The Big Draw Patrons

The Big Draw is honoured to have the following patrons across the arts and sciences.
Hear what they have to say about being Patrons for The Big Draw here. 

Gary Andrews


“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.

Emma Stibbon

"I am honoured to be a Patron of the Big Draw as it is dedicated to making drawing accessible to everyone – something I really believe in! I love the fact it was started by the Guild of St George, itself founded by John Ruskin in 1871. He was such an advocate for drawing for all.

Increasingly drawing has an important role to play in the urgent debates of our time. The currency of drawing has never been so critical, it is a language that is shared and understood across different disciplines and cultures... I believe it is only through dialogue between science and creativity that we will tackle the big challenges that we face today."

Emma Stibbon is an artist who works primarily in drawing and print on paper, depicting remote and hostile environments that are changing rapidly. She does this through location based research often working alongside geologists and scientists, and in the studio where information is transformed into large scale drawn and printed artworks.

Want to learn more about Emma Stibbon's work? Check out her website here, or read our interview with Emma here.

Millie Marotta

“It’s an absolute pleasure to be joining the team at The Big Draw as a Patron. I’m a big fan of their work in inspiring and encouraging people across the world to engage in drawing - a rewarding and important activity that for so many of us gets left behind in childhood. 

I look forward to supporting the charity and helping them champion and celebrate drawing, in its many guises.”

Millie Marotta is a freelance Illustrator working from her studio by the sea in a little corner of West Wales. A fascination with the natural world, a love of decorative design and a keen eye for detail are at the core of Millie’s work.

In 2014 Millie released Animal Kingdom - A Colouring Book Aventure, which went on to become a Sunday Times and New York Times bestseller. Since then she has created a further five colouring books, loved by fans the world over. Her most recent book A Wild Child’s Guide to Endangered Animals (Published by Penguin Random House UK) sees Millie delve into working in full colour alongside writing about a subject very close to her heart. Above all else her intention is to create beautiful and captivating work, which both celebrates and raises awareness of the natural world.

Commenting on the announcement, Kate Mason, director of The Big Draw, said:

"It is with delight we welcome Millie into the charity as a Patron.

There are few artists who reveal such an intense love of living things and nature as do Millie’s exquisite and detailed illustrations. More than ever we need artists and champions like Millie who are able to hold a mirror to the increasing plight of the animal kingdom against shifting ecosystems, as well as celebrate the beauty and wonder of the world around us.

Millie’s passions and work reflects the fundamental messages behind The Big Draw – that everyone can be creative and that drawing helps us to slow down and take more heed of the world around us –it’s fragility as well as all its richness and splendour. She encourages us to all take the time to stop – breathe – and really ‘see’, rather than just ‘look’.

Her infectious passion and enthusiasm is an inspiration.  On behalf of the trustees, team, Patrons and Ambassadors, we are delighted that Millie joins us at what are exciting times as we rapidly approach the charity's 20th anniversary in 2020. I am extremely excited about the creative opportunities and new horizons her involvement and Patronage will help take forward and realize.”


Want to learn more about Millie Marotta's work? Check out her website here, or read our interview with Millie here.

**See Press Release here.**

Sir Quentin Blake

Quentin Blake is one of Britain's best-loved and most successful illustrators and children's authors. His first drawings were published in Punch when he was 16. He has illustrated over 300 books with writers such as, Michael Rosen, Russell Hoban, Joan Aiken, John Yeoman and, most famously of all, Roald Dahl. Quentin Blake writes and illustrates his own books as well, creating such characters as Mister Magnolia, Mrs Armitage and Clown. He has also illustrated classic books for adults.

David Hockney CH

David Hockney is a painter, draughtsman, printmaker, photographer and designer. He became internationally famous in the early 1960s as one of the leaders of the British Pop Art movement. In the 1960s he was known for his ‘swimming pool’ paintings, for elaborate stage sets during the '70s and for photo collages during the '80s. He continues to be one of the world’s most popular and versatile artists and was made a Companion of Honour in 1997 and is also a Royal Academician.

Lord Foster of Thames Bank

The architect, Norman Foster, is chairman and founder of Foster + Partners. For over four decades the company has been responsible for a strikingly wide range of work and has project offices in more than twenty countries. Current and recent work includes Beijing Airport, Millau Viaduct in France, the Swiss Re tower and the Great Court at the British Museum in London, Boston Museum of Fine Arts, and research centres at Stanford University, California. In addition to a host of personal medals, the practice has received 470 awards and citations for excellence and has won more than 86 international and national competitions. Lord Foster maintains the importance of drawing in his practice.

