He calls himself the "Doodle Captain." When up to a hundred people come together at a Kalamazoo brew pub, eager to take up their crayons and pencils, Mike Klok wanders around checking on all the artists-for-a-day. They've gathered for yet another monthly meeting of Kalamadoodle.
“Being Doodle Captain, it’s the job I never applied for but I’ve certainly enjoyed having,” Klok says. “I like to call Kalamadoodle a celebration of craft and creativity. In its current form, it’s a monthly drink-and-draw series where we go around to local breweries and encourage people to draw in an informal manner.”
Whether you're a “stick-figure” doodler or an accomplished artist, everyone is encouraged to participate, no matter their age. Paper is spread out across tables, crayons and pencils provided, and doodlers are head down, drawing whatever comes to mind.
The variety of people who participate is what excites Klok the most about Kalamadoodle. The event often turns into networking opportunity that's more casual than a “business card event,” he says.
“We hope that you will leave what you draw on the table,” Klok says. “Once a year we partner with the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts during Kalamazoo Beer Week. We take a bunch of the drawings and cut them up. Sometimes they can be a little tough to frame because of their shape and size, but we’ll at least get them posted on some tack board.”
Klok says Kalamadoodle has three goals: “Spread creativity — we want to get people creating; building community — let’s encourage those people and foster their artistic pursuits; and do good — let’s take this community we’ve built and do supply drives and canned food drives, donate to organizations like Read and Write Kalamazoo or a local middle school.”
Kalamadoodle’s next event will be held at 6 p.m. on Thursday, January 17, at the Kalamazoo Institute of Arts. Kalamadoodle will partner with Bell’s Brewery. Supplies will be provided and refreshments available for purchase. This is a free event open to the public.
Listen to WMUK's Art Beat every Friday at 7:50 a.m. and 4:20 p.m.