More generosity from the cosmos — Belov on Kickstarter

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ANNE BELOV, May 10, 2013

For those of you who still haven’t heard of Kickstarter, it is an internet based crowd-funding platform, where people who need money for creative projects take their idea directly to the (hopefully adoring) public, and ask for a specific amount of financial support in a finite time frame.

But there are other aspects to Kickstarter, besides getting project funding, that don’t get as much attention as I think they should.  Many books and classes on the “how to” of creating a successful crowd-funding project are popping up like weeds. (Don’t ever think this is “free” money. Planning and executing a successful project is a ton of work before, during, and after!) The often overlooked components of Kickstarter give us more insight into the “why to”:

  1. Let’s start with Community: Not only do you have to reach out to the community you live, work, or play in, to ask for support, but the very undertaking of this type of project puts you in a community with other people who are doing the same thing.  The shared endorsements of other project creators can have far reaching effects on the success of your project, as well as creating connections around the country or even around the world. We don’t just want to get financing for our project…we want to be part of a community who shares enthusiasm for the creative process. This community  can help sustain us for a lifetime, not just for one project.
  2. When I see a project with a compelling Story, I am hooked immediately. But the benefit of telling the story of a project moves in two directions. When I tell my story to others, be it about my paintings, or what started me drawing/writing panda satire, it makes me analyze just why it is I do what I do, and how I can relay that story to others so that they will be as excited about my work as I am.  This process deepens my understanding of and commitment to my work while at the same time fosters appreciation and support from others, who now have some insight into…
  3. The Creative Process: There is nothing like an appreciative audience to make me want to do my best. The mere fact that people are watching, acknowledging, and validating my creative work, makes me work harder, dig deeper, and ultimately make better art. Putting your work on Kickstarter gives you a world stage, on which we are all players.

You’ll never know how far you can soar till you spread your wings.

Anne Belov's recently published "The Panda Chronicles Book 2, Wheel of Pandas." The first in the series was published with help from Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

Anne Belov’s recently published “The Panda Chronicles Book 2, Wheel of Pandas.” The first in the series was published with help from Kickstarter. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

Kickstarter Alumni on Whidbey:

To date, at least seven projects have been launched right here on Whidbey Island, with most of them reaching their funding goals and then some.  Recently Cook on Clay completed a wildly successful project to build a new kiln so they could increase production for their coveted cooking pots.

Even as we speak Clinton resident Ann Medlock, mastermind behind the internationally acclaimed Giraffe Project, has launched a project to create a children’s pop-up picture book with a story about how the giraffe got it’s long neck and legs. Clinton artist, Dorit Zingarelli will illustrate the book.  Check it out here today!

The Island Shakespeare Company is preparing to launch their own project to raise funds to acquire a permanent home for their free summer Shakespeare productions.  They hope to get their project up and running by the end of May, so stay tuned!

Anne Belov paints, writes, makes prints, and is the founder of The Institute for Contemporary Panda Satire. You can find her paintings at the Rob Schouten Gallery, her cartoons on The Panda Chronicles, and her new book here.

She became obsessed with Kickstarter after her first successful project, which raised funds to help pay for an egg tempera painting class in Italy last summer. Her second project, also successful, was to publish the first collection of her cartoons, The Panda Chronicles Book 1: Your Brain on Pandas.  She has written other articles about Kickstarter for Funds For Writers, New York Artists Online Blog, and Whidbey Life Magazine.


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