~ When backing this project, make sure to regularly check up on the updates section! It will contain updates on my progress in the studio and on rewards! ~
Sorry for the layout being a little wonky, I have limited ways to fix it in the text editor that Kickstarter provides <3
Creating Studio Darkashter: Your Gateway into the fantasy realm of your dreams. Fantastic and Fashionable shoots, Education and Entertainment. Let me show you there's no limit to your imagination!
Index for your convenience:
1. My journey - A little Introduction about me, why Kickstarter.
2. How I plan to kick off - A crudely drawn action plan of how I planned my first months.
3. What will Studio Darkakashter do(Long term)? - A summary of main activities long term
4. Honestly? - A more personal and from the heart bit of info, that says how I feel.
5. Cost Breakdown - An explanation how I got to my money goal, in the form of a materials list of the most important things I need to get going and a small explanation of what else to keep in mind.
6. What's More: - An explanation to what other things I still need, that aren't as vital as the things in the main list, but still important.
7. Explanation about rewards - What the tags in the rewards mean, and other options.
8. Bonus! - A little extra gesture of goodwill from me
Risks and Challenges
Possible Risks And Challenges I came up with and how I'll overcome them if they would indeed happen.
1. My journey
Hi, I'm mostly known as Lilith Vanderstorme, a twenty-something fantasy fanatic that has entered the fantasy world and community through steampunk some years ago, and now focussing on photography under the alias "Darkashter". After calling myself an artist for almost over a decade now, be it in costume making, drawing, modeling, makeup or photography, I've finally been making big and small steps to getting my very own photo studio up and running. To set up my studio I've been doing things like starting to work on a Kickstarter, registering my business, registering a phone number, getting a bank account and signing my studio space contract. I have even resigned from my steady job, in order to commit fully to my studio and art!
This Kickstarter was created to have my studio up and running as quickly as possible, and because I want to involve you in it. If I will not reach my goal, I will still furnish my studio. It will, however, take more effort and time. When I do reach my goal I will be able to focus on the things I truly want to do and you all are able to enjoy my art, services and a very very happy Lilith. Most of my art and entertainment is available on the internet for free, and when I make it to my goal, you'll be able to enjoy it again way sooner!
Here's a couple of portraits I took, make-ups I've done, costumes I created. Find all the photo credits on my Facebook page (click the photo!)
- More about me: -
Darkashter on Facebook
@Darkashter on Instagram
Modeling and entertaining Portfoliopages:
Lilith Vanderstorme on Facebook
@Lilithvanderstorme on Instagram
LilithVanderstormeOfficial on Youtube
Lilith Vanderstorme on Patreon
Vanderstorme on Deviantart (this also has (digital)artworks!)
2. How I plan to kick off
Per July 24 I started working in the studio on a daily basis. In the weeks prior to that, I have come up with an action plan for my first 3 months. During my time at the factory, the steady job that I have now retired from, I have saved up for the studio rent deposit + 3 months of studio rent, plus my private fixed costs including healthcare, phone, and the vital groceries. This will cover exactly 3 months without income if I live parsimoniously (nl: zuinig).
The first month(August) I will mainly be focussed on Promoting my Kickstarter, working on administrative chores, looking into a website, designing business cards and preparing to deliver the Kickstarter rewards. I also have two main events scheduled in August on which I will be able to network and promote my studio and talk about the Kickstarter. (Come see me if you're there! The events are Castlefest and D.E.S.C.) I will also vlog the first week in the studio and finally do new videos!
The second month(September) I will start ordering the materials I need to provide the rewards that were claimed and see if I can schedule the first Dates for shoots etc. I will also start working on photo shoot offers and workshops, online and in the studio, that I can be booked for later.
In the third month(October) the studio should be up and running with daily activities, and by then I probably have a proper idea of how to plan in activities and when to Livestream and provide lessons for who wants to learn.
The goal is to have enough customers to get by with the studio before the end of the 3 months. Though I expect it to be doable, It's risky to just assume I will succeed. Therefore I have applied(and got hired, yay!) for a part-time job in a store in my town to have at least a little income.
3. What will Studio Darkashter do (long term)?
Studio Darkashter will have Photography as the main focus. The most important things I will be doing in the studio is doing what I'm good at: Fantasy/Fashion Photography.
For those who want to emerge in the fantasy world, be it models, or people who just want to taste the rainbow so to say, I will offer a variety of shoot packages that may include services such as Makeup, styling/hair, and extra picture retouches. Cosplayers may send character references for proper posing during the shoot and proper retouch afterward.
For models of all ages and all levels of seriousness there will be workshops about posing for the camera, dealing with photographers(when you do want to shoot with them, but also when you don't), what to bring to a shoot and how to discuss such matters, and even workshops on maintaining a portfolio.
For Photographers there will be workshops on how to pose your models, communicating with them, and preparing for photo shoots from your side of the photo shoot. There will also be lessons available on photography and photo-editing, or you can pick a one-time Portfolio review session where you can discuss one on one the questions you may have about getting better, more creative or any other photography related subject.
