Alle meine Kekse

Inkbuddies drawing workshops (E)

Click here for the German version of the article

1. An idea comes to life
In the year 2020 I took part in a few online drawing workshops. It was the height of the Corona pandemic, a time of extreme anxiety coupled with the painful experience of lockdowns and loneliness. 

During these online workshops we met on Zoom. We were a bunch of people from Germany and Austria who just wanted to draw and meet other people who love to draw. 

Drawing and talking about the results helped tremendously to forget about our worries for a short while. It was the perfect concept for the pandemic period.

These classes with artist and teacher Luise Kloos were totally inspiring. Concentrating on drawing and meeting some friends once a week was a glimmer of light in those dark times. 

Illustration: Lotte Wagner (workshop: Drawing with Luise Kloos)

I used to be a teacher for drawing, printing workshops and illustration classes in the past and I still teach workshops now and then. That’s why offering online workshops myself came to my mind at that time.

And so I started thinking about it in detail. What would I need for that? A new homepage, a booking system, some marketing, and what else?

2. Hard work and a long way to go
I gathered my friends Peter (designer) and Christian (programmer) and talked to them about my idea of setting up my own workshop platform called „Inkbuddies“. They liked the idea on the spot and so we started working on a concept.

We talked about our ideas, discussed the necessary steps, calculated the costs and had countless online meetings and discussions. Of course we had a few moments of doubt but in the end the enthusiasm for our Inkbuddies concept was boundless and impossible to restrain!

Illustration: Angela Kommoß (workshop: What makes a drawing funny)

And this is what the three of us launched: A wonderful platform for workshop offers and an internal community for people who love to draw and wish to meet birds of a feather! came into the world!

Setting up and developing the platform was a long process and hard work for the team. We’d been working on the website, the idea of an internal community and the content of the workshops for more than two years before we finally went online in January 2024.

Illustration: Jürgen Bennemann (workshop: Funny Fortnight)

3. What is Inkbuddies? is a website that offers workshops for illustrators and people who love to draw. Moreover, it’s an internal community that gives everyone the chance to create an Inkbuddies  profile and show her/his work in a personal gallery. 

The Inkbuddies’ profiles and galleries are not open to the public, they’re only visible for registered Inkbuddies. This gives the community members the feeling of comfort and a safe space where they can show their work to other creatives.

Illustration: Jens Maria Weber (workshop: Funny Fortnight)

4. What are the workshops about?
I’m an illustrator and my favourite subjects are humorous drawings, crowded scenes, wimmelbilder and character design. My workshops help participants to create brand new ideas for surprising and funny images, humorous scenes and unique characters. 

Workshops with amazing guest artists are as yet in the planning stages. In the workshops we talk about how much fun it is to draw and what makes a drawing funny. Then we focus on the typical problems you come across when drawing, and talk about the professional work in the publishing branch. 

Our classes are mainly for people with a drawing experience. A class for beginners and restarters is also in the works.

Illustration: Peter P. Neuhaus (workshop: Ink-Clubbing)

5. What is the „Inkbuddies Community“?
The Inkbuddies Community is a safe space which is not open to the public. To take part in the community it’s necessary to become an Inkbuddy by registering on the website. 

After editing your profile you can show your favourite drawings in your personal gallery. Only other registered inkbuddies can see it, it’s not visible to anyone else. 

We don’t need external social media platforms or messenger groups for the internal communication. Every workshop has got its internal workshop blog which is only used by the workshop participants and their teachers. 

It’s a safe space with a friendly and reliable atmosphere. Here you can upload your drawings and comment on each other’s results during the workshop. The blog is open for another four weeks after the workshop ends. It gives the participants and teachers the chance to keep on talking about their ideas and working on the assignments for a while.

Illustration: Maria Brockhoff (workshop: Funny Fortnight)

Illustration: Jürgen Bennemann (workshop: Funny Fortnight)

6. What is the schedule of such a workshop Zoom session?
We start by briefly introducing ourselves, followed by quick warm-up drawings. During the evening I give you some funny exercises that all of us should be able to manage in short time sequences. 

