(Above: California Eating cookiecakes by Whipt, Benicia)
I had a pretty basic goal in mind when I launched my first Kickstarter Make 100 campaign in January 2018 — I wanted to self-publish a small-batch food zine called California Eating as an escape from the mass market online writing that I do every day, but I didn't know much more than that. I had no design experience; I envisioned late nights at the copy shop with scissors and plenty of rubber cement, the way I figured my favorite zines from the '80s and '90s were made.
I reached my financial goal in the first eight hours of the first campaign (a feat I hope to repeat again now by not asking for a pie in the sky), and all of a sudden, I had to really figure this thing out!
I reached deep down into my roots of working for independent magazines, studying old and new favorites for inspiration. And I poured hours x hours x hours into learning how to think visually.
For the rest of the year, I got a little carried away. A lot carried away! And what I first imagined would be like a 20-30 page, black and white and stapled affair turned into a 60-page, full-color, photographed and styled magazine printed on premium paper with a spine.
And now I am going to do it again!
I'm jumping back in with big plans for this little publication this year. The success of my last Make 100 campaign inspired me to turn California Eating into a quarterly magazine in 2019, and I can't thank my backers enough — it's been a privilege to create this project specifically with you in mind and your support making it all possible. Because of you, I won't need to make cheesy choices in order to exist.
This new campaign includes the opportunity to pre-order the second issue or to pick up a subscription and take a wild food ride with me for the whole year, starting with you devouring the exclusive California Eating x Charles Chocolates candy bar, a collaboration that's extra special to me as I'm working with the subject of my first written food feature over 10 years ago.
Kickstarter kindly recognized the impact that this project has had on my creative life in this cool article about Make 100 creators on the company blog, and KQED also gave the premiere issue and the accompanying San Francisco launch party a lovely writeup. I hope that anyone reading this considers creating a Make 100 project of their own this month, even if you nervously launch it in the last few hours of January 31 (like I did in 2018). Give your imagination the chance to ignite! Let's go!
Risks and challenges
I took most of last year to figure out how to actually produce a magazine and am now confident that I can publish on a set quarterly schedule in 2019, barring any unforeseen illnesses or accidents.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)