What is Kickstarter? What is Crowdfunding.

Sometimes I mention that I’m doing a Kickstarter and I get a fixed smile and glazed expression in response.

What seems so simple and obvious to me, it turns out, is still a bit of a mystery to many.

Kickstarter is a crowdfunding platform.

Okay, so what is crowdfunding? Crowdfunding is when fans, collectors, family and friends pledge an amount of money to a creator to allow them to make something and, in return, they get a copy of that thing and maybe some other stuff too, depending on the reward level they choose.

Kickstarter is a website that allows creators to organise a crowdfunding campaign to raise funds so they can create their project, with enough money to buy time, materials and postage.

Why would someone back a Kickstarter campaign?

It’s tough being a creative person. Creative types are talented people, mostly working alone, but essentially they are entrepreneurs creating things out of their heads. Like you, they need to eat and have a roof over their heads and have space time and materials to make stuff.

Like any other business they need capital funding to get their projects off the ground. By supporting a Kickstarter campaign you can help creators become successful people who fill the world with wonderful things and new ideas and, in return, have something cool, interesting or collectable to show for it, as well as the great feeling that you are doing something positive and helpful and being part of the process.

What do you get out of a Kickstarter campaign?

As well a stuff, you get a direct connection with an artist, an author, a creator, a brand and become a part of their creative process – a collaborator in a sense. Great kickstarter projects will involve their backers all along the way, to make them feel appreciated and part of something creative. That is fun in and of itself.

Is it risky?

Kickstarter is not an investment scheme (though your reward might turn out to be very collectible). It’s not a charity either. Accidents and illnesses happen, but otherwise Kickstarter people are highly driven and motivated to make amazing stuff and really want to create their vision and deliver it.

Kickstarter themselves do a lot of due diligence confirming that creators are who they say they are and deliver a secure payment system. Kickstarter take a small and equitable cut.

You can look to see the creator’s track record. Have they done this before and delivered? That’s always a good sign. Look at their previous campaigns and see how they went. Do your own due diligence.

So how do I back a kickstarter project?

First, choose a Kickstarter project and look at what is being offered, There will be different reward levels down the right hand side. Choose one and pledge to pay the amount for that reward level. (It’s not a shop – you aren’t buying a product – you are pledging to support the creator as they make something in return for a reward).

You will not be charged immediately, so you can change your mind later and withdraw. A few days after the campaign is over, you will be notified, your card will be charged and the creator will be in touch to get mail addresses and any other details.

If it is an all or nothing campaign, the target amount must be met or the creator gets nothing and the campaign fails. In that case you will not be charged. That’s  sad 🙁

Is it fun?

Yes! And that is what it should be. Creators are out to surprise, entertain, enthuse and delight you with their ideas. Go with it and join in with the spirit of creativity and be part of something fun, personal and individual. Kickstarter projects are not on the high street, they are straight out of the creator’s head and eventually delivered to you door. Perfect, personal and unusual gifts perhaps?

So, do you have a campaign going?

I thought you’d never ask! Yes, I’m making a signed, numbered limited edition picture book with extras called Pandora. Check it out – I’d love to have you back me and share the whole creative process with you through video, blog posts and possibly live chats!

If you still have questions – then feel free to ask!

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

SaveSave

How to Draw a Super dad card for Father’s Day

With Father’s Day this weekend, here is something you can do to surprise your dad – make him a SuperDad card by following the easy instruction in this video. Then when you are finished, you can watch the Super dad story video here https://youtu.be/wd8IMS-
5QdE

Remember that you can take a picture of your drawing and send it to me for the gallery video to drawings@shoorayner.com I will send a small gift of my how tom draw book and maybe some original artwork too for the drawing I like the best in each Gallery video.

Get it here in the USA http://amzn.to/2teFyiu and here in the UK http://amzn.to/2uC2LhP

Of you would like a signed copy of the book, which comes together with the second story, Superdad, the Super Hero, then then here’s the link.

An amazing Book for Empathy Day – 12th June

FROM THE DEEP OF THE SEA.: BEING THE DIARY OF THE LATE CHARLES EDWARD SMITH M.R.C.S., Surgeon of the Whale-ship Diana, of Hull.

It was Empathy Day on Tuesday, 12th June. Empathy Day promotes the idea that reading  – and reading whole books in particular – builds empathy in the reader. Empathy day is the idea of Empathy Lab. Click to find out more.

Why should we bother promoting empathy? Because we spend more and more time on our screens, playing games, living in alternative worlds, on our own, not interacting with others. It is beginning to show in children’s behaviour and relationships at school. It’s showing in politics and world events.

Reading a whole book helps you, for a while, to step into another person’s shoes and see the world through their eyes. You may not like that person or agree with their views, but you may gain an understanding of that person, and others like them, that will widen your understanding of the human world and how best to navigate your way through it.

I spent a wonderful 12 June at Netley Marsh CE Infant School, telling stories, and discussing the idea of empathy with some quite young children. They get it! We also discussed and explored body language and and how empathy can help us read others and their emotions, using illustration and emojis.

With all that in mind, I thought I’d share a most amazing book with you. I first came across it while wondering around the Maritime Museum in Hull. They have quite an exhibition relating to the whaling history of the town, which includes several, gruesome paintings of men butchering whales. The beautiful scenery is quite incongruous. Elegant tall-masted ships lay at anchor among ice floes and romantic mountain scenery, while their crews go about their bloody work.

One painting is of the Diana, the last whaler to sail from Hull. They crew caught only one walrus on their long voyage. Whaling had been a bonanza, but now the stocks were so depleted, whales had become almost impossible to find. In 1866, desperate to catch something before returning home, the crew missed their chance of escaping the ice before winter set in. The ship was icebound and at the mercy of the elements, tides and currents.

Among the displays at the museum is the diary of the late Charles Edward Smith, M.R.C.S., who was the surgeon on board the Diana. After many months, the ship broke free of the ice and make it’s way to Shetland, where half the crew had come from. Smith describes a being like a ghost ship with gaunt bodies returning home from the dead. The Diana continued on to be met with a massive welcome in Hull, where the crew had been assumed lost at sea.

Smith’s son, Charles Edward Smith Harris, edited the diary, turning it into the most thrilling book I think I’ve ever read.

Why a book for Empathy Day? I feared a gory description of whaling when I began reading. A fearsome tale of hardship and cruelty, of the sort we have come to expect from Victorian Gothic thrillers.

But no – it turned out to be a masterful description of the best of humanity under the most frightful conditions. Smith writes like a dream. Members of the crew leap off the page, fascinating characters who, though individuals, are also caring members of a band of brothers thrown together in adversity, sharing the same predicament. All accept their fate stoically, putting their lives and fortunes into the hands of God and the Captain, John Grevill.

The Captain is the most remarkable man – wise and gently caring of his crew, who follow him faithfully. Let down by other ships that could have helped the Diana escape the ice, his instincts and seamanship, get the boat home though many of the crew died along the way. He is the antithesis of the hard, cruel Victorian taskmasters we have come to expect of that period. Victorians were human too.

I happened to be walking round the dock in Lerwick on Shetland one evening and was drawn to a marble memorial in the middle of a car park. It was a memorial in “Memory of the Providential Return of the Steam Ship Diana.” It felt like a pilgrimage, that I had connected the dots of this fateful voyage, that I could spend a moment remembering the men of the S.S.Diana who set out one fine day, full of hope and adventure, who could have had no idea of what fate had in store for them.

Below is a video I made when I came across the memorial on my trip to Shetland.

 

SaveSave