The January Challenge

The January Challenge

Each year, thousands of people take part in our 31 days of free creative challenges. #TheJanuaryChallenge takes place across social media and promotes creativity, peer support and wellbeing.

The brief

At the heart of 64 Million Artists, we think everyone is creative and that we should all have the opportunity to express it regularly. Creativity is already in our lives, sometimes it just needs a little spark to wake it up or a quick reminder that it’s easy to access. That’s why in January, a month notorious for making us feel blue, we set a creative challenge every day for 31 days. We use a simple process: Do, Think and Share to support people who’d like to express themselves, get a spring in their step, or connect better with themselves and with others.

 

Who was involved?

This year we had 7500+ participants (those that we know of!) from all around the UK and beyond. They ranged from under 12 to 75+ years old. A large number of people said that they were experiencing mental health difficulties or dealing with issues around grief, separation, caring responsibilities or just the January Blues.

Our dedicated Facebook Group now has more than 1.5k members who interact daily.

 

What we did

We ran a 31-day creativity challenge and invited people all over the country to join in. The challenges are always designed to take only 5-10 minutes to fit into the day, are free and require little to no materials to be able to contribute.

In 2018 the activities were crowdsourced by the public and included challenges such as ‘invent your own game’, or ‘use what’s around you to build a working boat’, or ‘choose a soundtrack for your day’.

 
 

What were the outcomes?

From our 2018, survey we found out that…

  • People got a lot out of connecting with each other – more than any other year, the sharing was a huge part of what people enjoyed about the challenge
  • People loved using their brain differently and trying a variety of things
  • Challengers loved to stretch and challenge themselves, it gave them sense of achievement – a feeling of overcoming something. It helped them think they could do things they hadn’t thought they could before
  • Participants enjoyed the daily nature of  the challenge – and the fact that it was a surprise

Practical outcomes…

  • “As well as being just fun – lots of people had takeaways they could use in their day to day life.”
  • “I’ve got lesson ideas.”
  • “I have bought art materials and am going to try drawing.”
  • “It helped me to ‘think outside the box’ and inspire my work.”

People said…

  • “I learned that I can do things I thought I was not good at.”
  • “The experience of trying new things and connecting with other people.”
  • “It gave me focus.”
  • “It brung me joy.”
  • “I felt more mindful.”
  • “Daring to have a go without embarrassment.”
  • “It was good to play and loosen up to try some different forms of creativity.”

90% found the challenge had a positive effect on their wellbeing.

In 2018, #TheJanuaryChallenge hashtag had 8 million impressions and a reach of 2.5 million..

Support from the community game me a massive boost of positivity towards myself and others.
Participant in The January Challenge 2018