Yes, it’s still August over here but this time I want to announce this well in advance to make sure that you also join the Creative October Challenge!
Edit: The Creative October Facebook group is now open. Click on the pic below to join!
Last year I decided to make October a month to focus on creativity and crafting, but with a little twist to it. I decided to turn the whole month into a no-spend challenge, meaning I would only buy what was absolutely necessary such as food and hygiene products. The result? I managed to get a lot done and I loved the restriction of not being allowed to buy new materials.
Not spending time on shopping or eating out gave me tons of time to finish some old crafts projects plus do some new ones. I have a lot of fabrics, yarns, thread, woodworking tools, papers, color-pens, beads, clothes I have want to modify and other materials that have been lying around for ages. I want to put it to use and what better way than to only use what I already have?
The Goal with the Creative October Challenge:
Be creative with what you have.
It’s up to you if you want to upcycle furniture, sew clothes, try a new craft, draw mandalas, record a song, create a photo-exhibition, make a movie or organize an event.
It just has to be done with materials and resources you already possess. Of course I don’t mean you should start buying things like crazy now in August or September to be able to participate. Just let the idea sink in and then join when it all starts up in October. The point is to work with what you have right there and then and see where it takes you.
Restriction is often a powerful tool to add to a creative process. It forces you to think of new angles and methods you can use to achieve the wanted results – or it can even be the guide in selecting what your project will be in the first place. (Trust me, I have used cardboard boxes as percussion in my music projects and woven ribbons with a rigid heddle made from popsicle sticks. Both worked out great!)
- No shopping (not even to buy extra thread if you run out of it).
- Trades are OK – find someone you can exchange materials or knowledge with.
- Foraging and dumpstring are permitted (as long as they are permitted in your area = at your own responsibility).
This is OK to spend money on during October:
Food – try to plan your meals in advance and only buy what you really need. No eating out.
Hygiene products – try making some of your own, it’s fun!
Transport – you still need to go to work, school and to visit your friends of course, but try to combine trips for multiple purposes when you can.
Your standard living costs such as housing, electricity, Internet and other services stay the same of course, but try to avoid going to paid events or buying things that can wait for later. Seriously, it isn’t as boring as it may sound and it really makes you appreciate things higher.
Why are we doing this?
We in the western world generally consume too much. Often we don’t even use all the things we have. Putting this restriction to our lives for one month gives us the chance to reflect upon our consumption behavior and question what is really important to us. Maybe you’ll realize there are some things you don’t really need and wish to give away or at least that you don’t need to buy even more things than you already have.
This all ties together with a short e-book I’m currently writing. It will be a workbook with simple tips on what you can do to live greener and lead a more sustainable life – at the same time as you become more creative and have more fun.
The simplest way to join the Creative October Challenge will be to join the Facebook Group I’m creating. I’ll open it up a couple of weeks before the challenge starts so that you can share your ideas, and the projects you’re working on. You can use the hashtag #CreativeOctober to share what you do on other social media and your own blog.