How do they justify it?

While some may argue, I think most people know climate change is a reality. I understand the power of greed. I now understand why my mom Frances Parmann, who was a career waitress, used to say “Republicans work for the rich and we’re poor. So we’re democrats.”

I remember arguing with her because my dad who was a veteran, and a Christian, particularly loved the republican leaders of his time. He even wrote an opinion piece about abortion that they published in our local paper, the Times Herald.

My dad died when I was just seven. He was a wonderful father who actually played with his children. Once, he even set up a “carnival” in our backyard for me and my neighborhood friends. He loved my sister and me fiercely and we missed him terribly when he was gone.

For a long time I held his Christian beliefs as sacred doctrine. This seems to happen when someone dies. We idealize them as some sort of perfect being.

Eventually, with the help of a counselor, I had to develop my own moral compass, instead of defaulting to my dead father’s. I realized I was a poor liberal pro-choice atheist and my ideals more closely matched that of democrats.

2018 Election

Back to climate change… if greed motivates republican policy maker’s decisions and that is what fuels their denial. Do they truly NOT believe in climate change or just publicly deny it because it is at odds with their greed? I view politicians with some major reservations. From my perspective, to pursue and achieve that amount of power means they could be characterized in the following broad categories: (campaignsandelections.com)

  • The Narcissist
  • The Obsessive Compulsive
  • The Machiavellian
  • The Authoritarian
  • The Paranoid
  • The Totalitarian

Not exactly a stellar list of personality types that scream hero. I daresay, they sound like villains!?

For me, leadership roles have always come from my “well if no one else will step up, then I guess it has to be me.” mentality. As a creative/visual thinker I do have ideas I’d like to see implemented, but I don’t pursue power or enjoy the great responsibilities that come with it. It’s complicated and I prefer life to be simple.

So back to republican politicians – they deny climate change and roll out political agendas that benefit big business (big money) at the expense of the planet.

These same politicians are parents and grandparents. As the policies they enabled allow for more and more damage to our planet how do they justify it when they look at their children and/or grandchildren – the generation who will inherit this planet?

I get greed, but I don’t get that.

Targaryen Tyrant: the Fiery Fan Favorite

<SPOILERS> Daenerys Targaryen is arguably the most popular Game of Thrones character. I get it, she started out weak and has become one of the most powerful players in the pursuit of the iron throne. Her journey is inspiring… and she hatched dragons (which instantly made me want to be an Targaryen).

Is it possible to seek that level of power and still be a good person? I feel like ambition of that magnitude only comes with some psychopathy.

For me, leadership roles have come my way for two reasons:

  1. I don’t like being told what to do. I want to steer my own ship.
  2. I see something I want for my <community/business> and I realize it’s up to me to make it happen.

I don’t particularly enjoy managing people, but that is exactly what a life in politics would demand, right?

For monarchies, leaders are born – literally. They grow up believing that it is their god-given right to rule.

In the final season of GoT, fans are speculating that Daenerys will go the way of her father, the Mad King, and become the “Mad Queen.”

I’d argue that she already qualifies as a villain with the fiery slaughter of the Lannister forces who refused to “bend the knee.” How many deaths can be laid her feet because of her pursuit for power? Doesn’t the collateral damage of innocents qualify her as a bad guy?

Coffee Table Book

It’s begun!

The Coffee Table Book Kickstarter officially started 8 days ago. Today the project is 10% funded. Not too shabby! I’m blessed with an incredible circle of friends and family who are wonderful about supporting my crazy art ideas.

For the uninitiated, here’s how Kickstarter works:

You can pledge whatever you are comfortable with.

There are pledge levels that get you rewards including the actual coffee table book!

If/when I reach my goal of $5000 you’ll be notified via email and this is when your pledge transforms, quite magically, into an investment in the BITTY BADDIES coffee table book.

When fullly funded, I’ll work madly to get the book and rewards printed and shipped to you!

PLEDGE NOW!



How did you come up with this idea?

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.

judahbigeyesbyjodyparmann_sm
“Judah Big Eyes”

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.

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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”.

A Love Letter to Apple

Dear Apple,

I love my iPad Pro as a mom on the go.

Before I had kids I painted with acrylic on gigantic canvases.

