by Jeremy Kahn
Reporting from SCAD’s NYC Sequential Arts off-campus trip in June of this year
The program ran from Sunday to Saturday, with visits to artists, publishers, museums and a comic store or two. Kicking things off Monday, our group headed downtown to Kickstarter’s base of operations. After introducing ourselves on the second floor, we were shuffled upstairs. There, we saw a few shelves lined with items received from previous Kickstarter projects. It was a great trophy wall filled with the rewards from previous successful Kickstarter campaigns. Among the many items, there were a few from SCAD-founded projects.
After a brief tour, we got a chance to sit down and talk with two lead figures. The resulting conversation was an eye-opener. From the company’s history to how exactly they get involved with projects that interest them as a company, there was a lot of insight into the way Kickstarter works. Not only was it a fun talk, it gave everyone a deeper understanding of what it takes to create a good self-funded project and how to work Kickstarter into it.
In time, we found ourselves speaking not about self-funded projects, but about being fully-funded artists. We met comic book artist Paolo Rivera after leaving the Kickstarter offices. The rest of the day was spent talking with him about his work and getting some advice about the industry. Not to mention ogling his workstation. It consists of a desk with a swivel that allows his monitor to swing out, another swivel for the keyboard, a magnetic drawing board, a printer, scanner, paints right at hand, and a wacom tablet. He mentioned that the total cost of all this was at least a good grand or so. His secret? “Don’t have kids,” he said.
The day ended with a trip to Utrecht and Forbidden Planet accompanied by Rivera. It was another great, fun educational experience.