Ahhh, euCreativ…it was a good start to something bigger, but how are you supposed to SPELL it?
That’s something that Chris and I both struggled to communicate with friends and family — it’s not You-Creative! The original name for this project was a little bit of an inside joke for creative philosophers and it didn’t speak to our entire audience.
Our goal is to help with developing creative practices. Helping the ones who feel alone in their artist’s journey. The ones who feel like they can’t make a living from their creative practice. The ones who lack mentors and peers to challenge them.
With that clarity, we talked about where we want this project to go. We wanted to build a community of creatives that support each other. We wanted it to be something FUN to work on and to work with. We wanted something that has the foundation to truly empower creatives. And we wanted something that was easy to spell, too!
To get all of that, we had to create something bigger than the original idea for euCreativ. We had to kill our darling and accept that the clever name and limited scope of euCreativ wouldn’t work. We brainstormed for a week (checking available domains in the process) and the CreateQuest network was born.
Yes, network. More on that later. Before the network portion of the project was developed, we started with a logo. I got to go back to my design roots to create something that communicated a creative journey. I collected references from some of my favorite services to get some inspiration rolling, then got to work.
The first concept that really seemed to “stick” with us was the compass and brush. In a state of manic design flow, I made a bunch of concepts around that idea:
Unfortunately, the compass was a bit TOO understated and looked like a gear at smaller sizes, and the brush wasn’t obviously a brush. If you look closely, the compass and brush DO make a “Q” though. Thank you, FedEx, for reminding me to hide symbols in my logos.
We were both quite happy with the color scheme. The intense oranges were meant to signify one of the meaningful conversations that Chris and I had on Motive, and how the Motive is like a glowing ember that you have to fan into a flame. The Comfortaa font choice just reminded me of Ubuntu Linux and Habitica, both of which appeal to the nerd within.
The compass, though…needed refined.
The final design.
I went back to the Illustrator board again to see what I could come up with for the compass and brush:
The simplified brush worked better, along with the more acute cardinal directions. In the end, we settled on the logomark in the bottom center. It was closest to the original design, but with a few important tweaks.
The brush ended up getting flipped and “fattened” to make the thickness match the circle of the compass. Flipping the brush around implied the tail of the Q a little bit better.
We also decided to stick with the horizontal design for the entire logo:
I may be a bit biased, but I think it’s a sexy logo.
Manic madness: continued.
I was saying something about a network earlier, right? Oh yeah!
Once we got the domain set up, I got to work in another burst of manic productivity setting up the new functionality of the site. After importing everything from the original euCreativ site, I began researching social networks and games to see what we could do to make CreateQuest as engaging as possible.
Friendly competition is always nice, as is a support network of other creatives. Chris and I already participate regularly in a weekly group meeting of other creatives from around the world (Thank you for the wonderful conversations to Dawn, Jeff, Michael, Basile, Angie, Denise) so we know how important community is. That’s where the social networking aspect of the site stems.
But how do we make it more engaging? By making it private, safe, and fun! Let’s start with private.
The CreateQuest network is a private network that is invite-only. This gives us the ability to curate the membership and encourage users to share this little secret with other creatives. Now…we use the moniker “creative” as a broad term intentionally. We don’t just want to empower artists; we want to empower anyone who pursues a creative calling.
Dancers, metalsmiths, clowns, fine artists, mixed media artists, entrepreneurs, public speakers…you name it, you can be creative in your pursuit. It’s more about your mindset than what you do for a living. We want this community to be curated for people with that mindset. So when you send an invite, find the people with the right mindset!
Members can also create groups within the social network to curate their own support networks. That’s a great way to think about who you invite — would you add them to your network when they join? Awesome! Bring them on-board!
Fun and games.
Beyond the network, we wanted to make it FUN to be a member of the community. And that means turning the entire site into a game!
These functions are still under heavy development and refinement, but members can earn Experience Points (XP) for interacting with other users on the site, inviting other creatives to join the Quest, commenting on posts in the CreateQuest blog, and posting to their timelines regularly.
There are several other methods of earning XP, but you’ll have to just wander around the site to figure that out! Earn XP and level up!
The game functionality will continue to grow as we have time to develop it, of course. Here are a few ideas for the future of gamification in CreateQuest:
- XP for posting your daily practice stats. (Functionality that still needs to be developed before it can be gamified).
- XP for keeping a streak of daily practice posts.
- XP for completing courses (coming soon!)
- XP for participating in art challenges (in groups or through CreateQuest).
- Special achievements to unlock.
- Ranks for completing special tasks or going above-and-beyond normal participation.
- So, so much more.
One big alpha.
What’s important to remember as we move into the newest iteration of our project is that it’s one big alpha test. We’re not even close to a beta yet. It’s a bootstrapped project with two tech-nerd artists and a small community.
Fortunately, those nerdy artists (me ‘n Chris) are dedicated to giving this project all we have, because we believe in something transformative and positive.
If you’re interested in joining this private alpha, make sure you sign up for updates in the sidebar, then reply to one of the email updates requesting an invite! We’d love to have you on-board!
Let’s empower each other with good ideas, imagination, and community — so we can improve the world, not just change it!