Bishop's Stortford illustrator Ben Springham launches fashion drawing class at New Apton Centre
Artist Ben Springham will bring his fashion flair to a new drawing class in Bishop’s Stortford.
The 28-year-old former Northgate primary pupil and Bishop’s Stortford High School student will share his skills at the New Apton Centre from Tuesday July 19.
Ben, who has a BA in illustration, developed his rapid and instinctive drawing style at London Fashion Week’s catwalk shows and has worked for British style magazines Dazed and i-D as well as Vogue USA, and carved out a career in set design for fashion campaigns and publications. In 2020, an image he created with Dennis Sterne was ranked in the top 20 of a global street fashion challenge set by Vogue.
He said: “From 2018 to the beginning of 2020 I attended five seasons of London Fashion Week, generating tonnes of drawings from the shows, building a network of fashion creatives and getting attention from press. It was a real buzz.
"I would most enjoy drawing the people attending the shows in their finest street wear ensembles, getting to know them in the process. The street wear drawings are some of my favourites since the experience was more personal and at times more interesting than the shows themselves. Finally, things started to feel like they were coming together but then the pandemic happened.”
During lockdown, Ben was unable to attend shows in person and sketch at speed. Instead, he rediscovered the pleasure of drawing at a more leisurely pace, attending online life drawing classes.
He is now ready to launch his teaching programme in his home town. The first class will feature a model wearing two opposing looks – one more focused on the silhouette and the other highlighting shape and structure.
Ben, who previously also worked with High Street and Savile Row tailor Alexandra Wood, said: “I will demonstrate different drawing techniques in approaching these and have the model pose for drawings lasting between two and 30 minutes. It will be freeing and also challenging – but in a positive way. When you're drawing to a time limit, the results you get can be really interesting.
“For me, drawing from life is how I like to draw. I like how instantaneous it is – one minute there's a blank piece of paper and the next you have a drawing and I find that really exciting.
“Drawing from life teaches you to be quick and it sharpens your eye in the process. Life drawing is all about looking. What I love most is that it allows you to be present and in turn becomes a meditative experience.
“This is why I chose to do the class in the first place, because I wanted to offer this experience to others and allow them to escape from the madness of their day for a couple of hours.
“Fashion drawing itself is quite a niche art form so I wanted to make that accessible for people in Bishop's Stortford who may have an interest in it and want to try it. By no means though is this a technical class, rather it's explorative, so please don't think you need to be a pro at this.
“The idea of drawing a human can be intimidating, but it doesn't have to be. I will help you through that with various tips and exercises. The class is available to all drawing abilities – even if you don't draw I would love to have you there.
“I believe we all have those things in life we want to try but don't have the courage to. If your soul yearns for it, follow it, you might be pleasantly surprised. It will also be a great place to meet and engage with fellow art enthusiasts in the local area.”
Ben is the grandson of Bishop’s Stortford rugby, football and cricket legend Tony Springham, an Indies community award winner in 2019, who died last August.
* Ben's first class costs £15. Paper and drawing materials will be provided. He hopes future sessions will be open to students. To find out more follow @benspringhamstudio on Instagram or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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