Long Story Short 2023: Join Kickstarter’s Annual Celebration of Short Films in March

Launch a short film campaign and join a cohort of boundary-pushing, rabble-rousing, future-dreaming filmmakers doing the same.

There’s no better place to launch a short film than on Kickstarter. And there’s no better time for shorts on Kickstarter than in spring.

That’s because March 2023 sees the return of Long Story Short, Kickstarter’s annual celebration of short films and the visionary people who make them. Throughout the month, we’ll feature live short film projects from every genre—on the site, on social, and in newsletters. We’ll share new resources to help creators run successful campaigns, announce fresh opportunities from industry partners, and showcase some of the outstanding filmmaking and filmmakers we’ve worked with over the years.

Since the launch of the first Long Story Short in 2020 we’ve seen 400 projects go through our yearly open call, generating more than $4M in pledges. These films join more than 8,000 short films that have been successfully funded on the platform since our launch 13 years ago.

Short films have always found success here. Shorts funded on Kickstarter have been featured at film festivals (catch Pram Snatcher at this year’s BFI London Film Festival!), released on DVD and Blu-Ray (like Don Hertzfeldt’s World of Tomorrow), and selected as Vimeo Staff Picks (check out Matthew Puccini’s Lavender). What’s more, Kickstarter-funded shorts have picked up three Academy Awards: Hair Love won in the Animated Short Film category in 2020, Period. End of Sentence won in the 2019 Short Documentary category, and Inocente took home the award in the Short Documentary category in 2013.

An open call for creators

It’s never too early to start planning for Long Story Short. So, we’re inviting emerging and established filmmakers, film students, and other enthusiastic cinephiles to start thinking now about what they want to launch into the world.

Here’s how you can get involved with Long Story Short:

  • Create a short film project on Kickstarter and select “Shorts” as your subcategory.
  • Launch your project anytime between March 1 and 31, 2023.
  • Read our guides for tips and best practices for running a campaign.

Between now and March 2023, we’ll share resources for short-form filmmakers and announce fresh opportunities from industry partners. Then, in March, we’ll promote shorts in Kickstarter newsletters, throughout the site, on social media, and more.

We’re excited to see what you come up with!

Announcing Kickstarter's New CEO, Everette Taylor

I’m incredibly excited to announce that Everette Taylor has joined us as Kickstarter’s new CEO. Over the past few months, I’ve had the pleasure of getting to know Everette and can’t wait to see the positive impact he’ll have on Kickstarter’s future. His combination of product and marketing chops, innate leadership skills, and deep connection with culture and creators shows that Everette will not only honor our mission, but lead Kickstarter to new heights.

You’ll be hearing a lot more from Everette in the coming weeks, but in the meantime, to learn more about him and his experience, check out our official announcement below, and be sure to follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

–Sean Leow, COO, Kickstarter

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Photo by Ackime Snow
Photo by Ackime Snow

Everette Taylor Is Kickstarter's New CEO

Kickstarter, PBC is excited to announce that Everette Taylor has joined our team as our new Chief Executive Officer.

Everette has a track record of building successful businesses as a founder, as well as experience overseeing product and marketing as a chief marketing officer. Everette is passionate about art, supporting creators, and making creativity accessible to all; and brings strong leadership and experience building a diverse, mission-driven, and highly effective team.

“I am humbled to take on the role of CEO of Kickstarter at a very transformative time for the company. Kickstarter has made such a positive impact on the world, and I’m honored to continue the mission of bringing creative projects to life and support amazing creators across the globe,” said Everette.

Everette most recently served as Chief Marketing Officer for Artsy, the world’s leading marketplace for buying and selling fine art. During his time at Artsy, he was recognized on The Forbes Entrepreneurial CMO List, an annual list which highlights chief marketing officers whose entrepreneurial spirit and actions are transforming their brands and culture itself, and was named by Forbes as one of the World's Most Influential CMOs.

A respected business executive and creative marketing entrepreneur, Everette founded ET Enterprises in 2013 overseeing a diverse portfolio of companies that includes PopSocial, MilliSense, ArtX, and GrowthHackers. While serving as CEO of PopSocial, a social media software company, he was recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 in 2018 and an All-Star Alumni the following year due to substantial growth of the company. Everette has also served as CMO for Skurt and Head of Marketing at Qualaroo, companies he helped lead to successful acquisitions. Everette has also overseen growth for new mobile apps for a division of Microsoft China, as Interim Head of Marketing, and as CMO for e-commerce company StickerMule where he led substantial growth for the company as their youngest-ever executive.

