Get the lead out for new art studio

Oak Bay's new Playful Pencil studio honours the fun side of art exploration

Jodi Appleton blends her career in animation and recreation at her new Playful Pencil Art Studio in Oak Bay.

Jodi Appleton blends her career in animation and recreation at her new Playful Pencil Art Studio in Oak Bay.




Young voices compare characters with one-leg and anime eyes and even shoots of bamboo sprouting from plain white paper.

The new Playful Pencil studio burbles with interest in each drawing shared, until the group of boys tries to explain how, or why they enjoy it.

“I just like drawing,” Ronan Ling sums it up.

The handful of youngsters from Central Middle, Margaret Jenkins and Oak Bay High schools, were among the earliest of pupils at the new Oak Bay art studio that aims to keep the fun in drawing.

“There will not be any 60-hour paintings but there will be lots of doodling,” said Jodi Appleton, owner of Playful Pencil art studio.

Appleton opened her studio Feb. 18 with a handful of free classes dedicated to drawing, keeping the option open to add watercolour or other paint in the future.

“I love drawing and have taught in various recreation centres. I left animation and went into recreation and this is the merge of the two for me,” she said.

“We figured it would be a good fit for the community.”

Living in Oak Bay, she knew a studio would fare well in the community, and found the ideal space at Central and St. Patrick streets.

Current courses cater to the seven to 14 year-old.

“The plan is to offer adult classes as well once I get the ball rolling,” she said.

Appleton is already networking with other artists in the region to develop all forms of drawing.

“I’m looking for instructors in a lot of drawing,” she said. “I’m hoping different artists will bring their strengths and ideas and make this a hub for drawing and sketching and cartooning.”

She’s also partnering with the Camosun College Comics and Graphic Novels program.

“It’ll be a really good partnership,” she said, happy to have somewhere for any inspired students to look forward to post-secondary.

The goal – as indicated in the title Playful Pencil – is to maintain the fun, while introducing some fundamentals.

“Anybody can do art. This will hopefully be an entry or a gateway. It’s more about the playing around with art,” she said.

“Just enjoy the doing, that’s what recreation is all about. It gets you out of regular life and in a place where you can relax and reconnect with yourself.”

For more information, email info@playfulpencil.ca, visit playfulpencil.ca online or in person at 2325 Central Ave.