So my first Kickstarter failed. Now the autopsy begins, what went wrong?
Well first what went right. My campaign page, video, and cover picture were all pretty solid if I say so myself. I was happy with them and felt they presented the problem and solution pretty well. My rewards were literally the product I was trying to “Kick-start” so that is all fine and good , but still, after 16 backers pledged $1,657 I failed to reach my goal of $3,850. Why?
I believe there are two main reasons this happened.
1. Art: It's just not that compelling a product.
Despite being picked up organically in a blog, being emailed to hundreds of people, and shared on several social platforms my Micro Paintings never got to much traction. Sure I love them, sure other people dig them too, as a matter of fact I sold an original due solely to the Kickstarter campaign, but it is not the kind of product that gets virally shared on Facebook news feeds. It is not a self flying drone that tweets 3D models of your favorite You-Tuber doing that one weird trick that will impress all her friends. It's art. Which means it takes a little time to appreciate and grow on you, which brings me to the primary reason.
2 An actual “fan” base for support.
Art is a form of communication but it is also a form of entertainment. Being an artist is not unlike being a writer or musician, people have to get to know the style, the message, the method, they have to appreciate the art form as well as the art and feel like that artist speaks their language. I am very lucky to have a few people who “get” my work and most of them did contribute to the campaign, but it just wasn't enough people. The work I do is relatively unique and I make no attempt to cash in on trends or copy other artists. To the contrary, I believe art in its truest form is a reflection of one's own self and how that person views and is influenced by the world.
Really what I have learned is that in order to find and reach my own audience I need to really explain what my work is about and find other like minded individuals who find similar meaning and enjoyment out of the work I create. I asked for more than I had been giving, I asked for blind support to an artist they had never heard of to support a message they didn't understand because I never bothered to explain it to them.
If you want to crowdfund art you need to find your crowd first.
Original Kick-starter Campaign: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonluper/beautiful-and-unique-micro-paintings