Meet the Artist: Jen Bartel!

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If these vibrant and adventurous space kitties look familiar, you’re not hallucinating. Jen Bartel‘s Galactic Cats are a fan favorite; you may have seen them make their way around the internet for a few years now, and we couldn’t be more excited that they’ve chosen to stop off at Bombsheller during their intergalactic tour.

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Jen Bartel, pastel art witch and comics illustrator

Jen Bartel, pastel art witch and comics illustrator

Bartel’s talents go well beyond adorable psychedelic felines. She’s a comic artist and illustrator who has worked with a number of large comics publishers (Marvel, Dark Horse, Boom!… just to name a few) and is best known for her current cover work for Jem and the Holograms. The majority of her work, both in comics and her personal art, has a heavy emphasis on powerful women. Among witchy and punk rock renditions of favorite female characters, girl gangs, and mermaids who won’t take anyone’s shit, the Galactic Cats seem like a bit of a departure from her usual subjects. Really, they are a reflection of her work as a whole; beautiful and unapologetically pastel, with fangs that could rip you to shreds.

We’re obviously pretty big fans of her work, so we couldn’t help but ask her a few questions to get to know her a little better:

Could you tell us a little about the inspiration behind the Galactic Cats design? 

Who doesn’t love space and cats?! I had been working on a bunch of animal drawings and thought it would be cool to marry the two—celestial felines!

Are any of the cats based on real cats in your life and/or do any of the cats have names?

None of them are based on cats I personally know, but they’re all real breeds! There’s a Turkish Angora, Maine Coon, Ragdoll, Russian Blue, American Curl, Devon Rex, Sphynx, Persian, and a Bombay!

Of the Galactic Cats, do you have a favorite?

My favorite is probably the Bombay (the angry hissing one) but I also like the Devon Rex (the most multicolored of the bunch) :)

Your illustrations always feature incredible outfits – have you done any fashion design in the past or is there any interest in it? Where do you get the inspiration for the wardrobes in your art?

Thank you! I haven’t formally studied fashion design, but I’ve definitely always had an interest in it. I always browse the ready to wear runways for inspiration and I tend to save a ton of photos of Asian street fashion, as I feel like Asia is always a couple of years ahead of the US in fashion + beauty trends.

Who would you enlist in your ultimate girl gang (fictional or real, alive or dead)?

Oh gosh, I’ve always wanted to see Storm and Wonder Woman team up, so definitely those two, but what kind of a girl gang would it be without Sailor Moon? Also, Beyonce. This Girl Gang would be super weird but unbelievably badass.

 

Go check out Jen’s website for more art, and follow her on social media to see what she’s working on next:

www.jenbartel.com

Twitter.com/heyjenbartel

Instagram.com/heyjenbartel

jenbartel.tumblr.com

Behind the Leggings: Bombshell Shubzilla!

Here in Seattle, we have – give or take – about a billion conventions. Two of our favorites, which both happen to be of the nerdy persuasion, are PAX West and GeekGirlCon. This year, both conventions landed in the same month and we thought that this seemed like the perfect opportunity to showcase Seattle Nerdcore rapper and total bombshell – Shubzilla!

She’s one hell of a geeky powerhouse; on top of her music, she’s the residing merch manager for GeekGirlCon and is also a co-founder and member of The NPC Collective, a space that supports nerds of color. We’re big fans of her work, and we’re over the moon that she’s a fan of us, too.

#FunFunComputerTime

For those not familiar with your music, how would you describe it?
My music is catchy, aggressive, and bass heavy.

When did you start rapping professionally? Is it something you’ve always had an interest in?
I started rapping in 2011 and began doing shows later that year. I am trained as a dancer and when the wear and tear got to me, I switched to being an emcee.

Being on the mic has always been something that I’ve wanted to do, but assumed I wouldn’t get a chance to do. Retiring from dance pushed me in the direction to pursue this art form. To be honest, I didn’t know where it would take me. I feel super fortunate with where it has gotten me thus far! I’ve toured twice, done numerous shows, worked with wonderful people, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg!

