Bear With Us: The trending new way to enjoy art

Bear With Us: The trending new way to enjoy art
Kaylah Joelle Baker

Best friends Vivienne Choi and Jen Wang may not be professional artists, but their enjoyment of doing fun, artistic activities together has led them to opening their very own art workshop Bear With Us.

After trying out various different paint and sips, and other similar art activities, the friends began to notice a rising trend of fluid acrylic art in Japan, Korea and Malaysia, whereby participants paint mini bear-like statues.

Agreeing that it was unlike anything they had seen in Melbourne, Vivienne and Jen went into business together and officially opened the doors to their North Melbourne studio on March 30.

“We have done paint and sip, which is an activity similar to this, but personally, it isn’t something we would do regularly, whereas this is fun for friends, couples, and kids to switch up their activities,” Vivienne said.

“And with our bear painting workshop, you can bring home something really beautiful and memorable to keep in your home.”

The experience of a Bear With Us workshop starts the moment attendees walk through the doors, they are asked to put on an apron and gloves, decide what size bear they want to paint, and offered a range of colours to choose from.

Multiple sizes of bears are available to make your own, starting from keyring-sized figures.

Each person then works behind a workshop bench and are asked to paint a base colour on the bear, before being given a cup of their chosen colours to pour slowly all over it.

This process is known as “fluid acrylic art”, or sometimes acrylic pouring or fluid painting.

Following the pouring process, there is an option to decorate the bear with metallic paints, glitter, or to glaze the bear with a shiny coating.

While painting bears is a chance to get creative, Vivienne said it was also a great opportunity to switch off from technology and enjoy spending time with friends, family, or colleagues.

“It can be a quick process, but we ask people, if they have time, to slow down the process and just have a lot of fun with it,” Vivienne said.

“The sessions never run for longer than two hours, but we like to keep people here because no one is on their phone, and they are just spending quality time with each other.”

For anyone wanting to film the process, the workshop does provide tripods to set their phone up on so you can look back on the process and experience.

Bear With Us is currently on a three-month lease within its space at 340 Queensberry St, and they are looking forward to involving the local community, while still focusing on their prospective professions – Vivienne as a pharmacist and Jen in finance.

“If it becomes really popular, we would be more than willing to run it alongside our professional careers as well,” Vivienne said.

“It’s a short-term commitment that we do have long-term goals for, and we would like to focus on groups of friends, parents and kids, couples, and even corporate groups if they are looking for a nice team bonding exercise.”

To see what all the exciting fuss is about, visit at the studio, the website bearwithus.Melbourne, or reach out on Instagram @bearwithus.melbourne

John Buncle

John Buncle

February 14th, 2024 - Felicity Jack
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