I just finished an amazing weekend at Scare-a-Con, a horror and pop culture convention near Syracuse, NY. I was a little unsure about participating in this event because of the emphasis on horror (and let's face it, none of my work is all that "horrific") but I am definitely glad I went. Although I only made a few sales, I talked to a lot of people about my work and passed out a ton of my promotional postcards about the book. Plus, I met some wonderful artists/vendors! My favorites were probably my neighbors: Edward and Jessica Yancey. They were super friendly which made it easier for me to immediately open up to customers. At cons, I tend to be really shy until the last day, which is no good for making connections. Since this is my last "trial" con before FaerieCon, one of my goals was to be outgoing right off the bat on Friday. Thanks to Ed and Jessica, I think I succeeded.
One of the greatest things that happened at the con was how all of my neighboring vendors banded together to spread the word about Artist Alley. The way this con was set up, there was the main vending hall and then in the two hallways on either side, there were separate vendors (one side was a "VHS fest" with vendors selling movies and collectibles, and the other side was Artist Alley). Since we were separate from the other vendors, many con-goers didn't even know there WAS an Artist Alley. I actually talked to a Staff member of the convention on Sunday who admitted he didn't know the Artist Alley was there either! However, instead of just complaining about the situation, a group of AA vendors decided to do something about it.
This convention also gave me some great ideas for products and promotional items. I am going to explore making greeting cards and/or postcards in addition to creating a line of mini prints of my work. Plus I need to reorganize my portfolio books. So much to do! Maybe it is a good thing I have two months to prepare!! I'd better get started...
Time for a quick update!
I have been visiting family here in West Virginia for the past week. We had our family reunion here. It was a small gathering this year but it was still a lot of fun. We planned some cool crafts for the kids, including a "firework" painting and glitter wands. Us adults had fun playing Apples to Apples and Cranium. I'm excited to use some of the photos I took while I've been here in some new images, especially the ones I took around our camp fire.
I am also super excited to announce that my Kickstarter campaign to fund the self-publication of The Ringleader has officially started! I worked for weeks working out all the kinks in my rewards, description, and my video and it is finally ready. You can check it out here:
My goal is to raise $5,000--that will allow me to self-publish 150+ copies of The Ringleader, plus produce and ship all the rewards that my backers will receive. I will only get funded if I reach my goal by July 31--so there's only 24 more days to go! Only you can help make it happen! Just visit Kickstarter and back my project for as little as $1. I know money can be tight, so know that any amount you can back is greatly appreciated!
Want to know more about The Ringleader? Be sure to visit my new page about the book here. There you will find a PDF preview of the first couple pages. As the campaign progresses, I will be adding updates here and on Kickstarter.
Hello all! I'm excited to announce that I am starting a Kickstarter project so I can self-publish The Ringleader--you know, the art book featuring my Circus series that I keep talking about? I am so close to finishing it and Kickstarter will give me the funds to do it properly.
Never heard of Kickstarter? Well, it's basically a crowd-funding website that specializes in creative projects. What happens is the creator of a project (in this case, me) sets a monetary goal that he/she needs to meet in order to produce a specific project. If someone likes said project, they can "back" it for as little as $1. For each monetary level, the creator of the project offers rewards or incentives that vary by project. The rewards often include copies of the final project. The cool part is that money only exchanges hands if the project gets funded in full:
All-or-nothing funding protects creators from being stuck with a fraction of the funds they need and an audience expecting fully funded results.
I started looking into Kickstarter at a suggestion from my Aunt Lynne. The first step was to do a lot of research about how the projects work. I looked at tons of projects (mostly from the publishing category since that's where my art book would fit under). I read countless proposals, watched lots of different project videos and looked at the wide range of rewards that different creators offered.
Probably my favorite project was an illustrated novel for adults called Caelum Sky by authorstrator Andrea Radeck. She has these awesome illustrations of this little red dinosaur character who is super cute. Sadly, I missed the chance to be backer for her project, but I plan on watching for the release of her book so I can buy a copy.
