Why did you and Steve decide to set up a branch of Dr Sketchy's in Liverpool?
Diva - Well we have really enjoyed the ones we have been to and as we both come from an art background we thought it would be fun to bring one to Liverpool. There is a great art scene in Liverpool (with the Biennial and lots of other events) but it's quite separate from the burlesque scene. So we thought this would be a great way of bringing these two scenes together. It's been years since I have been to an art class so this way I get to start a fun event and brush up on my own drawing skills too.
Steve - Visiting other Sketchy's made me break out my pencils for the first time in ages, and it was really refreshing. It's a great way of appreciating the artists too, like John Ruskin said "there's no better way to appreciate a semi naked lovely than to trace her with your pencil." OK perhaps I made that up. I think the main reason is that Sketchy combines a lot of things I love: creativity, meeting people and sauciness!
How do you think you will add to the UK Sketchy family?
Diva - Our backgrounds mean we bring some unusual talents to the event that make it something a little bit different. For instance, I did a lot of digital art and interactive performance before I became a burlesquer and Steve has a pretty varied background too.
Steve - Yeah that background has influenced a lot of our ideas for these events. Hoepfully we get to do some of the wackier ideas! But even on a simple level I think that being part of some very different scenes makes us interested in bringing lots of different sorts of people together.
Diva - An event like Sketchy in Liverpool is a great place for people to meet up, and create a lot of new artist collaborations.
Steve - Yes but it's not just the artists, I think it's tough for people in general to express themselves to others, and make bonds or meet up on common ground. So I'm interested in that, providing a way for people to link up socially and chat as well as express themselves.
Diva - We also feel very strongly about having an event and a space that is disabled friendly so we can have the whole range of artists take part. I think the more diverse the audience the better the event.
Tell us about your own artistic backgrounds
Diva - I am a pure geek. I have a post grad in electronic imaging. Until I got sick (with M.S) you would always see me in front of a computer creating something. I especially loved video, animation and digital collage; a lot of my work looked like pre-Raphaelite painting, but was actually created using a computer.
Steve - I left art school a month before the end of my course, to join a band. Being in a band is a whole other kind of art education; working with lights and making videos, creating installations, that sort of thing. During that time I used to go and use the facilities in the Liverpool University art department, all the video camers and animation equipment, even though I was never a student there! I think I helped provoke their much more stringent security policies. Erm, is that an artistic background, or a criminal background?
Who inspires you and why?
Diva - I have such a varied mix of inspirations. I love the power, colours and stories of the old master painters. I try to bring something of that emotion to all the art work I make. My inspirations come from a very wide perspective, Anthony Gormley, Pierre & Giles, Harold Lloyd and Lily St Cyr to name but a few.
Steve - My inspirational figures are anyone who is striking out for something different; all those absurdists, situationists, outsiders, moral transgressors, weirdos and individuals. It's so easy for any of us to get stuck in a rut, so I think the world needs the people who are willing to take a chance and just strike out for something new and fun. Horray for them!
What other exciting things does 2010 have in store for you?
Diva - We have started a production company with lots of plans for 2010, small films, photography and plenty of other stuff like that.
Steve - Yes, we've started with a comic book, which is a sort of modern day Tijuana Bible, full of strange kinky illustrated stories, and that's still in production. Beyond that we have some photos and films ideas lined up, which all blend the burlesque style with something more weird.
Diva - I am learning the bull whip and it's an amazing thing. I love the sound of it when you get the "crack" to work. I have a great act idea using the whip and hopefully it will be finished for later this year. We plan to head off to New York and LA for some adventures, but I can't tell you any more about that just yet. Then in November I will be curating part of the Dada festival and Dr Sketchy will be a part of that, all very exciting! I am loving this year so far and can't wait to see how all these projects pan out and getting people involved in the films and artwork.
Steve - Yep, we are always on the look out for people to get involved with those projects so if anyone wants to be part of a kinky photo/video art thang they can let us know via our website http://www.kinkydarling.com/