Crowdfunding Archives - J Sayuri Zines + Animal Brain Art + ASMR Videos

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  • Holiday Comic Card 2015 and How You Can Help

    Support the comic book arts and chip in! HERE

    Don’t you just love snail mail?

    Well great, because it’s that time of year when YOU can support me to send YOU and YOUR a mini holiday comic book card. If you are wondering what the hell a holiday comic card is, please see my comic card from last year.

    Donate whatever you can! $5, $10, $50 – IT’S ALL GOOD. I’m trying to raise $300 to cover all printing and production costs associated with getting this autobiographical comic out to one hundred of my closest friends, family, and fans.

    J Sayuri GoFundMe Campaign for Holiday Comic Book Card
    Love you love you and thanks for all the support <3



  • Lady Brains in San Francisco: Great Success!

    A big thank you to all our friends, family, and supportive strangers who helped the ladies of Come Find Out, Anjelica Colliard and Krusty Wheatfield, raise the big bucks to renovate our humble art studio during our fundraising campaign, 20 Days of Brains.

    Hell yea, we raised $275.

    Celebration Dance

    When my collaborator, Anjelica and I rolled up on the Embarcadero BART station in San Francisco last week, we bumped into my friend, Namtak, who was giving rickshaw rides to tourists in the city.  Happily he agreed to take us and all our wares to the venue. I felt like this was a good omen for the rest of the night.

    Sayuri and Anjelica at The Grand Newsstand

    We were laughing hysterically the whole bike ride because, damn, what an amazing and spontaneous way to arrive at our weird little art event.

    J Sayuri and Come Find Out's setup in San Francisco

    From there, it was a wild setup process which included opening up the newsstand, setting up the shelves, displaying brains on a separate display stand, and drinking secret art show wine. By the end of the night we had a pretty sweet setup with Come Find Out’s zines, including their newest, LOCO (Ladies Only Comics Only), my Animal Brains, Courtney Riddle’s zine machine, my new eyeball earrings (which will be on Etsy next week), Anjelica’s buttons and shrinky-dink earrings, and tarot readings by occult tarot queen, Alese Osborn.

    Watercolor Animal Brain Art Prints in San Francisco
    Now that we’ve raised the money, we’ve gotta put it to good use and reinvest in ourselves! We now have the financial means to finally hunker down and work on our art studio advancements, purchase a new ink drum for our risograph to create some wicked new art work. Dolla dolla bills y’all.


  • 20 Day of Brains, Zine Dames, and a Little Bit of CHANGE

    Art for Artists, Scientists, and Feminists

    By happy coincidence, my fellow female collaborators and I both finished two separate, laborious projects at the same time: Come Fine Out‘s newest zine LOCO (Ladies Only Comics Only) and my creating 20 more watercolor illustrations to add to my Animal Brain illustration series.

    We saw an opportunity in releasing our work together with the collaborative feminist spirit of LOCO by embarking on a 20-day fundraising campaign, which we have lovingly named 20 Days of Brains.  Through this fundraising event that is both creative and entrepreneurial, we hope to show our work to the world in a way that is inclusive and enlightening.

    Animal Brain art - Tasmaninan Devil

    Here are the details of our 20 Days of Brains event:

    Who: The founders of Come Find Out, Anjelica Colliard and Krusty Wheatfield and myself
    When: Wednesday, October 7 – Tuesday, October 27
    Where: Mainly my Etsy shop – InnerStellarArt, but join the event on Facebook,  Google+, and check out our progress on Instagram.
    What: $5 of every Etsy order including an Animal Brain print will go directly to CFO.

    We need 100 of these.

    We need 100 of these.

    Why:  By raising the funds to reinvest in ourselves, we challenge sexism on many levels through a well coordinated and powerful action that is both creative and entrepreneurial.

    All raised funds will be directed towards:

    –  Renovating the independent print studio, Lemon Drop Press
    – Purchasing a new ink drum and printing supplies
    – Supporting other like-minded local businesses

    I want to share this letter from the LOCO editor, Krusty Wheatfield, because it’s such a goofy and poignant introduction to the zine and summarizes a lot of my sentiments about art, feminism, and collaboration to empower all people.

