A teenager from Cyprus has created a dramatic image to raise awareness about plastic pollution.

Alex Dzaghigian decided to attempt the largest drawing by an individual, going on to complete an image spanning a huge 323.90 m² (3,486 ft² 61 in²).

His drawing depicted a turtle in the ocean surrounded by plastic waste.


"The drawing depicted a turtle eating a plastic bag, an occurrence which happens often since they are confused with jellyfish," Alex explained.

"It takes hundreds years for plastic to biodegrade depending on the type of plastic; very often marine life becomes entrapped in nets and plastic bags.  Quite often, marine life ingest these plastics and end up as food for human consumption.

"It is important to conserve and protect the environment as the rate of its destruction is tragic and the consequences will affect not just sea-life, but human beings and the entire eco-system."  

As well as raising awareness about ocean pollution, Alex used the record attempt to raise money for charities, as well as a personal achievement.

"There were three purposes to my attempt when I first attempted to break the record. Firstly, to raise awareness about sea pollution. Secondly, to raise funds for Cyprus Marine Protection Association and Greenpeace. Finally, as a personal achievement, to promote my art in a very unique and exciting way."

17-year-old Alex has been drawing since he was three, and describes art as his "passion". However, even for someone as skilled as Alex, planning and completing this massive drawing was no easy feat.

The drawing with Alex's grid method applied

The drawing was created with charcoal on various paper canvased stuck together and took 15 hours over three days to complete.

The attempt took place at Alex's school, The English School Nicosia.

To tackle the attempt, Alex firstly created a draft image which he used as a map and used a grid method to ensure his measurements when scaling up his drawing where correct.

"I had to minimise my costs and design a drawing which was faster and easier to complete yet conforming to GWR's regulations perfectly," Alex explained.

"I started by creating my draft digitally, this way I could use the draft easily and had access to digital tools to measure distances and calculate that I was following the 15% rule at all times.

"I used a grid to map my way around and accurately replicate my draft."


"I also spent a considerable amount of time (approximately five hours) carefully sticking the paper with overlaps of 7 cm each time and then straightening it to get rid of the air trapped underneath it."

While Alex was drawing, the venue was open to the public, so they could come in and watch the progress of this epic artwork.

Once complete, the drawing was measured and verified by a qualified quantity surveyor.

"My parents and friends were amazed that I wanted to take on such a great challenge. Naturally everyone was ecstatic when I became Officially Amazing." 

And of course, Alex's parents were very proud of their son's great achievement. 

"My parents appeared to be relieved once I was certified and happy at the achievement, as well as the money I had raised for charity, saying: You have demonstrated that when you put your mind to something you really want, you never give up and can achieve so much."

Love this piece of artwork? Take a look at the largest pencil drawn mural by Julian Castillo (Colombia).