Happy Birthday, Modern Bear!

4 years ago today, we launched our facebook page devoted to our love of Modern Design, Bears, & Beefcake. We remember how excited we were when we hit 100 followers (we are now going on 72,000)! A BIG Thanks to all of YOU for your support ~ stay tuned for more exciting endeavors from Modern Bear!
Big Furry Hugs,
Travis & Chris


Design Wolf, Chris Bale


“Modern Bear” Travis Smith


Photos by John Paschal

Meet “Accidental Bear” Mike Enders

Photo by Dusti Cunningham
Photo by Dusti Cunningham

Ok, we cheated by starting our interview off with this photo of the sexy Mike Enders first. But we got your attention, right? You may have heard of this wholesomely handsome looking ginger popping up on social media sites everywhere. Mike’s commercial moniker, Accidental Bear is a popular website and facebook page devoted to “Art, Music, News, & Fringe Culture.” Mike’s bathtub interviews with artists, performers, and celebrities have created a cult following on his Accidental Bear channel on YouTube. Modern Bear had the pleasure of being interviewed by Mike last year in a hot tub!


Mike’s bathtub interview with Bearracuda Producer, Matt Bearracuda.

MB: Mike, you are becoming known as a multimedia personality, what some industry peeps refer to as a social “Influencer.” Is this something you always had in mind to do?

M.E.: No not at all. It just kind of happened accidentally. When I started Accidental Bear I was in a place in my life where I had a lot of free time and my partner, (now husband) introduced me to online blogs. I hadn’t paid much attention to them in the past. I thought to myself… I can do this, and not to sound arrogant, but better! So, I taught myself WordPress, html coding, web design, graphic design, and on and on. Up until that point I could barely turn a computer on and off.

I started posting what I loved and people started taking notice and sending me messages saying that I was filling a spot in the queer community that is missing. One of my first goals was to post features of hairy men in a community that is dominated by smooth, chiseled, hairless creatures. To my surprise this was the same moment beards and hairy men exploded in popularity and everyone and their moms grew beards!

"Beauty and the Bear"
“Beauty and the Bear”

Secondly I wanted to create a space or platform to feature queer, up and coming artists and musicians who live their lives in the underground or on the fringe. Most gay sites won’t touch unknown artists and are just covered in pop/mainstream/pretty boys and drag queens. Don’t get me wrong I love all that shit too, but I wanted to include the stuff in life that I live for, and a much under represented culture of underground artists. The queer community has become somewhat watered down and polished. I want to put the spotlight on “my people,” freaks, artists, and the underbelly of society where I like to dwell.

Lastly, the Internet is so divided. If I want to look at porn I’ll go to one site, if I want art I’ll go to another site, music another site, drag queens another site, so on and so on. On Accidental Bear I like to fill it up with content that draws attention to everyone from butch queens to drag queens, jocks to fashionistas, bears to twinks, and lately I’ve been saying straight guys who are comfortable with their sexuality love Accidental Bear.

Oh, ANOTHER side note: August 22- 24 I am going to be at and covering the Luscious Queer Music Festival in the beautiful valley in Northern California’s Saratoga Springs. And Sept 12-14th I am going to be in Austin Texas at and covering the Stargayzer Queer Music Festival, which and I am stoked about! This will be my first time to Austin and I have heard nothing but great stuff about it! Ok, that was a mouth full.. next question lol.


Photo from Mike’s modeling stint for Blade + Blue apparel.

MB: What are some of the jobs you have had in the past?

M.E.: I was working since beginning of high school. Ice Cream scooper, coffee shops, landscaping, 15 years of clothing retail in San Francisco, Licensed Massage Therapist, you name it.

MB: Did you do anything special to prepare yourself for the kind of career you have now?

M.E.: I really have to say no. I tend to throw myself into careers I know nothing about. I don’t suggest this for anybody else, but the way I learn best, is throwing myself into the fire and finding my way out.

Mike Enders for Blade + Blue

MB: Mike, what is happening in your career now that excites you most?

M.E.: There are so many amazing things going on I could burst with excitement! That’s why it makes no sense that I have never been more broke in my life (Calling all who want to invest in Accidental Bear… Holla!) I am currently trying to get the attention of a TV network to help sponsor my Travel Show. I recently posted my pilot episode from my trip to the Big Island of Hawaii.

