Funding Unsuccessful

“Funding Unsuccessful” – I guess that says it all, but I thought I’d write a little more…

The whole idea of Kickstarter was exciting – at first. It was a lot of work to set up – figuring out the budget, then setting “Reward” items for donations & figuring out how much they would cost, writing about my project (that’s the hardest part of me), then making a video – and in my case, I made 2 videos. But, I went into it hopeful, yet a little scared that my budget was too high.

So, I launched my page. I got a few big donations right off the bat, which was encouraging. But then it stalled… and stayed stalled for most of the allotted time period. I tried sending emails, posting to blogs, adding new rewards and with about 2 weeks to go, I even sent out press releases. At the very end, I got another short little burst of donations, but at that point it was clear I was not going to get anywhere close to my budget amount of $11,750. In the end, I had 20 backers & $2,016 pledged. Projects are all or nothing – which means I did not get anything.

I did however learn a lot from this experience – as painful as it was. This whole process made me question myself – both, my talent as a painter as well as my career, since I had offered 3 different types of very cheap flat rate videos as rewards…. but didn’t even sell one. When I told my marketing friend about the video deal, she was sure she could sell 5-10 of them – but she also didn’t sell one.

It’s also strange, the support I got and didn’t get. I went into it thinking I’d get support from a certain group of people, but only a few of them pledged or even acknowledged my project – to me at least (although I did get 76 “likes” on FaceBook). I even sent personal emails to several friends just asking if they even had leads on people who might need an inexpensive video. Most of those emails went unanswered – another painful part of this process. And the most surprising part is, while there were pledges from some people in my inner circle… the majority of the pledges were from people I hardly know, haven’t seen in years, or don’t even know at all. I guess this actually made me feel better – because these people, who I don’t see regularly took the time to show that they support what I’m doing. This was the real gift of this experience. So – I’d just like to take a moment to thank all the people who supported me through this (in no particular order – just the order it’s listed by Kickstarter):

Matt (no last name given), Mike & Beth Hamer, Julie Quist, Russell Cattelan, Lori Carver, Dorothy Wrobel, Val Johnson, Tim Bohringer, Julie Lidner, Margaret Nikoleit, Jenifer Dorsey Fischer, Sue Cavis, Mark Snyder, Felicia Scacewater, Pat Shirley, Billy Mcdonald, Mary Pensak, David Wagle, Jen (no last name given), Betsy Kremser.¬†ALSO – a BIG shout out to Terry Eason for creating a song just for my art and my son Steel for carrying my art all around town for the second – lighthearted video “Art is Everywhere”! You guys all really helped me get through this grueling process!!!

So, after a month of self doubt & reflection, I have a renewed commitment to my art. I have also decided – since I am not obligated to paint about water issues I will follow my inspiration – wherever it leads me… even though much of it will most likely be water related. Since I cannot afford a studio space, I have made a temporary studio space in the upstairs of our garage. It’s very hot up there & I’ll only be able to use it in the summer, since it’s not heated, but it’s a real work space… and it’s great!

I will keep working and will try to figure out a way to get a real studio space – hopefully before it gets cold.

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