“Everette brings so many exciting qualities to the table that will help take Kickstarter to the next level, from his deep passion for our mission and his natural-born leadership to his proven track record of delivering first-class product and brand experiences,” said Sean Leow, COO, who served as Interim CEO for Kickstarter since April 2022.

Everette has been called "an innovator who's changing the consumer marketing game" by Black Enterprise, and “a millennial entrepreneur who built a marketing and tech empire” by Business Insider. In 2018, he was named one of the "100 Most Influential African-Americans" by The Root and Forbes 30 Under 30 for Marketing/Advertising.

"I love Everette's passion for creating great experiences, and I'm excited for the impact his leadership and creativity will have on the experiences of creators and backers, longstanding and new. The Kickstarter board and I are thrilled to support Everette as he works to build an ever-better Kickstarter,” said Perry Chen, board chair and Kickstarter co-founder.

"Kickstarter pioneered a people powered model for supporting creative work and I believe we have barely scratched the surface of what's possible with this approach. I believe Everette's energy and creativity will help the Company massively expand the market in the coming years," said Fred Wilson, Kickstarter board member and chair of the CEO search committee.

Aligned with Kickstarer’s values as a Public Benefit Corporation, Everette is also deeply passionate about his philanthropic work and giving back to the community. He serves on the Chisenhale Council for Chisenhale Gallery, a non-profit that helps artists commission and produce contemporary art, supporting international and UK-based artists to make their most ambitious work to date by pursuing new directions in their practices. He also sits on the advisory board for Art at a Time Like This, which works with artists and curators to create art that responds to current social and political events, and presents it in public spaces. In 2013, he launched the clothing line Unity Over Self with NFL athlete Brandon Ross to raise money for children with autism. And in 2019, Everette received an honorary doctorate degree from Shaw University upon recognition of his “meritorious contributions to human society and welfare for humanity.”

Follow Everette on Instagram and Twitter.

Notes From Our Second Community Advisory Council Meeting: Protocol Discussion and What’s Next for Product

Several times each year, the creators we’ve brought together in our Community Advisory Council meet with members of the Kickstarter team, bringing their expertise and insights to guide our work. They are an incredible group of passionate community advocates from across creative disciplines.

Building on the enthusiasm, ideas, and feedback from our first meeting, this month we dove more deeply into two areas. Most of our time together was spent discussing the research and exploration of an open source protocol—the work of a small, independent team, focused on big ideas concerning the future of crowdfunding as an ecosystem. We also dove into the work of the Kickstarter team, addressing the most immediate needs of our community. Specifically, we talked through an area of focus for our product team in the second half of the year: building tools to help creators more effectively market their campaigns to potential backers.

While the protocol team focuses on exploration for the future, we’re focused on creators’ immediate needs.

Part of our time together was dedicated to discussing the work our product teams are doing to address pain points creators feel when trying to get the word out about their projects. We shared our team’s methodology for surveying our community and understanding what rises to the top, walked through some immediate next steps, and then opened up the conversation. We heard that in addition to tools we’re working on like support for Google Analytics 4 and pixel integrations, there’s a hunger to facilitate more real-world connections with audiences. Creators also want to make it easier and more appealing for potential backers to follow their project before it goes live. And creators want better analytics—for example, when you can see where your most engaged backers are coming from, you have a chance to build on that success. As our product teams are building, they’re also evaluating how we can best integrate this feedback into their work.

Additionally, we focused the conversation on protocol efforts. This direct conversation was overdue as the issue remains top of mind for many creators, and it was an important step in more deeply involving our community with this initiative.

The crowdfunding protocol needs to convince Kickstarter of its value, just as it will with anyone else who considers it.