Screen-Shot-2014-05-08-at-9.17.58-AM
Scenes from Mike’s gay travel show pilot.

M.E.: Here are some teases that I haven’t announced yet. This coming November I am doing an Accidental Bear Mayan Cruise with Al and Chuck Travel, details coming soon! Also I am in the works of putting together a stage show of an all-male cast of Best Little Whore House in Texas, more details soon!

Just this past month I picked up the camera again for the first time in MANY years and started shooting original editorials for The Men of A/B and beyond. The response to my photographs has been incredible and I have a full schedule of upcoming shoots including photographing some fashion designer’s lookbook! I’m fucking thrilled about that. Wait, can I swear? I say fuck every other word in real life

Kyle Photographed by Mike Enders
Photo of Kyle by Mike Enders.

In the meantime, I started a branch of Accidental Bear, AB PR Management & Casting, which is getting much traction. Through this side project I have started representing a few male models and helping with model casting for local San Francisco projects. Have I mentioned yet, that I am doing this all myself with no funding! Holla at me any of you rich gays out there that want to invest in something really special and growing exponentially!

Accidental Bear Mike Enders
Mike in a recent appearance on the cult hit web series Where the Bears Are.

MB: Do you have a game plan for Accidental Bear?

M.E.: I have a direction I am plowing forward toward. I’d love to see my bank account out of the negative LOL It seems that what I love doesn’t pay that much but that will never stop me! But seriously, I will continue doing exactly what I’m doing, but will need to bring in a team soon to help in the growth of the website and PR company. Things will get bigger and better, turning up the notch and increasing the quality of site. But I will always highlight and root for the underdog.

MB: Where would you like to see yourself 10 years from now?

M.E.: Doing the exact same thing with a huge Accidental Bear team of writers, editors, photographers etc etc! Right now I am working from home and just the other day I was telling a friend how badly I want a cute office to meet clients at and a big comfy couch to nap on. Hey, I’m a simple guy! Did I mention there is an Accidental Bear clothing line in the works? I’ll have to save that for later.

Blade + Blue Apparel
Blade + Blue Apparel

MB: Any professional advice for your fans?

M.E.: Do what you love no mater what anyone else says. The more visible you become the louder the critics get. Thick skin is required in this business.
Namaste bitches (that’s what the kids are saying!)

Accidental Bear Mike Enders

Follow Mike on…
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Bearnamic Duo ~ Bill & Martin!

Bill, 54, aka “Grumpy Bear” is from Cincinnati, Ohio, and is a self-employed carpenter / handy man who also restores classic cars. Pictured is his 1965 Thunderbird, and his latest project is customizing a ’65 GMC Pickup truck.
When he’s not working on other people’s houses, he’s fine tuning the landscape outside or restoring a piece of furniture.

Martin, 49, is from South Texas, and teaches English full-time at a nearby community college. He also sings professionally in opera and musical theatre companies around the DFW area. He admits to being a political junkie, and is always mining on his iPad for analysis of current events.

Hi Bill & Martin!
How did you guys meet?

Bill: “The old fashioned way — in a bar. That’s the way men used to meet men in 1992.”

Martin: “The Dallas Eagle to be exact. Bill was wearing a California Highway Patrolman’s uniform. I was a bit intimidated, but I went in for a closer look. One look in his eyes and I knew he was a teddy bear.”

Do you have common interests?

“We laugh at this question because we are as different as night and day. Bill loves classic cars and power tools while Martin obsesses over Texas Rangers baseball and musical theatre. We both share a love of Dallas, hanging with the neighborhood bears, and watching a short list of must-see TV shows, including Survivor, Project Runway, and Game of Thrones.”

Do you each have an interest that the other has none in?

“Yes, Bill enjoys restoring classic cars and trucks and will spend hours walking junkyards for customizing parts. When he’s not doing that, he’s watching Car auction shows on cable. (Martin thinks that’s crazy.) Martin not only enjoys going to the opera; he also performs professionally in the chorus. (Bill would rather get a root canal than see another opera.) On the other hand, Martin likes the car shows and Bill doesn’t mind going to an occasional Broadway musical, sung in English!”

