The Kickstarter Blog

Creator Q&A: Hamburger Eyes' Ray Potes

Ray Potes’ Hamburger Eyes project is the first magazine project to come through Kickstarter, and it has been hugely successful. Potes sought $3,000 to pay for printing and other costs for his photography zine, and he pulled in more than $4,300, allowing the magazine to continue and stretching this issue, its 13th, to a whopping 150 pages.

Before getting into the full Q&A, we wanted to pull out one quote in particular that really illustrates what Kickstarter is all about:

Have you learned/discovered anything from the experience?

Yes definitely. Mostly that I must be doing something right. When you publish something or make anything and put it out there yourself, it’s always hard to say if people get it or not. Does the world appreciate this stuff? Am I blowing it? Wasting my time? And with a site like Kickstarter, you have all the answers right away.

We could not have put it better. It’s often so hard to understand the true value of your own work, and KSR can serve as gut-check of sorts, all while avoiding the politics of “market research” and with no worry of creative compromise or the myriad over pitfalls that come with trying to breathe life into a vision, sending it out into the world.

You can scroll down for an excellent mini-doc on the work that Potes and his Hamburger Eyes photographers have undertaken, but first let’s hear some more from Ray about his project experience.


Tell us about your project.

Hamburger Eyes
is a magazine we’ve been doing for about eight years now. Due to economics, it’s getting harder and harder to sell ads. We thought we would try out Kickstarter to help pay for our 13th issue.

How did you decide on your rewards?

The rewards system worked out great because the people who made pledges actually get sent the magazine when it’s done. So they get to see and feel their dollars at work.

How many of your backers do you know personally?

I only knew a handful of them. It’s amazing and I had no idea really that this many strangers would be into our stuff.

How are you going to be updating people as you go along?

I sent out messages of the progress, but I feel I could’ve taken more advantage of video updates.

Have you learned/discovered anything from the experience?

Yes definitely. Mostly that I must be doing something right. When you publish something or make anything and put it out there yourself, it’s always hard to say if people get it or not. Does the world appreciate this stuff? Am I blowing it? Wasting my time? And with a site like Kickstarter, you have all the answers right away.

What was unanticipated about the experience?

The whole thing was unanticipated. I really didn’t think we could make our goal because we had a short deadline! But we made way over our goal. Ridiculous. Mind-blowing.

What, if anything, would you change about your project?

I planned my dates poorly, so there was a stress factor of making deadlines. But it all worked out perfectly!!

Hamburger Eyes from Nick Fogarty on Vimeo.

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