jokes at the animal’s expense. Very rarely I get a skull or part which is light, and happy- I will sometimes make a brighter piece with those. Usually though animals live difficult lives, and their bones speak to me about this, so I don’t work very light very often.

I get questioned partly I think because of artists that do slaughter animals in the context of their work. While I don’t do this, I don’t find these artists offensive at all, it’s just not my own way of working. I don’t think it’s horrible. I have hunted for food myself, and been present for slaughtering at farms. Again- I don’t think it’s awful if you eat at KFC, either. I just personally don’t.

Some of my pieces come from road strikes. I have been working steadily on a series of photographs and an extended essay about roadside nature and roadkill, about human safety and how highways affect the animals that live near them. As a consequence of this work I have come across a LOT of roadside remains. I did get a license to collect roadkill in several states (not all states need one, but some do) and have spent a great deal of time working with these remains. A lot of these wild animals are obvious survivors of repeated injuries (fractures and old healed injuries in their skeletons attest to this) and the way they interact with the road fascinates me.

skunk skullNo, I have not used anything I myself ran over.

Most of my feathers come from friend’s farms. Almost all of my plant matter comes from my own place- I live on the edge of the Siuslaw, and not only the yard/forest of my house but the clearcuts nearby furnish most of my lichens, moss, and wood. I do a lot of beach collecting too. I live in Oregon, and it is legal to collect many things here, since all beaches are public. I do refrain from collecting in park areas, since those are restricted. I also don’t collect or mess with the remains of pinnipeds, or vertebrate fossils- just invertebrate fossils, collected in nonrestricted areas.

I have a few skulls and things which I have purchased. A few mink, fox, and beaver skulls which I am certain are fur trade castoffs- these items have a very dark feeling to them, and so the pieces built with them reflect that. I also have used vervet monkey skulls- the importation of these was a pain in the neck, and they are killed as a nuisance animal- so they too have a very dark feeling. Like I said, the horrors of life, death, the hard times most animals go through, are the reason my work is not light-hearted and silly. I don’t use anything illegal, and I avoid using items which may violate CITES or the MBA. (More information on the legality of animal remains is available here, if you are interested.)

I don’t work much with animals that are domestic pets, but I occasionally get some materials this way. Usually these are used for commissions for the previous owner. Some of these are more light and happy. I’ve worked with a very battered stray-dog skull, just making that piece was very upsetting. It wasn’t a joke to me.

zpg, anti-breeding artI’ve worked with human bones too. This is where people tend to be most alarmed- although in reality it is easier to buy human bone than many animals! I get most of my human bone specimens from places which sell vintage anatomical displays, or from places such as necromance (among others) which sell oddities. Yes, these bones are legal. No, I didn’t kill anyone to get them. And YES, they are expensive for a reason. Again- most of these works are dark. I don’t get silly feelings from death.

I’ve sold work and done commissions for vegans- for people who are animal and conservation activists. My work is intended to speak about the way people are oblivious to the natural world. Nature is full of drama, death, struggle, and strangeness. I try to use the materials I have to portray that. Reminders of mortality are not for everyone. Horrific art is not for everyone. There are people who cannot sit through a horror movie and people who cannot listen to a description of how their hamburger was made. My work is not for these people, really- although knowing that my work may have given them pause or made them think about these things, about the darker side of life, is kind of the point.

Originally Published on: Apr 19, 2012

the struggle to decide; prints or not? downloads or not?

(originally published Published on: Sep 5, 2013)

I always struggle with the question of whether to make downloads of my work available, or prints. In one way, I hate doing it, because I like the idea of something I made with my own hands going to your hands, as it is, with no other stuff there. Then I realize some things.

  • If I was a musician, I’d sell records, not just perform live.
  • I can only make so many original things, in so much time.
  • I’d like to be able to earn enough from my art to make it worth the time and energy (see footnote)
  • I have to eat.
  • Many people want to be able to enjoy my work but couldn’t afford the cost of an original.
  • I can’t manage shipping and storefronts online and promotion for all of that, and STILL HAVE TIME FOR MAKING THINGS.