#FunFunComputerTime

What is your absolute favorite song to perform?
I don’t know if I can pick just one! If I had to pick one, it would be Necklace. It’s an incredibly empowering piece about catcalling. Performing that song makes me feel larger than life because I’m creating this narrative that puts me in control of the situation described in the song.


#CircuitBoard

Are there any music artists that you dream of working with someday?
I’d like to work with Run The Jewels, Hall and Oates, Peter Cetera, M.I.A., Missy Elliott, Psy, Angel Haze, and Snow Tha Product. There’s more, though!

#FunFunComputerTime

Are you deep into any particular fandoms?
I’m a fan of Sanrio, some anime, Netflix TV series (ie. GLOW), board games, and tabletop RPGs. Also Jean-Claude Van Damme movies. I know a shit ton about Sailor Moon!

Right now, I’m watching through Boruto and re-watching One Punch Man and American Horror Story. When I need a break from writing, I’ll play The Binding of Isaac. Haven’t beaten it yet, but I’ve come close!

#CircuitBoard

If you’re in the greater Seattle area, Shubzilla will be taking the stage alongside Bill Beats on October 26th at the Central Saloon. Do yourself a favor and RSVP here, and make sure to follow her using the links below for updates on upcoming shows and new tracks:

Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/shubzilla

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/shubzilla

Twitterhttp://www.twitter.com/shubzilla

Listen on Bandcamphttp://shubzilla.bandcamp.com

Listen on Spotify: https://open.spotify.com/artist/3G0rozJPUigut63laX2W7Q

 

Badass photoshoot by @StephenKlise

360° of Spandexy Goodness at Your Fingertips!

There’s something about adding a brand new item to your wardrobe that just feels good… but shopping can sometimes be the pits. Buying online can be especially frustrating – you have a limited view of how an item looks in the real world, then you have to wait for it to show up only to find out it isn’t really what you expected. Here at Bombsheller HQ, we’ve been hard at work looking for innovative ways to make the shopping experience less stressful. Last month we rolled out our new sizing video to help you find your perfect fit. This month, we’re bringing you our hot new 3D viewer!

If you’re unfamiliar with how using a 3D viewer works, Ivy’s put together yet another awesome tutorial to help you out:

We’re so proud of how the viewer turned out. We couldn’t have done it without Arielle, who always works tirelessly to keep our website running smoothly and looking great. I asked her to tell me a bit more about the end goal for the viewer and about the blood, sweat, and tears put into building it:

Many designs aren’t well captured by the four views available in the automatic rendering system. The popular design #CephalopodInTheMoodOf is a good example. It’s hard to get a good angle on it in the still renders, but in real life or in the 360 viewer its charm is much more apparent. Surprisingly, even while I was using it, especially on mobile, I felt that I knew the design much better and felt more confident about what it would look like. This feeling even existed for designs I had actually seen printed out and worn. Hopefully others have this feeling as well when using it. I hope people have fun with it and check out some of the more finely detailed designs or the ones that have surprises in their details, like any of the Enfu designs, and certainly Mandroid’s #Place design

It was grueling trying to get [the viewer] small enough to load in a reasonable amount of time, [and] there was a lot of back and forth about the lighting. Writing something that needed to respond in real time, like a tiny video game, was not a big part of my programming experience. I’m glad to have done it, as it was very different from the rigid world of a web framework. “

Taking on the 3D viewer project as well was no small feat, but we think it really paid off. Thanks for kicking ass, Arielle!

Stay tuned, because we’ve got more to come. Happy shopping!

Introducing: Our Sizing Video!

Need a little extra help figuring out your measurements? Prefer a visual aid over boring ol’ text instructions? We’ve got you covered:

We set out to make this tutorial easy to understand and interesting to watch, and I think this team accomplished exactly that. First, meet Camille and Olivia – our charming-as-hell models who helped make this possible.

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Olivia (left) and Camille (right)

If Camille looks familiar, it’s because she’s been gracious enough to let us shoot her multiple times over the last few years. You might recognize her from our Muscle & Flow or Maps collections, or that time she partied with us on National Butt Day. You can read more about her in this blog post, where we interviewed her after the Muscle & Flow photo shoot, where she showed off more of her yoga poses and talked to us about the positive impact that yoga has had on her life.  We were so excited when she agreed to come back to help us make this video!

