An article about a failed Kickstarter project caught my attention this week. For reference, Kickstarter is a web site where creative projects are funded by everyday people. Artists (and other creative sorts) put information about their project on the site and anyone can contribute. Since most projects will accept donations as low a $1, it is possible to be a ‘supporter of the arts’ even if you don’t have a trust fund.
The project was a digital printer. The creator was asking for $150,000 and received almost $500,000. Then his project failed. The prototype didn’t work.
There were more details that contributed to skepticism about how the money was used, but it made me think about the fact that art, creative processes, by their very nature are prone to fail. Creativity is about taking risk, trying something new, giving a new perspective. If it’s been done before and you have guaranteed results, it’s manufacturing.
I have funded projects on Kickstarter and I would not be surprised if any of them failed. I’m not looking for a guarantee when I contribute, I’m looking to give someone willing to take a risk a little boost, a chance, to try and possibly fail.
I’m still plugging away on my novel. (Possibly only two chapters to go!!. . .on the first draft). There hasn’t been much money invested (yet), but there has definitely been a time investment. I’m not sure of the actual odds, but I plan to throw it in the ring with the approximately 10 million books that are published every year. (But that covers all categories). There is a chance that me, 20 of my friends and a few strangers will be the only ones to ever read it. And if that’s the case, fine. Writing it was a huge learning experience. It was definitely not time wasted.
So, that is my message for today, Art fails, often. But it’s never really a failure, it’s a lesson. I hope the digital printer guy picks up the pieces of his failed project and puts his creative mind to work and makes something even more revolutionary. . .I’d fund it.