Introducing… The January Challenge

'Creativity' - just the word makes half of us smile and the others dash for the hills! If you're one of the smilers then you'll love this... if not, stay with us, you might be surprised! Because here's the thing with the January Challenge, it's just that, a challenge, but one you can do in 5 mins and never show anyone, or you could take all day and shout your ideas to the world. It's about making a long winter month that little bit brighter by prompting you to think and do something a bit different each day. Here's Jemima from The Challenge team at 64 Million Artists to tell us more...

line of colourful thumbprints made into characters by adding arms, legs and eyes to each

Written by... Jemima Frankel, Head of The January Challenge, 64 Million Artists

If you could put just one message on a billboard for the world to see, what would that billboard say?

Our billboard would read, "We are ALL creative".

So what is 'creativity'?

When we think about calling some people creative and others not, it speaks to more than who is handy with a paintbrush. It's saying that some people can break the rules and others can't; some people can make the rules, and others can't.

Our favourite dictionary definition of creativity is 'the ability to transcend traditional ideas, rules and patterns and make new ones'. That is what is vital about creativity. Creativity isn't a 'nice to have'; it's a fundamental part of who we are. It allows us to imagine new futures and dream up a different world. 

How would the world look if more people had space for their creativity? Had more opportunities to share it with the people around them? If their ideas were valued equally by others? Might a creative world be a kinder, more innovative, more connected place to live? 

We like to think so.

The January Challenge in a nutshell

For the last decade, 64 Million Artists, has worked with schools, universities, whole cities, workplaces, cultural institutions and health and government bodies to reconnect people to themselves and others. We're on a mission to prove that we can all make positive changes in our lives and the world around us using the power of our innate creativity.

The January Challenge is our flagship campaign. It is 31 days of quick, fun and free creative challenges. Each creative challenge is designed by brilliant people across the UK to get your brain thinking in new ways, to do something different, and if you want to, to share with others. 

Each January, thousands of people participate - as individuals, within families, schools, libraries, care homes and workplaces. You can take part in the challenge however you choose. Some people sign up to receive a daily Challenge email or follow along on social media. You can take part on your own, with family or friends - or by sharing with our lovely online community.

What are these 'creative challenges'? 

Think of the creative challenges like a thoughtful invitation in your inbox each morning, inviting you to take a moment for yourself. They are playful prompts to inspire accessible creative action.

Challenges are varied and explore all sorts of creative forms, from dancing to writing, building to exploring. A challenge should take at most 5 or 10 minutes and shouldn't require any materials you aren't likely to have around you. All you need is to flex your creative muscles (we've all got them), try something new and see what happens. You could be exploring the colours of nature, making music about Mondays, or turning the pretty ordinary into the extraordinary.

Trying out a crafty challenge / © 64 million artists

Be one of 64 million artists

Whatever you do, you will be 'doing, thinking and sharing' with thousands of people across the UK. 

It all started when Jo Hunter, CEO and co-founder of 64 Million Artists, invited her Facebook friends to join her in a daily creative challenge - an idea inspired by her own attempt to rekindle her creativity and boost her wellbeing. 200 people joined in and spent that January getting creative together. Fast-forward 10 years later and over 50,000 people participate across the UK and the world. That number is growing by the day (we're on track for 64 Million...!). 85% of people report a positive impact on their wellbeing, motivation and, most of all...they have fun along the way.

2023 is the 10th anniversary of The January Challenge - it's a big birthday, and everyone's invited (yes, that means you too!)

So why not come and join us for one fun, free daily creative challenge every day in January.

Find out more

About Jemima Frankel

Jemima is the head of The January Challenge, working year-round to co-create the campaign with different people and community groups across the UK. She is a passionate believer in the power of creativity, and is very excited to get creative with you in January.