By Jonathan Search, Point Park News Service:
Don Moyer is a graphic designer who used Kickstarter to create a China plate featuring a city being attacked by flying monkeys.
Maggie Lynn Negrete used Kickstarter to finance her own comic book about a pair of princesses and their adventures.
“The nice thing about Kickstarter is you meet new people,” Moyer said. “You get to see what others are interested in.”
Kickstarter is a crowd-funding website where users can propose an idea or product with a set fundraising goal. People who like the idea can contribute toward it. Launched in 2009, the site has since hosted millions of projects.
Kickstarters always have a goal in mind: Bringing creative dreams to life — even the smallest ones.
For example, in less than a minute of scrolling, one can find proposals for a new type and model of chair, a children’s book about adventuring best friends, a full murder-mystery novel and a comic book about monsters in love.
And they’re being started in Pittsburgh.
For Don Moyer, his creation spawned when he had inherited a traditional, blue, willow-pattern plate.
“I just felt an urge to draw a picture of the plate and add a dinosaur. It just felt like the right thing to do,” he said.
That doodle of his received a surprising amount of attention, and before he knew it, Moyer found himself drawing another plate, adding “another calamity – you know, a volcano, or a Sasquatch.”
“I always got a nice reaction from my followers, and people started to say it’d be fun to have this on a real plate,” he said.
The wish of his fans soon became a reality, and Moyer found himself putting the first of what would become a series of plates on Kickstarter, creating them for personal pleasure and potential sale.
One day, Negrete came up with the concept for a fractured fairytale for Sleeping Beauty.
“My princess knows something amazing is going to happen, and she just wishes her life would start already,” she said.
This sprung from one princess into a tale of two princesses. The first issues of her comic, appropriately titled “Adventuring Princesses,” soon became the life history of the two up until their first meeting.
Those first issues, however, needed funding, and she turned to Kickstarter. She surpassed her goal of $3,000 by $500, even though she’d had her doubts.
“I’d heard some horror stories,” she said. “When it was all said and done, the fees from Kickstarter took around $300.”
Since completing the Kickstarter project, she’s gone on to show off the comic at certain public events. She said it will eventually be up for sale on Amazon and at Barnes & Noble.
For others, Kickstarter is not their initial answer — but it is an assistant to completing the idea they set out perform. This was the case for Ross Wood, who needed a minimum amount of money to complete a film project that was under-funded.
The film was the second of a three-part series centered on relationships, and he was on a time crunch. After some thought, he remembered Kickstarter, and figured it was the best thing to do.
He asked for $6,000 — and received $500 more than that. With the money, Wood set out to finish his project in its entirety.
“It was a gamble,” he said. “And it worked out.”