We are very eager and excited to launch this new project! We hope you will help support it with a donation and by sharing it with your friends and family. Here is our story:
Doug is a fine art photographer and Julia is a found object sculptor. They are both deeply drawn to and inspired by the sea. They met at a gallery in Portland where their art is currently being represented.
We became such good friends through our art and admire each others work so much that we have traded a few pieces. Soon we decided that we wanted to combine our artistic impressions of the landscape and the creatures of the sea in a new and unique way. Thus, 'Two Friends Media' was born!
We have been very busy during the last year, planning, discussing ideas, searching for a printer and creating a logo. We have taken Julia's sculptures out into the natural landscape to photograph, in order to produce individual note cards and boxed sets of eight. The note cards will be a folded 5x7 with a 4x6 image on the front. They're designed to look like a matted fine-art print. The two inside pages are blank for writing space, and a back page includes a few words about us, the portrait and the following dedication to our mothers: "In memory of our mothers, who always believed in us and supported us in life, love and art."
We've chosen a heavy, luxurious feeling card stock for our note cards that will have a glossy front and back page, and a mat finish on the two inside pages. Each card will include a white envelope. The boxed sets of 8 will be in a carefully chosen, good quality printed cardboard box. We also plan to offer our sculpture portraits in poster sizes that will be suitable for framing. Our first 8 images of lobster portraits are complete, and we are really thrilled with how they came out! Work is in progress on our next set of crab portraits. We're both having so much fun creating these!
Each one of Julia's sculptures has a distinct personality and Doug lovingly and painstakingly tries numerous scenarios and settings to get the image 'just right' - even if it means returning to a site to retake an image days later after the proof has been viewed. Here are a few images of the process and the outcome:
We've located a company to print our note cards right here in Maine. The cards will be printed on recycled paper, and the entire printing operation runs off of wind energy, which we think is pretty great! We've done some test prints and they look fantastic!
The next step is to get our note cards into production, get our marketing underway, and establish a channel of retail partners. As you can imagine, the costs associated with getting our first products off the ground and into customers' hands requires some upfront costs. And that's where we hope you will be willing to help! For those of you who may be unfamiliar with Kickstarter, it's an organization whose mission is to help fund artists, musicians, film makers, etc. so that creative projects like ours can see the light of day. It's a two-way process. A collaboration. A partnership. We're asking you to make an investment in us to help get Two Friends Media off the ground. In return, not only will you become an integral part of this unique project, but we also want to reward your generosity with a return on your investment. There are a number of reward levels that you can see here on our Kickstarter page.
While we're hopeful that our campaign is a success, Kickstarter is an all or nothing proposition. If our project doesn't get fully funded in the time allotted, you don't spend a dime and you have no further commitment of any kind to the project. We do hope that you'll join us in this unique, creative and exciting project! If you would be willing to share our Kickstarter project with family and friends, we would truly appreciate it and be SO grateful!
There's one other thing we think that's worth mentioning here. When we were working through the details of what we wanted to do with Two Friends Media, we both felt that an important aspect of the company would be to donate a certain percentage of the sales from our note cards to charity. We think that giving back and making a positive contribution to society as a whole is important. There are so many worthy causes, but we thought it would be good to find a Maine based organization that was focused on protecting the natural resources along the coast. The coast of Maine is a jewell that all of us get to enjoy, and it's also the inspiration for our art. To that end, we've chosen to donate 5% of the company's profits to Maine Coast Heritage Trust. MCHT is a non-profit organization whose mission is to preserve and protect this place that's so special to us. You can learn more about the trust at www.mcht.org.
We truly love what we do and we're so excited about bringing our art to a large audience in fun, creative ways. While Two Friends Media is starting with portrait note cards and posters, the sky is truly the limit. We have many other ideas for future products that we think will be unique and exciting. At the end of the day, our goal is to share our artistic interpretations of this very special place that we both love so dearly. Thank you so much for taking the time to watch our Kickstarter video and thank you for helping us make Two Friends Media a reality.
Risks and challenges
Julia and Doug are established artists with gallery representation throughout Maine. Julia's sculptures and Doug's photography has been marketed and successfully sold to a wide range of customers for the last ten years. Their work can be found in private and corporate collections from Maine to California.
Two Friends Media has located an established printing company in Maine for their note cards and posters that the company is enthusiastic about and trusts. The printing company has been in business for many years and will print our note cards and posters on 100% recycled materials, using 100% wind energy to power the printing process. We have had sample note cards made and we're very pleased with the high quality results. The printing process for the first production run of note cards is estimated to take between 2-3 weeks. We have listed Kickstarter reward availability to be in June of 2016, which is based on our printer's production estimates. It's possible that this date could be slightly delayed dependent on production schedules.
Doug and Julia both have years of experience in marketing and selling fine art related 'products'. Nothing is certain in the world of retail sales but the company has a high degree of confidence in the desirability of the initial product offerings, and will be aggressive in marketing and selling the company's products to consumers, via both direct and retail outlet models.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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