Where to begin,
I first discovered Kickstarter about a year ago and instantly fell in love with the idea of it. It was the first time I'd seen a place where people all over the world could post their ideas and get the backing of a really awesome community. I started studying it, wondering what attributes would make a project successful, what might cause them to miss their funding. There were all sorts of anomalies and different projects, but I decided that to see something become successful you would have to offer your backers something really special and heartfelt, something original, and unique. I was riding the red line in Chicago looking at all of the street art, stencils, and graffiti and I thought to myself, "What would you do if you were a street artist?" I came up with an idea about typefaces fighting and set to work in the middle of a web conference designing a first draft of what eventually became the arial attack on inky hill 64 shirt. I kept building on this idea, kept pushing myself to build a project that I would want to see on Kickstarter, to make rewards that I would want to have, so I kept designing, building other shirts and posters. I eventually went through about 5 drafts of the arial attack shirt before I even posted the project, I went to a local screen printer to do a test print. to make sure it was even possible. The printer was perplexed by why I was going through the trouble until he saw the design. "Holy Shit." he said, "That's crazy. You're crazy. We can't do that" But we built a prototype and did it anyway (it's one I'm wearing right now) and after that I updated the design to print cleaner and better.
Posting has been an awesome experience. Through it I've met some amazing people that I would have never even known before; people that have encouraged, helped, and inspired me to keep going and for that I'm very grateful. Some of my friends and even people I don't know posted and re-posted my idea and offered advice. It was so amazing to see that; I am extremely grateful and thankful for your efforts. If I haven't said it to those who reposted already, THANK YOU, YOU are the people I work for and you are awesome.
I was elated when Kickstarter posted me as their project of the day, it felt like all of my work designing and preparing was going to pay off. But then something changed, I would send hundreds e-mails with no effect or even a response, I would post my idea to anybody that would have it with little effect. I tried to offer free things for my backers on my updates that would be fun to spread around and post. I thought that people just didn't understand what I wanted to do, so I spent two days drawing and animating late into the night to build an animatic and show the world what I wanted to create and yet it seemingly made no difference. Ultimately, I feel like the failure of this project is my fault. It is my fault, and I can't blame anyone else for that.
People have told me that I should have charged more but that didn't seem right. I wanted to spread my idea all over, not exploit it and make it unaffordable to people. I had a dream that I would eventually be walking on a street and see someone randomly walking, wearing one of my shirts, I would approach them, give them a hug and try and make out with them just like I promised and they would probably spray me with mace. It's tough to let that dream go.
Well, Where do I go from here? I can't give up on the story of War is Helvetica. I've only told the first 3 minutes of it and there is 7 more that contain some truly awesome stuff (nuclear explosions, machine guns, dogfights) if you listen to rest of the sorcerer's apprentice, you know that things are going to get epic. For me it's a story about the old versus the new, about war in general and its faults, and comic sans still needs to get the shit beaten out of it. I made a promise, and I try to keep my promises. So, I will finish the animatic. I've already set aside enough red bull to kill a small horse and the tip of my Wacom pen is sharpened (Oh shit, I broke it, You're not supposed to do that apparently.) I think you guys will like the end of the story. As for reposting later on Kickstarter. I don't know. At this time I just want to go into a bourbon cave to draw and reflect for a while. There are a couple of things I would change if I were to post again, a few rewards I hadn't considered and didn't have time to produce, and I need to take a minute to reflect and figure out why things went so wrong, to plan for it. But I'm not giving up. The story will be told regardless, even if it's not in 3d like I had hoped.
I wanted to find a way to say thanks to you guys for posting and pledging. It really meant a lot to me and a friend of mine John from stickergiant.com donated some stickers to my cause (what a cool guy! Go buy stuff from him) I'd like to send them to you as a way of saying thanks. You can see them here or below.
If you want one, send me your address and I'll send one your way. If you're out of the states....I'll maybe send one to you too.....maybe...depending on how expensive it is....maybe.
TL;DR: I'm beaten but not dead yet, have some stickers, I love you.
Anyway, thanks to everyone and keep in touch.