This past week, we had the very good fortune of being invited to New York by the Kickstarter Crew. We were asked to be a part of a Kickstarter/Crowdfunding panel at Comic Con New York. Naturally, we jumped at the chance!
We were on a panel with Yancy Strickler and Cindy Au of Kickstarter, fellow KS’ers Jamie Tanner (The Black Well) and Courtney Zell and Justin Rivers (The Wonder City) - all very cool people :) The panel was scheduled to last only an hour, but the Q & A kept going well beyond that.
There was lots of good info for people considering doing a KS project. The general conclusion of the discussion was that, for the most part, you get out of KickStarter what you put into it. As Yancy put it, getting your project on KS is not equivalent to finding ‘some magical box of money in the woods’. Though the community aspect to KS is strong, for the most part, people are not simply browsing KS looking for something to give their money to. We often tell people to treat the site as a tool for engaging and enabling your audience. But it’s an audience that you must go out and get and bring to the site. KickStarter won’t do it for you (that’s not their role, its yours).
We thought it might be useful to do a quick & dirty list of some of the takeaway points (note: I’m going by memory here, so some of these numbers may be slightly off):
Success Rate: Approximately 40% of KS projects reach their funding goal. A large number of the projects that do not succeed, fail to raise a single dollar.
Number of Projects: As of this writing, Kickstarter has successfully funded over 3,000 projects (of an approx. 9,000). Raising over $20,000,000 for independent creative projects.
Gaining Steam: 6 of the top 8 largest Kickstarter fundraising totals have happened in the past couple of weeks (it is projected that this project could be the new number one).
Tipping Point: 90% of projects that hit 30% of their funding target are eventually successful. 30% seems to be a magic number of sorts.
Shorter the Better: On KS, your project fundraising period can be set anywhere between 30 and 90 days. According to the numbers, the most successful fundraising duration is 30 days. The least successful: 90 days.
Fun Fact: Kickstarter was originally conceived as a way to save Arrested Development. The general idea being that if a website could motivate fans to pre-fund a season’s worth of DVD sales (and/or related assets), the network would sign off on a fourth season or the show could be produced independently.
Kickstarter’s founders had a friend who was cousins with David Cross. They pitched the idea to Cross, and though it (sadly) never happened (for many reasons other than funding), David Cross signed on as an initial KickStarter investor.
So, there you have it, Kickstarter, a site meant to engage fans in the creative process was born out of an attempt to do just that.
We had a great time in New York. We like to send a HUGE thanks to Kickstarter for, number one: existing! And number two: Inviting us out to talk. Thank you to Yancy, Cindy and the very nice Kickstarter gang!
Funny you should ask... I just happen to have some photos here. These just in from Cheryl, a lovely woman who accompanied her pal to Knish Alley Revival and got some great shots. Hats off to the fine, fearless members of the Knish Color Guard (or Colour, for the two Canadians — it was an international affair!) for their tenacity, vivacity and unfailing gung-ho.
I wanted to share a couple photos of the final installation and opening reception for Portable Landscape last Friday at Eugene Binder Gallery. The opening was a big success and I couldn't be happier! The energy during Chinati weekend in Marfa was wonderful. I'm back in NYC and looking forward to future projects.
For those of you receiving totes and catalogues, they're on the way!
One final BIG thank you to everyone, and best of luck going into the Fall season.
Wow...busy couple of days. The shipment arrived on Monday, Oct 11th and I've already packed up 110 games for Kickstarter backers. The first batch is going out to the $50 pledgers in the USA just because those are the easiest to box up. I'll start working on the $100 USA pledgers as soon as I finish this post and then everyone else will follow as soon as possible. Please be patient as I work through the avalanche of shipping and juggle my day-job too. Here are some pics.
this is pretty cute.on
AND TOTAL SUCCESS!!! I WILL REST FOR A QUICK BREATH, THEN THE REAL
WORK BEGINS! LLALLALALALLLALLALLLLAAAAALLALA LOVE TO YOU ALLL!
RAINDANCES, CARTWHEELS, TEARS, KISSES & HUGS!!!!!!! THEN THE REAL MY WORK BEGINS!
10/10/10 was the due date for the art.
Last Saturday night, I came home to a large piece of mail from Finland. Mandy Yau, one of the artists, was the first to turn in her arted-up zine – internationally too! I was slightly inebriated, and I love getting snail mail, so that was quite an event.
But it's past the due date, and only two artists have turned stuff in. I expected that. That's why I give them a deadline and not some non-committal hippie "Turn it in when YOU feel it's right" response. I'm sure they'll start flowing into my mailbox in the coming week. One guy, Mika Tarkela, said he'll have his copy to me by tonight (after he completely restructured his idea). But this massive storm outside is making me think he might wait until tomorrow...I sure would.
Well, that's about it, I guess. I'm updating you folks on this fact because I didn't want you to think that I had forgotten about the project. It's just been a waiting game for a few weeks, while the artists were at work. (I've also been really busy with three new jobs. Crazy days!)
Oh yeah, um, one more thing: the T-shirts arrived! Soon, I'm going to have a rad silk-screening party. I ordered five XL shirts since there were some requests for them. If you prefer an XL instead of L, then please let me know. The first five to respond get the XL ones. (They're American Apparel, if that helps.)
Photo One – The outside of the envelope from Mandy Yau. See the panda?!?
Photo Two – A sample of some of the art by Olivia Murphy. Get excited!
P.S. To those who pledged enough for the third tier of rewards (a story written by yours truly), please email your prompt to me!
musterzine (at) gmail (dot) com
Well, things sure seem to be going well so far! Thanks again to those early supporters of our kickstarter drive. Mike has mentioned a few names in his first post, but we're aware not everyone might want a thank you note. Cool. If your interested in keeping your pledge more private here at ULYSSES "SEEN" then just drop us a line. Discretion is a powerful force amongst the people who recognize how the power works.
Fact is we're all a bit jazzed by the early and largely unsolicited support. We were prepping for a bunch of meetings at the NYC ComiCon over the past weekend so the kickstarter outreach was in a bit of a holding pattern. Great to see such a tremendous response from so many names I'd never heard of before?
We just got back from a fun lecture at NYC's Irish Arts Center during which Josh, Mike and I, along with the brilliant and effervescent Karen Green from NYC's Columbia University talked about Joyce, the shape of the web-page-to-come and, of course, Ernie Bushmiller's NANCY.
We may've talked about NANCY as much as we did about Joyce. This is what happens when you get comics-people together. NANCY is most always invoked. Here's where we were for those of you who didn't make it;
So now we're back and ready to turn our full attention to kickstarter and the things coming up for ULYSSES "SEEN". As Mike posted in his earlier update, I've got a sketch rolling out every day for the fund raising drive. Quite a few of them can be seen here:
but that will grow. New sketch everyday of the pledge drive with, you guessed it, some obvious conclusions to watch for.
So we'll be updating soon, but I just wanted to make sure everyone knew how surprised and happy I am by the early response.
Damn but you guys are sweetness in my daily drawing bitters. Thank you thank you thank you.
(oh, and here's a little drawing to end the post)
The last few days getting things together have been intense, but I've also made sure to appreciate it all--I love the thrill of seeing a big idea come together and it's only a few weeks a year that I allow myself to be completely immersed in an art installation without any other distractions. On Saturday, my friend Junko Iijima came to help out for the morning and together we put all of the pin findings in the finished pieces. Junko is a great artist herself--click here to see some of her work. Checking this off my big list gave me one last task--to finish all of the one of a kind work for the wild sections, which I have been slowly chipping away at as I did the repeat parts, but one last push Sunday made me feel like it was time to start putting the pieces up on site.
And so it began....I started with the section in the middle so that all parts could build out from that section. This will help me maintain the ideal density of the overall pattern and account for the subtle differences in size of the 32 pieces in these sections. I taped up my diagram right next to the rectangle and started placing the pieces in their corresponding spots. We only had about 3-4 hours to start filling the wall today, so tomorrow will hopefully allow us to completely finish the mammoth task. We seem to be figuring out how to be more efficient as we go along. I cannot wait to see it done--so far I'm pleased with the density because it feels as lush as William Morris' Strawberry Thief pattern.
the most exciting part of being a kickstarter project? :)on
I am so excited as I write this. We have just come back from rehearsal. I checked my email to see if there are any urgent matters to attend to (yes, we have urgent matters at 1:45 AM!) and lo and behold, one of our friends has sent us a message saying--congratulations on meeting your goal! ! ! !
We are officially "funded," which means we have led a successful Kickstarter project! ! !
Thank you so much for your donations. This has been an incredible, wonderful experience for us. We've been amazed at how many people have pledged, from all over the world!
We can still accept donations for the next couple of days. Please share this with friends, as we can use all the help we can get. We are naturally experiencing a lot of last-minute costs as we get ready for our upcoming run in NYC.
Thank you again. Your support means so much to us, and this has given us a huge boost on our way to the New Victory Theater!
We can't wait to see you in New York!
Kisses and Candy,