Fright-Fall 2022 Wrap-Up

Fright-Fall 2022 Wrap-Up

In 2021, Fright-Fall, the October art prompt challenge and giveaway, was born. It's our second year running the event, and we've learned a lot!

Even with the best preparation, running an event can have its hiccups. With hindsight on our side this time, Fright-Fall 2022 was a huge success.

Here's a recap of some of the things we learned, some tips for making your next art challenge a success, and some closing words from the community.

Image by Edward Gorey c. 1945 care of the Art Institute of Chicago

some things we learned

With over 3000 participants, our first Fright-Fall went better than we could have dreamed — but that didn't mean there wasn't room for improvement.

Here are some of the things we did this year to improve the challenge:

  • Friendly word prompts. We made the word prompts easier by using words that were easy to turn into illustrations.
  • Pop culture references. Last year, we discovered that some of the most popular word prompts were related to pop culture. This year, we made prompts related to horror movies to create easy jump off points for art.
  • Next day round-ups. By featuring round-ups of art the next day (instead of the same day) we were able to feature more artists and give people who made art later in the day an opportunity to be featured.
  • Daily emails. If you subscribed to the Fright-Fall email list you recieved a daily message with word prompts, featured artists, inspiration, and featured products. These ramped up participation and satisfaction.

Image by Yashuro Ishimoto c. 1949-50 care of the Art Institute of Chicago

Planning to do more drawing challenges? Here are some tips.

This year, we had over 5000 participants in the Fright-Fall Drawing Challenge. This gave us the opportunity to see common obstacles and struggles by artists.

Here are some productivity tips and stress reducers for your next drawing challenge:

  • Have a goal beyond just finishing. Are you working on anatomy? Do you want to have a series that you can turn into merchandise? Use that goal to keep you focused.
  • Don't try to play catch up if you fall behind. This topic came up in the official Fright-Fall thread of the RetroSupply Co. Secret Society, and most members agreed that jumping to the following prompt instead of trying to catch up was best. Why? It's less stressful, helps keep you up to date with the rest of the community, and gives you better chances of being featured on the Fright-Fall round-up!
  • Stick to a theme. Some of our favorite and most impressive bodies of work had a central theme running through all their prompts. Whether that means using specific tools, like the Fright-Fall Fun Sized Freebies, or picking a limited color palette. Some artists formatted their art like playing cards, VHS tapes, or business logos. The results are striking and an excellent opportunity for a portfolio piece!
A black and white illustration of a skeleton.

Image by H. Brown c. 1865 care of Public Domain Review

Community Feedback

It's always rewarding to get direct feedback from the community of artists that have come to support RetroSupply.

Here are some comments from this year's Fright-Fall participants:

  • Thank you @retrosupply - and thank you for this challenge. I haven't drawn this much in 20+ years. I appreciate the challenge and the tools you all produce for artists like myself. Cheers to you all. 🍻 💙 🤘
  • ...After trying a few prompts here and there, your list seems to be a wonderful fit and put me back on my track! Plus the community seems so cool! Also the fact that you guys put together a brush pack for us is just the sweetest thing ever! Even though I do tranditional I really enjoy them and they are such a treat!
  • What an amazing marathon! There were so many inspirational pieces floating around out there. I wish I were a better planner like so many of you who worked ahead! I did the majority of mine either the night before or the day-of which added some stress. “Thinking fast” became part of the exercise! Somehow I managed to complete all 31 days. The themes were challenging (in a good way) and a few really stumped me. I think “costume” and “centipede” where a few of the most difficult ones. Like last year, I gained so much from the experience. Some of the results and reactions were very surprising.
    -Nicholas M.
  • I approach Fright-Fall as a sort of year end crash course for drawing. I am proud that a managed to approach each prompt i completed with a level of personal effort and detail that I set out to do.
    -Joel M.


Our first year doing Fright-Fall was a whirlwind of great art, lots of fun, and plenty of opportunities to learn what to do better the following year.

Fright-Fall 2022 was the culmination of everything we wish we learned and resulted in an event that helped thousands of creatives build drawing habits, get in the flow, and have fun.

We couldn't have done it without you! Seeing all the fantastic art our community created and learning from their feedback made this event better than we could have imagined.

Thank you and here's to another great event in 2023!