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The Kickstarter Blog

New: View Kickstarter in Your Currency

Nov 20 2017

Today we’re pleased to announce the ability for backers to see project goals and reward-tier amounts converted into the currency of their choice. With pledges coming from more than 175 countries — and nearly half of them made from outside the U.S. — this feature serves our growing community around the world.

You’ll notice that at the bottom of most pages on the Kickstarter site there’s now an option to select a currency. You can change this preference at any time, and you don’t need a Kickstarter account to do so. (We set a default for you based on your location or account settings.) 

Once you select a currency, project goals, reward tiers, and pledge amounts will be shown with an approximate conversion to that currency. 

 If your currency preference does not match the project’s currency, you will see reward tier amounts in the project’s currency, with an approximate conversion just below.

A few questions you might have:

When a pledge is collected at the end of a campaign, what currency are backers actually paying in? 

Backers’ pledges are collected in the project’s currency. Setting a preferred currency allows backers to see the approximate amount in the currency of their choosing, but it does not change the currency of the pledge itself.

What currencies are available? 

We currently support the ability to choose the Australian Dollar (AUD), British Pound (GBP), Canadian Dollar (CAD), Danish Krone (DKK), Euro (EUR), Hong Kong Dollar (HKD), Japanese Yen (JPY), Mexican Peso (MXN), New Zealand Dollar (NZD), Norwegian Krone (NOK), Singapore Dollar (SGD), Swedish Krona (SEK), Swiss Franc (CHF), and United States Dollar (USD).

When will I be able to use this feature? 

We’re rolling this out gradually. As of today, a percentage of users can set a preferred currency, and we’ll be increasing that percentage until we reach all site users in the coming weeks.

Will this feature be available on the Kickstarter apps? 

We’ll follow the initial launch on the web with support in our iOS and Android apps in the coming weeks.

Does this mean that creators can launch projects in a currency of their choice? 

A project’s currency is determined by the country where the creator met our eligibility requirements and launched the project. The new feature allows backers to view approximate goal and reward amounts in any of the currencies offered, but creators cannot change their project’s currency.

Weren’t you already doing something like this? 

We have been displaying USD conversions of reward-tier amounts for US users viewing non-US projects. We're now taking that idea global. 

 For more details or help, please reach out to our Support team.

Introducing the New Drip

Nov 15 2017

In 2012, the record label Ghostly International launched Drip as a way for people to support musicians through subscriptions. Though niche, Drip was a pioneering service. You could see the potential. Almost two years ago, Drip became a part of Kickstarter instead of shutting down.

Kickstarter is for projects, Drip is for people.

Today we launch a new Drip for artists and creators across the full spectrum of disciplines we support on Kickstarter. Just as artists, authors, game designers, musicians, and filmmakers use Kickstarter to fund and build community around their projects, Drip is a tool for people to fund and build community around their ongoing creative practice.

Built to be expansive.

In recent years, we’ve seen the growing validation of subscriptions for serial online content creators — podcasters, YouTubers, bloggers — using tools like Flattr, Patreon, and Steady. It's been great to see organizations build tools like these — the world is far from having too many tools for creators. But there remain large groups of artists and creators who don’t see subscriptions as fitting their creative practices. Our goal with the new Drip is to change that.

Focused on creator independence.

A key mandate for the design of Drip has been creator independence. The work and relationships that creators build online should belong to them. They shouldn’t feel stuck to a platform because those things aren’t easy to move. With that in mind, creators will be able to export their data and content, and we’ll even help creators securely transfer subscription and payments information to other subscription platforms. We believe creator independence means not being locked into a platform by design.

The basics

Launching a Drip is simple. Describe what you do. Think about what you can offer subscribers: things like access to your work, latest releases, IRL experiences, or something as simple as behind-the-scenes access and updates on your works-in-progress. Human-to-human stuff. Fans, friends, and new audiences can now subscribe to support your work on an ongoing basis — not just project-to-project.

Founding membership

Every Drip begins with a founding membership period to help creators build momentum. The founding membership period is a way for creators to entice their fans, friends, and new audiences to jump in and build up their base of support. (This is not all-or-nothing like Kickstarter, but it does build on our experience that a strong call to action is essential.) Creators can offer their founding members special rewards or status for jumping in early. We know creators will be really creative with how they think of founding memberships, and we’re excited to see how it’s put to use.

