Draw a Bird Day began in the UK during the late 1940s as a way to boost morale after the Second World War. Since then April 8th has been celebrated as a day to draw our feathered friends and share our pictures with the world. While many cites note that further details regarding the specific origins of this holiday are unknown, www.dabday.com claims that the tradition started in 1943 when a seven year old English girl named Dorie Cooper visited her wounded uncle in hospital. According to the story, when she asked him to draw her a picture of a bird and he obliged, she told her uncle that he wasn’t a good artist but that she would still keep his picture in her room. Her uncle was encouraged by her “honesty and acceptance,” and it wasn’t long before other soldiers got involved and the entire ward was holding bird drawing contests. The holiday was already spreading through the country when Dorie died just three years later, and her coffin was filled with hand-drawn birds.
The skeptic in me thinks the story above smacks of the same stuff that makes up urban legends and modern folklore, but no amount of googling could either confirm or deny the account. Still, whatever it’s history, Draw a Bird Day is a chance to make people smile with your artistic skills (or lack thereof). Whether your favorite bird is Big Bird, Woody Woodpecker, Donald Duck, the Tootsie-Pop Owl, or a real-life bird, just about everybody loves these marvelous winged creatures. Their natural allure makes them fun to draw and they effortlessly surface in doodles, popular art, graphic design, and advertising across the globe. Just recently I heard somewhere that images of birds are quickly becoming one of the most overused trends in today’s visual market.