Discover more from The Things
On Saturday I had a long day. Like, a really long day. I’d woken up at 5am to drive to the airport and get a plane to Copenhagen, then a series of trains and busses to Viborg, where I’m teaching at The Animation Workshop for a couple of weeks.
I arrived at my accommodation with 25 minutes before this year’s Eurovision coverage started. You might be forgiven for thinking that I’m a passionate and devoted fan of pop music. I’m not. What I am excited about is the chance to engage in what I’ve grown to call ‘Stunt Drawing’. I’d also group 24 hour and hourly comics into this ‘Stunt Drawing’ category -the idea of voluntarily drawing under some kind of exceptional duress.
Back in the early 2010s, when twitter was a more innocent place, I’d start various hashtags - #draw<insert a thing to draw> and encourage people to draw something. I recall a draw Mark E Smith from The Fall back in 2010-ish, and I’m pretty sure The Ramones featured in there somewhere too. Eurovision in 2013 was, I think, the first time I drew participating performers while they performed, and I’ve done it most years since then. (Although for whatever reasonI haven’t archived them on my website.)
Over the years, a bunch of other people have joined in the #draweurovision hashtag, notably Neil Watson-Slorance, whose artwork has basically become an integral part of a lot of people’s Eurovision experience.
The challenge is to draw the performers while they perform and get the picture uploaded before the next one comes on. It’s pretty brutal. Early on, I was kind of a purist about it, not watching any of the semi-finals and going in clueless as to what I was about to draw. Let me tell you, that’s stressful. The staging of the acts sometimes involves a ‘reveal’, usually a good time after you’ve started drawing, meaning you either have to make do with a so-so drawing or start again. The way the acts are filmed doesn’t make it easy either - there are precious few closeups so getting a reasonable likeness is challenging. It’s a lot like doing life drawing from a circling helicopter while the model dances about. It’s a very particular challenge.
This year I didn’t have much time to get a shower, eat something and sit down to start drawing, but I got it done, and I’m pretty pleased with how it all came together. I’d watched some of the semi-finals and made some quick observational sketchesso I had a fair idea of what was in store. That didn’t really help much though, the pacing of the show is relentless and tiny mishaps cause a frantic catchup.
I’ve compiled the drawings into a fun video;
I really like doing these, there’s a proper sense of danger that everything might go wrong. It’s thrilling.
Laziness, probably. The main reason I don’t do a lot of things.
Costume changes, stage set transformations, lighting, pyro etc
I mean, really quick.