Monday, March 23, 2015

Project 4x4: 3/4 - Kickstarter (Artist Example: Alexandra Douglass)

For the third round of this project I decided to look at a relatively well-known platform and specifically how stand-alone artists benefit from using it.

Kickstarter, like Patreon, is a website run by crowd funding, mean people pay what they want to support a project. Unlike Patreon, Kickstarter campaigns have to meet a certain goal by a specific deadline and if it does not meet that goal it goes unfunded.

My example today is Alexandra Douglass, and her Kickstarter campaign to fund a high quality, 6”x9" art book (including four teaser pages) for her upcoming webcomic, The Cloud Factory.

Kickstarter link:

First off: Kickstarters ran by single artists are definitely possible. But those artists always have some degree of help promoting their Kickstarter and making all of the exclusive material for backers.

Alexandra Douglass developed her project and following for it a couple of years before beginning her Kickstarter. Such development involved maintaining a blog following her world building process for the comic, as well as releasing designs and teasers leading up to the Kickstarter launch.

Her primary tactic to selling her project is via a promotional video discussing the content of her comic, eventual release, and reasons for potential backers to support it. She uses a combination of both material from her comic and physical presence throughout the video - which I think, personally, really stresses the amount of personal confidence and pitching ability an artist must have to sell their work.

Outside of Kickstarter, she shared her project across many other platforms including Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook. This and most likely through word of mouth, she was able to fund her project 11 times over (Her original $7,500 goal to $83,632)

So where is the project now? This Kickstarter was funded back in May 2013. After some quick research, it looked like her project went on hiatus back in January 2014. There are a grand total of 7 pages currently on the website of her webcomic! What happened?

The goal of the project was to only publish the art book and its 4 pages. Since her project went over her goal, she did add three more (bringing it to a total of 7 pages) and many other exclusive collectables like booklets, pins, and prints. For such a successful campaign, however, the project does seem bit stagnant. I think the biggest takeaway from analyzing a project like this is to realize what’s working and after it works to keep doing it - initial success does not necessarily mean it will continue! I do think this is a difficult undertaking for a single artist like Alexandra Douglass, however, considering she’s only one person and as a freelance artist she has to do other projects to pay the bills. But it’s definitely important to ride the hype and carry that success into the work ethic going to the remainder of the project before it wears off.

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