There’s a Stephen King quote that sums up the whole business of being a horror artist beautifully – ‘For me, the imagination which so often kept me awake and in terror as a child has seen me through some terrible bouts of stark raving reality as an adult.’ He’s right.
Even at it’s most alarming, such as when my Stephen turned up ( we’ll get to him in a minute) it is still magic, an experience that takes me out of the world of bills and dentists and supermarkets on bank holidays and into somewhere astonishing instead.
The really interesting thing is that other people have started following me there too. They also have questions. ‘Where did Stephen come from?’ ‘He’s real, right?’ Most poignantly, ‘Do you think he’s lonely?’
In an attempt to answer them, all the while keeping an eye on a retreating Stephen, I began putting a file together telling his story from his days as a human patient in an asylum to the shy but curious creature I have the honour of knowing now.
That involved some physical objects which in turn had to be kept for him somewhere. Knowing that asylum patients often came with a suitcase containing their most treasured belongings, that seemed the ideal solution and so he now has one of his very own in one of my cupboards at home.
Some of those who have followed his story and come to understand him have brought me offerings for him, things they think he will like which of course get placed carefully in the suitcase. To see some of those objects and come adventuring with us, visit Drawing In Dark
I’m now on my third Kickstarter campaign and putting everything I’ve learned over the last two to the test. Of the previous two, the last was successful – funded over my target. Part of the success of that one was the scale. I ran a one week campaign to raise funds for a pop up exhibition featuring the same crow drawn as many times as people backed. The first failed to complete – although I had some great press, it came too late in the game.
This time, I’m working with author Sean Walter on a joint project, illustrating an anthology of new horror stories. It’s the first time I’ve collaborated on a funding campaign and I have to say, it’s good to have someone else to bounce ideas off. We both have different skills and have just finished putting two press campaigns together – one targeted to the horror market, one for general press.
It’s a big risk in terms of time and effort – the goal is to fund our work on the project itself but that’s actually not the biggest portion of the money we need to raise. That goes on the production and shipping of the rewards themselves, plus of course there are the Kickstarter and payment processing fees.
Like many artists/authors, our campaign is basically a pop up shop, allowing backers to pre order copies of the book in return for exclusive content. It’s a tough sell so we’ve gone all out on content – showing previous work to demonstrate we are capable of delivering a high standard, animating my desk models in stop motion and filming myself drawing one of the reward tiers.
Now it’s crunch time, sending press out and crossing everything that it’s seen by enough of the right people – most traffic to a crowdfunding campaign comes from off site so as with everything else promotional, it’s down to the creators to drive traffic.
To see what we’ve put out there, visit Tales in Somber Tones at http://kck.st/2keCliz
If anyone is considering running their own campaign, feel free to post any questions you might have here.