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Posts Tagged ‘illustration’

Ever had a song you’ve heard your whole life stuck in your head?

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This was the case maybe around two years ago. I was in my local neighborhood, doing some shopping. The store radio was tuned to the local NY oldies station, WCBS.FM. Suddenly a song I’ve been hearing in the background which dates all the way back to my childhood comes on. Afterwards the DJ states the song title and the artist. Finally after all these years, I found out who did this exact song. The singer was Benny Mardones, and the song was titled “Into The Night.”

I go home, hit Google and Spotify. Then I mosey on over to YouTube.

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Oh my.

Like, where do I start? Perhaps the first question really should be – who the hell thought this video would be a good idea? For those who have no idea what the hell I’m talking about, which I’m guessing is the Zoomer/Gen Z crowd, allow me to show you this:

Hmmm…yeah. In the promo video, he stalks a teenage girl after her father clearly says “NO!“,  and it’s so obvious that he’s like, way older than his intended. In the post-Jeffery Epstien era of the year 2020, this would not work at all. But apparently some people got together, smoked some really good weed, and thought the plot for this video was a fantastic idea. Thus it was made, and the tune became a huge hit.

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If you’re of the the Millennial or Zoomer mindset, you might find this video offensive. You know, being Woke and all that. If it was made today, the Cancel Culture would’ve been all over this on Twitter. But chill out, cause remember – this video was done around 1979 or 1980. A year prior was the film Pretty Baby, staring Brooke Shields. So maybe the poor judgement gets blamed on the drugs. You know, like how they say LSD was the best during the 1960s? You might want to keep that in mind.

I kid, I kid. Since I’m from the Gen X crowd, I don’t get offended. Instead, I become snarky. Watch the video a few more times, and I’m roasting on it as if I was Beavis and Butthead, but without the brain damage. I know unintentional humor when I see it.

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Luckily the song was such a big hit, it transcended the video. The video wasn’t even controversial then. Into The Night was not only a hit once, but twice; 1980, and 1989.

What is not too known is the story behind the music. Into The Night sounds like a love song, but it was written about a teen girl going through a rough time. It was the year 1979. Living in Spanish Harlem, the girl’s father left the wife and kids for another woman. Sympathetic, Mardones started helping the family out. One day, as Mardones and his song writing partner Robert Tepper was working, the 16 year old teen comes by to walk Mardones’ dog. Tepper appreciates the teen beauty, but Mardones stepped in saying “leave her along, she’s just 16 years old…” The light bulb switched on above his head, and the rest is history. Years afterwards, the teen muse and Benny kept in touch. Therefore the song was not sexual in the least.

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The song propelled Benny Mardones into stardom, but it didn’t last too long. After a few years, Mardones developed a drug addiction. In an attempt to begin his life anew, he moved to Syracuse, NY. From 1985 onward, he became a favorite son in his adopted hometown. In 2017, he played one final concert before settling in California to receive treatment for Parkinson’s Disease. Recently I read that Benny Mardones’ wife was requesting correspondence. Parkinson’s Disease was taking over. His wife said any letters, cards, etc., would mean the world to him. So I thought I should send him something. Alas, I never got around to it – he died a few weeks soon after I read the online article. Found out about his death through a Facebook post.

Hearing about Mardones’ passing broke my heart. Despite me busting on the original promo video, the song itself will always be a classic.

In honor of Benny Mardones, and for the song I’ve been hearing since childhood, I did a quick watercolor sketch. In a few days this sketch will be mailed to his wife. I understand his wife might be taking donations to Parkinson’s Research at USC.

MAILING ADDRESS FOR CARDS/LETTERS:
Benny & Jane Mardones
28039 Scott Rd, D397
Murrieta, CA 92563

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Quick sketch of Benny Mardones (1946 – 2020). Watercolor. July 2020. Done by Michele Witchipoo.

R.I.P. Benny Mardones.

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Here’s a very quick sketch done only in watercolor, with some digital enhancements. Since this Saturday is not only Caturday, but also the Fourth of July. What better way to start the weekend than to post art of a patriotic cat mermaid. Here’s the Caturday sketch of the week, featuring one of my cats, Netzach Wondercat. She’s more known as simply Nettie. 

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Nettie The Cat Mermaid. Watercolor done by Michele Witchipoo. July 2020. 

