About Us

The Big Draw Charity

Charity no. 1114811

Founded in 2000 by the Guild of St George, The Big Draw is a pioneering visual literacy charity dedicated to raising the profile of drawing as a tool for wellbeing, thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. The charity leads a diverse programme of advocacy, empowerment and engagement, and is the founder and driving force behind The Big Draw Festival – the world’s biggest celebration of drawing.

The Big Draw manages collaborative research projects, campaigns and educational conferences on visual literacy, digital technology and STEAM. The charity supports professional and emerging artists through its national contemporary art prize, The John Ruskin Prize and exhibition, and through events, awards, and competitions, creating platforms for each and everyone who wants to draw.

We believe drawing is an essential human skill important in all walks of life, and our work has won support from leading practitioners within the arts, sciences and education. Take a look at some of our campaign videos here. With educational policies increasingly de-valuing the role of creative subjects and careers in our society and economy, The Big Draw strives to ensure access for all to creative events, training and resources.

The Big Draw's continued development is made possible by the support of many organisations and individuals who share our vision. Without them and the commitment of hundreds of venues across the UK and beyond, our mission would be unachievable.

www.thebigdraw.org | www.ruskinprize.co.uk

To make a fast, one-off donation of any amount over £5 use your credit or debit card via The Big Give. All donations, big or small make a real difference!

Registered Charity no. 1114811 | The Big Draw is a registered Trademark.

To find out more about our work, and how to support The Big Draw, visit our Support Page

The Big Draw Festival

The Big Draw Festival has encouraged over four million people back to the drawing board since 2000. It has notched up two world records – for the longest drawing in the world (one kilometre) and the greatest number of people drawing simultaneously (over 7,000). The first Big Draw Festival in 2000 attracted 180 partner organisations. Since then, the number has risen to more than 1,000, with over 500,000 people participating each year! 

The Festival is made up of thousands of creative events, activities and workshops across the globe hosted by organisations big and small; from individuals to entire cities!

Do you want to be part of the World's Biggest Drawing Festival? Find out more here.

The John Ruskin Prize

The John Ruskin Prize was initiated in 2012 by the Guild of St George and The Big Draw, and is the fastest growing multi-disciplinary art prize in the UK. With the values of the radical polymath John Ruskin at it's core, the #RuskinPrize has a growing reputation for supporting and promoting artists, designers and makers whose work defies easy categorisation.

‘The greatest thing a human being ever does in this world is to see something… To see clearly is poetry, prophecy and religion all in one’. - John Ruskin

Who The Big Draw reaches

Your support has already enabled us to make inspiring progress. Every October, over 500,000 people participate in The Big Draw Festival all over the world thanks to inspiring events hosted by people like you!

Since our very first Big Draw Festival Awards over 15 years ago we have presented over 250 organisations, schools and charities with over £50k in awards to boost their creative outreach programmes and facilities. All registered Big Draw Organisers are eligible to apply for our annual Big Draw Festival awards.

The Big Draw Festival and Awards act as an important annual profile raising and fundraising opportunity for many charities, non-profits and outreach programmes. Just a few of the charitable organisations we have worked with include:  AlderHey Children's HospitalArts4Dementia, Blind Veterans UK, Great Ormand Street Hospital, Ordsall Community Arts, Oasis Cardiff, Brecon Area Dementia Friendly Community, 3 Peel Group India, Wyre Community Land Trust, St Wilfred's Hospice and many more.

Supporting The Creative Industry

Every year, The Big Draw - both directly and indirectly - provides paid employment and CPD opportunities for artists and creative practitioners. An average of 500 creative practitioners are commissioned annually to design workshops and events as part of The Big Draw Festival!

In 2012 we extended our support for artists by launching The John Ruskin Prize with The Guild of St George. The prize provides a supportive platform for UK based artists working in a range of media whose practice is under-pinned by drawing (in it's many guises). Take a look at the website here for more information.

Thank you!

We depend on your ongoing support to fund and develop our pioneering work in promoting and increasing visual literacy, and ensuring that EVERYONE has access to creative opportunities and the limitless possibilities of drawing.