The Big Draw

About The Big Draw

Founded in 2000,The Big Draw (formally The Campaign for Drawing) is an arts education charity that promotes visual literacy and the universal language of drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention.

Through a diversified programme encompassing advocacy, empowerment and engagement, the charity runs events such as The Big Draw Festival, educational conferences and collaborative research projects, The John Ruskin Prize, awards and competitions.

The Big Draw charity works with cultural and educational organisations, policymakers and businesses to promote visual literacy and to demonstrate the social, economic and health benefits that drawing can bring. 

We believe #drawingchangeslives

The Big Draw Festival

The Big Draw Festival is for anyone who loves to draw, as well as those who think they can't!

Every year, thousands of enjoyable, and mainly free, drawing activities connect people of all ages with museums, outdoor spaces, artists, designers, illustrators - and each other.

The 2014 Big Draw involved twenty-six countries, with 414,000 people attending over 1800 events by 1000+ organisers.

The Big Draw 2015 took place 1 - 31 October. The theme was Every Drawing Tells A Story. 

  • Look at the venues that hosted UK Big Draw events in 2015 here.
  • Look at the venues that took part around the world in 2015 here.

Organise A Big Draw Festival Event

Whether you are an individual or representing an organisation anyone can arrange a Big Draw.

Join in this annual festival of 1800 events from 1 - 31 October. You can also register drawing events and exhibitions outside The Big Draw Festival dates. Find out more about organising an event. 

Registration for 2016 will open in June. Once you register you will have access to new Big Draw Resources, including Logos, Posters, Stickers and mini magazines full of ideas.

The Big Draw Festival 2016 theme

The 2016 theme is the STEAM Powered Big Draw Festival. 

Bringing together Science, Technology, Art, Engineering and Maths. STEAM recalls our Industrial past and the fusion of creative innovation, enterprise and the arts.

STEAM also represents our support of the campaign to give the arts parity with other subjects so that STEM, becomes STEAM.

Find out more about the 2016 theme here.

History of The Big Draw Festival

The international celebration of drawing has grown from one day in October 2000 in the UK to an annual month-long festival of drawing across the the world. The first Big Draw Festival in 2000 attracted 180 partner organisations. By October 2011, the number had risen to 1,300, with over 260,000 people participating.

Click here to read the full history.


animation by Mike Price.

Take part in the Big Draw

  • Register an event
  • Add your drawings to our online gallery. Just tag #TheBigDraw via instagram
  • Check out The Big Draw Blog for articles on all things drawing
  • Share your drawings on Twitter