Yesterday I hosted my very first creative workshop at popular London venue Drink Shop & Do.
Drink Shop & Do is a lovely bar/tearoom on Caledonian Road near King’s Cross station. They regularly collaborate with creatives and organise fun and original activities like soap making, nipple tassel making, fabric printing, paper-cutting, calligraphy, cake decorating, painting and so much more. You name it, they’ve pretty much done it.
One of the wonderful things about London is there is always something to do of an evening, be it a concert, play, musical, late night museum tour, new restaurant or bar to try out and of course, classes and activities of all kinds. To quote Samuel Johnson: ‘If you are tired of London, you are tired of life.’ I have been in London 10 years and I haven’t explored half of what this city has to offer.
Many of the artists at Wimbledon Art Studios where I work, host various classes of their own. You can find out more by visiting their website: www.wimbledonartstudios.co.uk
Drink Shop Do main room. They regularly change the decorations to fit different themes and their cakes and cocktails are out of this world!
So yesterday I hosted a Create Your Own Artwork class; 9 people signed up which is more than I hoped and expected. I spent the last few days drawing and colouring in templates and gathering all the necessary material. I actually brought far more than was actually used but, this being my first workshop, I was worried about running out of material, especially as it was to lat three hours.
I arrived earlier to set up and guests started arriving at 6pm. The premise of the workshop was to create your own artwork by either doing it in from scratch by copying the images I’d provided - the templates I drew myself using my usual themes and style; they included donkeys, foxes, flamingoes and plants. I was on hand to help with some drawing tips so no previous experience was required. There was also a choice of line drawings (also hand drawn by myself) which could be coloured in straight away.
I was a tad nervous as I’m not confident speaking to groups of people but everything went fairly well and once I’d explained what we would be doing and provided everyone with paper, templates, pencils and paint, the guests were soon happily painting away.
I had provided coloured pencils, acrylic paint and felt pens but everyone chose to use the paints - I had brought some neon and glittery colours, who can resist those? I’d brought about 30 tubes of paint so there was definitely enough to round and everyone got stuck in.
Each guest received a complimentary drink from the bar so the session was a great opportunity for guests to catch up with the friends they’d come with whilst engaging in a fun activity.
It was a little stressful at first as I was keen for everyone to enjoy the session and make the most of it; it also involved a fair bit of prep (part of an afternoon was devoted to cutting cardboard and folding tissue paper with which to wrap everyone’s artwork, and two hours before the workshop I could be seen running to Cass Art near Angel tube station to purchase some extra sheets of paper), but it was loads of fun and I enjoyed chatting to the guests and helping out with queries, showing them drawing and painting tips and everyone got to take home their creations; one of the guests was gifting a lovely flamingo she painted to her husband to be! I also offered at the start of the class to create new templates for those who had a particular animal in mind; one guest asked me to draw a panda for her as she was keen to have one on her wall. I was happy to oblige and came up with a cute baby panda eating bamboo leaves.
Now that I know what to expect and seeing how much everyone enjoyed themselves, I will definitely be hosting another event and the staff at the venue were super helpful and friendly and made the experience easier; I am liaising with Ruby Booker, the Marketing Executive at Drink Shop & Do to host a Christmas themed workshop which I’m very excited about! More details will be shared soon!
I’m very grateful that part of my new life as a professional artist involves this kind of activity!