Dandy Doodle

Published on 2 August 2016

A new festival dedicated to doodling is set to add colour to Singapore’s arts calendar.

BY PAMELA HO

Gone are the days doodling is viewed as an activity of the idle. Thanks to the Band of Doodlers (BOD) — a 550-strong (and growing!) community of doodlers in Singapore — doodling has been elevated to the status of an art form worthy of exhibitions, commissions, and indeed, a dedicated festival.

“We have always been involved in community events, but these have largely been one-off occurrences. So we brainstormed for a theme which foregrounds doodling as a fun art form, and allows for interaction with the community on a regular basis, and came up with the idea of a year-long doodle festival,” shares BOD founder Mas Shafreen. “We wanted something people can look forward to every month — and even join in the fun.”

Entitled Doodle Fiesta, this first-of-its-kind festival made its debut on Singapore’s arts calendar on 30 July at *SCAPE, boasting monthly activities such as free workshops teaching participants how to create mini portraits with paint and markers; as well as doodle art marts where artists draw on the spot to customise items such as t-shirts, tote bags, and button badges. You can even bring your own items for them to customise!

For those wanting to exhibit their skills, there are quick-draw competitions, where groups of doodlers battle it out on a mural to earn the title of ‘Quickest Draw in the Frontier’. Then there’s the doodle wall specially opened up for the public to learn the tricks of the trade from BOD artists.

One of the highlights of Doodle Fiesta must surely be the open call for youths, aged 15 to 35, to participate in BOD’s group exhibition by youths, for youths. Themed ‘Seven Deadly SINs (Strength in Numbers)’, the mentorship-cum-exhibition attracted some 230 submissions. Seventy applicants were shortlisted for the mentorship programme (which began on 16 July), led by seven senior artists from BOD. Each group was then assigned one of ‘seven deadly sins’ to interpret.

“With this theme, we want to juxtapose the negative light of individual trespasses against the positivity of group work and collaboration,” explains Mas. ‘Seven Deadly SINs (Strength in Numbers)’ will be launched at the Capitol Theatre Piazza on 26 August, 7pm. This special showcase will run till 25 September, and is open to the public for free.

“We are all about spreading fun and getting anyone with a passion for group creativity to join in,” Mas adds. “This fiesta promises monthly activities which the community — especially youths — can participate in. There is definitely something for everyone!”

To find out more, visit www.bandofdoodlers.com/doodlefiesta.

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