I’ve always had a passion for illustration and the magic of bringing ideas from my imagination to life with drawing and painting. The crafty sloth concept came about during a session of doodling spent watching a David Attenborough documentary. The sloth is, without doubt, a majestic animal, which relaxes high in the canopy, nibbling fruit and generally enjoying life; all things I can relate to and admire. So, I set about sketching cartoon impressions of sloths enjoying themselves doing some crafty activities. I showed these to friends and family and they loved them.
This inspired me to set up a Kickstarter, to see if other people also thought my crafty sloths were cute. I’d never done this before but found the concept of people voting creations into existence as real-world products, really exciting. So, I whipped together a Kickstart page, not knowing what to expect. Would anyone want to buy my work? Is it only me that thinks this is cool? Were my friends and family lying to me? I was about to find out.
I saw that people like to buy artwork in the form of inexpensive enamel pins and stickers, so I set up my Kickstarter experiment offering these options. I had three crafty sloth designs and set stretch goals which would unlock each of these after a certain funding threshold was reached. My expectations going into the Kickstarter were minimal and I really didn’t expect the positive reception that I got for my work. Within 2 weeks my first stretch goal was smashed.
I was very excited and looked forward to seeing the other two stretch goals falling in quick succession, but funding tailed off after the first goal was reached. I’m not sure whether more aggressive marketing might have brought more eyeballs to my Kickstarter page and given me more sales but all in all I was pleasantly surprised with the modest success I enjoyed. It really wasn’t just me, my friends weren’t lying, I created something other people also thought was cute and wanted to buy it.
I think the main thing I’ve learned from my Kickstarter experience, is to just give it a go. If you think you’ve got a cool idea and want to bring it to life, Kickstarter is a great way to realise your vision and bring it into being. I would definitely do it again. In fact, I did give kickstarter another go a few months later in order to fund production of the crocheting sloth design, thereby completing the crafty sloth family! Since the success of the kickstarter campaigns, I’ve also expanded the crafty sloths into cute vinyl stickers, perfect to stick on your laptop, as well as a crafty sloth to do list for all your crafty project lists!