Bethalynne Bajema is a self-taught artist raised between Michigan and New England. She first learned to draw by watching her older brother create his elaborate ink pieces. As she moved into her teen years comic books became her focus and illustrating her own mini-comics kept her busy along side of the fanzines she created with her friends. When she turned twenty she moved to Detroit and began pursuing a more professional creative career as a freelance graphic designer. At the same time she wrote and drew her first full length comic called Butterfly. From there she continued to branch out, first moving to the internet where she taught herself to apply her graphic skills to web design and eventually purchasing her first domain, bajema.com, in 1998 and putting her portfolio online as well as hosting and designing for other artists.
Since then she has been working as a professional commercial artist as well as self publishing her own projects. Her artwork has been featured in the magazines Weird Tales, Dark Beauty, Dark Realms, and Real Detroit. Her artwork has been featured in the books Gothic Art Now and Vampire Art Now, as well as her writing being featured in the first two books of photographer John Santerineross, Fruit of the Secret God and Dream. Her complete list of credits can be found here.
Currently Bethalynne is working on her first full length graphic novel and publishing a print version of her long running ezine, Insects & Angels. She lives and works along side of her fiancee, fellow artist Myke Amend.
“Bethalynne’s work is a whisper, a seductive echo that creeps into your head before you fall asleep and follows you into your dreams. Ghostly, beautiful, sensuous, her work caresses you with painted insect fingernails. She is a painting, a poem, a daguerreotype, a costume of lace and beads, a bejeweled dragonfly, she is a carnival of talents dancing together to create a unique and haunting voice.”
Blurb by artist John Galati
“Bethalynne Bajema was brought to this world some years past, spring-time-ish, in a dark ceremony using stolen languages since unspoken by man. From an early age she was taught sewing, story-telling, and unconventional warfare… all this in preparation of her foretold future as Dread-Overlord-And-Tailor. What prophecy could not see was the impact her older brother’s comic collection would have on her, and the siren songs of India ink, the arts, and the written word. These talents have since been nurtured and have been showcased in a variety of magazines, books, and for more than ten years online.
“Mixing equal parts Victorian horror, sepia erotica, clockwork logic and Industrial music, Beth carves her dreams on the skins of Tibetan holy men before transferring their contents to the computer’s screen.
“Beth currently resides in Michigan with her better half artist Myke Amend, a rather bizarre little cat, a laptop, and her dark army. Recently she released her first book Sepia, a journal size collection of new and old work. Presently she is hard at work completing her own original tarot deck and trying to break her addiction to stalking squirrels. She can be found at her online portfolio, bethalynnebajema.com, or blogging about steampunk and Lovecraft along side of her beau at their shared website theMiskatonicArchive.com.”
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And lastly, the original, far more casual bio I wrote for myself
several years ago before I finally got that more professional one ;)
I don’t know many artists who can easily write bios for themselves. The point of bios is typically to give a new person to your work a quick summary of your stats, influences and then spend the rest of it describing how you’re the shit. I find this tedious and boring and it doesn’t allow for my desire to be silly, which I live for. I’m not sure my humor translates into text… hell, I’m pretty sure it doesn’t translate into the face to face interaction, but the point is I try damn it! Anyhoo! Squirrel! The about me me me and more about meeee.
I was born May 19th, 1973. I was a birthday present to Joey Ramone, though he didn’t know it at the time. My parents were also pretty clueless about that fact too. My mother, as I grew older, expanded her wonderful tale of how I came into the world. Picture it, late one night and the family is watching a horror movie when she goes into labor! A slapstick comedy ensues as she and my father haul ass to the hospital. They made it to the prep room, waiting for the doctor, and were pleading with me to be patient, but no! I would not be denied access to this shiny world! And squirrels! I burst into the world so quickly I didn’t wait for the doctor. I pounced onto the scene and put on a little hat and grabbed my cane and began performing, sort of like that alien in the diner at the end of Spaceballs. Ok, so I made that up. I come from humble beginnings but my mom always swore the horror movie and quick labor bits were true.
But enough of that. I learned to draw by watching my older brother. I say it over and over, he is still my biggest inspiration as a kid. Both my brothers, and my family in general, are gifted in the creative talents. I have no formal education and I’ve never been to art school. Most everything I do is self taught and I probably follow a harder path to these ends than I need to. I don’t typically use Photoshop so if you need advice, you need to talk to my mate, who is the expert on it. Speaking of which, I am attached to an incredibly gifted artist who I work along side of. As Forrest Gump would say “we get along just like peas and carrots”. I’m so taken with my mate I can’t seem to recall any of the reasons that kept me with anyone I knew before him. Would-be artists never really match up to the real thing when you find it. Excuse me, I like to gush.
That’s all I have for today. I’m pretty sure I wrote a more fact filled bio on my tarot site, but I could have just yammered on there too, as I tend to do. Once I get a nice friend of mine to write me another proper bio I will place it here instead. In the meantime I generally think art should speak for itself and the artist should quietly be in the backdrop not taking any attention away from it. Most every piece of art of mine is part of a piece of fiction, so if you ask me to explain a piece’s meaning don’t expect any artsy fartsy talk. Be prepared to spend an hour listening to me tell you a very long story… with the occasional squirrel joke. I really do like squirrels.