Crash & Burn

[pix_dropcap]W[/pix_dropcap]ell, my first Kickstarter was a spectacular failure. I only ended up raising $4,446 out of my $15,000 goal. If you don’t know how Kickstarter works, it’s an all or nothing platform. If you don’t hit your goal, you don’t receive any money.

After the first week I saw that my Kickstarter wasn’t going anywhere, so I sort of gave up. I hate spamming people and I don’t like bugging anyone, so I just let it die. Even if I hit my $15,000 goal, that would have been $0 profit for me. All of that money would have gone to taxes, fees, and creating/shipping the mats and prints.

Maybe playmats just aren’t very popular or maybe I just don’t have the fanbase. In any case, I thought hitting the $15,000 goal would have been easy, but I was wrong.

So what now? Well, since I didn’t hit my goal, I won’t be making any of the playmats. The purpose of Kickstarter is to allow creators to create a product they normally wouldn’t be able to create because they don’t have the funds. I think a lot of people these days do Kickstarters just because they want the extra money, not necessarily because they don’t have the funds to create the project in the first place. I see tons of Kickstarter projects about products that have already been made or are in the process of being made.

Some people are asking about my contingency plans. Since my Kickstarter failed and I didn’t receive any money, I won’t be making any playmats. Unfortunately that is how it goes with platforms like Kickstarter.

I just want to take the time to thank everyone who backed my Kickstarter, it really means a lot to me. Even though we didn’t succeed, I still appreciate your support. I also want to thank Mike Linnemann. He was the only person I reached out to for promoting my Kickstarter, and honestly, most of my backers came because of him.

Before launching my Kickstarter I already knew I was the type of person who doesn’t like to bother people. I don’t like marketing myself and I don’t like emailing people for help or asking them to buy my product. It’s pretty clear that in order to have a successful Kickstarter, you need to knock on every door. Perhaps Kickstarters just aren’t for me.

I never realized how hard it would be emotionally to have a Kickstarter fail. Before I launched my project I thought “hey, if it fails, no big deal.” Now I know better. My failed Kickstarter made me feel like I was a failure in the industry. It was depressing to see the lack of response and I didn’t know what else I could do other than pay some site to promote my Kickstarter. I couldn’t even get my Thunderclap to succeed. I only needed 100 people to click a button, but I think I only got 8 people to click it.

I had planned on doing a Kickstarter for my next art book and for the book I wrote about the art industry, but now I don’t think I want to. I’m sure I’m just letting my failure get to me, but I’ve kind of given up. If I do another Kickstarter for my art book and that fails too, I don’t think I would be able to handle it. Maybe one day I’ll find a publisher, but until then, I don’t think I’ll be coming out with any books any time soon.

3 Replies to “Crash & Burn”
  1. Failure is our greatest teacher. Sounds like you already know what you have to do for when you try next time. Don’t give up if it’s what you want!

    Maybe focus on meeting more people in the industry specifically to grow your network or something?

    Dude I’ve been following your art for almost 10 years, I don’t think you’re a failure at all.

  2. Hey Daarken, please don’t be upset. I think a lot of people love your art (like me) but don’t need playmats. I know it’s technically a failure and you invested time in it, but at the and of the day you’re still an awesome artist. And even though you wouldn’t make much profit, playmats and books still have a pricetag. I don’t even know if I would back for a new artbook, even though I love your Elysium book and your art. English is not my native language, but I hope you got my point.

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