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ART265 Work Related Learning. Using Kickstarter for the first time!

“Can anything be sadder than work left unfinished? Yes, work never begun.”

Christina Rossetti

In their own words…
Kickstarter is an American public benefit corporation based in Brooklyn, New York, that maintains a global crowdfunding platform focused on creativity.
The company’s stated mission is “to help bring creative projects to life”.

If you have an idea about creating something such a film, music, art, theatre, games, comics, design, photography to name a few, then this is a convenient portal to allow you to publicise your idea to a large, worldwide audience and ask for monetary help to allow you to create.

The basis for this is simple, an individual, or group wishes to create something – in my case 100 lino cut prints. I had the idea and knowledge of how I could do this, but I needed to generate some funds to allow me to do this. So, I used Kickstarter to help me achieve this.

The Kickstarter online forms take you through everything you need to inform prospective backers of what you are going to make and what “reward” they will get in exchange for their financial backing.
You are encouraged to write about yourself, to create a video and to offer different levels of rewards. The key thing is to be open and honest about what you are going to make.
For my video, I prepared by writing myself a script, after editing it, I went to the North Shields Fish Quay (the inspiration for my linocuts) where my husband filmed me and the Fish Quay. We had several attempts at filming as; I found I forgot my own script! the background wind noise was quite loud, for one take a van came and left its engine revving and in another a member of the public walked past! In the end I went with one that I hoped was informative and light-hearted.

copy of my video

I had already done some background work on pricing, to include costs of;

Kickstarter take 10% of your pledge funds, as long as your project hits its targets.

Paper                    £5.00 for 20 sheets.

Ink                         £8.00 per tube

Envelopes            £17.00 for 50 (inc vat and postage to me)

Postage               The size I am printing on can be accommodated by a C3 envelope.  This posts as a Small Parcel.  Posting on the most economic 2nd class posting;

                              UK                         £3.50

                              Europe                 £5.50

                              Rest of world      £6.50

All of these costs can be fed into the portal, you can decide whether to make them visible to the public or not.

The rewards
I set four levels of rewards.
, the chance for someone to donate just out of kindness without receiving anything back.
£10.00, A print of their choosing. While I retain control over the colours I use.
£15.00, A print of their choosing and the opportunity to collaborate with me, where the backer chooses the paper and colour of the ink.
£40.00, Each of the prints again produced collaboratively with the backer choosing the paper and ink colour and any pastel embellishment.

Generating interest
The portal has 15 main subset headings allowing you to specify where your product sits, this allows people to find the things that most interest them, be that Art, Comics, Food, Theatre etc
Kickstarter publicise on their portal, but they also encourage you to use all your social media contacts to allow the word to spread far and wide.

I launched my page on 2nd March with a 30-day run period. Within the first 24 hrs I had met my funding target.

So far I have achieved 188% of my funding target with 17 days remaining for the public to purchase via Kickstarter.

Reflecting on this exercise I am pleased I took the chance to publicise my own work, generate some interest and actually sell some prints. It was a fun and exciting thing to do as well as confidence building. I think it is a useful way for self employed artists to build their commercial practice.


Published by stweddle

Living in Newcastle I have access to great landscape; sea, urban, country and city which I am continually inspired by. Starting my artistic qualification in my 50's allows me the benefit of long years admiring others art and a burning need to create my own.

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