Drawing Changes Lives

Do you have a Drawing Changes Lives story? Get in touch at rachel@thebigdraw.org and include the subject heading 'My Drawing Changes Lives Story'.

Read our blog for interviews / news and inspiring advice and accounts of how drawing has impacted lives all over the world.

Want to get involved with the World's biggest drawing festival #TheBigDraw ? Click here to find out more.

Whether it's used by a child expressing emotion or a professional designing our world, drawing changes lives everyday. When our patron Andrew Marr suffered a stroke, he used drawing to help him recover, with remarkable results.

'I became Andrew Marr again when I started to draw once more. That was the first time I knew who I was properly and became myself again.'


Drawing increases Visual Literacy

The Big Draw aims to get everyone drawing. When we draw, we take an opportunity to slow down, and to appreciate how the visual world works. By developing this skill we gain a deeper understanding of our surroundings and learn a truly universal language. A drawing can communicate an idea more effectively than words. 

We champion drawing as a powerful tool for invention, for communicating complex concepts, and for its power to engage people with collections and exhibitions in museums, gallery and heritage sites.

By fostering a greater understanding of what drawing can mean, and by increasing awareness and engagement, we believe many more people can benefit from, and contribute to society by drawing.

'Visual literacy is the ability to interpret, negotiate, and make meaning from information presented in the form of an image... Visual literacy is based on the idea that pictures can be “read” and that meaning can be communicated through a process of reading.'

The term ‘visual literacy’ is credited to John Debes 1969.

Why we teach art in schools


The Big Draw Philosophy

From 1-31 October, every year, The Big Draw Festival invites people of all ages, levels and abilities to take part in drawing activties. Anyone can get involved.

Throughout the year, we collaborate with educators, artists and arts education agencies who work in formal/informal education to extend learning, innovation and engagement.

We build relationships with professionals who use drawing in their daily work or practice: artists, designers, scientists, engineers and medical professionals. 

'We live in a verbal culture where we think words are important and drawings are merely decorative. But there are hundreds of things for which drawing is wonderfully economical and efficient. It's much easier for most of us to draw the way a deckchair works than to explain it in words.'

The Big Draw Patron Quentin Blake.


Drawing can communicate Maths and Science

'I wouldn't be in this job now if I didn't draw' 

Laura Hutton - 3D Environment Artist at Reflections, a Ubisoft Studio.

How you can help

  • Organise a Big Draw Festival event and demonstrate drawing's value and how it can be an enjoyable collective experience.
  • Donate to The Big Draw. Every penny goes towards delivering events, research, development and resources to raise the profile of Visual Literacy.
  • Enjoy Tea Resources - invaluable case studies collected over 18 months on a Professional development programme for Arts Educators.
  • Buy books on drawing, art materials and artwork from The Big Draw Shop. All sales directly support our charity.
  • Promote visual literacy! Read resources on the value of drawing.

Drawing is used in various industries. including...

Digital Arts
Fashion & costume design
Game design
Graphic design
Theatre and set design
Game design
Graphic design

Theatre and set design
3D Animation and modelling
Interior design
Landscape architecture
Software design
Urban design
Web design
and many more...