Over the years while operating Rorschach Records I have had the privilege to work with an amazing group of artists to create the covers for various releases. Collaborating with this talented group of individuals, whom I not only admire for their work, but who have also become great friends, has been one of the most exciting things for me about the label. Two artists that have provided art to Rorschach releases have been Sean Mahan and Jim Callahan, both of whom have released awesome skate decks of their work. When you see a deck like one of theirs, it becomes an internal debate whether to set it up to skate or to hang it in your house as a piece of art.
This led to a lightbulb going off in my head (or skate deck smacking me in it) - to work with some of my favorite artists to design a new series of skate decks as part of Rorschach. And you can make the decision to skate it or hang it. The obvious choice to lead this project off was one of my best buds in the world, and the artist for the first Rorschach release, Bizhan Khodebandeh. Bizhan designed a Richmond-themed Clash of the Titans-inspired deck that we have dubbed the Richmond Kraken: The Battle of Hollywood Falls.
With this project we have a couple of options of other Rorschach and Bizhan goodies. We intended to keep these decks and other decks in this series affordable and with one time runs limited to 50-100 pieces for each deck.
Below are some of the different things you can score through your pledge.
The full art as a print.
Some of the pledge tiers include Bizhan's graphic novel The Little Black Fish. A full color graphic novel telling the story of one little fish who wants to leave her home and explore the world.
Some tiers include this awesome t-shirt that Barf drew up a couple of years ago for us. It's been a while since we printed these up and are going to reprint them for this. This round we are printing them to look exactly like the image above.
The final tier includes the original drawing Bizhan did for the board. For art nerds and collectors out there.
And since Kickstarter has been controversial to many of those in the diy music scene here's our rational behind doing this.
Why are we using Kickstarter to do this?
Since this a whole different world from the music world that we know, we figured it would be best to do this through a different platform than the usual mail order store that Rorschach uses. I (Curtis) am so stoked about Bizhan's art that I want anyone who enjoys it and wouldn't normally be able to afford it to have the oppurtuntity to have one of these. These decks are going to be manufactured regardless of whether we reach our goal or not, it's just cooler to do it this way and spread the word to new folks to get them amped on Bizhan's work. Plus you can score some other sweet things while at it!
Rorschach has never been about the money, but we have lost our butts on a couple of releases since downloads have started dominating music consumption more and more, so think of this as a partial security blanket.
Why are the pledges not including shipping?
This project is really Richmond centric and we expect mostly Richmond folks to order these. Since we are generally keeping it local, we'll have a place to do a pick up. If you want it shipped just add the amount requested to your pledge. International folks! Please contact us beforehand as shipping varies to your country!
December 2012 is that really going to happen?
Knowing the luck I have had manufacturing records I hope so. But there are always manufacturing delays in anything we do. So let's cross our fingers on that one.
Will there be more skate decks? Will you keep using Kickstarter for it?
If we sell a reasonable amount of these in a short period of time, then yes! I have already talked to some of the other artists we have worked with and some of them have already agreed to this project. We may use Kickstarter to fund the first couple of these, we will just see how it goes.
Risks and challenges
The largest challenge in this project is getting into a right marketing mix "shutters when using that word" of a product like this. Bizhan and I's backgrounds come from music and art, which ties together well with skateboarding but finding new people who are interested in this project outside of the people who are interested in our previous project will prove to be the most difficult part of the project.
Just like any other project we have done in the past whether it be music or art, finding the right distribution channels and end users can be the most difficult part of having what you think is a good idea.
The flip side is the manufacturing and art side of this is very easy for Bizhan and myself because we have worked in manufacturing physical goods before and understand delays and time constraints that can happen. (Note the note of thinking the boards will be ready by December) .
The largest risk is if folks out side of the initial funding are not interested and we are stuck with some left over boards for years.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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