Make a Mess or a Masterpiece with Friends at Arteastiq!

The other day, The Fiancée and I decided to try out this activity known as “art jam.”

No, it doesn’t involve mashing up fruits in an artistic manner.

Rather, the idea of a “jam” is borrowed from music. You know, where people with musical talents (or the lack thereof) come together to “jam,” making music in an impromptu manner. It’s actually a lot of fun.

So, it is from this element of coming together to have fun, that the term “art jam” is derived.

Basically, you come together with friends to make an impromptu mess with lots of paint. You don’t have to be an artist or have any artistic talent. Just go, splash some paint here and there, and who knows? You might discover the inner artist in you! I think it makes for a great couple activity!

I found one place that offers this art jam activity. It’s in an art and tea lounge known as Arteastiq, located on the 4th floor of Mandarin Gallery (333A Orchard Road).

When you sign up, you get a square 50″ x 50″ canvas, a set of 5 brushes, and an unlimited supply of acrylic paint! I repeat – an UNLIMITED supply of acrylic paint, and almost all the colours you could ever ask for!!!

All the paints you can use!!!!!!!! An unlimited supply of colours!!!

You also get one complimentary cup of tea. And I must say: their teas are amazing! They don’t serve you the normal tea bag teas. No, they serve you teas that are infused with all kinds of herbs and spices, according to your liking. There’s a menu which you can choose from! It’s very lovely.

Empty canvases everywhere, waiting for you to make a mess or a masterpiece!

It’s a really really nice place!

I must say, this place is very conducive for art. When you’re surrounded by people who are also trying to paint, you find it a lot easier to get into the mood. I’ve always wanted to try painting a proper picture. I even bought a paint set once, years ago, but somehow, when at home, I just don’t have the discipline or a conducive environment to get started, or even to finish the project.

A room full of canvases and a floor full of paint!

This is actually a great place to explore and discover the artistic side within you.

I guess I’m ready to explore the artistic side hidden within me!

Starting out is a little intimidating especially for beginners like us. There is no one to guide you. Well, on certain days, there will be an artist on site who can teach you how to paint a specific picture like a pro. But we didn’t sign up for that. We went there thinking: let’s just make a mess and see what comes out!

The people running the place know very well that many beginners like us have no clue what to paint. To aid us a little, they have an inspiration corner where there are files and files full of paintings you can select as an inspiration. Once you’ve picked one, they will make a coloured photocopy of it to paste above your canvas. Like this:

I chose a safe picture. Can’t go wrong with a picture like this, right?

I’m so glad I’ve done a lot of work on Photoshop and Illustrator. That really gave me certain insights and ideas on how to mix colours and paint. Other than that, I have absolutely no clue what I’m doing. I looked around me. Everyone else seemed kinda clueless too. But there were one or two people there who knew what they were doing, and wow… They painted like professionals! It was quite inspiring to watch them in action.

Mixing paints on a disposable palette. Never knew such things exist!

After some time, I was done making my sunset background!

A beautiful sunset gradient. Thanks Photoshop for teaching me how to do this!

Here’s The Fiancée in action. Clearly, she’s more artistic than I am. I have no idea how she does it, but she’s able to paint the flower such that it looks like it’s coming out of the canvas!

The Fiancée painting a 3D flower that looks like it's coming out of the canvas! Wow!
The Fiancée painting a 3D flower that looks like it’s coming out of the canvas! Wow!

Here’s what I painted at the end of 3 hours:

Behold, my masterpiece! I call it, “Love Birds at Dusk”

The Fiancée doesn’t want me to show her final masterpiece on my blog (she’s shy about it). Ah well…

It was a lot of fun!

Oh, they even have a special box to bring back your artwork even if it’s wet! Pretty amazing!

You might be wondering… How much does this cost?

It’s SGD$48 per person for a 3-hour session. If you can’t finish your painting (rarely happens unless you’re very ambitious), you can come back again to continue your work at SGD$5 per hour.

On the surface, it seems rather expensive, but actually, it’s quite worthwhile and economical if you’re a non-artist like me.

If you don’t paint regularly, it’s actually more costly to start out on such an endeavour. You would have to buy brushes, paints of different colours, canvas, palette, and even an easel. This alone can easily come up to almost SGD$48.

I’ve grown wiser over the years of trying to be artistic, and I’ve come to realise that whenever you try to do anything at home, procrastination usually creeps in. “Oh, I have all I need, I can do it tomorrow.” And months later, your artwork is still not done (or even started). And before long, all those art supplies go to rot in a drawer or shelf of broken dreams. I have such a shelf. It’s depressing to look at it.

So… It actually makes a LOOOOT of sense for beginners and non-arty people to engage in such activity by actually paying for the resources and committing yourself to a 3-hour session, where you’re in a conducive environment surrounded by one or two inspirational people. It makes a big difference.

And when you do this with friends struggling alongside you, the process is a lot more fun!

The Fiancée and I enjoyed ourselves very very much. I think I’ll do this once every few months!

So, if you’re interested, you can check out Arteastiq (! It’s a great place to paint!