I made a mess while I made art.

After kids there was no time or space to make art.

Then I found you my dearest iPad Pro and Apple Pencil.

No need for brushes, paint or canvas.

You don’t take up a lot of space. You are portable and mess free.

Thank you and I love you.

Jody Parmann

Can I buy the book?

“Can I buy the book?” So often I hear this at comic book conventions as people flip through the pages of my contact book. It has all the Bitty Baddies I’ve done to date. Even the ones that I don’t have for sale. Psst… they are all available on REDBUBBLE.

“No, sorry it’s the only one I have.” I reply

“It would make a great coffee table book.” They say.

To them I say, “I think so too.”

Here’s my question… How much would you pay for a Bitty Baddies coffee table book?

The Perfection of Rejection

Yesterday I was feeling pretty down. Not one, but TWO conventions rejected the Bitty Baddies. Pursuing artistic endeavors takes a lot of grit. The very nature of art-making invites criticism and rejection. I have moments of self-doubt – questioning whether I’m spending my time and talents wisely.

My whole life I’ve got a lot of raised eyebrows and “I don’t get it?”, but I’ve also gotten a lot of encouragement from my parents, teachers and friends.

Just the same, rejection hurts.

Yesterday worked out perfectly though. The first rejection opened up October. In 2018, I displayed and sold Halloween themed Bitty Baddies at the Raven and it went over like gangbusters. (Part of doing conventions is logistics. Do I have enough stuff? Do I need to order more? Where is my work and do I need to pull it for a show? Soooo glamorous, I know 😉

The second rejection spurred me to look for another convention to replace it. I applied to Michigan Comic Con (my very first) and they accepted me! As a bonus, some artist pals, (Jason Westlake & Jaime Corker) will be there, so it’s sure to be a hoot!

Like Homer said, “Everything is wrapped up in a neat little package!” —- Ooooh, Bart Simpson would make an interesting Bitty Baddy.

Collectible Cards for Convention Goers

bb-cards2.pngCollectible Cards that you can play with! In the interest of value and simplicity I’ll no longer print business cards. Instead, I’ll do collectible cards that can used to play a simple game of war. Their value will be based on the villain’s “badness” to be determined by me.

At public appearances (like conventions) I’ll have starter sets available for purchase in the grab bag of goodies (or would it be baddies?) with specialty items like stickers and pins that I don’t sell individually.

ALSO, at each convention, I’ll have a new card folks can come by and pick up for FREE. They will double as my business card for that event. So conventions goers come see me! Say hi and nerd out with me.

Is it Magic or is it Alien?

I once asked a fellow artist pal why he didn’t create his own superheroes and villains. Why do fan art? Why not create something all his own?

As if it’s that easy! Thinking is easy… doing is hard.

piechartI know from my personal experience that my drive to “make” far exceeds my imagination. Meaning that in the my pie chart of creative skills, “artist” makes up only a small percentage.

Recently, I read the word “darkling” somewhere on the internet, and it made alarm bells go off in my brain. It has since developed into a really neat character with a lovely little story.

Where does inspiration come from? Is it really a thing? Can it be sought out? Do some people get more than others?

The other night I watched a TedEd called “Questions no one has the answers to” with my son Judah. At one point the narrator, Chris Anderson, ponders the question. “Why haven’t we seen evidence of alien life?” and he talks about the possibility that advanced intelligent life may be microscopic in nature.

“Maybe the very ideas in our heads are a form of alien life.”

Sometimes that’s how inspiration feels. Alien and other-worldly, but hey I’m game, I’ll take that magic carpet ride and see where it goes.

So, in 2019, you can expect more Bitty Baddies at Michigan conventions, and the development of my own character that will fit right in with them. And if all goes well maybe by the end of the year I’ll be selling a children’s book featuring her.

Stay tuned!

Dear Hater,

You know who you are. If you go out of your way to read this. You are sad and I feel sorry for you. Life is not meant to be lived angry and resentful. I don’t hate you. I don’t think of you until I’m confronted by your venom. For the sake of peace and prosperity I hope you can let it go and use your time and energy for more positive things – move on. It not worth it.

Your fellow flawed human,

Jody Parmann