Since 2012 artist, designer, and Drawing for the Planet Founder and CEO, Jane Lee McCracken has delivered global art and environmental education workshops to thousands of people, age 2+. Using her favoured medium for its simplicity and accessibility, the humble Biro (ballpoint pen), Jane's workshops are both creative and educational.
Sharing her passions for drawing, one of the oldest forms of communitcation, and wildlife, Jane's workshops focus on drawing wildlife to raise awareness of vulnerable species and inspire participants to form emotional connections with the species they choose to draw. With over three decades experience as a professional artist, exhibiting both nationally and internationally, Jane encourages attendees to embrace the fact that we all have our own unique drawing styles. Her workshops also aim to use drawing as a tool for mental wellbeing while building confidence through creativity and the belief that, "EVERYONE CAN DRAW!"
Jane's workshops are inclusive of all ages and focus on studying either local or global species, many of which are endangered. Workshops can be tailored to a particular curriculum or theme such as Oceans, African Wildlife or wildlife local to the region of participants. Workshops can also be linked to current Drawing for the Planet projects (see Our Projects below).
Her workshop structure provides participants with the opportunity to learn about and create portraits of wildlife in single colour or colour Biros.
Workshops are delivered both virtually or on site and include the following:
- Short presentation about Jane's art practice, why wildlife is important to our planet, how wildlife is threatened and ways to help protect wildlife.
- Q&A where participants are encouraged to ask questions about wildlife and art and express their experiences, knowledge of and threats to wildlife.
- Drawing tips including Jane's working method, drawing ethos, colour mixing and how to use ballpoint pens.
- Practical Biro drawing session which includes individual tutoring by Jane throughout the workshop.
- Informal exhibition at the end of each workshop which enables participants to appreciate that like our finger prints, we all possess our own unique drawing styles.
Jane aims through her workshops to help others discover or revisit and celebrate the joy of expressing our inner creativity. She promotes the fact that drawing transports the mind from everyday life and can be used as a simple and free therapeutic tool that can also helps build self-confidence.
In her workshops she also aims to raise awareness about the beauty and fragility of the natural world. Jane says:
"Participants are encouraged to express their individuality and to recognise animals as individual beings that live their own lives according to their needs and to make an emotional connection with the animal you choose to draw. Forming emotional connections with species and thinking about what their eyes have seen and that many of them face an uncertain future on our planet, is one of the key components to helping wildlife: if we care, we want to conserve."
Giving global communities and nature a voice through art, education, and conservation.
From the frozen wilderness of the polar North to the bountiful tropical rainforests of Central Africa each drawing by children and adults from across the globe represents a being that lives its life according to its needs just like us. Many of these species are vulnerable to extinction.
Follow our journey raising awareness of wildlife through art, and see the animals on our map change to colour drawings as more global communities participate in our conservation projects.
Our projects also raise funds for frontline conservation organisations and their vital work protecting vulnerable wildlife, like our Chimpanzee Community 2 project partnered with Liberia Chimpanzee Rescue and Protection.
OUR IMPACT: 2019 - 2023
- 5 Continents
- 11 Countries
- 52 Locations
- 100+ Schools
- 90+ Volunteers
- 170+ Workshops
- 10 international projects
- 4,120+ Child participants
- 6,640+ Drawings created
- 1,260+ Species represented
- 5 Outreach teams
- 4 Exhibitions
- 2 Murals
- Funds raised for 9 non-profits
MURALS AND ARTWORKS
'Laguna Marine Wildlife' artwork on display at the Coast Film & Music Festival, California
As part of each of our projects, Jane creates a project artwork featuring a selection of participants drawings. The artworks are then installed in schools, cultural institutions or public spaces.
She also creates individual artworks for each participating school/institution/community so that all participating artists work is included in the project.
View project artworks here: drawingfortheplanet.org/pages/artworks
Iwokrama rainforest, Guyana workshop
Our projects reach many corners of the world including places with no access to Wi-Fi. We are able to reach isolated communties with the help of outreach teams.
Prior to founding Drawing for the Planet, Jane's the Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021 exhibition at the Great North Museum: Hancock invited children from the UK, California, Guyana, Kenya and Malaysia to participate in her workshops.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, most of the UK workshops and some international workshops were delivered virtually. Outreach teams of conservationists, artists and teachers were established in Guyana, Kenya and Malaysia with Jane providing training to the teams to deliver her workshops so children could learn about and draw their local wildlife.
Many children in the Iwokrama rainforest of Guyana had never experienced an art class and didn't know that that some of the animals from their region were endangered.
These workshops were hugely successful with extraordinary drawings created by the children and have provided Drawing for the Planet with a blueprint to delivering workshops remotely.
Drawing for the Planet now partners with humanitarian organisations including medical relief charity Global First Responder to provide drawing kits for children to draw while they wait for treatment.
Watch our Senegalese Wildlife project video above.
ABOUT JANE LEE MCCRACKEN
Shh it's a Tiger! 2013 Biro drawing © Jane Lee McCracken
Artist Jane Lee McCracken constructs intricate multi-layered Biro drawings, sculptures, installations and designs products. Her work explores loss to both humans and animals generated by human destruction and is representational of both life's beauty and brutal reality. She is also the Founder and CEO of Drawing for the Planet global art, environmental education and conservation charity.
Over the last decade, through her art she has raised funds for conservation organisations and delivered drawing and environmental education workshops to 1000's of people across the world. In 2014, Jane founded Drawing for Endangered Species workshops in partnership with international wildlife charity Born Free, to share her passions for Biro drawing and wildlife. In 2019 she founded Where Did All the Animals Go? Project also in partnership with Born Free. The Where Did All the Animals Go? 2021 exhibition is now on permanent display at the Great North Museum: Hancock, Newcastle upon Tyne, England displaying drawings of global species by over 700 children from North East England, California, Guyana, Kenya and Malaysia. Jane says:
"Many children possess a natural enthusiasm for art and animals. Through drawing, environmental education and the opportunity of self-expression, I hope to generate individual compassion and lead to collective responsibility towards wildlife and the environment."
Explore Jane's art: