The Origins of Succulent Dragons
I've been a botanical artist for about 5 years, a professional fantasy and watercolor painter for 20, and a dreamer for about twice as long as that! But the plant that started me down the path of succulents was a Spiral Aloe.
I came across this beautiful sculpture of Nature while roaming through the UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens. The rhythm created by the fibonacci pattern of spiraling leaves enchanted me, and not only did the botanical artist in me want to paint it, but another urge took hold and I wanted to possess one too!
Well, after that, I was hopeless. Over the years I have gathered a collection of about 200 succulents, many of them which I have grown from seed (including Spiral Aloe). My 8 year old daughter dubbed me a Succulent Dragon. Even before succulents came in the picture, family members called me "the Dragon" for the fact that it is my Chinese zodiac sign. But then one day she added that rather than collecting and hoarding gold, my treasure of choice was succulents! Thus I became the Succulent Dragon.
Inspired by that bit of whimsy, I started drawing some for her. For years, ever since she could pick up pens, I would whip up coloring pages for her, but these drawings quickly became much more involved and something for myself as well. The patterns and rhythms found in the Spiral Aloe are present in all of these amazing plants, and I love to delve into them, finding mandala-like forms, and imagining the colors, with the intensity of the colors from the actual plants in front of me. I draw them with two tones of ink (black, and gray) on a translucent vellum acetate which allows me to have very crisp and fine lines. I combine botanical shapes with creatures whose forms echo the patterns of the plants. These drawings stem from a love of beauty in nature, and a vision of that beauty itself as something magical, playful, and inspiring.
Succulent Dragons will be a softcover book, perfect-bound, 9x8.5", 64 pages with 31 full page illustrations (one sided) on 100lb paper. Pages will be perforated for easy removal.
Original Art (Adopt-a-Dragon Sketch) Reward Tiers:
Ink drawings from "Succulent Dragons" were all done with archival ink on Dura-lar, a translucent acetate film that allows me to create incredibly fine and crisp linework. Instead of my usual offer of remarques in books, this time the sketches will be ink on a 4.5x6 inch sheet of Dura-lar, just like the original drawings in the book. There are two options for this - the From the Book tier is for one of the existing vignette drawings that were done for the book. Which Dragon you receive is assigned randomly. Scroll down to the bottom of this campaign page to see examples. If you would prefer to specify which species of dragon for your sketch, please look at the Adopt-a-Dragon Custom option instead.
Original Art (Miniature) Reward Tiers:
Miniatures are watercolor & gold leaf paintings, framed 3.5x4.5 inches, and sealed with resin. The Ruby-Throated Hummer species miniatures are limited to 7 original paintings and the individual specific piece will be assigned on a first-come-first-serve basis. I will be contacting you via message after your pledge is received to confirm which piece is your preference.
Original Art (Ink Drawing) Reward Tiers:
Ink drawings from "Succulent Dragons" were all done with archival ink on Dura-lar, a translucent acetate film that allows me to create incredibly fine and crisp linework. Drawings are 8.5x8.5 inches and matted to 12x12 inches.
Original Art (Watercolor) Reward Tiers:
Paintings from "Succulent Dragons" were all done with watercolor, either on cotton rag, or on Dura-lar, a translucent acetate film. Paintings are 8.5x8.5 inches and matted to 12x12 inches.
The following are images of the prints that are being offered in this campaign:
The Enamel Pin:
Declare to the world that you are a too are a Succulent Dragon: a lover of the patterns of nature, and of fanciful beauty!
This is a rough mockup of the enamel pin design. Below, you can see what some of my previous pins have looked like once they are recreated in metal and enamel, so that you can envision better what the Succulent Dragon will look like.
The pin will be 1.5" tall, hard enamel, backed with rubber clutch.
The Adopt-a-Dragon sketch examples:
Examples of some of the Adopt-a-Dragon tier 4.5x6 inch drawings on duralar acetate vellum. To see the full selection of dragons sketches available, click here: Dragon Vignettes
Adopt-a-Dragon Miniatures examples:
Closer view of the miniatures can be found here.
If you'd like to add additional copies of the book in addition to what you receive in your tier, please refer to this chart for how much additional shipping cost to include as well:
Tiers $30 and lower:
$20 book and either ($5 US OR $7 I'ntl) per add-on book
Tiers $50 to $95:
$20 book and either ($3 US OR $7 I'ntl) per add-on book
Tiers $300 and up:
$20 per book and no extra shipping
Simply message me to let me know that you'll be doing a book add-on and the quantity, and then increase your total pledge amount by the appropriate number. If this is confusing, and you need assistance in calculating the cost, just give me a poke and I'm more than happy to help out and let you know what the number should be.
A Note on Shipping:
While I try to keep shipping costs as low as possible, I have no control over the postal rates. US orders are being shipped Priority Mail since coloring books do not qualify for Media Mail because they don't technically count as "books". International prices have gone up considerably each year for the last few years, and books unfortunately are heavy, especially when quality materials are used for cover and paper stock. International customers should consider the customs fees and mail holding costs set by their individual countries. It will not be possible to mark packages as anything other than merchandise.
Risks and challenges
Risks are low. I have successfully written and created 5 book projects that have been published via mainstream publishing, so I have experience with creating polished material of high quality for publication. Additionally I have created and published 5 of my own art book projects via offset printing (the most recent of which was "Descants & Cadences" successfully funded and fulfilled here on kickstarter 2 years ago), and 3 via print on demand over the past 12 years. This has given me plenty of experience with dealing with printing companies both domestically and overseas, running my own publishing company, Shadowscapes Press, and fulfillment of thousands of orders.
My timelines are conservative estimates, but my books are fully print-ready at the time of kickstarter launch. This means that as soon as funding has been reached, I begin to have serious discussions with my printer on moving forward, and once I know the final number of backers, I begin the printing process immediately.
I am working with the same printer that I used for my previous book, "Descants & Cadences" and they specialize in creating gallery quality art books. They are based in Hong Kong.
The prints will be made domestically and come from a printer I have worked with many times in the past, and so I anticipate no difficulty with that.
The enamel pins are also from a source I have already tested and used for other product, so their quality is something I am familiar with and have confidence in.
Payments process within 2 weeks after the end of the campaign, at which point I can begin the printing process. The timeline from hand-off of manuscript until books are at my doorstep should be 12-16 weeks. That puts us into August, barring any quality issues that might set back the date slightly, hence the extra time I have added to expected ship date to leave room for this.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter