DRAWING IN SHEFFIELD
You will have heard about the Endless Love Creative life drawing evenings held at Union Street once a month (because I’m forever tagging on my insta stories!) Each month has a cool, contemporary fashion or design theme; I've been to a couple and found them to be super relaxing and fun.
I’m not a fan of 'life drawing,' PER SÈ. I’ve never felt that I’m particularly good at it. It was something I avoided at Uni...and I didn’t take art GCSE. BUT these events make it accessible and fun for all; you don't have to worry about being told that your perspective is off or that your drawing technique is shit. (It probably is.) But the point is, that it doesn't matter. You aren't surrounded by know-it-alls, just normal happy folks; here for a glass of wine and maybe a glimpse of a bum cheek. Standard procedure for a Friday night in Sheffield.
Every month, Charlotte also holds a free drawing event in the Sheffield Botanical Gardens called “Lets Draw,” where we let nature be our muse. I went along a couple of weekends ago and took a few piccies (a camera suits me more than a pencil) We started off with some ice breakers and quick tasks to get acquainted, and then we were left to our devices in the beautiful grounds.
Charlotte, is the fab art-gal-about-Sheffield, and the lady behind the events with all the tips and tricks. She's the purveyor of some solid art-based organised fun!
I asked her a couple of questions, to give us a little more insight.
What inspired you to start ELC? Has it always been what we know it to be now?
I had left a really full on job, to find my ‘why’ and also do some serious self care catch up and started going to life drawing classes once a week to be creative, but also in the hope of making friends, this went on for about 2 months and I just really struggled to connect with anyone, and the classes were very formal. I wanted somewhere to let go a little, just fun and engaging, so unlike most of my ideas, I decided I was going to risk it. I created a poster, an Instagram page and for the first time in my life at 30, went round flyering, I felt very out of my comfort zone, but knew if people were going to hear about it this was the way.
It began as a female only life drawing class, and the models would wear flower crowns and lingerie, but it didn’t feel very me, so I started creating different themed nights, its been a great way to collaborate with other creatives. I now run the life drawing classes, alongside a free drawing social, which is open to all levels and the main focus is fun.
What challenges did you/do you face in getting going?
I was literally petrified, you know when your head goes into overdrive, what if no one comes, what if its crap, what if I stand in front of all these people and nothing comes out of my mouth? I wasn’t in the art scene and felt very intimidated to start with, but I think that has helped me, as I think a lot of people feel the same. Selling tickets, and engaging with the right audience was the first challenge, having a clear idea and supportive mates helped big time. Sharing on Facebook, I found local creative groups online and messaged them, I messaged our fave places, who popped it on their Facebook page, whom I cant thank enough. And money, money is a big one, I had some savings, but didn’t want to risk a lot initially so building up the art supplies, paying for a venue, the model it does put a pressure on you to sell tickets. I feel extremely fortunate of the lovely things people say that have given me the confidence to carry on.
What is it about drawing that makes it your thang? (or is it something else actually?)
You know, I’m still not to sure what my thing is, I love drawing and feel like its accessible to all and affordable, all creative outlets are great, but if you’re short of money then going into textiles or ceramics is going to be a different thing. I have always illustrated and mainly people, there’s something about drawing a personality that I really enjoy. I did a fashion design degree, worked in visual merchandising and ended up being an area manager in retail. So I think I’ve tried to combine all three experiences in Endless Love.
What's your medium and subject matter of choice?
I love using ink and pencil, but have recently started using water colour. I like being able to build layers. Definitely people, and street style I love layered unique looks.
What’s next for you and ELC?
Wow, who knows my brain is like idea central, its just picking one or maybe three. More collaborations is a big thing for me, another style of drawing night would be great and I’ve started interviewing illustrators for our blog, so hopefully offering inspiration and guidance to aspiring illustrators and designers. The growth has felt very organic so far, I’m definitely ready for the next phase and challenges.
Endless Love also has Monday mornings covered for you free-range humans (which, ahem… will be me very soon!) I for one can’t wait to start my working week pushing myself to create in new ways with new people.
Check out the next party themed event, to be held on 10th August, and buy your ticket here.