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A lush picture book for kids of all ages about eating color, making your own paint, and creating 'color portraits' of people you love.
A lush picture book for kids of all ages about eating color, making your own paint, and creating 'color portraits' of people you love.
104 backers pledged $7,121 to help bring this project to life.

About

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$7,121

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The Plan

Hi! I’m Tilke Elkins, a writer and visual artist. I’ve made this book, called How To Eat Color & Paint Who You Are, which is about a girl in a floating house who shows readers how to create fantastic color snacks with unusual veggies, turn a whole meal blue with a secret (all natural!) ingredient, and make paint and food coloring from scratch. Crucial skills, you say? Exactly!!

The book will look like this, but be even bigger!
The book will look like this, but be even bigger!

The 84-page book is TOTALLY COMPLETE. The paintings are scanned in huge files and all photoshopped-up with layered-on, hand-drawn text.

Now I really want to launch it out into the world, essentially by offering copies of it here on Kickstarter, as well a few other color-rich rewards. Once I have a community of people who love the book, I can go to a publisher and say, “See! They like it!” and the publisher will want to nurture it out into the world so that even MORE people can enjoy it.

If funded, I'll do everything in my power to deliver rewards by Dec.25th, 2017.

Update: The project has met its goal and is funded! A new stretch goal of $7,200 has been added to support the creation of a website in the spirit of the book, focused on connecting kids to the lush mysteries of the tangible world. Read all about it in Update #7!

A double-page spread from the book...
A double-page spread from the book...

The Book

The book is, as I say in the video, “…more like a playdate with an unusual child in a lush, mysterious, color-filled world, than a how-to book.” But it also IS a how-to book.

You’ll learn:

* How to make your own food-coloring from edible plant powders

*How to make your own PAINT

*How to make an entirely BLUE MEAL using secret, all-natural ingredients in your kitchen

*How to paint color portraits of yourself and the ones you love

The book itself will be soft-cover and printed on 100% Post-consumer Recycled Paper (so, no trees cut for it at all). The size will be 10 inches wide by 11 inches high — which is kinda big! This will make it easy to see all the details. At 80 pages, it’ll be a respectable chunk of book.

Jakes makes paint ~ with eggs!
Jakes makes paint ~ with eggs!

Is the Book for Kids, Or What?

It’s for kids “of all ages.” What that means is, I wrote the book to be interesting to read for anyone of any age (3, 9, 27, 56…) who likes color, plants and art, and I drew and painted the illustrations to be fun to look at for anyone who doesn’t read but would enjoy just looking, or looking on while another person reads aloud.

Imagine you took your favorite comic — like the kind that appears in the Sunday newspaper funnies, in color — and you blew up each frame to fit onto each double-page spread of the book. That’s what this book will feel like, with saturated colors going right off the edges of the pages (no white borders on the images) and speech bubbles for all the words.

Is Tilke, like, a Swedish name?

Actually, my parents made it up — by rearranging some of the letters in my last name and adding a “T.” Seriously, though — who the heck am I and what qualifies me to ask for money to print this book? Well, one thing is: between 1999 and 2005, I edited, wrote and illustrated a magazine for “children ages 1 to 100 and up” called All Round.

All Round, 'a radical mag for kids 1 to 100+'
All Round, 'a radical mag for kids 1 to 100+'

Home Education Magazine called it “very, very cool,” and Mothering Magazine said it was “literally packed with whimsical drawings and fun facts…a real pleasure to peruse.” The magazine was nominated for a design award by Utne Magazine (‘Best of the Alternative Press’) and had 2,000 subscribers, selling 14,000 on newsstands per issue.

The whole thing was very fun, and my readers were the best part — so many incredible families got involved, sending in entries to “contests” (I always published ALL the submissions) and some even becoming life-time subscribers as a show of support. One of my most moving reviews came from a parent in Portland, Michelle Arensberg, who wrote, “Thank you, thank you for the gift of this magazine. It’s a family heirloom.” Thank you all so much, you AR fans out there! We miss you.

Since we stopped publishing All Round, I regularly receive requests for back issues, even eleven years later! This makes me think that perhaps we were onto something, and that just maybe, there might be some die-hard fans out there poised for new material.

Though it was sad to say good-bye to All Round, one of the blissful things about not making the magazine anymore was having the time to really focus on one of the main characters I frequently portrayed, and make a book all about her. I think, if I may be so bold, that my drawing and painting skills improved. I was finally able to capture the world I envisioned for All Round as I saw it in my mind’s eye. Whew!

The School Garden Project

The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org) is a wonderful organization in my hometown of Eugene, Oregon, which connects kids to the magic of vegetable gardens at more than 70 schools in Oregon every year. I want to share some of the contributions to this campaign with them, so that when you support me, you’re also supporting kids to connect with plants that grow food — which is also one of the things I hope my book will bring to readers. It’s an ideal match, and something I’ll feel so happy to be able to do.

