the Mishmashers - a New Pantheon

As many of you know my work enormously influenced by the various mythologies of the world. So I thought it might be interesting to create my own pantheon...from somewhere in the future.  

Their roles and attributes can be found in the section immediately following the gallery.  

This coming October these little deities will be going on sale so stay tuned for more info on that.

The Mishmasher Pantheon:

·       Esayel – The Air Thief.  She is a goddess of all that moved or transported by wind and air.  She is often considered a terrible and wrathful deity bringing debris and destruction in the way of tornados, typhoons and hurricanes.  She is also the goddess symbolizing swift and decisive irrevocable action. 

·       Bib – The Pollinator.   He is god of new growth buy also from far places.  He is responsible the spread of seeds, spores and life-giving materials, but in his darker aspect he can also spread airborne diseases.  He is also the god of passion and love but his influence can also lead to infidelity.

·       Bunder – The Preserver.  He is the guardian of that which has existed before. He preserves and stores the remains from previous eras.  He symbolizes the idea that the future must never forget the past no matter how remote.  His negative aspect is nostalgia and clinging onto the past while sacrificing the present.

·       Fatom – The Sea Changer.  She is the goddess of transformation in particular transformation that is dramatic yet gradual like that which takes place beneath the waves.  She is protector of new life form that grow from things taken by the sea and guards the sea life that grows from the remains of shipwrecks.  She is a nurturing goddess who warns against stagnation in favor of adaptability and growth.

·       Hanek – The Revealer. He is the god of lost treasures and lost knowledge.  He and Bunder are inseparable.  Hanek finds…Bunder preserves.  Hanek is the god of adventure and exploration.


·       Mol – The Hoarder.  He is an earth god who controls all things beneath the earth’s crust.  He greedily tries to cover all things in dirt and sand and soil and bring them into his realm.  He is the arch nemesis to Hanek and Bunder.  Mol is often associated with death and precious metals.

·       Terres – The Untamed.  She is the goddess of the plant kingdom.  In particular she assists in the growth of vegetation in areas previously barren, polluted and/or infertile.   She is the love goddess but unlike Bib, she represents empathetic enduring love.

·       Yollo – The Hidden.  He is god of trickery and disguise.  He is the keeper of secrets.  He is often associated with epiphany associated with artistic thought.  Though he works closely with the Hoarder, Mol, Yollo often steals from him to offer gifts to the world.  He also has a tentative alliance with Bunder and Hanek.

·       Quanari – The Problem Solver.  She is the goddess associated with innovation and intellectual thought.  She perpetuates the idea that all problems have a solution and no task is unsolvable.  She is the goddess of the arts.  However, she is also associated with defiant stubbornness.

·       Zhinka- The Dancer.  She is the goddess of rhythm and dance.  She governs the harmonies and cycles of the universe, such as the change of seasons, the rotation of the planets, circadian rhythms, and the cycles of life and death.  She is both a life goddess and a bringer of destruction, but she is also responsible for rebirth.

·       Ghot – The Builder.  Ghot is the god of planning and construction.  He is a builder and a creator of societies and things necessary for the endurance of a civilization.  His negative aspect is that he can be unwavering and resistant to new ideas especially when they are not his ideas.

·       Mayam – The Embracer.  She is the god of water.  Mayam oversees over the vast array of species beneath the waves but she also governs over the adaptability yet indisputable power of the sea.  She is often associated with strength through calmness and empathy.

·       Otremia – The Destiny Keeper.  She is the goddess of death.  Her many eyes watch carefully over all things to make sure that nothing stays exists longer than it is supposed to.  She keeps a dense library of all things and when their physical form must end.    After an entities physical form is destroyed, she guards over the sentient aspect of the all lifeforms until it is there time to be reborn.  She works closely with her lover Azopol.

·       Azopol – The Destroyer.  Azopal is god of death but differs from his lover.  He is the physical ender of everything.  When Otremia’s book requires the end of some existence, it is Azopal who is charged with the destruction of that being’s physical form.  He is then charged with transporting the sentient remains (the soul) to Otremia for safe keeping.  He is a symbol for the impermanence of all things.

