Starting an art class at work?

I was wondering if anyone has had any experience trying to head up an art class at work. I work for a boat manufacturer and would like to offer some kind of art class to everyone at the plant as a design department PR effort. It would be art basics like perspective, balance, still life drawing, etc… A few things are stumping me at the moment: how to pay for the supplies, when and where to do it, and how to gauge interest in it…

Gauging interest: go to where people eat lunch and start chatting people up.

When: Community art courses are weekday evenings and saturday afternoons. I would suppose these are good times.

Paying for supplies: All you need is paper and pen/pencil. Can’t people bring their own? If not, hit your employer up. Say it’s a team building excercise.

One thought would be to start with a sketching class. Why? Because it is a foundation of art but you can also sell it as a business tool - Teaching everyone to use the universal language of images to make communication clear. Great book to buy in order to sell it is Back of the Napkin -

That way you get backing from upper management and employees see that what would traditionally be thought of as art is actually an approved skill.

Tim’s angle is right on. You should couch this as skill training that will benefit the company, not as “art classes”. Art class conjures up images of finger paints and papier-mâché to most non-designer-types.

Most people can draw to a certain extent, all they need is constructive correction to help them understand what they are seeing (ellipses immediately come to mind). If you can help one of your line techs to better communicate a fix for something that he has problems with the company gains.

Art supplies? You’ve got “art supplies”; printer paper, #2 Ticonderoga pencils, and a box of Magic Rub erasers ought to get the ball rolling. Pens are another common office that work great, but ink tends to intimidate beginners (as do large format drawing pads).

Subject matter for a bunch of factory rats (a term of endearment) ought to be based on what they encounter daily in the plant. I’d start with multi-view orthographic concepts (they used to be part of everyone’s high school shop class education (now, I dunno)) and then move on to … perspective, balance, still life drawing, etc.

Awesome feedback guys! This would really move this idea to the next level. My concern was that it would be viewed as a pointless past-time to the non-designer. But if it is pitched as a skill building session this thing could really have some legs.

Thanks for all the great comments!

Glad to be of help :slight_smile: