Contact daarkenart@daarken.com

Art & Cookies Kickstarter

[pix_dropcap]A[/pix_dropcap] couple of years ago I mentioned that I was in the process of writing a book about the art industry and my career. I’ve been working on it off and on whenever I have some extra time and I finished most of it earlier this year. I tend to find things to add as the years pass, but I think for now it is pretty much finished.

The book actually started out as a compilation of my blog posts regarding various aspects of the art industry, like pay, working with clients, what the schedule of a freelancer looks like, etc. Most of the book talks about things I wish I had known back when I was in school.

I felt that just compiling my blog posts was a little boring, so I decided to write additional sections for the book. A couple of years later and now my book is 214 pages long.

Below is the current table of contents. These may or may not change, but at least you can get an idea of what I’ll be discussing in the book.

  • Introduction
  • The Beginning
  • The Starving Artist
  • Back to School, or Not
  • The First Step
  • Marketing Yourself
  • When Am I Ready?
  • Tools of the Trade
  • The Freelancer – Truths & Misconceptions
  • Working for WotC
  • Freelancing Rates
  • The Art of Getting Paid
  • Embrace Failure
  • Managing Your Time
  • My Daily Routine
  • Staying or Becoming Motivated
  • Becoming a Staff Artist
  • Illustrator or Concept Artist?
  • The Hazards of Digital Painting
  • Convention Etiquette and Experience
  • Stolen Art
  • Biggest Regrets and Missed Opportunities
  • Closing

I’m planning on doing this book as a 1000 print limited run Kickstarter exclusive. A digital version of the book will still be available after the Kickstarter ends, but if you want a physical copy, you will have to back the Kickstarter. I have a few other rewards in mind, but I won’t be doing prints with this Kickstarter, I’m going to save them for later.

I’ve been speaking to Global PSD for printing, copy editing, and the cover design, so I already have quotes from them. All I need to do now is figure out the rewards and launch the Kickstarter. I’ll probably try and launch it soon, maybe in October.

Publishing this book is pretty scary because I have no idea how many people are interested in something like this. Even if I double my goal, after fees and taxes, I will barely make any profit. Signing, packing, and shipping 1000 books by myself will probably take me several months, so I’m not even sure if that tiny amount of profit would be worth it. If I barely pass my goal, I will still end up losing money, so I’m pretty worried and I’m not sure if I even want to go through with the project or not. I guess I have to just take a chance.

Please let me know if a book like this is something you would be interested in. Hopefully if enough people say yes, it will give me the confidence to move forward with the project.

I haven’t done a Kickstarter before, so I’m using this book to test the waters. If this goes well, I plan on doing a Kickstarter for my next art book and possibly some other projects as well. I have most of the design finished for my next art book, but I’m still waiting on a few clients to email me back about giving me permission to include the art I created for them.

Again, please let me know if you are interested in this project. Thanks!

11 Replies to “Art & Cookies Kickstarter”
  1. I’m interested. I got the first artbook, I’m glad you’re already working on the second one too.

  2. Hi dude,
    I’m interested. I got your first art book. My fav parts of it were actually your comments/breakdowns on your pieces.

    If you’re worried about the goal amount, you can always work out how much of your time it will take to produce the book and add it to the total, right?

    Good luck man.

    • Thanks! I could, but I’m just worried that I won’t hit my goal. I’m not sure how many people read books anymore and I’m not sure if my following is big enough.

  3. Hello,
    I would love to back this book if you decide to go through with it!
    Good luck with your decision 🙂

  4. I’ve been following your work for a while now and have been enlightened by your insight into the professional side of being an artist. I’ve been struggling for a few years now with art as a profession rather than a hobby. As the sole bread winner of a house of 8 I can’t make the leap from my current job to professional artist.
    There are many hurdles one of which is taking the leap into that industry just seems, a bridge too far. In light of this looking at the content of your book I think there is a lot of value in the knowledge and experience you bring to people like me who, desire to be an artist but don’t know if it’s the right path for them.
    I know this post is a couple of months old but if this project is still a thing, I would definitely back it at the highest level I’d be capable.

    • Thanks for the comment Steve. I’m still kicking around the idea, but it is definitely scary to self-publish a book. I’m not sure if enough people are interested in reading these days. With Kickstarter fees, payment fees, and taxes, it will be incredibly hard to make any profit, especially with the time required to ship all of the rewards. I really want to make this book happen, but I’m just worried that I’ll end up losing a ton of money. We will see!

  5. Hi Daarken,

    I am myself an artist, and to be honnest I would love to encourage you but like you can imagine, my limited budget would barely allow me to back you, unfortunately (unless you make a PDF version for cheaper). However I can share with my friends circle. I doubt it will bring you any sales though, as I have no artist friends. In any way, I wanted to leave you a message. Your work is great, you have a lot of talent. I love my own character design and style, but I am not that good yet with the coloring process. I bought a Cintiq13HD but now I need to practice a lot before I become as good as I would like at that part. I have 100+ medieval-fantasy characters ready for the coloring process, for my card/board game (I am a video game developer, but I keep this particular project as NOT a video game, as there would be way too much animation and 3D modelling work to do). I plan to use Kickstarter for hiring for those colors. 50$-75$USD per character is what I plan in my KS budget. But the artist I will find and hire won’t have to think at all about the character design, as he would reuse my line art. Also, I don’t need backgrounds and if I ever change my mind, I will look to secure about 100$USD more per illustration. I know this is low, but with so many characters (over 300+ required at launch for balanced gameplay), and as I am an indie and not a giant publisher like Hasbro or Wizards, then I think it’s better than nothing. If you -or any other person reading this- know any talented artist that would agree to work at this rate, please let me know.

    Thanks and keep it up 🙂

    Michael
    Quebec, Canada

  6. I have your book Elysium and love it. I would definitely be interested to hear your story behind the art. Gavin

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