Brixton Life Drawing, started by local textile designers Anya and Bex in 2019, has launched a new “Draw & Tour” project.
Regular classes have entertained participants from all over the world via Zoom in the past year.
“The reaction has been mind-blowing, honestly,” they say.
“At our first online class back in March 2020, we had over 50 people and we were so thrilled.
“Fast forward a few months, we had thousands taking part in our events every week.
“We have so many lovely artists and friends that join us – many of whom we have never actually met in person.
“Every week, people reach out to us with personal stories about how much the classes have helped them through depression, addiction and loneliness.
“We have a drawer who reached out this week telling us that our classes sometimes are the only things that get her out of bed each week – and it really hits home that our classes have become a lifeline to many.
“It’s been wonderful seeing how much the community, both local and further afield, have embraced them.
“We are so happy and proud of what we have achieved over lockdown!”
Sessions run on a pay-what-you-feel basis and booking is via the Instagram account.
All levels are welcome, and the regular schedule is Tuesday (7pm) and Sunday (10am).
The model for the week is announced via social media – this week they came all the way from Argentina. Every pose is timed, and there are no rules on your materials of choice.
Lockdown has enabled the duo to reach new audiences, despite the difficulties, and therefore expand their timetable.
The new venture, Draw & Tour, is set each time at a different London landmark.
The first Zoom, at Leighton House Museum, proved popular and 20% of the profits were donated to the Friends of Leighton House charity.
Lord Leighton, the Victorian artist, worked at the studio-house which includes one of London’s most famous nineteenth-century Orientalist interiors.
“Prior to lockdown, we had a regular venue in Brixton which sadly shut down – so when it came to thinking about the in-person side of things, we always knew we would need to source a new venue,” say Anya and Bex.
“We have watched things expand massively and contacting iconic venues felt like the next logical step in helping our venture grow and taking it to the next level!
“We have some absolutely enormous things lined up for our Draw & Tour events coming up that we actually have to pinch ourselves about.
“Nobody knows yet, other than us and the model we have hired for the event!”