October is coming up and so is the Creative October Challenge 2017! For the third time in a row we’re getting together to be creative without spending money on new materials, tools or other resources. If you’re not familiar with this creative no-buy challenge yet you will find all the information you need and how join us in this article!
In 2015 I decided to challenge myself with a one month long creative no-buy challenge. I wanted to see how I could spur on my creativity through restricting what I was buying and only use materials I already had. I had been gathering up so much stuff for crafts and instruments and equipment for making music, but I was rarely doing anything with it. That’s when I decided to restrict what I was buying and set off time after work to try out different crafts techniques, play music, take photos and much more.
Needless to say, I got a lot more done that month than I had for months and I really found new inspiration in trying to make things without feeling the need to buy certain materials or tools to get it done. If I ran out of thread of one color I would have to choose another. I went out into the forest to find materials that I could use for crafts. I picked up some old fragments of songs I had started to write and finished them.
Sharing the experience with others
Once the month was over I was so happy that I had done this and wanted to share the project with others. That’s why I decided to start a Facebook group for more people to join and share what they were able to create within the same restrictions. In 2016 we were around 25 people in the group, but I hope this is something that will grow much further. Read some more about the challenge below and click on the picture to join the Creative October Facebook group. (The group status is “closed” but just request to join and I’ll approve your membership.)
This is what the Creative October Challenge 2017 is all about:
Being creative with what you have.
That’s the main idea behind the project. We tend to gather a lot of possessions, buy more and more materials and tools that sit on shelves, in cupboards and drawers while we try to figure out the perfect project to use them for. What we should do is to get started – to do something with what we have. It doesn’t need to be perfect. Getting started is usually the hardest part. That’s what this challenge can help you with. In the group you can ask for ideas and suggestions if you can’t come up with anything or just set out your own goal and use the group as your accountability partner – a place where you can share your progress and struggles with others.
Which creative pursuits are welcome?
Anything! It doesn’t matter if you’re a musician, film maker, writer, love to draw, do paper crafts, sew, knit, paint, make pottery, love welding, carpentry, upcycling or garden design. All kinds of creative pursuits are welcome here. You’re also most welcome to try out something new that you have wanted to do for a long time, but didn’t have the time for or didn’t dare to do earlier. We’re here to cheer you on!
Are there any specific rules for the challenge?
Yes! But they’re not so difficult to grasp or follow:
- Don’t buy anything new. Use what you already have available. If you run out of something you need to figure out another way to solve it.
- Trading is fine – if somebody in the group or elsewhere has something you need and is willing to trade for something you have, you’re allowed to do that. Trading of skills is also highly encouraged. Maybe somebody in the group knows exactly the thing you’d like to learn and you might have some skill you can share with them.
- Foraging and dumpstring are permitted (as long as they are permitted in your area = this is your responsibility to check up first).
Who can join?
Anybody is welcome! Right now we’re mainly women in the group but we would all love to see more diversity in this project. Anyone who likes this idea, wants to share and support others in their creative pursuits are welcome. If you’re kind and helpful we’d love to have you along for the ride!
The simplest way to join the Creative October Challenge is to join the Facebook group. If you’re not on Facebook or don’t feel like you have time to participate actively you can just use the hashtag #CreativeOctober to share your projects on other social media or your own blog. We’re all looking forward to see what you come up with!