After finishing up classes last year, Life Drawing Geelong is back and with no skill or talent required to take part, it’s the perfect place to let your inner artist shine. We chat to Jane about what life drawing is really about.
How did the life drawing class in Geelong first come to be?
My housemate asked me to go to a class in Melbourne that was organised by a girl that he had the hots for. I’m one of ‘those’ people who ‘used to be creative’, so a life drawing class wasn’t weird for me. The classes run by Lou Klerks were rad; cheap, no teacher, drop-in, and materials supplied (including wine). I was hooked – but soon after I moved to Geelong, and all of the life drawing classes here require a 10-week commitment. In desperation, I asked if Lou would consider starting a class in Geelong. She just laughed and said “no, but you should do it!” So here they are – Lou’s life drawing classes in Geelong. It just took eight years to do it…
It’s been running for a little while now, do the current classes look much different to the first few?
Not really, they’re still very casual and only $10. The biggest difference is that the amazing Jae (myheadsajungle) organizes and runs the classes too. Bless her, and we now occupy Analogue Academy in Cuzens Place. Josh and the rest of the Analogue crew are gods – they wrapped up Life Drawing Geelong in a big fluffy nest of love and let us run wild. I’ll be forever grateful for the space and time they donate each week.
What’s the biggest misconception about life drawing classes?
Probably two main misconceptions: That the classes are just an excuse to see naked hot women (or men). However, most of these comments are also accompanied by interpretations of porn music and pole dancing/stripper moves. This is not what happens in a class. Our models are professionals and people, and I’m extremely protective of them. This is probably a good opportunity to note that we do not accommodate hens/bucks days.
Also, that you have to be good at drawing, enjoy drawing, or have some kind of technical qualification/education. I’m a science/policy geek, and love the classes as they scratch the other side of my brain. Plus, no one sees or comments on your drawings (unless you want them to). For all we know, you could be working on one of those mediation coloring-in books.
If someone wanted to model for the class, what should they keep in mind and how do they get involved?
Just ask! We love new models, of all abilities, styles and experience – but keep in mind that your friends, family or colleagues might also be in the class. Most people are okay about being nude in front of strangers, but Geelong is a small town… so you never know who’s going to be there.
What do you love most about life drawing classes?
It’s a great opportunity to focus, be silent, and concentrate on something other than a screen, screaming kids, or office drama. I guess when viewed that way, the classes can be a form of meditation.
For those with limited drawing skills, would you say this is a good introduction to art?
Potentially. As we supply materials (which can be expensive), the classes are affordable ($10), and we have a few ‘how to draw’ books in the class if you’re looking for ‘technical’ advice. But, we may also be a terrible introduction. We don’t offer technical advice or suggestions on ‘how to improve’ as we know that everyone is different and has their own style. I’ve seen a lot of incredibly amazing sketches and I’d hate to take that away from someone with some bad advice.
If you could sum up the vibe of the class in one sentence, what would it be?
Casual. Life Drawing Geelong is a not-for-profit adventure where all proceeds go to the models and replacement of materials. Only the models are paid. The rest of us are donating our time and our emotions, so the tiny end-of-night ‘thank yous’ and the return clientele is a big motivator for us to keep the classes going.
Life Drawing Geelong runs from 6 – 8pm every Tuesday at Analogue Academy for only $10. The classes are not tutored and materials are supplied. No commitment or bookings are required, just show up.