The past few years, I’ve been doing historic renditions of the American Revolution featuring my cartoon characters. The original intention was to get the focus away from mindlessly blowing up fireworks. In 2020 though, that might not be such a good idea.

Given the current political climate in the United States, I decided to switch it up. Instead of doing something based in the Colonial era, I give you a kitty sea siren.

Regardless of what your political beliefs are, enjoy the weekend.

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Been on a kick lately. Listening to music from the late ’70s and early ’80s. Which means lots of classic New Wave and Punk Rock.

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Due to this, it was time for a portrait of Poly Styrene. For those who don’t know, Poly Styrene is best known as the lead vocalist for the seminal British Punk band X-Ray Spex. X-Ray Spex’s album Germ Free Adolescence is considered a Punk classic.

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X-Ray Spex. 

Born to a Scottish-Irish mother and Somali-born father, Poly was born Marianne Joan Elliott-Said in 1957 England. Her mother raised her as a single parent. After trying her hand in Ska and Reggae, Poly was inspired to form a band after catching The Sex Pistols in concert. That band was X-Ray Spex.

 

After performing at a gig in 1978, Poly started getting visions. Her mother, alarmed about Poly’s hallucinations, took her to the hospital. There, the singer was misdiagnosed with schizophrenia, and taken out of the public eye. Thirteen years later in 1991, she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In 1983, she converted into the Hare Krishna faith.

Around 1980 she embarked on a solo career. Poly Styrene released a few albums over the past few decades. Her last album, Generation Indigo was produced by Martin Glover, best known as Youth from the band Killing Joke. Generation Indigo was released on April 24, 2011, a day before Poly’s passing. The cause of death was  metastatic breast cancer.

In 2017, her daughter started a crowd funding online for the documentary Poly Styrene: I Am A Cliché. Two years later in 2019, a biography titled Dayglo! was published. The documentary is expected to be finished in 2020, unless Covid19 gets in the way.

Without further ado, here’s a portrait of Poly Styrene, in one of her famous stage outfits. After doing the illustration, I read that Poly later complained about the ensemble. While I could understand why she wasn’t fond of the gear, like many others, I beg to differ. If anything, it would be considered highly couture today.  The illustration was done in pen, ink and watercolor. Another little bit of irony. After just finishing the piece, I discovered Poly Styrene’s birthday was only a few days away, on July 3rd.

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Poly Styrene, from X-Ray Spex, and later on solo singer. Completed June 27, 2020. Pen, ink and watercolor. Done by Michele Witchipoo. 

 

Additional Links:

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/people/profiles/my-secret-life-poly-styrene-singer-51-811129.html

https://www.polystyrenefilm.com/

https://www.anothermag.com/fashion-beauty/9857/the-unforgettable-poly-styrene-first-woman-of-punk

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The latest episode of my summer webcomic Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19 is now up. You can check it out on WEBTOONS. So make sure you give me some hearts and hit subscribe.

This week’s installment, Psycho Bunny tries to file for unemployment. Like many Americans who lost their jobs due to Covid.

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Scene from the Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19 webcomic, now up on WEBTOONS. Psycho Bunny himself waits at a Queens bus stop. Based on the comic written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo on WitchesBrewPress. June 2020.

Michele Witchipoo’s Social Media links.

 If you haven’t heard,  I’ve re-opened my Etsy store: Michele Witchipoo. You can purchase some of my comics there. There’s also handmade holiday ornaments, greeting cards, and eventually other items for sale. Check back every so often, the store will continue to have more merch posted.

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I’ve also officially launched my Patreon account. Still learning the in and outs of Patreon fund raising. You can subscribe starting at $5.00 a month.

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QUARANTINE GOT YOU BORED? HERE’S SOME SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS TO FOLLOW:

WEBTOONS: Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID-19.

 Facebook: Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Also. I’m available for commissions. Comics and greetings are available for purchase. No shame in this plug. Especially with the financial impact. Questions? Hit me up: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. You can also contact me via Instagram, @WitchipooArt

Be safe everyone.

 

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There was once a crazy looking and sounding decade known as the 1970s. During the first part of those ten years, there was the Glam rock phenomenon. Glam rock, sometimes known as Glitter rock was massive in the U.K. For starters, you had David Bowie, at the height of his Ziggy Stardust period. There was T. Rex, with Marc Bolan. Another influential band was Roxy Music. Around the same time were rocks outfits such as Queen, Mott The Hoople, and early Elton John.

