August 7, 2014

One Minute Magic

BRRRRRRING!!! BRRRINGGGGG!! DOOT! DOOT! DOOT!  That's the sound of the alarm that goes off when I say "Ohhh I'm not good at that" as an excuse and pops in saying

and reminds me to take the opportunity to adjust my perspective on the situation.  So, this alarm was going off, because I received an email from my pal Hen at Rad and Hungry, asking if I would ever consider offering "quick portraits" of a loose and spontaneous nature, as a fun experiment to work in a different manner and attract different customers.  I had lots of responses about how I NEVER do anything quick and am incapable of doing anything other than obsessing over portraits for hours or days on end.  But then this alarm went off.  And I heard another little noise.  It was coming from these giant boxes of luxurious sketch markers on my desk!  They were crying because all they were doing was sitting there looking gorgeous.  Like many artists, I hoard lots of lovely supplies and feel immense pressure at the thought of USING them, especially if they're something new I haven't worked with.  What if I accidentally made something UN-awesome?! 

Well, clearly you can see that this alarm was necessary.  I decided it was time to put on my Grown Up Professional Artist Pants and try something new.  I have piles of paper scraps on my desk, so I cut them to the size of photos you might get from a photobooth and took to the interwebs! I asked my followers on Instagram to send me their selfies and I gave myself about a minute to draw each picture IN INK with no revisions and then I colored them with my bodacious markers.  This was the first batch:

Let me tell you, as someone who definitely identifies as a perfectionist, it is nerve-wracking not to be able to erase anything!  It was LABORIOUSLY DIFFICULT for me to let the drawing "happen" and not obsess over making it look like an actual likeness of the inspiration photo.  However, this was TERRIBLY fun.  Everyone seemed to get a kick out of them too. 

For additional practice I went to this flickr group I joined FOREVER ago and hadn't yet participated in.  I inflicted my one minute exercises on some pleasant strangers and accidentally made a few remarkably accurate portraits, and a few, um, something else.

It sure is satisfying to line them all up together in a little collection!  With that in mind, I returned to the world of Instagram with a request for pictures of people eating, which are A) usually really awkward photos, and B) difficult expressions to draw!  The results had me laughing so hard I had to go lie down.  I drew ten lovely ladies and one little boy. And a baby drinking a beer.

I picked some celebrity victims too, while I waited for more people to send me pictures.

I still can't stop laughing!  I consider this a triumph so far.  I still adore drawing (and seeing!) realistic portraits but this is something ELSE, a certain kind of magic that happens with certain rules and limited choices.  By popular request, I will now be offering these services on demand in my Etsy shop starting at $10.  I will also continue to post lots on Instagram, so follow along to get in on the fun!

July 23, 2014

Betty Turbo's Tips for Stayin Cool!

It's hot out there. Don't bother telling me how much you like it, or how I should feel grateful I don't have East Coast humidity, these comments do nothing to lower my body temperature or level of boob sweat.  I'm an Alaska-grown girl, born in the winter with snowflakes in my veins!  This is my idea of a good day:

I think my brother and I are imitating a rare species of snow cactus.

Today we are having some delicious, delicious rain here in Oregon. But in case that pesky sun comes back, LIKE A BULLY, SMACKING THE COMIC BOOK OUT OF YOUR HAND AND LAUGHING, here is some advice on STAYING COOL:

1. Watch movies and TV set in cold places.  We are enjoying rewatching Twin Peaks in the cool cave of our basement here, but it would also be a good time to revisit Game of Thrones and imagine you HAVE TO snuggle up to keep warm. Not like reality where the most snuggling you can muster is to touch bare toes briefly, saying "Yes, I'm here, someday we will make out again. Not today."

Your new meditation mantra is "WINTER IS COMING."

2.  Fill your home (and office!) with pictures of frozen things!  I have a collection of ice cream art I turn to when I want to chill.  Here are two awesome 3-D ice cream paintings by Tripper Dungan

Ice cream, you scream, we all scream for icy cold frozen desserts!

And don't forget, your friend Betty Turbo currently has seventeen items for sale featuring ice cream!  Art, pillows, and cards for spreading coolness through correspondence!

Be Cool Now.

3.  Keep your underwear in the icebox. I heard somewhere that Marilyn Monroe used to do this.  The story may be apocryphal but I think it's a hilarious suggestion and I tell everyone about it.  Try it!  Right before you go to bed in the disgusting heat.

4.  Make your own ice cream!  July is National Ice Cream Month, but you shouldn't need a special holiday to motivate you.  It's a really easy process to get the hang of!  My favorite ice cream cookbook is The Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz, if you were wondering, and I have a Cuisinart ice cream maker.  Get churnin!  So far this month I have made honey almond (not pictured), banana pudding with chocolate cookie crumbles, lemon with chocolate chunks and candied orange peel, and fresh mint with salted chocolate almonds!  

It's a recurring motif in my life.

5.  Use outdated slang & trite idioms that include words like cool, cold, and ice whenever possible.  Sing "Cold Hearted Snake" by Paula Abdul, "Cold as Ice" by Foreigner, and definitely follow that with "Ice, Ice Baby." Sing the snow song from White Christmas and pantomime washing your hair with snow.

Snow, snow SNOWWWWW!

Gosh, you guys, it has been persistently cool the entire time I focused on writing this!  See!  The power of positive thinking!  Holy smokes it's down to 62 degrees!  Okay, keep chanting the cold songs, and let me know if you make up any cold-summoning dance moves and I will send you a gift.  No, I will start a club for people who think Summer is Disgusting and we will have special badges.  I will invent a flavor of ice cream and name it after you.  Maybe all of the above.  STAY COOL!

July 18, 2014

Mix Tape Memories

I revealed some tape-related memories while writing the description for these Cassette Barrettes... now I can't stop thinking about them!!  Tell me your memories of tapes!  Mix tapes or albums you had on tape! Comment below with your cassette confessions and receive analog absolution!  The magnanimous forces of magnetic tape will bestow one felt cassette (also available as a pin if you don't rock hair clips) upon a randomly selected winner next Friday, 8/25.

June 27, 2014

So Many Reasons To Party

Summer's historically pretty slow in the land of greeting cards, so I'm discovering and inventing all kinds of possible reasons to celebrate and send thrilling stationery.  Lots more where this came from!  Make this the summer you send (and receive!) lots of awesome mail!  Make your kiddos earn a penpal merit badge!  Write a fan letter to someone you've always admired!  And if you have an occasion in desperate need of a card that doesn't yet exist, just let me know! I'm on it!  I've already got a hankering for holiday cards so I think we just might need to have ourselves a little Christmas in July too.  What else do you suggest??

May 18, 2014

Dada Y Papa

Hey party people!  Here are some fresh jams for your daddios!  I've got to sneak away from my studio for a bit on a secret mission, but I'll resume normal production & shipping by June 2nd!  Plenty of time to get awesome Father's Day cards out to you!  In appreciation of your patience, you can use coupon code SECRETSHHH to enjoy 20% off purchases in my shop while I'm away.  All orders placed during this time will also have bonus goodies added to them!  I'm enjoying spring time and listening to the new Chromeo album. What's got you boogying lately?? xoxo, Betty Turbo

May 2, 2014

Miss Joy + Betty Turbo Dream of Salt 'n' Pepa

Beautiful babes beveraging up at Portland Comic Con

Howdy friends! Our final expert witness is none other than the badass broad who makes your bows, Miss Joy of Lucky Cupcake!  Joy is ANOTHER wonderful human I was connected to through Bake and Destroy, and boy am I glad we know each other!  We met in person for the first time when we went to see a taping of WWE Raw in Portland.  We have since had adventures doing comic cons together as well as sampling the finer taco and donut offerings of the greater Portland area.  She is one of the sweetest human beings you will ever encounter, and we have much collaborative awesomeness yet to unleash on you all, so get ready.

Joy's pick, and the final addition to my studio sale which wraps up today is... S'Morrissey!  So pick one up for $12 if you don't have it already!  And if you're waiting on the pillows, rest assured I'll make a new batch in a few weeks after I get my studio resituated.  Thank you everyone for following along with my sale and Imaginary Coworkers Appreciation Week!  I'll be relocating my studio and broadcasting new awesomeness from the new digs in a few days.  Please visit Lucky Cupcake and check out Joy's goodies!

Betty Turbo

May 1, 2014

Cookoorikoo Hearts Conchords

I first heard of Shana and her inspiring slogan "Be fancy every day" through Bake and Destroy.  When I discovered she and her shop Cookoorikoo were based in Oregon, we got to high five in real life!  We have the benefit of consulting each other regularly on all matters Buffy and Veronica Mars related, as well as participating in the same real life craft events like Portland's awesome Crafty Wonderland shows. Shana has picked out this Conchords and Cupcakes print for today's sizzling sale!

Her reasoning for this selection was "Because Jemaine Clement is my boyfriend! Duh!"  So if you like watching tv as much as we do, you should follow us on twitter (@agnesbartonsabo and @cookoorikoo) and we can all chat about these great shows and be imaginary coworkers with imaginary hairy Kiwi boyfriends!  And don't forget to check out Cookoorikoo's shop, which is currently chock full of great embroidered quotes!  

One more bonus sale item and the final day of my studio sale is tomorrow!  Thanks for following along!