The Story of Create Day, and How to Do Something You’ve Never Done Before

Part One: The Idea Behind It & How It Came About

Create Day came to us last year. We were writing an article about the design of holidays, especially made-up holidays, taking into account the superficiality of Valentine’s Day and the wackiness of Groundhog’s Day. This led to everyone in the office brainstorming new holidays we could invent, and we came to one mystifying conclusion. There is no holiday solely dedicated to art and creativity.

Sure, you get dressed up on Halloween, paint eggs on Easter, and decorate the tree on Christmas, but all of those holidays have some other motivation aside from creativity. Think about it. There is no special day devoted to art and making things. It’s weird isn’t it? Well, that’s exactly what we said that day when we were thinking of new holidays to create, hence the subsequent idea. This realization was the match that sparked the brushfire of Create Day.

The Name & The Substance

Get Your Hands Dirty at Create DayFirst, we set a date. The first or second Thursday in March, because it’s that limbo period of the year, where the elation of the holidays has long worn off, and there aren’t days soon for which to look forward. In that time, between New Year’s and Memorial Day, there really isn’t a major holiday, especially one that allows you to take a day off of work. President’s Day is okay, but most people don’t get out of work for that one; St. Patrick’s Day lost its appeal after college. Therefore, Create Day would fall where it is needed most, the beginning of March, to give everyone something to look forward to (and a day of of work).

For almost a week before the designated day, each of us strode into the office in the morning with possible titles for this new day dedicated to making art. Art Day? No. Make Day? Nope. Creativity Day? Too long. Design Day? It was good, but seemed limiting. We settled on Create Day, because that is what we had called it from the beginning, and because it seemed the most natural. Sorry, Ron, Crafty Day wasn’t cutting it either.

And so, we started to develop the idea. Filled with productivity and imagination, Create Day would only have one rule: Make something, anything. Nothing digital, though; use your hands to construct, draw, paint, anything. Most certainly, Create Day is not only for designers and artists, its purpose will be to encourage everyone to get out there, get your hands dirty, and create.

The Inaugural Create Day

Rex's Romp by Andy Bugsby for Create DayIn 2016, we got together with colleagues, coworkers, friends and family to make things. We were few, but we were strong, and we took it seriously, having fun along the way. Our Creative Director, Adam Ross, purchased a DIY bonsai tree grow kit. Our friend Andy Bugsby loves Jurassic Park and made a T-Rex coloring book. Others made paper airplanes and wrote poems. The ones who couldn’t join the fun in person were encouraged to make something on their own and post a photo or video to social media.

It was an entertaining day, and everyone we told agreed that it was an excellent idea and that there was nothing quite like it. Like any holiday, it came and went. It was gone, but not forgotten.

Then What?

Like most businesses, as the year began winding down, we start thinking of the next year, the next chapter. We made a list of things we wanted to accomplish in 2017, and Create Day was on that list for all of us, only we didn’t know what that meant.

We knew it was new and different, but it deserved more than us coloring and making paper airplanes. The bonsai plants were long dead when we started thinking that other people, beyond our inner circle, would get a kick out of this. Just the mere mention of it the previous year elicited curiosity and desire to be included.

Creating Create Day from ScratchCreate Day should be a community event, someone said. Okay, but consisting of what? We were presented a challenge to define Create Day as something bigger than just ditching work for the day. The feeling was mutual that the concept must grow. Maybe, we mused, Create Day can be an event for people to take the time out of their daily routine to play, get their hands dirty and make art, using community encouragement, without any excuses. We had a eureka moment when we thought of the brief, instructor-led workshops being the center of the event.

Stretching Our Legs

Every day is a good day to create something, but most of us don’t have the time, the drive, or the knowledge to get creative. For most of us, it is like going to the gym, and they say that the hardest part about going to the gym is getting there. That is what Create Day will be: motivation to go to the creative gym. If only for once a year, it will inspire people to get creative in their everyday lives, or help them discover and fall in love with some sort of artistic expression they had no idea they could love.

In Part Two of The Story of Create Day, we will dive deep into the formidable task of planning Create Day, an event that required much more than we expected.

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