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Draw on This Website is a communal art project that captures the internet at its best

Draw on This Website is a communal art project that captures the internet at its best


A community project constantly in progress

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Draw on This Website
A dog drawn on Draw on This Website.

Draw on This Website delivers exactly what it promises: a website that allows anyone with access to the internet and a little imagination the chance to contribute their own art. It’s communal: people can draw whatever they like on an open document, or add to other people’s drawings in real time. It’s a site where everyone who buys their own little chalk stick is set free on a digital sidewalk and told to play nicely with the other neighborhood kids.

Draw on This Website, which seems to have launched yesterday, is still active right now, although its free-to-use black ink was suspended as of last night because people were getting “too wild,” according to Brooklyn developer Thinko on Twitter. The free-ink tier is still suspended right now, but Pasquale D’Silva, a partner at Thinko, told The Verge over DM they’re planning to bring back the free ink. Currently, users can pick from three available ink colors — blue, orange, and green — but have to pay 99 cents to use them, which could be a nod to Thinko’s other viral project — “Who Paid 99¢?” — that took off last week.

On that theoretical open digital sidewalk, children might want to draw stick figures of their parents, or slightly warped versions of their pets. But handing over digital ink to strangers on the internet typically leads to something known as TTD: Time to Dick.

Time to Dick (or TTD, or Time to Penis) is a phrase used to calculate how long it takes for someone to post a dick joke. Something like Draw on This Website, a Wild West artistic free-for-all, seems ripe for immediate dick drawings. But while there are a few lone genitalia floating around the page, often hidden off in the corners of the expansive board, most of the drawings are cute, charming, or anarchic.

Draw on This Website.
A drawing on Draw on This Website.
Photo: Draw on This Website

The photo above is a great example of what makes Draw on This Website great. It’s a charming little egg fellow (whom I’ve nicknamed Simon) that multiple people are contributing to at once. In another corner, people aren’t just paying to use different marker colors, they’re forming little factions based on the colors they’ve chosen. It’s fascinating to watch their rivalry play out in real time, seen below, as other colors try to invade spaces designated as green or blue zones.

Draw on This Website
A “Blue Ink Zone” as seen on Draw on This Website.
Photo: Thinko

Draw on This Website is a wonderful, sweet piece of internet pie right now. It’s still mostly wholesome, with people drawing angsty Hulks or plugging their Twitter and Instagram accounts. I suspect this will change in the coming days. The more attention Draw on This Website receives, the more likely it becomes that people will flood to the site to see what’s going on, and put their own ink on the wall.

Right now, though, it’s still a beautiful wasteland, full of strange and intriguing art — and a reminder that when people get a chance to be collaborative, fun things can result.

Draw on This Website
Different drawings from Draw on This Website.
Photo: Thinko