Once I got a feel for how other people had outlined their projects, I was able to start brainstorming how to set up my own. I believe I am going to set my goal at around $5,000 which would be enough to cover the rewards and a publishing run of 150+ copies of The Ringleader in hardcover (and with a dust jacket). For rewards, I am offering bookmarks, Limited Edition mini prints, as well as copies of The Ringleader, when it gets published.
Probably the trickiest part has been creating a video to showcase my Kickstarter project. While not necessary, having a video greatly increases the chances of a successful project. Thankfully, I discovered that my Mac has a program for video editing (iMovie) and although it is not the fanciest program, it has allowed me to edit the video to make it more engaging by adding image stills and voiceovers. I am getting pretty close to being done with editing the actual video portion. Then I will have to decide if I should add music or not.
My goal is to finish it up by the end of next week so I can launch my Kickstarter project. Be sure to follow me on Facebook and Tumblr for updates!
As you may know, I have been working on writing and designing an art book of my Circus series. Recently, I decided the editing of the short story that I had written to accompany the images was finally finished! This meant I could start finalizing the book’s design. I had worked on the design months ago, but it turned out that the layout size I has been working with was too big to print unless I drastically increased the page size. So I spent the better part of a week resizing each page. You probably wouldn’t think that it would take that long, but resizing the page meant also resizing each photo and each text box. The text boxes were the most challenging because I had to figure out how to get my newly edited (and slightly longer) story to fit in these shrunken pages. It was tough, but I eventually got it. Almost the entire inside of the book is now set for printing, which is very exciting.
Even more exciting, perhaps, is that my so-called “circus book” now has an official title! With the help of my partner, Serena, and my sister/editor-in-chief, I brainstormed titled for over two weeks. Finally, I settled on The Ringleader. Armed with a title, I will finally be able to properly promote this project! I have started by designing a promotional postcard. Pictured above is the front and to the left is the back of the card. I ordered some test copies from VistaPrint and I was so pleased to receive them yesterday. They look pretty good, although I do want to change a few minor things about the design before I reorder.
It is more exhilarating than I can express to be getting so close to self-publishing this art book. Ever since I encountered art books like Brian Froud’s Good Faeries/Bad Faeries and Suza Scalora’s The Faeries I have dreamed of publishing my own artwork into a book. To have that lifetime goal almost complete is amazing.
While the last several weeks have been mostly about The Ringleader, I have also been lucky enough to have some new faces model for me. First was Monique, the daughter of a member at the CNY Arts Center. We arranged to actually shoot at the Center on their stage. They were gracious enough to let me use their theatre lighting as well, which was an amazing experience. I always prefer hot lighting which provided strong highlights and dark shadows. Normally I achieve this with household lamps, candles, flashlights, and floodlights. Using the theatre’s spotlight worked so amazingly—I officially need one. Unfortunately, we only had time for two sets, but I have already sorted through and found some great images I can’t wait to work on. Monique brought some awesome costume pieces! Above is an example of her costume pieces—she even brought the mask!
Next I shot with Savannah who also brought multiple outfits and props. When she got in the car with all her bags, I was strongly reminded of being a kid. Whenever I went over to my friends’ houses to play pretend, I would always bring several bags full of dress-up clothes. Since she essentially did the same thing, I could tell right away that I was going to like working with Savannah. As it turns out, I was right—she was a ton of fun to photograph! She was not afraid of being silly, although she did apologize for it both constantly and unnecessarily. The image to left is just one example of her silliness. Sorting through her footage was hard because I want to use so many of them. It’s going to be difficult to choose.
While organizing all the new photos into folders, I also discovered that I have several images that are basically done but have not been shared on the website or on my social media pages. When I edit my photos, the final stage is very tedious. I enlarge the image and go through it to make sure there are no stray pixels or noise. This step takes so much time and patience that I am often guilty of postponing it. All of the mostly finished works are stuck on this step. So I guess I should stop waiting and go finish those up, shouldn’t I?
Maybe I will use some of those new images for my entries for the 6x6x2014 show at RoCo. I also have started two small mixed media drawings for the show, although finishing them may prove difficult. As always, I have a list a mile long of things that need to get done. Such is the life of an artist. At least I'll never be bored!
Kendra's rantings and ramblings about various topics, including art making, events, writing, movies, music and other inspirations.