UPFRONT / CREATE
BIT SKETCHY Sharpen up your pencils, lick the end of your pens, and find a clean sheet of paper. The Big Draw is back, and this year, it’s focussed on the link between drawing and well-being
FOUNDED IN 2000, THE FEAST of drawing started small – as a one-day celebration – but grew very rapidly. In just a couple of years it had become a worldwide, month-long umbrella event that encompassed workshops, classes, parties, competitions and communities coming together to create gigantic pieces of work. And we mean gigantic – the festival has broken the record for the longest drawing in the world (1km) and the greatest number of people drawing simultaneously (over 7,000). The festival now runs year-round, with many venues choosing to ramp up or culminate their events during October.
The Big Draw’s director, Kate Mason, puts the event’s popularity down to the simplicity of making a mark. She says, “The appeal of drawing is universal – it cuts across all age groups, sectors of society and cultures – and it’s cheap and democratic.” This year, the theme is ‘Drawn to life: Creativity and Wellbeing’. Kate explains, “Historically, many of our events have emphasised the link between well-being, particularly community well-being and creativity. This year, we’re shining a spotlight on that area. There are hundreds of pieces of research published every week that show a link between improving health – particularly mental health – and creating art.”
The Big Draw team organise a big opening party, usually held out of London, and an awards ceremony, which celebrates the most innovative, resourceful and engaging events of the previous year. However, most of the remainder of the events are held by museums, galleries, community groups and families. As well as rolling up to a Big Draw workshop or party near you, you can organise your own. Kate says,
“Obviously, the type of event will depend on the family. For example, those where one of the parents is an artist might bring people together to create a piece of community art. Others partner with schools or in village halls to run art-based fundraisers.” Find details on how to participate and events near you at The Big Draw’s website thebigdraw.org.
COLOUR ME GREEN
Ethical drawing equipment
1. OkoNOrm Chalks, £3.95, babipur.co.uk 2. Twig Pencils, £3.99, sharedearth.co.uk
3. Crayon Rocks People Pebbles,
£10.96, babipur.co.uk 4. Stockmar Wax Blocks, £18.95, consciouscraft.uk 5. Organic Baby Finger Paint,
OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2019 thegreenparent.co.uk