In the U.S., you had acts like shock rocker Alice Cooper, The NY Dolls, Suzi Quatro, KISS, Lou Reed (briefly after breaking with The Velvet Underground), and maybe Iggy and The Stooges, or just Iggy himself. Jobriath was an American music artist that was extremely hyped, but his overt gay sexuality was too much during that time. It’s only within the past ten years that Jobriath is being discussed. This is not to be confused with Glam Metal, which dominated mainstream rock during the ’80’s.

After that, you had your “Bubblegum” pop crew, with acts like Gary Glitter, Wizzard, Alvin Stardust, and a few others. We won’t discuss Gary Glitter cause like, that would be awkward.

Then we had Sweet.

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Originally called The Sweetshop, the intital lineup formed in 1968. Bassist and vocalist Steve Priest was one of the founding members, along with Brian Connelly and Mick Tucker. It wasn’t until around 1970 when The Sweet met up with songwriters Nicky Chinn and Mike Chapman. Chinn and Chapman for short. After a few attempts, The Sweet struck gold on the British charts with Bubblegum type hits like ‘Little Willy‘, ‘Block Buster‘, and ‘Wig-Bam-Wam‘. In 1973, the song ‘The Ballroom Blitz‘ became an international hit, charting in Canada, Europe, Australia, and the U.S.

The Sweet also had a then-considered outrageous look, which boosted their image. The Sweet’s makeup and wardrobe fit in perfectly with the Glam rock craze of the early ’70s.

The end of 1973, and from 1974 onward, the word ‘the’ was dropped from the band name. They were officially known as simply Sweet.

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The year of 1974 was also the year Sweet were tired of the Chinn and Chapman formula. Wanting to go in a more harder rock direction, this was reflected in the next two albums, Sweet Fanny Adams and Desolation Boulevard. The U.S. release of Desolation Boulevard differs from the U.K. version. For example, the U.S. pressing includes the international ditty, ‘Ballroom Blitz.’ Interjecting a personal opinion, Desolation Boulevard is one of my favorite albums.

 

Their biggest hit was ‘Fox On The Run‘, released in 1975. Following Desolation Boulevard was the albums Give Us a Wink, and the live album Strung up. Strung Up, was released only in Europe. After proving the band was self sufficient in both songwriting and production, Sweet officially broke away from the Chinn-Chapman partnership.

Nothing lasts forever as the saying goes. Things slowly went from sweet to sour. They had one last international hit with the epic ‘Love Like Oxygen.’ Again, ‘Love Like Oxygen‘ and the album ‘Level Headed‘ showed another change in direction. A more mellower sound emerged. ‘Level Headed‘ would be the last good album Sweet would release.

After 1978, Sweet would fall from grace. Vocalist Brian Connelly left the band. The rest of Sweet carried on, until the 1980 breakup. Since 1984, there’s been various version of Sweet, all led by different members, going in different directions. Brian Connelly died in 1997. Mick Tucker passed away in 2002. With Steve Priest’s death on June 4, 2020, Andy Scott is the last Sweet member alive.

Taking a break from the pandemic and the current U.S. civil unrest, I drew a quick illustration of Sweet. It’s a bit rushed, but it captures Sweet during their Glam Bubblegum era. Done in pen, ink, watercolor, and shimmer watercolor. The shimmer watercolor adds to the Glam rock image.

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Sweet. Quick illustration by Michele Witchipoo, June 2020. Pen, ink, watercolor, shimmer watercolor.

 

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Been meaning to do a portrait of Little Richard, since hearing about his death. Earlier last month, one of the founders of a musical genre we all know as Rock n’ Roll passed away on May 9, 2020. He was was 87 years old.

Rock and Roll would not exist if it wasn’t for both black and white musicians, both coming from poor backgrounds. It was created by combining country, bluegrass, swing, and blues. Thus creating America’s most famous bi-racial child. We often hear about Elvis. Don’t get me wrong – watching early footage of Elvis before the ’70s, you can see Elvis’ natural charisma shining through. Elvis had that superstar quality. But there were others in the early Rock and Roll game. One of best from that era was Little Richard.

