Ben's Lens: An Interview with Bibi O

Ben's Lens: An Interview with Bibi O

May 20, 2020



If you don’t know me personally, I would describe myself as eccentric. Anyone who has had the privilege of sharing a studio with me, living with me, or working with me knows just how peculiar my quirks can be. Last year I met Bibi through a mutual friend, and shortly after discovered her art. Her doodles are super fun, and I have been asking her to come paint my walls at the studio for a while. She just wrapped up a semester abroad in Barcelona, which unfortunately ended early due to the virus. We had been discussing a summer internship while she was abroad, and when she found out she would be spending the summer in the Vail Valley we decided to make it happen. Last week Bibi spent 5-6 hours a day at the studio for the first week of orientation for her summer internship at Bat Country Studios. 

Most of what Bibi will be helping with will be digital media and graphic design based because I am computer illiterate. She’s modeled for me in the past, and brought her camera to help create content from the other side of the lens. Already, she has been helping me to schedule our social media posts in an app called Planoly that I suggest to anyone managing a social media account. I have been using it for some time to schedule my posts the night before they go live, but Bibi has been going through over 10,000 images to find content we can use planning up to two weeks in advance. Between the two of us we have been working together to keep the content constant without my needing to spend all of my time doing so. The help has been tremendous, and I have been able to focus on other facets of daily operations.

In addition to being a computer wiz, Bibi started her mural at the studio last week. She is about half way through frog number two, but tells me there will be much more detail in the entire piece by the end. We chose the space together, based on it being one of the only white spaces remaining in my studio. I gave her virtually no input as to what I wanted, and even at an early stage I am still extremely excited about what she has going on. 

As anyone else who has put up with me on a daily level can confirm, we all need to #pray4bibi so she makes it through her summer internship...

BB: How do you feel about your new hashtag?

A little concerned.

It’s a big job with an always evolving list of responsibilities. One thing you can count on, is that this role will be unpredictable! Tell us a bit about yourself.

I’m 21 years old out of New Orleans, Louisiana. I came out to Colorado for school and don’t think I’ll ever leave. I’m a sociology major with a double minor in technology/art and business. When I’m not hitting the books, you can either find me at my desk making art or at the closest concert venue.

What’s your favorite concert venue?

The Black Box in Denver and Red Rocks.

And of course The Boot in NOLA! One time I charged my phone there around 10 a.m. while drinking a beer and eating breakfast all at once because nothing else was open back when I visited the Big Easy in college. You decided to enroll in the Bat Country Studios Summer Internship for Graphic Design and Social Media and assorted other things. What made you decide to get yourself into this mess?

As a budding artist, I wanted to do something art related. Helping out with digital art and marketing for an art based company was a double win.

As you know I am a big fan of your art! After orientation how do you feel about your decision? What has your introduction been like so far at the studio?

Every new job is always the slightest bit intimidating but it’s been exciting! I’ve been having fun learning all the artists that work with Drinking Vessels.

Tell us about the mural you are working on at the studio.

I haven’t worked with acrylic paints much in the past but I’ve been really enjoying the process. I enjoy making art featuring reptiles and amphibians so I knew I wanted to paint some frogs. Once the frogs are done I want to add a some details to the background and make it a bit more personalized.

You recently started an account for your art @_barelyb Where does that name come from and what is the inspiration behind your art?

I’ve always been in love with drawing and I wanted to create a space online to compile work in one spot. Originally I wanted it to be pretty private and not associated with me at all, hence the name barelybibi turned into _barelyb. My inspiration comes from all the doodling I did in classes at school growing up.

And you just got your first round of stickers made! Where can people buy those?

DM me on instagram at @_barelyb :)

Who are your favorite artists?

Chaya Av (@chayaav_) and Morgan Mandala (@morganmandala) are my biggest inspirations. A few of my long time favorites include Stephanie Kilgast (@petitplat), Ally Grimm (@a.l._grime), and Liz Wright (@lizwrightglass). If I ever get a tattoo, I’d kill for one by Miranda Zimmerman (@faunwood).

Rad! Do you have a favorite cup maker? (other than me of course)

Other than you, @diggerglass and @edwolfesgotglass.

I’m curious about your thoughts about all the art work around the studio, being a 2D artist yourself. What’s left a mark on your mind?

I love working in such a creative space surrounded by art. So many of the murals have caught my attention it’s hard to pick one that stands out. I love the octopus that Lizz (@shredkitty) is working on.

I know you’re into glass too, why don’t you tell us a bit about your collection?

I guess you can call the few pendants I have a collection. I have a few from my amazingly talented friend @glass_by_blake an ocean heart pendant by @mandellaglass and a cat pendant by @spillerwoods Whenever I can afford it, I definitely want to work on collecting more.

I guess you just need to sell more art to buy more art. Have I driven you crazy yet by playing the same song on repeat for too long? What would you put on the stereo if it was up to you?

Yes, the music is nice, but I don’t love hearing the same song 3+ times in one day. My go to artists are Jade Cicada, Tipper, and Charlesthefirst, but I'd love to expose the studio to more obscure soundcloud artists as well.

Do you play any instruments?

I physically can play the clarinet and the piano, but not to the extent that anyone would enjoy listening.

Ski or Snowboard?


Strike 1… What’s your favorite restaurant in Minturn so far? I think we hit them all!

Rocky Mountain Taco for sure. The hippie crack is fire.

What are you hoping to get out of this internship?

I want to get better at marketing and photoshop, which I think I will get a lot of practice with this summer.

Have you learned anything yet?

How to work Shopify and safely package up cups.

Crushing it! It’s been a lot at once for you since day one. How would you describe a typical day at the studio?

Show up sometime before noon, help package up and send out any orders from the night before. Then I go through new photos of products and organize what will be posted online in the next few days and add products to the website. If there is a blog post coming out, I will spend time formatting and compiling photos for it. Then usually eat and work on my mural.

And what about a day in the life of Bibi?

Usually I will wake up sometime between 10-1, take a morning shower, and make a simple breakfast. During the weekends I try to either hike, go swimming, or find a nice hammock spot if it’s nice out. Then I’ll either listen to music or watch a show while I draw or paint for a few hours. I usually only cook one meal a day, so I mostly eat out for dinner. I am a night owl so whether I am going out or not, I am always up until around 1 or 2 am.

Lastly, favorite color?


Well we have one hell of a summer ahead of us! I can’t wait to see your mural evolve and hopefully we can bring one of the ideas for collaboration we have discussed to life! Thanks so much for joining the team. I definitely have my hands full with more than I can complete myself, and you have already been a tremendous help around the studio. You’ve already blown my mind with things like helping me figure out the passwords to my various accounts and photoshopping logs on images with text. Obviously I don’t speak technology, but I am relieved that you do! If you ever need a good laugh just text JCost whatever ridiculous nonsense you witness during our time together and he will definitely be able to share some of my finest moments.

Hopefully we can follow this up with an end of internship interview.


Until then,


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