Drink & Draw

From front room to fes­ti­vals, founder Ju­lian Dieck­ert in­tro­duces the draw­ing group that knows how to have a good time

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Two of Berlin’s best at­tributes are its art scene and its nightlife. Ju­lian Dieck­ert com­bines the two in an event that only needs a few words to be summed up: “Drink, draw, ex­hibit, teach, learn, dance, party hard.” It should come as no sur­prise, then, that Drink & Draw: Berlin has gone from strength to strength in the year since its in­cep­tion.

The group be­gan life in Ju­lian’s lounge, where he and a few friends gath­ered to draw each other over drinks. They be­gan dress­ing up in cheap cos­tumes bought lo­cally or ac­quired on Ju­lian’s trav­els. The gath­er­ing grew un­til, in Jan­uary this year, they be­gan a res­i­dency in the loft space of spec­ta­cles man­u­fac­turer ic! berlin.

“It’s quickly be­come the one big gath­er­ing for artists in Berlin,” Ju­lian says, “es­pe­cially dig­i­tal artists and il­lus­tra­tors. How­ever, the gen­eral idea is to bring to­gether not only people from the dig­i­tal art scene – where I come from – but all kinds of cre­ative people.”

With more room came more at­ten­dees and more ex­trav­a­gant events. Ju­lian in­tro­duced themes and dress codes. He in­vited DJs and bands to play. Artists could have portfolios re­viewed, ex­hibit and sell work, and at­tend work­shops run by pro­fes­sion­als. There were around 10 people at early events; the group now boasts as many as 300 artists. “I like the idea,” the founder says, “of young artists fi­nally hav­ing the op­por­tu­nity to have a chat with their idols in a laid-back en­vi­ron­ment, with­out stand­ing in queues and hav­ing to pay hun­dreds of bucks for it.”

While Drink & Draw: Berlin is founded on an in­clu­sive ap­proach to art, Ju­lian says other as­pects of the event have be­come quite com­pet­i­tive: “People are re­ally com­pet­ing to be mod­els, and to see who has the coolest out­fit.”

The group’s early suc­cess has en­cour­aged Ju­lian to ex­pand. He’s plan­ning a Drink & Draw fes­ti­val, re­plete with work­shops, life-draw­ing stages, ac­tion paint­ings and, of course, al­co­hol and en­ter­tain­ment.

From the first days in the founders front room, Drink & Draw: Berlin at­ten­dees have dressed up in cos­tumes.

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