Made by Kickstarter

On Kickstarter, more than 13 million people around the world have pledged $3+ billion to fund more than 100,000 creative projects. In the eight years since we launched Kickstarter, our designs have become the standard template for funding across the web. In building the new Drip, it’s been exciting to have a clean slate to reconsider how to present creators and their work. We wanted to create something that felt light and kept creators — not Drip — as the focus.

We also designed Drip to be both separate from but complementary to Kickstarter. One way we’ve done that is that existing Kickstarter users can use their stored account and payment details to easily support creators on Drip.

Creators to check out

For now, Drip is invite-only — the artists and creators joining us in the new Drip launch represent some of the most compelling creators working in their fields. Here are a few creators you can support now:

We plan to open Drip up to more creators early next year. Please drop your email at the bottom of the Drip homepage to be notified. In the meantime, check back to see new Drips from more artists in the coming months. This is just the beginning of the Drip experiment. We have a lot more in store, still, so keep an eye out.

Governance

We will operate Drip with the mission and values codified in Kickstarter’s Public Benefit Corporation charter, which mandate our commitment to helping people bring their creative projects to life, not putting profit first, and maintaining higher standards for our practices. We think these commitments are more important now than ever.

Thanks for reading, and please check out the new Drip (located at d.rip).

Welcoming Sarah Hromack and Jamie Wilkinson to Kickstarter

Nov 7 2017

Today, I’m excited to announce two new leaders at Kickstarter in newly created roles.

Sarah Hromack joined us six weeks ago as Kickstarter’s first-ever Chief Culture Officer, and Jamie Wilkinson joined us two weeks ago as our first-ever Chief Product Officer. Sarah and Jamie have both built distinguished careers working in service to artists and creators. We continue this journey together working to fulfill our mission to help bring creative projects to life.

Here’s a little more about each of them in their own words:

Sarah Hromack
Sarah Hromack

Sarah Hromack, Chief Culture Officer

Where were you before Kickstarter?

I was the founding director of the Whitney Museum of American Art’s Digital Media Department and worked in a design studio on the Bowery called Project Projects. I write about art, design and technology; I also teach in the graduate design program at the Rhode Island School of Design — I really enjoy exchanging ideas with people through writing, publishing, teaching and now, my work with Kickstarter.

What’s your new job all about?

I lead the teams here that engage directly with creators in the outside world, which are truly unique. I’m here to help formalize and expand Kickstarter as a cultural organization that uses technology to help creative projects come to life.

Why Kickstarter?

I came to Kickstarter because I am committed to working for the common good in an organization that works in the interest of creators. It is my life’s work. Kickstarter has impacted the lives and practices of many that I hold dear. I even wrote about Kickstarter a few times when the platform first launched, as friends of mine began funding their publishing projects through successful campaigns. It was a very exciting moment!

Jamie Wilkinson
Jamie Wilkinson

 Jamie Wilkinson, Chief Product Officer

What were you up to before Kickstarter?

I was the co-founder and CEO of VHX, a platform for selling films and TV shows directly to fans. We were acquired by Vimeo last year. Prior to that I helped create Know Your Meme, Star Wars Uncut, F.A.T. Lab and more.

What’s your new job all about?

I’ll be leading our product, engineering, and design teams. We build the platforms and products that help Kickstarter fund creative projects.

It’s only my first week, but I’ve already seen this team’s commitment to technical excellence and human-centric design, a high level of data literacy, a love of open-source software, and tons of other things that make me excited to be here.

Why Kickstarter?

I’ve been a huge Kickstarter fan since the very beginning, and I’ve gotten to help out with a few projects first-hand, like EyeWriter and Diaspora.

I’ve worked on lots of projects that would have benefited from the kind of financial and community support that comes from running a Kickstarter campaign, so I’m looking forward to helping Kickstarter solve more problems and reach more people.

