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Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

It’s been a while since I sketched my two characters, Squeaky Squeakums and Magnus Maximus. Squeaky was based on my real life cat, who passed away last year, June 2019. Spring of 2019, I released a comic titled ‘The Temptation of Squeaky.’ Which is basically about a housecat who befriends a demon in order to get more food. Which a cat would do, of course. The comic is still available. You can order issue one via PayPal (email: psychobunnycomix@aol.com) or Vemno (@Witchipoo), total $4.00 ($3.00 + $1.00 S&H)

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Meanwhile, enjoy my first Caturday sketch of 2020. Where Squeaky pleads Magnus for a piece of his hot dog. Not even demons can enjoy a frank in peace.

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Today is Chinese New Year. Otherwise known as Lunar New Year. The ‘year of the rat’ first came to my attention because Industrial legends Einsturzende Neubauten is touring the U.S. for the first time since their aborted attempt back in 2010. It’s in celebration of their 40th anniversary, and they have named this tour ‘Year of The Rat.’

I haven’t followed Chinese New Year as much as I should. Considering I live in Queens, NY, where there’s a diverse Chinese demographic. Especially around in the Flushing area.

The story goes that the Emperor had a race. Twelve animals participated, but the rat won the competition. It was due to the rat’s cleverness. This year’s rat has the elements of metal and yang.

Here’s my illustration of the Chinese Lunar Rat.

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Year of the Rat, 2020. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2020. 

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In the Yoruba religion (Ifa), Yemaya is one of the most powerful Orishas. She is worshiped in the Santeria,  Candomblé and Umbanda faiths. During the colonization of the new world, and the trans-Atlantic slave trade, Yemaya became syncretized into other belief systems, such as the Catholic Virgin Mary, or the Black Madonna. Yemaya is a water deity. On the surface she invokes mermaid imagery. However, Yemaya is much more than that. She rules the oceans, where life begins. As a mother goddess, she is fiercely protective of her children. Her associations are the colors blue and white, sea shells, the moon, the number seven, anything that pertains to the sea. Yemaya, or Yemoja, has an extremely rich history, and this blog post only scratches the surface.

You might have seen this image:

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However, Yemaya has African roots. Therefore I decided to illustrate with a darker skin complexion.  There is a tiny correspondence to the European fairy tale created in 1836 by Hans Christian Anderson, The Little Mermaid.’ Today people are more aware about the Disney film version.

This is my second time illustrating Yemaya. Did one of her way back in 2005 or 2006. Not many people have seen that version. Those who have seen it, they seemed to have liked it. Alas. This month I’ve been searching for that artwork. A few weeks later and it’s still nowhere to be found. Which is why I went ahead and did a new version.

Here I’ve included both the inked version, and the digitally colored version. I’m not all that happy with the colorized version. It probably would’ve been better if I had filled out the illustration in watercolor instead. Unfortunately, time was of the essence. Looks like I’ll have to do yet another Yemaya portrait down the line.

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Yemaya. Before adding digital color. Hand drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Pen and ink. Jan. 2020. 

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Yemaya. Hand drawn in pencil, inked with pen. Digitally colored. However, I knew I should’ve gone with watercolor. Next time. By Michele Witchipoo. Jan. 2020.

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Another decade is about to wrap up. Lately I’ve been reminiscing about the oddest things. These memories are usually induced by something completely random. As with the case prior to this post. Tonight I wasn’t in the mood to go out. As I’m scrolling through Facebook, somebody on my feed posts an sex article. It was published on the Vice website. The content was really about why people get attached to someone after sexual relations. Particularly to those not normally considered. I read the entire article. What caught my attention was certain hormones released during mating, male v. female. As the rest of the article went on, I was reminded of an incident during the ’90s.

Around mid-’90’s, I worked six months at some fetish/sex shop. It was located in the West Village. When applying, I was informed that out of all the applicants, I gave the impression of being a sane person. All the others who applied seemed unbalanced. My mental stability got me hired. I took the job because it meant no dress code. I didn’t have to take out my nose ring, continue dying my hair that shade of Manic Panic Vampire Red, etc. Perfect for me! That’s all I cared about. So much for priorities. The pay was shit, off the books, and the hours long. I could, however, play whatever music I liked. My selections ranged from RuPaul to My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult. Got a crash course about fetishes 101. After that gig ended, I had knowledge about dark human sexuality.

