073 Emily Draws


Emily Draws presents Highschool Warfare 7th May 2016


Location: BRISTOL



Object and Dom adjusting their jungle headdresses

I have always wanted to put on a Jazz dinner, and back in January I finally got the chance to do it! We had a great night dressing up in our finery, and we ate some amazing vegetarian food at Roll for the Soul, all whilst being serenaded by 4 incredibly talented musicians. It was that night that I met Emily Foster, the lady behind Emily Draws. It was a a name I was already familiar with but it was lovely to put a face to it at my own event.

Emily runs creative events, makes décor, and runs craft workshops. “I create décor because I love being around things that warp our sense of reality. I love dressing up and creating characters, I think it is an extension of my Illustration degree; I want to take the art off the page and make it into the space around us, to tell a story with more than words and images. I also love having fun, playing games, and trying not to take life too seriously.”


Pearl showing us her handmade ray gun

It was after Emily had been running workshops at the Roly Poly Disco Club that she started the Emily Draws events. “They are a culmination of everything I love about being creative. I like to create an immersive space, where as soon as you walk into the event you are transformed into a different world. I also love instigating people’s creativity; at the events you get people who come because they are artists and they will run away with the materials, creating something you could never of imagined. Then you get people who are there for the music, but they end up making something that they’re really proud of and surprise themselves.”

Pursing your passion isn’t always easy and we all have to face some big challenges along the way. “If you don’t mind me getting a bit deep I think the biggest thing I have overcome is self-doubt. Trying to make a living in the arts world seems to be a succession of ‘You’ve almost made it’ moments. Overriding that niggling feeling in your head that you should toss it all in and go and work in a bank is a real achievement.”


An artist drawing a model at Sketch Factory

Emily’s proudest moment so far was at Secret Garden Party. “Having an Emily Draws tent at a festival was when I started to think ‘Hey, we’ve made it!’ Even when it tipped it down, and even when we ran out of materials on the last day cause of sheer numbers and had to make a workshop up on the spot out of sticks and coloured paper! I had an amazingly strong team of people that loved teaching others how to create things, and I think we changed the world a little over that weekend.”

Since starting her events two years ago Emily has met a vast variety of people. “These are the people who are carving out a space for themselves in the artistic sector in Bristol. You will see them at most of the creative events and happenings. Everyone collaborates together, its not a competitive market, we all work to help each other.”


Collage Club running a workshop at the All day Make Fest last year

Emily has formed a really strong core team of creatives that are always involved. “These people are my inspiration: Anna Skorupa, who runs Sketch Factory (a themed life drawing class every third Sunday at The Ropewalk in Bedminster) and coordinates huge amounts of people to make collaborative sketchbooks that travel across the world; Benoit Bennet AKA Object, who, when not creating amazing street art and paintings is transforming the city we live in with PRSC; Annika Wilkinson, who just doesn’t quit creating the beautiful images that you see all over Bristol; Luke Sleven, who now runs the Matchbox Gallery on Stokes Croft alongside his artistic career.”


Dj Hungry Man making sunglasses Accessories at Secret Garden Party

If you’d like to see Emily Draws in action then her next event is on the 7th of May. “This is the big one, we are taking over the PRSC once again to create High School Warfare, an apocalyptic dystopian scene set on an American prom night. Make sense? It doesn’t have to because its all about dressing up in crazy outfits and having fun. But if you need inspiration, think Mad Max vs Grease! We have Prizes for the best outfit and more on the night.” Emily likes to kick it off with an hour of free life drawing class, so if you get there for 6pm bring a sketchbook and drawing materials. “Then from 7pm, we have art workshops from Miss Pea and Hatty Antink, Drawing Battles and Do it Yourself Illustration wall, Live Music and Live Artists until 11.30pm. Five and a half hours of pure creativity, I’m ready, are you?”

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