Things that we learned from Draw Run

Draw Run

What is draw run? Watch the video below or read our previous blog post here.


Over the past three months, we’ve hosted three art runs: 1. Art Run @ DTLA Art Walk (7 participants), 2. Art Run @ Venice Art Crawl (0 participants), 3. Draw Run @Pasadena Art Night (26 participants).


Past Draw Runs

So, you may be curious how we went from 7 participants, down to 0 and then back up to 26. Today I want to share with you what we learned from each event and how we’ve started to succeed.

Prep time:

Prior to the first event we tried to promote it on and Eventbrite, but no one was really interested or signed up. We figured there would be crowds of people at the art event so we went anyway.



All three events were hosted around the same time, starting around 6 or 7 at night. We quickly found out that starting and setting up early is a good idea because in the summer it’s often dark by 7:30, so to stand out you need to find a place with a lot of lights or bring your own.  If they can’t see you or see where they are going to run, then people at the events won’t want to run, and the dark was seriously the downfall of our Venice beach run.


We didn’t have any signs at the first and second event, so we learned. At the third event at Pasadena, we brought a big white foam board and drew a huge “DRAW RUN” sign. Ha – a bit messy, but it helped. Again, people need to see; visibility is key.


Draw Run Sign


Location Location Location:

At the first art run in DTLA, we arrived with a full suitcase of supplies (blank t-shirts and fabric spray paint) so that the people who did our art run could create a “masterpiece” and take it home with them. During the course of the art walk we managed to recruit 7 people to try our fun little game. The first ever art runner was a young 20-something visiting the LA area from France.  He was very apprehensive, but after some coaxing he chased me around and had a lot of fun painting on my back, followed by Jake with a camera phone, trying to film the whole thing! There was another awesome couple at the DTLA Spring Street Park, and two other couples at parking lot full of food trucks because there was more open space to run around while making a mess.  Overall, our first Art run really felt like a success.

DTLA Maxime


With a background band playing at Pasadena Art Night, people were really relaxed and laid back.

Ease of approach:

Breaking the ice is not easy. As much as we were shy to approach the strangers, we did it anyway. We went up to each person or group we could find and asked if they would try the “Draw Run”.  We faced a lot of rejection, but also a fair amount of success too!

Once we described what a draw run is, about 40%  of people said no way, while the remaining 60% was evenly split between “Maybe” and “Totally!”

You have to be okay with rejection and expect that people might not be interested. I found it to be the hardest part of convincing people. “What? Drawing and Running? Are you crazy?” Especially when you are approached by adults, that’s kind of daunting.

Game changing.

And here comes the moment of truth. Towards the end of our third Draw Run, guess what, Mr. Magic showed up. He was the young son of one of our friends and his name is Tyler, an excited 12 year old boy who showed up in his banana suit. We handed the marketing job over to him by having him hold the “Draw Run” sign. Then within minutes we had a  crowd just show up thanks to Tyler the banana man! He directed a lot of traffic our way, where all of the people made a LINE!!! WHAT?! YES! People are all curious about what’s going on. When there is a line, it must be good.

And in no time, I was running like crazy over and over again with each run to get video of the people participating. As much as my body was exhausted, my brain was pumped seeing the people doing the draw run having so much fun. It was totally worth it! That’s what Creatabu is here for. We want to show you that you can do it. Live in the present of creating and not fearing it. We quickly ran out of of blank t-shirts! WOW! It was a success! Big thanks to the team: Jake, Rhiea, Bobby, Tyler, Aaron, and Elena!Mr Magic New


Continuous challenges:

Covering our cost:

At the end of the day, we are running a business, so we would really love if we could get support by having the runners buy a ticket next time to help us cover the cost of supplies (the shirts,  spray paint, and food at the end of the day), but we are really doing this for passion and love!

Need a better space:

We’ve been tagging along at all the art events and it’s not quite easy to find a proper place to host a draw run. If you think of any other creative spaces that you think we could host at, please let us know.

We are looking for:

Professional artists who believe in what we do and want to challenge themselves in the drawing and running. We also would like to invite some of you to become the judge of the next Draw Run Contest. If you are interested, please email us at [email protected].

Lastly, we will be hosting our next Draw Run on December 17 at the Washington Pier at Venice Beach with during Venice Art Crawl! Please come and join us for the holiday fun and support Creatabu!

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Myths about Draw Dun:

Potential participant: “Oh no no no, I don’t do running.”/”I can’t run.”/”It requires so much effort.”

Team Creatabu: “It’s more like something between a jog and slow run, you should be fine. You could walk if you wanted to, and we’ve even had some people dance!”

He/She: “Oh no no no, I’m not creative at all”/ “I don’t have a creative bone in me.”

Team Creatabu: We believe you have it, everyone is born with creativity in themselves and it’s just a matter practice making the skill better. The goal is to create and not to be perfect.”

We want to invite you to join a Draw Run and do something you may have never done before! Embrace the fear and uncertainty and just go with it. At the end you will be surprised by what you just create, and that’s why we want to keep doing it.

About Chalsea Chen
Practicing art and music makes happy. And if I can also cook 5 days in a week... then I will be the happiest person in the world! DLC, DLC, DLC...

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