    Krusty Wheatfield's Introduction to LOCO Page 1Krusty Wheatfield's LOCO Introduction Krusty Wheatfield's Introduction to LOCO

    Make sure to support this wicked zine by purchasing it on the Lemon Drop Press Etsy page or purchasing an Animal Brain print between now and October 27.

    Let’s crush it, ladiez.

    Crush it Darla.

    Share this event with friends who are interested neuroscience, comics, feminism, zines, self-publishing, art or any of the above!

  • 9 Tips Before Launching Your Crowdfunding Campaign

    If you’re anything like me, you’re probably stressing out because you know your precious creative projects need funding to evolve.

    Unfortunately, we should be worried. Creative content and their producers are being undervalued more than ever as the Internet has ushered in a new mindset of consuming free content. But don’t let that scare you too much because just as the Internet has decimated some business models, it has also opened opportunities for growth through crowdfunding platforms like GoFundMe, IndieGoGo, Kickstarter, and Patreon.
    GoFundMe Crowd-Funding LogoPatreon Crowd-Funding LogoIndiegogo Crowd-Funding Logo
    Kickstarter Crowd-Funding Logo

    The concept of digital micro-funding platforms is relatively new so please read on if you are interested in starting a crowdfunding campaign!  I recently launched a crowdfunding project for The Musical Meldoyians on Patreon and realized that I’ve launched and managed other crowdfunding campaigns in the past.  I will not get into the specifics of how these crowd-funding platforms differ. Instead, I will share some universal strategies that I’ve learned in managing both successful and unsuccessful crowdfunding campaigns. Read on for 9 essential strategies before you start your campaign.

    1. Go Forth With Passion

    Cheesy, perhaps, but definitely important.  A strong connection to your work and an emotional investment in the success of your work will always be apparent. Disinterest and passivity will get you nowhere.

    When you meet someone who is completely invested and passionate about what they do, you can feel it. Their energy is infectious. You want to be this person to effectively communicate your message and grow your crowdfunding campaign

    So before you read on, ask yourself this: Am I passionate, right now, about my project? If your answer is no, then find another list on the Internet.  If you’re not passionate about your project then why should anyone else be?

    Recent polls show that people don’t fund things they’re lukewarm about. Duh.

    2. Take Your Time

    It’s easy to get caught up in the idea of how awesome your project might be without actually having anything developed or made. Some of my projects have failed because thinking about funding and structure distracted me from making work. Make sure that before you start your crowdfunding campaign you are dedicating some time everyday to making something, anything, for your project. Consistency will get you farther in the long run. Let us not forget the Tale of the Tortoise and the Hare.

    It’s a big commitment to manage a crowdfunding campaign, which is why I recommend that creators take the time to fully develop their concept and back it up with content.  Make stuff first, then try to make money.

    3. Stay Grounded

    You don’t grow a tree overnight. Same goes for crowd-funding. If you have the expectation to launch your campaign, sit back, and watch the money roll in, then prepare for utter disappointment.

    Anne Hathaway is disappointed at the performance of her Kickstarter
    Be realistic, don’t be Anne Hathaway.  You’re going to have to nurture your campaign with fresh content, constant positivity, and a calm demeanor because chances are you’re going to hit some roadblocks.

    Before you start a campaign, get into the habit of taking care of your mental health everyday.  I recommend meditating for at least 10 minutes a day. UCLA provides great archive of free guided meditations. Meditation has helped me stay grounded and manage my stress. Self-awareness is a virtue especially when asking for money for your projects.  You’ll be adding a lot more stress to your life when you add crowdfunding into the mix. Meditation helps. Trust me on this one.

    4.  Visualize your Goals

    Once you have taken time to develop your project sans funding, you will have a better understanding of your goals and the steps to get there.  Crowdfunding platforms have many ways for you to visualize goals, for example Patreon has ‘milestone goals’. Visualizing your goals with a vision board can help create the framework for you to attain them.

    I experienced the benefits of this technique about two years ago when I made a simple digital vision board of short-term goals for the Musical Melodyians transmedia project.

