A Miami-based iPhone app is getting people to use their smartphones as vehicles for sharing ink-and-paper artworks. Sktchy users upload photos of themselves, which other users — often strangers — can then re-create on paper and re-upload to the app.
It's a little like a free, worldwide caricature service: Show your face to an artist, and get a portrait in return. But with Sktchy, co-creator Jordan Melnick is quick to point out, anyone can be an artist.
The photos on Facebook.com/sktchy show a breadth of contributors, including simple-line drawers, detailed shaders, cartoonists and even sculptors — all re-creating a photograph they saw in the app.
The software mimics a community art project Melnick started in 2011. Sketchy Miami brought local artists to coffee shops and art galleries, where people ate, drank, listened to live music and sat for portraits.
Melnick promoted the project and uploaded the artwork to BeachedMiami.com, the arts and culture site he still edits. With the launch of the Sktchy app, Melnick says the portraits have gone global.
"In our first few days, artists from the U.S., China, Russia, Italy, Spain, Argentina and elsewhere created more than 900 original portraits," Melnick says in an email.
He's hosting a Sketchy-style launch party for the app 8 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26, at LAB Miami, 400 NW 26th St.
Local artists will sketch attendees' portraits, but attendees can sketch, too, with free art supplies provided. Free beers will come courtesy of Estrella Damm, and the Ms. Cheezious food truck will grill up cheese sandwiches.