It's Women's History Month, so I'm hosting a Feminist Coloring Raffle for everyone!

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Once upon a time, I used to host annual coloring contests

I began doing this in 2017, the year after I published my first coloring book, Doodled Blooms. I started by tying them into National Coloring Book Day (August 2nd, for anyone who's interested) and gathering folks all together in a real time space (our fabulous local coffee shop, Court Street Coffee) for an amazing afternoon of coloring, community, and sponsored prizes. I drew original, stand-alone illustrations for these contests as well, and folks went wild adding their creativity to mine, creating some of the most stunning coloring art I'd ever seen. I had a variety of categories in which folks could enter their coloring art (colored pencils, markers, & mixed media were all separately judged groups) and I had age ranges by which I judged the entrants (grade school, middle to high school, and adult aged folks competed against colorists their own age). It was an enormous amount of work for me, but it got a lot of folks exploring their creativity together, so it felt 100% worth it.

Fast forward to 2020, and you can guess where my annual coloring contest tradition went - POOF! 

But honestly, it wasn't just the pandemic that took the wind out of my coloring contest sails (although not being able to color in IRL community was a huge bummer). My heart also wasn't in it after my successful foray into online coloring contests in 2019. That year I received the most submissions I had ever had to judge...and each one was amazing. I loved them all, was totally stunned and humbled at how folks far and wide (submissions came from all over the United States) took the time to share their creativity with mine, and I wanted to give each and every one of them a prize. Thing was, I couldn't do that because I only had so many prizes to give away. It broke my heart not to send every participant a prize for their coloring art, and I took AGES trying to choose my "winners." Rather than enjoying this beautiful experience I created, I ended up feeling like a bad person for having to rank the unrankable: gorgeous coloring art.

Coloring contests are super fun, though, and they bring people together over a gentle, shared creative goal, both things our world could use a little more of right now. So after great thought and consideration, I've decided to return to the world of hosting coloring events, BUT with a few minor changes. No more will I host coloring "contests;" I'm done judging the unjudgable, y'all. From this year forward I will be hosting coloring RAFFLES

And I can already hear the question in your head: "Michelle - what the heck is a coloring raffle?" 

Well, thanks for asking because I'm excited to tell y'all about it!

A coloring page with the phrase "Feminism Is For Everyone" rests on a wood table surrounded by Crayola art supplies.
To receive this HCWT Free Coloring Page directly in your email
inbox and be granted permission to participate in my first ever
coloring raffle, click here to subscribe to my
colorful monthly newsletter.

A coloring raffle is where you: 
  • color up your "ticket" (in this case, your HCWT Free Page, which for this month is the title illustration of my latest coloring book, Feminism Is For Everyone)
  • submit your fully colored "ticket" to me (I'll explain how in a minute)
  • after the announced time frame of the contest is over, I pull out a handful of winning "tickets" (I'm thinking four seems like a good number, don't you?)
  • the names I draw randomly from the "tickets" jar in my studio (I'm thinking this moment will be a video or broadcast live so folks know for sure I'm on the up & up with fairness) will be the winners of the raffle
A coloring raffle has all the fun and prizes of a coloring contest, but none of the heartache (for me) and disappoint (for excellent entrants that don't "win") of competitive coloring - yay! 

This year's coloring raffle will also be tied in with Women's History Month (Feminism Is For Everyone was born with Women's History Month and its feminist celebrations) because, well, I believe feminism and coloring raffles are for everyone, annnnd it's my favorite month of the year (my birthday is March 26, which is of course why I think the third month of the year is the very best month of all).

