I drew non stop for a grueling 12 hours and broke the Official Guinness World Record for the largest drawing by an individual! It measured a whopping 501.18 m² (5395 ft²) – smashing the previous record of 410m²!

But it didn’t go to plan. I’d initially planned on creating a grid and simply scaling up a rough drawing I had made. However, at the last minute, I dramatically increased the size of the canvas, abandoned my plan and decided to freestyle! I spent the first 7 hours sketching in pencil, before realizing that at my current pace, I would NEVER complete the drawing within the 12-hour time frame. In a panic, I grabbed my marker pens and began drawing in ink as fast as I could! It was back-breaking work and genuine blood, sweat, and tears went into creating the piece.

More info: johannabasford.com

Drawing the World’s Largest Picture in just 12 hours!

The start! World’s biggest blank sheet of paper!

Why do this? To inspire you to put down your phone and doodle!

My name is Johanna Basford. I’m an illustrator and I make adult coloring books (I’ve sold 21 million of them worldwide so far!). However, I’m also on a mission to inspire people to put down their phones, pick up a pen or pencil and draw – because as we all know: Creativity can benefit your mental health and wellbeing.


The 500 square meter canvas filled the entire sports hall!

I asked people what stopped them from drawing and a common answer was that they were scared of the blank sheet of paper. I get it. Literally. I get that same fear! I think most creative people do at some point! So I wanted to tackle the World’s Largest blank sheet of paper to show people that the trick is to just start! The minute you start drawing (or doodling!) that empty piece of paper is less scary!

And if I can cover this blank sheet of paper, you can doodle on a post-it or the corner of your notebook or the back of an envelope. Just start!

Draw, draw, draw!

The moment when I thought about calling it off and admitting defeat

Here are some crazy facts about the Record-Breaking Drawing:

1. The World Record was overseen by official Guinness World Record adjudicator Jack Brockbank and a team of independent witnesses on Monday 18th November 2019.

2. I used Molotow’s refillable marker pens.

3. It took 4 hours to unroll the paper and tape it all down the night before!

4. The giant floral doodle uses no fancy art techniques, it’s a simple design that anyone can replicate using the step by step tutorials in my book, How to Draw Inky Wonderlands.

5. 1 ginger nut biscuit and 2 bottles of Lucozade Sport were all that I consumed during the 12-hour drawing marathon!

Just as the final leaf was drawn

Feeling relieved at the end. I did it!

The moment the Official Guinness World Record Adjudicator read out the final measurement! All the relief!

6. I was limited to 12 hours as I couldn’t get a babysitter for any longer! #momlife

7. The previous record was 410.26 m² (4416 ft²) and was achieved by Aman Singh Gulati (India) in Tirupati, India

8. After the tape was removed from the finished drawing, it was pretty wrecked! A large portion was donated to the school and smaller sections to the dinner ladies and my former teachers! The rest was recycled.

9. Why not color it?! The scale was HUGE! A single flower was the size of my 2-year-old! A pretty boring coloring experience!

10. The World Record was attempted on my wedding anniversary! So I hid a little love heart amongst the flowers and insects!

I did it! New World Record!

These hands broke a world record! Can you spot the bleeding thumb?! Blood, sweat, and tears went into this!

Behind the scenes at the break of the World Record!