Born in 1945 in Berkshire, Posy Simmonds drew from an early age. After studying at the Sorbonne and Central School - now Central St Martins - respectively, she entered the world of print journalism, working as a cartoonist for several British newspapers from the late 60's onwards. Often compared to the likes of Austen, Elliot and, most frequently, Thomas Hardy (upon whose work her own books are closely modelled), Posy is an astute modern satirist, combining words and visuals in her storytelling to mock and condemn the British middle-class.
Her satiric wit flourished within the pages of The Guardian, with whom she has been affiliated since the early 1970's; after several published strips, the 1999 publication of Gemma Bovery, a reworking of Flaubert’s Madame Bovary, proved testimony to her observational skills. Simultaneously, Posy turned her talents to children’s publishing – notably her story of an ordinary, seemingly lazy cat named Fred, who leads an exciting double life.
Posy is an expert observer on the minutiae of everyday life, taking inspiration from passing conversations and phone calls overheard on public transport or in coffee shops. We couldn’t wait to catch up with Posy to talk more about her work, inspiration and influences - as well as a bit about her thoughts on the role of comics in society, and her hopes for the future of the industry.
"There’s great power in that two-way conversation between artist and audience. When we’re moved by a work of art an emotional, often physical connection is made, and whilst we may all react differently, encountering great art is a shared experience that not only challenges our perceptions but can bring people together from all walks of life and from across all kinds of cultural differences."
We were delighted to get a chance to chat with Mel about her creative practice and the role of drawing in her life and work...
It’s rare to come across an artist like Venantius. Drawing isn’t just a hobby, a practice, a career, it’s a deeply embedded philosophy that he lives and breathes by.
We are very excited to shine a light on the story of the incredible Art Director, Designer, Illustrator and Chef, Venantius J Pinto and share his meaningful story with our audiences. We hope you enjoy the interview.
Architect and Masterplanner Willie Watt has always been passionate about drawing. However, after years of utilising drawing as an essential tool for communicating ideas and designs within his practice at Nicoll Russell Studios, drawing for pleasure had begun to fall by the wayside... Until the delight of filling and sharing his sketchbooks was recently reignited.
We were delighted to catch up with Willie to find out more about the role that drawing plays in his life, and how his relationship with the medium has developed over time.
Rachelle Romeo is a London-based artist who uses embroidery and thread amongst other mediums to convey powerful messages about heritage and identity.
The multi-dimensional works that Rachelle creates carry with them important messages and we were so pleased to catch up with her and find out a bit more about her, her work and the potentional of using creativity as an outlet to speak truth.
Emily Coxhead is a designer and illustrator who is passionate about making the world a happier place!
At just 22 years old, after realising the negative effect that the news was having on her mental health, Emily decided she wanted to create a platform to celebrate all that is good in the world - from major historical movements, to inspiring and wonderful individuals. Five years on, Emily continues her mission to ‘sprinkle a tiny bit of happiness all over the planet’ as The Happy News is read by over 20,000 subscribers in 33 different countries each quarter.
We were so excited to catch up with Emily and find out a little more about her, her work and The Happy Newspaper!
The Big Draw Team first met Paul at Trinity Buoy Wharf where the charity’s headquarters reside and the school that Paul is currently attending, Royal Drawing School sits. We knew the moment that we met with Paul that something clicked. He is an incredible human being as well as artist that is a living embodiment of the power of drawing.
From growing up in a creative household to using drawing to understand other subjects like geography, Paul has a unique and powerful story to tell and we’re excited to share it with our audience….
Anna Bruder is an artist, theatre designer, prop maker and creator of the brilliant, A Line Art.
The Big Draw is a big fan of A Line Art. They have taken part in The Big Draw Festival for the past five years, inviting audiences to join in with fantastic, free and ever-popular A Line creations, including: Ready Steady Colour, Ready Steady Go! and Fold Your City. We always look forward to catching up with Anna, and were thrilled to chat with her about her practice, what drawing means to her and a bit about how the lockdown has affected her life and work.
The National Brain Appeal is the charity dedicated to improving the outcome and quality of life for the one in six people affected by a neurological condition. Alongside funding pioneering research and providing access to the best technology for expert diagnosis and treatment, the charity also runs an annual art fundraising campaign, A Letter in Mind.
We caught up with Eva Tait, curator of A Letter in Mind, to understand more about the vital work of The National Brain Appeal, some of their brilliant fundraising initiatives, and ways in which we all can support and get involved.
Juliette Losq is an internationally exhibited, prizewinning artist whose work seeks to describe the borderlands on the fringes of urban developments, capturing the benign battles waged between man and nature.
We fell in love with Juliette's intricate watercolour landscape works in 2019 when she was shortlisted for - and subsequently won - the John Ruskin Prize. We were incredibly excited to have a chance to catch up with Juliette a year on from this and find out more about her life and work.
Emily Haworth Booth is an author-illustrator and educator with a passion for dogs and direct action! You will find both of these things in her debut picture book, The King Who Banned the Dark, which was a Guardian Children’s Book of the Month, a Sunday Times Book to Watch Out For, and nominated for nine awards including the Kate Greenaway, Waterstones Children’s Book Prize and Little Rebels Award.
We were thrilled to catch up with Emily and find out all about her creative process, her influences, her passions and more...
Jessica is a UK-based artist and illustrator whose work spans collage, paper sculpture, paper cutting, digital drawing and painting. She has worked with Forest of Imagination, a pop-up art, play and creativity event, since it began 8 years ago.
The Big Draw and House of Imagination, the creative charity behind the Forest of Imagination are working in partnership with Grant Associates and a whole host of creative partners. We all share many of the same goals including championing wellbeing through creativity and nature.
We are thrilled to welcome Octavia Bromell as a 2020 Big Draw Festival Ambassador! She is currently the Adobe Creative Resident for the UK as well as an innovative creator, mental health ambassador and Etsy shop extraordinnaire. Her commitment to sustainable practice and positive protest make her an ideal creative to represent our 2020 Big Draw Festival theme, The Big Green Draw, A Climate of Change.