Five New Orleans Filmmakers Launch Kickstarter Projects to Mark the City’s Tricentennial

Nov 3 2017
Poet Sunni Patterson, the subject of the short film Artist in Exile
Poet Sunni Patterson, the subject of the short film Artist in Exile

This summer, Kickstarter joined forces with four film and artist support organizations in New Orleans — NOVAC, The New Orleans Film Society, #CreateLouisiana, and Film New Orleans — to form the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator. The plan? To help bring to life five films from local filmmakers about their city, ahead of NOLA’s 2018 Tricentennial celebration.

This week, the five films launch their Kickstarter campaigns. Each aims to raise $5,000 so that they can access a $5,000 matching grant, production support from Film New Orleans, 10 hours of ongoing support during production from NOVAC, and a premiere event in the spring of 2018 in New Orleans. The selected filmmakers have already enjoyed All Access passes to the 2017 New Orleans Film Festival and fundraising consultation support from our Director of Narrative Film, Elise McCave, who traveled to the festival to meet with the filmmakers.

New Orleans holds a special place in our heart. Our founder, Perry Chen, came up with the idea for Kickstarter while living in NOLA in 2001. And in the eight years since Kickstarter’s launch in 2009, New Orleans has been the source of many inspired projects from across the creative spectrum, including Music Box Village, Love Letters from New Orleans, Parisite DIY Skatepark, and Blights Out for Mayor, to name just a few.

The New Orleans film community, in particular, has found a welcome home on Kickstarter, from NOLA natives Bill and Turner Ross’s musical documentary, Tchoupitoulas, to Paper Chase, a comedy set in the city about a young girl raising money for college by any means necessary, to the drive to help Court 13 Arts — the team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild — create a home for community-based art, filmmaking, and creativity in New Orleans and beyond.

Forming the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator with these four outstanding organizations is our way of recognizing and building on this rich culture of cinematic creativity.

Read more about — and support — the five exciting projects selected for the New Orleans Tricentennial Story Incubator below.

Artist in Exile 
dir. Jason Foster/Kiyoko McCrae, prod. Kiyoko McCrae

World-renowned poet Sunni Patterson was displaced for twelve years following Hurricane Katrina. Set in the Desire/Florida neighborhood where Patterson grew up and the Algiers neighborhood she now calls home, this film merges documentary and poetry to tell the story of her return to New Orleans and the beauty of her people, who, despite it all, still call New Orleans home.

Blood Runs Down
dir. Zandashe Brown, prod. Lauren Domino
An Afrofuturist Southern Gothic horror film focused on a toxic mother-daughter relationship. Filmed in one shotgun house with rich art direction, the film ratchets up the tension between the two women as they face down family dynamics, intergenerational trauma, and religious fervor.

Blood Runs Down
Blood Runs Down

Corner Stores
dir. Julia Evans, prod. Weenta Girmay
The story of one New Orleans corner store. This verité documentary alternates between ethnography and narration, highlighting the personal stories behind a neighborhood institution and showing how New Orleans' corner stores are linchpins of their local communities.

Le Grand Remix
dir. Austin Alward, prod. Win Riley
Faced with being barred from the the US if she leaves the country, a young African teacher at a French immersion school in New Orleans drowns her sorrows in dance to a soundtrack by a teenage Vietnamese-American DJ. At the 20th anniversary of their school, the 50th anniversary of CODOFIL (Council of French in Louisiana), and the tricentennial of La Nouvelle-Orléans, real-life New Orleans French immersion educators, parents, and students chime in to the musical crescendo.

Le Grand Remix
Le Grand Remix

The Heart Is an Organ
dir. David White, prod. Todd Voltz
For 29 hours every March, Albinis and Manon Prizgintas pour their hearts into putting on a continuous performance of classical music at Trinity Episcopal Church in New Orleans. There are families in sleeping bags in the balcony, musicians from NOLA and around the world in attendance, a constant supply of cookies and juice, and the creation — occasionally at the expense of health and sanity — of one of the most original musical performance events in the world.

Explore more live Film projects on Kickstarter — or start your own here.

Celebrating Five Years of Kickstarter in the UK

Oct 31 2017
Lucy Sparrow's Cornershop, where everything's made of felt.
Lucy Sparrow's Cornershop, where everything's made of felt.

Five years ago today a Kickstarter team was supposed to be over in the UK celebrating our first international expansion. Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy trapped them in a soggy New York. But the Kickstarter community in the UK quickly flourished regardless: In the last five years, 27,500 UK projects have launched, and they’ve attracted £168 million in pledges.

