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$442 pledged of $16,000 goal
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By Zach Sutton
$442 pledged of $16,000 goal
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About this project

Dear brothers and sisters, distant aunts and uncles, family and friends, dreamers and lovers,

I need help, and if anyone can help me, it's you.

I recently realized what my dream is. I want to explore the universe and show it to you. Maybe I always knew that, but all I know is right this moment, I want to charge out of the gate like a horse into an open field of possibilities! Open the gate for me, please!

To put in more concrete terms, I want to hit the road in a van with my dog for one year in order to bring you a unique perspective of modern America through photography, video, music, and writing.

Photography, video, music and writing... Are you some kind of artist?

That is up to you to decide. This would basically be the start of my career as an artist, both musically and visually, if you make it so.

Art and music are in my blood. I know that now. I didn't always. It's only a matter of inspiration and creation now. And no, I wouldn't ask for your help without showing you some photography!

I shot this photo Sunday, May 28, 2017 of my dad looking out towards Pinnacle Mountain during Sunset from Big Dam Bridge over the Arkansas River.
I shot this photo Sunday, May 28, 2017 of my dad looking out towards Pinnacle Mountain during Sunset from Big Dam Bridge over the Arkansas River.

 

This is a 30 second exposure I shot last Summer of the moonrise over the Ouachita National Forest, from "Crystal Vista," looking back towards Little Rock.
This is a 30 second exposure I shot last Summer of the moonrise over the Ouachita National Forest, from "Crystal Vista," looking back towards Little Rock.

 

I shot this picture of a green forest at Lorance Creek Natural Area with a fisheye lense that I borrowed from my Dad.
I shot this picture of a green forest at Lorance Creek Natural Area with a fisheye lense that I borrowed from my Dad.

You can see more of my photography and hear my music in the video (which was 100% created by me).

My Promises

1. This isn't just for me. It's for you. It's for everyone. Experiences are better when shared. I will share my experiences by creating something everywhere I go, whether it be a song, a picture, a story, or all of the above, and I will post them regularly on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit for everyone to enjoy.

2. I will create a music album based on my experiences during this one year journey. I will post all songs to all major music streaming services for anyone to listen to. I can't say what it will sound like, but it will have my soul. Some songs will be created on the journey, and some will be created after the journey is over.

3. I will create a documentary about this whole experience after the journey is over. I don't know how long it will be, but it will be great, and I will love doing it and sharing it with you. I can't imagine a better way to contribute to the world at this time. I will be able to get lots of great video on my travels, much better than the video for this Kickstarter, using some of the things you buy.

4. I won't let you down. I'll be fearless, and bring you the truth as I see it. I'll do it with grace and with honor.

5. I will show you more than you know. What exactly, I can't say.

"Through the Mud." Shot at Lorance Creek Natural area in Arkansas.
"Through the Mud." Shot at Lorance Creek Natural area in Arkansas.

Things Your Money Pays For...

There's a few things you will help me buy: a van, some camera equipment, freedom from debt, and travel expenses. I'll break down each thing for complete transparency.

A Van

Cost: About $5000

Description: My home for the next year. Some of you may be thinking, "you're going to be living in a van?!" Yes. How else could I explore so freely and inexpensively? A van not only provides satisfactory living space and shelter for my lifestyle, it's virtually camoflauge on the road and can be parked just about anywhere, unlike RV's. I could wake up to a new horizon every day. That's worth any material tradeoffs to me.

Something like this would be good. Maybe you know of something? 

Better Camera Equipment

Cost: About $2000

Description: Specifically, I need lenses; a wide angle lense, a fish-eye lense, and maybe a better macro lense. Cost: about $800.

I need a better camera bag for traveling. Mine isn't that great. Something like this. Cost: about $150.

I also think a drone along with my drone certification would take my photograhpy and story-telling of this journey to new heights. I'm thinking something like this drone, which has an automatic tracking system and shoots in 4k video. Cost: About $900 for the drone + $150 for the certification.

If this Kickstarter happens to go $2000 or more over my goal, I would also like to get a full frame camera which takes bigger pictures and lets in more light. Something like this. It has many advantages and would allow me to truly take professional quality photos. I think the other things are higher priority initially though.

Free me of debt

Cost: About $5000

Description: How do you feel about going into debt? Well, it doesn't make me feel good, but I don't feel bad about it either. I did what I had to do at that time in my life.

I'm actually thankful, incredibly thankful.

I'm thankful that I had a credit score in the upper 700s to give me a high credit line. I'm thankful that I had a financial lifeline to fall back onto during the most transformative and difficult period of my life. I'm thankful that I didn't always have to burden my friends and family for money even though I had little income. It gave me space to keep being myself and keep working on myself when I needed it most. I'm sorry I have to ask for help, but I'm glad I had the option of going into debt at all.