Heavily influenced by Esquerita, Little Richard was one of the first crossover artists with  integrated audiences during the segregation era. Despite many venues having segregated entrances – i.e., separate entrances and seating for white attendees, and for black attendees. His songs topped the charts in both the U.S, and the U.K. Later on many of those same songs were covered by white performers. Among his peers were Buddy Holly, Bill HaleyJerry Lee Lewisthe Everly BrothersGene Vincent , Eddie Cochran and yes, even Elvis Presley himself.

My mother would occasionally tell me what a huge fan my aunt was back in Liverpool, England. Needless to say, my mother NOT being a rock and roll fan, was annoyed by my aunt constantly playing “Lucille.” In my mother’s defense, her tastes were more aligned with Roy Orbison, Nat King Cole and Frank Sinatra. My mother accidentally got caught up in music history, when she was dragged by her friends to see a certain band called The Beatles. That’s another post altogether.

Speaking of which, Little Richard’s influence was felt by such acts like The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones. Little Richard himself had a ’60s comeback after having a turn at evangelism. (Little Richard would also flip flop on sexuality) He would go back and forth from music to religion, then back again. During 1964, Little Richard hired a then unknown musician named Jimi Hendrix to play in Little Richard’s backup band, World Famous Upsetters. Unfortunately, Little Richard and Hendrix clashed a bit, over matters like lateness, wardrobe, Hendrix’s stage antics, and money. It worked out for Hendrix in the end, as he later became one of the most famous guitarists of all time.

Little Richard kept on performing throughout the ’70s, up until his final concert in 2014. He also made appearances on talk shows, award ceremonies, and film. In the end, he was acknowledged as The Innovator, The Originator, and The Architect of Rock and Roll.

Wrapping up this blog post, here’s an illustration I did earlier tonight. Done in pen, ink, watercolor and shimmer watercolor. Although the scan never picks up on the shimmer. Here’s Little Richard during his iconic heyday during the 1950’s.

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Little Richard. Illustration by Michele Witchipoo. June 2020. Pen, ink, watercolor, shimmer watercolor. 

One of my own heroes, filmmaker John Waters, discusses meeting Little Richard:

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/nov/28/john-waters-met-little-richard

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/john-waters-little-richard-996961/

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You might have noticed that there hasn’t been a Psycho Bunny sketch of the week, or a Caturday pinup lately. That’s because I’ve been busy working on a brand new webcomic. The first episode is up right now on WEBTOONS. The second installment should be up sometime next week. It’ll be part of a summer mini-series, titled Psycho Bunny – Summer of COVID19It’s free, so check it out and give me some love. 

Which leads to the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for May 26, 2020.

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Psycho Bunny now has his own webcomic! You can read about his experiences with the Covid19 pandemic on WEBTOONS. Written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo, on WitchesBrewPress. May 2020.

If you haven’t heard,  I’ve re-opened my Etsy store: Michele Witchipoo. You can purchase some of my comics there. There’s also handmade holiday ornaments, greeting cards, and eventually other items for sale. Check back every so often, the store will continue to have more merch posted.

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I’ve also officially launched my Patreon account. Still learning the in and outs of Patreon fund raising. You can subscribe starting at $5.00 a month.

1925AD7F-F184-4DB6-B1B6-D70442BE8385

QUARANTINE GOT YOU BORED? HERE’S SOME SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS TO FOLLOW:

 Facebook: Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Also. I’m available for commissions. Comics and greetings are available for purchase. No shame in this plug. Especially with the financial impact. Questions? Hit me up: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. You can also contact me via Instagram, @WitchipooArt

Be safe everyone.

 

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Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated by Egyptian mythology, history, etc. Earlier last week, I saw another illustrator do her take of Cleopatra. She titled hers ‘Cleocatra.’ Thought it was so cute, I decided to do my own version. Hand drawn, done in pen and ink.

Here’s the Caturday sketch of the week.

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Cleocatra. Michele Witchipoo. Hand drawn, pen and ink. May 2020. 

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Think it was the year 1982 or 1983. Around the time when Culture Club first tried to crack into the U.S. market with their first album ‘Kissing To Be Clever.’ I discovered Boy George and the rest of the crew thanks to a quick mention in People Magazine. One look at the black and white photograph, and I was intrigued. The next time I went with my mother to the Alexander’s department store on E. 59th street, my curiosity lead to the record section on the top floor. I was the first kid on the block to own a Culture Club record, and immediately outcast by my Queens junior high peers. The label of ‘freak‘ was slapped upon me. Back in those days, Boy George’s gender bending look was an assault on the American mainstream.

