Our Kickstarter, The Essence of Red: A Lunar New Year Pin & Art Celebration, is finally live! This project aims to capture the legends of the Spring Festival in creative ways that you can treasure. As an event that's observed across the globe, many different cultures tell their own stories of what the holiday means to them, but one thing remains the same: it's a celebration that holds the warmth of the season.
These little trinkets aim to carry the well wishes of the new year and the treasures in the stories we pass down. Whether you celebrate with family, friends or both, we truly hope you'll join us on our exploration of this annual festival!
While the duo that run Alchemy Art focus on merch, one of our main goals is to continue collaborating with members of our group. For that cause, we've pulled artists from our roster to lend us their talents, illustrating the Lunar New Year in postcards, fine art prints and stickers. In unlockable stretch goals, you'll see these become either free add-ons or additional items to get from our store.
With the Essence of Red project, you'll see works from Chrisqi (postcard), Landylachs (fine art print), Tetraethyl (postcard), Jessica M. [Thunderpot] (fine art print), KoboldArt (stickers), Yanli Wang (box art), and Isvoc (postcard).
Current Status: Welcome to the exciting start to the campaign! We are currently funding the beginning portion of unlocks, which features the Dog, the Pig and the Rat, along with the Celestial Dragon. These four are unlocked when we hit the goal for the campaign, and there are a bunch of additional pins (and more rewards) already planned.
You'll be able to find more information on our stretch goal unlocks on our store soon. [Note: There are two dragon variations - one Zodiac and one Celestial.]
Why Buy or Gift These Pins?:
When many of us were little, we heard stories of the Lunar New Year festival. Many will remember the tales of the zodiac guardians and the Cat, or the reason why we get red envelopes, or the monster named Nian. Some of us, instead, fell in love with these myths as we got older, discovering them through friends, strolling through Chinatown or seeing the festival lanterns in the sky. Whatever the case is, we hope that you and your loved ones will come celebrate with us.
Below, we've illustrated some general recommendations for how to use pins and the relevant years and traits for each animal of the Zodiac, if you're providing one as a gift for a loved one (referenced from ChinaHighlights.com).
Pin Add-ons/Pin Selection Process:
For this campaign, we will be using a post-campaign backer system to send out surveys. In that survey, you'll be able to choose your pins from any unlocked designs, along with add additional items that popped up that you might like (including prints, more postcards and stickers).
Feel free to figure out how many pins you want now and pledge, but you'll also have opportunities to get what you want later. Don't have a credit card? No problem, add yourself to our mailing list! We hope to have some stock of all unlocked pins in the store later - the price will be a touch higher, though, and the Kickstarter exclusive items won't be included.
Fine art prints are made on fine art paper with archival (museum quality) giclee inks locally in the states. We adore our printer for these, and have printed with them for several prior projects with amazing results.
When unlocked, prints will go in the add-on system as optional additional items. They are, however, shipped separately (will be most likely sooner than the rest of the campaign, since everything is local). We'll add a banner of available prints if they're unlocked.
Production is relatively short for pins! We'll begin processing the molds during the campaign to start the process, and then placing the order after the funds arrive (about 2-3 weeks after the campaign ends). It'll take another 3-4 weeks for stuff to arrive after that, and we'll work as quickly as possible to get everything out the door.
We've added some buffer time into production, but are hoping we don't need it. If there are any ways to shorten the process and get you items faster, we'll definitely do whatever we can (so long as it doesn't harm the products' quality).
We're more than happy to ship internationally (with generally reasonable rates!). Shipping domestically ranges from $3 to $7 (all 7+ pins orders go on priority mail), and international goes from $5 to $13 (dependent on weight). All packages are shipped with tracking information delivered to you via email. It will take 2-5 days for most U.S. packages to arrive, and 1-2 weeks for international packages to arrive (dependent on location).
We (Mel Sayre and Sara Squires) are the owners of Alchemy Art Group, LLC, and we're an indie duo of creators pursuing our passions (and making fun & cute things along the way). We were officially founded in January, but have worked in various capacities before that. Mel ran the GW2 Artist Collective - an officially sponsored group from ArenaNet, which fielded the projects Tyrian Tarot and the Wintersday Zines - and Sara ran an independent store of pins and merch. Together, we've brought more than 46,000 items to life, with more than 10,000 of those being pins. :D
The Alchemy Art Group itself is an artist collective that has members from around the world. We're dedicated to fostering and bettering the community around us, providing a place for creatives to showcase their work, build connections and hone their crafts. For information on potentially joining, click here.
For both of us, this isn't our first crowdfunding experience (our first as admins was with Tyrian Tarot). We have regular suppliers for our projects, and are extremely comfortable with the creation process. We're also more than happy to answer questions for people just getting started, and have a community discord that anyone can join.
Looking for an immediate gift? Our store is available at alchemyartgroup.com, and we have a mailing list for our merch product lines here. We have monthly themes and new releases, and also have "limited" lines. For each, we invite contributors in our roster to participate.
Want to Connect? / Have Any Problems?
To connect with us directly, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We're happy to talk, and we're always willing to chat about working on other projects. :)
Risks and challenges
As with any independent project, you always meet challenges of timing, production and bubble tea shortages.
For production, we use qualified suppliers (all of which we've worked with before at length). We're fairly certain of their production ranges, and also commonly have products outside of the project coming in from them. They usually inform us of delays far in advance (usually concerning the holidays). While we expect that it's unlikely, we'll update everyone immediately if there's any production issues anyone needs to be informed of and will keep a 2-week update schedule on Kickstarter (and on mailing lists). For shipping, we are TSA-certified to mail, and have shipping partners that handle generation of orders. We ship directly from home, tracked, and want to make sure this is as seamless as possible.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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