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  • Layrd Design Ltd

Sketch & Social: 2023 Highlights



At Layrd Design, collaboration and community-building are always at the centre of our design ethos. We're passionate about creating spaces that enhance wellness and promote positive culture. Sketch & Social is a free monthly sketching group open to all abilities. The group meet in different areas of Cambridge each month and adopts a new creative theme for each meetup, meaning sketchers visit venues they (perhaps) haven’t before and explore drawing techniques they might not be familiar with. We love to get involved with the local creative community after work hours to share inspiration and ideas.


We’re incredibly proud of how Sketch & Social has grown over the past year, averaging fifty attendees for each event. In this post, we reflect on some of the highlights, including popular events, a Norwich special and the introduction of workshops.


Popular Events

 

In 2022, it became clear how popular our speed portraiture events were after a great turnout at Millworks in Cambridge, and as a result, we brought this back in February as one of our first Sketch & Social events of 2023. At speed portraiture, the brief is to draw each person you meet through a series of five-minute sketches. Similar to speed dating, we rotate seats every five minutes to develop your quick sketching skills. The November meetup at The Salisbury Arms saw the return of the speed portrait sketching event in its third iteration. Numbers for this event grew each time, totalling close to seventy attendees at the most recent event. Sketchers are fond of this event because of its social nature, as it's easier to meet others within the group.




Norwich Special

 

Alongside a significant increase in the numbers attending our meetups, we also answered the interest in Sketch & Social outside of Cambridge by expanding to Norfolk with our Norwich special. We held this event at BrewDog on Queen St, which had a great social atmosphere for our theme of Spring Tea Party, inspired by Alice in Wonderland. It's the first time we've taken Sketch & Social to another city and it was great to see the demand for creative community events outside our usual area. We hope to expand Sketch & Social to new locations in the future for more pop-up events.



Introduction of Workshops

 

This year, we introduced the first of our workshop events at The Sage of Cambridge in collaboration with Arka, a typography and illustration studio based in Cambridge. This followed the large-scale collaborative artwork event held the previous week for Sketch & Social's first birthday, which we loved celebrating with the community. The meetup theme was upcycling, using bright pens and patterns to bring life back to everyday waste items such as glass bottles. The team is looking forward to continuing our workshop series throughout 2024. 




Guest Events


In addition to the Arka Studio workshop, we worked with two other guest hosts in 2023. In May, we dropped into one of the Cambridge Yoga Project outdoor sessions, Yoga in the Park. Yoga and meditation can train the mind to be more present and less distracted, fostering a state conducive to new ideas. We recommended focusing on capturing the movement and expression of yoga, as the practice is so fluid it can be difficult to draw. This event provided the chance for sketchers and yogis to meet, some of whom made and kept their new friendships. Introducing two communities in this way benefitted both groups, as sketchers became yogis and yogis became sketchers.




Another highlight this year was working with The Good Plant Company on our Green Fingers event. The Good Plant Company provided the plants for our attendees to draw, and we saw some excellent sketches in varying mediums, from pens, pencils and markers to pastels, watercolours and digital illustrations. We regularly work with The Good Plant Company on commercial design projects for biophilic installations. Including planted elements can create organic and natural atmospheres, which are particularly important in environments such as workplaces where employee well-being can benefit from natural elements. Sketchers could purchase a plant after the session, taking home their own slice of well-being.




Awards

 

August brought a thrilling milestone for Sketch & Social. We received our first-ever award nomination in the Cambridge Independent SME Awards, proudly landing on the shortlist for the Networking Group of the Year award alongside Be Social Directory, Cambridge Cleantech, The Clinician Engineer Hub, and CONEXEN. Although we didn’t win, it was great to be recognised for what we do to bring the community together in Cambridge!



Venue Spotlight

 

We're so thankful to the venues that helped us arrange and host our social events throughout 2023. The Grain & Hop Store and The Salisbury Arms hosted us twice each, supporting our fast-paced speed portrait events. Among many others, we also want to thank Douce, a bespoke salon designed by Layrd earlier this year, who welcomed us back for one of our May meetups.



Looking Ahead

 

We're so grateful to everyone who joined us throughout 2023 and who continues to share their creativity with us. We're looking forward to seeing how the Sketch & Social community continues to thrive over the next year. Stay tuned for 2024 special events as we plan to continue our workshop series and host more guest events. The best way to stay updated is by following @sketchandsocial on Instagram, where we post regular event updates.


Contact


The best way to get in contact is to drop us a message on Instagram. Alternatively, you can visit our website for more info:



Or email:


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