The short answer to this oft asked question is, “I’m a mom, and a boss where I work, so I’m often a ‘bad guy’.”
The Long Answer
It all started with a bad day at work – a confrontation with an employee had me questioning my “bad guy” image. Was I really bad? My husband is the poster child for “nice guy” who never has these problems. In this particular instance, an employee (who was known for being a bully) was rude and I had only stood up for myself. How does that qualify as villainy?
My favorite people in the world are my family. They are a common theme in my art and I like to try on different styles that I think compliment their personalities. It was in the spirit of this exploration that created the perfect storm that spawned the idea of the Bitty Baddies.
I’d watched Tim Burton’s movie “Big Eyes”, a biopic on Margaret Keane’s life as an artist, that made me fall in love with her beautiful style. My son Judah has big beautiful “Disney” eyes that he inherited from his father that inspired me to paint a portrait of him using her style. Altogether, with the birth of a new baby, it took me about 2 years to finish. It was nearing completion when the aforementioned “bad day” at work happened.
Villains weren’t always bad. How did they become bad? What about their life twisted them? Are they really bad or is some villainy a matter of perspective?
I think good art makes people think, makes people question reality and personal truths.
Margaret Keane’s big-eyed waifs convey a sense of innocence and vulnerability that when paired with real and imagined villainous personas makes for a striking contrast.
The creative process includes research of the character’s back story. The tv-shows, movies, documentaries and/or books that tell the story are the background noise I hear as I re-create them as a Bitty Baddies. It’s fun to revisit old horror movies that I haven’t watched since I was a kid.
Taking the Bitty Baddies to conventions where I can nerd out with others like me is a nice social outlet for the introverted geek that I am.
In short, the Bitty Baddies are my personal art therapy and passion project. Selling prints, postcards and pins featuring them is an enjoyable way to support my “art habit”.