There’s a new fad in town, and no it’s not wearing a surgical mask. Far from it, in fact, because this involves staying home without wearing a mask, and sipping on your favorite drink. ‘Paint and Sip’ classes are just that, you get together with a group of friends or strangers, and paint while you drink, preferably something alcoholic. These classes have become hugely popular in the last few years, but with covid restrictions more people are looking to take paint and sip classes online.
All across the US and other countries, companies dedicated to leading you on a paint and sip journey are gaining traction. With the guidance of certified art instructors, you can use these classes as therapy sessions where you relax and unwind while you paint.
Colorado Company Painting ‘Different Strokes’
One example is Colorado-based company Different Strokes Paint and Sip, a new kind of art class company offering diverse painting styles. Owner Daphne Rhodes started her company in 2017 and is going strong as ever after 3 years. In an interview on KDVR she gave viewers some context on the classes and how they’re adapting to the new normal.
“Paint and Sip is exactly what it means, you come in and do a 2-hour paint session, we have fantastic instructors that give you a 2-hour step-by-step instruction to create a masterpiece.”
She also talked about the styles you can expect to paint in these classes. “We really specialize in black art, because we’re a black-owned business, we do paintings all the way from butterflies and bees to cultural things.” Support for black-owned businesses also grew during the last year as more and more people sought out ways to support marginalized communities. And while going to a structured art class may not sound exciting to you, they offer options to let you be creative in how you take the classes.
“We offer all types of paint parties, whatever idea or theme that you have, we can do a paint party around it. So we do children’s night, girls night, church groups, family reunions, literally anything you can think of we can build a party around it.”
Adapting to the New Normal
As it becomes increasingly more difficult and risky to congregate in larger groups indoors, companies must adapt to new restrictions and fears. Virtual paint and sip classes grew in popularity during the last year, but you can still physically attend a Different Strokes paint party. They follow the state’s CDC guidelines, take your temperature when you walk in, and sanitize all brushes as well as their entire studio. They also use disposable aprons and single-use cups for drinks.
These limitations are what drive more people to take paint and sip classes online. Try a simple google search to find the classes nearest you, or if you choose the virtual route you’ll have more options. But painting classes may be all well and good, but are they fun? Don’t worry, this is on a lot of people’s minds, I mean, what’s so great about sitting down to paint? I’ll give you a hint: it’s the booze.
The ‘sip’ part of paint and sip means that participants drink while they paint. This serves several functions, including letting you be a little more creative, but also allowing you to let down your guard. This is useful when creating art since we can often be embarrassed of what we make, but when the liquor kicks in, everybody becomes shameless and accepting. Companies like Different Strokes offer a full bar with wine, beer and spirits, but also have soft drinks and water for kids.
Painting and Drinking is Good Business
And just because there’s alcohol involved doesn’t mean it’s an adults only operation. In fact, many of these classes offer family events, and even design special events for children where people of all ages can mingle. The inclusivity and accessibility of these classes has contributed to the massive popularity they’ve gained during the last year.
According to Inc. Magazine, one paint and sip company called Paint Nite was the second fastest-growing company in the US last year. Notably, they earned $55 million in revenue in 2016. That’s astonishing given the simplicity of the concept. Now with people looking for more paint and sip classes online, entrepreneurs have a market that’s hot and ready.
According to reporter of the Evening Standard, Ben Olsen: “Artsy pursuits, which now come in a variety of genre-bending forms … all provid a positive platform for channelling creative energies, widening the field for would-be daters and getting people out of their house.”
A New Hobby for the Lonely
As Olsen says, getting out of the house is on a lot of people’s minds nowadays. Since before the pandemic began, the US was facing a damaging loneliness epidemic. People were as isolated as ever, longing for human interaction or a new friend. Quarantine restrictions and social distancing has further augmented this need and many are looking for a new outlet.
Along with the stress-relieving effects of alcohol and painting, socializing is also incredibly beneficial. Our immune systems benefit from the lack of cortisol, the stress hormone, and our mental health gets better. These types of classes have the potential to bring people together during a time when we are urged to stay apart. Who knows, you may even come out of this with a new skill and a love for art!