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Creativity. Commerce. Community. We started Kingston Creative last year with a mission of supporting all three at once. While that often means making websites, shareable content, and imagery for clients, it’s also manifested into a weekly figure drawing session at our office in the Shirt Factory in Midtown Kingston, NY.

If you don’t know what the Shirt Factory is, it’s a massive old factory with about 50 spaces for artists and small businesspeople to live and/or work in. Within a few blocks, there’s also RUPCO’s Lace Mill Factory with a built-in community of artists, and there are tons of other artists scattered throughout Kingston. When we moved into the office, we saw a gap in affordable ways for local creatives to hone their skills, especially in Midtown.

The practice of figure drawing is a fundamental building block for visual artists (check this out and this too to see why Disney agrees), so we decided to launch a $10 figure drawing session. We hunted down some easels and our wonderful neighbors at Green Palette made a model platform out of recycled wood. The session is held every Monday night, from 5:30 to 7:30 at 77 Cornell Street, Suite 407. To make it as accessible as possible, we accept online payments via Eventbrite (despite the fees), and make sure to consistently promote it via an email list and our social media pages.

The results have been awesome: even in the dead of winter, dozens of creative people have come out of the woodwork to draw the human form with us. Some are full-time professional artists and animators, others are folks who just enjoy drawing in their free time. Some live 20 feet away, others drive 20 or 30 miles to get here. We all benefit from getting away from our computer screens, desks, and regular lives to make art in a friendly environment, and get to talk and laugh during the breaks.

We’re loving it so much that we want to make it accessible to even more people. We are sponsoring live figure drawing every first Thursday at BSP Kingston in partnership with Valley People Productions. For that one, there’s a $5 cover charge, supplies are provided and you can have a drink while you draw with a vinyl DJ playing in the background. It’s going to be rad and/or dope. The next one will be held on April 7, 2016 from 8 to 11 p.m. at BSP Kingston, 323 Wall Street, Kingston NY 12401. Facebook event pending.

Note: The session is currently on hiatus. To be notified when it starts back up, sign up here.

Here’s some of the art that’s been produced at our sessions so far:

Artist: Bitty Holly
Bitty hails from the Lace Mill and is doing amazing stuff with charcoal.

 

Artist: Simon Ampel
Also from the Lace Mill, Simon is a “old fashioned cel animator, cartoon director, story-man, board artist, designer and illustrator.”

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Artist: Eric Deschamps
For the past decade, Eric has been “both a sci-fi/fantasy illustrator and a video game concept artist.”

Artist: Sean Andrew Murray
Sean is a “freelance illustrator, concept artist, author and teacher who has worked in the entertainment industry for nearly fifteen years.”

Artist: Rebecca Rojer
Rebecca is a filmmaker, visual artist and web designer.

Artist: Theresa Drapkin
Theresa is a Kingston, NY artist who works mostly in pastel and on non-traditional still-life paintings. She recently had a show at Cornell Street Studios down the street from us.

Artist: Gabrielle Green
Gabrielle co-founded Kingston Creative and has spent the last decade as a web & graphic designer, but loves any opportunity to incorporate illustration into her professional work. She started the figure drawing sessions at Kingston Creative because it is one of her passions, and quickly realized there are many people out there who feel the same way.

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