DRAWING MANIA FOR INTERNATIONAL ARTS FESTIVAL
Students from a specialist art and design college joined north east artists in a four-day drawing event as part of the world’s biggest drawing festival, with some of the region’s most talented professional artists getting involved.
Cleveland College of Art & Design (CCAD) in Middlesbrough took a completely white room and invited local artists, students and staff to ‘find a space and draw a face’ as part of The Big Draw, a month-long international celebration of drawing.
Artist Luke Dixon from The Bear Hug joined Ste Angus from Silver Tongue and Matthew Burton -all former students at the specialist art college – in the drawing extravaganza, which this year is themed ‘Every Drawing Tells A Story’.
Ste Angus was the first artist to visit The Drawing Room, where he spent two days creating a detailed nautical scene featuring various sea creatures. The freelance illustrator, who specialises in hand-rendered and digital image making for album covers, said: “I was really happy to come in and give my contribution. The staff and students were all sound and it was a lot of fun.”
The The Northern School of Art Drawing Room began with a set of blank walls and floor and over four days, was filled with self-portraits from hundreds of people. In addition to the personal artistic display, students also had the chance to try out a series of custom-made drawing machines created by the college’s 3D team, using bicycles and old record players to create a room full of unique, individual designs and add to the drawing mania.
Luke Dixon, owner of The Bear Hug, a successful online business featuring his distinctive artwork, spent the morning at his old college creating his most well-known design – a bear. He said: “Animals shapes are my business, so this could be described as a self-portrait! I think this is a great project, getting people drawing. I was really interested when I was invited by one of the lecturers, as I have not been back much since I graduated. I loved my time at The Northern School of Art as I loved art. I was that guy at school who could draw, so I did a foundation course which set me on my career path.”
Former The Northern School of Art student Matthew Burton, who has built a career as a freelance illustrator for sports clients, brought his talent to the Drawing Room, creating a series of colourful Halloween masks. He said: “The masks are a bit different to what I usually do in sports media, certainly more fun and topical! This has been an excellent event and really helped to engage people in drawing, as it is something that everyone can have a go at. The Drawing Room has created such a range of styles and seeing all the designs crammed in together on the walls and floor has produced a great piece of artwork.”
The event and Drawing Room concept was created and developed by Diane Watson, The Northern School of Art fashion and textiles course leader. She said: “The Big Draw was for those who love to draw, as well as those who think they couldn’t. So we invited our students from all higher and further education courses such as photography, creative film and interactive media, alongside the more traditional drawing-led courses such as fine art, to join the communal drawing space.
“Moving away from traditional drawing tools and techniques, The Drawing Room aimed to explore the boundaries of custom-made drawing machines and how they can be used to communicate ideas, concepts and designs. At the end of the project, we have created a drawing room full of individuality, creativity, colour and design, telling the individual stories of all of those taking part.
“This was a fantastic collaborative project, bringing together established artists, teachers and students to demonstrate different ways of drawing and communicating ideas, and inspiring them to think beyond traditional techniques and concepts, and I am delighted with what we have created in just four days!”