What’s your secret to a successful relationship?

“It hasn’t been easy because we are very different guys, but our relationship improved tremendously once we finally quit trying to change each other. We accept each other and love each other as we are — and it all seems to balance out. What one doesn’t bring to the relationship, the other does.”

What advice do you have for dating couples?

“Use your head, but trust your heart. Always play safe. If you think he’s the one, go for it. After 17+ years together, we’ve discovered that sticking by one guy for the rest of your life is not such a bad thing.”

Photo by Hank Henley Photography

Modern Bear Bearodies

Modern Bears just wanna have fun, and that includes spoofing famous moments from our pop culture. Movies, celebrities, records, and more offer inspiration for what we lovingly call our “Bearodies.”

Farrah's Iconic Poster, 1976
Farrah’s Iconic Poster, 1976

"Bearrah Pawcett", 2011
“Bearrah Pawcett” (2011) Modeled by Travis Smith. No photoshop here – the Farrah wig, red wrestling singlet, and even the serape were all purchased on ebay for the photo shoot by Rand Thomas.

"Valley of the Dolls" 1967
The camp film classic, “Valley of the Dolls” from 1967 based on the best-selling book by Jacqueline Susann. Originally released as a serious drama, now known for its over-the-top acting performances by the lead actresses, and the kitschy script with such lines as “Sparkle, Neely, sparkle!”

"Valley of the Bears"
“Valley of the Bears” (2012) is our homage to the aforementioned film, featuring Chris Bale as “Man Wells,” Brent Cage as “Brentifer North,” and Travis Smith as “Neely O’Beara.” Perfectly captured by photographer Rand Thomas in a suite at the swanky Chamberlain Hotel in West Hollywood.

"Breakfast at Tiffany's" 1962
A film classic, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s” elegantly captured New York City in the early 60’s, and featured the quintessential Audrey Hepburn performance, fashions by Givenchy, and an iconic movie soundtrack by Henry Mancini.

"Bearfast at Tiffany's" 2013
“Bearfast at Tiffany’s” (2013) features Travis Smith as “Pawdrey Hepbear” and photographed by Chris Bale in the same spot in front of Tiffany’s. The Bear’s version of Hepburn’s classic Givenchy ensemble included a rhinestone tiara purchased from a dollar store nearby, black work gloves, and a black wife beater. What you don’t see in this photo are the dozen Japanese tourists standing behind Travis photographing the photo shoot as it took place. “Only in New York!” they were saying.

The Art of Austin Calloway

Artist Austin Calloway

MODERN BEAR’S INTERVIEW WITH PAINTER AUSTIN CALLOWAY began at dawn and felt more like a night out on the town then a morning of Q & A’s.

It went like this..
7:00 AM we met at Koffi, on Palm Canyon Drive, the fashionable ‘to see and be seen” hot spot of the coffee crowd. Austin was standing at the counter when I arrived, wearing his cowboy hat, worn ranch boots, jeans and an Allman Brothers tee-shirt. He sipped a cup of coffee, (he likes his black with a blueberry scone on the side.) and he gave a broad smile when he saw me walking his way. We sat outside gazing at the mountain, we talked about hiking, classic cars and growing up outside of California.

Artist Austin Calloway

Coffee cups empty, we climbed into Austin’s truck and drove around Palm Springs pointing out our favorite mid-century architecture and each of us telling of our time and excitement over having the chance to walk through the Frank Sinatra house, a highlight as a part of living in Palm Springs.

With the sun warming, Austin turned the truck towards Indio and twenty minutes later, we wound up at Duke’s Bar, a dank dive with pink Christmas lights on a black wall, faded blue velvet chairs and pinball machines with the likes of Charlie’s Angles and Captain Fantastic.

Artist Austin Calloway

“I come here to disappear,” Austin said, moving forward in the darkness. “No one ever finds me here.”
With a stack of quarters, we attacked the jukebox lining up a string of songs to play while we sat at the bar and drank ice cold beer and talked about music, our childhoods, favorite breeds of dogs (he likes German Shepard’s, Border Collies and Australian cattle dogs) we talked about many things, even the weather and so far, not one mention of art or painting. Then, half way through our breakfast beer, Austin pulled a stack of color sample papers from his shirt pocket, the kind you get at Home Depot and take home to see what color you want to paint your wall. He placed the cards on the table like a carefree fortune teller and said, “Pick one.”