    Musical Melodyian Short Term Goals
    Since I created this, my collaborator and I have largely stuck to this road map and have realized many of our goals like creating the Melodyian videos, new music, and publishing Melodyian comics.

    5.  Do (a Little Bit of) Math

    I’m no mathematician, but I am capable of simple algebra.

    Before launching a crowdfunding campaign, make sure to calculate how much funding you’ll need for a specific project. For example, I recently needed to calculate how much money I needed to produce my 12″ x 12″ prints of my Animal Brain prints.  My calculations went something like this:

    • It costs $5 / print and I need to print 100 prints. $5/print x 100 prints = $500

    In the process of figuring out the numbers, it is also important to make a distinction between what you want and what you need. Always strive for the latter. What can you do without? What are ways you can stretch your funding dollars? What are realistic financial goals to set?

    Ultimately, I realized that I didn’t need 100 prints, 32 would be fine so that I could have doubles of each of the 16 Animal Brain illustration. This ended up only costing me $160 rather than the $500. $340 difference, not bad.

    Work on the numbers now so that when you launch your campaign, you won’t be overwhelmed when the money starts rolling in from the skies.

    The Simpsons' succesful crowdfunding campaign
    6. Research Research Research

    Whichever crowdfunding platform you end up choosing for your campaign, remember this: the success of Patreon, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, GoFundMe depends on your success. These platforms want to support you to fund your projects because, obviously, they take a small cut.

    This is why there is a lot of documentation in the form of infographics, videos, and articles (like this one) about crowdfunding best practices.

    Here’s a nice little list of each crowdfunding platform’s best practices:

    •• Patreon Best Practices for Creators ••
    •• Kickstarter Best Practices for Creators ••
    •• IndiegogoBest Practices for Creators ••
    •• GoFundMe Best Practices for Creators ••

    Lists within lists, so meta.

    7. Stockpile your Work

    I went to the Festival of Books recently at USC and met artist, Jason Brubaker, who raised the funds on Kickstarter to print his graphic novel ReMIND: Volume 1 and ReMIND: Volume 2. I picked up his newest book, Unnatural Talent: Creating, Printing, and Selling Your Comic in the Digital Age.

    Jason Brubaker's book
    In one of his chapters, Brubaker writes a simple but important tip: create a surplus of your work so that you don’t have to worry about making ‘fresh’ content.  People will be more inclined to support your Patreon or Kickstarter or Indiegogo when they see that you are consistently publishing new work regardless if you are making videos, writing or illustrating.

    So get started now! Start putting some work together. (I worked on the Musical Melodyian graphic novel for three years before I decided to start publishing pages on the website a few months ago.)

    8. Get Comfortable with Communication

    Don't Be Like Homer
    Hey you! Yeah you! Put down your smartphones because yes, you will probably have to talk to people in real life to get real-life funding. Communication is key to any successful campaign and the more you go to conventions, meetups, and forums, the more practice you will have.

    My first comic convention was BentCon, where I was a panelist. Only about 10 people showed up and I’m pretty sure 90% of them were either friends or family of the panelists. Whatever. It was a great convention. Moreover, it was excellent practice to speak intelligently about my work and creative process.

    If you are not already comfortable with your pitch, practice until you are. If you haven’t even made one, do it! If you’re shy about talking to people, then get over it.  No one has time for a sulky, shy wallflower  — especially on the Internet.

    9. Reach out to Old Contacts

    Great! So you are going to conventions and meetups! Make sure to exchange information and touch base with the people who you spent some time talking with. Make sure to followup every now and again so that they remember you.

    People don’t like to get requests for money from strangers, so don’t be a stranger! Before you launch your crowdfunding campaign, make sure to reconnect with old contacts with a phone call, text or email. Give them a little update about your projects and check in. People appreciate that.

    You never know who will be your next fund-er so reconnect and say hi!

    Be Friendly to Potential Donors
    If you find this blog article useful and are thinking about starting a crowdfunding campaign, please share with your friends and leave a comment in the box below.

    Check out my crowdfunding campaign on Patreon for The Musical Melodyians and support if you can!

    Stay weird friends and happy funding!