Otafest’s Sketch Drive embodies our belief in volunteerism and charity. As part of Otafest’s mission to give back to the community, Sketch Drive offers the opportunity for emerging and experienced artists to hone their talents for a good cause.

If you are:

  • Comfortable sketching people
  • Familiar with sketching basic anatomy, mainly facial features
  • Can complete a sketch in approximately 15 min
  • Creative and passionate about sketching
  • Looking to improve your drawing skills while meeting new artists in the community
  • Looking to give back to the community

Then don’t miss the opportunity to join our Sketch Drive Team! You can contact us at sketchdrive@otafest.com with any additional questions.

Sketch Drive

How It Works

Sketch Drive is located just outside the Exhibitor Hall. Otafest attendees can get a personal or group portrait/caricature sketch for a small fee. 50% of each sketch is donated to a reputable charity which is chosen yearly as part of Otafest’s charity event. The other 50% goes to the Sketch Drive artist. Artists will be paid out at the end of each day based on the number of sketches they have completed.


A $50.00 fee (plus GST) is required for all confirmed Sketch Drive artists. This fee will cover the following:
  • A Sketch Drive badge,
  • A weekend Pass to Otafest,
  • Table space (4ft. x 2ft.) and chair, and
  • Card stock and covers for sketches.

Application Process

Applications will open in late 2019 / early 2020. Potential candidates will be contacted via email and invited to attend an audition.

Candidates will be notified of the date, time, and location via e-mail. During the audition, the artists will meet the Sketch Drive staff and will have the opportunity to convey any questions or concerns.

The audition will take approximately 1 hour and consists of the following:

  • Sketch 1: Artists will have 15 minutes to produce an upper body sketch of a model in any style that they are comfortable.
  • Sketch 2: Artists will have 15 minutes to produce an upper body sketch of a model in a(n) anime/comic/chibi style.

The sketches will be collected and reviewed by the Sketch Drive staff, the audition results will be e-mailed to each artist.

The audition is mandatory for all new Sketch Drive artists.


  1. Be considerate, supportive, and respectful of others. Otafest is a safe and family-friendly environment. We have a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment and/or violence of any sort. Otafest reserves the right to remove and ban artists who violate the convention’s policies no refund will be provided.
  2. Be punctual and complete your designated shifts. Sketch Drive artists must be able to work a minimum of 3 shifts over the course of the festival; each shift is 2 hours long. Sketch Drive will operate as per the set schedule. Artists are expected to arrive on time for their shifts and stay to the completion of their shifts. Failure to be prepared and present for shifts may cause artists to be banned from future sketch drive events.
  3. Fill out the sketch tally form properly. Each artist is responsible for tracking the number of people they have sketched. Artists will be paid out at the end of their last shift each day based on the number on their tally form. In the event of a disagreement between the artist and the form, the number on the tally form will be taken as correct.
  4. Keep your work area clean and respect the work space of other artists. Please keep your materials and supplies organized and use only your designated work space.
  5. You may display and sell small pieces of your personal artwork. Small items such as bookmarks and prints no larger than letter sized paper (8.5” x 11”) may be displayed and sold. The artist will keep all of the earnings on these items. The artwork must fit in your designated work space. No racks or frames may be used.


Applications are closed.

At this time, we have made the very difficult decision to postpone Otafest until May 21-23, 2021. Please see our official announcement here.