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Sketches, comics, and art goings-on via Instagram: @betsystreeter

Hello it is me

I grew up in the East Bay of San Francisco, California, with the Raiders and the A’s and Ray Guy and Kenny Stabler and Hendu and Dave Stewart and Jim Plunkett. I was(am) a huge fan of Martina Navratilova, David Bowie, and Jacques Cousteau and Carl Sagan. I did all the sports growing up. I had two athletes’ posters on my wall, Bjorn Borg and Pelé. My hometown is the site of a national laboratory, so people’s parents were actual rocket scientists – or, they were ranchers or vintners. And, so many musicians and photographers and artists. Turns out scientists do a lot of art and vice versa.

My parents had a theater company that operated out of a one-room schoolhouse. My dad is a pianist, and we were not to watch too much TV because it made noise when he was trying to play. I knew every piece he played down to the note, and I knew they were by Chopin, Schubert, Scriabin, Beethoven, Bach… but I couldn’t tell you which piece was which. I loved The Muppet Show, The Undersea World of Jacques Cousteau, anything about whales, anything with comedy, and pretty much every genre of music.

David Bowie/Klaus Nomi/Joey Arias on SNL

It was a gift to grow up in such a really unique environment. There were rehearsals in the living room and impromptu arts festivals and I did my high school FORTRAN homework on a Cray (considered a supercomputer at the time, these days’ it’s probably an iPhone) by way of a teletype with tractor-feed paper. I remember visiting the lab on Family Day (my dad worked there as a systems programmer), and being enthralled with a role-play game running on a teletype sitting in the hallway. The computer room with all the donut-shaped Crays was used to film scenes in the movie, Tron.

Portable teletype machine like the one my dad would bring home – you stuck the phone receiver into that thing at the top

I went to Stanford, where I got a Dual BA in Studio Art (painting and drawing, studied with Nathan Oliveira whose printmaking sensibilities still infuse my work and Frank Lobdell, who was always telling me to “slow the brush down”) and Communication (emphasis in documentary film and journalism, and where I learned to edit film by hand).

I’ve had career past-lives in film/video production (where I devised a special effect using surgical tubing and dry ice), software/interface design (in which I developed interactive knowledge repositories without the Web), information architecture (which is now UI/UX but the advocacy for the human user continues), and video games (in the days when people chased the holy grail of “stickiness” because the internet hadn’t yet been eaten by like three sites that pipe algorithmic echo chambers into people’s heads like untreated sewage).

At some point I started drawing cartoons, and that became Brainwaves, which is over 2,000 panels and I never tire of seeing them travel the world in all sorts of forms. My artwork has also been painted on walls and tattooed on a human and I love that.

I write and draw Sloth and Manatee, Silverwood, and Neptune Road, and have worked with Grant Petersen since 2016 on an illustrated history of the bicycle (it’s been such a journey and the world has, shall we say, been busy during that time).