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An officially licensed University of Kansas children's book (that adults will enjoy) by professional illustrator Greg Hardin
An officially licensed University of Kansas illustrated book (that adults will enjoy) by professional illustrator Greg Hardin
An officially licensed University of Kansas illustrated book (that adults will enjoy) by professional illustrator Greg Hardin
186 backers pledged $13,131 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk

$13,131

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Finally a KU story book you'll love giving as a gift or putting on your coffee table! In this book, the Kansas Jayhawks are given the prestige treatment usually reserved for high profile animated properties. This is an officially licensed, 8 1/2x11", 32-page hardcover book with a dust jacket, filled to the brim with full-page color illustrations in the classic storybook style.

So what's the story? It’s about an enthusiastic young Jay who has big dreams of becoming amazing things, but none greater than becoming a Kansas Jayhawk! It’s a lighthearted rhyming celebration of the history and traditions of The University of Kansas, as well as an exciting preview of college life, and it celebrates the value of higher education.

I'm a passionate fan of my alma mater, whether it's for its success on the basketball court or its achievements in the classroom. I also think KU has the best mascot in all of the NCAA. Throughout my career, mostly working with the world's most famous cartoon characters, I've always wanted to give the star treatment to the glorious Jayhawk. Finally, after illustrating over 60 children's books, I decided to make this dream a reality.

Now all I need is your support! You can be one of the first people in the world to have this book!  Your pledge will not only get you a copy of the book and possibly more, but it will help me cover printing costs to get this book sold at retail in Kansas City and Lawrence as well. Let's get this high quality product available as many places as possible and let it be another way to proclaim KU's excellence!

Just like the book, I have to admit I've always wanted to create a KU poster as well, and this book project provided me the chance. The rolled poster is 18x24" with art taken from a page in the book, and is manufactured with offset printing.

Taken from a double-page spread in the book, this image just begs to be put in a frame and hung on the wall! This artist-signed, rolled 20x16" print will be on heavier paper than the poster, will also utilize offset printing, and is a standard size for easy framing. The art print will be printed locally and arrive to your home earlier than the book or poster.

At some of the higher pledge levels, there will be a limited number of 8x10" pencil-drawn artist sketches available.  The artist sketches will be rolled and shipped with the art prints.

On the copyright/dedication page of all first edition books, there will be a limited number of spaces dedicated to people who pledge the $250 and $500 tiers. 

The $500 tier (limit 12 backers) receives:

  • Top section placement, a bolder font, and it will be in all caps. 
  • You will be given two lines and approximately 21 characters per line (including spaces) to list your name, family or business.
  • You also receive 4 books, 4 posters, 2 signed art prints, and 1 artist sketch.

The $250 tier (limit 18 backers) receives:

  • Lower section placement with a smaller font, typed in upper and lower case.
  • You will be given two lines and approximately 29 characters per line (including spaces) to list your name, family or business.
  • You also receive 2 books, 2 posters, and 1 signed art print.

Even though the book and poster won't be shipped until the spring (and the art print and sketches sometime before that), I've created a way for you to still be able to give these gifts to your loved ones this Christmas/holiday season! Below are links for you to click and download free greeting card pdfs that you can print out at home and give as a stand-in gift. The inside of the card has a short rhyme saying the item on the cover is their gift and it will arrive in Spring 2016.

You can do that! They're called "ADD-ONS." Here's the procedure:

  • If you want extra POSTERS, you must first pledge to a tier that includes a POSTER.
  • If you want extra BOOKS, you must first pledge to a tier that includes a BOOK.
  • Each extra book add $25 (price includes shipping/handling charges)
  • Each extra poster add $19 (price includes shipping/handling charges)
  • Limit 4 extra books and/or 4 extra posters per backer.

Apologies, but extra copies of the art print and artist sketches will not be available as Add-ons.

How do I add the extra items to my pledge?

  • 1. First, choose a tier and complete your initial pledge.  Don't worry about your Add-ons until this has been done.
  • 2. Now that you've made your pledge, you can go back and do your Add-ons.  Add up the number of extra books or posters you want at the prices listed immediately above.  (Recap: $25/book, $19/poster, limit 4 extras per item).
  • 3. Click the blue "MANAGE YOUR PLEDGE" button in the upper right corner.
  • 4. Add the total dollar amount of your Add-ons to your pledge amount.  No need to change the pledge tier you selected.
  • 5. YOU'RE DONE for now!
  • 6.  Later, after the 30-day campaign is over, you'll get an e-mail backer survey asking which items you want your Add-on dollars applied to, as well as for your mailing address, etc.