This felt like the right moment to look back at some of our favorite UK projects. It was a tough list to whittle down, but we hope it conveys the breadth of the creativity that has come out of Kickstarter in the UK, and the impact those projects have had at home and abroad. 

 

2012

Emilie Holmes’s project for her Good & Proper Tea Truck launched on our first day in the UK, and the truck was soon serving up tea to Londoners — and backers visiting from the US and elsewhere… Alan Moore, the author of V for Vendetta, funded His Heavy Heart, the conclusion to a deliciously dark film series… The videogame Elite: Dangerous raised £1.6 million and has evolved into one of the world’s best spaceflight games… Kelly Angood set the tone for many retro-tech projects to come with her Pop-Up Pinhole Project… Some folks in Liverpool got together to reopen a local bakery as a cooperative, and it’s since become a community revitalization hub.

2013

Aardman Animation used Kickstarter to bring back the beloved character Morph for a new series of shorts… Former students at Central Saint Martins published a book featuring the artwork of Howard Tangye, a legend at the school… Kano showed that kids everywhere were eager to build their own computers… Primo shared an early version of Cubetto, their friendly learn-to-code robot, then put everything they learned from that project into a new version... ShaoLan Hsueh launched Chineasy, a learning tool for Chinese, and ended up on a flight to China with the British prime minister.

2014

We took the Kickstarter Film Festival and a batch of workshops to London, and we saw loads of projects from creators heading to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival… Becky Sloan and Joseph Pelling raised £105,000 for their freakish cult-hit film series Don’t Hug Me I’m Scared… Eliot Higgins funded Bellingcat, his hub for citizen investigative journalists… The artist Lucy Sparrow sewed up a storm and sold felt groceries at The Cornershop (a New York version spawned a million Instagrams)... Loving Vincent, an animated film about Van Gogh made up entirely of oil paintings, is now playing in theaters around the world… We loved Charlie Phillips’s photographs of 50 years of African-Caribbean funerals in London.

2015

Emily Brooke’s Blaze bike lights, which laser-beam the image of a bike onto the street, took over London’s fleet of hire bikes… Backers helped resurrect the Thunderbirds series from the ‘60s… The comedian Richard Herring funded the first of his five (!) video projects… The Royal Academy of Arts funded an exhibit of Ai Weiwei’s tree sculptures… The Thames Baths project united 1,273 backers behind the vision of a floating pool in London… and Mr. Bingo discovered that many, many people love to receive hate mail.

2016

The Citizens Advertising Takeover Service replaced all the ads in a tube station with pictures of cats, to get people thinking about how we use public space… The Design Museum opened in London with a special Kickstarter display and a number of projects in its collection… Dark Souls: The Board Game raised £3.8 million to became the most-funded UK project… Technology Will Save Us continued the British tradition of great STEM projects with its Mover Kit… The Science Museum in London rebuilt Eric, the UK’s first robot, and brought him to vivid red-eyed life… Monty’s Deli, a “real Jewish deli” in London, graduated from market stall to full-blown restaurant with help from backers.

2017 (so far)

Granby Workshop of Liverpool launched Splatware and hung out with us at the London Design Festival… Speaking of Liverpool, Gary Usher just opened his fourth restaurant there, Wreckfish… The musician Kate Nash asked her backers to be her record label and raised $155,000… The Russian rock band Pussy Riot and the theater collective Les Enfants Terribles funded a London stage show telling the Pussy Riot story… The London Centre for Book Arts found 470 backers to help it expand into a larger space.

Thanks to all of our UK creators and to everyone who has supported UK projects. If they inspire a project of your own, no matter where you live… get to it!

Rough Cut: Apply to Host a Work-in-Progress Screening at Kickstarter HQ

Oct 26 2017

Making movies is tough, but thrilling. And there’s nothing more thrilling for filmmakers than to see the fruits of their labor in post-production and eventually on to festivals and distribution. But there are countless challenges along the way, and filmmakers must to be able to step out of the edit and see their work on a larger format in order to be able to fine-tune it and, ultimately, lock picture.

