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A gorgeous, complex coloring book... for grown-ups! The intricate pen and ink artwork of Ellen Million. Color at your own risk.
A gorgeous, complex coloring book... for grown-ups! The intricate pen and ink artwork of Ellen Million. Color at your own risk.
A gorgeous, complex coloring book... for grown-ups! The intricate pen and ink artwork of Ellen Million. Color at your own risk.
150 backers pledged $4,735 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Fantastrix, A Coloring Book For (So-Called) Grown-ups

$4,735

150

I'm making a coloring book! But not just a run-of-the-mill, plunk-your-child-down-with-crayons coloring book. My coloring books are chock full of juicy, delicious detail, and they're for grown-ups. No simplified cavorting cartoons teaching about sharing and friendship, these are intricate illustrations and each one tells a complex, layered story. Every page is hours of coloring entertainment.

Topics include romance, magic, devils and angels, unicorns, sweeping landscapes, tangled trees, steampunk, mythology, science fiction - with just a touch of humor, a good dose of emotion, and a lot of story. 

You could probably use crayons if you sharpened them really well, but I recommend colored pencils. You can also use markers and even light watercolor washes, if you're bold.  Pages are printed single-sided, so slight bleed-through shouldn't be a problem, and you can tear out and frame your pieces when you're finished.

You didn't outgrow coloring books, you just outgrew the coloring books that were available. Rediscover your love of coloring with a gorgeous, challenging collection that will enthrall and delight.

Difficulty level: color at your own risk. 

About the Rewards

Fantastrix: Every reward level includes a copy of Fantastrix, the coloring book you're helping to create. The lowest level of support includes only a pdf copy, higher levels include a printed copy. It will be at least 18 pages (see the stretch goals!), printed single-sided, saddle-bound, with a cardstock cover.

ACEOs: Each of the collector's packs includes at least one ACEO print. ACEO stands for Art Card Editions or Originals, and indicates a piece of artwork that is exactly 2.5 x 3.5 inches. Also known as an art card, or an ATC (art trading card, though purists argue that it can't be called an ATC in a commercial transaction), these are highly collectible mini-prints. My ACEOs are printed with archival ink on heavy-weight, tree-free rag paper with a matte surface.  I punch-cut my ACEOs, so the corners are radiused. The image is ever-so-slightly cropped.  The full sets will include every image from the Fantastrix coloring book, which will depend on what stretch goals we attain - you'll get at least 26 cards! Please note that the reward levels include the pages of Fantastrix only - the pages of our stretch goal coloring books are available as add-ons! 

Dotminatrix: No collection of Ellen's work would be complete without a copy of her first coloring book, Dotminatrix! 16 pages of intricate linework will challenge the most meticulous colorist. 

Original Art Card: With the Super Collector's Plus Pack, you also get an original art card, drawn to your specifications! Picture of your dog? Can do. Portrait of yourself with wings? Sure! Complex battle scene with 1700 orc fighters and a hero with a flaming sword with a red jewel against a dark castle on a stormy night? Er... I'll do my best, but we're talking 2.5 x 3.5 inches, so the orcs are going to be little dots at that scale, and in black and white, only you and I will know that jewel is red! The card will be black ink on bristol. (Please note, I keep all rights to the artwork created for this project.) 

Pouring the Moon Original: A little surreal and spiritual, this artwork is on 9x12 sketch paper, and will be sent well-packed via priority mail, with delivery confirmation. There is only one of these available, of course!

Destinies Original: A look at the legend of King Arthur, this romantic piece is on 9x12 sketch paper, and has been matted to 11x14 inches, so you can easily drop it into a standard frame.  This is a classic example of my lines-and-dots combinations. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included. Only one available!

Bai's Desk: This original artwork is 11x14 inches, fine ink on heavy bristol stock. Boggle at the teeny details! Shipped via priority mail with delivery confirmation. Only one available. 

Direct a Piece: Direct your own 9x12 piece of artwork in this style! You may give me a character description, a photo reference, a brief history or story, throw a few keywords at me and see what I come up with, or describe exactly the scene you are looking for in minute detail. (Nothing terrifically naughty, please!) The finished piece will be ink on bristol, and may (but also may not!) be included in the coloring book. You'll have the option to request minor changes twice during the sketching phase.  I retain the rights to all artwork created during this project. There are only two of these packages available and this is pretty much the only way to commission artwork from me right now; my time is limited! 

Add-Ons

Add-ons can be added to your rewards by increasing the value of your pledge. At the conclusion of the project, you will receive a survey and you can tell me which add-ons you wish to receive. The following items are available as add-ons: 

Extra PDF copies: $4.00. PDF files are for your personal use only... but if you know someone else who would simply love one, this add-on will allow you to share a single copy with my blessing!  You may add as many as you like. 