One night, a friend dropped by my store. For her, the party never ended. She was always looking for an excuse to hang out at places like Coney Island High. In hindsight, we both may have graduated high school, but we still had that mentality. Eternal teenagers. We might as well been like Dante and Randal from Clerks. Anyway. She came by after she was finished her shift working at some vintage clothing store. Tagging with along was her co-worker. He was a generic ’90s sub-cultural male. The guy quietly observed his surroundings. Fetish wear, BDSM outfits, whips, floggers, bondage items, and trashy lingerie was sold in the front of the store. Sex toys and porn was displayed in the back.

As both the friend and her co-worker walked in, the store was unpacking newly arrived merchandise. I was in the back, nonchalantly arranging the latest products as if they were grocery items. Three months into this job, and comfortably numb. While the boxes were being unpacked, I picked up one of the new items. It was one of those weird pheromone colognes.  The sample bottle was placed on the counter along with assorted vibrators, lubes, and penis pumps. My friend and I look at the cologne bottle. The cologne looked cheap. The owner was hardly around. There were no customers in the store. This being the ’90s, we weren’t constantly video monitored. It was safe for me to loudly mock the product.  My friend makes some kind of sarcastic quip. I think my friend’s co-worker might have also made a snarky comment. As a joke, I sprayed the cologne all over the back room. Whoa – it totally stunk! We started laughing, cause we were that immature. After the initial gagging wore off, it was time to close up for the night. When the shop gate was pulled down, all three of us head over to the East Village to hang. As we usually did.

That night was nothing new. There might have been a party at the Flamingo East. Along the way, my friend and her co-worker started to get chummier. A few hours in, those two, who never had romantic intentions, mysteriously started to make out. I was used to my friend’s romantic shenanigans. Every week there was a new hookup. I was apathetic to her conquests. Just like how I was detached selling butt plugs.

At one point, my friend’s co-worker mentioned that pheromone cologne back at my job. He wondered loudly if the cologne had something to do with the impromptu tongue dance. They went back to smooching. It didn’t get any further than that.

The next day the friend’s coworker had second thoughts. He more or less disappeared. 

In recent years, millennials have given this practice a name. It’s now known as “ghosting.”

My friend also blamed the previous night on that cheap cologne. It’ll get you laid, but it won’t make the person stay.

Taking note, I stayed away from the cologne itself. While the product did sell, it also stunk. The store re-ordered poppers, the Sta-Hard creams and Anal-Ease, but not the cologne.

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Hit the fast forward button to 2019. Curiosity getting the best of me, I decided to look up pheromone colognes. Just to see if they were still on the market. Well hot dang. Pheromone products are more popular than ever. It’s an advertised ingredient in many items. There’s fragrances marketed for men and women. Even Dial got in on the act. They have a men’s pheromone infused body wash. If I was a guy, I would be buying cases of this stuff.

.But then I saw this. For those who are fans of the film Anchorman. Sex Panther cologne. ‘Cause 60% of the time it works. Every time. And it stings the nostrils.

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Where am I going with this post? I don’t even know myself. Memories are dangerous.

One of these days I’ll unwind more tales about my sex shop gig. Out of respect, I won’t reveal the name of the famous Broadway actress who I sold anal beads to. I will tell you of the time a customer raged into the store with a penis pump he brought the night before.  How he managed to burn the inside of the pump from fire engine red to pitch black – and how he demanded a refund. I’ll hold off for another time.

Below is a sketch done just for this blog post. Enjoy.

Human Sex Pheromones – Wikipedia Entry

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Sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2019

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December 6th is known as the feast day for St. Nicholas. When we speak of Santa Claus, or ‘old St. Nick’, it’s derived from that saint.

Right now we’ll focus on the Barvian/German version of St. Nicholas. In traditional folklore, he’s the companion to Krampus.  On December 5th, Krampus comes by and takes away all those pesky little brats. The next day, St. Nicholas comes around bearing gifts for all the good children. Krampus was fazed out around World War II, but in recent years he’s made a comeback in pop culture. He’s been revised both Germany and Austria. In part of the U.S. they now have Krampus celebrations. So while this St. Nick illustration won’t be on a greeting card, my Krampus items continue to be best sellers. In fact, I just designed a new Krampus card. You bunch of sickos.

