Thanks for checking out my Kickstarter.
The idea of a fleet of flower-delivering robots has been percolating in my head for a little over a year. The first ‘bot just sort of appeared in one of my sketchbooks, the way a million (mostly bad) ideas do. For whatever silly reason, this idea stuck.
I like the absurdity of it - Robots who delivers flowers. It’s both personal and impersonal (robotical?) at the same time. I like that, with an exception or two, the robots deliver only one flower at a time. What could be less cost-effective or less efficient than sending a robot around the world to deliver one, single flower? But I’d sure as hell do it to impress a girl.
So that’s where it all started...
What is Wrylon Robotical?
It’s the company, started by Rhoderick R. Wrylon, that created and dominated the flower delivering robot market. He opened the doors of the first Wrylon Robotical delivery storefront in 1906 and the company thrived until 1913, when it mysteriously shuttered its doors. The ‘bots disappeared and it vanished from the face of the earth.
So what's the catalog all about?
It's all that’s left of Wrylon Robotical - an old catalog, some letters and a few newspaper clippings. But it’s not just any copy of the catalog. It’s Rhoderick’s wife’s copy and tucked in between its pages are a few clues to the mysterious disappearance of the ‘bots. It’s not the full story. It’s just a tease. The catalog won’t tell you where they went - but it might get you interested. If this Kickstarter is successful I’d love to continue telling the story.
The 1912 catalog includes ten main 'bots (with schematics), in addition to a few non-delivery models, sketches, adverts and company history.
It's full-color, softcover, 5.75" x 8.25" and 42 pages long. I'm working with a great, Los Angeles-based printer who does quality work.
FIRST STRETCH GOAL ANNOUNCED!
Sorry to interrupt, but this feels like the right place to talk about the first Stretch Goal, since it bears directly on the catalog.
At $8,250, 150% funded, all books will get belly-banded.
You may be wondering if that's legal. Don't worry. I've gotten signed forms of consent. But I digress...
The copy of the catalog you're getting has the 'bots and all that, but it also has a few goodies stuck inside - canceled delivery receipts, some newspaper clippings, bits and bobs, bonus content. It's stuff that's cool and that you don't want falling out and getting lost.
So, at $8,250, I'll be wrapping each book with a custom made bellyband that will both make the books look that much more special and help keep everything in one place.
I'm actually really excited about this and it will be as much a part of the world of Wrylon as the rest of the book (meaning I'm going to make it look cool). It's a nice little perk that most everybody gets to be a part of.
Back to the story...
What do the 'bots look like?
I'm still polishing the paintings, schematics and page layouts but here's a look at some of the 1912 model year delivery options:
Announcing Two More Stretch Goals!
I'm thrilled and exited about how well we've done so far and I'd like to announce two new stretch goals, with a third still in the works (if warranted).
At $11,000, which is 200% funded, I'd like to give everyone stickers! I love stickers, perhaps more than a grown man should, and I'm exited to be able to make them available to everyone.
Some of you have ordered stickers, via the $5 additional pledge, or only pledged for stickers. If that's the case, then you're getting more, an additional pack of five. If you've added $5 for one set and don't want two sets, you're welcome to adjust your pledge to get only the one set (assuming we make this goal).
These are nice, diecut, white vinyl stickers, ranging in size between 4"x2" and 3"x5" and will look great wherever you plaster them.
At $13,750, which is 250% funded, everyone who pledges $5 and over gets Official Wrylon Robotical Engineering Dept. patches!
Someone's got to keep all these 'bots running, with all the miles they log and Wrylon's engineers were the best in the business, hands-down. You can show your support for these largely unsung men & women by sporting an official patch. They're embroidered, sew-on, fabric patches, roughly 4"x3" and will look great.
The art shown is WIP but it gives you an idea of where they're going.
I hope you all are excited about these rewards as I am and thank you all, so much, for the continued support.
What are the backing levels?
