The Big Draw is honoured to have a fantastic array of talented and creative individuals as Ambassadors for the charity. See who they are below!
Octavia Bromell is an illustrator with one goal: to find the joy in everyday life.
Octavia began drawing after coming home with clinical depression and severe anxiety in 2017. After hardly picking up a paintbrush since having left school, she quickly transitioned from ‘cheap’ paint palettes to specialist materials, and now works from her own studio in a shepherd’s hut in Dorset. She is the 2019 Adobe Creative Resident from the UK - you can find out more about the residency and her role here.
Octavia combines analogue and digital painting to create vibrant illustrations of the inspirational people and beautiful plants of her dreams. She loves using bright colours, and playing with texture, to make striking work in her very own style. She also creates a lot of work on the topic of mental health, and self esteem, drawing on her own experiences to try and understand what it means to be a human in 2020.
Want to learn more about Octavia Bromells work? Check out her website here, or read our interview with Octavia here.
"My ambition for becoming a Big Draw Ambassador is realising that there are cities beyond that could benefit from what we’ve worked out and developed. I feel that being a Big Draw Ambassador can be instrumental in building those bridges and helping spread the availability of cultural experiences. It’s a big honour and lovely to be recognised for the work that we’ve done. It’s nice to have that golden thread running through it, to have started with The Big Draw and then to realise that yes, this does have legs on it, it works."
Emma Martin is an artist and creative lead based in Manchester who runs a project called Building the Bridge which aims to tackle 'poverty of experience' by creating large-scale art projects. Although she's run Big Draw Festival events for years, and indeed won several Big Draw Festival Awards, she's just joined The Big Draw as our first ever Schools Ambassador!
Want to learn more about Emma Martin's work? Read our interview with Emma here.
“I’m so delighted to be announced as a Big Draw Ambassador! This year’s theme, Drawn to Life, invites us to explore how creativity can help us transform our lived experiences, to express how we feel and who we are. Being creative can positively impact our wellbeing - it can be mindful, purposeful, energising, endlessly imaginative and fun! It is intrinsically and universally valuable. What an exciting year this will be for The Big Draw. Thank you for inviting me!”
Liz Atkin is an internationally acclaimed visual artist based in London. She has Compulsive Skin Picking, a complex physical and mental disorder, but reimagines the body-focused repetitive behaviour of skin picking and anxiety into drawings, photographs, and performances. Liz is a mental health advocate and speaker, raising awareness for the disorder around the world, and has exhibited and taught in the UK, Europe, Australia, USA, Singapore and Japan. She’s widely known for her free #CompulsiveCharcoal newspaper drawings, given away more than 17,000 free drawings to commuters on public transport in London, New York, San Francisco, Singapore, Cologne and more. To recognize this work, she received the Unstoppable Spirit Award for Outspoken Advocacy at the TLC Global Conference for Skin Picking and Hair Pulling Disorders in San Francisco in 2018, and was a finalist in the Janey Antoniou Award with Rethink Mental Illness UK in 2018.
Her work has featured on BBC News, Huffington Post, Mashable, Channel News Asia, amongst others. She has given talks TEDx, Wellcome Collection, Royal Society of Public Health, TLC Global Conference for Skin Picking and Hair Pulling Disorders (Dallas 2016 / San Francisco 2018), Body Dysmorphia Foundation Conference UK 2017, OCD Action Conference UK 2018. She is a Bethlem Gallery artist.
Liz teaches visual art, set design and drama in therapeutic settings, schools, galleries, prisons, hospitals and arts venues around the world. She works with all ages from early years to adults. She is a Lead Artist on Paul Hamlyn Foundation funded Teacher Development Fund 2018-20 with 10 primary schools in Brixton, and is Artist in Residence delivering Messy Play for Early Years with the Acorn Project, a two year initiative to support the wellbeing and creativity of toddlers and their families, funded by Stratford Circus and BBC Children in Need.
Want to learn more about Liz Atkin's work? Check out her website here, or read our interview with Liz here.
“I am honoured and excited to be asked to be an Ambassador for this excellent charity. Obviously, given my circumstances, I am a total believer in the healing powers of art so it was a total ‘no-brainer’ that I would agree to be a part of this.”