The council advised strongly that Kickstarter help eliminate potential misunderstanding and ease fears around our intentions and motives for the future use of blockchain protocols, so there are a few things we want our community to know:

  • Kickstarter is working with a small research and development team to focus on the creative crowdfunding protocol and explore whether new technologies like blockchain can help us solve long standing challenges in crowdfunding. Kickstarter will not adopt the crowdfunding protocol unless it presents a clear and compelling case for how it will benefit both creators and backers, and solve specific problems that we know creators and backers face. It needs to convince Kickstarter, just as it will with anyone else who considers it.
  • If Kickstarter makes use of an open source protocol, creators and backers will be involved and informed. There will be a proof of concept for creators who want to use it. And creators and backers will have a clear understanding of how and where it is being used.

The protocol team is exploring how to improve reach and trust within crowdfunding. There’s confusion, skepticism, and potential. We need to address it all.

The Council noted that there is a great deal of confusion around what problem(s) Kickstarter is hoping to solve through a protocol, as well as a lot of skepticism around whether blockchain is actually necessary in order to solve those problems.

Based on the Council’s input, we want to address both of those issues directly!

First, we understand that there are a range of challenges facing crowdfunding, both for creators and backers. While blockchain doesn’t have useful applications for all of these problems, we believe that it could have a meaningful impact in solving two of the biggest problems we’ve identified:

  • Project reach: Helping creators expand the presence of their campaigns beyond the Kickstarter platform, in order to engage a larger base of potential backers and supporters.
  • Trust in crowdfunding: Building increased trust between creators and backers, along with increased backer confidence when deciding whether to support a project.

We aren’t suggesting that these problems can only be solved through blockchain. We are simply exploring the possibility that blockchain might provide some additional ways to tackle these challenges, alongside a number of measures we’re already working on. We want to be prepared for what the next decade brings, and shape the changes in ways that benefit creators, backers, and our mission.

The Council had a number of additional questions for which we don’t have answers yet, and we know that you do too, so we humbly ask that everyone withhold judgment while the exploratory team continues to research and evaluate how the protocol has the potential to help strengthen project reach and trust in crowdfunding. We are committed to sharing those insights publicly, and ensuring we hear from our community. While the crowdfunding protocol team dreams big for the future, the Kickstarter team continues to focus on improving our platform by delivering improvements creators have been asking for.

In both of the big areas we covered, it was hard to get to everything we wanted to talk about in just two hours. There is so much to do, and we’re grateful to the Council for sharing their expertise and delivering direct feedback with kindness. It’s already helping us to orient more deeply around the needs of our creative communities.

We want your input: What topics would you add to the agenda?

For each meeting, I create an agenda based on meeting topics the Council has surfaced and while I’ll continue to do that going forward I’d love to know your thoughts: What topics would you like to see discussed at Council meetings? If you have ideas, we’d like to hear them: [email protected].

Back these projects with me!

Congratulations to Council member Stefanie Black—I’m a proud backer of their project that just wrapped, Lydia the Luna Moth and Lenore the Rosy Maple Moth Plush.

Here are a couple more projects that caught my attention. I recently backed them and hope you’ll join me!

  • I’m a crafter and love this collection of crochet shawl and wrap patterns.
  • There are a lot of amazing Zine Quest 4 projects live on the site right now—including this cool sci-fi horror RPG from Arcanum Game Studio. A note for RPG creators: Zine Quest 5 will be back again next February.

—Kimm Alfonso; VP, Creator and Backer Success

Meet the Kickstarter Games Outreach Team

There’s no question that games are at the very heart of what we do at Kickstarter. Since our launch in 2009, Kickstarter has become the home for the largest, most engaged games community in the crowdfunding industry, with nearly $2B pledged to 70,000 projects in our Games category since 2009. Beyond these impressive numbers, the inspiring work that independent game designers launch on Kickstarter embodies the true spirit of our mission—helping people come together to bring creative projects to life (whether that’s gathering around a table to spin up a new RPG campaign or gathering virtually to back a Kickstarter campaign and cheer on your favorite creator).

That’s why it’s so important that Kickstarter's Games Outreach team is made up of trusted industry experts with a strong track record of supporting (and creating!) Games projects. And today, we’re pleased to introduce you to our intrepid Games team, with both new and familiar faces!

First, we’re very excited to announce that our new Director of Games is Jon Ritter-Roderick. Jon has been our Senior Outreach Lead for Tabletop since 2020, but for those of you in the games world, you know he’s been in the industry much longer than that.

