The Drink and Draw Social Club, Milwaukee Chapter

Once a month, I meet with a group of like minded people. You’ll recognize our table. It’s covered in sketchbooks, pencils, pens, kneaded erasers, pints, and pitchers of beer. It’s called the Drink and Draw Social Club, and it’s cheaper than therapy. Cartoonists and illustrators practice an often solitary craft, long, lonely hours at the drawing board. A recent trend is allowing these artists to meet in a fun, social environment, with potential networking opportunities. There are only two simple requirements to join.

  1. You have to like to draw.
  2. You have to like drinking, or at least hanging out in a bar.

Terry Haller was inspired when he heard about the first chapter of Drink and Draw, which was started by “Reverend” Dave Johnson in Los Angeles. The LA group has grown and has published a coffee table book collecting work from the Drink and Draw sessions. “This whole thing is his idea. I just dig it so much I needed to spread the good word, and where else could one better draw while drunk than Brew City? It seemed only appropriate,” Haller explained. Chapters have also sprung up rapidly in Atlanta, Southern Louisiana, Miami, Arizona, San Diego, New York City, Greenville, NC, Minneapolis, and across the pond in foggy London town. Our first meeting was in mid April at Lee’s Luxury Lounge in Bay View. In May we decided to call Paddy’s Pub on the East Side home. Paddy’s has been great and sometimes has live acoustic sets. Attendance averages between ten and twenty people so far. Most of the night is open to draw whatever the illustrators want to, but there is at least one challenge during each meeting. At Paddy’s one of the challenges was to draw a Smurf. My own interpretation was a muscular Rambo-like Smurf blasting a machine gun with Smurfette fawning in the background. Sketchbooks are exchanged and projects are discussed. And did I mention drinking? Lots of it.

The next Drink and Draw Social Club meeting is September 15 at Paddy’s Pub.