With the difficult times we are facing at the moment, it is the perfect time to try something new whilst you are forced to stay indoors and over the next couple of weeks we are interviewing acts that are putting on everything from projects to lessons. Today, we are talking to a stand up comedian that won Joke of the Fringe last year and in the current situation has been posting an online show called Art Club every monday. I caught up with Olaf to find out all about it – here is just a taster below.
Hello Olaf – so how did the Art Club idea come about?
Well, I’m an illustrator and a comedian so it seems like the obvious thing to do. I’ve had the idea for a comedy Art Club in my brain for ages but never had enough time – now time is in abundance and children need educating/entertaining so if not now then when?
It is a really fun creative show – how long does it take to film, produce and edit the show?
About three to four days – I’m finding they are getting more elaborate as I go on.
How do you get the ideas for the things that you draw each episode?
I have a team of researchers (my two daughters!).
You get a lot of children submit there drawings as well – what have been some of your favourites that you have been sent so far?
I’ve just had a Magritte ‘Son Of Man’ tribute that is inspired – it’s the one with the man in a bowler hat with an apple in front of his face except the child replaced the apple with a series of increasingly smaller men!
What has the reaction been from the viewers?
It’s been amazing we started at 33 subscribers and we are now at 2,000 – the work I get sent never ceases to amaze me.
I like the fact that you have children submit their own jokes that you share throughout – what have been some of your favourites?
I do like “What’s brown and knocks on your bedroom window at night? A poo on stilts!”
To me personally it has a nostalgic feel of shows like Art Attack and Smart – was this the sort of idea you were going with for the show?
There are quite a few great children’s book illustrators doing draw along type videos but some of them feel a bit twee. I wanted Art Club to be more Tiswas than Blue Peter.
What can viewers expect to see or learn to draw in the up and coming shows?
More silliness peppered with actual education and great drawing tips. Oh and Dali is coming up as the featured artist soon so that should be fun!
What times and dates are the next set of shows?
I upload a new show at 11am every Monday and there is a live chat for everyone watching live. All the episodes stay up on YouTube so you can catch up at your leisure.
When Isolation is over and we are allowed back into the real world, will you be continuing Art Club?
Not entirely sure – Edinburgh Festival is cancelled so I may continue through the summer holidays.
What are some of your favourite things to make and draw?
I like making things out of plasticine – might have to do some of that in the show soon.
Have you always had an interest in art? What was some of your favourite things to draw when you were a kid?
I used to make and sell my own comics at school (away from the gaze of teachers!).
So lets talk all about stand up – are you missing it at all?
YES – you don’t get the same buzz from online stuff.
With spending so much time in isolation are you finding it hard or easy to write jokes for future shows?
I’m finding Art Club easy to write – not so much with grown up stand up.
Last year you won Joke of the Fringe – congratulations! How has your life changed since winning that award?
It was great to win the award but it hasn’t changed me!!! I guess a few more people have heard of me and I’ve been offered gigs and opportunities that weren’t available to me before.
What have been some of your favourite shows that you have been a part of?
I still have great memories of the first hour long show I did in Edinburgh with a fantastic comedian Michael Stranney – it was called Expect The Unexporcupine and we had such a brilliant time.
When you do return to the stage what do you have in store for audiences?
Well I was halfway through writing an Edinburgh Show so I guess they’ll get exposed to some of that – I have a bit about a bluetit on a stick.
Out of a lot of the comedians on the circuit I think that you are definitely one of the most creative – how do you come up with the ideas and what and how you incorporate them into a show?
My brain is an oven hob with different pans simmering along on top, every now and then one of them will come to the boil – I’ll drain off the idea into a colander serve out up and refill the pan with the germ of a new idea – I hope that answers the question.
Finally, why should people tune into Art Club?
t’s fun, It’s stupid, it’ a bit educational, It’s not boring. I get so many parent tell me their kids weren’t up for it at first but five minutes in they’re hooked.