Jon is a successful game creator himself, founding Lay Waste Games in 2013, and going on to use his experience as a game publisher to advise on other Kickstarter campaigns, including Frosthaven from Cephalofair, Trogdor!! from Homestar Runner, SHASN from Zain Memon, and The Shivers from Pop Fiction Games.

Since joining Kickstarter two years ago, Jon has helped hundreds of creators launch their campaigns, while passionately advocating for game creator needs internally to ensure Kickstarter remains the ideal place for bringing creative projects to life. We couldn’t be happier to have him at the helm.

Follow Jon on Twitter at @jonritter.

We’re also proud to welcome a new Games Outreach Lead, Nicole Amato, who will be joining Jon on the Games Outreach team.

Nicole is a seasoned game designer, writer, editor, gamer, and podcaster who got her start in the game industry in 2009 writing and editing for video games.

In 2013, Nicole made her first tabletop game, RESISTOR_, which she later launched on Kickstarter. She has won a Philly Geek Award, published four board games, and contributed to a dozen more. Her games have also been part of both IndieCade and IndieMEGABOOTH.

Nicole is experienced in playtesting, consulting, and collaboration, and is one of the co-founders of Game Makers Guild Philadelphia, a local playtesting group, and the Tabletop Co-op, a cooperative of board game designers who help each other at conventions. Her passion for collaboration and understanding of the creator journey will be an incredible asset to us at Kickstarter and we are honored to have her on board.

In addition to Jon and Nicole, we work with Michael Liebe and Elina Roinioti to support game creators based in Europe. Their work in the games community has been integral to Kickstarter’s expansion in Europe and they have supported hugely successful campaigns from The Witcher: Old World to The Wandering Village.

You’ll be hearing a lot more from our Games team, and be sure to say hi to them at upcoming game events like Essen Game Fair in Germany and PAX Unplugged in Philly. For now, you can subscribe to the Games newsletter they curate, and if you have questions about running your own Games project, you can always get in touch by emailing [email protected].

—Nick Yulman, Director of Outreach

Kickstarter Never Tolerates Abusive Behavior; This New Feature Makes it Easier for Creators to Take Action

Hello, Kickstarter Community. My name is Elana, and I’m Kickstarter’s VP of Product and Design. Today I’m writing to tell you about a new feature we’ve launched that builds on other recent improvements we’ve made to the platform as part of our commitment to keep creators and backers safe.

Creators will sometimes report to us that they’ve experienced harassment in the comments on their project page or in their project updates. Because comments on a project can only be left by backers of that project, we’ve seen that there are sometimes people who become backers (often making very small pledges) only so they are able to leave abusive comments. Obviously, these are not backers who are pledging to support a project or its creator in good faith, and creators (as well as other backers) have let us know that they would like us to do something about it.

Our solution is a new feature that enables creators to flag potentially abusive backers to our Trust & Safety team for review. Using this feature, a creator can quickly and easily let us know about a backer they believe is harassing them. Comments from this backer will be immediately hidden from public view while our team reviews the creator’s request and determines whether the backer has indeed violated our Community Guidelines and should be permanently removed.

It’s important to know that flagging a backer through this request does not guarantee that they will be removed from a project. Instead, it alerts us to a situation that a creator believes we should look into, and enables us to quickly act on it. There are of course times when a backer might leave a legitimate critical comment that a creator doesn’t like—comments that do not violate our guidelines will not cause a backer to be removed from a project.

To submit a request, a creator will need to select the comment that they believe to be abusive and click on the backer’s name. They’ll see a “Remove backer” button in the modal that opens up which they can click to start the request. The creator will then need to write a description (at least 140 characters) of why they believe the backer should be removed as well as select the appropriate category that aligns with their explanation. This information will help give us the context we need in order to investigate and make a decision.

If our Trust & Safety team agrees that the backer has violated our guidelines, we’ll email the creator a confirmation and remove the backer from the project. We’ll also send the backer an email alerting them to the fact that they have been removed from the project and are no longer able to back it—the backer will also see this information in a banner at the top of Kickstarter’s site when they are logged in.

If our team decides that the backer didn’t violate our guidelines, the creator will receive an email with this update, and the backer’s comments will be made visible once again. In cases like this, we will not notify the backer about the request—they will only be alerted if we ultimately determine that they have violated our guidelines.

