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Raising funds to self-publish and promote my 2016 Cats I Know calendar for this coming holiday season.
Raising funds to self-publish and promote my 2016 Cats I Know calendar for this coming holiday season.
70 backers pledged $4,492 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$4,492

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What And Who Is "Cats I Know"?

My name is Kaori Mitsushima and I'm a Japanese illustrator currently living in Prague, Czech Republic, since the summer of 2014. Prior to moving to Europe, I spent eight years in America, where I started drawing a series of "cat people" illustrations, entitled "Cats I Know." While drawing cat people began as something very personal, in 2012 I got my first commissions from clients in the US. Thanks to the positive feedback, I decided to share my "Cats I Know" illustrations with a wider audience in the form of a self-published calendar, which I did in 2013 and 2014.

[Informations in Japanese / 日本語ガイドはこちらでご覧ください]

Why Kickstarter? 

In 2014, I was extremely grateful when I shipped the last copies of my Cats I Know calendar to customers around the world. I thought: "Yay! I sold all 140 copies!” But after calculating how many months the process took, which included first sketches, illustrations, scanning, retouching, printing, packaging, promoting, and shipping all the calendars, I realized I couldn’t do it again as a one woman show. As much as I loved seeing my calendars travel out into the world, my process simply wasn’t sustainable. In the end, I had failed to pay myself as an illustrator.

When I realized a successful Kickstarter campaign would allow me to promote my 2016 calendar, create an online community, and organize all my orders, I decided it was the best way to launch a new calendar. Furthermore, thanks to Kickstarter's "all-or-nothing" style, no one will be charged for a pledge towards my project unless it reaches its funding goal. While that is a risk, I have total faith in this project due to the joy my calendar has brought to my customers in the past.

Why The Funding Goal of $4000?

If my project is funded exactly for $4000, 5% will go to Kickstarter and 3% will go to process the payments. This will leave $3648. 50% of those funds will go to the printing costs, mailing supplies, and shipping costs; 20% will go to hiring paid interns for mailing rewards. 10% will go to hiring a silkscreen artist to create T-shirts, posters and tote bags. The last 20% will go to myself, as the paid illustrator on this project. Were this to happen, I consider this project a major success!

The Rewards

2016 Cats I Know Calendar

*All 12 images + cover will be updated during the campaign on "Updates" page. 

Pledge $25 or more to receive 2016 Cats I Know Calendar (shipping included) to US & European addresses (add $5-$7 for the rest of the world) - The calendar and limited edition items only available through Kickstarter.

NOTE: The Calendar will ship in early December 2015 and the rewards will ship in February 2016.

  •  7" x 11" (17.78cm x 27.94 cm) wall calendar 
  • Week begins on Monday 
  • Spiral binding 
  • 13 pages 
  • Will be printed on 100 lb uncoated white paper 

Illustrations by Kaori Mitsushima / Design by Ko Ogura (Graffic Factor)

"March Cat" from 2016 Cats I Know Calendar
"March Cat" from 2016 Cats I Know Calendar
"Someone In Love" Tote for $60 reward
"Someone In Love" Tote for $60 reward
"Bathtub Cat" Tee for $60 reward
"Bathtub Cat" Tee for $60 reward
"Coffee Cat" silk screen poster (A2) for $50 reward
"Coffee Cat" silk screen poster (A2) for $50 reward
"Milkshake in January" framed & signed original illustration for $500 reward
"Milkshake in January" framed & signed original illustration for $500 reward
4 different original illustrations options for $375 rewards
4 different original illustrations options for $375 rewards

Selected Press on 2013 & 2014 Cats I Know Calendar

Racked National
Racked National
Urban Outfitters
Urban Outfitters

 Our 10 Favorite Cat Calendars for 201410 Amazing Cat Calendars for 2013

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - 

Cats I Know Kickstarter Campaign Video Credit 

2016 Cats I Know Calendar
2016 Cats I Know Calendar

Last But Not Least, "Why Cats?" 

People often ask me, "why do you like cats? why do you like to draw them?" Instead answering, I'll include two of my favorite quotes, on cats, by artists I admire along with a video of me talking about cats, shot in 2011.

“I love cats because I enjoy my home; and little by little, they become its visible soul.” - Jean Cocteau

"Cats. I can't stop myself from loving these melancholic beasts; and you're wrong to believe that cats can't learn tricks, they just think it's stupid to do so. Their clever and pouty faces, their perfectly aligned teeth, their distant but seductive gazes - cats are indescribable, I love them all."    - Yukio Mishima, 1948 

(Mishima's quote is translated from Japanese to English by Cats I Know, special thanks for Mika Johnson and Junichiro Ishii for their editorial help.)

