A refreshingly simple and feel-good concept; we talked to Steve McCarthy about how he got the idea for this very different kind of drawing club, what it involves, and how he plans to let The Good Times roll from here.
“I wanted to have a drawing club for a long time, but it wasn’t until January of this year that I decided to bite the bullet and bring the idea to life”. Steve admits that he was nervous about putting the call out at the beginning, worried that people might shut it down, that they’d think it a naff idea. These worries were wholly unnecessary because his friends were 100% up for getting onboard. Now Steve and his group of fellow illustrators come together once a week for a two-hour drawing session that kicks off from 8am.
“I get up at about 6.30am, and then head to a shop to buy pastries and coffees to share with the group when we meet at 8am”, McCarthy explains. Surely there’s a kitty to cover the cost of all those flat whites and filo pastries, right? Wrong. Buying the morning treats for his friends is a genuine pleasure for McCarthy. As far as he’s concerned, if his friends are going to get up early and take time from their day to indulge in his beloved idea, then it’s a very small price to pay.
“It’s so rare that we get to experience these effortlessly pleasant moments in life. I mean, when do we ever take a whole hour to sift through the newspaper, front to back, and discuss its contents with friends?”
Currently, the group is comprised of individuals who are each making their mark on the Dublin design scene; Cesca Saunders, Rob Mirolo, Mick Minogue, Chris Judge, Ruan van Vliet and Fuchsia MacAree. It’s seeing these impressive names putting pen to paper in such a relaxed, off-the-cuff setting that makes The Good Times Instagram profile (which documents each gathering) all the more interesting.
Now, five sessions in,McCarthy says he’d love to expand the group from just his circle of friends, he’s keen to open it up to the wider public. “The Good Times presents such a great opportunity to meet other illustrators in a really casual, non-competitive setting ”, what’s more, Steve would love friends who are living abroad to set up their own version with international artists.
(Coffee shops and bakeries of the world: be ready.)
But don’t get sidetracked by the name, The Good Times posse doesn’t just cover “good” news, they make a visual out of any story of the day that piques their interest, tugs at their heartstrings, or simply because it gives them a chuckle. When asked whether there were any stories that the group will not cover, Steve shared their one main rule: “No drawings on active court cases”. He trusts each individual to use common sense in what they choose to work on; the aim isn’t to be salacious or to seek outrage, “there’s already enough of that out there at the moment”.
Steve McCarthy is the founder of The Good Times collective. He is currently working in Facebook, taking up a six-week position as designer-in-residence. Keep an eye out for his commissioned cover for the April/ May issue of CARA magazine on all Aer Lingus flights from April 1st.
Main image via damnfineprint.com