Trying to win a diamond.

Posted: February 11, 2013 in Uncategorized

Hey, everyone who happens to read this.  Sorry for the valentines contest self promotion, but I want to win a contest that people need to vote for on facebook. You have to like the page and then accept an app to vote, but please vote for the entry by Joe G, so that I can get a diamond!

I don’t know whether it’s a good thing, or a bad thing, but I can’t think of anything that goes on online as reality, and I don’t think it’s just me. When it comes to online shopping, I think there might be a lot of people who would think twice if they had to carry the weight of their purchases out of a store, as opposed to having it conveniently delivered. When it comes to commenting on blogs, news articles or forums, many people would not say the things they type, not necessarily because they don’t think them, but because the consequences would be a punch in the face as opposed to an angrily worded response.

What has happened to me recently, is that I’ve started taking a course on Web Technologies, and although it’s mostly coding, the little bit of design that we have had to do, has started to effect my art work. All of the articles I’ve read on contrast and colour are making me want to paint differently, and making me notice the problems in the pieces I created before I had this insight into the intelligence of design principles.

Picture 001


I have been working on the above piece for years. Well, actually, that’s not true. I haven’t been working on it for years. It’s been behind a couch and to tell the truth, I only pulled it out because I got a new easel and all my other works in progress were too small to display properly. Having pulled it out, and with my new insight into design courtesy of BCIT, the first thing I noticed was that the nautical star didn’t have enough contrast to it. You can see what it is, but it would have looked a lot better had I used bright red instead of burgundy with the black. The second thing I noticed was that it’s super busy, and it’s going to be even more busy by the time I’m finished (which, by the way, I am now determined to do).

The thing is, I like dark colours, I like busy, I like subtle. I know you can’t let every design principle or artistic norm effect the things you want to create, but where do you draw the line between taking good advice and throwing it out in the hopes that you know better? It’s something I’ve always wondered about people who go to art school. I know that things like anatomy and form are important, but if they teach anything like the design that I’m using for websites, I’d be surprised if everyone who came out with a diploma didn’t make cookie cutter art identical to that of their peers. So help me out, artists who do this seriously and not just for fun the way that I do. What did you learn in art school, do you use design principles, does it change how you express yourself? Any tips?

Picture 002


On another note, the other thing that I realized when I pulled out that old painting, is that sometimes you don’t notice that your style has changed or improved. After throwing the circles, which was my first attempt at painting, behind the couch and almost forgetting about it, I didn’t really paint again for years. The reason for this is probably the way I was painting. Not knowing what the hell I was doing, I’d mix up a huge batch of the colour of paint I wanted, and I figured I’d have to sit there until it was gone. Basically, if the inclination took me to paint, I’d have to clear my schedule for the next sixteen hours, because otherwise, the huge pile of paint I made on the palette would dry up. I know it sounds stupid, but I didn’t think I could remix the colour, so that’s what I was doing.

The picture of lovers kissing above, while not incredible, was my second attempt at painting, years later. What struck me when I pulled out the circle painting last night, was not that I was a much better painter now, it was that I now had enough confidence in myself to mix small batches of paint, and therefore, finishing it off would not be the chore that it used to be. I looked at the kiss painting, and at the other couple that I’ve done in recent weeks and found myself very proud. Not that I’m suddenly a great artist, that will take years, but that I had made a small step towards being a better artist just by changing the way I mix my paint.

It’s yet to be seen whether or not these design lessons I’m getting in technical courses will continue my development or stunt it, I’ll keep you posted!

I worked hard on my campaign, and figured if I didn’t get a lot of visibility or a high “gogofactor” which got me featured or allowed strangers to see my campaign, it would be all my fault. I read the contract in it’s entirety, I read all the blogs, I followed all the tips. That means that by the end of week one, I was in the first place in art, one the first page of popular, and by the end of week two I was informed that next Thursday the 29th, I was going to be their twitter featured campaign of the day. Usually, I access my campaign by simply typing in the address, but occasionally, I choose to browse the art department to see that I’m still in good standing. This week, I’m not in it. I’m not in art, I’m not in popular, I’m not in featured. I’m not visible at all unless you know the address to my campaign, or follow one of the links I’ve posted to it.

I wrote to indiegogo to see how this is possible, I’ve raised 35% of my goal from friends and family, and although my donations have petered out, I also have almost 4,500 views. To go from the top place in art to invisible didn’t make sense.

The email I got in response read as follows:

Seriously??? I followed the link to a support :

It seems to me, that in order to know about this strange rule, that I have to raise five hundred dollars in two weeks, I would have had to, in advance of failing to find my campaign listed on the site, go to the help category of the forum and look for an explanation as to why my campaign wasn’t listed. I didn’t think I’d have that problem, I’ve been working hard and following all their obvious tips. Now, I’m suffering the inability of strangers to view my site, and I would have had no idea, had I not randomly checked my standing in the art section. This is ridiculous. And it seems pretty contradictory to most of the other things that I had read in their tips section. What if a campaign is only for seven hundred dollars? That means in the first two weeks you have to raise almost all of your money? What if, like me, the ability of your friends and family to support your campaign ends at 35% of the funds? I need to raise $45 more to be at the $500 mark, and at that point I’ll be at almost fifty percent of my campaign. Meanwhile, people whose campaign is for a million dollars have the same demand? I made my campaign for a low amount of money in order to reach my goal, because my social network is not rich, but campaigns that have donations of $25,000 in one shot have the same rules as me? It seems like this is a game for rich people to make more, not poor people to be given an equal chance.

