Individual Organisers Fees Removed for 2023

Over the past few years, the Covid-19 pandemic has devastated the arts and culture community with individual artists working as freelancers being particularly negatively affected. As a visual literacy charity, The Big Draw aims to uplift those who are most well-placed to deliver engaging initiatives and events; artists, makers, designers, community leader and facilitators… Everyone and anyone can become a Big Draw Organiser!

Since 2020, The Big Draw decided to waive the £50 registration fee for individual artists to encourage more participation and re-energise the hard-hit arts and culture sector. We are happy to announce that for the third year in a row, the individual artists fee has been waived. The 2023 Big Draw Festival Theme will be launched on Tuesday 21st March, after which point all individual organisers and freelancers (working without the support of a partner organisation) can sign up to be part of the Festival for free.

Below we have written answers to some of the possible questions you may have. If you are still unclear on anything, email us at and we'll endeavour to get back to you as quickly as possible!

How do I sign up as an individual organiser?

Firstly, head on over to: and register if you’ve not already created an account. Once you’ve logged in, fill in your organiser details. You can ignore the ‘pay the subscription fee’ tab! After you’ve created your organiser account, you will need to get in touch with The Big Draw team so that they can activate your account. Do this by simply sending your account username to and our team will then make you an official Big Draw Organiser! Please note, this may take up to 3-4 days.

Why should I sign up as an individual organiser?

The Big Draw Festival is now in its 23rd year, and is the World’s Biggest Celebration of Drawing with a presence in over 28 countries. From Newcastle to Nairobi, the Festival is made up of a collection of thousands of creative events, activities and workshops across the globe run by organisations big and small; from individuals to entire cities!

As an individual organiser, it’s a great opportunity to attract new audiences and supporters of your work, test market creative ideas, projects and workshops, increase exposure to an international audience and be part of an established and recognised brand. From photographers to gardeners, all creatives are invited to join our global community in celebrating the universal language of drawing.

Who is considered an individual artist?

We consider an individual artist as someone without the backing of an organisation or institution. An individual artist may be looking to run an online event themselves, or a physical event with their local community, not in partnership with an organisation such as a museum or known brand. Please note if you are a teacher in a school and you'd like to join, please click the applicable school tier.

Here are some examples: you may be a freelance artist keen to run an event in your local town hall or cafe; you may want to run a 10 week art class on a digital platform such as Zoom; you may be hoping to raise the profile of a new initiative, such as a new book or a botanical illustration for beginners class!

We welcome and encourage our Big Draw Festival event organisers to create their events to be as diverse and inventive as imagination allows. Events can take a variety of formats and forms, including some or all of the following elements: workshops, showcases, exhibitions, tasters, symposia, talks and presentations, art trails, sketch-crawls, drawing classes (digital or otherwise) performance, etc.

Please note, however, that registering to run a Big Draw Festival event does not grant a license to run any form of official CPD or training sessions under The Big Draw brand.

From time to time The Big Draw charity does run CPD and or training type sessions or projects, but these arise from strategic partnerships where the content and format has been carefully curated, the partners handpicked, and The Big Draw has had direct input to ensure quality. Any training-CPD type events/products/materials, which are not produced 'in house' are not endorsed by The Big Draw and we take no responsibility for their content or quality.

Parties who use our name, brand or/and IP and associate this to their own training or CPD products and training sessions without our permission are in breach of our copyright and will be asked to remove all references to The Big Draw immediately. Ongoing breach of our copyright will result in further measures to protect the integrity and IP of the charity.

Do events have to be free?

No! Whilst the majority of Big Draw events are free, many individual organisers choose to run fee paying events. Some choose to ask for a small donation to cover their costs whilst others may opt to run a fully paid course. If you’re stuck on what to do, why not offer a free taster session in return for reviews? This can form the basis of building up your audience and gain some traction for future events. You can also create a hashtag that your followers can join in with too! 

You’ll be able to add a link to tickets in your listings on The Big Draw website, so consider which platforms will suit you best e.g. EventBrite.

You can ask for donations via sites such as Patreon, PayPal or Ko-Fi. You can also promote your events on Facebook and Instagram (don’t forget Instagram Live!), through a Podcast or even a Blog or YouTube video to build up some excitement. If you choose to send us a video, we may pop it onto our YouTube channel as part of our 2023 inspiration playlist!

Can events be online?

Yes! Events can be physical or digital. Why not check out our guide to running online events, filled with useful hints and tips, as well as a few examples of past online Big Draw events. This will be available to download soon!

How are my Big Draw events promoted?

Once you have added your Big Draw event to our world map and listings, we can start sharing this across our platforms. All Big Draw events will be promoted online through a combination of our social media channels; Twitter, Facebook, Instagram Stories and posts. Make sure that you use images that are sharp and clear, as we are more likely to use these in our main posts.

You will also have access to an auto-tweet function button for your listed event which can be shared with our combined Twitter audience (over 46k at present). Consider promoting your event on Facebook. You could opt to run an advert or get friends and followers to share your upcoming work. 

Your event will also be listed in our weekly newsletter, so make sure you add these onto the world map as soon as possible! If they're not added, we won't know about them so they won't be shared. As you’re able to run events until February 2024, feel free to experiment and see which platforms work best for you. Now and then, we will feature interviews and written features on The Big Draw Blog, as well as running Instagram and Facebook Live videos with artists showcasing their events and work. The Big Draw team may be in touch if they’d like to feature you, and you can get in touch with us if you have something that you think would be particularly good to feature.

On your listings, you will be able to add all of your event details and any links to purchase tickets (this includes free ticketed events). All of your events will be listed in ‘YOUR EVENTS’ and you will be able to make edits throughout your subscription. Please note that once you click ‘SAVE’, your event will be submitted to The Big Draw Team for approval. Once we have given the go-ahead, your event will be added to The Big Draw Listings and World Map.

Where can I find past examples of Big Draw events?

The Big Draw has been running for over 20 years and has seen plenty of incredible events. We have two decade's worth of ideas and inspiration to share with you. You can check out The Big Draw Blog for interviews with past and current participants, artists, museums and galleries. Our YouTube channel features organisers from the last few years and our Instagram channel shows lots of inspirational and creative content. 

For inspiration on how to run your events, as well as inspiration on this year’s theme, we will soon be releasing our 2023 Minimag. Watch this space! You will also find case studies on the organiser backend for those in the community, heritage, and education sectors, as well as our Power Drawing Books, which are an excellent resource for those who are passionate about visual literacy.

Will I receive a Welcome Pack and other tools as an individual organiser? 

As the individual organisers fee has been waived for 2023, we are unable to send out welcome packs for this tier. However, you can download many digital tools and resources on the organiser backend such as posters and certificates. You are also eligible for a 50% discount on The Big Draw Power Drawing books and more in The Big Draw Shop. You’ll find your discount code in the organiser backend.

Risk assessments, case studies, logos etc can be found in partner admin under ‘Resources’. Please only use The Big Draw Festival 2023 logos, not the official logo for The Big Draw charity. Only registered organisers can use The Big Draw official branding. Organisers are not permitted to upload any tools that are property of The Big Draw to other websites. The Big Draw is a protected trademark and we hold the legal copyright on the name, logo, and all other intellectual property relating to the charity and our linked programmes. Organisers are not legally allowed to use our logo, name etc until they have subscribed and paid the fee at the appropriate level. Using our logo taken from our website without subscribing is in breach of our copyright and licensed trademark. Please make sure you are in the correct tier and have officially susbcribed to avoid further action.

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