We take photos of our results and upload them on the internal workshop blog. Then we can lay back and look at the funny drawings together. In addition, I usually do short sequences of live-drawings to demonstrate some aspects of the assignments. 

Of course we have little breaks and enough time to take a look at the participants’ results. On top of that, I give you a presentation on some inspiring illustrations by other artists.

Illustration: Ari Plikat (workshop: Funny Fortnight)

7. Do I get one-to-one feedback by the teachers?
The idea behind theses intensive workshops with more than just one Zoom conference contains one-to-one feedback sessions for every participant once a week. These talks can take place via Zoom, phone call or email. 

8. Is Inkbuddies interesting for professional illustrators?
Yes, of course! Inkbuddies is not only for people who love to draw but also for professional illustrators and designers. 

Meeting other illustrators, working and learning together is great fun! Forget about the treadmill of your daily business and get back to the pure pleasure of drawing without deadlines and topics that go along with commission work. 

Have a good laugh with other creatives about spontaneous sketches and funny ideas that come up during the workshops.

Illustration: Lotte Wagner (drawing for the Inkbuddies homepage)

9. Lotte’s profession as a workshop tutor
I chaired the silkscreen workshop at the university of applied sciences in Dortmund for seven years. Moreover, I taught several classes in design basics at a school for media design in Lünen.

In August 2019 I have taken over the leadership of the long-established drawing class „Die Rendsburger Zeichnerei“ in Rendsburg, Germany. Furthermore, I teach workshops for people who love to draw and professional illustrators. Sometimes I hold workshops in cooperation with other artists, for example the workshop series „Lotte’s Masterclass Illustration“ (Nordkolleg Rendsburg).

Taking part in drawing classes and workshops showed me how rewarding and inspiring it can be just to draw together with birds of a feather. I started chairing illustration workshops myself and met a lot of people who love to draw. Bringing these people together and sharing the joy of drawing funny and fantastic things means a lot to me.

Illustration: Michaela Bräuninger (workshop: Ink-Clubbing)

10. Why is everything in English on the Inkbuddies website?
When I started thinking about my idea of the Inkbuddies Community it was clear that I would like to reach people not only in Germany but also in the rest of the world. 

Drawing brings people together no matter where they come from, it can even work without words. 

That’s why I decided to publish my website in English. Although I’m German, I offer most of my workshops in English but also a few in German for people who feel more comfortable with my native language.

Illustration: Jürgen Bennemann (workshop: Ink-Clubbing)

11. What do I need to take part in a workshop?
All you need is some paper and a few drawing tools, such as pen and pencil, some coloured pencils and watercolours. 

Additionally, you need a computer with a camera and microphone and a device (smartphone, tablet, scanner) to take photos of your drawings and upload them on the workshop blog. 

We use Zoom for the online meetings. For the process of booking a workshop you need to be a registered Inkbuddy.

Illustration: Angela Kommoß (workshop: Ink-Clubbing)

12. Come on, let’s have fun drawing together!
Take a look at the Inkbuddies universe, create your profile and show yourself at your best! 

Choose a lovely profile picture, upload your favourite drawings to your gallery and enrich the Inkbuddies Community with your colourful appearance!

I’m looking forward to drawing with you!

Here are some examples of the Inkbuddies‘ amazing workshop results:

Illustration: Jens Maria Weber (workshop: Funny Fortnight)


Illustration: Maria Brockhoff (workshop: Funny Fortnight)


Illustration: Angela Kommoß (workshop: Ink-Clubbing)


Illustration: Christian Fischer (workshop: Amazing sea creatures)


Illustration: Michaela Bräuninger (workshop: Funny Fortnight)

Illustration: Wibke Brandes (Workshop: Funny Fortnight)

Thanks to the workshop participants for the support and the fantastic drawings!

Michaela Bräuninger
Jens Maria Weber
Maria Brockhoff
Ari Plikat
Angela Kommoß
Lotte Wagner
Jürgen Bennemann
Peter P. Neuhaus
Christian Fischer
Wibke Brandes

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