My parents didn’t understand my newfound fascination with Boy George. The good news was, unlike other parents, my parents gave me enough freedom to explore different types of music, art, etc. That turned out to be my saving grace. I was an only child caught in a dysfunctional family. A misfit among my school mates. Wasn’t fond of my neighborhood. Worse of all, I really hated my hairstyle. For some godawful reason, my mother insisted of getting my hair cut in a certain way. That haircut was completely unflattering. It was through my Culture Club fandom that I first discovered how ignorant people can be. Oh, and by the time high school rolled around, I took total control of my own look. I adopted a Siouxsie hairstyle, joining the mid/late ’80s Post Punk crowd. Everyone on my block was horrified about my Goth look. I reviled in it.

In the middle of all this, my parents decided to take a week vacation deep in Upstate NY. We took the bus to Lake George, NY. I should’ve known the trip wasn’t going to be pleasant. Right before we left, my cat Tiger scratched the shit out of my father. My father, of course, thought he knew how to handle cats. No he did not. After Tiger sunk his claws into my father’s hand, chomp went the cat fangs. Dad ended up getting a nasty infection. Thus set the tone for the entire week.

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In the midst of my father’s bad temper, and outcast status among tourists, I found refuge in a huge Upstate video arcade. It was the early ’80s after all. Games like Pac-Man, Tempest, Donkey Kong and so many others were at it’s peak. If there was one thing I was good at, it was video games. In-between I played some mean rounds of skeeball. I got so good at skeeball, there was enough tickets to fetch a prize. So while the vacation itself was miserable, these video games proved a worthy escape.

Fast forward to the year 2000. My ex-boyfriend decided to take me to see Ozzfest at Satatoga Springs. On the way back to NYC, we found ourselves in Lake George. Immediately I recognized the old arcade. It was still there. Walking inside, it was a time warp. It was a rare moment, where everything was exactly the way it was back in 1983.  I loved it. Even took a few photos. Walking through the rest of the main town, I discovered how pretty Lake George was. Gone was the annoying tourists. The entire area was empty. My second chance with Lake George was bliss.

It would be nice to visit Lake George a third time. Before doing this blog post, I did some quick research. Believe this might be the arcade in discussion, or it could be this one. Either way, I’m not too sure of the business name. It looks like there’s been some changes since my last visit in 2000. As of this post, the U.S. is in the middle of a pandemic. So it’ll be a long time before I’ll be going anywhere. Been stuck back in Queens, NY for a little over two months. It’s a good time as any to reminiscence.

In the meantime, enjoy this sketch done earlier this week. Hand drawn, pen, ink, and digitally colored.

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Video game memories. Hand drawn, pen and ink. Digitally colored. Michele Witchipoo. May 2020.

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Mother’s Day already passed. Psycho Bunny tries to make amends, but alas. His mother is none too pleased. What do you expect from a dysfunctional family.

Introducing the Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for May 12, 2020.

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The Psycho Bunny sketch of the week for May 12th, 2020. Mother’s Day 2020 edition. Based on the comic book written and drawn by Michele Witchipoo. May 2020.

Other news. Unless it’s an online/virtual comic book convention, I won’t be partaking in any physical cons this year. The year 2020 has already been scratched off. It’s not worth the risk. Especially when information about COVID-19 changes daily.

This doesn’t mean I haven’t stopped creating. In response to any quarantines, I’ve re-opened my Etsy store: Michele Witchipoo. You can purchase some of my comics there. There’s also handmade holiday ornanments, greeting cards, and eventually other items for sale. Check back every so often, the store will continue to have more merch posted.

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I’ve also officially launched my Patreon account. Still learning the in and outs of Patreon fund raising. You can subscribe starting at $5.00 a month.

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SWEET SOCIAL MEDIA LINKS FOR YOU TO FOLLOW:

 Facebook: Psycho Bunny and for Michele Witchipoo – WitchesBrewPress.

 Twitter: One account for me, and one for Psycho Bunny.

Tumblr: World Ov Witchipoo

Instagram: there’s WitchipooArt

Want to buy some of my designs? There’s RedBubble: Witchipoo

Also. I’m available for commissions. Comics and greetings are available for purchase. No shame in this plug. Especially with the financial impact. Questions? Hit me up: Witchipoo@witchesbrewpress.net. You can also contact me via Instagram, @WitchipooArt

Be safe everyone.

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