This Artist Is Trying to Break the Record for World’s Largest Online Art Class, While Raising Money for COVID-19 Relief

updated May 10, 2020
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To break the Guinness World Record for largest online art class would require 10,000 people, and one artist is trying to make it happen this month.

Rob Biddulph — author and illustrator of children’s books including GRRRRR!, Blown Away, and Odd Dog Out — will teach a 30-minute art lesson at 4 p.m. BST/11 a.m. EST on Thursday, May 21. Since that’s still almost two weeks away, you can sign up for an email reminder at artworldrecords.com.

The art class is also a fundraiser. Though you can register for free, Biddulph is asking participants to donate money through a campaign on Crowdfunder. Donations will be sent to six organizations helping with COVID-19 relief, including the Gates Foundation Combating COVID-19 Fund and GiveDirectly’s international COVID-19 funds (you can read more about all the organizations on the event’s Crowdfunder page.

Biddulph has been teaching online art classes throughout the pandemic lockdown with a series called #DrawWithRob. His short videos, which come out each Tuesday and Thursday on Instagram, walk viewers through his process for drawing things like sheep, race cars, aliens, and sausage dogs. After each tutorial, he shares his students’ finished work.

“We are going to try to break the WORLD RECORD for the biggest art lesson/draw-along that has ever taken place,” Biddulph writes on the event’s website

“Of course, we are not just doing this to get in the Guinness Book of Records. Part of the deal is that companies will be donating funds and all of the money raised will go towards… a) research that will help curb the spread of COVID-19, b) providing relief to those most impacted by the virus, and c) helping prepare for future pandemics… Pick up those pencils and get involved. It’s for a great cause, and I guarantee that we’ll all have a whale of a time.”