I made a lightning visit back to Melbourne this weekend and got a fresh dose of arty goodness. Before I left Victoria, I regularly attended Dr Sketchy’s Anti-Art School, an alternative to boring life drawing classes. This global movement was started in New York by illustrator Molly Crabapple and Melbourne was the first satellite branch (sessions now take place in over 100 cities around the world). Dr Sketchy’s Melbourne was previously held at the Butterfly Club, a converted Victorian town house filled with creepy dolls and retro toys. It is now held at the Order of Melbourne on the last Sunday of every month from 2-5pm.
This week’s Dr Sketchy model was Vivienne Van Kitty. I was a little out of practice with this kind of drawing but had fun trying different pen techniques and just soaking up the bohemian vibe of the event. This is great way to practice observational drawing and the models pull some cheeky poses (in every sense of the word). While the models are generally female burlesque dancers, the branch has also had strongmen, hoola hoop dancers, comedians, roller skaters and even ballet stars. Hopefully I will get a chance to drop into a branch overseas during my trip.
While I was down in Melbourne, I also visit the State Library of Victoria’s Look! exhibition, showcasing some of Australia’s best picture book illustrators. My favourite artists Shaun Tan and Jeannie Baker were on display, amongst forty other incredible artists. It is great to see the developmental sketches and storyboards from some of the books I loved as a kid. The exhibition is on until 29 May 2011 – due to my upcoming trip overseas this was my last opportunity to catch it before it closed. I am so glad I made the effort as the exhibition was well presented and, given I am about to begin formal study in this field, pretty inspiring as well.