Risks and challenges

While I have been working for many months on the images that will make up this coming year’s Cats I Know calendar, if I can’t reach my funding goal of $4000, I won’t be able to print this year’s calendar. However, because of my extremely positive experience with customer feedback in the past, this is a risk I’m willing to take.

The challenges of a project like mine are insuring print quality and the timely delivery of my calendars, so that they can reach my customers before the holiday season. Thankfully, I will be in America in November where I can work hands on with the same printer I’ve worked with on my last calendar. This will allow me to test print until everything is perfect and make sure all the calendars are printed on time. It will also give me time to begin the shipping process, which will include hiring interns to ship the stock to US customers. I will then return to Europe where the rest of the calendars will be printed in Germany, at a printer I’ve been communicating with. From Prague I will personally ship out the rest of my stock and prepare the rewards that I plan to ship out not long after the calendars.

*All original artwork at this page are copyrighted by Kaori Mitsushima. Do not reproduce anywhere without prior permission.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A Cats I Know original post card. Only available through Kickstarter.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar. Shipping cost is included in the amount for US and EU addresses (+$5-$7 for rest of the world). Calendars will ship from Cleveland, Ohio to US, Canada, Mexico addresses and will ship from Prague, Czech republic to addresses in EU and the rest of the world.

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    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + Silk-screen printed poster. Only available through Kickstarter. NOTE: calendars will ship in December 2015.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + Silk-screen printed tote bag. Only available through Kickstarter. NOTE: calendars will ship in December 2015.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + Silk-screen printed T-shirt. Only available through Kickstarter. NOTE: calendars will ship in December 2015.

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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    3 copies of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar. Shipping cost is included in the amount (+$12 for the rest of world). Calendars will ship from Cleveland, Ohio to US, Canada, Mexico addresses and will ship from Prague, Czech republic to addresses in EU and the rest of the world.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    5 copies of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar. Shipping cost is included in the amount for US and EU residents (+$17 for the rest of world). Calendars will ship from Cleveland, Ohio to US, Canada, Mexico addresses and will ship from Prague, Czech republic to addresses in EU and the rest of the world.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $120 or more About $120

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + 3 colored silk-screen printed poster + silk-screen printed T-shirt + Silk-screen printed tote bag.

    NOTE: calendars will ship in December 2015.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + 4x6 Original Cat Portrait of you cat(s) by Kaori Mitsushima. Let Kaori turn your beloved cat (s) to her cat people!

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    10 copies of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar. Shipping cost is included in the amount for US and EU residents (+$22 for the rest of world). Calendars will ship from Cleveland, Ohio to US, Canada, Mexico addresses and will ship from Prague, Czech republic to addresses in EU and the rest of the world.

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + a framed original illustration of "Bowling Cat" from 2014 calendar.

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + a framed and signed original illustration of "Kimono Cat" from 2014 calendar.

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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + a framed and signed original illustration of "Camera Cat" from 2014 calendar.

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    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + a framed and signed original illustration of "Milkshake in January" from 2014 calendar.

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  15. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    5 copies of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + Commission for an original Cats I Know illustration.

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  16. Select this reward

    Pledge $4,000 or more About $4,000

    ♥2 DAYS IN PRAGUE♥ - 10 copies of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + Commission for an original Cats I Know illustration + 2 days in Prague with Cats I Know - We'll cover your travel expenses, from any EU country, including airfare and food and accommodation at Cats I Know's current base in Prague. From there, Kaori will take you on whirlwind "Prague Tour by Cats I Know", which will begin at her studio in beautiful Malá Strana. There you’ll see her original illustrations for the 2016 calendar, dozens of other works, and meet Pon Pon, her large Czech tabby cat. The next stop is "Kavarna Kocici", in Karlin: the cat cafe she painted a Cats I Know mural. After spending time with the cats at Kavarna Kocici, the next phase of the tour will include hidden treasures of Prague, including cute cafes, antique shops, galleries, and places to dance!

    NOTE: calendars will ship in December 2015.

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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + large sized and 3 colored silk-screen printed poster. Only available through Kickstarter. NOTE: calendars will ship in December 2015.

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    Reward no longer available 1 backer
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    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    A copy of the 2016 Cats I Know Calendar + a framed and signed original illustration of "Mushroom Cats" from 2014 calendar.

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Funding period

- (21 days)