Welcome to Homage for the Holidays

Last year, I had an ambitious idea: What if I worked on a creative project every week in December, a creative project that was directly inspired by someone I had met or something I experienced the previous year? I would work on all these projects, and post about where my inspiration came from, and call the whole thing Homage for the Holidays.

I started by building a text-based adventure game, from Portland get XOXO, inspired by Andy Baio and the entire XOXO community.

I built my own version of tilde.club called pebble.ink, inspired by Paul Ford and the hundreds of people who try to make the web more interesting.

I built a twitter-based link aggregator called POBAL, once again inspired by Andy Baio and his site belong.io.

I didn’t quite make it to a different project every week of December, but I was amazed how much the project focused my creativity. I think saying you dedicate a project to someone you admire, or claiming something you’ve experienced as the inspiration for your current work, is kind of incredible. It helps us who make things, especially digital things, claim our history and our lineage and provide a map for others to look at.

Homage for the Holidays rested for most of this past year, and then was resurrected in my mind at XOXO 2015. Anil Dash gave an incredible talk about Makerbase, a project dedicated to cataloguing who made things and who inspired the people who made those things. Seeing his talk, and playing with Makerbase, reminded me why I started Homage for the Holidays last year. And it convinced me that it could be a worthwhile project for others as well.

So I’m opening it up. Homage for the Holidays 2015 is open to the world. Check out the site, sign up for the mailing list, and then make something. Make anything, really. Doesn’t need to be digital, or technological, or even what you might think of as art. It just needs to come from something that inspired you, and you need to write about your inspirations.

If you do that, and tell me about it (you can submit posts to this Medium publication, if you like!), you’ll get a piece of digital art custom-created for Homage for the Holidays by the inimitable Susan Lin, and I’ll promote your project out the wazoo. The pictures in this post are tiles from the piece, and I’ll be revealing more as December progresses.

Check out the site. Sign up for the mailing list. Follow us on Twitter, if that’s your thing. Create something, and tell people where it came from. See if talking about your creative lineage inspires you the same way it did me.

Thanks.