Extra print copies of Fantastrix or Dotminatrix: $7.50 (savings of more than 10% from list price!) Only available with reward levels of $20 or more. You are limited to a quantity of 10 total of any single title, per Kickstarter rules. I will sign them on request! 

Limited edition print copies of *Asterix (if we get there with stretch goals!): $10.00 with any reward level of $20 or more. $15 with any domestic PDF package, $20 with any international package. 

Signed ACEO prints of all pages of Dotminatrix: $15 with any reward level of $20 or more. $20 with any domestic PDF package, $25 with any international package. 

Signed ACEO prints of all pages of Fantastrix: $20 with any reward level of $20 or more. $25 with any domestic PDF package, $30 with any international package. At least 26 prints! Possibly more! 

Signed ACEO prints of all pages of *Asterix: $15 with any reward level of $20 or more. $20 with any domestic PDF package, $25 with any international package. At least 17 prints... but possibly more, depending on stretch goals! 

Signed ACEO prints of all pages of Archivistrix: $15 with any reward level of $20 or more. $20 with any domestic PDF package, $25 with any international package. At least 16 pages... but maybe more!

Stretch Goals

Stretch Goal 0 - $385; We have a coloring book! Green light, go! The coloring book will be 18 pages. - We're there! 

Stretch Goal 1 - $450: I will add another two pages of (existing) artwork, bringing the total to 20 pages. - We did it! 

Stretch Goal 2 - $600: I'll do an extra piece of artwork, exclusively made for this coloring book. Supporters will get sneak previews as I'm working on it, and the original will be added as a reward option. (This will replace one of the existing images, the coloring book will still be 20 pages.) - Success! I've got the barest of beginnings already...

Stretch Goal 3 - $800: I'll add another 2 pages to the coloring book, bringing the total to 22 pages! - Achieved! 

Stretch Goal 4 - $1000: I'll do another extra piece of artwork, exclusively made for this coloring book. Supporters will get sneak previews as I'm working on it, and the original will be added as a reward option. (This will replace one of the existing images, the coloring book will still be 22 pages.)  - I'm running out of synonyms for 'we did it!' 

Stretch Goal 5 - $1200: All rewards packages at $20 or more will receive PDF versions of both Fantastrix and Dotminatrix. - Goal reached! 

Not a Stretch Goal, but a hobbit-style birthday thank-you: Every supporter gets a free random ACEO print. Every supporter - any country, any pledge! 

Stretch Goal 6 - $2000: Dotminatrix will go back to print! Each package that includes two coloring books (all rewards packs at $25 or more) will have their choice of two copies of Fantastrix OR one each of Fantastrix and Dotminatrix. I'm happy to sign both of them. - YES! 

Stretch Goal 7 - $2500: All reward packs of $50 or more will receive a free existing original art card. I will have a page of available choices on a first-come, first-served basis at the close of the project. - YAY! We made it! 

Stretch Goal 8 - $3000: Mooooore aaaaaart! We'll have 24 pages in Fantastrix. - WOO HOO!! We're there! 

Milestone - 100 backers: Fantastrix will be 26 pages! - Yay, we did it!

Stretch Goal 9 - $3500: *Asterix! This is a teeny, tiny miniature coloring book of my ACEO artwork in a 3" x 4" format. A PDF file will be included free with every reward package of $12 or more, and a print version will be available as an add-on. A print version will be included FREE in every package of $150 or more. It will not be full-sized artwork shrunk down, like the signed ACEO prints (which no one in their right mind could color!), but will be artwork that was originally drawn in small sizes (less than 5" x 7", most of them at 2.5" x 3.5"). It starts at 11 pages, but may be expanded! The print edition will be handmade by me, and will be limited to those sold during our Kickstarter campaign, plus 10 copies. I will sign and number each copy! - And, it's happening!! We made it! 

Stretch Goal #10 - $3850: 10x our initial fundraising goal! My wildest dreams exceeded! I will do a third piece of new artwork to include, sharing drafts with my backers as I work on it. - DONE! This artwork is in really rough draft form, tentatively titled 'Adopted' and available as a reward. 

Stretch Goal #11 - $4000: *Asterix will be 17 pages! - WE DID IT! *Asterix will be 17 pages! 

Stretch Goal #12 - $4500: Archivistrix! A FOURTH coloring book, this one of my much earlier work.  Some small press illustrations, pieces that were included in my very, very first coloring books (long out of print), and even some illustrations that no one has ever seen online... Archivistrix starts at 16 pages and may be expanded.  If we make this goal, a PDF of Archivistrix will be available, for free, for anyone to download. A collection of ACEO prints will be available as an add-on. 

