June 2019 for Cardiff University


Helping people express socially invisible diseases through art

Academics at the Cardiff School of Psychology and the School of English, Communication and Philosophy created DrawingOut, a technique for working with patient groups to communicate their experiences of socially invisible diseases through art. DrawingOut enables patients to overcome cultural and/or language barriers and express thoughts and  feelings on sensitive or taboo subjects.

They needed a website to make these tools available to healthcare professionals who might want to use them to run workshops with specific patient groups.  It would also be accessible to individuals who might be unable to attend workshops. The website needed to be a fully self contained ‘toolkit’ to allow anyone to run or participate in the project, and to and share their experiences and artwork via the website.

The site needed to have very clear guidance in order to be accessible to those with little or limited experience in drawing or art. With this aim in mind, we created simple step-by-step tutorials in the form of video animations with voice overs.

The animations were key to this project to demonstrate the drawing exercises, which begin with some general warm-up exercises in order to build up people’s confidence and skills, and then lead them to draw things that are more directly related to their disease experience. The aim was to encourage people to rediscover the joy of drawing that they may have experienced as a child, and not worry too much about how ‘good’ the drawings are. Working through these exercises step by step, eventually leads to creating a final piece which can be shared on the site gallery.

The site was built on WordPress, the illustrations were made in Adobe Illustrator and animated using Adobe After Effects.