Cranory had its beginnings in 1967 when, out of the blue, George Dover received a large grocery bag filled with broken crayons from his grade school art teacher. George, at the time, was struggling with starting a graphic design firm and turned to oil painting on the weekends to avoid work. It didn’t take long to realize oils took too much time to set up and clean up. One day, completely frustrated by this, he grabbed a handful of broken crayons from the bag and started coloring. Luckily the paper was receptive and he spent a rewarding afternoon ending by throwing the crayons back into the bag...no clean-up time.
Through the following years, George came to realize that the feel, smell, and sound of the crayons evoked warm memories of youthful, carefree crayoning disengaging him from work stress. The rhythm of the crayoning seemed to release the mind to wander and actually assisted in his professional creative problem solving.
When his mother retired, he became concerned over her depression. Even though they lived on opposite sides of the country, he asked her to assist him with the crayon drawings in the hopes that a project with purpose would help her recovery. He sent her the base drawings with outlined areas showing the color and gradation for her to match and fill in with the provided palette of crayons. She then sent the completed base drawings back to him to complete. They engaged in a collaborative art making process that had dramatic results. It didn’t take long for her to emerge from her depression and he happily increased productivity.
Realizing the engaging values of this process, he offered it to several other people needing positive focus in their lives and, in every case, it nurtured improvements.
Cranory currently is working on pilot projects to better qualify and expand its mission.