DrawingOut is a group workshop designed to help people express their experience of invisible diseases in new, creative ways. It can be run either as a half-day (2-3 hours of activities, plus breaks) or a full-day workshop (around 4-5 hours of activities, plus breaks).

Using easy drawing exercises, participants learn to communicate through visual metaphors: By drawing a concrete object, creature or situation, people can express invisible sensations, thoughts and feelings. The aim is not to produce ‘good’ art but to rediscover the joy of drawing.

In the following course you will learn how to run a DrawingOut group workshop. Each section provides aims and guidelines for the step-by-step exercises. Suggested instructions to participants are given in quotation marks. You might find it useful to do the drawing exercises yourself as you go through the course. This will give you a sense of what the workshop participants will be experiencing.

The workshop starts with some warm-up exercises (Section 2, Everyone can draw) and gradually builds up participants’ confidence and skills (Section 3). By the end everyone should feel able to draw things that are more closely related to their own experience (Sections 4 and 5). Depending on whether you are running a half-day or full-day workshop and how confident participants are about their drawing skills, you may decide to move through the earlier exercises quickly (or skip some of them), so that you have enough time for Sections 4-6.  

To run a workshop, you will need plenty of paper and some basic drawing tools, such as coloured pens, crayons, and pencils. All other materials can be downloaded here (and adapted for your own purposes):

Alternatively, at the end of the workshop you can invite oral feedback from participants (either individually or in small groups), or ask them to write their comments on post-it notes (e.g. green: positive; red: suggestions for improvement) and stick them on posters with one question at the top.

On this website, DrawingOut is designed specifically for people affected by invisible diseases. However, it can be adapted easily to other contexts and topics.

Find out more at Frequently Asked Questions or download these FAQs in a pdf format.

If you want to run a DrawingOut workshop, please complete this authorization form.