The rules for participating in this year's Have Color Will Travel coloring raffle are as follows:
  1. You must be an active subscriber to the HCWT colorful newsletter to win one of the four coloring raffle prizes (but you do NOT have to be an active subscriber to color the free feminist coloring I'm sharing this month, so if my teacher/group leader HCWT fans out there would like to use this coloring page for their Women's History Month activities, please just email me for permission).
  2. You may color up as many "tickets" (the "Feminism Is For Everyone" coloring page above) for submission as your heart desires in order to increase your chances of being a winner, but each "ticket" must be a fully colored page (I believe in artistically chosen white space, for sure, but for the purposes of this raffle, each submission must have at least 80% of the illustration FULLY colored).
  3. Both analog and digitally (this illustration has been released as a Procreate coloring page as well) colored "tickets" will be accepted (and encouraged, actually - I would love to see a few pixel-ed up versions of this coloring page!) 
  4. "Tickets" may be submitted for the raffle in the following ways: via email (arrange to email quality photos of your coloring pages or PDFs of your Procreate colored pages to me by responding to any HCWT newsletter with your coloring art attached), via direct message on Instagram or Facebook (@havecolor_willtravel on Instagram and/or Have Color Will Travel on Facebook) of photos and/or PDFs, OR via posting your coloring art on your Instagram or Facebook (sorry - I'm not active on Twitter) and tagging me in your photo AND your caption (again, I'm @havecolor_willtravel on Instagram and Have Color Will Travel on Facebook). I love seeing folks sharing their coloring art of my illustrations directly to their social media grids and feeds, but if your post on Facebook isn't marked PUBLIC or if your Instagram account is a private one, I will not receive a notification about your "ticket" getting submitted and therefore will have no idea that you've participated nor will I be permitted to even see your submission (this is actually a good privacy thing as a general rule, folks, just frustrating for both of us after you've colored up something amazing, and you're trying share your masterpiece). So, please keep that in mind as you go about choosing a submission method for your coloring art "tickets" and share accordingly!
  5. Submission of your feminist coloring art "ticket" to the Have Color Will Travel coloring raffle grants me, Michelle M. Johnson, permission to share your beautiful colored pages (with credit to you as the colorist) on social media and in the HCWT colorful newsletter. This bit sounds scary (sharing your art with the universe always feels frightening & vulnerable), I know, but people LOVE seeing the coloring art that comes in during my HCWT coloring events! Your creativity inspires creativity in others and brings positive energy to their experience of social media and the internet, so I really hope this submission guideline isn't a deal breaker for anyone!
  6. All coloring "ticket" submissions must be a quality photo, coloring page scan PDF, or Procreate PDF (please try to avoid taking photos of your "tickets" at night or in poor lighting - I'm really looking forward to seeing the true colors you add to this illustration).
  7. The deadline for coloring raffle "ticket" submission is March 31, 2022, at midnight Central time (what we call fondly call "Texas time" where I live).
  8. This contest is open to all ages, so an active subscriber may submit a colored "ticket" to this raffle in care of a minor (child under the age of 18) OR a major (a mature adult who does not engage the internet) in their life. Due to their age and/or comfort level with the internet, these submissions do not have to abide by rule #1 of this raffle. Please include the name and age of this "ticket" holder in addition to the subscriber's name with the submission.
  9. This contest is open to anywhere USPS reaches. What I have planned as the prizes (they will be announced at a later date as I am still in the process of making themπŸ€“) fits in a standard envelope and doesn't weigh much (sounds boring, I know, but believe me - they are SUPER fun!), so if I can reach you by letter mail, you have just as much a chance of winning this coloring raffle as folks who live just a few counties away from me.

And that's it! See? Doesn't a coloring raffle sound WAY more fun and WAY more full of possibility and positivity than a coloring contest?!? 

I've got fun live (I'm thinking of using Facebook Live, but I'm not 100% decided about that, yet) and recorded coloring & creativity mini-events planned that I'm going to sprinkle throughout March, also, to help support everyone in their feminist coloring raffle goals (You know what I mean - you get excited to participate in something that's just for fun and just for you, and then life happens, and all of a sudden it's 7pm on March 31 and you've only colored one little section on the coloring page! I'm designing these social media live/recorded events to help that NOT happen to folks!) so this event will really and truly be fun, relaxing, AND feminist. All of the details of this bonus content will be peppered in my newsletter, however, so be sure to subscribe today  (if you're not already on the list), so that you don't miss out on any of the feminist coloring fun!

An iPad with a feminist coloring page open on it rests on a wood table and is surrounded by Crayola art supplies.
For step-by-step instructions for how to get coloring my HCWT
Free Coloring Pages on your iPad with Procreate, visit this blog post
or this YouTube video!

Three cheers for WOMEN, three cheers for MARCH, and three cheers for COLORING TOGETHER!!!πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰πŸŽ‰


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