Connecting Canvas

Societal Issues Targeted:

  • Fear of interaction with folk we haven’t yet met
  • Encouraging people to explore their creative and playful side together through collaborative drawing

Playlist on YouTube

Connection Canvas is really simple community connecting event you can use to bring a little human connection to where you live, or to make some new friends. In Connecting Canvas we invite people who haven’t met before around a canvas to have fun and draw together to explore their creativity, with one simple rule ‘what you draw interacts with something else on the paper’ (unless you’re 1st, obviously).

Its amazing how easy it is to bring a group of people who’ve never met before together and get them having fun, just by giving them a simple activity.


  • If you want to be social and meet people the activity works best if you go to a place where people are relaxing, like at a park where people are more likely to stick around and hang out with you.
  • If you’d like to interact with as many people as possible its better in a public space where people are moving around, like a shopping center/street, train or bus, etc. This approach will interact with far more people and have many more people contributing their creativity, although most people wont stay around for long so its less social.


Simple Guide:

  • Take a sheet of paper, the bigger the better, and some pens to a local park, square, train station, or any other public place.
    (tip: the back of old posters or xmas/birthday wrapping paper taped onto a big cardboard box works great)
  • Go around asking people if they would like to draw with you.
  • When you have 3 or 4 people begin drawing, occasionally taking breaks to invite more people to join in.
  • To make the event collaborative creativity, everyone’s drawings should interact with each other – so Max draws a happy bird, Georgia gives it a hat, Amelia draws an ocean and gives the bird a scuba tank, etc.
  • Take photos, videos and/or gather quotes and share them here and/or tag them on social media with #ConnectingCanvas #PublicHappiness

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  1. Making the drawings interact with each other encourages discussion, laughs and exploring our creativity together so the activity becomes more interactive and fun – It also means that it ends with a beautiful collaborative and playful canvas filled up with the personality of everyone who joined in at the end.

  2. Connecting Canvas is a great way to make new friends, making it excellent for travelling, or making friends in a new city. Its also great to do with your friends. Why not invite your friends to go make people laugh and smile rather than just meeting for a coffee again?

  3. A lot of people aren’t confident in their drawing ability and don’t feel comfortable sharing it publicly (i know, i used to be one of them). I often ask people who tell me they aren’t arty and so don’t want to if they’d ‘help colour in others drawings, as many people don’t take time to colour and it makes a big difference to the success of the canvas’. This helps them them feel they can do something important to the project without needing any artistic ability… and i find that once they’ve put a pen on the paper most people will get over their initial worries and contribute their own drawings. If they don’t that’s also fine as it really does create a more vibrant and beautiful Connecting Canvas having someone focused colouring.

  4. One of my favourite things to do in this activity is to ask elderly people if they’d like to draw something. I find them its less likely they’ll want to join in and many laugh and say they haven’t drawn anything in decades, which is the perfect opportunity to ask them if there was ‘one thing when they were little, perhaps in school which they used to draw a lot’. Almost everyone has that one drawing they did all the time when they were in school and its wonderful being able to watch someone’s face as they cast their mind back over many decades to something they once knew so well, back in a different time when they had all of life before them.
    That drawing is always something simple, but also very personal for them and i wouldn’t suggest pushing them to make it interact with the other drawings on the paper as for them its a very different activity. One of my favourite memories in my whole life was an elderly man going to find his ‘kids’ (in their 40’s) to show them the picture he used to draw when he was in school. A little man with a big hat.

  5. When people decide to draw something rude or violent, usually teens, just let them know that its an collaborative project and others will take it upon themselves to make their art into something cheerful and happy. You can even do it while they are still drawing. Turn that sausage and two veg into a happy cat. That violent man holding a weapon, well now he’s saying ‘i love you’ and giving flowers to someone else’s character.

If you’d like to invite others to join you running a Connecting Canvas visit our ‘Local Activities’ section and message anyone who’s nearby


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