Building a Home for Book Arts in London

Artists Simon Goode and Ira Yonemura opened the London Centre for Book Arts in 2012 to provide an open-access work space and resources to people interested in book-binding, printing, and self-publishing. "People work on all sorts of different projects [here]. Some of them are artists, some are craftspeople, some are hobbyists," Goode says.

The studio’s membership swelled over the years, and the pair started talking about what it would take to expand the Centre. “We knew that we wouldn’t be able to do it in our own,” Yonemura says. So in July 2017, they launched a Kickstarter project to expand into a new studio, planning to host workshops and special events, house a new library and reading space, and purchase new equipment. And with the support of 470 backers, the pair raised £24,000 (over $33,000) to expand the London Centre for Book Arts.

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11 Kickstarter-Funded Films to Watch at SXSW 2018

Photo by Carol Watson, courtesy of SXSW.
Photo by Carol Watson, courtesy of SXSW.

Meet a pepperoni-loving Instagram celebrity in the throes of an identity crisis. Hear the stories of the women who fought for social reform during Nicaragua’s 1979 Sandinista Revolution. Learn about the man behind the papier-mâché mask of a beloved Manchester comedian.

This year, eleven Kickstarter-funded films will screen at SXSW, ranging from inventive narrative films like Nijla Mu’min’s Jinn and Charlene de Guzman’s Unlovable to powerful documentaries shedding light on social issues past and present like Nick Budabin’s Chi-Town and Jenny Murray’s ¡Las Sandinistas! — and much more.

Join us in congratulating the Kickstarter creators whose films will screen at this year’s festival, and read on to learn more about them.

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Introducing Kickstarter Patrons

Kickstarter is a place where the world can value creators for the value they bring to the world. Since our launch in 2009, more than 14 million people have directed $3.1 billion dollars to independent creators here. Today we're happy to announce the launch of a new program to bring them even greater support — Kickstarter Patrons.

Kickstarter Patrons is a pilot program we’re developing, which creates a bridge between institutions that champion creative projects, and the creators bringing those projects to life. Patrons can be nonprofit or for-profit, but they all share our belief that creative works are essential to a healthy and vibrant society.

Each Kickstarter Patron we select for the program makes a public commitment to support campaigns through a series of pledges that are $1,000 or greater. Our team then points them toward projects that align with their mission. And they select which projects they want to get behind just as any other backer would, to push them one step closer to reality and follow the journey along the way. Patrons create a profile where anyone can learn more about them and see the projects they support.

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Bento Lab: Making DNA Analysis More Accessible

One of the things that really excites me about DNA is that it’s almost like a map of your future,” says microbiologist Bethan Wolfenden, co-founder of Bento Lab.

As a PhD student, she and her partner, Philipp Boeing, wanted to create an an easy-to-use tool that would allow anybody interested in working with DNA to conduct a simple genetic analysis. So they designed Bento Lab — a small, portable machine that could do just that.

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From Kickstarter to the Academy Awards: Three Questions for the Creators of ‘Loving Vincent’

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“This will be the world’s first feature-length painted animation,” animator Dorota Kobiela and director Hugh Welchman wrote on the project page for Loving Vincent in early 2014.

Nearly 800 backers supported their project to make a animated film exploring the life of Vincent Van Gogh, and over the next three years Kobiela and Welchman set about bringing their vision to life. They filmed live actors on a green screen, and recruited 125 painters to meticulously animate some 65,000 film frames in the artist’s trademark gestural style.

After winning acclaim on the festival circuit, Loving Vincent was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature — making this the eighth consecutive year a Kickstarter-funded film has been nominated for an Oscar. 

Read on to hear from Kobiela and Welchman about how they used Kickstarter to connect with their audience, as well as their advice for emerging filmmakers. And join us in cheering on the filmmakers this Sunday, March 4, at the Oscars.

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Sew Your Soul: Lucy Sparrow’s Felt-Art Installations

Inside “The Felt Cave,” a workshop on a farm in Essex, a few dozen miles north of London, Lucy Sparrow fashions boxes of candy, jars of peanut butter, bottles of grape juice, cans of Coca-Cola, and just about anything else you can imagine out of colorful felt. She’s been working with felt since she was about eight years old — “but now I just take it to extremes,” she says with a laugh.

In January 2014, Sparrow raised over £10,000 (over $13,500) on Kickstarter to create The Cornershop, transforming an abandoned London newsstand into a quaint corner store where everything — from the newspapers to the chewing gum at the cash register to the register itself — was made of felt. And in 2016, she did it again with 8 Till Late, an all-felt convenience store in New York City. It was a sensation, selling out all 9,000 felt objects Sparrow had made by hand for the installation.

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New: Find Creators in Search Results

Some Kickstarter creators have built up quite a following over time. The writer and publisher Elly Blue, for example, has launched 25 projects, with new fans discovering her work all along the way. So we thought, why not make it easier for people to find specific creators on Kickstarter and check out their latest projects?

Now, when you use the search tool on our site, you’ll see the names of some of our 320,000 creators included in the results when relevant. This feature rolled out to all users today.

Once you find the creator you’re looking for, you can hit the “Follow” button to be notified when they launch a new project.

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