Seven Art School Life Drawing Disasters


In advance of beer x All the Young Nudes, our noggins have been full of memories from art school’s past. Of particular abundance are disasters we all seem to have experienced at some point in life drawing class. A rag-tag bunch of hormonal 19-year-old students, a nude model, and a three-hour session in a dimly lit studio: what could go wrong? Well, a lot. Here’s a few of the classics:

O Street — Life Drawing

1. The instructor make an example of you and narrates in extreme detail your inadequacy in drawing a particular body part.

O Street — Life Drawing

2. The model falls asleep after 10 minutes. No one wants to be the one to wake them up.

O Street — Life Drawing

3. You keep making eye contact with the model and then you start to worry that they think you’re a creep when really you just wanted to do a good job drawing their eyebrows.

O Street — Life Drawing

4. The model fancies themselves to be a revolution in the profession, and rather than just sitting there, thrusts their body into various yoga and dance postures that are excruciating to even look at let alone draw.

O Street — Life Drawing

5. The instructor puts one of your break-up trigger albums on the ol’ CD boombox and you spend the afternoon quietly crying while drawing a naked person.

O Street — Life Drawing

6. Your drawing has fingers that look like penises and a penis that looks like a thumb.

O Street — Life Drawing

7. You forget your assorted range of drawing materials and instead spend the afternoon exploring the various shading techniques of a biro pen, which then runs out after half an hour anyway.

O Street — Life Drawing

Bonus: the model walks in…and you know them (not in the way that either of you are happy about you seeing them nude).

We’ll be drinking, life drawing, listening to music and hopefully not reliving these disasters this Friday. Join us if you’re about the West End and feeling adventurous!

space camp


Last week Neil M and I took part in the Edinburgh Science Festival by acting as mentors for FuseLab, an awesome two day workshop of innovation, strategy and design for futuristic habitats on undiscovered planets. I know; there was almost a fight in the studio as to who would get to go.


After a flustered start (Neil was promptly on time… albeit at the wrong venue) we kicked off with a brief introduction to ourselves and O Street – noting of course our great sense of humour and keen interest in whisky and beer.

Then followed a brief ’master class’ on graphic design to two representatives from each workshop group. Condensing the concept of graphic design and brand identity into 20 minutes was no mean feat, but we stuck to the basic principles; have a strong idea as your foundation; think about your audience; use colour and type wisely, and above all; keep it simple, stupid.

FuseLab6With these wise words and few other gems of knowledge to aid them, our mini-me graphic designers returned to their respective groups to begin developing their inventions. Team 1 were struggling to navigate through their dense jungle environment in the rainforest biome; thus the need for a monorail above the tree-line. Team 2, meanwhile, had landed in the hostile habitat of Oceana; meaning a low cloud line and plenty of water – their idea involved a solar energy collector, floating 500ft in the sky.



It was brilliant to be a part of this innovative project and actually so great to see a creative thinking subject being included as part of the infrastructure of a festival/workshop like this. I certainly feel Ken Robinson would approve of this inclusion of a creative subject in a Science Festival workshop – an acknowledgement that children’s incredible capacity for innovation goes hand-in-hand with their natural creativity; creativity that should be encouraged—not just as a skill or craft based subject—but as a thinking process that can be influential to all aspects of the development of a young mind.

FuseLab1In a world where every education system has the same hierarchy of subjects—with arts still seemingly scrabbling around on the bottom rung—it was great to see an educational, forward-thinking program, such as FuseLab introduce an artistic discipline as a key aspect of consideration for these young minds as they contemplated the future state of the world.

Of course alongside our discipline of graphic design there was a product designer, a business marketer, a PR manager and an engineer – which made for a varied mix of mentors that perhaps offered tangible examples of some more alternative career routes available to these kids. Especially relevant as they embark on the next stage of their education and their thoughts (one would hope!) turn to their own futures.

FuseLab2With the various mentors in place as hotspots of advice throughout the day, the two teams developed each aspect of their inventions, resulting in some fairly polished project pitches at the end of the day. Even with the challenges of powerpoint the students pulled together some respectable slides – decorated of course with their respective brands; produced with the help of Neil and I. Yes, we’ll admit, we really did get into it – sci-fi fonts and all.

All-in-all it was a pretty good day for innovation, creativity and alternative thinking – areas that we like to think are reflected in our own day-to-day practice here at O Street (that and space travel). We do like our sci-fi after all… especially when it involves lego models.