We talk to Tony Carlin of Voluntary Arts Ireland to find out more about the #Loveto campaign and why October is #LovetoDRAW month.


What is the #Loveto campaign all about?

#LoveTo is about people sharing the creative things they love to do. Each month we have a different theme and invite everyone to get involved. So last month was #LovetoDANCE month and we had flashmobs springing up in unusual places such as the Giants Causeway in Northern Ireland (check out our video here) as well as people from right across the Uk, R.Ireland and beyond sharing their dancing pictures and videos with us. October is now #LovetoDRAW month and on the horizon we have #LovetoSING month coming up in November so there’s lots of really exciting stuff underway.
This month is #LovetoDRAW, can you tell us a bit about why you chose drawing as the focus?
We thought drawing would be a good fit for us this month as of course the Big Draw also runs throughout October and the two of us have the same goal – to encourage as many people as possible to draw!
How can our readers get involved in #LovetoDRAW, as individuals and/or groups?
The easiest way is to share any pictures of videos you have of your drawings with us on Facebook, Twitter or instagram using #LovetoDRAW. We’ll see it and then share it out through our network. If you have any kids (or big kids) in the house you could also download our free spooky Halloween storyboard where we have the first and last slides filled out but the middle of it is blank so needs you to finish the story for us. Find out more and download your storyboard here.


Why should they get involved?
Being creative is as natural as breathing and arguably just as good for us! As busy adults living in a hectic world taking even 5 minutes out of your day to doodle on a page can instantly decrease our stress levels, make us feel happier and increase our own creativity. We can all remember a moment in our childhoods sitting engrossed for hours drawing with our colouring pencils, we want people to feel that way again. Everyone can draw, even if it is a simple stickman so we hope everyone will join in the fun this month.
What events/activity have you been involved in so far as part of #LovetoDRAW?
We just officially launched the month with the Lord Mayor of Belfast, Will Simpson (a Game of Thrones Storyboarder) and one of the Belfast Giants hockey team in W5 – The interactive discovery centre in Belfast – where we had everyone trying out their awesome digital graffiti wall. This week we’re going to Donegal where Artlink Buncrana, a collective of artists, will be working with the local people to create a huge piece of beach art! We also have some street artists called Urban Vizualz creating a special Halloween-inspired piece of graffiti entitled the City of Bones which will be put on the wall outside our offices in Derry-Londonderry which we have just got permission for it to become the city’s first legal graffiti wall so it’s been all go but really exciting!


Can you let us in on what the next few months of #Loveto has in store?
I would be here for a very long time if I was to detail every event we have coming up but believe me when i say it’s going to be spectacular! We’ve linking up with the National Trust in NI and will be getting creative at their Pumpkin Fest (keep up to date on that using #LovetoCARVEPUMPKINS) and their Festival of Light at the end of the month where we will be doing some cool light painting (#LovetoLIGHTPAINT).

We have also brought back our popular Big MONSTER Draw and have opened it up to schools from the Republic of Ireland as well as Northern Ireland to send in a picture of their scariest, or weirdest monster so are looking forward to seeing what ghoulish creations the kids send back.

In November we’re going to have a glut of flashmobs and open mic events popping up across the nation for #LovetoSING month as well as some interesting collaborations with the Big Big Sing amongst others so that’s all really exciting. Then in December the focus is on homemade gifts (#LovetoMAKEGIFTS) and we’re in the process of organising a really special event for that which we will let all you guys know about very soon!
Have you got any plans for #Loveto during Voluntary Arts Week 2015?
Voluntary Arts Week is very high on our radar and we are looking at opening up the month to combine all our themes into one colossal month of wonderful creativity right across the UK and R.Ireland.


How can people connect with #Loveto? 

Find us on social media to follow the action and join in the fun! Either search for our hashtags or check out our #LoveTo HQ – www.facebook.com/lovetoHQ, www.twitter.com/lovetoHQ


We’ve been talking to the Campaign for Drawing about a joint venture in Voluntary Arts Week next May that will aim to get everyone sharing their hand drawn creations, more details coming soon!