Parents that have kids with artistic flair might want to eat at the Crossroads Coffee House after 11 a.m. some Saturday or Sunday. Like every weekend for several years, a local group of professional artists will be there. They call it the "Drawing Frenzy," a come one, come all draw-a-thon.
All artists, from children to adults are welcome. They can ask questions, or talk about their favorite animated show, comic book or whatever inspires their art. But there are a couple of rules. Keep the conversation light … no politics. Just stop in, pull up a sandwich and a pen, tablet, sculpture -- you get the idea.
One creator of the Drawing Frenzy and illustration mentor is Mike Sullivan, a talented local comic-book artist.
"It's just a very nurturing environment for creativity and people are drawn to it… and we just feed off that," Sullivan said.
Another local painter and comic artist that meets regularly at the coffee house is Darryl Woods. He tells young artists to draw something every day but make sure it's something new: Don't keep rehashing the same old thing.
Woods said he has seen the Drawing Frenzy bring the shy strokes of a budding artist to full bloom. As he tells the tale, just last week a young, shy visitor to the coffee house came in to share a few sketches. She introduced herself as the daughter of a face painter.
"She had very low confidence in her ability to draw," Woods said. "She is an extraordinary artist."
The gang at the Drawing Frenzy is certainly about encouragement, and that is the message they pass along to each and every person who has the courage to pull up a chair and share their doodles. They even get the newbies involved right away with their "jam pieces," where one artist works on a panel and then passes the comic on to the next artist. Each adds a new, original panel to the strip.
The Drawing Frenzy meets at the Crossroads Coffee House, 310 Southwest Blvd., Kansas City, Mo., 64108. The artists meet from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. every Saturday and Sunday.
The artists include: Mike Sullivan, Ed Lavallee, Joe Hall, Damont Jordan, Beejay Hawn, Greg Gildersleeve, Taylor Castro, Buck Sommerkamp, and Mike Keener.