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Krampus In Love. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2019 

Regardless, St. Nicholas has quite an interesting history himself. According to Wikipedia, ‘Because of the many miracles attributed to his intercession, he is also known as Nicholas the Wonderworker.[c] Saint Nicholas is the patron saint of sailors, merchants, archers, repentant thieves, prostitutes, children, brewers, pawnbrokers, and students in various cities and countries around Europe. His reputation evolved among the faithful, as was common for early Christian saints, and his legendary habit of secret gift-giving gave rise to the traditional model of Santa Claus (“Saint Nick”) through Sinterklaas.’

Without further ado, here’s the quick Saint Nicholas sketch, completed last night. His buddy Krampus is lurking in the background.

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Quick illustration of St. Nicholas, with Krampus lurking in the background. Artist: Michele Witchipoo. Dec. 2019.

 

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Yesterday we heard the news. Lil Bub, one of the first major internet cats passed away. She was eight years old.

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Lil Bub. One of the original internet celebrity cats. (2011 – 2019) 

To say Lil Bub was unique is an understatement. Born to a feral cat, Lil Bub was not only the runt of the litter, but suffered many ailments. Along with her many genetic mutations, she had feline dwarfism. This did not stop her from becoming one of the world’s most famous and beloved cats.

Within a span of five years she already had books, a web series, highly anticipated personal appearances, an album, merchandise, and a documentary under her furry belt.

They used to say a dog is a man’s best friend. Nowadays, cats rule with a velvet paw. Five years ago, the first holy trinity of internet cats came to be: Colonel Meow, Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Grumpy Cat was the most famous, but Lil Bub was the holiest of the holy.

Colonel Meow was the first to pass away in 2014. Grumpy cat passed away earlier in 2019. Now with Lil Bub gone, it’s the end of an era.

Lil Bub’s human, Mike Bridavsky decided to turn down Grumpy Cat’s management, headed by Ben Lashes. Instead, Bridavsky decided to share proceeds with animal charities, focusing on special need and homeless pets. Lil Bub also helped contribute to science. After a crowd funding campaign, researchers discovered Lil Bub had a mutation in gene RANK/TNFRSF11A. The findings were published on the website bioRxiv.

Science aside, Lil Bub always found a way to warm your hearts. Her human used to joke that Lil Bub came from outer space. Now it seems like she left earth. While today cats flood social media, no other cat has come close to making an impact like the way the original holy internet cat trilogy did. Particularly with Grumpy Cat and Lil Bub. Only recently the torch has been passed down to Smudge Lord.

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Smudge Lord. 

I’ve always wanted to do a portrait of Lil Bub. After all, I did portraits of Colonel Meow and Grumpy Cat (Colonel Meow was always my personal favorite. Grumpy came in a close second.) Of course, I never got around to doing it. You would think I would have – especially after meeting Lil Bub back in 2013. It was only the day after her death I decided to do a tribute. Done in pen and ink.

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Original sketch, drawn by Michele Witchipoo. Tuesday Dec. 3rd, 2019. Pen and ink. 

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Now that Lil Bub has gone back to outer space, planet Earth has become a little darker. While she was alive, she helped make the world a kinder place. Good job, Bub.

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Not a flattering photo. Meeting Lil Bub back in 2013. Social Tees animal shelter. L.E.S, NYC. 

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We’re reaching the end of October. Which means we’re reaching the end of Inktober 2019. While I did a few Inktober prompts, most likely it won’t be posted in order of how the prompts were listed.

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With the Inktober prompt of ‘Ghost’, I did a sketch of the band Ghost.

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Just joking. Like the stage costumes, but not a fan of the music.

Instead, I went more of the classic illustration route.

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Sketch of Inktober 2019 prompt ‘Ghost’. Drawn by Michele Witchipoo. October 2019.

Before:

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Pen and ink drawing. Inktober prompt ‘Ghost’. Sketch by Michele Witchipoo. Oct. 2019. 

After coloring:

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Inktober prompt 2019. Ghost. Drawn and colored by Michele Witchipoo. October 2019.

 

Will post more Inktober 2019 sketches within the next few days.

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