I looked at him as he watched me. I looked back at the cards, yellow, red and brown, three shades of blue, and four shades of green, purple and grey. I selected a forest green color and sliding the card from the table, held it up. “This one.” I said.

A smile crossed Austin’s face as his eyes narrowed under a heavy brow. “A good choice.” He said, “Solid.”
He looked at me as if he suddenly knew a deep, dark secret that even I was not aware of.

Artist Austin Calloway

“Let’s finish these beers,” he then said, “And go somewhere and have a drink.” And after another beer, we did just that. We left his obscure hideaway and headed back to Palm Springs, and then to El Tropical, where we slid into a booth. With no one around us and with Tanqueray martini’s and a warm, calming buzz, Austin removed his cowboy hat, laid it beside him and leaned back and then he finally said, “Let’s talk about art.”
So far, this had been my favorite interview. I opened my note pad, removed the cap from my pen and pushed ‘record’ on my tiny machine and I began.

“When did you first realize that you had artistic talent?” Was my first question and Austin didn’t hesitate with his response.

by Austin Calloway
by Austin Calloway

“My mom was concerned for a bit, when I was a boy… That I insisted on coloring outside of the lines. That I would draw over everything. She later realized that it was just me ‘creating’.
You are just a boy and teachers, people making a fuss over something you do. You think everyone is doing it and when you realize they are not, you take notice and look inside.
We had large farms in Iowa and Missouri and we moved around on these farms, switching schools. An art teacher in Missouri placed me in an independent art class my freshman year that set me on a course that followed me through all four years of high school. I would work along with the teacher at my own pace, but I sat in a class room filled with seniors. They would look at me and try to figure me out. In time I made friends I would not have made otherwise and this setting me apart affected not only how others treated me, but it focused my attention to the possibilities that I had something I might possibly want to pay attention to, my art.

We sipped our martini’s and I wrote out my next question. “What is your favorite medium of artistic expression?”

by Austin Calloway
by Austin Calloway

“Lately, I have been getting into wood,” we both grinned and drank.
“When I sleep, my dreams are often filled with bold shapes of colors and so I have been experimenting with that in my wood work. But overall it is paint. I love to feel the paint move. My favorite paintings are when I am lost in the passion of the moment and that energy comes across on the canvas.”

PASSION is a word Austin uses a great deal and it does come across in his work.
“I don’t care about capturing a perfect image of something, photography does that. For me it is about emotion and expressing that emotion is the only reason I paint.”

“Do you find that you go through phases with your art?”

by Austin Calloway, 2013 60"x 48" Ink and acrylic on wood.  Now showing at Design 849 Palm Springs, California.
by Austin Calloway, 2013
60″x 48″
Ink and acrylic on wood.
Now showing at Design 849 Palm Springs, California.

“My work constantly evolves. It should, you are living, and breathing and your art should do the same. When I began selling in galleries in 1993, my paintings were contemporary cowboys and horses in vivid colors. The galleries that sold my work locked me into that format because it sold and they did not want to even see my other work or styles. I finally stopped painting those images, insisting on the freedom that I needed to create. You have to do what your soul calls you to do. Some collectors are confused by this and you lose them, others are fascinated and wait and want to see what you will do next.”

At this point, Austin moves his cowboy hat from his left to right side in the booth. He orders two more martinis from a passing waiter and I make a joke, asking him if he has a drinking problem.
“I wish.” He says, “This is a special day, can’t you feel it?” and he looks down at my notepad and recorder and so I ask my next question.

“If you could have the work of any artist to hang in your home, which would that artist be?”

Artist Austin Calloway

“Van Gogh’s ‘White Roses‘ is a favorite painting of mine. What a beautiful work of art! I was offered a job years ago to work for Walter Annenberg , who owned that painting. It hung in their home throughout the season in Rancho Mirage and would be flown off season, to MOMA in New York City. I turned that job down but to have been his personal assistant and to spent each day in the same house as ‘White roses’ would have been exciting.
I love the paintings of Milton Avery, the feelings I get from his work and the American gothic paintings of Grant Wood. Growing up in Iowa, I was exposed to his work and I developed an admiration. All three of these men, I would be thrilled to own a painting by.