Kickstarter’s Film team wants to ease the financial pressure on alumni filmmakers in post-production who are looking for a venue to screen their work. So, earlier this year, we decided to open our fifty-seat theater at our headquarters in Brooklyn to select Kickstarter alumni with films nearing completion. This gives them the chance to show their works-in-progress to funders, collaborators, and test audiences. For some of them, it will be the first time they see their work on a big screen.

As part of this program, which we’re calling Rough Cut, directors Anthony and Alex screened an edit of their Kickstarter-funded documentary Susanne Bartsch: On Top at Kickstarter’s HQ last year. The film recently had its world premiere at the Hot Docs documentary film festival in Toronto, and the directors are currently seeking distribution.

“It can be so difficult to secure a theater space on a limited budget, and the opportunity to screen our work-in-progress at Kickstarter’s theater made the experience so much easier,” Anthony and Alex said. “Susanne [Bartsch] hadn’t seen even a moment of the film at that point yet, and the theater was the perfect place for her to experience it for the first time.”

Another Kickstarter alumnus, Ema Ryan Yamazaki, screened a rough cut of her documentary Monkey Business: The Adventures of Curious George's Creators at the Kickstarter theater. It recently played at several festivals, including the L.A. Film Festival, and is now available to stream online.

“As an independent filmmaker making her first film, the opportunity to have a rough cut screening in a proper theater — free of charge — was invaluable,” said Yamazaki. “Not only did it give me a goal to push toward (making a presentable cut for the screening), but watching the film with an audience was a completely different experience from watching it by myself on my computer. I was more alert and sensitive to what was and wasn’t working. It made clear what work was left to do before the film was ready to be released to the world.”

If you’re a Kickstarter Film alum and would like screen a rough cut of your film at our office in Brooklyn, you can fill out an application or send an email to film@kickstarter.com. Filmmakers must have run a Kickstarter campaign for the project they want to screen in order to be eligible for the Rough Cut program.

Kickstarter Creators on the Future of Independent Journalism

Oct 17 2017
A student reporter for Brooklyn Deep, a Kickstarter-funded investigative journalism platform
A student reporter for Brooklyn Deep, a Kickstarter-funded investigative journalism platform

A home for citizen-run investigations. A platform for community storytelling. A podcast network created to revolutionize the medium.

Since Kickstarter launched eight years ago, writers, photographers, and podcasters have used it to forge their own paths in journalism. And a community of readers and listeners has followed: as of this month, over $10 million has been pledged to Journalism projects on Kickstarter.

To mark the milestone, we spoke with the creators behind three memorable Kickstarter-funded journalism projects. They shared their thoughts on the future of independent journalism and the potential for journalists —  by teaming up with the Kickstarter community  — to transform the field.

Meet the panel

Carroll Bogert: President of The Marshall Project, a nonprofit news organization that reports on and amplifies the voices of those within the U.S. criminal justice system.

Paul Salopek: Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist behind Out of Eden, a seven-year, 21,000-mile trek following the ancient pathways of human migration.

Julia Calagiovanni: Managing editor of Off Assignment, a home for the untold stories that never make it into print.

Who benefits from independent journalism?

Carroll Bogert: All citizens can benefit from good, reliable information. The Marshall Project in particular serves a large community of people who care about the criminal justice system. Our stories have gotten cameras installed in prisons, helped sensitize first responders to sexual assault, launched federal probes into private industries, and given a voice to incarcerated people and others trapped inside the criminal justice system. Our goal is to make more Americans care about criminal justice.

Paul Salopek: In my book, all good journalism is independent. Everyone benefits from it. And the more diverse the independent news sources, the better. When only a few big media outlets dominate the news coverage, certain voices don’t get heard. That said, whether the reporting is generated by legacy companies or independent journalists, the mission should be the same: to report without fear or favor, uninfluenced by powerful political, commercial, or other special interests.

Julia Calagiovanni: Everyone. Independent writers and content producers have a unique opportunity to go beyond the conventions and limitations of more traditional media outlets. There’s often more latitude to work on topics that matter to you. And readers can hear from voices that might not have a seat at the table otherwise.

From My Guantánamo, and Theirs by Ted Conover for Off Assignment
From My Guantánamo, and Theirs by Ted Conover for Off Assignment

 

What is your advice for aspiring journalists?

Julia Calagiovanni: Mistakes hurt, but you’ll live. Learn from it.

Paul Salopek: In today’s saturated marketplace, it’s more important than ever for young colleagues to make their unique voices stand out. You can specialize in a single topic and own it. Or you can be an early adopter of new technology. Or  —  as in my case  —  you can go to parts of the world where crucial events are unfolding under the global radar. Go to Africa, which now has more than a billion people and is undergoing both a green and a digital revolution simultaneously. You won’t bump into too many other competitors there.

Carroll Bogert: Get really deep into a subject that is important. Know more about it than anybody. Be less concerned about the flash and the profile and the followers and the flourish of your writing.

Paul Salopek on the Out of Eden walk
Paul Salopek on the Out of Eden walk


When did you first realize that community funding could impact independent journalism?

Paul Salopek: I realized it in the first year of the Out of Eden walk out of pure necessity. I have several wonderful partners working with me on the project, but we still need our readers’ help to keep the storytelling going. I learned that when it comes to journalism, crowdfunding offers a double-barreled benefit: above and beyond raising money, it helps build a loyal, participatory audience. That’s important for a ten-year–long narrative like ours.

Carroll Bogert: In the summer of 2016, we used Kickstarter to fund our weekly column called Life Inside. We raised more than twice as much as we had originally hoped. The experience was very heartening  —  it was our first indication of how much our readers actually supported us.

Julia Calagiovanni: It’s been great to see so many publications  —  Matter, Narratively  —  really succeed in the crowdfunding arena. That inspired us to bring our own publication to Kickstarter. Crowdfunding is so powerful in that it not only raises money, it also corrals many other important resources: visibility, enthusiasm, a supporter base that wants you to succeed and believes that you can.

From The Marshall Project’s Life Inside column
From The Marshall Project’s Life Inside column


Where do you see independent journalism headed in the next five years?

Carroll Bogert: I think this sector will grow. Ever since the 2016 U.S. Presidential election, Americans are consuming more media than ever. But the commercial media can’t do everything. The kind of long-form investigative reporting that The Marshall Project does is very difficult to sustain commercially. So I think nonprofits will constitute a growing portion of the media landscape.

Paul Salopek: I can only hope it is more robust. Democracies need accurate, fearless, unbiased, independent reporting to survive. I’d like to think we’re headed for a shake-out phase where the worst of the web’s excesses are palling on the public and quality independent news platforms will thrive. It’s tough, given how the Information Age preys on our human impulse to seek shallow distraction and echo chambers. But we’ve got to keep battling.

Julia Calagiovanni: Larger media outlets will always have an important place in the landscape, but small-but-mighty indies will remain important. I hope that independent print, audio, and video journalism  —  and maybe some other formats we haven’t even thought of yet  —  will complement, challenge, and strengthen what’s already out there.

Why is independent journalism important to you personally?

Carroll Bogert: I believe that good information is the starting point of social change. No big problem ever got solved without someone shining a bright light on it.

Paul Salopek: I have devoted most of my career to covering people who live far from the global centers of power. Any reporting that shares the bullhorn has my blessing.

Julia Calagiovanni: In college, I worked with a variety of small student-run publications rather than the main campus newspaper. Working on an online feminist magazine, a print alt-weekly, and a print long-form magazine, each with its own particular ethos and mission, presented me with different challenges and opportunities. In that smaller setting, our teams were able to work really closely together. I see those same strengths in “grown-up” independent journalism.

How can readers improve their own media literacy?

Carroll Bogert: Keep reading. Check the byline, and the source. It’s easy to skip over that stuff when you’re scanning quickly on social media, but not all journalism is equally trustworthy.

Julia Calagiovanni: Read critically. Seek out a variety of voices from writers of varying ages, backgrounds, races, and genders. Go beyond Twitter  —  it’s fun and it’s fast, but there’s so much more to be said on basically any topic. Stepping away from the screen gives you some really important mental space.

Paul Salopek: To be news-literate today you have to think like a reporter. You have to be intellectually active, to explore. You have to be skeptical. (“If your mother says she loves you, check it out.”) Once a week, access your information from a radically different news source. Foreign correspondents in places with polarized press environments have to read six or seven newspapers  — each partisan  — every day, just to suss out a median understanding of what’s really going on. Welcome to that club, ordinary readers.

Paul Salopek on the Out of Eden Walk (photo: John Stanmeyer/National Geographic)
Paul Salopek on the Out of Eden Walk (photo: John Stanmeyer/National Geographic)

 Explore more Journalism projects on Kickstarter  —  or head here to start your own.

Twelve Collaborative Projects Made in the Spirit of Commissions

Oct 16 2017

Surprising things happen when creators and their supporters make things together. 

Leading up to the launch of Commissions, our newest creative prompt, we’re highlighting twelve Kickstarter-funded creations that resulted from collaborations between creators and their backers. Take a look, then start working on your own Commissions project to launch this November.

Emily Grenader’s Giant Crowd Painting

Inspired by Renaissance painters, who often portrayed patrons in their work, artist Emily Grenader included the faces of her thirty-eight backers in this six-by-nine–foot painting.

John Kilduff’s Cat Portraits

For our Make 100 creative prompt in January, John Kilduff painted portraits of his backers’ cats, then created larger paintings of the cats grouped by their fur colors and patterns. For Projects of Earth he upped the ante, offering to portray any subject of his backers’ choosing in a frame-worthy oil painting.

Fahz’s Face Vases

In 2015, Fahz launched a project to render their backers’ profiles as 3D-printed vases. “Martha and I found ourselves transformed overnight into digital potters,” co-founder Nicholas Desbiens says. In the video below, they share every single vase they created for the campaign.

Jamie Tanner’s Illustrated Tweets

For his project Always On Brand, comics artist Jamie Tanner asked his backers to send in their favorite tweets for him to transform into comic strips. The result: surreal interpretations of their 140-character stories.

Emi Dyer Barker’s Acceptable Reasons to Cry in Public

In 2012, artist Emi Dyer found herself frequently crying “for various reasons and in various places” — gas stations, public benches, an auto-parts shop. So she and her best friend decided to make “a public spectacle of the public spectacle.” Together they wrote an essay about crying in public, printed it onto a poster, and teamed up with backers to post it in 1,400 public spaces around the U.S. See its journey at @ART_CryInPublic.

Electric Objects’ Commissioned Exhibition

In 2015, over 1,000 backers pledged $5 each — and answered a six-question survey — to help generate four new works of digital art for Electric Objects from artists Lauren McCarthy, Addie Wagenknecht, Casey Reas, and James George. The works were then debuted at a special backers-only gallery opening.

"Share the Sky" by Addie Wagenknecht
"Share the Sky" by Addie Wagenknecht

 

Susan McClellan’s Personalized Portraits

To sharpen her portrait-painting skills, Susan McClellan asked backers to send photos of themselves for her to recreate as oil paintings. Once she completed all of her backers’ portraits, she shot this video of the collected works in her studio:

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Don Moyer’s Friendly Creature Drawings

To remind people of “the value of diversity and the delight of friendships,” illustrator Don Moyer created customized portraits of his backers surrounded by monsters, aliens, and other out-of-this world creatures. Below, Kickstarter staffer Julio is portrayed surrounded by his new friends.

Ken Reynolds’s Custom Nesting Dolls

As a reward for supporting the first issue of his comic In Trouble, Ken Reynolds offered to draw his backers as nesting dolls: “You will be characterised as the biggest doll, and you get to choose what should be illustrated on the other two to symbolize what is inside of you.”

Vince Dorse’s Bigfoot Comics

Illustrator and cartoonist Vince Dorse drew his backers’ likenesses hanging out in the woods with the Bigfoot and Scout characters from his graphic novel, Untold Tales of Bigfoot.

Kim Boekbinder’s “Infinite” Album

Musician and twenty-two–time Kickstarter creator Kim Boekbinder incorporated words and phrases supplied by her backers into Infinite Minute, an album of nearly two hundred one-minute pop songs.


Katherine Pan's Fan Fiction

With her project Fan Fiction for You, our own Katherine Pan invited backers to pledge for personalized fanfic in the form of tweets and illustrated postcards.

Ready to start sketching a Commissions project of your own? Follow these guidelines to get started.