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Artist Heather Zemien and writer Sheila Path McMahon have created Isabella, a Minneapolis-based cat who likes to go on adventures.
81 backers pledged $4,706 to help bring this project to life.

About

Isabella, Cat in the City: A Children's Picture Book Project project video thumbnail
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$4,706

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Is the book completed?

There are 15 pages of illustration, 14 of which are complete at this moment (May 3).  The final illustration is almost done, and the cover is designed but not made yet.  We have worked on this book for about a year already, and the process has been getting faster as we gain momentum.  

Why cut paper?

The medium of any art project is an important decision.  We waited until we felt that we knew what the story was before deciding - the idea of Isabella, an adventurous cat who tags along with her owner and then sneaks off to do her own thing, became the one that we focused on.  The manuscript developed over time and collaboration.

With the story nearing completion, Heather reflected back to her favorite college professor, Joseph Gazzuolo, a mentor who instilled a passion for 2-dimensional design work.  Heather also has a love for the artist Matisse's Jazz period.  Between her two inspirations, Heather settled on the idea for cut paper designs, all of which were done  mostly in her dining room.

There are 15 original cut-paper compositions in this project.  One of the biggest challenges has been making sure that the visual representation of Isabella is consistent - she has different emotions, but she always needs to look like the same cat - and we worked hard to let her personality shine through both the words and the images.

I was glad to be able to assist Heather with opinions and ideas for the art work.  Even though I am mainly the writer, and she is mainly the artist, we each gave the other significant feedback and help.  Considering how often we worked side-by-side, we feel that this book represents a true collaboration between us, and we are so happy to now be able to bring Isabella to the world.

What are we using the money for?

  • $3,000 Printing cost for 250 hardcover books
  • $900 Isabella T-shirts
  • $375-450 Kickstarter and Amazon credit processing fees
  • $300-375 Marketing costs such as post cards, business cards, letters to bookstores, stickers and posters
  • If we make more than our goal, we will invest the rest researching, marketing and printing more books

Will this book be marketed beyond Kickstarter?

We are hoping that Minnesota gift shops will be interested to have a local artist and writer represented in their stores.  We are making a list of likely candidates to approach with the book.  This area is new to the both of us, so there will be a lot to learn!

Risks and challenges

There isn't a whole lot of risk, since the book is nearly done, but people who supported the kickstarter for Someotherville know that they have had to wait a lot longer than Sheila had estimated for their books. That will be alleviated by the fact that Heather is a better planner. :)

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $1 or more About $1.00

    You will be listed on the supporters page of the book!.

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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    A signed copy of Isabella, Cat in the City, with 2 bonus sticker pages, designed by Heather.

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    30 backers
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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Isabella T-shirt, size of your choice. You will specify your size in the supporter survey when everything is ready to ship.

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    8 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $40 or more About $40

    Two signed copies of Isabella, Cat in the City.

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    12 backers
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    Pledge $45 or more About $45

    A T-shirt, a book and 2 sticker pages.

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    14 backers
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    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 T-shirt and 5 copies of the book with 2 sticker pages each.

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    9 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $150 or more About $150

    Host an Isabella-themed book or birthday party.

    Appropriate for children 3-8 years old.

    We will provide stickers for up to 10 children, along with a copy of the book and a special T-shirt for the host child.

    Either Sheila or Heather (both if possible) will attend and read the book for the group. We will also teach an Isabella-themed art project. Plan for about 35-45 minutes of content for this portion of your party.

    This package is limited to the Minneapolis/St Paul metro area.

    You can choose to have the party any time before the end of 2015. We will have to make sure that the time works for everyone.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $180 or more About $180

    Be a Philanthropist! Choose this level, and we will send 10 copies of Isabella, Cat in the City for you to donate to libraries in and around your town.

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Funding period

- (30 days)