I am in the countdown for the last hour of my Kickstarter project to fund Pandamorphosis, my wordless picture book, which I have been working on for about four years.
Being tuned in to all things “Kickstarter” I’m always interested in reading news stories about it. In the last two days I saw a story about how film-maker Spike Lee used Kickstarter to fund a film project, and I just read the “from the editor” column in Smithsonian Magazine, about how a recent article that required travel to foreign lands, was funded with Kickstarter. Still another article came up about a publishing company that was going to use crowd-funding to fund and assess appeal for a book.
One of the questions that I see pop up is “Is it fair for people who are already famous to use something like Kickstarter to fund their project?”
My answer, after a little consideration, is a resounding yes. The truth is that even people that we perceive to have “made it” already, still need to keep working, and the gatekeepers, whether they be publishers, movie studios, music companies, or art galleries are growing increasingly squirrelly over making a financial investment/ commitment in “the talent.”
I think that the fact that scholars, well known film-makers, and musicians are using crowd-funding gives the process visibility and credibility that it didn’t have at its inception. It gives small fish like me the opportunity to raise money for a small-ish project. Yes, there have been artist project grants available from various sources for more than 30 years, but for those, you have a large number of artists competing for a small number of grants, that are decided by just a few people. Crowd-funding changes the dynamic and allows artists and creatives of all varieties the chance to take their project before the people who may be interested. I think it is a wonderful thing to come into being.
Well, my project has just about 30 minutes left to run. It’s been a wonderful experience, and I’ve gathered more than twice as much funding as I originally asked for. Most of the money will go for project expenses and reward fulfillment, but there will be a small amount “leftover” to fund more projects that come out of my studio.
Thank you to all who have participated and supported me. And if you’ve never contributed to a crowd-funding project, I urge you to get out there and find a project you love. Sign up as a backer, even if it’s just for a dollar. You might just have some fun, while doing something good.