About this project
For those who have ever grown, admired or enjoyed a fine field of facial follicles...
This is your chance to own and be part of beardsmithing history.
B A C K G R O U N D :
G'day my friends, my name is Jimmy Niggles, and many moons ago a photographer called Mr Elbank insisted I visit his studio to sit for a portrait. He said he specialised in beards, and although mine was only a year or so old (plus I’d never really done anything like this before), I soon found out just how special his talents were.
Within a few hours of releasing the photo on the internet, Mr Elbank's image had been reposted over 545,000 times on Reddit. Pretty soon 'Jimmy Niggles' started popping popping up everywhere, from fashion blogs in Norway, to oil paintings on Wall St, profile pages on Tinder, look-books in New York, news articles, advertising pitches and social media feeds all around the world - doing huge things for Beard Season in the process. My friends even found my mug - painted on a mug at a market stall in the Greek Islands. It was astounding. Though not at all surprising…
You see Mr Elbank’s photography has a huge a cult following. Simply google the word ‘beard’ and you’ll no doubt recognise many of his iconic shots. They have a distinct and powerful style, unmistakably Mr Elbank.
So when he approached me with the idea to create a monumental campaign to help launch Beard Season in the Northern Hemisphere, I was understandably very honoured.
T H E I D E A :
A life saving portrait series featuring some of the most inspiring bearded characters in the world.
W H A T W E ' R E P R O D U C I N G :
- A London exhibition and launch party to celebrate the start of winter*
- A high quality coffee table art book
- A limited edition set of prints, a selection of which will be autographed
*A scaled down version of the exhibition will take place in Australia for the start of winter next year. Everyone who donates over $50 from Australia will be invited to the event with a limited run of books available on the day.
T H E G O A L :
To create an enduring body of art which could not only save your life, but the lives of your friends, family or anyone who may encounter the #Project60 story.
W H Y W E N E E D Y O U :
Four years ago I lost one of my friends to melanoma at the age of 26. His name was Wes Bonny, and at his wake a group of us decided to start something which would encourage more people to have regular skin checks (an important piece of the puzzle in the fight against melanoma, one of the world’s deadliest though most preventable cancers).
Not many gentlemen our age had beards back then, and because Wes’ melanoma was on his neck, we decided to cover up from the sun and let our facial follicles flourish, sharing Wes' story with everyone who asked about our beards - then challenge them to book a skin check.
Since then we've discovered the people most at risk of melanoma are men aged 18-45. They think they're bullet proof and are the hardest to get in to see a doctor, let alone a dermatologist. So by growing our beards and having these conversations, we've managed to target the people who need to hear this message the most.
So far we've managed to share this message at TEDx in the Sydney Opera House, on morning TV with millions of viewers, at festivals, on Reddit, Buzzfeed, The Guardian, Huffington Post and some of the biggest publications and social media networks in the world. Thousands of people have visited their GP or skin clinic because of what we’ve started, and every week I’ll receive messages from people who might not be here today if it weren't for our friendly advice.
This journey has been documented on social media, where each and every day I’ll go out and meet someone who may/may not have a beard who I have challenged to have a skin check - posting a photo and tagging them so they can share it with their friends. The more people I meet, the bigger our message becomes, and the more lives we save.
T H E I M P O R T A N C E O F # P R O J E C T 6 0 :
#Project60 is a celebration of people coming together around a worthwhile cause. A cause which until now - has never sought funding or support from people like you, companies or philanthropists. All of the magnificent work done work so far by Mr Elbank and the participants has been voluntary and self funded, and as I'm sure you will agree, the passion and dedication shown by everyone involved will produce something very special, to own and cherish for the rest of your life. A photographic and artistic monument which will inspire and honour the life saving growth of many more beards to come.
T H E P R E S S S O F A R :
T H A N K S T O M R E L B A N K :
What started as a kernel of an idea late last year, #Project60 has grown into a huge worldwide campaign, with millions of people engaged through social and other media.
Sifting through thousands of applications, Mr Elbank has led the charge with enviable professionalism, generosity and signature flair. He has dedicated over 800hrs to organise, pick up, cater, shoot, grade and produce this magnificent body of work.
Opening his house, heart and family life to dozens of strangers from all over the world, they now count themselves as his extended family, honoured with his warm hospitality, classic sense of humour and brilliant ability.
This campaign is as much about recognising his superb career as it is about the purpose behind it. Mr Elbank, alongside his sterling fashion and advertising work, has photographed bearded characters for decades, with his first exhibition Facial, made up of more than 200 portraits. He was well ahead of the beard trend, and photographed many bearded icons such as Ricky Hall, Miles Better and Frank Moon - inspiring thousands to follow in their footsteps.
#Project60 is a homage to his work, and by showing your support you are helping to recognise his contribution to photography, Beard Season, and to those joining us in the hirsute pursuit.
C O S T S W E N E E D T O C O V E R :
- Exhibition space in London
- Event Management
- Music & Entertainment
- Ring Bulb
- Hard Drive
- Over 800 hrs of Mr Elbank’s time
- Administration and management of the project
- Social Media
- Travel and accommodation for participants
C O R P O R A T E P A R T N E R S H I P :
We have partnered with the wonderful team at Captain Fawcett to give a consistent look to the shots, so unfortunately we are unable to add any further mens grooming brands. However, we are open to other partnerships with companies who would like to support such an important cause, help put on the exhibition in London and support us with publication of the #Project60 book. So, if you are/know anyone from a fashion, photography, travel, communications, art, skin care, transport, food and or beverage business who may be interested, we look forward to maximising a strong brand relationship. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss.
I N C O N C L U S I O N :
We are just finishing up our application for a Non Profit Health Promotion Charity, and estimate approval by the end of this campaign. So, every donation you make will (all things going well) be totally tax deductible.
Many thanks to all the participants who have donated their valuable time and resources to help make this possible. I couldn't have dreamed of the quality of the work so far and am absolutely astounded by your commitment to helping the Beard Season cause and creating something truly spectacular.
S O M E O F T H E S H O T S S O F A R :
Risks and challenges
The bulk of the book has already been shot. Final grading and proofing of the photography will need to be done before handing over the assets to compile. For this, we have enlisted the skills of a very accomplished graphic designer who has overseen the layout of many photography books and commercial design work. Standard professional precautions are being taken with transfer of assets and backup of data. This being assisted through generous sponsorship from Digital Garage.
Once designed, we will be printing a limited run of test books, which we will use to approach commercial publishers.
Our designer has produced many books in the past so we understand the process well and have already been working closely with the printers to iron out any problems they anticipate before production.
We are also working with someone in London who specialises in pitching to publishers, so once our test prints are complete, we will be approaching her network to move ahead with production as swiftly as possible.
Mr Elbank will review every hard copy proof before printing. Once complete, we will also conduct a press check to ensure the colour reproduction is faithful to the originals.
This is a big book that is going to take time to pitch, print, bind, and finish. We plan on working closely with bot the printers and the publishers to ensure smooth production and, if funded, we will keep you updated on each step of the process.
For the prints, the same care and due diligence will be taken in production, handling and post. Each will be delivered in a padded postal tube, sealed and address checked.
T Shirts and A5 images will be sent from Australia.
Dinner dates, Jimmy Niggles' jumper and meetings will be arranged upon booking.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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