What I'm aiming for is to have shoots and workshops that have high quality, and add a little something special. I aim to use my strengths to give comfortable experiences and for the workshops I want them to be relaxed and educative, to be something that gives the pupil, be it a model or a photographer, new insights in one way or another, and a good memory to think back to.
Another strength that I have is that I have experience in different art disciplines like drawing, costume making, styling, modeling and makeup for example, which can be of extra value for all the things i will be doing that are named above. Furthermore, I will be offering services related to my other qualities too when I have set up the primary activities of my studio. For example, I will be creating costumes and giving drawing lessons at a later time.
I'm dead scared to be doing this journey. I have been told by professionals to not let the crowd see my weaknesses, to show confidence and to always shine, even if there are setbacks, and to be professional. I am the kind of person who wants to put actual effort into being of value, to enrich other people's lives and develop my own personality while doing it. I want to be a good studio-owner/photographer/model/vlogger or Instagram example for everyone, and I'm sometimes scared I may be failing.
However, this, what I'm doing now, is an adventure, and I dare see it that way. It is a dream I have fought for my whole life and that I will forever fight for. I will try to involve people in it to grow together, to develop together and to make art together, to inspire. To get people to be creative for themselves and get curious about the things that happen outside the box, but are so much more in reach than you would initially have thought. To show people that if you wish it, you can make the first steps towards it, just like I did when dreaming of owning a studio.
I feel my hands trembling with passion while typing, even though when I read back everything I wrote sounds so freaking cliché, I will not rewrite it because this is how I feel it.
I dare to believe I can do this, reach my goals, even if it takes me a year or maybe lots of years to get to a point where I can sustain myself. I dare imagine I might have underestimated the impact of the work I'm making, and that in a year I will have more work and collaborations than I could've hoped for. I'm going the miles, with or without you, but I hope you DO all want to join the bandwagon, so we can start outside the very beginners area. Your participation means we can give the studio a flying start instead of having to build up slowly first. Quests are more fun with more people. It's going to be a great, exciting and adventurous ride!
So here's a list of the things that I need to get for my studio to properly kick off this new adventure and approximate costs:
5. Materials List
- Desk (≈ €175)
I will, of course, need a place to sit down and work retouches etc.
What I'm currently thinking of getting: https://tinyurl.com/ybt95ukn
- Proper Desk chair (≈ €200) For sitting ergonomically, I will be in my studio more than home after all. I yet have to find a proper chair, but they seem to be around that price.
- PhotoStudio Paper Backdropscroll and Stands (≈ €250)
I'm looking at something like this right now: https://tinyurl.com/y8y7h2vt
With about four extra colors of backdrops; white, black, green and another.
- Vanity mirror (€40)
For doing makeup, a proper mirror like
this one: https://tinyurl.com/y728eo9v
- Full body mirror (€50)
This will definitely come in handy with model coaching. I'll gladly
match this mirror with the makeup mirror: https://tinyurl.com/yb63kxg7
- 2 External 2TB hard disks (≈ €200) To safely store all the video and photo files that I work on. I will need two, to make sure that if one disk crashes I still have the other.
- Business cards (≈ €50) To hand out to potential clients or collaborators!
- New phone battery (≈ €15) I'm not buying a new phone for the business, as I have an old one lying around. It however REALLY needs its battery replaced.
- Second PC monitor (≈ €175) Something to help me proper edit my work with "actual" colors and makes it easier to live stream! https://tinyurl.com/y8b2kyba
- A room divider (≈ €15)
For models to dress up behind if necessary
- Clothing rack (€35)
To put on the costumes that are relevant for the
Again, sorry for the layout being a little wonky, I have limited ways to fix it in the text editor that Kickstarter provides <3
All the listed (and shown) above comes down to around €1500. I have set the goal for this project a little higher to take into account the fees that come with Kickstarter.
Kickstarter fees: ( you don't have to worry about these, I'm just listing the costs that will be deducted, for me to take into account!)
Kickstarter fee: 5% of total funds raised
Payment processing: fees 3% + €0.20 per pledge
Pledges under €10 have a discounted micro pledge fee of 5% + €0.05 per pledge
What's also important to know is that this list is an indication. On the day I will actually order materials I'm going to search the web again for possible discount offers etc. You never know if you get lucky, right?
Taxes: Since I will be doing this as my organization I will have to pay taxes, being 21%. However, because All the funds that are coming from this are going to be spent on furniture, of which I get 21% back, these taxes are nothing to worry about at all.
Err? Explained in another way: Say I reach my €1500 Goal, I would have to pay 21% tax, being €315. However, I am going to buy €1500 worth of furniture, of which €315 are taxes. That will mean I have paid the taxes through buying materials.
Still confused? Let's put it like this: I won't have to worry about taxes because I'm spending all the money!:P
And that's exactly what you're helping with! Naturally, I could've looked for some of these at thrift shops, and I've considered doing so and might still do so for the other things I need. However, Since this for me feels like a new start, and I want to do this the best I can I feel having a studio that looks well thought over and professional, and in one pre-determined style would be the best thing to go with.
