Monday, 8 October 2012

The Big Draw - draw a picture in October

Via a tweet from adventurer Alastair Humphreys I've learned about a UK-based campaign called The Big Draw. Their aim is "to raise the profile of drawing as a tool for thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. The Campaign has created a new regard for the value of drawing to help people see, think, invent and take action".

Another organisation, Cycle Your Heart Out, has joined the Campaign by encouraging cyclists to draw a picture of something along a cycle route.

I'd like to throw this out to you too: to draw something - anything that catches your attention - during October and to email it through to me to put up here.

The easiest is probably to take a photograph of something that you like when you're out on a run or ride and then to draw this later at home. Or, if you're up for it, take some paper and a pencil out with you to draw the scene in situ. It is quite remarkable what you can draw if you focus on it for an hour or so.

A few years ago I decided to scratch and itch that I've had for a long time (and still have) to draw. Just pencil sketching. I went to a local art studio for one class and was put to it drawing my hand. *sigh* I realise that it is the foundation of drawing but it really doesn't move me. Anyway, I completed the task and was pretty impressed with my very first attempt at drawing. I'm not much interested in this kind of shaded drawing as I'm attracted to simple sketching. Anyway, this one lesson demonstrated that I can draw if I put my mind to it.

You can draw too - even if you think you can't.

A quote on the website from Gerard Scafe (Patron of the Campaign and most famous for his animation for Pink Floyd, political cartoon work, and more recently, Walt Disney’s Hercules) reads, "At 8 or 9 years old we become self-conscious and give up, which is sad as drawing is very therapeutic. Just start by picking up a pen and making a pattern".

He's so right! There's a spot of creativity hiding out in even the most 'un-creative' person (we usually judge ourselves to be un-creative!). And with drawing there's no right or wrong. It's just a picture - your interpretation thereof. Sure, with practice your ability to more accurately depict an object will improve, but you've got to start somewhere.

My challenge to you is to put pen to paper at some stage between now and 31 October and to draw something that catches your eye. You can keep it simple in just pen or pencil or throw in some colour. Although there are drawing programs on tablets and computer, rather keep to paper for this challenge.

Once you're done (any time in the month), email your drawing to me - I've set up a page on to post your images.

How does The Big Draw determine whether their Campaign has been successful? When the words 'I can't draw' are dropped from our vocabulary.

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