Considering the last email I got from indiegogo support was telling me that my gogofactor was up, I was completely blindsided by the fact that I have been made invisible on their site. Though this page says that they do not offer paid placement, it seems to me that this is exactly what they do. Most of the top campaigns on the featured page have HUGE lump sum donations, often made by the name of a person or organization directly affiliated with the campaign. Sorry, but my artist buddies can’t compete with Fix Young America. a campaign by the young entrepreneurial council having a donation for $20,000 in the first week of their campaign.

I’m pissed, and disappointed. I want to donate that $45 to myself just to get myself visible again, but I can’t make myself do that. If I fail at my campaign, indiegogo is going to take 9%, after paypal having taken roughly 4% and the same for credit cards. I can’t afford to be donating money for them to take off of me, I might need it to satisfy the perks for the people who did invest in me. I’m going to look into this more, because I think that this rule, of having to have $500 raised is in direct opposition to many of the other tips that I’ve read, and I’m also going to do more of a search to see if there was any reasonable way I could have known about this before hand. Updates will follow.

But one more thing, quickly, so that you understand a little bit of why I feel like I’ve been deceived.

There are two and one line pages (each page has ten lines of three), of Art if you go to Browse and click on that category. Following those two thirty three campaigns, there are ten pages of campaigns with no time left. I didn’t notice, prior to being told about this five hundred dollar rule, that every one of the finished campaigns has at least $500 raised, whether that’s 1% of their goal or 75% of their goal.  When you’re wasting space, posting a whole bunch of campaigns that failed miserably, or are long since finished, why would one of the people campaigning on your site have reason to suspect that you would remove an active campaign with an increasing gogofactor and 35% of their goal raised in two weeks out of a six week campaign?  What’s the point of you taking that 9% fee if you’re not actually doing me the service of allowing me to be seen by people outside of my own existing network.


Contact us here if you would like to use our gears as canvas in the future, and be a part of a collaborative show!

We were number one in the art section, strangers supported us, artists expressed interest and we made a third of our goal in a week! That’s $445 with over 4,000 views! We have paintings up by people interested in working on an art show together, including Dietrich Rosteck, Blaine Lavigne and Meghan Dove. We also have more videos in more languages, and more pictures. Our indiegogo campaign is off to a great start, but we need more artists who would be interested in working on gears as canvas when the campaign is over. We want to do a mixed media show in Montreal, and the more artists we have, with the most eclectic styles possible, the better it will be. 

Blaine Lavigne of Windsor Ontario, is one of the artists who has expressed interest in using gears as canvas and participating in a mixed media art show in Montreal when the campaign is complete.

Thank you so much for your support. Supposedly these things take off really strong, then loose momentum and then flare up again near the end. I’d appreciate your continuing clicks over the next few weeks, to help keep my campaign visible. $110 from strangers so far means that if people see it, some of them will contribute. So if you’re bored at work, or feel like annoying all your friends, click or post my link? Thanks again! And remember, leaving a comment on the site enters you in a contest to win a clock. (but only until Saturday night!)

Dietrich Rosteck is another artist who has expressed interest in working on our gears as canvas and participating in a mixed media art show in Montreal


I worked hard on my campaign, I did. I was actually afraid when I launched, because I had followed all the tips, read all the blogs, started all the social networking. I did everything I could think of, looked up what other people had thought of and did that too. And I realized that if I did all of that and failed to reach my goal, well, it was because people just didn’t like my art.


A painting by Blaine Lavigne who is interested in collaborating in art by using gears as canvas. See more and a link to his website by clicking the picture.

My campaign started off well. Indiegogo says:

  • Your inner circle of friends, family and fans should fund 25-40% of your goal within the first few weeks of your campaign. This creates public validation for your cause, as well as an army of spokespeople to help spread your campaign on social networks.
  • Include a personal video in your Pitch. Videos help projects raise 122% more money (on average)
  • Raise at least $1 from someone else and your chance of success will double.  
  • Make sure you have enough Perks at lower levels.  73% of people donate between $11 and $100.
  • Don’t go overboard on Perks.  The most successful campaigns have 5 – 8 Perks
  • Post regular updates to amplify fundraising.  Campaigns that update 2-3 times a week raise 2x as much money as those who only post 2-3 times overall

Well, I raised 25% of my goal in my first 24 hours, thank you to all my friends, I also had something like one thousand page views. I saw ten people post the link to my campaign on facebook, and more sent emails. In the first forty eight hours I also got $110 dollars in donations from people I have never met. It was amazing. Such a rush. If strangers had seen my art and liked it in the first forty eight hours, obviously if I moved up in visibility on indiegogo, then more people would like it too. I had perks from one dollar, two videos (one of them available in french and polish as well as english), I had only eight perks and updated daily, both via updates and the pictures in my gallery. Well. I haven’t received a cent since Saturday.