·       Boopom – The Devourer.  Boopom is the god of fire.  His big mouth devours all things, especially those things that are dear to the goddess Terres.  He is a dancer, but unlike Zhinka, his dances are unpredictable and follow much more complex rhythms.  He engages in a fiery dance as he consumes, and the more he devours the more erratic and uncontrollable the dance.  If not for the necessary intervention of the water goddess Mayam, Boopom would devour until the end of all things.  It is believed he will bring the end of the world.

·       Magish The Healer.  Magish is the he god of medicine.  He holds the secrets of healing hidden in the natural world.  His work often finds him at odds with the darker aspect of Bib who is known to spread disease.  

An Odd Place To Put Odd Things

Do you need a place to keep your bizarro to.  I'll be teach this at a few places across the U.S.  

Always Be Creating - Fort Collins Colorado, 

Donna Downey Studios -North Carolina

Idyllwild Arts - Southern California

Back in the olden days they sure had style, especially when it came to housing their wares.  If you were on the go you were assured to have a stylish kit.  It didn't matter if you were a doctor, a shoe repair person, or a vampire hunter...if you were on the fly you had a nifty kit filled with nifty devices.  

This concept interested me soooo much I've created a number of them for various uses over the the years here are but a few where not only have I created the carrying case but also created and/or modified the strange gizmos that fit inside.   I've created a workshop where students can explore these themes in whatever direction they choose.  

deMengian Apothecary Cabinet

A place for this, that, and the other thing.

deMengian Apothecary Kit

Not sure what those things actually do...but they look cool

deMengian Aritst Kit for the Vampire-phobic

Complete with stake pencils and religious icon brushes. 

 Art Kit for Vampire Phobic Artists

Art Kit for Vampire Phobic Artists

 Art Kit for Vampire Phobic Artists

Art Kit for Vampire Phobic Artists

 Art Kit for Vampire Phobic Artists

Art Kit for Vampire Phobic Artists

deMengian Mad Artist Kit

For creative types who are a bit unusual.

Krampus is Coming to Town

Polly Pickles


Lil' Acrid Ellie

Krampus Portrait Sale on Saturday November 21st starting at 9 a.m. PST.

Click here to go to the Sale Page

So to get ready for the Holiday Season I thought I'd create some of my favorite Christmas naughties.  In particular...Krampus.  What's that you don't know who Krampus is?  Well in  alpine regions of Europe it was believed that Saint Nick was accompanied by a sinister long tongued devil who would take care of all the nasty children.  Back in the Victorian era he was quite a popular character...usually terrifying young children.   So recentIy I  collected a number of vintage cabinet cards and photographs of people of all sorts...then using the magic of paint I transformed them into a collection of Krampuses.  

I reimagined them not as one devilish character but as a curmudgeonly crew of all sorts and sizes.  

Edgar Raventhorn


Milton Moonlover

I reimagined them not as one devilish character but as a curmudgeonly crew of all sorts and sizes.  

The Grinch Series

I also created a few Grinch portraits...kind of a Krampus but not exactly.    Nonetheless he is a classic Holiday villain...with an great ditty to match.

Heat Miser and Snow Miser

Some of you might remember a Xmas special called A Year Without A Santa Claus.  The were a couple of pesty brothers in that...Heat Miser and Snow Miser who I was quite fond of.  I reimagined them in the form of a married couple. 

Need to jar your memory?  Here's a little video reminder of the Misers.

Hope to see you at the sale!

Click Here to Go to Krampus Sale


Everything You Need to Know to Succeed in Art

So you want to be an artist.  Okay great!  Now how do you become successful at it?  That's the tough part and not easy to answer.  The internet is filled with articles explaining how to become a salable artist.  There are lots of good tips to be had about marketing and social media, etc. etc. but that is really only half of the picture.  One of the problems is that being an artist is a uniquely individual experience...what works for one person doesn't work for another.  The reason is that what is being sold is something very personal.  It's not a pair of's part of the artist's soul.  That can be a tough thing to sell.  Because of this I think it's important to address this issue from a different angle than merely stating a list of business-y things to do.   Instead I think we need to approach this as a list of traits necessary to follow this path.

