It's hard to believe that it's been two years since we launched Creative Action Network. Two years of crowdsourcing artwork, of sharing meaningful merchandise, and of getting artists paid. Thanks to all of you who have made it possible along the way. Here's a look back at the biggest moments of 2014:
1. See America is born! Back in January, we launched our See America campaign with the National Parks Conservation Association, reviving the legacy of the New Deal. Who would have known back then that this would be our biggest campaign to date with over 800 designs!
2. CAN goes international. We put on pop-up shows and gallery exhibits around the world, including San Francisco, CA, Knoxville, TN, the FDR Presidential Library & Museum in Hyde Park, NY, the Department of the Interior Museum in Washington DC, and even the US Embassy in Bahrain!
3. We graduated from Matter.vc. We were lucky enough to be selected into one of the Silicon Valley's most prestigious accelerator programs, focused on companies working to "change media for good," and finished in February, a stronger team and stronger company for the experience.
4. So many new products! While we'll always have a particularly soft spot for posters, this year saw CAN add dozens of new products to showcase the great work of our artists, from t-shirts to tote bags to hoodies to baby onesies!
5. We launched Climate Victory. With our friends at 350.org, we launched a new campaign for Climate Victory!
6. Back to the start with the WPA. Going back to the original inspiration for CAN, we added dozens of pieces from the New-Deal era Works Progress Administration, bringing back art from the 1930's and making it available today.
7. Reviving 1200 Posters. Back in 2011, before CAN even existed, we ran a community art project called 1200 Posters, and were able to bring it back this year on the new CAN platform.
8. We paid over $10,000 to artists around the world. Yeah, that was awesome. Artists receive 40% of proceeds from sales of their work, and as CAN grows, the size of the checks we get to send out every quarter do too:) Pictured are the results of our first Secret Santa/Artist Portrait swap.
10. Our biggest holiday season ever. We'd heard something about people buying lots of gifts around the holidays...Well, it turns out, they really really do - especially when it's original crowdsourced artwork about causes we all love.
11. Holiday Pop-Up Party. Despite San Francisco's much overhyped "storm of the century," our community showed up in force at our pop-up, ending the year with friends.
12. Licensing Designs to Reach Millions. With new friends like NPCA, Zazzle, Scribd, and even a bakery in Singapore, we've started allowing partners to create goods with our designs and take CAN to the next level.
Thanks to everyone who helped make this such a monumental year, especially all of the talented artists and designers who have been so generous with their time and talents. Here's to an even bigger, better, 2015!
- Aaron & Max
Co-Founders, Creative Action Network.