Shakin’

Olivia is fresh on the Bombsheller scene, but she’s no stranger to being a total badass. You may know her as Seattle’s own Guayaba, or you may have known her once as Aeon Fux. Either way, if you don’t – you should. She’s an ever-evolving powerhouse in the Seattle music scene. She lays down commentary on the world around us and her place in it, exposing the rawest parts of herself in the process. Her most recent album, “Black Trash, White House” is available on Bandcamp, and you should be listening to this shit right now.

Shimmyin’

Of course, this video wouldn’t have been possible without the team behind the scenes. Remember the hatchet-wielding bad babe from our Bitch Planet girl gang shoot? That’s right, she’s the kick-ass woman who put this all together. She’s been in a number of our photo shoots and has modeled alongside Camille multiple times, but got behind the camera (and the editing desk!) to spearhead this project and turn it into the awesome video you see before you. Our good friend Marshay also swooped in during editing to provide us with a voice over to make sure you know exactly what you’re doing while taking your measurements. Even girlboss Jazzlyn lent a helping hand (or two!) during filming. Go back and watch the video again and see if you can spot her! You should also check out this adorable little compilation of outtakes if you just can’t get enough behind-the-scenes content.

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Ivy setting up the shot with Camille

Now break out your measuring tape, pull up the sizing chart, and get ready to find your perfect fit!

Ana Forrest Is The Real Deal

Ana Tiger Forrest has a fierce gaze. She does not skim the surface. She cuts right to the core. I don’t know if I’ve ever met a harder badass in my life.

anasolo

She came to Bombsheller for a photo shoot this month with José Calarco, her partner in business and life. Together they created three new designs with artist Pedro Diniz, based on the artwork of the aboriginal tribes José has spent the last 30 years with in Australia. José is the founder of Descendance, a dance company that puts aboriginal culture on the national stage and advocates for their human rights. Since coming into each other’s lives, Ana and José have blended their pursuits, combining aboriginal music and culture with Forrest yoga poses. I went to the series of workshops they taught in Seattle, and I can say with the conviction of first hand experience that they are the real deal.

josesolo anasolonice

What makes Forrest yoga interesting to Bombsheller is the emphasis on thinking for yourself. Rather than passively accepting traditions handed down from a different era, Ana Forrest pushes yoga forward because she believes practices are meant to evolve to serve people’s lives as they are now. Developed in the 1970s, Forrest yoga is unique for addressing the particular neuroses of the 21st century. The poses and cues are made for people with messed up necks and wrists who have learned pay more attention to their computers than their own bodies. Native American ceremonies and aboriginal wisdom are purposely woven through to remind students of their connection to earth and restore harmony to our frazzled, distracted minds. José brings music and rhythm to the practice to both deepen and elevate the experience.

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Her own practice has evolved over time, most significantly to incorporate the aboriginal teachings brought in by José. Together they travel the world, teaching and singing, with the hope of propelling transformation in as many lives as possible. In their own words, the combined world of Descendance and Forrest yoga is a place of adventure, healing, culture, music, and learning to love again. Who wouldn’t want to live there?

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The three designs in their collection are full of color and stories intended to make your heart sing. So what are you waiting for? Grab a pair, ditch your old habits, and start living your fullest life right now.

Bombsheller In The News

Our founder Pablos Holman gave an interview to Aaron Frank at Singularity University on our production practices and the future of manufacturing.

“We put everyone in one building. Our web team, marketing team, the photographers, and the manufacturing team are all in the same place. So, if we need to change something — we just change it, and it takes twenty minutes.”

The way Bombsheller makes its products is also similar to the way software companies build services.

“If you’re Snapchat, you’re probably shipping a new version of your service every day to see what customers like. The way we make our clothing, we can do the same thing. We can send a new version every day and only sell what a customer wants.”

This made-to-order system has only recently become possible now that a suite of new technologies are transforming the apparel landscape. For example, the old apparel industry never had the internet, a technology that many forget is only a few decades old. “No one should take for granted that I now have a way of talking directly to my customers,” Holman says.

Read the full article at Singularity HUB.