  1. Ego - first and foremost you have to believe that what you create is important to share.  You MUST believe that the world will benefit from your point of view.  Sure, this is bit megalomaniacal but it is this trait that keeps you moving forward.  
  2. Relentless Devotion to Artistic Growth - If you want to be an artist you must grow...and grow...and grow.  Push your boundaries.
  3. An Understanding of Art History - For me this is crucial.  Art is a science that grows out of the soil prepared by our predecessors.   Every artistic stroke we make is because of what came before.  Understanding our artistic ancestry helps us move forward.
  4. Making Art...Not Just Talking About Making Art - To be an artist you have actually make it.  Professing artsy fartsy ideas isn't going to cut it unless something is happening in your studio.
  5. Call Yourself An Artist - If you don't describe yourself as an artist...then you aren't one.  Most of the battle is about identity.  You have to believe you are an artist to become one.
  6. Thick Skin - Some people will like what you do...some people won't.  Oh well.  You can't take rejection personally.    You'll get gallery rejection what...everyone gets rejection letters.  Believe in yourself and move foreword.
  7. Don't Let The World Change Your Art...Let Your Art Change the World - I am firm believer in sticking with your guns.  If you have something worth saying then don't let it get diluted by chasing the market.  For all you know the market may want what you're cooking up.
  8. Endurance - Unless your incredibly lucky, you probably won't be "discovered" overnight.  This biz really requires a devotion like no other.  It is a willingness to move forward when others run for cover.  Shows will come and go and you keep plodding along...always mindful of the goal.
  9. You Can't Imagine Doing Anything Else - I often tell a story that took place a little over decade ago.  I was an artist but supported myself by bar-tending.  I had plenty of exhibits and a little bit of notoriety but nothing special.  One night I came home from work and I stood in front of my art studio door.  The sky was glowing with stars...more than I ever remember seeing.  I was exhausted...I was dejected.  I wondered if the art thing would ever catch on...or if it was time to go back to school and look for a different career choice.  Who knows how long I was standing there, but at some point a metaphoric bolt of lightning hit me.  I realized that if I changed my course I would always be left wondering "What if success was right around the corner".  That was something I could not live with.  It became clear to me that I had to be mentally OK with the journey whether it led to "success" or not.   In fact I had to redefine the word "success".  For me the term evolved to mean the artistic journey outside the world of economics.  In my case I felt that what I had to say was something worth sharing...therefore I had no choice but to continue foreword.

So...all this is great but how do you make a living being an artist?  So many different roads have been traveled with different outcomes.  For instance, I know a guy who became quite successful in the Art world...featured in Art in America...whose advice would be to hang out at NY cocktail worked for him.  Is that everyone's path?  Certainly not.  

So here are a few tidbits of advice...from my perspective:

  1. Be Seen - Exhibit, post online, get involved with auctions, etc.  The more your out there the more comfortable people will be with your style
  2. Create Opportunity Where There is None - I used to be involved with a group of artists called "The Salt Mine".  We used to find vacant spaces in Missoula MT and put up temporary galleries.  Each exhibit was at a different location.
  3. Be Wily. You have to find ways to make your money when art sales are slow.  This could be anything from Zines, to teaching, to Art Fairs.  I've found multiple streams of income to be very beneficial in slow months.
  4. Connect - Other arty folks are your strongest allies.  They may know of opportunities or they might be willing to put on some crazy event with you.
  5. Do Something Out of The Ordinary -  One way to draw attention to yourself is do something a bit out of the norm artistically.  For instance, about twenty years ago my friend Bev Glueckert and I founded the a Day of the Dead parade in Missoula MT....that's right...Montana.  At first it was a shock to the system now it's a mainstream annual event in the city.  This event probably did more for my art career than anything.  It forced my name out into the world.
  6. Don't Be Afraid to Ask -  The world is filled with all sorts of people.  Some of the most unlikely folks might be willing to help you out whatever your dreams are.  May not be with money but it might be with promotion.
  7. Personal Touch - Remember that many patrons not only buy art because they like it aesthetically ...but also because something the artist is saying, speaks to them.  Because of this it's not a bad idea to try and maintain a correspondence with your patrons.  
  8. Create a Persona - I'm not saying that you need to become BatMan but you want to create a professional mask that encompasses what your art is about.  In my case, I play off the  comically sinister.  Is that really me?  Sort of...but it's also a helpful exaggeration that helps people identify me.

So in conclusion, I'd say read through all those "How to succeed" articles (there are plenty of them) but for me I think before those really mean anything you might consider some of the issues I chatted about here.


Way Cool : the Maker


If you like bunnies, fake teeth, stop animation, maudlin love stories and/or discarded reinventions...then you'll love this little animated treat.