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Project: FREE FLO Creative Community

Role: Visual Designer, Instructional Designer, UX and Marketing Strategist

Problem: In a post-pandemic world, many students were expressing struggling with a lack of community and inspiration, as well as feeling overwhelmed and burnt out from stress and social media, and having trouble making time for their artwork.

Goal: To create a simple, accessible online community to support students in making their artwork, connecting with one another, and staying inspired.

Research: I conducted a survey with a selection of Flora's most engaged audience to find out specific details around their demographics, what their pain-points were, if they were interested in a subscription program, and if so, what their price point was. The major pain points were as follows:

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From this data, I composed a series of User Stories:

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User 1: User 1 is a retired therapist in her 70s who is on a fixed income, who recently went through a bought of breast cancer, and is grieving the loss of her husband. She is not very experienced with technology but wants to find a simple, accessible way to process her grief and make art from the comfort of her own home.

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User 2: User 2 is a busy mom in her late 30s with two young kids, who works full time. She doesn't have a lot of time, and is overwhelmed by her responsibilities and feeling isolated from community. She wants to get back in touch with her art process, as well as engage her kids in the process of making art from the kitchen table.

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User 3: User 3 is a former interior designer and life coach in her 50s currently going through a divorce, who wants to connect back to herself again, find a new community, and re-discover her creative side. She is happy to pay for a high-quality experience that will leave her feeling cared for, inspired, connected, and alive.

Solution: A simple, streamlined subscription program hosted on Mighty Networks, which would allow for artists all around the world to connect in one place, with structured support for creativity and scheduled time to paint.

  • Monthly or annual price points - larger discounts for annual members on a fixed income, and monthly options available for those concerned about the time commitment.

  • Ability to meet, message, talk to, and discover fellow artists from their local area or across the world.

 

  • Community Art Gatherings, creating a designated time and place each month for busy artists to get out their materials and create together. A playlist is included to keep artists inspired all month long. Timing is staggered to accommodate different time zones.

  • Classes with Guest Inspirationalists, a curated roster of creative experts and mentors who share their unique ways of infusing creativity into all aspects of life.

  • Heart Circles, a monthly soulful class where Flora shares insights and offers exercises such as meditations, writing prompts, creative exercises, and gentle movement. There will always be space to ask questions, as well as breakout rooms to meet and connect with new people.

  • Bonus pre-recoded classes to inspire and instruct students on new techniques.

  • Daily Creative Prompts, designed to help participants stay connected to their creativity. They can be used as jumping-off points for things like drawing, writing, painting, photography, or simply moving through the world with more creativity. Participants share their creative prompt responses and get the conversation going in dedicated forums.

  • Monthly Creative Commitments, a space to be accountable for what you are hoping to accomplish and creative intentions for the coming month.

  • A Community Art Gallery, which offers a safe and supportive place to share in-progress or finished artwork with the community.

 

  • An Inspiration Exchange of Favorite Art Materials, Free Resources, and Community Message Board spaces. 

  • Art Card Exchange, allowing participants to paint their own post card and mail them to other members around the country (or the world), and receive surprise cards in the mail.

  • In Person Connections: FREE FLO community members can see who lives in their area, and in person or online meetups are encouraged. Anyone living near Flora in Oregon will be invited out to The Nest (the retreat center where she lives) once a year.

Outcome: 600+ students registered, generating over $200,000 in revenue in the first 7 months.

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Testimonials:

"Free Flo has changed my life for the better, I’m not even kidding. I am Alive again! This community reminds me daily why I love to create and how essential creativity is to my well-being. I paint/write daily now as a form of self love, as well as a deep desire to better my practice." - Kerry H.

 

"I am creating regularly again. Sometimes in between clients, sometimes at the end of the day, sometimes to start the day - even if it is for 5 minutes, this is precious to me." - Sandy R.

"As a perfectionist I always male a lot of plans bit don't DO them, FreeFlo made me finally sit down and start to play with painting-supplies." - Chantal B.

"My art practice is returning and the community has emboldened me to be more free in my practice, and also to share more of my art in an environment which feels safe, accepting, and encouraging." - Gabrielle F.

"It is reaffirming to hear the ups and downs in creative flow that Flora and others experience, so that I know I am not alone." - Sandy R.

"I love how the movement and playlists ground me and open me up. It all feels so right and so inspired." - Kathleen K.

"being part of the FREE FLO community the past four months has definitely enhanced my life. This group has fulfilled my wish to hang out with “like minded souls”. I’m finding out that not having a plan and trying out new mediums is pretty exciting. I appreciate all the encouragement, wisdom, and inspiring art we are sharing with each other. I feel like an old dog learning new tricks!" - Diane S.

"Free Flo came at just the perfect time for me. I was in need of a more consistent connection with like-minded artistic energy. Something to spark my creativity, a gift to myself." - Kerry H.

"The daily prompts keep me in discovery/curiosity mode. I find myself looking for interesting things to be joyful about. I also love the self inquiry aspects of Free Flo. For instance… Am I creating more than I am consuming? It’s keeping me honest with myself." - Debi W.

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