Draw A Bird Day (2020)

Ever since around 2012, I’ve been celebrating unusual holidays, and the first year I started, I tried to get people to join in with me, but it was difficult. It was in no way “mainstream” yet. People weren’t profiting off of it on Instagram posts, and it wasn’t “cute” yet. The fact that I was bringing in 20 giant bags of chips on National Potato Chip Day to the office was just another way Mary was “being weird again”.

Over the years, unusual holidays have grown in popularity. First, with ones people identified easily with. Like Margarita Day so they had an excuse to drink a margarita. Or Talk Like A Pirate Day because it’s just so damn absurd. And then Instagrammers and bloggers started realizing they could create content around unusual holidays and brands realized there was probably at least one unusual holiday that highlighted their product and they could hype things up around that holiday. The buzz started to grow.

My buzz grew that first April in 2012, when I texted everyone in my phone and asked all my coworkers and Facebook friends to please please please Draw A Bird for Draw A Bird Day. To please humor me. It didn’t need to be something you were going to sell in an art show. It could be a quick pencil stick figure sketch. It could take thirty seconds. But please draw a bird, and send me a picture.

The results I got were so fantastic, I was overjoyed. And I’m not talking about the actual drawings (which were obviously beautiful and outstanding themselves); I’m talking about the texts that accompanied the pictures. People told me that they were originally annoyed at me for being so persistent about them drawing a bird, but that they did it for me because they love me and it ended up being this great break they took in their day and they ended up having fun with it! That they were really proud of their bird, and told other people about Draw A Bird Day, and shared their picture online and with their significant other.

That was what I had been trying to explain to people for months, and what I still try to explain to people today. Unusual holidays make great content, yes. But they are gentle reminders to celebrate something we greatly overlook most of the year. Unusual holidays are about that little bit of excitement in your day where you flip your routine on its head and do something a little different. Where you celebrate the mundane in sometimes a completely absurd way. How beautiful is that?

This year, I got more of a turnout than ever before, and I think it was one of the sparkly linings of COVID-19. So many people are spending their days in new ways, have more “free time”, and are looking for something to do. I actually forgot about Draw A Bird Day until almost midnight. I couldn’t believe even with everything going on, I had almost forgotten my FAVORITE unusual holiday! I quickly made announcements across all social media platforms, texted and DM’d people till my thumbs hurt, and without hesitation the birds came flying in. Pun intended.

It’s so interesting because there’s usually two different reactions I get to this simple request.

  • The first is, “Oh my gosh yes!” and I immediately get a bird back in whatever style they decide to do.
  • The other is, “I’m not an artist, I don’t know how to draw”.

I have a pretty canned response to the second response which reminds them that this is just for fun, I’m not a drawing type artist either, and the whole point of this is just for fun, and you might even be surprised at what you create! It’s about getting out of your mind and into your body, something we can all use even more right now. There is no right answer to this prompt. The only “right” thing is to participate! To pick up a pen and try! I’m so impressed with how many people participated given how we’ve all been feeling, and I am so grateful for the birds that filled my inboxes.

Also, please don’t forget the spirit of unusual holidays is to remind us to celebrate the mundane. And if you’re a day late doing that, the spirit still counts. The idea is to get you to celebrate life. If you dress up like a pirate two days after Talk Like A Pirate Day, it might even be weirder and cooler because you’re the only one doing it! Don’t be a so strict to the schedule.

For example, Draw A Bird Day was weeks ago, and I’m just now getting the energy to put this post together! That doesn’t make it any less amazing. And if you missed the prompt, there is NO reason you can’t sit down and draw a bird today!

Let’s see those birds!

PS – I got so many from so many sources and have been so scatter brained that I didn’t do a very good job of cataloging who did what. I tried to go back and read through every DM and thread, but I missed more than a handful. I’m so sorry!!! If your bird isn’t labeled, PLEASE comment and/or e-mail me so I can edit the post and properly credit you! Or if I somehow didn’t post your bird! Thank you again for participating, Draw A Bird Day wouldn’t be the same without you! We had at least 64 participants this year. New record!

Draw A Bird Day (2020) | Uncustomary
Mary

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Amy

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David

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Janice

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Joe

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Beva

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Danika

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Ashley

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Laima

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Elizabeth

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Ida Marie

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Kirsten

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Ella

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Maura

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Cathy

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Maff

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Ella

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Deidre

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Amy

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Julie

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Elin

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Fehler

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Rebecca

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Yzabelle

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Draw A Bird Day (2020) | Uncustomary
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unknown – please contact me!

Draw A Bird Day (2020) | Uncustomary
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Patty

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Sandy

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Nikki Dee

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Cara

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Candace

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Marty

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Tranifer

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Skye

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Emily

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Krista

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Julia

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Karyn

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Ben

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Molly

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Megan

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April

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Brittany

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Lucca

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Jenn

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Kristin

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Jessica

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Lauren

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Erica

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Kitty

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Felisha

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Louis

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Allison

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Myriam

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Becky

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Leigh

Pretty great, huh? Which bird was your favorite?

This was the first year that we had Draw A Bird Day since Ducks Have Been So Hot, and I think it’s safe to say I’ll be drawing ducks from now on. 🙂

Check out some past years: