Dozens of dogs--portrayed in lively watercolors--share their irreverent opinions in sassy haiku.
NEW REWARDS! Two new rewards have been added based on inquiries from folks with more than one dog. For a $375 DOUBLE DOGALICIOUS pledge, you can get the same rewards as the $250 level PLUS one additional 11" x 11" original watercolor dog portrait. For a $425 DOUBLE DOGTASTIC pledge, you can get the same rewards as the $300 level PLUS one additional 11" x 11" original watercolor dog portrait.
STRETCH REWARD TARGET LOWERED! Since funding zoomed to 95% in only two weeks, I have lowered the BIG DOG COOZIE reward from $10,000 to $7,500. Let's go for it, folks! You know you want one! See Stretch Rewards below for details.
Our dogs amuse and entertain, comfort us, and keep us company. We adore them and in turn, they adore--even worship--us. Or so we assume!
My upcoming book Doggitude is a light-hearted take on what dogs really think--in sassy haiku. The idea for the book came from one of my sketchbooks filled with dog sketches and sometimes goofy, sometimes snarky haiku. With enthusiastic encouragement from dog lovin' family and friends, I decided to expand that idea into a book. For each of the 36 dogs featured in Doggitude, there will be an endearing bio, expressive watercolor portrait, and of course a sassy haiku. Plus the book will share sketches from the original sketchbook and a step-by-step demo of my approach to painting dog portraits.
I've been working on this project since late last year. After putting out a call for dogs, I sorted through submissions, chose subjects, and started painting. I also started writing. And designing the book's layout. And painting. And making a Web site. And blogging. And painting. And building a community on Facebook. Did I mention painting?
And now, finally, it's all coming together. The book will be be ready for publication later this Fall.
After putting so much work into this project, I want to share it with dog lovers everywhere. That's going to require putting books in the hands of reviewers, dog bloggers, pet and dog podcasters, and other dog community movers and shakers so they can help me get the word out. It's going to require organizing book signings at dog events and for dog groups. For that, I need money.
I'm seeking $5,000. Of that:
- About $500 will cover Kickstarter (5%) and Amazon (3-5%) fees.
- $2,800 will cover costs for printing and shipping 400 books to me. Those will be used to fulfill rewards and for book promotion activities.
- $1,000 will go towards costs to print note cards and prints plus package and ship rewards. This cost could vary widely, depending on how many backers there are and which rewards they choose.
- The remaining funds will be used to cover packaging and postage for shipping books to reviewers and for other expenses related to book promotion.
How about those awesome rewards? Check the reward packages in the sidebar. Here are some more details about the individual items:
- Book: 84 pages (est.), 8.5" square, full color, softbound.
- Note Cards: 4.25" x 5.5", quality card stock, full color, one of four dogs and their haiku on the front, blank inside, envelope included.
- Handmade Note Cards: 5" x 7", quality textured stock with deckle edge, featuring small full-color print of the subject dog and its haiku on the front, blank inside, hand assembled, envelope included.
- Fine Art Prints: 8" x 8"; printed on textured fine art paper in richly colored inks rated for 100 years when framed or stored in archival materials; shipped flat and unmatted in a clear sleeve with a backing board; includes a certificate of authenticity and printed haiku written for the portrayed dog.
- Original Paintings: 11" x 11"; in lightfast, professional quality watercolors on Fabriano Artistico 300 lb. soft press paper; shipped flat and umatted in a clear sleeve with a backing board; includes a certificate of authenticity and printed haiku written for the portrayed dog.
- Cover Dog: The dog that is nominated for the cover will also be featured as the first dog in the book's Dog Gallery section. Keep in mind that the cover image may be cropped or otherwise manipulated for design purposes.
I'm gonna kick some really nifty stretch rewards if backers really step up to help Doggitude hit certain funding milestones.
- BLUE RIBBON BOOKMARK. If funding exceeds $5,000, every backer gets a Doggitude blue ribbon because you are all winners--and they make great bookmarks!
- BIG DOG COOZIE. If funding exceeds $7,500, I'm going to need a nice cold drink to celebrate and invite you to join me, so every $25+ backer will get a drink koozie imprinted with "If you can't haiku | with the big dogs, then get back | on the porch, puppy!" and the Doggitude web site address. (Recently lowered from $10,000!)
- DOGGITUDE POSTER CALENDAR. If funding exceeds $15,000, I'll pick my jaw up off the floor and then every $60+ backer will get an 11 x 17 glossy poster calendar with Doggitude art and haiku, perfect for your office, fridge, or bulletin board.
- BIG DOG TOTE BAG. If funding exceeds $25,000, I'll wake up from my dead faint and then every $60+ backer will get a tote bag imprinted with "If you can't haiku | with the big dogs, then get back | on the porch, puppy!" and the Doggitude web site address.
- SOMETHING AMAZING. If funding exceeds $35,000, I'm going to need shock therapy, after which I'll put on my thinking cap to come up with something really good. But let's cross that bridge if we come to it.
Right off the top, let me say that this timeline is an estimate only. There are a million things that can cause delays in the process of creating rewards and getting them out to you. However, I'll be posting updates for backers weekly at minimum so you'll be kept in the loop. You might even get sick of hearing from me! But...I've backed a few projects here myself and feel that regular, informative updates are the most important thing a project creator can do to maintain credibility besides actually delivering the promised rewards.
It is my goal to ship the majority of rewards by end of November which means in time for Christmas, but it would be foolish to guarantee that (thanks to Murphy's Law) so plan accordingly based on the project updates. Here's my rough plan right now:
- September 2012: Conduct Kickstarter campaign. Get book art, content and layout as close to done as possible. As soon as initial funding goal is met, start prepping for rewards fulfillment.
- October 2012: Finalize book content and cover, submit file to printer, review and approve proofs, order books (assumes the proofing process with CreateSpace doesn't hit any snags that cause delays). Order and prep other rewards. Keep in mind it will take about 3 weeks after the Kickstarter ends for Amazon to release the funds to me. Some stuff I can fund myself in advance but I wouldn't be here if I didn't need the Kickstarter funds to complete this project, so the timing of Amazon's release of funds will impact my ability to prep rewards for shipping.
- November 2012: Begin shipping rewards.
Note: Most rewards will ship by the end of November, 2012. However, new portraits to be painted for backers at the $250 and $300 level will take time to complete and will be done in the order in which those backers submit their dogs' reference photos to me. That's why those reward levels say March 2013 for estimated delivery. I will endeavor to ship all new portraits and their derived rewards by then but other stuff that is ready in advance of that will go out in a separate shipment. It costs more to do that, but it feels like the right thing to do.
I want Doggitude to be a fun, affordable book for the average dog lover, not an expensive coffee table art book. As a Print-On-Demand service, CreateSpace was the best option for affordability and quick turnaround time for book printing. That means you won't have to wait six months to get your book! Some self-publishers have experienced issues with color accuracy and quality control when working with CreateSpace, but I am convinced that I have done enough research to know how to minimize those potential problems. Plus, I have ordered some other authors' books containing full color artwork and was quite satisfied with the quality and color.
The $500 Superstar Cover Dog backer gets a painting and chooses the cover dog. Does it have to be the same dog in the painting and on the cover?
Nope. There is some flexibility in this reward. The $500 backer can have me paint a new dog for inclusion in the book and nominate that dog for the cover, or have me paint a new dog for the book and nominate a different (already painted) dog for the cover, or (if they own a dog already painted for the book) request the painting I already did of that dog and nominate it (or a different dog's painting) for the cover. A slot in the book is reserved for this backer. However, if their dog is already on the book's roster and they claim that dog's painting, they can't use the empty slot so I'll paint another dog from the original submission pool to fill it. It sounds more complicated than it really is. If you need a better explanation, post a comment and I'll clarify further.
How do backers let you know which dogs they want prints of if their selected reward includes prints?
Once this project ends successfully, I'll be able to use Kickstarter tools for project creators to create a survey to find out your preferences.
If I miss being able to contribute to this project, can I order the book, prints, note cards or original works later?
Yes, the book will be available on Amazon and through other distributors later this Fall (once book rewards have been shipped to Doggitude project backers). Items featuring art and haiku from the book will be available for sale in the Doggitude shop on Etsy after the first of the year. Why not sooner? Because fulfilling the rewards for this project is going to take a lot of time and I don't want to complicate matters. If you're thinking about wanting Doggitude stuff for Christmas gifts, please choose your reward package accordingly. Please note: prints will be only be available for dogs I have already painted; you cannot order a print of your dog without ordering an original painting first.
Kickstarter only lets me pick one reward package. What if I want multiple reward packages to give Doggitude stuff as gifts?
Select one of the packages you want, but enter the total for ALL the reward packages you want in the amount field. Then email me at email@example.com with a note about which packages you want. I'll track that kind of thing in a separate spreadsheet and match it up with the one that Kickstarter provides. Don't worry--I'll get you squared away right and proper when it's time to ship rewards.
The main reason is because it increases the size of the packaging needed to ship safely, and thus the cost--often considerably, particularly for international shipments. The other reason is that it is a potentially wasted cost of producing a reward if the mat color or design (e.g., with haiku in a separate window below artwork or not) doesn't jive with the recipient's preferences. Original paintings and prints will be shipped protected by a clear sleeve and backing board, so that recipients can mat and frame according to their personal preferences.
Of course! I don't have any examples of cat portraits I have done to share with you, but just as with my dog portraits, I guarantee your satisfaction.