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May 11, 2009 / happykatie

First timer? What to expect from a Houston Dr. Sketchy session


Dr. Sketchy is art class without the class // what happens when cabaret meets life drawing // an awesome way to spend a relaxing Sunday afternoon with art nerds.

If you’re a newcomer to the Dr. Sketchy world, you may not know exactly what to expect.  Traditional life drawing? (no) Sketching workshop? (no) Creepy weird people ogling models prancing naked on the stage?  (no)

We get that we’ve got a new and different thing going, so here are some pointers on what to expect and how to prepare for your very first Dr. Sketchy session – we really can’t wait to meet you!!

Dr. Sketchy IS:

  • An informal and cheeky life drawing session (not your typical art school affair)
  • An affordable way to have access to an ENORMOUS variety of models to draw each month
  • A place to bring your sketchpad, grab a glass of wine and hang out with other artsy types
  • A blend of solid sketching poses (from 2- 20 minutes in length), silly drawing contests with prizes (if you’re interested, no worries if you’re not) and good music to keep the vibe going
  • $10 to get in the door (to keep our models well-paid and happy) – we also encourage artists to tip our models, with all the dinero going directly to the models

Dr. Sketchy is NOT:

  • A typical art school life drawing session – we joke around, play music, encourage our models to be as sassy as can be (occasional spanking included) and keep things as light and fun as possible
  • A place to bring an attitude – we love all skill levels of artists, all types of attendees and all sizes, shapes and styles of models.  Stay cool man.  Stay cool.
  • A chance to take dirty photos to sell on the interwebs – we take care of our models and keep a watchful eye on photographers.  Most of them post their beautiful work in our Flickr group to share, but all of them are respectful and with permission of the model.
  • An advanced artist-only event – if you’re just breaking in to the drawing scene, you are welcome.  If all you want to do is draw pie charts and drink beer, you are welcome.  If you want to color in some of our Houston Sketchy coloring pages and hang out, you are welcome.  We welcome EVERYONE, as long as they stay cool and respectful.  Word.

What to expect on your first Dr. Sketchy event:

  • Every month’s session has a different theme – this means each model gets to pick their own style so one month you might get treated to a beautiful belly dancer (and if you’re REALLY lucky, maybe a performance in between poses) and the next you might draw a fire eater.  We like to keep it fresh, so you always have something new to sketch and enjoy.
  • Sketchy treats:  The occasional free booze (for tippers and contest winners), cupcakes, small toys, snacks and candy have all made their way into some or all of our events.  No pressure, just some fun things we conjure up and a great way for sponsors to stay plugged in.
  • Goofy event coordinators and volunteers – we’re here to make sure you’re taken care of.  Need some chocolate?  Need a pencil sharpener?  Want inspiration for a drawing contest entry idea?  We’re here to take care of you when you need us.  Otherwise, we’re the ones running things behind the scenes, drinking a lot of Red Bull and probably gushing over your awesome work during the breaks 🙂
  • Laidback environment – we meet monthly at a RAWKING arts venue/bar called Avant Garden.  So expect to spend the afternoon in a well-lit bar that feels more like a cool old house than anything uber-polished and professional.  Come wearing jeans and sneakers – or show up in your favorite corset, just be comfortable and happy.  We play music, encourage conversation when artists aren’t busy sketching and just plain keep it chilled and relaxed.  We’re here to have fun, brush up on some drawing skills and enjoy each others’ company.  End of story.
  • Drawing contests – we hold a couple of drawing contests (like ‘best incorporation of a naughty cupid’ at Valentine’s Day, etc.) and give away prizes to artists that are interested in playing during our sessions.  At the end of every Sketchy session our artists have the chance to bring up their favorite piece and have the model select their favorite.  If you don’t dig that idea, then you can be shy and we’ll love and adore you just the same 🙂  It’s all about what you want to make of it, no worries.
  • Friendly people and hip artists – our group prides itself on our chilled out vibe and friendly folks.  If you’re nervous about coming alone and not knowing anyone – don’t be.  We guarantee you’ll go home with at least a handful of new pals.  If you’d prefer to hide out in a corner and just focus on your drawing, we dig that too.  We are here for our artists, so you dictate what you want your Sketchy Sunday to be like.
  • Photographers (the nice kind) – we do host some pretty rocking photographers to come and shoot our events, but they know better than to get in anyone’s way or invade anyone’s personal space.  If you’re concerned about having your work photographed, just let them and the organizers know and we’ll be sure to keep our cameras distant.  If you are ready for your close up and want the paparazzi after you, then let us know that too 🙂

For the most part (except for holidays and acts of God), we meet every 2nd Sunday from 2-6pm at Avant Garden (411 Westheimer).  Admission is $10 (yes, we are serious about this — as this is what pays our models and for our venue), we encourage artists to tip their model and parking is free.

If you have any other questions or want to throw in your (constructive) feedback, then by all means!!! email us here:  happykatie at houstonsketchy dot com.

Be sure to sign up for our monthly newsletter here to keep in touch and hear all the latest and greatest news!!

Huge thanks to Ed Schipul for the beautiful photo above! Check out our Flickr group to see some beautiful photos of past events (and to contribute your own!)


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