Ready, Set, Draw

By - Jun 7th, 2010 04:00 am
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Drawing courtesy Daria Kempka

Daria Kempka, a Web Producer at Marquette University, had an idea: “Wouldn’t it be fun to have an all-day drawing event with like-minded people in Milwaukee?”

Originally inspired by the Drawing Marathon at the New York Studio School, she started looking for a venue for DrawCamp, an all day event devoted to drawing. She contacted Bucketworks in the hopes of  renting space and quickly realized that they were offering so much more.

The crew at Bucketworks added their own ideas and expertise, reached out to their network, designed and built the website and brought in a swath of collaborators.

One of them is Mike Rohde, owner of Rohdesigns, who has been hired by SXSW Interactive and UX Intensive and is known for being the “sketchnote guy” (sketchnotes are a visual approach to note-taking).

“So often we were told as school kids to stop doodling,” Rohde explains, “when for many of us, doodling is the way we captured information and communicated ideas.”

DrawCamp’s activities will range from seminars and workshops on fine art representational drawing to iPad doodling and even how to draw upside down (yes, upside down!). Attendees are welcome to come and go, mix and match sessions and even lecture if they have some expertise to lend.

Taking place in a collaborative and supportive environment, professionals, for example, can utilize the conference to improve their communication skills, break barriers and develop new ways of working. Established artists can polish their craft and share their skills, and beginners will learn basic techniques.

“The sessions at DrawCamp have something to offer anyone at any level — beginners to experts, paper to digital and everywhere in between. If you’re curious about drawing, you can come and watch, ask questions and give things a try; if you’re an expert you can network with others and share the techniques that work for you,” says James Carlson, founder of Bucketworks and one of the event’s organizers.

Carlson is passionate about what drawing can do for people. “More of our brains are devoted to seeing than listening,” he says, “I think drawing could help people communicate and relate to others in addition to its creative and artistic value.”

There is no fee, but donations are encouraged and will go toward the scholarship funds for either MIAD’s precollege art program or Artworks Milwaukee’s teen art program.

“We need math and science, but we need art too. The world desperately needs people who can be flexible in their thinking,” Kempka explains, adding, “the ideas that people are coming up with – especially the ones that combine technology and drawing in interesting ways are really cool – it’s great to see how smart and creative people are.”

In addition to local instructors, several established artists from San Francisco will be attending to share their wisdom.

Greg Nudleman of DesignCaffeine will be teaching a session on Storyboarding iPad transitions. Brynn Evans will talk about using comics to tell stories. Pete Prodoehl will show attendees how to make a DIY smartboard with a Wiimote.

“Everyone is creative. It’s our birthright. It’s not a special ability that only artists possess,” says Carlson.

DrawCamp begins at 10 a.m. on Saturday, June 12 (with registration at 9 a.m.). Read more and register at

Categories: Life & Leisure

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