The complete Draw Sounds story

How did it all start?

As a sound designer working a lot in animation, David Kamp is inspired by illustrations, shapes and animations to design the sounds those visual elements might make.

Since there is usually no sound to start with, he has to invent a lot of sounds from scratch.

At some point he had the idea to reverse this: Create sounds to inspire visual artists.

PHASE1: Curated Sound Drawings

The first iteration of the idea to draw sounds started with David Kamp sending sounds of imaginary creatures to selected visual artists and animators, who then sent him their visual interpretation in return.

Each artist received his own unique sound. Below are some favorites:

Participating artists: Sac Magique / Sami Viljanto / Ryan Quincy / David Luepschen / Mark Verhaagen / Lotta Nieminen / Bill Plympton / Santa Maria / Stefanie Augustine / Ian Macarthur / Kristof Luyckx / Ville Savimaa / Joonas Utti / Tomas Garcia / Jon Saunders / Hunter Gatherer / Nick Sheehy / Rex Crowle / Tara Tucker / Janine Rewell / Kirsten Lepore / Dave Prosser / Lucas Zanotto / Juan Molinet / Eirian Chapman / Matt Saunders / ManVsMagnet / Nomint / Bran Dougherty-Johnson / Matt Williams.

PHASE 2: Group Drawing Sessions

Whilst it’s fun to send each artist a unique sound and see what they come up with, it is also interesting to see the many different variations the same sound might trigger

Depending on cultural background, associations of what a sound looks like might be different – are there shared aspects that everybody “sees” in a sound?

David then started offering sound workshops to groups and organisations.

The first Sound Drawing session took place at the Pictoplasma Festival, and they were soon followed by others at Universities, Museums and galleries. Most recently there was a session in cooperation with TATE Kids, the educational arm of the TATE Modern in London.

PHASE 3: Website Launch

In 2020, David decided to make the idea of using sounds to inspire drawings accessible to everyone interested in it, through this Draw Sounds website. That way, individual artists can experience drawing sounds wherever they are in the world and at their own pace, and organisations can host workshops with their audiences.

For the launch David designed many new and inspiring sounds in the hopes to inspire countless drawings in the future!

A pencil drawing made at a draw sounds workshop