Stretch Goal #13 - $5000: More artwork! Fantastrix will be a whopping 28 pages! 

Stretch Goal #14 - $5500 (IE: Crazypants territory): Archivistrix will be expanded to 20 pages AND become a print option.

Stretch Goal #15 - $6000 (IE: completely ridiculous goal!): Another brand new piece of artwork for Fantastrix! 

(Music credit: Plains by Gurdonark

Risks and challenges

A veteran of 20 published coloring books (this is my second solo title), I'm no rookie when it comes to this business. I know what it takes to get a collection to press, and I could pretty much do it in my sleep. I have the ISBN reserved for it. I have templates and branding in place.

The largest hurdles in coloring book publication are twofold: artwork and printing.

I have 17 completed pieces that have never been in a coloring book, and 6 more that have appeared before, but in very limited runs. I like a minimum of 18 pieces in a coloring book, so for our base goal, the artwork is done. If we meet stretch goals, I can devote some time to creating a few more images specifically for this project, adding extra pages and replacing a few of the images I'm least excited by. As mother to a 1 year old, there is always some danger in committing time to anything other than diapers and laundry, but I have a lot of experience doing this style of detailed inkwork. This kind of artwork is something I can tackle in small doses during naptimes, and it's portable, with almost no set-up time. (No paintbrushes to clean and keep out of baby fingers!)

Printing is frequently a sticky wicket. I have worked with a large number of printing companies by this point, and have, in the past, had some difficulty finding business that are willing to provide products to my exacting standards and scheduling needs. I've found a local company that may work out nicely, and I'm eager to give them a shot. Their largest drawback is that they require a pretty hefty minimum order in order to offer competitive pricing. Hence: Kickstarter! Let's see if there's enough demand for this new title to make it worth printing with them!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $8 or more About $8

    A PDF version of the coloring book is yours! Print and color... if you dare.

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    Pledge $12 or more About $12

    Digital Two-Pack. A PDF copy of both Fantastrix and Dotminatrix. Print and color (or color digitally!) at your own risk.

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    The basic book. Nothing fancy! Just one coloring book, signed, first class postage included, and a copy of the PDF.

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    Collector's Pack: A PDF file, a signed copy of the coloring book to keep and one to color! Also, one signed ACEO print of the artwork from one of the pages (I choose). First class postage included.

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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    Art Card Collector's Pack: PDF files of Fantastrix and Dotminatrix and signed ACEO prints of each page of both titles. Exact number of cards will depend on the number of stretch goals we make, but there will be at LEAST 38. (There are no printed coloring books in this package!)

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Collector's Plus Pack: A PDF file, a signed copy of the coloring book to keep and one to color! Plus, an exclusive pack of signed ACEO prints, one of EACH page in the book (between 18 and 26 prints, based on our stretch goals!).

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    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Aspiring Artist's Pack: You receive all the goodies of the Collector's Plus Pack, a tin of 12 Prismacolor pencils (Ellen's preferred brand!), a Micron Pigma 005 pen (which most of the artwork was created with!), and 10 blank bristol ACEO / art cards for creating your own artwork. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    Super Collector's Plus Pack: All the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack, a signed copy of Dotminatrix (Ellen's first solo coloring book) AND an original art card, drawn and inked to your specification. (No explicit content.)

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    Pledge $125 or more About $125

    Pouring the Moon artwork pack: The original artwork of Pouring the Moon (9 x 12 inches, unmatted), plus the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included.

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    Destinies Original Artwork Pack. The original artwork of Destinies (9 x 12 inches, matted to 11 x 14 inches), plus the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included.

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    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Lazy Afternoon Pack: The original artwork of Lazy Afternoon (9x 12, in on bristol), plus the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included. Backers can see previews of this piece!

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    Bai's Desk original artwork pack. The original artwork of Bai's Desk (11x14 inches, ink on bristol), plus the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included.

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    Adopted Pack: The original artwork of Adopted, our 3rd new stretch goal piece (9x12 inches, ink on bristol), plus the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included. Backers can see previews of this piece!

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    Pledge $225 or more About $225

    Midnight Sun Magic Pack: The original artwork of Midnight Sun Magic (9x12 inches, ink on bristol), plus the goodies from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included. Backers can see previews of this piece!

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    Director's Pack: Tell me what to draw! You receive the original 9x12 piece that you help create, and all the swag from the Collector's Plus Pack. Priority shipping with delivery confirmation is included. I reserve the right NOT to include this piece in the coloring book.

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Funding period

- (30 days)