Dr.Sketchy’s… finding your inner anti-artist…

So fancy yourself a bit of an artist… or not? Well this might be of interest…

I love something a bit different and while I am not the greatest of artists myself, I love to appreciate the art of others, art in the making and sometimes even the art of just being. So when I heard about Dr.Sketchy’s, it warranted enough of a curiosity for me to go and take a look.

So I ask my friends if they want to come… ‘to a drawing night at a bar’ I said.  Nobody was very enthusiastic, I tried to spice it up a bit by saying that they had a real life models… ‘Dr. Sketchy’s’ I say… still no interest… I must learn to explain things better…


What is Dr. Sketchy’s I hear you ask… well, this is the same questions my friends asked, and when I told them they feigned a consistent disinterest, forcing me to put on my Nigel-no-friends cap and venture out alone to enjoy the company of other Dr.Sketchy’s enthusiasts… some had friends, others were of the Nigel-no-friend-kind like me.

And friends or no, Dr. Sketchy’s, is one of the most fun nights out I have had in ages…


To answer the question that I am sure that you have asked… Described as an ‘atmosphere of boozy mayhem’, Dr. Sketchy’s is a casual drawing group that was started in dive bar in Brooklyn in 2005 by art school dropouts Molly Crabapple and A.V. Phibes.

They call themselves an Anti-Art school, where artists or non-artists sketch glamorous, often ‘underground’ performers, while enjoying a little social inebriation, quirky company and still life models of the most magical kind.

So here I was at The Glass Bar in Brisbane… as since it’s initial inception, Dr. Sketchy’s has spread it’s little anti-art wings to over 100 cities all around the world, including Paris, Tokyo, Nuremberg, New York and Brisbane… all of which I have made a silent vow to visit sometime in the future.

So who is Dr. Sketchy… well he represents a corrupt Viennese doctor of Molly and A.V’s invention… you are not meant to take all of this too seriously; it is about having fun – the nights are by no means frequented by only serious artists, quite the opposite in fact.


Brisbane’s Dr. Sketchy’s is coordinated by the gorgeous Kahlia Litzow, quite the creative muse herself. As a burlesque photographer and Miss Burlesque judge, she has managed to fox out some of the most magical muses and along with Davina Mercy and The Diamond Dahlia, host an evening of whimsy in aid of the burlesque artist within.

So here I was… I got caught up in the moment and ordered a martini and a tapas plate and found myself a place which I thought might be prime position… with the benefit of hindsight, next time I will get there earlier, and fix myself on a primer position… oh and get a designated driver so I an have more than one martini…

Our muse for the evening was none other than The Strawberry Siren … a sensational burlesque beauty who has burlesque artist, showgirl and circus performer as a list of talents and Miss Burlesque Australia and Miss Nude Australia a few of her shining credits.


Beginning with a fabulous fluff of ruffles and flowers, layer by layer, the ruffles… unruffled, I guess… it’s like a little bohemian romp, a bit of cheekiness and frivolity and the artists and not so artistic are very attentive… in all the right ways.  I felt a little bit like Toulouse Lautrec who made his fame through drawing the burlesque dancers of the Moulin Rouge. All that was missing was a glass of absinthe, walking stick and my own sketchpad (I was there to photograph – but please ask permission first if this is what you intend to do).

If you are prude, then stay home, this is not for you… keep being boring… and if you are a perv, well, stay at home too, nobody wants you there… but if you are neither, then these nights are a great ‘out of the square’ form of entertainment, and like I said, the best fun I have had in ages.  And even as a Nigel-no-friends, you won’t have any problem blending in, if that is what you want to do.  Having said that, there are quite a few regulars that come in theme, which makes for even more fun.


Now, you don’t have to be an artist to attend Dr. Sketchy’s, but have a go!  I couldn’t help but laugh at a question in the FAQ’s on the Dr. Sketchy’s website  “I’m a socially maladapted comic geek who lives in my parent’s basement. Can I come to Dr. Sketchy’s and pick up girls?”  If you thought the answer isn’t obvious… it is NO… pervs take note…

Dr. Sketchy’s is held on the first Tuesday of every month. Pencils down at 7:30, but it doesn’t hurt to get there a little early and have a cocktail and some tapas.  Entry is $15, and BYO your own art supplies.  Oh and if you are particularly inept artistically… there is a prize for the best stick figure… which gives all of us, less skilled, a little hope.



Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School (2010) from Hermeneutic Media on Vimeo.

Dr. Sketchy’s Brisbane


This post was written by Petra Frieser – Pebbles + Pomegranate Seeds



2017-08-20T11:25:59+00:00 May 2nd, 2013|

Leave A Comment