Our fresh martinis are set down in front of us and neither of us misses a beat.

“You have a wide range of styles. You could hang a number of your paintings side by side and you would not know that they were painted by the same artist.”

48"x 60" Acrylic & wax on canvas
48″x 60″
Acrylic & wax on canvas
42" x 12" Oil and Acrylic on Wood
42″ x 12″
Oil and Acrylic on Wood

“I received a scholarship with what was at the time, Otis/Parsons Art Institute, in Los Angeles. They were joined for a time and I studied costume design for film, stage and television. It wasn’t until my second trip to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 93 that I returned to Palm Springs, went out one day and spent hundreds of dollars on paint, brushes and canvas. It was fate calling and I knew it. New Mexico has that power to connect you to your deeper self. It is the reason I had to move there, it called to me. Being a self-taught painter, you try many approaches and in doing so you are able to develop a variety of styles. Most artist lock into one, I haven’t done so, not yet anyway.

He takes a deep breath and I can see the cowboy in him growing restless.

“Just one more question,” I say, “What are you up to now?”

Artist Austin Calloway

“Working on my next show.” He says. “I have so many ideas spinning in my head. I leave tomorrow for a summer in Provincetown, Massachusetts and I plan to work on new pieces there and I may place in a gallery. I am learning and looking into corporate sponsorship so that I may produce better shows and I have a museum concept show for a traveling exhibition that I dream of doing once I can raise the money. If you know of a corporation looking to sponsor, please send them my way. That has all been dreams and plans I keep in my head and I am surprised that I told them to you. We had better stop now before you ask the questions that I regret answering later.

“Perhaps I will ask those questions in our next interview.” I said with a smile.

“Perhaps. He replied.

48" x 60" Oil and Acrylic on Canvas
48″ x 60″
Oil and Acrylic on Canvas

As I closed my notepad and turned off my recorder, we stood to leave. Austin placed his cowboy hat back on his head and looked about the room.

“Now let me ask you a question.” He said, dangling his truck keys in his hand. “Are you okay to drive …. Or am I?”

Artist Austin Calloway

Austin Calloway currently shows his paintings at DESIGN 849 and with the Woodman/Shimko Gallery in Palm Springs, California. Please stop in to see his work in person and on Facebook at: The ART of Austin Calloway .

“Bearrah Pawcett” ~ A Retro Bearody

"Bearrah Pawcett"

In our continuing series of pop culture “bearodies” we bring you our homage to Farrah’s best-selling 70’s pin-up poster of all time – “Bearrah Pawcett!” No photoshop here, the Farrah wig, serape, and red wrestling singlet were all purchased on ebay. Modern Bear Travis Smith posed for photographer Leland Gebhardt and did his best to recreate the iconic pose but as he put it, “my belly and other parts kept getting in the way.”

The “Bearrah” poster is available from the Modern Bear Store: http://modernbear.net/?page_id=184

Farrah's Iconic Poster

Bearnamic Duo ~ Rob & Alan!

Hi Rob and Alan, how did you guys meet?

“We were both in long-term relationships, which were holding on by threads. He was in a 13 year relationship, which had a 3rd lover for the last 7 years. I was in an 8 1/2 year relationship, which really never should have been. One day, we discovered our ex’s were online flirting and attempting to meet, so we agreed to all 4 meet up and see where things went. To make a long story short and leave out the XXX-rated details, Alan and I knew at first sight we were meant for one another. As for the others, not so much!”

How long have you been together?

“August 10, 2014 will be out 13 year anniversary. We were married last September 14th atop the Space Needle in Seattle, WA as soon as the government announced recognition of all same sex married couples from states which allow it, regardless their home state’s stance. Our decision to wed was naturally because we are madly in love, but had a lot to do with my recent terminal diagnosis of Cardiomyopathy and Congestive Heart Failure. I now have an implanted cardiac device, earning myself the nickname of ‘The Bionic Bear.”