Todays updates were several paintings by Dietrich Rosteck who is going to use gears as a canvas when we get them made.

I’m kinda feeling hopeless at the moment, in spite of those three strangers and seven people who I know that contributed to my campaign, (out of the four thousand views that it has had in less than a week), I’m thinking my art is just rubbish. I’m also kind of panicing, because if I don’t reach my goal, indiegogo takes nine percent of what I do make, paypal takes approximately three, credit cards take approximately four, and there might be more fees for exchange rates etc. Hell. I might come out of this farther behind than I was when I started.

The indiegogo blog says: If you are seeing high visitor and view metrics, but low contribution conversions, don’t worry. This is quite normal for earlier stages of a campaign. We find that contributors will often look at a campaign several times, often coming through different channels (email, Twitter, Facebook, etc), before they finally decide to donate. Don’t be afraid to send people a reminder to contribute!

I have been doing that!

I’m honestly wondering whether the campaigns that are successful on sites like indiegogo and kickstarter, (aside from the ones run by already famous people), aren’t entirely funded from the peoples own networks. If that’s the case, I could have simply posted an email on facebook asking people to give me money to fund my art. Perhaps if I could see the analytics of my page views a bit more clearly, that would help. Even wordpress now lets you know what sites referred views, how many people clicked on your links, they even have a map of where your views were from. I think that with a crowdfunding platform like indiegogo, knowledge is money, and the site could be vastly improved if they used wordpress as an example of giving people real statistics on page views.

Dietrich Rosteck is a Montreal Artist who wished to collaborate with me by using gears as canvas.

I’m sitting at the computer, tweeting, emailing and private messaging, and wondering why. Maybe I’m just being stupid, there are lots of my friends who told me they contribute who haven’t yet, and might still. There are lots of people out there who probably haven’t seen my campaign yet. Still, there are a lot of people out there who have. I’m listed as the number one campaign under the heading of art, I’m on the first page under the heading of popular and the first page under the heading of new this week. It’s been made clear to me that these campaigns always enjoy more attention at the start and at the end of them. So if I’m not making anything when I’m at the top of my visibility, then how am I going to when three weeks from now my friends and twitter fans stop clicking on the link they’ve already seen a hundred times? I’m never going to make it onto featured. Everyone on that page has either raised a fortune or surpassed their goals by a lot. It kind of pisses me off too. There’s a campaign for a movie made by a doctor who lives in manhatten asking for one million dollars to make a movie. There’s one donation of $25,000 that keeps her popular. It’s crazy. First of all, you’re a doctor, you’ve got money, second of all, that big donation came from you or someone you know, and if you or your family can afford to drop that kind of money, you don’t need to divert funding from starving artists and independent film producers! There’s another one that is looking to fund a book. Same story. Huge lump sum donations at the very beginning to get them prominent visibility. Ah well. If I fail, I fail, I’m just feeling rather sick about it right now, and wondering why I didn’t see, before I started my campaign, that this had to be harder than it looks!

It’s grey and horrible outside, tomorrow I’ll be back, all optimistic with some DIY ideas and way less pessimism. Sorry for using the blog to rant!

71955 (220×390)

If you like the following DIY crafts, please check out my art on indiegogo. Every click helps my visibility on the page!

The above photo is a pretty easy to follow, but click the pic if you want to go to the link. Easy to make, though time consuming. This upcycled pop can tab lamp is super cool!

If you follow the link to this page, they have patterns for sale on how to make crafts out of old tin cans. Some of their things are pretty cool, like steampunk lazer guns and durgibles. These are pretty simple and you can get the design for them for free on google under homemade lampswitch covers.

Once again, the picture says a thousand words. You can get these paper lamps in china town for pretty cheap, and if you’ve ever wanted a HUGE (or a small) disco ball to adorn your home, well, do it up!

I’ve been eating WAY too much tuna recently because it seems I’m the only person in the world who’s still convinced that it’s not going to poison me (and if it does, well it was tasty and worth it). Wrap some fabric around the can and nail to the wall or suspend from string. Simple and elegant. You can also put small mirrors in the bottom of the can to make them shine brighter.

This lady went on a winery tour and wanted to imortalize the bottle. A great idea, very cool looking. You need a bottle and some Christmas lights.

For bubble chandeliers you need to spend a bit more money, the glass bulbs and rope aren’t cheap, but the effect is well worth it!

This is another updo of the chinese lamp. Using coffee filters, a glue gun and lots of patience, you can make a fluffy ball of happiness!

71955 (220×390)

Part of my pitch for this fundraising campaign is that step two is to get local and international artists to decorate and assemble the gears that I make, then throw a mixed media art show. If you would be interested in having gears sent to you, and potentially being exhibited in Montreal, send a comment on indiegogo, (because I can’t get email here!). I’ll add your art to my campaign, and do all I can to get your name out!