Drawing in the Media – Johanna Basford, TwitterPicture and the Edinburgh Fringe

In 2010 artist and illustrator Johanna Basford and members of the public made Edinburgh Fringe history: together over two days they designed the covers of 400,000 Fringe programmes in a live interactive drawing marathon. From 10am to 10pm on the 25th and 26th of March, Johanna drew in a glass-walled studio with a web cam overhead and a stop-motion camera at her back as members of the public Tweeted suggestions for the most unusual things they’d like to see at the Fringe. Anyone with access to the internet anywhere in the world could log on and watch the project develop. In just 24 hours Johanna fielded more than 1,600 Tweets, selecting the best ideas and drawing them as she went, to create 176 drawings that became the covers for the 2010 Fringe. The project won a Scottish Design award.


Editor’s note: Johanna Basford is “an illustrator and ink evangelist who prefers pens and pencils to pixels.” She has a degree in Printed Textiles from Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art and Design in Dundee, and creates intricate, hand drawn illustrations mainly in black and white. In addition to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, Johanna’s clients include Absolute Vodka, xyz and abc.

Johanna’s TwitterPicture project is a series of interactive illustrations that exploit the crowd-sourcing potential of Twitter. For each event, Johanna says, “I invited people to tweet suggestions of what they would like me to draw, and I incorporated these into super-sized, hand drawn illustrations.” Johanna ran each event over a 24 hour period, streaming them live via web cam, “Because Twitter is more than just telling people what you had for lunch.”

To see more of Johanna’s work please visit her web site at .

The Fringe cover project video is Foundlight productions http://www.foundlight.co.uk/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=115&Itemid=60

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About Cynthia Barlow Marrs SGFA

Artist: I draw. Land planner: I was. Urban Sketcher: I am. SocietyofGraphicFineArt - The Drawing Society: I belong.
Video | This entry was posted in Drawing in the Media, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Drawing in the Media – Johanna Basford, TwitterPicture and the Edinburgh Fringe

  1. Susan Poole says:

    Fascinating! And some delightful drawings.

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