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Category Archives: Guests

It’s time for another interview and this time around my subject is the ever-delightful Bethany Van Scott! Bethany, known variously online as Penanggalan, Boogle, Vera, Bogmonster etc. is a Freelance artist living and working on the east coast of Florida. I’ve been a fan of Bethany’s vibrant, engaging and often haunting art for years now, and learning that she was a fellow admirer of My Little Ponies only increased my interest in Bethany and her work, and I could not have been more excited when she agreed to take part in this interview.

So please, join me as Bethany shares her own personal journey of ponies, art, dolls and monsters.

…wait, what was that last one?

When and how did you first become interested in My Little Ponies?

I remember playing with ponies as early as age 4, but they’ve been “around” me all my life. My Aunt bought me a plush Bowtie the day before I was born and put it in my crib to come home to. I still have her 🙂 You could say my cousin is who kept me interested, as we’d play ponies in the back room of her grandma’s house all the time.

Who is your favourite pony and why?

Sweet Stuff. I always loved her in the movie and episodes, she was so… well, sweet! And the pony itself has such pleasing colors.

What would you be like if you were a My Little Pony?

I do in fact have a pony persona, though she’s just the alternate version of my ball-jointed clown doll, Boogle.

Boogle the Pony. Serious respect for anyone who recognises the outfit.

She’s bubbly, adventurous and sweet, and I imagine she would be one of the most quirky and strange additions to the MLP herd. Her markings are KittyMonster’s eyes, a plush I made a long time ago that is very near and dear to me and one of Boogle’s closest friends.

Apart from My Little Ponies, who or what is your favourite fictional equine?

Starlight from Rainbow Brite would be up there!

What is your favourite generation of My Little Pony? What do you think of the other generations?

>1980’s. The others are good, but the originals are the most special to me.

Do you collect My Little Pony toys or other merchandise?

I have about 400 of the 80’s ponies, many of which are from my childhood. I also like a lot of the merchandise from that era.

Just a TEENY sample of Bethany’s enviable collection.

Do you collect or covet any other toys?

I collect tons of other toys and have a lot from each that I’m missing/wanting! Mostly other 80’s girly toys like Yum Yums and Hooks, but also some newer toys such as Jurassic Park and Trash Pack.

Do you keep any of your childhood toys in your room/house now? What about new toys?

I have them scattered all around my house, but most of my pony collection is in my (very suitably pink) living room 🙂

Have you seen the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” cartoon and, if so, what do you think of it?

My boyfriend and I love it! I love the 80’s cartoons, but the newer one is a bit more gripping and well-written.

Your art strikes me as a mixture of the conventionally cute (ponies, fuzzy animals, girls etc.) and things which many people would consider creepy or “weird” (monsters, eyeballs, clowns etc.). What is your response to people who say that this combination is strange or jarring?

I’ve never actually had anyone describe it as jarring; only interesting or cool, which I appreciate. I have never been the type of person who easily fits in one genre or another; I like a vast number of things and very little creeps me out. I find beauty in and am fascinated by many things that people think negatively of, usually out of taboo or ingrained reasons. I always try to redefine the misunderstood and get people to see the alternate side of the things that disturb them.

Oddly enough, this jester-girl DOESN’T have eyes at the back of her head

What are the best and worst parts to you about being an artist?

Not sure how to answer this one… it’s hard to find a “bad side” to being an artist, since it’s my livelihood and something I enjoy immensely. I get frustrated with it a lot and feel stuck sometimes as I try to improve, but that’s every artist, I think.

I love monsters, but I had never heard of the Penanggalan before. Where do you do you go to learn so much about monsters and myths?

I read a lot about mythical creatures and one of my favorites are yokai/Japanese monsters and ghosts. I discovered the penanggalan years ago when reading about yokai as it’s frequently mentioned alongside yokai myths. It’s also easy to get trapped in wikipedia going from article to article and site to site.

I hear you have some rather unusual pets. Care to tell us about them?

I think most of my pets are pretty common, but then I am used to associating with all the communities for invertebrate/reptile enthusiasts, so to me, they seem common. I keep a variety of roaches in particular as they’re one of those misunderstood creatures as aforementioned. I think one of the best ways to really understand something is to study it yourself, and I’ve learned so much about them since keeping them. The vast majority of cockroaches are not at all like the ones that invade our homes. They vary greatly from species to species, and their biology is fascinating. They’ve helped people & the environment far more than they’ve hurt them, by being pollinators, helping farms by eating worse pests, providing nutrition to insect-eating creatures, and helping break down leaf litter on the ground. They even inspired a far superior artificial heart for humans.

They actually look quite pretty when they’ve moulted

Your various online galleries have lots of pictures of your clown character, Boogle, and even some of you in clown makeup. Have you ever performed as a clown?

Bethany in her “Boogle” clown makeup snuggles up with the aforementioned “Kitty Monster”

I’m far too shy to perform as a clown, and I can just barely juggle and make some balloon animals thus far. I would like to start out by performing with puppets and perhaps work my way up to being comfortable in front of a group of people one day. I love to make people laugh and am pretty much an every-day clown, just not always in grease paint. : o )

If you want to see more of Bethany, her art and her collections, you can find her online at any of the following links:

– Tumblr: penanggalan.tumblr.com

– deviantART: penanggalan.deviantart.com

– Nabyn: penanggalan.nabyn.com

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I am very excited to bring to you today the first of what I hope to be many interviews for my blog. I am particularly pleased because my first interview subject is none other than the lovely, Nessbow!

