skip to Main Content
The go-to guide for you and your child

The Big Draw 2023- What is The Big Draw?

The Big Draw is a visual literacy charity dedicated to raising the profile of drawing as a tool for wellbeing, thought, creativity, social and cultural engagement. We run the world’s biggest drawing festival which is a celebration of drawing in all its forms with museums, galleries, libraries, local councils and even shopping centres, taking part and getting creative. Organisations can run Big Draw events year round, with the official festival month taking place in October.

Drawing with Senses

Each year we have a different theme for organisations to respond to. Our 2023 theme Drawing with Senses changes the focus from external to internal, exploring the way we personally process the world through our senses. This year we’re encouraging people to tap into the 5 senses: Touch, Sight, Sound, Taste and Smellexperimenting and transforming sensory experiences into creative work and drawings.

“Being fully present in the moment with our senses, means we are not worrying about the past and not fearing the future. We can be fully immersed in what is happening now, feel less stressed, feel more positive, because we feel we have more control over our thoughts. This positivity can be a step change, becoming infectious, spreading more positivity throughout the world, making us less susceptible to overwhelm.” – Jane Barnes, Executive Director of The Big Draw

How can I get involved in The Big Draw?

Visit an event

This year we have some incredible organisations taking part in the festival, including St Paul’s Cathedral, National Portrait Gallery, St Albans Museums, Knole House, Tees Valley Museums, Glastonbury Abbey and Hauser + Wirth. Big Draw workshops, talks and activities across these venues offer audiences new fun and creative ways to get engaged and involved. You can see what events are coming up in your area by visiting or by subscribing to our newsletter where we share an overview of all Big Draw events, as well as other exciting exhibitions and workshops that catch our eye.

Get your school involved

Here at The Big Draw, we believe drawing and visual literacy are important skills that should be taught and developed at school. Drawing can help us develop our creative thinking skills, understand tricky concepts and give us an opportunity for both focused mindfulness and fun creative play. Schools are a huge part of The Big Draw Festival, with a number of primary schools, secondary schools and colleges taking part each year. Running The Big Draw at a school could look like an after school sketchbook club, using drawing as a learning tool across STEM subjects, a school wide art exhibition or something completely different!  Schools who take part will receive a welcome pack, which contains posters, stickers and certificates to hand out to pupils, as well as access to our Drawing with Senses education pack which is full of sensory inspired drawing activities that teachers can carry out in the classroom.

Keep in touch with The Big Draw on our website, newsletter and on social media to find out about creative events, enter art competitions and read inspiring blog posts.

Back To Top