All The Young Nudes: Glasgow.
Taking her cue from David Bowie’s barn-storming 1972 hit, as made famous by Mott the Hoople, and a life-drawing class at the Glasgow School of Art, Joanna Susskind founded the Scottish art group All The Young Nudes about six years ago. After her artistic contacts provided a venue in the form of the Flying Duck nightclub, the group has met every Tuesday since.
"We created a brand and let the word spread," she says. "We now have up to 100 people in Glasgow, 50 in Edinburgh and 20 in Dundee. Most of our attendees heard of us through word of mouth. We do very little advertising, although we do keep on top of social media interaction. It's great to see the sketches posted online from all three cities each week."
A big part of the attraction of All The Young Nudes is down to its unfussy and bureaucracy-free way of running. There are no joining fees, no set course dates, no certificates – and they don't even charge an entrance fee. "For this reason we have people of all ages, from all sorts of backgrounds turning up to draw. People tend to bring their friends and colleagues along – or a date!"
Joanna's seen people join the group and grow as artists, too, which has to be the sign of a successful creative meet-up. "Drawing from life is an invaluable skill because it's so challenging," she explains. "It teaches you to observe and to focus. It also helps you with scale and anatomy. This can be a great boon in so many different lines of work."
As the group's grown so to has its reputation, and other organisers have been keen to get in on the life-drawing action. "There have been requests for ATYN from all over the world," says Joanna. "We're working on our format to ensure consistency in each new spot. This year we're looking at opening clubs in London and New York."
Artists hard at work during a life-drawing session.