Saturday, November 6, 2010

Dreaming BIG and YOU can help! (soon )

First, about this image. 
     Last full moon we suddenly had a clearing of the clouds that had been holding us hostage for days and days.  I raced out to a spot I had scoped out and began to gather materials to make an Autumn Moon portal.  Unfortunately, the moon came up much further North than I had calculated. Fortunately I had built into this portal some flexibility just in case something like that might happen. A bonus that I did not plan was being able to get the rather famous, snow-capped mountain in Vermont within the portal...that was a real surprise. Something I cannot explain is why this ONE frame out of the several dozen I took that evening has the gentle moonbeams radiating outwards... but they felt like a blessing when I saw the photo for the first time. Even though it was freezing cold and a bit windy, this somehow all worked. And it gave me another idea for the next full moon... but I am getting ahead of myself.

    Now to the Dreaming part:  I have just learned of an incredible opportunity. I have been wanting for several months now to have my work put into a nice, hardbound larger format book. It is not cheap to produce books such as these however. The proofing process alone will cost several hundred dollars. It seemed impossible to imagine that I could so this any time soon. Then I heard about a great new funding program for artists and other project-makers of many kinds. The place is called Kickstarter and the program works like this:
- the "project" gets screened thru a preliminary approval process to seek funding. Not all projects are accepted, there are restrictions and guidelines you have to meet. If your project is approved, you take the next step...
- the creator then writes the proposal/plan for the project and sets the funding goal, deadline, pledge levels and rewards for the various levels. And creates a video about the project. The creator has total control over all these phases. When ready, the project goes "active" and the fun begins.
- patrons are directed to the site or find out about it thru social networking. They visit and decide if they want to pledge an amount and how much. The patron then signs on and makes their pledge. Everyone is excited and hoping to meet the goal.
- now, here comes the dramatic part: if the funding goal is met by the time the deadline arrives, the project gets funded by all the patrons. If the goal is not met, you get nothing. Creator gets nothing. Patrons get nothing. No joy anywhere. 
- but... if the word gets spread and if everyone gets excited, then it is possible to meet or even exceed the goal by the deadline. EVERYONE is happy then! Creator will get to do their project and patrons will get the fun of being included in the process and any goodies that have been pre-advertized. This is a true win-win.

 I am very pleased to announce here that my project HAS passed the first hurdle! The idea has been accepted and I've been given permission to go ahead!!!!

So.... here's the part where you come in. I'm going to do this. I'm making plans to create my first hardcover book. But there are options... do we make a book just about the Faerie houses now and make another one about the other work later? Or, do I make a book about my other Eartherials and spirals and do a Faerie houses book later? Or.... do I make a book that has both genre of work but in two separate sections? OR (don't worry, last "or") do we make a book that has both kinds of sculptures mixed together but follows the seasons.... much like my Greenspirit book does.

Those are my/our choices! And, to find out how you might feel about this, I've created a poll which you will find on the upper right side of this blog. Please take a moment to consider these options. If this whole project is successful it will be very possible to make many more dreams like this come true. (I wish I had known about this when I was dreaming of making my DVD! )

I want this to be a somewhat collaborative process. It starts with us deciding what kind of book this is going to be. Then, once we know what kind of book most people are wanting to see, I'll launch the project funding site and I will want all of YOU to help get the funding for the project! This project will not succeed without your support!!! Remember, if we don't meet the goal by the deadline, then no money is raised and the project will not happen.

When the time comes to launch the funding website, I will let you know thru this blog and also through my newsletter. Patrons who pledge will get regular updates on the project and there will be special treats for all, no matter what level one decides to join in. There is a tremendous amount I have to prepare for this, but I'm very eager and very excited that this could really work!! So, I'm planting the seeds of this project right here and now. Today is the day of the new moon and astrologically it could not be more powerful. This is a big dream and with your help we could all have some fun making this a reality! It won't happen overnight but I'll keep you posted here and I wanted everyone to give their input first on what kind of book they would like to see. The book will probably be 8.25 x 10.75 (update: the 12 x 12 originally mentioned here was just too expensive for a first run project like this but if this process is successful, we'll do the 12 x 12 next time!) and have 50-60 (update... I'm aiming for 84 pages!!) pages. A big luscious celebration of this work.  The books will be expensive to make but certain patron levels will receive a signed and numbered book as the reward. I'll let you know more about the details as they get refined. These books will be a limited edition run.  I'll make the same book in paper-back format but without the Limited Edition features and those will be available to the general public or to those who can pledge at the lower level. Other pledge rewards are also in the works, some small, some very large. It'll be fun!

So stay tuned and please give me your feedback on the poll. Please, fill out the poll just once so the tally is accurate. Get your friends to take the poll, show them my work, get them signed up for the newsletter. Think about who you are going to want to tell about this project once it goes live. And get ready to take a very active part in making a dream a reality!!!!

Thanks Everyone!!!!


Briony said...

Very tough decisions! Personally, I'd like more than one book, each one dedicated to a particular genre you do (faery houses for one, eartherials for another), and I do like that the seasons are kept separate. I would buy ALL those books. OTOH, if someone hasn't seen all your work, getting a taste of all of it -- i.e., having sections with some, but not all of your genres -- makes sense. In the end, I think you can't go wrong, really, no matter what you decide!

Briony said...

um, it's unclear how to proceed. I clicked on the Kickstarter link: Ther's many many pages of "art" projects, and it's impossible to find YOUR project (if it's even there yet), so no clue how to pledge support at that site. Help?

Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Hi Briony,

Thanks for your comments!! After doing some more research I've decided it will be best to go for the 8.25 x 10.75 size book for this first run. HOWEVER, I would LOVE to see specialized BIG 12 x 12 books just on the Faerie Houses or just on the Eartherials... if this project works, those will be next! So stay tuned and you'll hopefully get to fill your bookshelves! :-)


Sally J Smith, Environmental Artist said...

Oh I'm sorry I was not clear. I will be launching this project very soon. There is a lot I have to prepare for the website so that is what I'm working on right now. But I wanted to get input from people as to what kind of book they preferred to see so that is why I put up the poll.

FYI - I'm hoping to be able to launch the fund-raising project on or around the 20th of November... but I have to make a video and get everything ready so it's going to take a wee bit longer. I'll let everyone know here BEFORE the launch... we'll have a count-down!!

Welcome to the enchanted world of Environmental art and Faerie Houses sculptures created by Sally J Smith. Here you will find photos of the artist's unique art-forms and hear some of the stories from behind the scenes as she shares with you her creative process.