Drawing ourselves out of our shells
When the lockdown started, the Berlin Drawing Room had to quickly adapt to the new challenge. Now, after some months, we are looking at them not only as an emergency solution but as something we want to add as a permanent offer in our programming. It is important for us to keep offering them to allow all our current (and potential) students to have access to our workshops. Not only during a mandatory lockdown, but also for everybody that would benefit from not having to reach us on location, because they are in another country, or too busy for commuting or have health conditions that made it a spoons-costly choice. We know that some of you may be skeptical about online classes, so we asked one of our recurring students to share their experience of it.
To my delight, taking a drawing class online is FAR MORE FUN than I imagined it was going to be!Melissa, Berlin Drawing Room Student
A Testimonial from a Reluctant Online Student.
The “stay at home” order in March changed my day to day life dramatically, as it did for most people. It has also lead to some interesting self discoveries: I really enjoy being in my house and I do not seem to enjoy being on my computer. For someone who is normally rarely found at home and is “always online” organizing events and managing dozens of social media profiles at the same time, this came as somewhat of a surprise.
Since lock-down I have been busy exclusively with things that require my body to be directly involved. I am one of those people emerging from the chrysalis of the home cocoon through windows that are cleaner than they have been in years, 5 kilos lighter with new pistol squat skills and an enhanced set of cooking, baking and old school homemaking techniques. Anything that involves sitting has fallen by the wayside… cliche response by now, but my response nonetheless.
Week after week my journal sits unwritten in, and up to 9 days at a time have gone by without opening my laptop, or checking my phone. Indeed it wasn’t until my husband mentioned to me that his email wasn’t loading properly that I remembered that our email servers had switched. Making the relevant adjustments on my computer triggered an avalanche of unread email (1952 unread emails as I write this) I just closed the program and decided not to make the adjustments on my phone, effectively getting rid of email on my phone. I also started ignoring the badge numbers on WhatsApp, Telegram, Instagram, YouTube, etc.
I had seen notices from Berlin Drawing Room about classes being moved online and although I am normally excitedly awaiting the next art class I could not bring myself to sign-up. The thought of sitting in front of “that computer” (as I have come to think of it) anonymously watching demos just left me feeling uninspired. Not to mention that I could not bring myself to download Zoom. The thought of yet another app made me want to disconnect the wi-fi!
Luckily, there are several people in my life who ignore my new tendency for extreme home bound isolation and get around all this by old-school texting me: “Hey, come do the next drawing class with us, it’s going to be fun”… And so I found myself, Zoom successfully installed, logged in with 9 or so others to Figure Drawing Details being expertly lead through the anatomy of the hand with all of its 14 phalanges, by our instructor G Caruso.
Everything about taking this class is enjoyable! From a practical standpoint there are advantages to being able to sit at my desk and have anything I need easily within reach, having no subway to contend with, no worries that I forgot to bring something, no bag to lug across town, etc, but the sense of genuine human connection is what intrigued me the most.
G is experienced in teaching students around the world and I am sure this is a major factor in how smoothly the class runs, but connecting quite literally “face to face” with the other students in the class is more social, real and enjoyable than I expected.
The class hours flew by so quickly and the experience gave me the momentum to dig out my desk making it usable again and not merely the repository for every random paper that enters my apartment. In short, the class is giving me motivation to rejoin the world outside my kitchen!
Needless to say, I have already signed up for Urban Landscape Sketching! Maybe you want to join me?