Paper Animations : Vol. 1?

Wed, 24 Oct 2012

There is a new type of social website appearing on the internets. Designed with the designer, artist and writer in mind, websites like Kickstarter and Indiegogo help individual artist crowd fund their new projects. The idea is to bypass the publisher, connecting the artist directly with their public. The artist uploads a project propasal to the site. This might be, for example, an outline of a printed comic book. The artist specifies what the completed project would be and amount that they need to created it then asks for pledges from the public. If the pledge total reaches the target within a fixed amount of time then the project goes ahead and only then are the public asked to pay up.
I've been eyeing these websites up for a while, wondering if they might be a good way to produce a printed book of some of the work on It turns out that David Landis of Desktop Gremlins fame has the same idea and has launched his own Kickstarter campaign here. (If you have not already seen David's work, hurry along to his website and have a look round.)
My idea would be to produce a book of perhaps six projects. The artwork shown here is only to grab your attention. For a book I would be aiming to produce either completely new projects or at least twists and re-workings of existing projects. This is all very much up in the air at the moment but I'd be really interested to hear your comments, ideas, questions and whether you would be at all interested.
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Comments (10)

  • umehta October 24, 2012 at 5:24 pm

    That would be worth a try

    That would be worth a try because in case, if in a fixed amount of time, it does not fly you can still always tap the resources of a publisher and go forth…

  • drinkumbrella October 24, 2012 at 8:45 pm

    Might depend on what you

    Might depend on what you think a kickstarter-sort of campaign is really for — is it a bootstrap for some business you'd have trouble doing on your own, or is it a mechanism for managing pre-orders for something you're thinking about doing anyway? I think a lot of kickstarter projects seem to be in the "preorder" model instead of the "help me get this off the ground" model, and they just feel differently. The David Landis thing looks interesting, in the support-for-self-publishing/preorder style. My gut feeling is that some of the most successful kickstarters are really using the platform as distributed-venture-capital, where it adds money as a lever to help kick the projects up to where they couldn't reach without outside funding.

    The "rewards" definitely make it confusing whether you're buying something, or helping fund a greater goal. I've supported some where I treated it like a pre-order, and some where I just wanted to help see the project make it to reality. you'll find both kinds of backers.

    Don't forget there's also the emotional turmoil of "what if my project isn't funded?" that adds a giant wildcard for the project-maker. Some projects seem to hit an sweet spot where the developers get crazy amounts of support (see Double Fine Adventure, that e-ink watch thing, …), some squeak by and barely make it, and others you can see a lot of heart and soul (and money) pumped in, but no real traction for the project.  (and many small projects, more personal/artistic, where every dollar obviously counts for a lot towards success.)

    Is the goal to self-publish a book? To make a book that could then be shopped for a publisher? To reach a broader base of papercraft enthusiasts? Be able to provide a higher quality product than would be easy to achieve via a more traditional publisher (quality of paper, printing, etc.)?

    I'm obviously a Rob Ives fan, bought books, subscribed to the website, and so on, so I'd likely be a supporter just on principle. Of course, I would probably just as likely buy the book without a project backing it.

  • Steven A October 25, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Hi Rob,
    I supported a


    Hi Rob,

    I supported a Kickstarter project which happened to prove very successful. The artist managed to raise twice the amount he required in half the time. He created a very slick Kickstarter page with a video. His proposals and aims for the project were convincing and he offered a variety of tempting gifts according to the amount one was willing to pay.

    However, I happened to be on his mailing list otherwise I wouldn't have known about it. So I believe it is important you have a healthy mailing list to inform as many people about the project as possible. As with most things these days, marketing (letting people know) is key. But once you do, psychologically it works well, for instead of asking for money directly, one is inviting people to contribute to a project which may or may not take off. This appeals to the imagination.

    Good luck.

    Steven A

  • Shelley Noble October 25, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    Anything you make, I’m

    Anything you make, I'm buying, Rob. You are simply extraordinary.


    I don't feel anyone needs to be funded per se to make straight ink-on-paper books, however. You could simply make your book beautifully yourself (with total control over content) and sell it on Amazon or your own site via Createspace, as an example.


    Most reading books that we buy today are actually printed, bound (including hardbound with dust jackets), and shipped (obviously) only AFTER we've ordered them. It's been this way for several years without most people realizing it. They print, bind, and get it to us in just about 3 days. Remarkable systems. The largest digital press prints 1m titles per month. The volume of volumes is staggering.


    If however you have in mind to make your book(s) with diecut card inserts of the models or similar in the back whathaveyou, then yes, a fund raising campaign to pay for a quantity to be printed in China (the only place I know of currently $$ feasible) may be in order.


    You could also make the diecut files available for those with desktop cutting machines. Exclusive Rob Ives Model files. Not sure how many followers have this capability currently.


    Artist directly to their audience is the way to go for sure.

  • cool022883 October 25, 2012 at 4:13 pm

    as long as the book had

    as long as the book had atleast a few new models and not just all reworked model i would be interested in pledging also maybe as incentives you could send out some of the models you make for photography i knew at one point you were trying that idea of if you donate so much you could get a model so maybe you could combine these ideas and if you donate so much money you could get one of your signed models.

  • trishjoyce October 25, 2012 at 6:55 pm

    hello, i didn’t have a clue

    hello, i didn't have a clue what you were talking about…so i went and had a look at that chappy with the desk gremlims…yup… i like it…i like it lots. Count me in ..T

    • robives October 26, 2012 at 7:42 pm

      Thanks for your feedback

      Thanks for your feedback everybody – it has been very helpful. I have a few more ideas which I am currently pulling together. There will be another blog post coming soon.

  • tamaramonteau October 26, 2012 at 10:22 pm

    I am a writer with four

    I am a writer with four (fifth coming) books released through Secret Cravings Publishing. My first three books were published through at my cost. Something like this would certainly help fledgling writers get help with their dream. I no longer have need of these services, but would certainly be interested in a service designed to just help get the word out.

    For your purposes, this looks like a good deal, especially if you're publishing your own works. It might help get the money together for a book release much sooner. That was my greatest constraint when facing the publication of book four, which led me to seek a more traditional publisher.

    Have you considered e-books? Would this be even feasible? Print books are going away fast according to recent purchasing history, and even Newsweek is going digital.

  • cool022883 October 29, 2012 at 3:12 am

    i just looked at the desktop

    i just looked at the desktop gremlins website and there are alot of cute and very quick and easy little paper models to make.but you could make some of these"paper gremlins" and then attach them to some mechanisms from robs mechanism page and give them a little movement . here is a link to robs mechanism page

    but if you go through the project section you can find other mechanisms on there and then you can bring your paper gremlins to life

  • Smelter November 29, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Looks like the idea is

    Looks like the idea is catching on.


Comments are closed.