Totally Sketchy: Inky Improv Pens a Night of Fun

Inky Improv, courtesy of Spacetaker
Inky Improv, courtesy of Spacetaker

Last night, Art Attack stopped by the Spacetaker studio to watch some improvisational artists put pen to paper (or to computer). "Inky Improv," which made its debut last year around this time, combined the forces of drawing team Sketchy Neighbors and flash fiction writers Nano Fiction.

It was a bit confusing at first. We were expecting something like "Pictionary" or Win, Lose or Draw; a fellow attendee told me that he thought it was going to be like Whose Line Is It Anyway? We were both wrong. "Inky"-goers were asked to write down a short, five-sentence phrase and drop it in a bucket. Each sketcher and writer then pulled a phrase to use as a starting-off point for their on-the-fly masterpieces. After ten minutes or so, the artists handed their work off to the writers and vice versa. The opposing discipline would then use the sketch or written piece as their own inspiration. Make sense?

It all came to a fascinating and fun fruition once the pieces were read aloud by each author while the sketch was projected on a large screen against the front wall. Once the combined work was absorbed by the audience, the original phrase was revealed, which, in most cases, made everything that much more hilarious.

Sketchy Neighbors get their draw on.
Sketchy Neighbors get their draw on.

If you are familiar with the Nano Fiction crew, you know that their writing is often brazen, smart and sassy; they make you think about why they have so carefully chosen their words. But could they write that good, that fast? Totally. We had several "How did they even think of that?" moments throughout the evening.

Nano Fiction writing away...
Nano Fiction writing away...

We really enjoyed being wrong about how "Inky Improv" went down. Rather than a battle of the witty, it was a unique, collaborative process. Having audience participation never hurts to keep a group amused and engaged, either. Neither does having tequila punch. The whole concept and execution was awesome. Spacetaker always knows how to throw a great art-party.

We hate to toot our own city's horn, but reflecting on this and the plethora of wacky art events we have been to this year made us smile in our hearts. Where else but Houston would something like this draw a crowd?

We'll say it: Art in Houston rocks.

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