Bon Voyage to Our Spring/Summer 2018 Creators-in-Residence

This spring, we welcomed sixteen creators to our Brooklyn HQ as part of our Creators-in-Residence program. The residents settled into their desks in May, and immediately got to work. They participated in weekly peer-to-peer roundtables and workshops focused on best practices for promoting projects, engaging with Drip subscribers, and using Kickstarter Live. They also launched campaigns and created work with guidance from Kickstarter staff.

Here’s a look at what they got up to during their three-month stay:

Creators-in-Residence Adi Slepack and Liz Roche fulfilling their tabletop game, Someone Has Died.
Creators-in-Residence Adi Slepack and Liz Roche fulfilling their tabletop game, Someone Has Died.

They launched and fulfilled Kickstarter projects. 

Eight residents launched Kickstarter campaigns, and all were successfully funded with the help of 1,690 backers. Residents Jenn de la Vega and Fran Wilde also launched on Drip.

  • Maëlle Doliveux of Beehive Books funded a large-format hardcover art book collecting the works of the definitive early 20th-century illustrator and cartoonist Harrison Cady. 
  • Raja Feather Kelly + the feath3r theory held a 24-hour “Tele-Gala-Thon,” which raised funds for the company’s upcoming season. 
  • Jennifer and Kevin McCoy funded Cleaner, the second project in a trilogy of experimental art films about contemporary architecture, class, and economic precarity. 
  • Azikiwe Mohammed funded a project to create enamel pins that let people know where you stand. 
  • Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell funded the second season of The Eyeslicer, a DIY variety series Indiewire called “one of the craziest TV shows you’ll ever see.” 
  • Jenn de la Vega funded the return of a show all about cheese. 
  • Fran Wilde funded a series of sketches of the creatures in her head.

Creators Liz Roche and Adi Slepack of Gather Round Games hosted a fulfillment party for their Kickstarter-funded game, Someone Has Died. They prepared and shipped more than 700 bundles, each containing three postcards, in one day. 

Creators-in-Residence Jennifer and Kevin McCoy filming CLEANER in the library.
Creators-in-Residence Jennifer and Kevin McCoy filming CLEANER in the library.

They used the Kickstarter office in creative ways. 

Throughout the summer, creators-in-residence used the Kickstarter theater, recording studio, meeting rooms, and kitchen to their full potential.

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy choreographed and shot an entire dance film throughout our library, conference rooms, and theater. Visitors snacked on culinary treats while watching “nacho porn” at Jenn de la Vega’s Drip launch party. Raja Feather Kelly held Tele-Gala-A-Thon, a 24-hour live-streaming campaign that concluded with a dance performance in the kitchen. Dan Schoenbrun and Vanessa McDonnell transformed our library into a haunted house to film their Halloween special. Julia Kwamya presented a staged reading of Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage which was the inspiration for her debut album. Fran Wilde collaborated with Margot Atwell, Kickstarter’s Director of Publishing, to curate a night of poetry readings.

Creator-in-Residence Julia Kwamya and the cast of Intimate Apparel
Creator-in-Residence Julia Kwamya and the cast of Intimate Apparel

They took risks. 

Embarking on a new creative venture always includes an element of risk. Artists Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, musician Julia Kwamya, and writer Fran Wilde launched their first-ever Kickstarter campaigns. Artist and illustrator Maëlle Doliveux started working on her first book project.

Food creator Jenn de la Vega boldly quit her day job, let go of her personal website, and decided to pursue her culinary interests full-time with the support of her Drip subscribers. “Through the residency, I learned how I was going to make this kind of creative life happen,” Jenn told us. “I went in not knowing what my day to day would be like after leaving a cushy tech job. Now I’m excited to have ongoing projects that will propel me forward.”

Creator-in-Residence Maëlle Doliveux working on her book project, with her dog Leeloo looking on.
Creator-in-Residence Maëlle Doliveux working on her book project, with her dog Leeloo looking on.

They learned from each other. 

During the residency, creators met once a week to share work and feedback. They watched each other’s projects come to life, from the earliest brainstorming stages to the launch and completion of a campaign.

“I loved that everyone came from a different category,” Maëlle Doliveux said. “It expanded our horizons in terms of what we could do within our own categories. There was a lot of cross-pollination happening.”

Adi Slepack agreed: “I learned that everyone across many disciplines feels anxiety around the same parts of the creative process. Kickstarter [projects] are stressful for everyone!” 

They became friends and collaborators.

Collaborations began naturally within the first week of the residency, with chef Jenn da la Vega, illustrator Maëlle Doliveux, and science fiction writer Fran Wilde coming up with the idea for a sci-fi comic cookbook. Artist Azikiwe Mohammed teamed up with fellow Drip creators Sean J. Patrick Carney and Darcie Wilder to record a podcast in our recording studio (you can listen to it here).

“Honestly, just hearing about the other residents’ processes was consistently the most fascinating and inspiring part of the week,” resident and Drip creator Mike Rugnetta told us.

We can’t wait to see what amazing things they’ll do next.

The Kickstarter Blog