Betsy has spent her life and career exploring and expanding the ways that pictures and words tell stories and get across our ideas. Born in Livermore, California, USA, she did her high school FORTRAN homework on a Cray supercomputer because her dad worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Lab. While her house provided the venue for nonstop musical and theater rehearsals she figured out how to score infinite points on Space Invaders for the Atari. She studied Studio Art and Communication (words and pictures again) at Stanford.
Betsy started her post-school career in film and video production painting and dressing sets, making storyboards, supervising scripts, and assisting with camera/sound/editing. From there she got into on-screen graphics and characters and began work with animation and motion design. That interest soon expanded into interactive and software design. As an information architect and creative director at Studio Archetype (Clement Mok’s firm in San Francisco) she integrated symbolic and informational systems for companies like Xerox, Janus, and Electronic Arts. She then took on the role of head of design for Electronic Arts’ online division, again pushing the boundaries of interactive entertainment and interface design in the newly-emerging online environment.
Along the way Betsy hatched her single-panel cartoon feature “Brainwaves,” a stream-of-consciousness about the absurdity of everyday life. Her cartoons were first picked up by King Features for “The New Breed,” and have appeared in The Funny Times, Utne, a Chicken Soup book, a traveling exhibit on black holes by the Smithsonian Astrophysics Observatory, several psychology textbooks, and numerous refrigerator doors. Due to their satirical but timeless nature the cartoons continue to be published worldwide in a variety of venues.
Betsy volunteered at 826 Valencia in San Francisco for five years as an illustrator, and continues that work at Chapter 510 in Oakland. She has been cartoonist-in-residence at the Cartoon Art Museum in San Francisco and at the Schulz Museum in Santa Rosa, Ca. She is a member of the board at the California Shakespeare Theater in the East Bay.
She is the author of three science fiction/fantasy novels (Silverwood, Silver Shard and Silverwood-Origin) and an illustrated scifi serial about misfit Earthlings living on a terraformed Neptune (Neptune Road). Her artwork spans a range from expressionist abstraction to intricate figurative and fantasy pieces and she has inadvertently designed at least one tattoo. She goes through an enormous quantity of pencils.
Betsy lives in the San Francisco East Bay with her brainiac husband, two peculiar children, two opinionated cats, one mellow but hungry tarantula, and large quantities of musical instruments and CDs and books and toys.