The reality is, this debt is a ball and chain. I will have to work a job and put my dream on hold if this Kickstarter doesn't work out. That's why I ask that you please liberate me! Thank you.

Travel Expenses

Cost: $4000

Description: There are several smaller things I need. I will need to pay for insurance, a good phone plan with a decent amount of data, food, gas, and of course taxes.

My plan is to use $2000 of this $4000 to sustain these costs in the short-term, and I will use the the other $2000 to invest in a way to make money on the road and sustain myself long-term.

My long-term plan is to buy $1000 worth of nice canvas and poster prints of my art, and sell them on the road and at art festivals. The remaining $1000 will go towards improving and sustaining my website (server space, search engine rankings, advertising, plugins, domain renewal and things like that), as well as other areas of business.

Where will you travel?

I don't have every stop of the journey planned, but the first direction I will go is West. I want to check out state & national parks, nice towns, big cities, events, music festivals, and people, all in the name of documenting beauty and being inspired.

I would like to go to Colorado and check out the Rocky Mountains, the Great Sand Dunes, and Mesa Verde State Park with all of the ruins. I also have a friend there who wants to go on a trip like this and we might just hitch up. I want to go to Yellowstone and try for some really good wildlife photography for a couple weeks. I want to go to California and make my way up the West coast, all the way up to Alaska. On the way I'll check out the Redwoods and Yosemite National Park (I can see the epic photos now), then let's go to Oregon and check out Eugene and Portland and the ridiculously scenic landscape Oregon has, then Seattle, then Canada, then Alaska, then Canada again, then the East coast. We gotta see Vermont and New York and the Carolinas! This is an American journ

For real, there's no where I wouldn't go. There's no cave I wouldn't crawl through, there's no mountain I wouldn't climb, there's no experience I don't live for. It's a Gemini thing whether you believe it or not.

This is an All-American roadtrip because America is my home and America needs this. America needs to reflect. Only then will I go out to the rest of the world and give the world a global perspective.

If there's anywhere you want me to go, or some place you would like to see, just let me know! I'm totally open! I can even stop by and we can go explore.

A Final Word

Will you help me? Will you make my dreams come true? Will you send me out there for the good of humanity? Do you trust me? I hope you do so I can awe everyone's souls like I know I'm supposed to do.

This Kickstarter will last 16 days because the number 16 somehow defines my purpose. Look up "16 meaning."

If you need anymore encouragement, I'll leave you with the Hawaiian practice of Ho'oponopono...

I love you,
I'm sorry,
Please forgive me,
Thank you.

"If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun." - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam
"If you want to shine like a sun, first burn like a sun." - A. P. J. Abdul Kalam

 

Risks and challenges

Risks include the van breaking down, camera equipment breaking, and other things breaking. I'm very carefu with my things though, and I'm usually quite resourceful when it comes to fixing things.

Natural disasters, or just regular disasters are always a risk as well. There could be an earthquake or a blizzard and I could get stuck without any way to contact anyone. I'm not stupid though and I pay attention to the weather. Not to mention, there are a lot of people who want me to be safe, and so I always make sure to take precautions for their sake. It should be expected however, that there will be periods of time where I will not be able to access the internet or a phone. During such times, be patient, and know that I will return.

As for getting the rewards out to you, I don't think there is much risk at all. I already have a platform in the works for distributing my photography in high resolution via an email subscription service. I have also already looked into print services for distributing the prints. It's pretty much a done deal!

Just open the flood gates!!!

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    1 HD Download of Zach's Photography

    Get one photo or digital art of your choosing on my website to download. You can wait and get something during my journey or get something immediately. You could use it as a wallpaper, or have it printed and hung on your wall.

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    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    3 HD Downloads of Zach's Photography

    Get three photos or digital artworks of your choosing on my website to download! You'll be able to exchange this now, or wait and get something I post during my journey. You can use them as wallpapers, or have them printed and hung on your wall.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    1 Year Follower's Subscription

    Get a 1 year subscription to access and receive ALL of my photography during this journey. Follow me across the mountains and the valleys in high resolution. A subscription entitles you to access all photography on my website and receive regular emails with my latest photography, music, writing, and whatever else! If this isn't a reward, I don't know what is!

    All donations $20 or higher will get a 1 year subscription! How many followers can I get?

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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    1 Year Subscription + Poster

    Get all of my photography for the next year, plus get a 20" x 30" poster of any of my visual art or photography, personally signed by me.

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    1 year Subscription + 8" x 12" Canvas

    Get all of my photography for the next year, plus get a nice 8" x 12" canvas print of any of my visual art or photography to hang on your wall, personally signed by me.

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    Pledge $200 or more About $200

    1 year Subscription + 12" x 18" Canvas

    Get all of my photography for the next year, plus get a 12" x 18" canvas print of any of my visual art or photography, personally signed by me.

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Funding period

- (16 days)