Not only is Nessbow one of my all-time favourite bloggers, she is also a close personal friend and the person who encouraged me to start my own blog. She is also the owner of a T-shirt that features two unicorns making love under a rainbow. What could be more perfect than that?

Is this the greatest T-shirt ever? Yes. Yes it is.

When and how did you first become interested in My Little Ponies?

I got a couple of My Little Ponies for Christmas when I was about three or four.  They were among my favourite toys when I was a little girl, so I guess my interest started pretty early on.  I do recall making a Christmas list when I was about five years old.  I couldn’t write yet, so the list was made entirely of pictures snipped from catalogues and magazines, and most of the page was covered in My Little Ponies (there were definitely a few Ninja Turtles dolls in there too). I think my interest in them began when I saw my older cousin’s collection of them.  She used to have them all lined up on the windowsill in her room, and she’d let me play with them whenever I came over.

Who is your favourite pony and why?

I had quite a few ponies growing up, but I think my favourite would be Twisty Tail.  She was one of the Brush ‘n’ Grow ponies.  I like her most of all because of her vibrant mane and her super-long tail.

What would you be like if you were a My Little Pony?

I think I’d be a Pegasus, because I’d love to be able to fly.  I’d be very brightly coloured, and there would definitely be a pink streak through my mane.  My cutie mark would be a quill and my name would be Sweet Scribbles.

Apart from My Little Ponies, who or what is your favourite fictional equine?

Binky, who is Death’s horse in Terry Pratchett’s books.

What is your favourite generation of My Little Pony? What do you think of the other generations?

Generation 1 is certainly my favourite, because they were the ponies I grew up with.  I do like the super-sweet cutesy appeal of Generation 4 as well.

I can’t say I’m surprised she likes “…super-sweet cutesy appeal…”

Do you collect My Little Pony toys or other merchandise?

No.

Do you collect or covet any other toys (including action figures, plushies etc.)?

In the last year I’ve gotten really into Lego, particularly the Harry Potter sets.

Do you keep any of your childhood toys in your room/house now? What about new toys?

I still have quite a few of my stuffed toys from when I was a little girl.  I have four large Harry Potter lego sets as well, which are displayed about the place.  In addition to these, I also have a “Transfixed Bilbo” doll from Lord of the Rings, which was given to me by a friend as a joke.

Have you seen the “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” cartoon and, if so, what do you think of it?

I haven’t watched it, but I do have a couple of episodes cued up on my laptop, ready to watch.

When did you first start blogging and why?

I started my blog about two and a half years ago.  I’ve always loved writing, and fashion was something that I was passionate about, so I wanted the opportunity to write about style and share my wardrobe with other like-minded people.  Once I began, I realised that there are a lot of people out there who are simply too self-conscious to dress the way they want to, and I set about writing posts that would spark inspiration, generate confidence and break down the excuses people make for not expressing themselves through fashion.  In time, I expanded my subject matter to include hair and makeup tutorials, lifestyle posts and even recipes.

Want this Mod look? Check out Nessbow’s tutorial.

What have been the best and wost aspects of the whole blogging experience for you?

The best part is the opportunity to write every day.  I adore writing and it’s wonderful to have a ‘purpose’ for my writing (although I’d write all the time even if I didn’t blog).  I love being able to write about the things that interest me.  Blogging gives you an opportunity to connect with people with similar interests to yours, and I’ve made some great friends through my blog.  I also love having the opportunity to inspire people and build up their confidence and creativity.    I think the worst aspect of blogging is that it’s a lot of work for not a lot of reward.  I’d love to be able to make a career out of blogging, but it’s incredibly difficult to do.  Only a very lucky few get to live that dream.

How would you describe your personal style?

I have a very eclectic personal style.  I like punk, alternative, vintage, bohemian and kawaii fashion, and I like to mix and match styles.  I think I’d describe myself as a ‘maximalist’.  I always want my outfits to have ‘more’, whether that’s brighter colours, louder prints, large jewellery, daring shoes or whatever.

“I always want my outfits to have ‘more’, whether that’s brighter colours, louder prints…” …Bigger ears

What would you recommend to someone who finds themselves in a “style rut” they want to get out of?

I’d tell them to take some time to think about how they’d like to dress.  Watch films with amazing costumes, make lists of your style icons, make scrapbooks of images that make you squeal.  Soak up inspiration anywhere you can.  Also, I can’t understate the value of playing dress-ups.  Spend an afternoon sifting through your wardrobe, trying things on, making crazy combinations, just playing.  You’ll dig up stuff you forgot you even had, and think of new ways to wear the things you already own.

Are there any fashion styles or specific types of clothing that you would like to wear, but feel uncomfortable doing so?

I’m pretty happy to give anything a go!  I’m not really comfortable in shorts or mini skirts unless I’m wearing tights or leggings underneath.  I have a few qualms about going bare-legged.  I’d love to be able to wear some vintage style bombshell outfits, but I don’t think I’m quite curvy enough to pull those off.

What inspires the pieces you sell in your Etsy store?

I like to have fun while I’m crafting, and I take inspiration from loads of sources.  Sometimes it’s something cute I’ve seen online or on T.V.  Sometimes I just make something because I think it would be fun to make. Other times I will see something in the craft store or thrift store, and it will give me an idea for something awesome I could make with it.  I try to stock my etsy store with items that I would actually wear myself.

And that’s it for the interview! If this post has left you craving more Nessbow, however, you can always check out more of her stuff by following these links:

–          Blog: http://www.nessbow.com

–          Etsy: http://www.etsy.com/shop/Nessbowify

–          Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/user/nessbowify?feature=guide

I would click on those links if I were you…you wouldn’t like her when she’s angry