One of the best parts of my job is cheering for small businesses and independent artists. We have such a thriving, vibrant scene here, and I love sharing all my discoveries with you. Recently, I've been able to take my support to a whole new level, thanks to the ingenious Kickstarter. If you haven't used Kickstarter before, it's essentially a place for small businesses and independent artists to get backing for a project they couldn't fund without "investors." You pledge your chosen amount, and you choose a kickback based on that amount, if the project gets fully funded. Last week, I backed a successful project from Jeremy Wilker and Matt Stenerson, a film called Death to Prom. It was so thrilling to see them raise the last few thousand they needed on the last day of their campaign—and that thrill is infectious.
So! I must share the latest project I'm backing. It's a project from some super-talented screenprinting gurus, called Screen Printing On The Cheap. This smart collective of screen printers are ready to teach the rest of the world their craft. According to their business pitch, they want to publish a DIY screen printing art/teaching book for, essentially, two reasons: because of gaps in the educational system—art classes and programs get cut and devalued—and gaps in the philosophy of being able to actually make a living from art—screen printing is a sustainable way to make a creative living. They believe that their book can change that.
Basically, they're so good at what they do that they want to share their secrets. They're involved in the community and want to spread their love of of art. They want artists to feel empowered. They came for the immediacy—creating art quickly—but stayed for the sustainability, community, and depth. How can you argue with that?
Want to meet the artists yourself and get to know them? They'll be on a custom-made bike, trailing a mobile screenprinting station at this weekend's Art-A-Whirl. Check out the work in progress:
You can support their project on Kickstarter. You might even get one of these if you do:
Not to mention they have awesome kickbacks if they get fully funded. Prints, screen printed undies, tote bags, your very own screen printing party, a starter press...Most importantly, you can reserve your very own first-edition copy of the book.
Now, turn off your TVs and make something (or fund someone who does)!