June 15, 2011

Kickstarter projects and Jessica Swift rain boots


Kickstarter: Drawing Machine, Jessica Swift rain boots

Do you have a great creative idea but no money to fund it? Try Kickstarter. It helped fund a project to build this machine:

Drawing Machine [MaxMSP, Processing] by Harvey Moon from CreativeApplications.Net on Vimeo

Drawing Machine is a robotic machine that turns scanned photos into wall art. Each piece of art can take weeks or months to complete, so the process itself is something of an artform. The machine was invented by Chicago-based Harvey Moon, who sought $450 in funding from the public earlier this year through Kickstarted to build a more precise second version of his machine, which he said already worked then. He found 54 backers, who pledged a total of $3,147.

Here's Moon, a 22-year-old photographer, New Media artist and student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, talking about his machine on his Kickstarter project page.

More about Harvey Moon's works at his website unanything.com and in this Co.Design article.

If you're a creator, Kickstarter can help you find investors and because the starting amounts can be small, you have a better chance of finding a group of people to support your ideas. You keep 100 percent ownership of your project, which must be a "creative" one. The idea has to be approved before the project can be kickstarted. And each project must be fully funded before its expiry time; otherwise, pledges do not have to be met. If a project is successfully funded, the owner pays Kickstarter a 5 percent fee and Amazon's credit card fees. Read the Kickstarter FAQ and rules here.

If you haven't come up with a cool idea, you can still take part in one by funding it. Wouldn't it be fantastic to see a great idea take off with your help? But the responsibility lies with you to carefully check out the credentials of the creator and the project. You get something in return for funding a project. Kickstarter makes rewards essential; how they are packaged is up to the creators but here's a Kickstart blogpost on reward pricing.

For the Drawing Machine, Moon's reward structure was like this: The more money pledged, the more rewards were given. Every $10-29 donation got a donator a test strip from the machine; every $30-99, a 6 to 8 inch drawing made with the wall mount model; every $100-499, a full-size completed drawing from the machine (drawing size increases with the amount donated); and for every $500 or more donation, a donator could have the machine draw an original artpiece from his/her own photo.

Among the current Kickstarter projects trying to take off:

:: All Things Must Pass: The Rise and Fall of Tower Records. This has already met his funding target, so Colin Hanks' documentary film on Tower Records will get finished.

:: Moonshot magazine 2011 season, a print magazine of the literary and fine arts, which is seeking funds for its print issue.

:: 155 Freeman, a new arts and culture center to be launched in Brooklyn in September by non-profit groups Triple Canopy, Light Industry and The Public School New York. Performances, classes, artist talks, workshops, concerts and film screenings are among the events that will be organized. Donations will go towards supporting the initiative.

And artist/fabric designer Jessica Swift is about to launch her own Kickstarter project. If you don't already know Jessica's work, go and check out her website. She does fabulous, bright, colorful, uplifting illustrations and designs like these:

The Next Step by Jessica Swift | 8.5x11"| $18
windy ocean by Jessica Swift | 8x8" | $18

Beautiful, no? You can buy her prints, as well as coasters, notebooks, pocket mirrors, cards and more at her website shop or Etsy shop.

I've admired Jessica's works for some time and hey, we can now take part in a project of hers. She wants to launch her own rain boots line and you can help her get it off the ground by supporting her Kickstarter project, which is about to kick off. And if you know any retail purchasers, please email her so she can get her boots into stores. Wouldn't you love to own one (or more??) of these cute boots?

an upcoming Kickstarter project by Jessica Swift

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