Born in 1961, Gary graduated from Exeter College of Art & Design in 1983 at which point he fell into a career in animation. Over the years he worked on many commercials and pop promos, had a spell at Disney, animated several Beatrix Potter characters as well as Toad from The Wind in the Willows. In 2007 he started working on Fireman Sam and directed the show from 2010 to 2018. He is also a prolific illustrator and can often be seen on the pages of Private Eye, where he has been illustrating the ‘Sylvie Krin’ stories for over 30 years.
He married his wife Joy in 2004 and they have 2 children. Joy died in October 2017 as a result of Sepsis aged just 41. Since her death, his ‘Doodleaday’ diary has gone viral, leading to several radio, podcast and TV appearances where he is passionate to talk about 'positive grieving’.
Want to learn more about Gary Andrews' work? Check out his website here, or read our interview with Gary here.
"It is so exciting for me to have been asked to be an ambassador for The Big Draw. I love how The Big Draw encourages creativity in so many ways and I am delighted to be a part of it. Creativity is such a big part of my life and I am so glad to have been given this great opportunity. I hope I can inspire others as much as others have inspired me."
Ilan Galkoff (otherwise known as Ilan Asher) is 15 years old and currently studying for his GCSE’s. For as long as he can remember, Ilan has always had a love for creative things - from the performing arts, to illustration and more.
From the age of 8, Ilan has been performing in the West End, appearing in many shows such as Les Miserables and Matilda, and most recently playing the title role of Adrian Mole in ‘The Secret Diary Of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4. As well as this, Ilan has appeared on TV - look out for Good Omens, which comes onto Amazon Prime on 31 May 2019!
After always having enjoyed the versatility and flexibility of Lego Ilan became quickly fascinated in Minecraft, which went on to spark his love for creativity within the digital world. However, it was not until his 11th birthday, upon receiving an iPad mini and discovering the Procreate app, that Ilan could fully explore the digital medium. Since then, Ilan has continued to develop his skills and love for illustration and digital drawing, primarily using the adobe creative suite, Procreate and affinity designer.
Alongside his studies, Ilan sells digitally designed greeting cards online, usually picking up on current trends, films or news. He intends to study graphic design next year at college, and continue developing his skills in the digital medium.
Want to learn more about Ilan Galkoff's work? Check out his creative Instagram account here, or read our interview with Ilan here.
Before winning the Great British Bake Off, Frances Quinn's background was in design, having studied Textile Design at Nottingham Trent University and going on to work within design companies in London to Vancouver. She often gets asked 'what would you choose baking or design'? But for in her mind, it’s never a choice and always a collaboration of the two. Frances is constantly thinking creatively whether designing with food or fabric. It’s what drives her ideas and is the ingredient that helps her produce unique and edible designs.
From fabric through to food, Francis sees inspiration in everything. Her creative process always starts or ends with an idea, design or concept that she often finds easier to express by ‘drawing’ on her imagination. Sketching up designs and pairing them with a recipe helps to feed both her own and other people’s creative appetite before she has even reached for a spoon. It’s the impact, response and experiences created through designing with food that Francis finds the most inspiring.
Tanya Raabe other wise known as Tanya Raabe-Webber was Born in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, has been a practising Visual Artist, devising artworks exploring and challenging identity, a disabled self and the nude in contemporary Art since 1987. She gained a BA(HONS) in Graphic Design at Leeds Polytechnic an MA in Communication Design at Manchester Metropolitan University and a PGCE in Higher Education fron Huddersfield University.
Tanya has exhibited as a solo artist and in group shows nationally including screening Who's Who at National Portrait Gallery, Exhibitions at Holton Lee, Dorset, Wolverhampton Art Gallery, The Bluecoat, The A Foundation, Liverpool, Oriel Wrexham, Laing Gallery Newcastle since 1990.
Zoom Rockman is a British Artist/Satirist whose comic strip, Skanky Pigeon first appeared in the Beano when he was 12 years old. Age 16, he became the youngest cartoonist in Private Eye Magazine history. Described as “A rising star with edgy wit and genuine cultural awareness well beyond his years.” The Evening Standard named Zoom as one of the most inﬂuential Londoners under 25.
Zoom’s Art humours and heroes the everyday grime and energy of London and has become increasingly collectible. His solo exhibition at The Hospital Club, Covent Garden was a sell-out event. Zoom is Young Ambassador for the world’s biggest arts charity, The Big Draw. He is passionate about the importance of creativity in education and has been invited to speak on this subject at the House of Commons, Advertising Industry events and various art galleries.