Kalamadoodle: Beer, drawing, networking for creatives

Because creative people need a way to connect, Mike Klok and Nick Clark created Kalamadoodle.

Kalamazoo has its share of clubs and organizations dedicated to networking for business people, but Klok and Clark wanted something that catered to creatives. Kalamadoodle, a drink and draw event is what they came up with.

Networking based on sharing common interests is often recommended as a better way to make connections, and Kalamadoodle brings together those who share a creative impulse and a liking of craft beer.  

The first event for Kalamazoo was Aug. 20 at Arcadia Brewing Co. and the organizers hope to have enough interest to create monthly get togethers. They were encouraged by the turnout to the first event.

Those who attend found tables lined with paper and art supplies, colored pens, colored markers, crayons, colored pencils and more, Clark says.

And the beer for the very first event was $1 off a 20 ounce glass for Kalamadoodlers. There will be similar beer specials for Kalamadoodlers at each drink and draw event.

The event is intended not only for artists but for the desk jockey who does not get a chance to use his or her creative talents on a regular basis.

"This is a chance to let your creativity come out and show off your art skills," Clark says.

Clark is a freelance graphic designer with an Etsy store he calls EpicNickNacks, featuring items he makes by hand, such as tables, cutting boards, and coasters. Klok is a freelance designer who also works for Kalamazoo College. The two connected through Underground Printing, a custom apparel print shop that Klok ran after Clark left.

The idea to bring together artistic beer drinkers grew from a sense that there are a lot of creative people in Kalamazoo who were not getting together. Klok had participated in a similar group in Detroit area, enjoyed them, and believed Kalamazoo could and should embrace the idea. He and Clark liked the drink and draw idea and wanted to make it even more engaging, something people would look forward to each month.

One way is by sharing doodles on social media. (Their Facebook page is here.) They are asking people to share their doodles at #Kalamadoodle. There might be to be a weekly contest for best doodle. Monthly events also might be themed. It all depends on what beer drinking artists who attend are interested in.

"We're not in this for the profit, we want to build up the community," Clark says. "We are blessed to live in a state that has the kind of talent that you can find here, and Kalamazoo is one of the best, if not the best city in Michigan. It's about working together to keep people here, rather than having them move to Chicago, New York, or L.A."

Klok says: "We believe in Kalamazoo and want to help grow the Creative and Craft Beer Communities.  We encourage you to try one of the many great local breweries and let your creativity flow. Show us your doodles!" 

Source: Nick Clark, Mike Klok
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