The Big Draw: Postcards from the Future

Last year, on Saturday 9th October 2010*, I attended and volunteered to be an assistant creative coordinator for The Big Draw at Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff. The theme was:


And it was really fun!

Shamefully, it was my first time ever going to Chapter, but you can bet it won't be my last. I've been dying to walk all the way over there just to sit about and have a cup of tea because I love the environment so much. I think it's so important to have centres like that where art can just live and thrive and spread and inspire. That's what art funding gets: phenomenal hubs for inspiration, networking and sharing creativity. Plus I met some pretty cool and helpful people while there. I even exchanged some cards and got some emails off people.

The actual event was an all-ages event and, while many parents brought their children to draw thinking it was primarily for the children, all the adults were encouraged to do some drawings too and eventually everyone was really getting into it! All the ideas and images that came from both the children and adults were quite funny and creative; some were brilliant. And we got loads of really good photos of just about everything.

I'd drawn a few postcards for the day myself and one little kid wanted to colour one of mine so badly that he just grabbed a crayon and dragged a heavy light blue line straight through it! At that point I remembered an interview I'd either read or watched about graffiti artists where one guy was saying that you learn to be less precious about your work and you just do it and move on rather than being too caught up in making the perfect piece (or doodle in this case...). It was even easier to feel like that when the whole event felt like a massive collaboration.

There's Louise sat happily on the floor

You could do a drawing on one end of the massive paper on the table or the wall of the floor, and when you came back to it, it was part of a scene or interacting with someone else's drawing or coloured in ways you'd never have thought to colour it. It felt like each drawing had so much life to it and whatever you drew was only yours in the moments that you were drawing it. When you took your pen away from the paper your drawing belonged to the whole collective. Under the main theme were areas to think about; just topics to spark your thoughts: transport, animals, clothes, school, disco, etc. (I drew a lot of astronaut cats. Don't ask me why.)

Dan (above) and I thought it would be really cool to do that on a much smaller scale so we may host a bit of a drawing jam with some friends. Have a main heading and some sub-themes to spark people's imaginations and just go at some big sheets of paper with Sharpies and crayons or maybe markers/felt-tip pens? I think crayons would be nice because of their rough, gaudy charm. They are terrible and lovely at the same time... (mostly terrible if you ask me). In this instance, I think they can find a place where they are finally adequately appropriate in the adult world. (Actually, maybe marker pens will be used instead...)
If you are in Cardiff and want to join us, give me a shout; I'll keep you posted. Or if you would like to do something similar, I'd love to hear from you! Let me know any ideas you have for yours and send photos or scans of the work that comes out of it :)

*(I wrote this the day after, but we didn't have the pictures then so I haven't been able to post until now!)


  1. Dude! My work held the first Big Draw LA event in California this year! Super fun event. It also basically turned into drawing with kids on a big piece of paper, but it got the point across.


  2. aw, very cool! It really got me revved up to get involved in more events like it. I really hope it continues in LA and spreads to everywhere else it hasn't been yet too.