The Money

Because I really want to see this campaign succeed, I’m setting my starting goal at $5,600. This will cover the cost of printing, publishing and shipping the book. I’m paying Evangeline LaRoque for her hard work on the campaign video which I adore and which really shows off her mad creative ability. Then, I want to make a minimum contribution of 5% of the pledges to the School Garden Project. The more my campaign raises, the more we can help kids eat veggies outside!

The other costs are Kickstarter charges plus credit card processing fees.

Printing & publishing costs: 40% 

Mailing costs: 10% 

Kickstarter & transaction fees & taxes: 25% 

Video: 20% 

School Garden Project: 5%

That’s it. I’m not compensating myself at all for the work on the book- my goal here is just to make sure that it gets out there and inspires people.

If I exceed my goal, not only will I be able to donate more to the School Garden Project, but I may announce a stretch-goal which would allow me to print the book in HARDCOVER. While I personally adore soft cover books, there is something rather nice and solid about a hardcover that says, “I’m sticking around for many generations.”

A Note About Synesthesia

Jakesephina, the book’s main character, describes each letter in her name as having a specific color. When I was little, I thought everyone’s letters and numbers had colors. It wasn’t until later that I found out there’s a name for the ‘condition’ I share with both my parents: synesthesia. Synesthesia just means ‘the joining of senses.’ Science likes to make out that syntesthetes are rare and unusual — freaky, even. One in 100,000. But I have serious doubts about this. I have met LOTS of people with synesthesia. People have synesthesia in many different ways.

Jakes describes the colors in the letters of her name.
Jakes describes the colors in the letters of her name.

I think that whether you “have it” or not, it’s a really good metaphor that shows the ways that impressions and sensations can connect poetically. 

And if you feel particular kinship with Jakes because your letters DO have colors too — then right on! High five.

The Video

Evangeline LaRoque of Brainchildz Creative Media is the genius behind the video. Her painstaking animation skills, her crisp, lush filming and debonair ease with people who are insanely nervous on camera (read: me!!) resulted in a short video so seductive that I almost forgot I was making a book and not a movie.

Charlie Catherine Hahn expertly read the voice-over for Jakesephina. All the recording took place in the exquisite sound lair known as Numberstation, run by the infinitely hilarious Mo’ Talaba.

Armfuls of flowers also for my color portrait crew:

Charlie Hahn, Julia Hahn, Elise Sardell, Yared Llewellyn, Grace Llewellyn, and Kalan Noah Guetti.

Evangeline LaRoque captures the garden with her keen sense of color
Evangeline LaRoque captures the garden with her keen sense of color

The Take Home

Thank you, in advance, for every penny you’re willing to part with. I am continually grateful for the people who have made it possible for me to bask in color and translate that joy into words and images that others can delight in.

I feel blessed and honored, 100% of the time, to be a maker. I love this work, and I love you for making it possible.

Thanks in every subtle shade of the millions of colors in the world!

~ Tilke

 

Risks and challenges

The book is unusual: it’s for kids of all ages, it has an eclectic range of things going on in it, and it can’t be summed up in a quick phrase (though I’ve certainly tried! : ) ). One reason I hired Evangeline LaRoque and put so much into the video was to ensure that people could get a real sense of the feeling of the book, because the feeling is a lot of what it’s about. My hope is that people will get it, and want to hop on board the flying house!

If you’re familiar with publishing, you know that little things can come up between design and production. Since the book is all ready to go, delays should be minimal. I promise to do my absolute best to meet the estimated delivery dates, and will keep you posted if I encounter any unanticipated challenges, as I figure them out.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    VISIT TO THE ROOF GARDEN

    MY ETERNAL GRATITUDE Plus, access to backer updates including early chicken-scratches of the book, elaborate paintings that didn’t make the final cut, and other tidbits, including down-loads of things to color in. Thank you SO MUCH for your support! Pledge any amount you want ($1 to $1,111 and up!) out of the goodness of your heart. Select this level and you won’t get a physical reward.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $11 or more About $11

    COLOR SNACK

    A COPY OF ALL ROUND! I’ll select a beautiful, full-color, ad-free back issue of All Round for you from the archives, on a theme like Plants You Can Eat, Music, Magic, Shelter or Being Born. Hang onto this, it may be a collector’s item some day! ; ) Plus, you’ll receive all the thrilling backer updates, and can upgrade your pledge at any time if you decide you want the book.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • Copy of All Round magazine
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $33 or more About $33

    FULL COLOR MEAL

    A PRINT COPY OF THE BOOK to hold in your very own hands. I know, $33 is a lot to pay for a book, BUT. It’s BIG (10 by 11 inches!) and it’s FAT (80 pages!), and — it’s printed on 100% post-consumer recycled paper. That means it’s made with the fruits of your (or someone like you’s) recycling efforts, not just reams of industrial waste. It is beautiful, thick, creamy, smooth paper, too, and not a single tree died for it.

    PLUS, this reward also gets you a copy of All Round, which is (you guessed it!) printed on 100% post-consumer recycled papers well. To the best of my knowledge, no other magazines follow this trend.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • How To Eat Color & Paint Who You Are -- the book!
    • Copy of All Round magazine
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $55 or more About $55

    FULL COLOR MEAL PLUS DESSERT

    A SIGNED PRINT COPY OF THE BOOK…PLUS BONUS! For this lustrous gesture of kindness and generosity, you’ll receive one signed copy of the book, plus TWO copies of ALL ROUND, plus FREE SHIPPING within the U.S.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • SIGNED copy of the book
    • TWO copies of All Round
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    9 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $66 or more About $66

    SHARE THE COLOR

    This reward gets you TWO copies of the book, How To Eat Color and Paint Who You Are, with FREE SHIPPING within the U.S. to one or TWO locations of your choice.

    Includes:
    • TWO copies of the book, How To Eat Color & Paint Who You Are.
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $77 or more About $77

    COLOR FEAST

    AN ORIGINAL SKETCH of Jakesephina and her cat-friend, Tangerine Bonzibar. Plus a signed copy of the book PLUS two copies of All Round with FREE SHIPPING.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • An original sketch or Jakesephina and cat-friend Bonzibar
    • SIGNED copy of the book
    • TWO copies of All Round
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $99 or more About $99

    SHARE MORE COLOR

    This reward gets you THREE copies of the book, How To Eat Color and Paint Who You Are, with FREE SHIPPING within the U.S. to one or THREE locations of your choice.

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    Pledge $111 or more About $111

    COLOR CELEBRATION

    YOUR VERY OWN COLOR PORTRAIT! You’ll answer a detailed questionnaire about color in your life (‘Is there a color you always feel happy with? What’s your favorite time of day?’ etc.), and I’ll paint a color portrait that expresses who you are on the inside, where your colors are. The portrait itself will be about 9 inches in diameter, painted with a variety of earth, plant and coal-tar (i.e. derived from oil) pigments on heavy watercolor paper. The paper itself will be 10 by 11 inches. If you request it, I’ll add wings (and hands with eyes on them!) to your color portrait, so it can fly around (that will make the actual color part a bit smaller, so the wings can fit on the paper).

    If you’d like to give this as a gift, I’ll create a portrait of anyone of your choosing, as long as they can answer my color questionnaire! Or, you can answer it brilliantly for them. : )

    Plus, you’ll also get a signed copy of the book, of course, and two copies of ALL ROUND, with FREE SHIPPING within the U.S..

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • Your very own COLOR PORTRAIT
    • SIGNED copy of the book
    • TWO copies of All Round
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    Pledge $333 or more About $333

    COLOR BANQUET

    YOUR VERY OWN COLOR PORTRAIT — ON WOOD! Same as above, except this color portrait will be painted on a wood panel out of exclusively natural pigments (earth, plant and precious gems, like lapis lazuli). Ready to hang with a wire on the back, 10 by 11 inches.

    Plus, a signed copy of the book is included in this reward as well, and two copies of All Round.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • Your very own color portrait -- on WOOD, with NATURAL PIGMENTS
    • SIGNED copy of the book
    • TWO copies of All Round
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    Pledge $555 or more About $555

    COLOR EXTRAVAGANZA

    A SET OF BACK ISSUES OF ALL ROUND MAGAZINE That’s ten tantalizing issues packed with facts, comics, stories, recipes, games and activities all about Color, Night, Shelter, Flying, Magic, Hands, Being Born, Music, Plants You Can Eat and Seeing! This will probably be the last time a set is available (at ten issues, the set is nearly complete: three issues (Trees, How Animals Talk, and Inventing) are sold out.

    Plus, not just one but TWO signed copies of the book AND a color portrait on wood.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • Set of all 10 issues of All Round
    • Your very own color portrait -- on WOOD, with NATURAL PIGMENTS
    • TWO signed copies of the book
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  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,111 or more About $1,111

    24/7 COLOR PARTY

    COLOR WORKSHOP COMES TO YOU For this pledge, I come to you and give a color workshop of your choice for up to 22 people. Topics include How To Make Paint, How To Know Color, and The Everything of Synesthesia. I’ve given these workshops at libraries, galleries, pre-schools, children’s museums and colleges, and can tailor to many different audiences. Open to anyone in the U.S. and Canada. Open to discussion about other places! : )

    TRAVEL EXPENSES NOT INCLUDED (either you pay for my travel, or we wait until I’m going through your area).

    Plus, a signed copy of the book and a whole box of issues of All Round, with FREE SHIPPING.

    5% goes to support The School Garden Project (www.schoolgardenproject.org).

    Includes:
    • Color Workshop for up to 22 people
    • A whole BOX of issues of All Round, chosen for you
    • SIGNED copy of the book
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Funding period

- (30 days)