I'm coming to you as a relative outsider with a suggestion for a month-long themed event, but it was suggested in chat that either this might not be something the community would want to take part in, or that there would be a preference for other events?

So I'm going to guage the community for the general case first before diving into my suggestion!

I'm currently thinking of art events, instead of craft ones, but I'm open to all ideas.

The proposed format would be to set a theme for a month, with or without daily prompts, that could elicit Q&A on the main site, as will as encourage users to learn new skills and techniques. You might even want to post your work to a community gallery.

Let me know the communities thoughts on this idea, and I'll post my suggestion shortly afterwards!

  • Very nice proposal! Let's get some feedback on this!
    – Joachim Mod
    Jan 13 at 14:38
  • 1
    @Joachim I've posted my suggestion 😃 Jan 14 at 14:41

4 Answers 4


I do like the general idea, but I see a lot of potential problems.

First of all, I'm incredibly envious of the photo competition on Photography.SE. I would love to have something similar here and I hope that this would generate more community participation. On the other hand, you need a certain critical mass to make events like that successful and not fizzle out like our community gallery.

Maybe posting the event on the main site instead of Meta can increase the visibilty and thereby the participation.

And most important in my oppinion: we cannot limit the event to a certain type of art or craft. Even though I do support Fat February, I would feel excluded from this event because I mostly do fiber crafts and don't draw or paint people.

As for the time frame, I think each event should run for a month to give people time to come up with ideas and execute them. Whether or not we can come up with new ideas each month needs to be seen, but there are certainly several opportunities like the changing seasons or religious festivals that could be used as prompts.


Personal opinion:

  • Themed events can be great, and can add something of interest to encourage more participation and site visits.

  • A month is probably too long. The events would probably be announced on Meta and then featured. After a week or two, such announcements become background noise and cause people to ignore other notices in the featured section.

  • The event(s) need to be well thought-out and targeted to be of interest to a lot of site members. We don't want the typical reaction to the announcement to be, "Oh no. Not another boring event." That would kill the opportunity to hold events of interest.

  • We probably don't want an event every month for the sake of having an event. People run out of good ideas and the concept gets stale. Have events when someone has a great idea for an event. Keep people anticipating the next one, and maybe coming up with their own ideas.

  • Don't mislead people about an event; that will kill the ability to ever have another one. For example, say there's an event promoted as practicing drawing a body type people don't often draw, and the topic of this event is plus-size people. If members go to another site and see that it's actually a woke event to promote fat acceptance, they will feel manipulated, and that could affect their future participation on the site.

  • The vast majority of even our regular users visits only periodically. An event subject that is narrow won't have a significant audience. It will be a challenge to come up with topics of broad appeal. The site covers a lot of territory, and many members are very focused on a specific subset within either art or crafting.

    The Community Gallery was created almost a year ago and promoted for two weeks. It was brilliantly broad, and about as applicable to everyone as you could get (whatever your art or craft, post a picture of it). It attracted a total of three posts, from two moderators. I think the idea of themed events is great in theory, but coming up with successful theme ideas won't be easy.

  • 1
    Thanks for your answer, "If members go to another site and see that it's actually a woke event to promote fat acceptance, they will feel manipulated" ... Where does this come from? Jan 14 at 14:42
  • @PaintingFerret, from our discussion of "Fat February" in chat and the suggestion to repackage it for this audience.
    – fixer1234 Mod
    Jan 14 at 15:01
  • The word I used was 'rebranding' and I meant that to reassure you this wasn't a 'woke event' to 'promote acceptance'. Jan 14 at 16:37
  • I wonder, though, if having the event be regular will increase participation. Maybe not initially, but in the long run it might simply become something that more people know about, and can always rely on is taking place.
    – Joachim Mod
    Jan 14 at 18:29
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    @Joachim, if you're referring to drawing exercises, maybe there's a way to have an ongoing series. It would need to attract more than a couple of participants. Maybe administered via a Meta post with a schedule and descriptions. If it's hosted in the chat room, we can get the posting in the chat announcements without the feature window going stale, and that would be seen by people on other sites.
    – fixer1234 Mod
    Jan 14 at 18:36

I'll post this as an answer only because it's way too long for a comment, but it's really comments on PaintingFerret's answer.

I'm opposed to the specific idea proposed in PaintingFerret's answer, at least in the form suggested, for several reasons.

  1. From an implementation perspective, I don't see it as a good match with the site's audience. On a site like Science Fiction & Fantasy, you have a lot of people who dabble with drawing characters, but have little or no formal training in art. They might find exercises like this fun and useful for improving their skill.

    For the majority of people who visit here with any regularity, this doesn't seem like something they would participate in. They are already motivated to do these kinds of exercises if they need it, and I think most would see it as remedial and unnecessary.

    Events that don't have appeal to a substantial portion of the site may degrade users' interest in events in general. But I'll leave it to the community to speak for themselves on that.

  2. Regarding this specific topic, I can't "unhear" our earlier discussion in chat of the motivation for it. Even if the whole thing is "rebranded" for everyone everywhere, and people won't see a different version somewhere else, the idea for this topic has a lot of baggage. You can frame this as just getting practice drawing a specific body type, but that seems like a manipulation to accomplish the objective of "fat acceptance" surreptitiously.

    Drawing pictures of selected subject matter seems harmless. I would still not see it as a great fit for this site's audience, but it would be less problematic if it was a collection of single exercises focused on various body types people may not draw often (more suited to the justification). Or, a single exercise where people select from a list a body type to draw that they're rusty on. Focusing on drawing fat people in different roles for a month seems pretty excessive, but consistent with psychological "normalizing".

    The bigger perspective goes back to the underlying motivation. The idea of identifying marginalized groups du jour and doing social engineering on their behalf is presumptuous and disrespectful, and socially divisive. Members of the identified group often don't want the spotlight that these actions force on them. On an anonymous platform dedicated to factual content, that should be anathema. It's something we should be especially cognizant about after the events of 2019. People have been sensitized to it, and an event that hints of it could rub people the wrong way.

  • 1
    I completely agree, but won't upvote since this is a comment :)
    – Joachim Mod
    Jan 14 at 18:26

My first suggestion is to do a drawing topic, maybe from the Morpho series of books, some covers shown below:

Morpho: Simplified FormsMorpho: Fat and Skin foldsMorpho: clothing folds and creases

I already have a month's worth of character prompts that I had intended to be used to encourage body types shown in the Fat and Skin folds book, and I'm running it outside of the site during February.

Twenty prompts arranged like a calendar for February

  1. Strength

  2. Scientist

  3. Urban

  4. FREE

  5. FREE

  6. Leader

  7. Guardian

  8. Mage

  9. Astronaut

  10. Cunning

  11. FREE

  12. FREE

  13. Rural

  14. Fighter

  15. Fierce

  16. Office

  17. Nurse

  18. FREE

  19. FREE

  20. Tailor

  21. Rich

  22. Teacher

  23. Shy

  24. Dancer

  25. FREE

  26. FREE

  27. Painter

  28. Tourist

The prompts are random, and more a jumping off point if you're struggling for ideas on how to take part. But they could be applied to any drawing topic, or completely ignored.

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