I want to send a big thank you to all the creators and backers who have generously given their time to talk to us behind the scenes about new features like this, and who have provided valuable insight into what they’d like to see from us. On that note, if you haven’t already read up on the work we’re doing with the Kickstarter Community Advisory Council, please do! This amazing group, which launched in June, is made up of a diverse group of Kickstarter creators from across a wide range of creative industries. We’re thrilled to be collaborating with them to make Kickstarter as useful, welcoming, and inclusive as it can possibly be.

—Elana Jacobs; VP, Product and Design

Read about other safety improvements we’ve recently made to Kickstarter:

Improving Comment Moderation—Part of Our Commitment to Keeping Creators and Backers Safe

More Commenting Improvements Designed to Keep Creators and Backers Safe

Ready to Make Magic? Announcing Witchstarter 2022, Our First Open Call for Magic & Divination Projects

Hi everyone, my name is Meredith, and I’m a member of Kickstarter’s Outreach team. For the last four years, I’ve run our Music department as well as Magic & Divination, a community devoted to supporting creators making projects that directly or thematically deal with magic, witchcraft, and the occult.

I’m incredibly excited to announce that this October, we’ll be hosting Witchstarter, our first open call for Magical projects. Whether you’re making a Thoth-style tarot, talismans, a fully immersive tabletop game, wands, washi tape, or a podcast about potions, ideas for Witchstarter campaigns can span any category on Kickstarter, any goal, and any magical background.

To participate, creators must launch a project that directly or thematically deals with magic and the occult—a translation of an ancient grimoire, a D&D spellbook, and a magical fandom enamel pin are all equally welcome within this coven—during the month of October 2022.

Over the years, we’ve helped more than 220,000 artists and practitioners bring their projects to life—we know that making is magic, and the only ingredient missing from our cauldron now is you!

Start your project now—so it's ready to launch during Witchstarter 2022—and cast a spell that might just change your life.

Bibbity bobbity boo!

—Meredith Graves, Director of Music and HWIC

Reporting Back from the First Meeting of the Kickstarter Community Advisory Council

Earlier this month, I was honored to host the inaugural meeting of Kickstarter’s Community Advisory Council with members Ivan Askwith, Annette Azan, Ellia Bisker, Stefanie Black, Kat Calamia, Jose Cardona, Thomas Negovan, Tony Patrick, Philip Reed, George Rohac, Philomena Schwab, and Philip Winter. It was an inspiring conversation full of frank feedback, discussion about the challenges of being a creator, and lots and lots of ideas for making Kickstarter the best it can be.

We organized the meeting around two main topics—the general state of crowdfunding and Kickstarter’s product roadmap for the next few months. For the latter, we dove in deep to talk about the kinds of feature development Kickstarter can prioritize to improve the creator experience.

This aspect of the meeting was particularly exciting to me, since my role at Kickstarter is to help people have productive and successful experiences on the platform. One of the most important ways we can ensure this happens is to take cues about what’s working and what’s still needed directly from creators that use Kickstarter to connect with their communities and to fund their creative work. We started the Council for this very reason—to bring together a diverse group of creators to share valuable insight and expertise that can help guide our work. This first meeting more than delivered on that front, and it would be hard to overstate how useful the members’ feedback and ideas were.

It was a validating experience and, to be honest, also a little overwhelming! How can we do it all? The Council did not shy away from pointing us to places where they felt we might be falling short, from long-standing product bugs to challenges with backer education and support. But the feedback was delivered with kindness and appreciation, and we took all of it to heart.

We also gained valuable insights into how things like supply chain disruptions are impacting creators, heard ideas about how we can help communicate to backers about the broader crowdfunding journey, and discussed ways to lower the barrier for entry for new creators. While we covered a wide range of subjects in our first meeting, this is only the beginning of our journey together—there’s so much more for us to discuss. Right now I’m taking post-meeting feedback from the Council and working it into an agenda for our next gathering to ensure we talk about their top topics. One item we will make sure to discuss in our next meeting is the decentralized crowdfunding protocol Kickstarter announced last year.

I feel very lucky to be able to work with the Community Advisory Council. It’s an incredible group of creators who are going to help make Kickstarter better for everyone. I couldn’t be more excited for our future conversations.

Check This Project Out

Speaking of the Council, one of the members, comic book writer Kat Calamia, has a really cool project live on Kickstarter now (it ends this evening though, so act fast). Bi Visibility: Still Bi is a graphic novel anthology that collects 16 new stories by talented writers and artists exploring bisexuality through stories and genres ranging from comedy to superhero to supernatural romance. The samples Kat has up on her project page show off how beautiful and interesting this book is going to be. I'm proud that Kickstarter can play a role in helping creative projects like Kat's come to life. Please give it a look and consider backing it.

–Kimm Alfonso; VP, Creator and Backer Success

Two Important Updates: Pinned Comments and Alt Text on Kickstarter

Hello from Kickstarter’s Product team! I’m happy to let you know about two updates we’ve launched to make Kickstarter better for both creators and backers.

Pinned Comments

First is the ability to pin comments. Up until now, creators were able to pin their project update posts to the top of their project page, but they didn’t have the ability to pin comments. This meant that if lots of backers had the same question about something and posted about it in a project’s comments, creators would often find themselves replying with the same answers over and over, instead of being able to simply pin a question (along with its answer) to the top of the page so that everyone could easily refer to the information.

Creators have let us know that this is a feature they would enthusiastically take advantage of, and so we’ve added it. Creators can now pin (and unpin) comments. They can pin up to five comments, as long as they aren't replies, in both the project's comment section and within a project update. We hope this change will help creators communicate more easily with backers, and will help backers get the info they need without having to dig around for it.

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Alt Text

Next is the ability to add alternative text (or “alt text”) to images. Alt text is a word or short phrase that describes an image. One important way it is used is to increase accessibility—for example, for visually impaired people who rely on screen readers to navigate the web. With this update, creators have the option to include alt text to project descriptions and project updates when adding new images or editing existing images.

We highly recommend that creators add alt text to their images. You can do this by clicking the pencil icon in the top right corner of the image when you're in the editor. The best way to approach adding alt text is to keep it concise and specific (e.g., “a small brown dog sitting on a purple chair”).

Before releasing this feature widely, we were fortunate to be able to test it out with Richard Rieman, the creator of The Winnie-the-Pooh Project, a publishing project that makes Winnie-the-Pooh accessible to blind, deaf, and learning-challenged children. A big thanks to Richard for working with us to make this improvement a reality for everyone on Kickstarter.

Check This Project Out

Before I go, I’d like to point you to a Kickstarter project that I think is especially cool, and that I hope you’ll take some time to check out. Julia Greenberg’s Dory Previn: On My Way to Where is a documentary about the singer-songwriter and lyricist Dory Previn, whose music is brilliant and whose life story is wild and inspiring. Greenberg and her friend/collaborator Dianna Dilworth were able to access Previn’s archives and promise to tell her story in the careful and complex way it deserves. Give it a look and consider backing it!

—Ellie Clinton, Senior Project Manager

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icon--witchstarter icon icon--youtube icon icon--youtube icon--zine-quest icon icon-imagealign-center icon icon-imagealign-center icon-imagealign-left icon icon-imagealign-left icon-imagealign-right icon icon-imagealign-right info icon Combined Shape Copy instagram icon instagram copy kickstarter icon Artboard Copy 5 leaf icon leaf lightbulb icon icon--lightbulb link icon Combined Shape Copy 8 loading-spin icon lock icon Combined Shape Copy 4 mail icon Combined Shape map-pin icon Fill 1 menu icon Group message icon Fill 1 Copy 12 mobile icon Page 1 Copy 2 pause icon pause copy pencil icon Combined Shape Copy 3 pin icon Combined Shape Copy 11 pinterest icon pinterest play icon play copy plus-human icon icon--plus-human plus icon Fill 1 Copy 7 question icon Combined Shape Copy 14 search icon Fill 1 Copy 11 shapeshift icon share icon Fill 1 Copy slash icon solid-arrow icon solid-arrow sound-hi icon Combined Shape sound-lo icon Combined Shape sound-mute icon Combined Shape star icon Fill 1 Copy 2 stopwatch icon Group 2 thumbs-up icon Shape tools icon Shape trash icon Combined Shape tumblr icon tumblr copy twitter icon twitter copy user icon Artboard Copy 10 volume-up icon Artboard Copy 9 warning icon Combined Shape Copy 10 write icon Artboard Copy 11 x icon Fill 1 Copy 4 youtube icon Combined Shape