Just one!  If we hit $30,000, we'll have a book release party in the Kansas City metro area for the backers in the $250 and $500-level tiers.

The illustration and design for the entire book is finished!  Here's the schedule once the (hopefully successful) 30-day Kickstarter campaign is complete:

  • 1. Place order with the printers
  • 2. 2-week turnaround for hard copy proofs
  • 3. 9-week turnaround for overseas printing.  During the 9-week printing window, the art prints and artist sketches will be shipped to you by me.
  • 4. 3-week time frame for fulfillment house to ship books and posters to you.

Basically, we're looking at Spring 2016 for when you should receive your rewards.

Click to read The University Daily Kansan article
Click to read The University Daily Kansan article
Click to read the Rock Chalk Blog article
Click to read the Rock Chalk Blog article

Written in bio-talk:

Since proudly graduating from the University of Kansas, Greg Hardin has been a professional illustrator and designer for nearly 20 years.  During that time he worked full-time in the Licensing Studio at Hallmark Cards and at the animation studio Big Idea Productions, while also spending many years as a full-time freelance illustrator.  At last count, Greg has illustrated 67 children's books, but "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" will be the first one he owns.  Greg has also worked on animated cartoons, toys, licensing art, live shows, theme park attractions, video games, and consumer products.  Other fun facts: Greg has self-published a comic book, was a finalist in Fox Television's "Pitch-o-rama" animated TV show idea competition, and used to run a popular website (drawergeeks.com) for industry artists that amassed many millions of views during its active years.

Places you can find me on the web:

Risks and challenges

This is my first Kickstarter and it's been enlightening about how many details you have to research and keep track of! Fortunately, all of the art for the project is already finished, so all that's left is raising the money for printing costs, getting everything printed, and then making sure everything ends up in your hands.

Rewards will have to be shipped in three separate boxes, which is reflected in the shipping/handling costs.
1. Books
2. Posters
3. Art prints + artist sketches

I'm going to limit rewards shipping on this Kickstarter campaign to domestic addresses only.

We'll be using an overseas printer through an American printing house for the books and posters. There's always the possibility of delays, but the printing house has a sterling top-5 reputation and I have many industry friends who have used the printer with great success, so I feel good about using them. The printing house will also handle the fulfillment of your book and poster rewards, which will speed up the time frame in which you receive them.

The art prints will be printed locally in Kansas, and I will personally ship them, along with the artist sketches, to you. Those of you who backed tiers with these items will almost certainly receive them before you receive the books and posters.

I've self-published before, and have experienced all of the ins and outs of making children's books many times over. We'll get this done! Check the timeline section above to get an idea of when you can expect to receive your rewards, and any news or delays will be reported in the project updates! Thanks for your support! Rock chalk!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THANK YOU for helping make this project possible! Look for a shout out on our Facebook page!

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    • One (1) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" poster

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    • One (1) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" book

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    • Two (2) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" posters

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    Pledge $39 or more About $39

    • One (1) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" book
    • One (1) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" poster.

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    Pledge $44 or more About $44

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    • One (1) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" book
    • One (1) 18x24" Jayhawk dunking poster
    • One (1) 20x16" signed art print

    Book, poster, and art print all shipped separately.

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    Pledge $78 or more About $78

    • Two (2) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" books 

    • Two (2) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" posters

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    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    • One (1) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" book 

    • One (1) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" poster 

    • One (1) signed 20x16" art print
    • One (1) original 8x10" sketch of Jay by the artist

    Book, poster, and art print/artist sketch all shipped separately.

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    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    • Two (2) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" books
    
• Two (2) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" posters
    
• One (1) signed 20x16" art print
    • Your name, family or company name listed in the Thank You list on the book's dedication page for all first edition books

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    • Four (4) "When I Grow Up, I Want To Be a Jayhawk" books
    
• Four (4) Jayhawk dunking 18x24" posters
    
• Two (2) signed 20x16" art prints
    • One (1) original 8x10" sketch of Jay by the artist
    • Your name, family or company name listed more boldly in the top section of the Thank You list on the book's dedication page for all first edition books

    Books, posters, and art prints/artist sketch all shipped separately.

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Funding period

- (30 days)