6. What's more:
What I listed above are the basic things I think I will need to properly start off with the plans that I wrote about earlier. There are more things I thought of that could prove useful and will work for when working in the studio. I wanted to list them to you as well so that when I reach more than 100% of my goal, you know that your money is still contributing to the goal.
These are the studio things I'll be getting if I reach over 100%: (not in order of importance)
1. New studio lights. I have the cheapest of the cheapest. You don't see that in the pictures, but you feel it when you work with them. 2. Large computer screen for a better view during workshops or classes. 3. A table to sit people down on during workshops or classes. 4. Pillows, rug, fairy lights, anything that makes the studio cozy! 5. A new laptop. The one I'm working on is starting to more frequently give blue screens, and I'm afraid one day it'll corrupt all my files. 6. A wardrobe for storing fabric, costumes and props. 7. Materials and props to create an awesome set to shoot on. 8. Special makeup for special shoots. 9. Tablet for organizing agenda and flashing portfolio 10. Old phone screen repair, so that I can use it for just business.
7. Explanation about rewards! To make it easier for you to see what rewards can be claimed from outside the Netherlands, since not all my followers are from around, I decided to tag my rewards.
This is what the tags mean:
[Excl] are Kickstarter exclusives and won't return later in products I'll be offering.
[Int] are rewards that can be claimed internationally, you don't have to be able to get to the Netherlands.
[Studio] You'll have to physically be able to get to the studio to claim your reward. Unless, of course, you pledge a donation for a shoot and you want to give it away to someone, then do as you please!
You want something specific, but the reward isn't there, or there's not enough space on the rewards listed. I can still add new rewards after I launched my project, if you wish for me to do so, please contact me, and we'll discuss possibilities!
Claiming your reward and due-date
The estimated delivery dates are, well, estimated. When the Kickstarter finishes, I want to get to working on everyone's reward as soon as possible. Because I can not know for sure how popular every reward will be yet, I decided to put broadly estimated due-dates. Chances are that you'll be able to get your reward a little sooner than the due-date. In either case, I will be messaging you here on Kickstarter when It's your turn to get your reward.
Getting multiple rewards:
You can only select one reward to pledge for in the Kickstarter, but If you're itching to get more, this is what you can do:
Send me a pm or an email with the rewards you want, and add up the donation amounts. For example, you want The photography workshop, (Donation value €95) and the photo retouch reward (donation value €25), together that makes €120. Because for this event I need you to pledge through Kickstarter, be sure to select the reward that has a limit on it, to secure your spot, and change the donation amount to the donation total. In this example the Photography workshop has a limit of 5 attendants,
so make sure to select that reward when you pledge.
1. Calculate total donation value (Ex: €120)
2. When pledging, Select the reward with a limit (Ex. Photography workshop)
3. Send me an email or PM with your Intentions. (Dear Lilith, I pledged €120 on the Photography workshop with €95 value, and would like to claim the reward of the Photo edit for the remaining €25)
I just want to donate, what do I do with the reward?
Why thank you, that's great! If you want to help out, but don't feel the need for claiming a reward, simply use the option "Pledge with no reward" on the pledging page. You can type in whatever donation you want to donate, and not be bothered with the rewards.
If you want a certain reward, but you want to donate more, just select the reward you want, and change the donation amount to what you want to donate!
I'm very grateful that people want to donate to my cause, and every donator is rewarded with the reward they choose. So here's a bonus: every person that donates €15 or more automatically enters my start dash giveaway! Details on the giveaway will be announced In the updates later.
Thank you all so much for reading everything and being sympathetic to my cause <3
Risks and challenges
When specifically looking at the current project the first risk that comes to mind is that the set rewards and their arrival dates can be delayed if this project turns out a success, and more popular than expected.
This is actually my main concern as I want everyone to feel happy about this project, during and after the running time of it. So on that note, I would really like to let you know that the due dates on the rewards are approximate and that there is a chance that there will be delays. I hope you will all have the patience and understanding for that! Rest assured, however, I am going to make sure that all the rewards will be claimable before the end of the year. <3
Another risk, of course, is that I will not reach my goal. The reason I started this Kickstarter, besides being of the opinion that it would be a really fun way to raise funds to buy my studio interior to start off properly, is because I need to know that you guys are here with me, and are also serious when you say you love my work and would really want to work with me.
Though if I turn out not making it to my goal I'll go and get all the things I need for my studio anyway, It's not like I'm going to give up, of course not! It wil, however, take me a little to a lot longer to really start doing what I want to do. It would also be an indication to me that I will need to work a little harder, produce a little more, promote myself a little better so that people know of my work and get a clear idea of what I offer.
A long term, but small risk of the studio adventure will be that I don't manage to get enough customers to be able to pay for the monthly costs I have from the studio, the main thing being rent. I signed a year contract, so if it comes to having an income that is too low I will make sure to work a side job(I already got one, so that's covered) to cover the costs of the studio until I manage to get the income up again.
Taking a new step is always a risk, but I'm willing to risk it and I'm ready to overcome the challenges I may face.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)