As we need as much info and truth as possible we decided to interview Tony Picano (FB), the Founder and the one who spent the last 17 years doing what needed to be done to make sure the situation is what it is now in London, the UK and globally. Questions and answers will be added with time. Feel free to ask your own questions at eukart at msn.com.
Hi Tony, can we ask you, why you are not running classes more often like every day/a few times a day?
Tony: That's because I follow my own plans, don't compete with anyone and not desperate to earn as much as possible. Many Art organizers are having their own little war with competition, that they all wish to win so they don't have to share anymore and become the Monopoly.
Following my own plan also means that I try to sail the boat pretty much on my own so I don't need to be desperate in anyway to pay employees, who count on you, to also survive and pay their bills.
Less than 2 years ago I did let go of all my classes, groups and contacts because I had 2 close members of my family ill, both passed away after a few months, on the continent, and it was hard to deal with, until about 6 months ago when I was about to re-start my Classes in good old Bethnal green, the Virus, then, came about.
Nowadays whenever you stop classes all your people go and check other classes in London and you loose most of them. Six month ago I simply re-started from scratch and now count around 4K members but most of them enjoy being able to try many different online classes as it's easy and possible. There are now about 300 classes online and half run by Life models...
Only British Art organizers who jumped in to make the most out of the birth of a new industry about 10 years ago, can now be part of the establishment. Only established classes and Art teachers can do what they like, charge what they like, pay the models what they like, etc... This is the same in every country so nothing is new or special.
What makes me not too worried is that only about 10 % of those established organizers can actually draw anything more than a stick man but they were at the right place at the right time, that's what counts (Such as Buddhist Center or Voila Art gallery, they'll know :)) and this keeps the balance right and fair, because people aren't that stupid. Artists who are masters of their Art don't need to run classes, they've worked incredibly hard to get there all alone. Very few have even time to be interviewed or filmed. They'd rather go for a break or a holiday...
The only reason I started drawing a lot, from the age of 5, was to become unique in massive schools of thousands of students or to make others feel good, which I did also with singing.
One day, when I became a drawing freak, I was then prohibited to ever draw again. Guess what happened :). Drawing helped me go through everything which is why I hoped to share all its benefits for the last 17 years and probably the next 40. Nothing to do with carrier or money as I did many other carriers so I can now afford to spend a good half of my time enjoying what became the Lifetime Hobby of helping others, by bringing them together to draw. I started my first Life Drawing class in Bethnal green in a tiny room by the station from where I trippled the models wages, 1/3 the cost of drop in classes and used classical music at every class since. I was just finishing a Grand building Design project that took about 12 years mainly alone.
What I will hopefully run everyday is something New and different that i won't explain for obvious reasons. Ideas do fly believe it or not.
Another reason is also that I need to keep some free time to Draw, paint, plot, film, rehearse etc... and can't split myself in 3 or 4.