Monday, 20 July 2015

I have a story to draw.

I have a story to draw. A story to tell with no words, no punctuation, no commentary. I have a story, and only images will do. After all, a picture’s worth a thousand words...

Sometimes you get a moment, only a second in time, to get a message or information across:
An advert to tempt you to shop at a certain store; a headline photo to make you buy that newspaper; a cover of a book to tell you that you want to read it; a sign post to show you your roundabout exit; the location of your life-vest on an aeroplane.  

Images enable a huge amount of information to be portrayed in one picture, one place, one second (if necessary).

Images communicate, inform and break down communication barriers, whether language barriers or emotional ones. From early learning of the written and spoken language (a picture of a red apple, a bright coloured beach ball) to communicating international information – arrows for direction, trains for train stations, crosses for medical facilities - drawings, pictures and images are a language of their own. Even colours themselves speak – red danger, pink females and green environment.

Not all pictures are for instant use, sometimes you want someone to delve in to a picture and see more and more, wonder more and more, question more and more.

Pictures can shape our world differently, through fresh eyes. How we may have perceived something can be shown to be different, be seen differently, looked at in a different way. Opening our eyes and minds to different ideas and understanding, seeing how things are, can be and once were.

So you see a picture of a child, standing with a tear in her eye...

You could think she was sad, something bad had happened.

If we drew her thin and in rags, you may perceive her as a street urchin, poor and hungry.

If we drew her in a busy bustling street, so much shorter than the crowds around her, we might assume she was lost and looking for her mummy.

What if we changed the background and put her in a pair of shorts and a t-shirt with a pony on the front, drew fields around her, with a stable, the door open and a little white pony standing there, a big pink bow around its neck... a much wanted and dreamed for birthday present. The tear becomes one of happiness.

Through a picture, so much can be said with so little. A whole story can be told.

Last year I was introduced to The Big Draw, the world’s largest drawing festival. An international month-long event, that encourages and facilitates people from all walks of life to draw. Last year this involved over 400,000 people from 21 countries attending. Schools, museums, galleries, outdoor venues, artists and illustrators all came together to connect people from across the world through drawing.

This year, throughout October, The Big Draw festival carries the theme ‘Every Drawing Tells a Story’. So come on, what’s your story? Draw it, even if you think you can’t draw you will be amazed at what you can do. There are events all over the place for grown-ups and children, so take a look and have a go, a doodle, a scribble, a sketch, a painting... drawing is drawing, expression is expression, and we all have stories to tell.

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