During the ‘first lockdown’ with life beginning to feel unpredictable and unstable, the Fun A Day Dundee Team were witnessing a mixture of distress, boredom, and new opportunities of creativity within our community online. We felt the urge to try and provide fun activities, or just some general support during these times.
For each January project, a community is evolved through the shares, comments, discussions and posting of FADD projects. On the back of this we get to meet new people, make new connections and we were sad to see the effects of covid on our community. We took action and created ‘Fun A Day Creatives’. We tried promoting community posts on our Fun A Day Instagram & Facebook pages, yet didn’t want to fill our feed with content that may confuse someone looking for information about the project. With FADDCreatives, we gave up the feed completely to our community. We re-shared people’s posts, provided fun activities (creative prompts) and felt inspired as people connected and found ways to pass the time or to focus on something besides covid.
One of the first activities we organised was making a rainbow on our feed. We asked our community to share specific colours, we’d post them on our feed and continued on until we covered all the colours of the rainbow!
From this point on, we came up with prompts. These were little words/images/ideas of inspiration to get our community to make new work, doodle, write, reflect, or pull up old artwork that related to the prompt. Some examples of these: ‘Continuous Line’, ‘Splash Of Colour’, ‘Chaos to Calm’, ‘Circles’, ‘Outdoors’ etc. More information about Fun A Day Creatives can and our prompts can be found here.
We decided our next step as FADDCreatives would be to host fun, creative video sessions as we’d really been missing out on connecting with our community in person. It had been a while since we had our ‘social meets’ in local cafe’s and bars, and this would be an opportunity to connect in a similar way, while making art.
As the 2021 January project rolled around, we kicked off our sessions during that month as part of the project with 2 sessions a week. Morning Chill was for the early risers, and Mics Off was in the evenings with the added element of fuss free cameras off option for those who didn’t or couldn’t commit to a conversation, but still wanted to join in.
Once January had passed, we kept up with our sessions having one a week using the Fun A Day Creatives weekly prompts as a source of inspiration to fuel our creativity. For example, one week the prompt was ‘Reflection’ which inspired us to look at our own reflections (self portraits) and paint natural reflections outdoors.
Kirsty, our Creative Facilitator shares her thoughts about these sessions here:
“The Creative Sessions have been so much fun this year, to run and to take part in.
Already we have established some regulars who keep coming back as well as drop ins from new participants. We have found that most people enjoy keeping their mic on to join in with conversation which has been really interesting, and important after a year of disconnect. We talk about all sorts; from biscuits to movies, art, and where we come from and what we do. We even have someone from the USA joining us each week! We’ve also have had successful sessions with people opting to keep their mic off and focus on their project, especially with the use of Facebook Chat at the side.”
“I think my favourite part is seeing what everyone creates at the end. Especially if everyone decides to give the ‘Technique of the week’ a go. (Activity based on the prompt.) It’s always so varied and fantastic to see how different people interpret prompts and suggestions differently. It’s been so fulfilling to share skills and trade tips with others, whilst expanding and exploring my own art practice.”
Off the back of our sessions, we have artist art demos and talks as part of the 2021 Online Exhibition. We’ve found that having a casual, fun environment has been a great way to connect with our community, as well as helping creatives to make the time for artwork. Many of us have said during a session that we would have given up by now, when working on a particular piece, yet having the company and the allocated time has enabled artwork to develop and to be completed! It’s also been a great opportunity to make new art that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. It’s a great feeling when you can surprise yourself, or others can surprise you during a session.
Thanks to everyone who’s joined in on our sessions already, we hope it’s been a fun way to connect with folk and make some artwork! We look forward to developing more creative sessions in the future.