(Additional info on the $150 tier: You get to commission the 'bot. I think we can go two rounds of back-and-forth with sketches to get something you're stoked on - or you can give me a rough idea, "tank treads and a cherry blossom", and trust me. Either is totally great. I'm putting two rounds of sketch development out there as a rough guideline, basically to say we would need to nail down a design before too long :)
The sketches at that point will be pencil, ink, watercolor, maybe some markers too, whatever works to get a shape & design you like. You'll get all of them. They'll be on different papers, in different sizes and it wouldn't be surprising if the final 'bot ended up being an amalgamation of several sketches, instead of just one.
Then I'll start painting in Photoshop. I'll paint it at roughly 16"x20", 300dpi and print it out on archival paper at any size you like, up to 16"x20". I've printed 'bots at various sizes and, for me, I like them a bit smaller. I think the sweet spot for these guys is around 9"x12" but it's your call (up to 16"x20").
I'll ship you the finished print and all the sketches, rolled in a poster tube.
Lastly, I'm going to try an experiment with these. I'm going to try to record the Photoshop painting sessions and make a time-lapse video of the entire process. If - and I repeat, if - this works, I'll send you a high-res movie file of the painting being created. I know several other artists who've done this and I really dig the videos. The reason I'm calling it an experiment is because I've never done it before and because I'll be working on a pretty big file and there's a chance that the software will slow my machine down too much for me to paint efficiently. So, consider this last part to be a bonus, not a guarantee!
This will NOT deliver by Christmas. I'm giving it an expected delivery date of January, 2013 because I'll be doing these after I do all the other sketches and ship out every book. I'd love to say I can complete this sooner - and maybe I can - but I'd prefer to be conservative with the delivery date.)
Want more? Easy. Just add a few bucks to any pledge and include a message or email me & additional loot is yours!
So, what’s the money for?
Printing. The books are 90% done & I’m planning to send them to press in the first or second week of October.
I’m printing locally, a Los Angeles-based printer who will help make this book look the best it possibly can. Working domestically isn’t cheap though. My actual cost per book, even before shipping them to you, is around $24. That’s a lot & It’s more than I’m selling them for, but it’s important to me to work locally, with people in my community and not go overseas just because it’s cheaper.
Why am I taking a loss on each book? Because I want to sell them. I want to get these books into your hands. I want you to dig them. I want as many people as possible to check them out. I’d rather sell more books and take a loss - and hopefully make a few fans - than charge too much trying to make a profit - and not sell any. I dig this book. I think you will too.
When will you get the books?
If the books go to the printer in the first or second week of October, I should have them back by the first week of November. I’ll start the sketches while the books are printing. Once I have the books I plan to pack them up & ship them right away. Throw in some wiggle room for unforeseen problems and you should get your book by early December (fingers-crossed for sooner).
Kicking it forward!
I'm happy to add this project to the Kicking It Forward project, in which creators pledge to spend at least 5% of their profit backing other Kickstarter projects that interest them.
Frankly, even with the success of this project, I'm expecting to barely break even. Nevertheless, I love the Kickstarter community and hope to be a part of it, both as creator and backer, for quite some time.
Check out the Kicking It Forward project here.
Very, very partial credits.
A lot of people have helped so far and will be thanked once the book is done, but specifically for the Kickstarter video, I'd like to thank Rich Ramazinski for creative notes, Harris Cohen for the voice over and the music is "café connection" by morgantj, licensed under a Attribution (3.0)
Risks and challenges
Honestly, the greatest challenge has been getting the book this far. When you pledge, you're pledging for a book that's practically finished, not one I'm hoping to make. I could send it to the printer today, but I'm taking a little extra time, as the Kickstarter rolls along, to make it better and to see how many people are interested in a catalog for a fictional robotic flower delivery company.
The next biggest challenge will be fulfillment. Once this book is (hopefully) funded, I'm no longer working for me. I'll be working for you - and I'm going to take that very seriously.
I want to get you your books as soon as physically possible. I'm committed to burning the midnight oil to get them packaged and shipped out as soon as I get them, so that you get what you've so generously paid for.
Thank you so much.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)