Was it love at first sight or did it take a few dates?

“Indeed, it was love at first sight for both of us. I am quite an aggressive man when I see something I want and Alan didn’t stand a chance against my charms.”

If you are cohabiting, how long did you date before you lived together?

“At first, we moved into delegate bedrooms within our perspective homes. That didn’t work out so well and caused a lot of heartache for all, so we decided to move in together within 3 months of falling in love.”

What is it about your mate that attracted you so much?

“I was most attracted to his intelligence, independence and overall beauty. He was a man of flaws, but every one seemed hypnotic to me.”

Do you have common interests?

“There are very few interests we don’t share, actually! We have similar taste in home renovations, style, decor, food, music, men, etc.!”

Do you each have an interest that the other has none in?

“I am a Dominant Sir, into a full gamut of kinks. While Alan enjoys this facet of me, he doesn’t get into it himself. I am covered in tattoos and he has none. He prefers to blend in, where I always stand out. They say opposites attract, and we are the true living example of this theory.”

What’s the secret to your successful relationship?

“Complete honest and open dialog, no matter the topic not the time of day. We discuss everything we do: before, during and afterwards to ensure we are both on the same page and have each other as our main focus.”

Any advice for a dating couple?

“Make memories outside of the circuit scene. Relationships are built and nurtured far away from the dance floor and laser lights. Always put your partners feelings above anyone else, yet never allow your partner to hold you back from being yourself.”

New Release from Tom Goss ~ “Illuminate the Dark”

Ok we admit it, we have a crush on Bear lovin’ Dreamboat Tom Goss! You may remember Tom from his hugely successful viral song/video “Bears”

An added bonus is that he actually is very talented! And that is amply displayed in his newest release, “Illuminate the Dark.”

And you can thank us now very much for these swoon worthy pix of Mr. Goss photographed by Matt SpragueTom Goss photographed by Matt Sprague PhotographyTom Goss photographed by Matt Sprague Tom Goss photographed by Matt Sprague Tom Goss photographed by Matt Sprague

Meet CubCake Dustin!

Hi Dustin,
How did your attraction to the Bear culture come about?

“My attraction came about more recently in my life actually. My whole life, I’ve never thought I belonged anywhere in the gay community, was always overlooked and ignored. I wasn’t really too much into the scene, and didn’t really know about subcultures and whatnot. But luckily, I sprouted an awesome beard and found guys that are just like me. I think I’ve found my niche :)”

What does the term “Bear” mean to you?

“To me, when I think of the word “bear,” I automatically think of a fuzzy, furry, bearded, cozy, rugged man or an animal that steals pic-a-nic baskets :)”

What’s your idea of a perfect date?

“Dinner or coffee, a long walk while getting to know each other, and maybe ice cream :D”

How would you describe your personal design style?

“I’m ridiculously simple. jeans, t-shirt, hoodie and chucks. I only dress up for special occasions.”

Location: “Currently: Mill Valley, Ca. I know what you’re thinking, ‘Where the hell is Mill Valley, Ca?’ It’s about 20 minutes North of San Francisco lol”

Height: 6’4″

Hair: brown

Eyes: Blue

Sign: Libra

Fitness Routine: “I love to go on walks and hikes.”

Occupation: “Management at a vitamin/supplement store.”

Hobbies: “I absolutely love to draw and paint. I really enjoy reading as well. Going to the movies and going on adventures to the beach!”

Guilty Pleasure Snack: “Peanut Butter M&Ms. I’m ridiculously addicted.”

TV Faves: “Being Human, Friends, Gilligan’s Island, Jeopardy, Game of Thrones, Looking (so far), Will & Grace, SpongeBob Squarepants lol”

Last good movie you saw: “This is the end’ – sorry, I have a stupid/funny, sense of humor.”

Currently Reading: “Y: The Last Man.”

Turn Ons: “Furry chests, happy trails, geeks, beards, musclebears/cubs and nice smiles.”

Turn Offs:
“Briefs, socks with sandals, jock straps (can’t help it), and good-looking guys that ignore other guys just because they arent as ‘fabulous’ as they are. Or think they are.”

Personal Statement:
“We are the music makers. And we, are the dreamers of dreams.”
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