Ivan Harbour

Ivan is an architect and senior partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners. He began his career on Lloyd’s of London and subsequently led the design of the European Court of Human Rights and Bordeaux Law Courts. He was a director in the practice from 1993, and he is a founding partner of Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, established in 2007.

His work spans many building types, from airports to low cost housing, where the designs share a common belief that successful buildings pay the greatest respect to those that use them.

Bob and Roberta Smith RA

Bob and Roberta Smith is a British contemporary artist, writer, author, musician, art education advocate and keynote speaker.

He is known for his "slogan" art, is an associate professor at Sir John Cass Department of Art at London Metropolitan University and has been curator of public art projects. He was curator for the 2006 Peace Camp and created the 2013 Art Party to promote contemporary art and advocacy. 

Narinder Sagoo MBE

Narinder is most well-known for his perspective drawings and his unique ability to grasp and visualise architectural visions. Working closely alongside Lord Foster and other Senior Partners, Narinder has been personally involved in all of the practice’s projects over a period of two decades. He is responsible for all artistic representations of projects, from sketch and drawing, digital painting through to photorealistic representation.

Narinder joined Foster + Partners in 1996. In 2000, he became the youngest-ever associate at Foster + Partners, was made a project director the following year and was promoted to partner at the start of 2004.

Following the announcement, Narinder – Art Director at Foster + Partners - sketched an animated acceptance letter to The Big Draw.

"I have always drawn, as a child discovering the world around me, through studying at school as a way of find the fun & joy in learning, and as a designer where drawing has allowed me to imagine the unseen – the future"! Narinder Sagoo (2017).


Andrew Marr

Andrew Marr is a British journalist, TV presenter and political commentator. He edited The Independent for two years and was political editor of BBC News from 2000 until 2005. He hosts The Andrew Marr Show, on BBC One and the BBC Radio 4 programme Start the Week. He wrote and presented Andrew Marr's History Of Modern Britain and has received more than a dozen major awards for writing and broadcasting including from BAFTA, the Royal Television Society and most recently the Broadcasting Press Guild.

Gerald Scarfe CBE 

Gerald Scarfe is one of the countries leading satirical cartoonists. He has been political cartoonist for the London Sunday Times for 42 years, and has worked for The New Yorker magazine for 17 years. His work regularly appears in periodicals and exhibitions all over the world. He has also designed the sets and costumes for plays, operas and musicals in London, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and New Zealand. His film work includes designing and directing the animation for Pink Floyd's The Wall.

Sir Roger Penrose OM

Roger Penrose is a mathematical physicist and Emeritus Rouse Ball Professor of Mathematics at the Mathematical Institute, University of Oxford and Emeritus Fellow of Wadham College. He has received a number of prizes and awards, including the 1988 Wolf Prize for physics, which he shared with Stephen Hawking for their contribution to our understanding of the universe. He is renowned for his work in mathematical physics, in particular his contributions to general relativity and cosmology. He is also a recreational mathematician and philosopher.

Posy Simmonds MBE

Posy Simmonds is a popular cartoonist, writer and illustrator of children's books best known for her satirical comic series, such as Literary Life and The Silent Three of St. Botolph's, which are regularly published in The Guardian and Harper’s Magazine. Recognised as a leading graphic novelist, she has won numerous accolades, including Cartoonist of the Year and Prix de la Critique in France. In 2010 her graphic novel Tamara Drewe was made into a film by Stephen Frears.

Chris Riddell OBE

Chris Riddell is a prolific writer and illustrator whose work is familiar to both children and adults. He is known especially for his distinctive line drawings with their clever caricature, fascinating detail and often enchanting fantasy elements.

He has won the prestigious Kate Greenaway Medal twice, in 2002 for Pirate Diary and in 2004 for Jonathan Swift's Gulliver. His solo work includes the Goth Girl series, the Ottoline series and the picture books The Emperor of Absurdia and Alienography. The first Goth Girl novel won the Costa Children's Book Award in 2013. He received the Hay Festival Medal for Illustration at the 2015 Hay Festival.

In addition to his children's books, Chris is a renowned political cartoonist whose work appears in The Observer, The Literary Review and The New Statesman. He lives in Brighton with his wife and has three grown-up children.