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The Big Picture

Teams create an enormous interconnected multi-canvas artwork.

About this story

An insight into the innovative and creative process that led to the creation of one of the world’s most popular creative team building activities.

The Story behind the Big Picture

The Big Picture is born circa 1995.

Pilot error, smash crack inverted knees and blood. Making my way like a snail with a paraglider bag on my back down a cliff with my smashed knees it was hard to imagine the silver lining that would become the Big Picture. Following a paragliding accident in Wales with a sentence of a leg in plaster for 8 weeks, I decided to take on a Picasso. Loving to paint but not so good at drawing, I projected his breakthrough proto- Cubist masterpiece, the 8 sq. ft Les Demoiselles d'Avignon on to a canvass and enjoyed the next 8 weeks painting a pretty good replica.

As I was mixing the colours, I began to think, if this painting was actually being attempted by multiple teams, then there would need to be a lot of communication between members to ensure the colours matched and there was a seamless transition from one canvas to the next. The Big Picture was born and initially corporates simply painted their version of famous masters paintings. We quickly realised that there was an opportunity to tailor the output to include clients’ messages and it transformed from one of copying art to creating billboard sized graphic designs with content and impact. As we refined the process, the overall quality improved, using detailed pre graphic designed questionnaires, bespoke software to transfer designs to canvas and we have a huge portfolio of happy clients. Previous artwork we have, nailed the process to what it is today, a fine art.

The spectacular curtain drop/finale

It’s moved a long way from ’’painting by numbers‘’ to a sophisticated exercise with extra art based challenges and techniques to guarantee that nearly every team has to communicate with the other teams on the painting and no one has an overall picture of what they are creating, until the final spectacular reveal. The curtain drops, the confetti cannon explodes and people stand in awe of their very own masterpiece, unable to believe they have collectively created such a high quality image in such a short amount of time.

With almost 30 years history behind The Big Picture, we know now, what a successful recipe it is for clients to engage their employees and share a message in a truly artistic way. The Big Picture ensures multiple levels of communication between teams. This makes it the perfect demonstration of how collaboration, networking and a big picture focus can lead to outstanding results.

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