For the latest edition of Marlo Meets, we have the pleasure of talking to Josie Pitcher and Elliot Nortey, the creators of London's brilliant new social art experience, Art Sippers. 

Art Sippers is a unique experience based around fine canvas painting and heaps of laughter - all whilst having a cheeky sip and snacking on a tasty treat. After initially starting around pubs and bars in London, the pandemic shifted proceedings to the virtual environment of zoom where the concept has blossomed. Frequently focussing on the theme of mental health awareness, Art Sippers have also worked with a host of impressive clients such as Twitter, Deloitte, Sky Arts, the NHS and the Natural History Museum. 

We speak to Elliot and Josie about how it all started, how it's all going and whether they have any guilty pleasures! 

1. Tell us a bit about Art Sippers and how it started?

So ART SIPPERS is an entertaining art experience, where we teach people how to create art and we have a cheeky sip! We used to host these events in pubs and bars around London, but since lockdown we have taken our experiences into the virtual world and now everyone joins in from the comfort of their own homes. The idea of ART SIPPERS came about when we were both feeling unfulfilled in our work careers, Elliot had started to spiral into a quarter-life crisis and Josie was suddenly made redundant. We decided to view this negative situation as a blessing and a chance to take radical ownership, trust in our own abilities and rewrite the script into a positive story. ART SIPPERS was born - a mix of our favourite things to do, create things and SIP!

2. What were your childhood dreams?

Nortey: When I was younger I wanted to be an actor or footballer - until i found alcohol and girls!

Pitcher: I wanted to be a teacher when I was a little girl - I guess I lived out my dream!

3. If you were on Desert Island Discs, what would your luxury be?

Nortey: A chef that could cook all the delights. 

Pitcher: Mine would be a comfy, cosy, four poster bed, complete with a top of the range mattress, duvet & mosquito net!

4. Do you have any guilty pleasures?

Nortey: Frozen Chocolate digestives - they taste incredible!

Pitcher: I am not too bothered about TV soaps & dramas, but I have a random addiction to Casualty. When I want a lazy evening, I’ll watch it on catch-up whilst dipping chocolate into a hot cuppa tea - pure bliss. 

5. If you could own one painting in the world, what would it be?

Nortey: I would have a Josie Pitcher original, I think they’ll be worth a few bob in a few years.

Pitcher: I’ll remind him of this comment next time my paintings are lying all about the house! For me it would have to be Van Gogh - Sunflowers. Van Gogh was the first artist I ever learnt about, so this choice has many nostalgic reasons attached to it. In particular, I remember having a Van Gogh book and seeing his Sunflowers painting at a time when we were growing Sunflowers at my school, the painting has such a warm, uplifting feeling to it. 

6. What is your ideal last meal?

Nortey: I would love a traditional steak and ale shortcrust pie with extra gravy.

Pitcher: A roast dinner with all the trimmings and sauces, made by a family member, as the love in it always makes it tastier!

7. What’s your favourite Sip?

Nortey: A sloe Negroni or rum and ginger ale (I cant choose!)

Pitcher: Ah such a hard question and I can’t choose one. Pornstar Martini on a night out, fruity red wine on a night in, Tequila shots at a house party!

8. South America or Asia?

We haven’t seen much of South America, but have seen a good few places in Asia and loved our experiences. So Asia is the winner, plus, this is where Japan is and we don’t think a country can tick as many boxes as Japan does.

9. Double Decker or Mars Bar?

Both: Double Decker hands down, not a fan of Mars Bar.

10. Finally, what exciting projects or ambitions do you have coming up for ARTSIPPERS?

Ah soooo many! We are going to be heading to Cloud9 Festival in Dorset and the Cotswolds this summer, which will be a great way to connect with people in-person again! We are also looking to host virtual live on location (LOL) events - this is where we will paint the scenery at a famous landmark or exciting location. There's also some long term plans to introduce many different mediums of ART (so not just painting), to do some large scale fully immersive events and some huge ambitions of introducing creative ART gym’s. Mainly we want to keep working towards our mission of relieving people of their daily stress and anxiety, whilst building creative confidence though engaging art experiences.

Marlo are delighted to announce that we now feature in the 'Top 50 UK Wine Blogs' - Find the full list here.


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