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Crowdfunding Creativity: Pilot scheme launches creative projects

Published: 19 Sep 2018

Crowdfunding

An audio picture book, a pocket-sized family board game, fashion collections, a new wellie boot brand and an artist-run gallery space are receiving support to embark on a crowdfunding campaign, thanks to a pilot mentoring and match-funding scheme run by Creative Scotland in partnership with Paved with Gold.

The Crowdfunding Creativity programme aims to provide people working in the creative industries in Scotland with the skills and knowledge to develop their own successful crowdfunding campaigns.

The creatives will gain key skills to help support their creative practice through a bespoke series of workshops and one-to-one sessions delivered by Paved with Gold. Once they have raised the first 75% of their budget via crowdfunding they will then receive match funding of up to 25% for their total project costs from Creative Scotland.

Clive Gillman, Director of Creative Industries at Creative Scotland commented: “Scotland’s creative sector has always been smart at finding ways to get their work seen and supported.

As new ways emerge to reach your audience and build your community, crowdfunding is becoming a viable way to generate the early-days boost that projects need to get up and running.  We’re pleased to not only be offering to support these projects financially, but also to be building knowledge, skills and appetite within the sector through mentoring and training.”

Kaye Symington, Co-Founder, Paved with Gold commented: “We are delighted to be working with Creative Scotland. Helping creatives gain a deeper understanding of crowdfunding alongside giving them the tools to launch their own campaigns is something we’re hugely passionate about.”

About the projects

Textile designer Mairi Helena Wilks intends to collaborate with fellow independent Scottish design labels to produce a limited-edition capsule collection of bespoke garments. Mairi Helena is a luxury textile design label based in Edinburgh creating contemporary Scottish fabrics and wallpapers for interiors as well as fashion accessories. Wilks plans to develop her practice by manufacturing garment pieces within her limited-edition capsule collection in a range of her printed fabrics.

Mairi Helena Wilks, commented: “This project will open up a new exciting venture to my business expanding from interiors into fashion and exploring the possibilities of my print designs within clothing.  Working collaboratively with like-minded quality Scottish brands is something I've always been very passionate about and I look forward to the new connections, products and developments to my business that taking part in this project will result in.”

Creative Entrepreneur David Smith, Creative Marketeer Michael Nicholson and Shoe Designer Robert McCaffery intend to launch a new welly boot brand. Continuing their Scotland Makes Wellies initiative,  they plan on launching the initial run of their product in a crowdfunding campaign at the start of 2019.

Glasgow School of Art Graduate, fashion and shoe designer Robert McCaffrey commented: “For the last two years, we’ve been developing the idea for a business to make wellies in Scotland again. Scotland, specifically Dumfries, used to make some of the best wellies in the world and there is still some significant latent rubber expertise in the town.  Our research suggests there is a gap in the market for a new rubber footwear product, somewhere between a sneaker and welly, which will fulfil the values and aspiration of our potential customers. Crowdfunding is the ideal platform for launching our product, engaging a supportive community, finding our first customers and beginning to establish our brand.”

Crowdfunding

SÒLAS creates sleepwear combining contemporary shapes and custom prints using high-quality fabrics. A collaboration between Glasgow based Ruth Mitchell and Ciorstaidh Monk that merges their complementary aesthetics, skills in fashion design, print and photography, SÒLAS launched on social media in November 2017 and has been building momentum ever since.  The crowdfunding campaign will enable the brand to build on their already growing customer base and fund their next collection of samples.

Mitchell and Monk commented: “We began by selling sleep masks via Instagram and have been growing our audience base ever since.  We’ve since expanded to pop-up shops Scotland wide and excusive selling events like Scotland Re:Designed and Local Heroes. After a period of sampling and gaining customer feedback, the brand is now ready to expand. Keeping quality high we aim to increase the print run to make our prices more affordable resulting in young Scottish design being more accessible.”

Creative Inverness plan to establish an artist-run gallery space and graduate studio in Inverness. An inclusive space aiming to support emergent artists, as well as the wider rural arts community of the Highlands by providing access to new contemporary visual arts.

Creative Inverness Producer, Kirsten Body commented: “We will offer flexible studio space to new graduates as well as a programme of mentoring, social meet-ups, talks and exhibitions; becoming the central hub for support and dialogue within the studio complex.  We want to fundraise to cover rental overheads, along with some programming and set up costs including a website.”

Edinburgh based music composer, arranger and sound designer Terry Peng intends to market an audio picture book project titled Lillian. Instead of written words, each illustration is accompanied by a piece of music created by a designated composer. The composition is inspired by the illustration as well as drawing inspiration from the composition of previous page to create the sense of continuity.

Crowdfunding

The project will be presented as a concept album accompanied by a picture book. The project was first conceptualised in early 2014, and started to take its form later that year, when Hina Fujimoto became the project's leading artist. She was then joined by a group of talented composers including Yupo Chen; Shuzhen Chan, Josh Sabin, Luci Holland, Jacob Pernell and Stuart Hosking.

Terry Peng commented: “The project was created in an attempt to explore the relationships between imagery and music; how they translate to each other in order to tell a story. The crowdfunding will predominantly serve as a pre-order system to the finishing product, but there are also rewards for the higher tier backers such as original manuscript for the compositions, concept arts for the characters, tickets to special live performance as well as some limited merchandises like Tote bags and t-shirt. This crowd funding campaign will help me connect like-minded artists, composer and potential buyers”

Tom Sudall intends to manufacture and distribute a hand-crafted pocket size board game called Squirrel marketed at young audiences and families. Based in Biggar, South Lanarkshire, Sudall is an artist and musician who currently operates under the name Format 15. Sudall intends to fundraise to cover the cost of manufacturing a batch of at least 150 copies of Squirrel.

Tom Sudall, said: “In the past I have promoted countless small-scale music, art and gaming events from gigs and exhibitions to children's art workshops and board game playtesting sessions. This has given me an appreciation of the need to reinforce publicity with a combination of approaches.  I hope this campaign will help to build my reputation as a game designer and artist and will give me a platform from which to launch and promote further games and related products like game making workshops.”

Paper Houses Design is a textiles lifestyle brand, influenced by mid-century modern design, Scandi-style and geometrics, and run by textiles designer Mhairi Allan.  Stonehaven based Allan intends to launch and market her first batch-produced collection of textile products.  Rewards for contributors include items from the collection.

Mhairi Allan commented: “With this crowdfunding project I will fund the production and marketing of my first collection. Product production, photography, videography, packaging, ads (Facebook and Instagram), influencers and a catalogue will make this collection ready to take to buyers and sell directly to customers online. Backers will be taken on the journey of the collection and feel part of it.”