August 5, 2010  |  Classes, Events, Musings

TransformationChange is inevitable. In my case, it also seems to be happening all at once!

I have transitioned back to freelance work these past two weeks, I’ll be storyboarding at Trick 3d next week through September and continuing work on a Bruce Hampton documentary. This is keeping me busy on the work front. Next, my rental house in Grant Park is undergoing some updates in hopeful anticipation of new renters this Fall, and finally- the ASIFA figure drawing class is moving to a new location!

I’ll have more information on the possible new location(s) for the figure class soon. In the meantime, if you have any ideas for a great location please let me know!

Here’s what we’re looking for:
1) A space that can hold up to 40 artists and a model stage, with good lighting and comfortable environment.
2) It should be centrally located, I prefer Midtown or somewhere close to where I live near the East Atlanta Village.
3) Free or reasonably priced parking, safe and convenient.
4) Someplace that wants to have a regular drawing group. I’d like to keep the cost for the artists at $5, and I currently pay the models at least $50 for the two hour session, more for the veteran models. It’s the best deal in town, but I can only do it if I’m not paying rent. This has never been about making money- originally any extra proceeds went to ASIFA, now they go to the models to keep the good ones coming back. For this reason, schools and studios have been good choices- they want to attract artists and that’s what this class does.
5) Someplace awesome!! I have also been involved with two spin-offs from the figure drawing group; our own Boozer Doodle and Dr. Sketchy’s  run by Lori Gami. These have been great outlets for creative artists and performers to take figure drawing to a different level. From the Dames Aflame stage in midtown to the  East Side Lounge and IceHouse in East Atlanta Village, and now the infamous Clermont Lounge on Ponce de Leon; we have been in some great spaces that inspire artists. The Thursday night class deserves a space that lives up to the talent of the artists that have been attending these sessions for years. Let’s find a great space!

Here is some history of the ASIFA figure class:

I started the figure drawing class in 1998 at Primal Screen, for the animators that worked with me at the original Monroe Drive address (next to the Park Tavern near Tenth Street). Owner Doug Grimmett graciously opened the sessions to outside artists as well, and the weekly classes attracted a regular following.

When I left Primal to work at Turner Studios in 2001, designer extraordinaire Justin Winslow took charge of the sessions, including when the Primal Screen studio moved to their new Ralph McGill address. Increased use of the photography space forced the class out of that location, and it went dormant for a while.
Then I got a call from Lou Hertz, an old animator pal of mine whose wife Judy worked at Creative Circus. They had an available daylight photo studio, and Lou offered to help me run the class on alternate weeks. I fell for it, then he managed to slip out of the scene and I was left running the show again each week. Later when Lou slipped away from this life altogether, he left me with his old position as President of ASIFA-Atlanta, a local chapter of the world wide animation organization. Looking back, those were two of the most important influences on my animation career- thanks, Lou!
Eventually we had to move from the Creative Circus, due to structural problems with the building. Figure drawing regular Kat Hagan came to the rescue with her recommendation of Westwood College, a new art school located on Spring Street, right next to the Adult Swim building and directly across the connector from my office at Turner Studios. She quickly assembled a great group of young students that helped set up and break down the class every week, and I offered a discount to the students as a courtesy to the school. It’s been going strong since then, but now it is time to move on again!

1 Comment

  1. Wow, I didn’t know all that history, though I should have! Fascinating. Next time I see Doug I’ll thank him for this class- it helped me too, I don’t think I would have submitted to “Roll Yer Own” if I hadn’t come to the figure drawing class a few years ago!

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