Drawn and plastered

Local artists’ initiative flaunts surreal showmanship at bi-monthly drink-and-draw events

Miss Angela La Muse at a previous Drawn and Plastered event. Stefan Isfeld

Holly Halftone may have masterminded the aptly named Drawn and Plastered events herself just over a year ago, but the enduring success of her drink-and-draw parties has been a consistent team effort.

“My mom likes me to give her some credit - she and I sat there brainstorming and we came up with (the name),” Halftone says with a laugh.

Drawn and Plastered’s creative crew also includes co-owner and head costumer Sam Wiebe, AJ Shymkiw (manager/public relations), Carly Iskierski (marketing director/special events costumer), and Tim Der (official videographer), among others.

“We’re all pretty different, which is what makes us a good team,” Wiebe says. “We’re not all focused on sketching, or graphic design - it’s all over the map. We all pick up different parts of the events and make them better … we’re kind of like this weird big extended family-type deal, and I like that.”

Inspired by similar events held south of the border, Halftone’s creative vision for Drawn and Plastered was to improve upon the original drink-and-draw template.

“The first one was held in Los Angeles (in 2005) and it was all professional artists that got together and said, ‘We don’t want to sit in the studio and draw nude models, we want a bit more flavor.’ So they would go to the bar and they would have a burlesque performer or someone who was in more of an alternative modeling industry, and they would draw them,” Halftone explains.

“It would be clothed, a little more interesting - not to say that the other classes are uninteresting, but it’s very different. So from there we sort of exploded it.”

With bi-monthly events held at various locales throughout the city like The Hub and Le Garage Café, Drawn and Plastered features models of all shapes and sizes dressed to theme; a few past motifs have included “Seven Deadly Sins” and “The Rocky Horror Picture Show.”

An eclectic array of artists participate in these events, be they doodlers, photographers, sculptors - anyone practicing anything that’s not “too messy or inappropriate” is welcome, Halftone says.

“At our Halloween event, we had someone sitting at the back of the room making a fully-functional marionette out of masking tape,” Iskierski adds.

Curious non-artists can also join in on the fun.

“Most of our shows have lots of side entertainment,” Shymkiw says. “The whole thing is even if someone’s there that’s not drawing, we want them to have a good time. We’ve been throwing in the theatrics lately … our last event had a seven-piece band playing jazz music all night.”

With 18 shows under their belt, the Drawn and Plastered team shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon.

“We have a big spreadsheet with a massive list of all the possible themes that we’re thinking of - I think there’s more than a hundred (ideas),” Halftone says.

“Not to sound egotistical about the event, but I’ve done a lot of research into it and from what I’ve found, I can tell we are the only show like this in North America.”

The next Drawn and Plastered event, “Grind Your Gears!” will take place at The Hub on Saturday, April 27. Admission is $10. For more information, “like” Drawn and Plastered on Facebook.

Published in Volume 67, Number 21 of The Uniter (February 28, 2013)

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