Art & Design students celebrate drawing for wellbeing with community


Art and Design students at New College Lanarkshire have been sharing the impact of drawing to change lives as part of the world’s largest drawing festival.

Students on the HND Art and Design course at the College’s Kirkintilloch Campus recently took part in The Big Draw, an arts education festival that promotes drawing as a tool for learning, expression and invention.

Following this year’s festival theme of ‘Drawn to life: creativity and wellbeing’, students held sessions for the local community as well as fellow college students to encourage conversations about drawing as a life-enhancing tool as well as for healing.

The first session was delivered to over 40 second year pupils at St. Ambrose High School in Coatbridge by nine students. They delivered a creative carousel of workshops which included marbling, paint scraping, character design, watercolours, printmaking, poster design and drawing using your subconscious.

One student who presented commented: “I really enjoyed this project more than I thought I would. It was rewarding and I realised I was changing the mind-set of the youth.”

Another group of nine students delivered two sessions to students on the Access to Nursing and Understanding Mental Health courses to give insight into how drawing can impact the lives of the patients and residents the students may help in their future careers. Activities at these sessions included paint scraping, stencilling and colour therapy colouring.

A presenting student commented: “It was a good learning experience and helped build my confidence. I thought at the start ‘oh no, working as a group and delivering a workshop?’, but it was actually fun.”

The sessions gained positive feedback from all participants involved and satisfied the aim of the festival to getting as many people to draw as possible – whether artists or not.

Kelly Cunningham, HND Course Team Leader for Art & Design, said: “Experiences like this are very nerve racking for our students but by pushing them out of their comfort zone many really surprise themselves with what they are capable of.

“At HND level our students are nearing the stage of career choice and what to study at degree level, these workshops give a flavour of careers in teaching, community arts, youth work and art therapy.

“This year’s Big Draw theme is incredibly important to society more than ever before and our HND students interpreted it extremely well, I’m really proud of them all.”

New College Lanarkshire offers a range of Art & Design courses. Visit for more information.

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