Live art in Sheffield has become a vibrant regular fixture in the city with loads of artists coming out of their work spaces and doodling in front of people in bars, gigs and clubs. I'm proud to be seeing something like this take off in Sheffield, especially as I feel that it has certainly come leaps and bounds from when I first started it at the Hantu Collective Sweet Dreams Fashion show in February 2009, after that, SOYO Live decided to use the Live drawing aspect on a
weekly basis as background visual noise for their night. Unquiet Desperations also took on the live art aspect for their folksy evening of art and music, allowing artists, illustrators and etc another outlet for their creativity. Then came the introduction of the Tramlines Festival, a festival for music held in the centre of Sheffield, this also allowed live art to be seen in venues such as The Bowery, The Washington Pub and SOYO yet again, with crowds milling around in between
the live bands and acts, live art was happening around them, and they would gather and watch and ask questions. Sometimes I used to ask questions, what was point in doodling in front of people, what would I get out of it, and was it worth doing, only over time have I realised that all the times I've done live drawing I have met many people and possibly encouraged others to get involved.
Live art has become a great means for artists to promote their work, although it's never a gurantee that an art director or someone of importance will happen to pass by, there's still a beneficial advantage of being an artist who is always in the public eye for their work. Styles become more noticable and concrete which lead the audiences and passers by to sub consciencely keep tabs on certain artists who are seen to be drawing often. I'd never go so f
ar to stake a claim that I'd been a catalyst for live art in Sheffield, but the timing with the atmosphere around me and the people who I worked with on Hantu, SOYO Live and other such things, live art has grown in Sheffield with our involvement and association, something that I'm pretty proud of, especially as I see the impact it has had on budding new artists.
As I noticed more artists were taking part in live art, I came up with an idea, that those artists could be gathered together to work under one name or as a team. There fore it would become a collective of artists that could throw work eachother's way. I came up with the Stars In Stripes, a group who do live art and commissioned work and the only rule was that each member had to wear stripes as they were drawing. This group are compiled of who I think are the most enthusiastic and creative illustrators I've met in Sheffield and their appetite to put ink to board
and wall has only boosted my own enthusiasm.
I hope the Stars In Stripes is something that can grow, with more members and more commisions under it's belt. We've already amassed quite a lot of work in and around Sheffield, from the Harley Pub and Northern General Hospital but a little more couldn't hurt. Watch this space.