Earlier this summer, I happened to see an ad on facebook. It was for something called an “Art Battle” and it was being held right here in Quebec City. I bookmarked it, thinking it could be a fun event to go to with some friends or something. Then I immediately forgot about it and was busy with whatever else it was I had going on at the time.
A week before the event, I saw the ad pop up again (thank you, fb algorithm), and this time I clicked over to their website to get more info. What I found was that applying to participate was super simple, and so I thought what the hell. Maybe they’re still looking for artists. So I applied.
To my surprise, I got in! And so began my Art Battle chapter.
Since then I’ve done… I think 4 battles? Three here in Quebec City, and one in Boston. And while I have yet to emerge victorious, I’m quite clearly hooked on the experience.
So what exactly is an Art Battle? To put it succinctly, it’s a competitive live-painting event in which each artist is challenged to create a painting, start to finish, in only 20 minutes. The winners (as determined by votes from the audience- both in person and online) then advance to the final round, where they create a second painting, and again it goes to audience voting in order to determine the ultimate winner of the evening.
It is a creative challenge and an adrenaline rush, and has really given me the opportunity to dig into my process and figure out how to streamline it and skip right to the good parts. Not to mention all the amazing artists I’ve been able to meet (and/or observe) at these events. I’ve also been able to learn and incorporate not only so many new painting techniques, but also more of the showmanship aspect of live painting.
Last month, a good friend of mine (who happens to also be an amazing photographer) came with me to the event to get a bit of a photo story of the experience, so please enjoy her wonderful images-
-and I hope to see you at a battle soon! Please do come up and say hi, even though I’ll probably be awkwardly hiding in a corner of the bar, sipping on a cider and pretending I’m comfortable in social situations…