I will take these point-by-point.

shirtsIf I was a musician, I’d sell records. I’d want more people to enjoy my work than I could perform for in person. I’d want people to be able to take me anywhere with them. If I was a writer, I’d print books of my work. I wouldn’t expect people to only access my work through attending readings, or by buying the hand-written manuscript. I’d want my work to be accessible, something people could enjoy.  I also would maybe still sell the manuscript, or some signed first editions…but the books would be published, out there, even on a kindle.

I have two hands. If I work the equivalent of fulltime hours, I can make maybe four things, of substandard quality, in a week. I can make maybe one or two things of good quality in a week. I can make one great thing a month. Now…how much is minimum wage? Should I set all the art aside and get a job at McDonald’s? Because if I can only sell a piece of art one time, mcdonald’s will pay better, and maybe I should set this art stuff aside permanently and get a real job…I can only make so much stuff with my own two hands. But if I sell prints and let people download the works, I can post it – set it and forget it. I can sell those while I am busy making other new things, and can continue to make money from a piece for years sometimes, long after the original is sold or destroyed.

I love making art. I spend all my time making things. I do have to eat. So therefore I have to charge money and sell my work- my choice is, work a job which takes all my time, and rarely make anything, or sell my work at a reasonable price and live off that money. I love making art. The process of actually making things, well, I will do that no matter what. I’ve had my Kafka years, working fulltime then coming home and putting in another eight hours painting. But my work wasn’t as good. And I had no time to show it to anyone. I need the time to show my work- to scan it, photograph it, share it, post it. If I don’t make any money from a piece, I’ll still MAKE the piece- but I will not spend the time posting it and discussing it and sharing it with you, or with anyone. If I was lucky enough to have inherited wealth maybe I’d have that kind of luxury, but I don’t. I wish I did, really.

EPSON MFP imageAnd yeah- YOU GUYS are broke too! I mean everyone is hurting. Being poor shouldn’t mean you can’t enjoy or own art! I want to make things accessible to everyone as much as possible. So- digital downloads. Most people have a printer- or access to a library with a printer in it- and can pay me a few dollars for a file, take it there, pay a buck or two to print it, and hang it up. Prints are next in line- the quality will be better, professional grade, the print will last longer, years even. Limited run? Why? It seems like a waste of time, of energy. I put my initials and a number on them and they’re magically worth more somehow? No. I do handpainted prints though- the next higher price things- and those are fun. I can take an hour and embellish a painting I already did- make new details on it, play around. The buyer gets something unique, like an original, and I get to play…

I spend maybe an hour or two a day online writing copy for my work, explaining it, discussing it, sharing technical stuff, writing, posting, and keeping track of what has sold. I spend another hour or so every day taking photos, scanning, fixing the damn scanner. And another hour every other day packaging stuff to mail out, trying to keep track of what goes where. I am not good at any of these things. They are REAL WORK, hard work I don’t enjoy very much. I’d rather be actually making things. So this work- I need to streamline it, make it as handsfree as possible. Selling originals is difficult. I have to post it everywhere, and hope the right person sees it, and then once it’s sold, do it again, the entire process, from documenting the work to explaining it to answering questions and pricing it and packing it and shipping it. All that work has to be done completely from scratch, every time I sell an original.

A print? I scan it, touch it up, post it, and it’s done. I can leave it there, just like that, for years. People can buy it a year later, without any additional work from me. It’s what they call a secondary income stream, and as an artist working alone I NEED that to happen as much as possible. It frees up my hands for making more better things. The digital downloads are the same- even easier, in fact. There’s no parameters to set, no material-checking, no worrying about quality control. It’s set and forget.

