It’s sweet and inspiring the story behind the origins of Draw a Bird Day.
As recounted on DabDay.com, in 1943, Dorie Cooper, a seven year old living in England, visited her uncle who was wounded in the war; he had lost his right leg to a land mine, and, in an attempt to cheer him up, Dori asked her uncle to draw a bird for her. Despite being unwell, her uncle looked out his window and drew a picture of a robin. After Dorie saw the drawing, she proclaimed that he wasn’t a very good artist but would still hang the picture in her room. Dorie’s honesty and acceptance of the drawing lifted her uncle’s spirits as well as several other wounded soldiers. In fact, every time Dorie visited the hospital, the soldiers held drawing contests to see who could produce the best bird pictures. Within several months, the entire ward’s walls were decorated by bird drawings.
Tragically, three years later, Dorie was killed after being struck by a car. At her funeral, her coffin was filled with bird images that had been made by soldiers, nurses, and doctors from the ward where her uncle had been. Ever since then, those men and women remembered the little girl that brought hope to the ward by drawing birds on her birthday, April 8th.
While Draw a Bird Day was never declared an “official” holiday, today, it’s celebrated worldwide “as a way to express joy in the very simplest of things in life and as a way to help soldiers everywhere forget war and suffering even if only for a short time.”
To celebrate Draw a Bird Day, simply draw a bird and share it with someone. If you don’t quite know how to start, follow Pen and Ink Birds from Gillian Johnson’s How to Draw Everything. And feel free to invent your own birds!
Happy Draw a Bird Day everyone!
Interested in learning how to draw people? Faces? Animals? Flowers? Get your copy of How To Draw Everything now and get to drawing!
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