Let’s face it, you can draw anywhere. Just pick up your sketch book and a pencil. You can draw at home, in a public space, I even draw at work during meetings (great to have captive models across the table). So why would you come to Better to draw?
I can think of nine reasons:
1. To use equipment that you don’t have at home
We see Better as being a place where more expensive tools can be shared and made affordable. So, for example, we have light box and a projector. We have a list on the wall where you can add what you would like to see at Better. We’ll do our best to add to the range of equipment over time.
2. To try out new materials and media without having to buy them
Better supplies a range of materials for drawing and painting that, as a member, you can use for free. Never tried pastels? Now’s your chance. Want to know what different papers are like to work on? Come and experiment. We even have an electric eraser! If you haven’t tried that out, you should. Check out this YouTube video to see what it does.
3. For the inspiration of new environments, people and conversations
When you work alone, without human interaction or even just the stimulus of new environments, you can get stale. Getting out and connecting with others can inspire you. Have new conversations, with different people. See what others are doing and steal their ideas.
4. For ideas about exercises to try (like a teacher, but less intrusive)
We curate information that’s useful for artists. We have a great collection of books that you can refer to, we are collecting information about exercises you can try and we are collating YouTube playlists of helpful videos. As a member of Better you get access to this information. So whatever medium you work in, there will be things for you to try when you’re not sure what to do next.
5. Interesting subjects: pictures, still life compositions, live models
Each week we compose a new still life to an interesting theme. (Our last one was on a gardening theme.) Come along and work on it whenever you like. We plan to hire models for life drawing, as soon as we have enough interest. We also bring flowers, objects, pictures for inspiration. This is not a class, just set yourself up and draw or paint.
6. The freedom to work on what you are interested in (not like attending a class)
We want to offer a mix of classes, and a work space to get on with your current projects, as you please. If you need structure, join a class. If you are a more experienced or independent artist, come along and work to your own pace and in your own direction.
7. It’s a non-judgemental environment where play and experiment are encouraged
We understand that doing art can be scary. It can be especially scary if you have been subjected to critique in the past. Better is a friendly space. We have no pretensions about what is good art or bad. As long as you are having fun creating, you are welcome and you will find a supportive space. Professionals and amateurs are all welcome.
8. It’s a nice space
The studio at Better is a large open space that is cheerful and comfortable. Unless you are lucky enough to have your own studio you’ll probably find it more comfortable than working at home.
9. The refreshments are free
Your Better membership includes free tea and coffee, rusks and fruit. Help yourself at any time. Lunch can be ordered in, or eat at a local restaurant.
Better is a place for working, sharing and socialising. We want to build a community of people who use the place regularly and get to know each other. We’d like you to become a member of Better and become part of this community.
Maybe your art is difficult to do at Better; maybe you are into installations or you are working on 10 meter high sculptures. In that case, please come and visit and bring the pictures to share.