EPSON MFP imageSo, in order to be able to make more and better art, and in order to live, I sell originals, downloads, AND prints of most things. I charge people a tiny bit extra if they buy an original and only want me to do a limited run of prints. I charge A LOT extra if someone buys something and wants me to make no prints at all…for example, A painting I make- the original is a hundred bucks. I will probably (if it’s a good painting) make another two hundred off of prints and downloads of it over the course of a year. For me to sell ONLY THE ORIGINAL and still pay my rent, I have to charge three hundred for that original, now.

Should I do that? Sometimes I want to. Because I love the idea of something I made with my own hands, being in YOUR hands, with nothing in between us. Also because I like originals myself. But I can’t manage to, or figure out how to, promote myself well enough to always sell my originals, let alone for three times what I have them priced at now. So unless a magical fairy of promotion comes and makes me famous or rich, without charging me anything or requiring more of my time to work it…I will keep selling prints and downloads, of nearly everything I make.

I love you guys. Those of you with two bucks, and those of you with a million. You’re all people I like, and I want you all to be able to touch and enjoy my work.

serial killer portraits, originals.

Here we go, the full list (so far) of originals and prints for all my serial killer portraits. Click the image to see it bigger- and here’s a link to prints of these, Please go buy one there, as I am no longer producing handmade prints of this series. For originals, which I do have available, please email me. 

I started working on these because I have an inordinate fondness for true crime books, movies. Because I love gory things, horrorful stuff, and always find it fascinating that some people behave this way. (here’s an interview crimelibrary did with me, which explains a bit further.)

I also remember what Richard Chase said- that he didn’t choose his victims, he just tried doors until he found one open- because if it was locked he wasn’t welcome there. I think that sums up a lot of the phenomenon. Serial killers, sociopaths, they exploit our human weaknesses, and yet they don’t see others as human. It’s very interesting to me, the way watching predators on nature shows is interesting to me.

The first set of these I did are cannibal killers- the second set, which I am still working on (and which starts with Gacy, Martha Wise, and Albert Fish) are parental figures who were also serial killers. That set will be pretty big, as a lot of serial killers were parents, and upstanding citizens by their neighbors and friends. I plan to work with images of necrophiles after that, such as Gein, Bundy. That set should actually include Kemper, but I liked his story so much I worked on him already. Click through to see the rest of the collection so far! (more…)

Three things I miss about 1989.

tumblr_llv78nlRaH1qepg0fo1_500I miss watching Female Trouble a few times a week.


It was the first movie I had ever seen that completely acknowledged how I felt about life, that made perfect sense to me. It was reassuring in all the right ways and it influenced my speech, my life in fact. It made me feel all right about being a xenophile, and being unable to fit in. We were strange people and the world shit on us regularly- and somehow this movie made it all ok, because it meant there was a whole world of other strange people out there, and they all had been through it and survived. 

And yes, it came out in 1974- around when I was born(ish). But I saw it in 1989 and that for me is the era I associate it with, being that I was only a toddler when it was made.

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SYTYN zine, 1993

When I was much younger I put together about ten issues of a zine.

This was in the early 90s, when such things were able to be picked up at bookstores, record stores, and the like.

I loved zines, loved them so much.

I built this with the assistance of my good friend and roommate Jen, she wrote a lot of stuff and drew things.

It’s amazing to look back and see how much and also how little my politics and deeper feelings have changed over the years.

more after the jump…

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The Secret Soul of America

images (2)I know a lot of folks from other nations who have a poor perception of Americans. They usually refer to wars, police actions, attacks, and poor choice of presidents as their reason for believing something terrible about us. They are missing the key to changing all those terrible things we do-
We are not bad people. In fact, we have a secret soul.

I know, you’re thinking of the blues, or of rap, or of Mark Twain, or about our affable naivetie. This is not what I mean.
Mr. Rogers. He is, in fact, the secret soul of the US.

(more after the jump)

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