Friday, February 25, 2011

Couldn't We All Use A Little Kickstart?

“Help a sister out” asks Lizzy House. Lizzy is a fan and supporter of KickStarter which is a new way to “Fund & Follow Creativity.” KickStarter says it’s “the largest funding platform for creative projects in the WORLD” and Lizzy wants us all to help Jennifer… I first heard about KickStarter last year when a local artist, Sheila Wyne, was seeking funding for the building and installation of her sculpture “Spore.” Her project coordinator sent out an e-mail requesting people to become “backers” to help fund Sheila’s project, travel expenses etc. of $15,000. After checking out Jennifer’s needs I checked to see how Sheila’s project did and read that “Spore” was fully funded to the tune of 146 Backers that raised $15,308 of a $15,000 goal last year. 3 of those “backers” pledged $1,000 or more and another 3 pledged $500 or more and 4 pledged $250 or more, the stats read.

Sorry, but this just totally blows my mind.

Jennifer's needs are a bit more modest…she is making dolls and only needs $8,000. This is her request in part: “Recently, I got an order request from a MAJOR NATIONAL department store chain. This would be such a great opportunity to take my business from handmade to the real deal! BUT...I am afraid to commit without the proper funding, factory line-up, insurance & most important, costly CPSIA (safety/lead testing). I have 6 dolls designed to launch & am working with a US factory. Funding would help: 
Sample dolls at a US manufacturer 
Properly test dolls to meet the CPSIA requirements (lead, flammability, small parts, etc) 
Liability Insurance 
Cost of materials - fabric printing, etc 
Finally, doll production for this large order!” My feeling is Jennifer should be afraid to commit without proper funding, it just makes good business sense! What’s wrong with securing a line of credit or obtaining a business loan, putting together a business plan and thinking through the entire project from concept, design to sales & delivery and accounting? If all the numbers work, then her business plan and sales projections should work –right?

What’s been causing me conflict this afternoon is I've been thinking about Linda’s Blog post “Spare Change” and reading about the out of work, mother of 3 begging for spare change. This is in direct contrast to reading about art projects securing thousands of dollars of funding through the internet on KickStart. I feel like I want to set up a KickStart page for that out of work mother of 3 and all the other struggling people out there. I'm all for artists receiving funding and helping fellow artists out, or anyone who is in need for that matter. I'm just not sure I have what it takes to put a project up on KickStart or be a KickStart "backer." What are YOUR thoughts on KickStart? Have you used KickStart or plan to in the future?


Linda Starr said...

Oh Cindy, I was at a low point when I saw that woman this past summer and also when I posted last night. I truly believe art is so very important. I think Kickstart is nothing to scoff at, I couldn't fund anyone via that avenue right now, but today something wonderful happened to me and I think I am going to reach out to a few women and their children very soon to have them over here to enjoy the experience of clay. I think this is something I can do immediately to help those who have lost so much, hopefully to help them "feel" a little bit better about their plight. Without hope, without art, where are we all, but floundering in a sea of misery. I see now I need to turn my feelings of hopelessness about the world and other's plights into some kind of action. I will feel better and I hope I can help others feel better even for a very short time. Thanks ever so much.

cindy shake said...

Right On Linda!! I'm with you sister :o)

Tracey Broome said...

Funny you should mention this program. I got an email this week from a woman I hardly know here in town asking me to check out her kickstart. Here is her deal, she wants to go and collect clay from sacred spots in South America and make clay pinch pots with them as an act of love and healing or some other such horse s#%* Now if I could help fund a trip to South America I am the one going, not someone I barely know, jeez.....
I'll email you her link for a good laugh, I shouldn't post it here!

cookingwithgas said...

good post Cindy and a lot to think about.
I have to give this more thought before my fingers get me in trouble.

Linda Starr said...

I just looked at my notes and this is the same organization Rob told me about when I posted my Benefactor Wanted post. I've been thinking about a project I could post for funding and I may have the beginnings of an idea for one. From the projects I read about back then I garnered funding seems easier to obtain if the project is specific and provides a benefit to others as well as the artist requesting funding.