Well, after months of preparation and panic, my first Kickstarter project went live at 9am on October 2nd. In only a few hours it has already been Re-Tweeted, Facebooked, Tumbled and Favourited by so many of my friends and family and I could not be more grateful to each and every one of them. Not only that, it has actually received a LOT of pledges already! Which I can hardly believe.
I have been working on this Kickstarter presentation since about June, creating graphics, pledge reward ideas and researching printers/budget etc… I have also been an active member of Kickstarter since 2011 and in that time have funded over 30 projects (which, when you’re a starving artist yourself, is no mean feat). Believe me, I wish I could have helped out with more – I always manage to find some awesome projects on that site. I think one of the most terrifying things about a Kickstarter is that, if you fail, your project is stuck on the internet for the rest of time and for all to see; so I really did put the pressure on when creating this project.
The book itself is called Cirque Du Mort, I’ve actually spoken about it on here before but never really gone into much depth about it as I wanted to save a lot of that for the Kickstarter. Now you can see more about it on the Kickstarter page (including some fun and creepy little videos about it) here. I came up with the idea late in 2013 when I was doodling at a convention and started drawing some circus style character designs. Felicity and Mallory, the conjoined twins, who many of you may have seen on my Facebook Page, were the first ones to really inspire a story. Before I knew it these characters had personalities, histories and origins and I knew I wanted to show them to people.
The idea of the Cirque Du Mort actually came about after the first few characters had been written. Years ago I used to attend Summer School in the Sherman Theatre and for a few of the physical theatre pieces that we did we had to study clowning. I absolutely loved these classes, though at the time I’m sure I just found them quite surreal. During this time I created a nameless character who ended up following me into many of my future devised pieces of theatre, a blue haired clown who would eerily observe the behaviour on stage like some creepy MC. She personified calm confidence to me and maybe that’s one of the reasons I ended up dyeing my hair blue when I went to art school, as she had always been a part of my creative process.
In Cirque Du Mort, this nameless character has evolved into the Ringleader of the Circus of Death, and keeper of the unfortunate souls that reside within it. I guess it’s only appropriate that a character I have had haunting me since I started truly creating should be the ringmaster of my little book of creations.
The whole project has got me nervous and excited all at the same time as, despite being a work of fiction, there is still a lot of me in it stylistically. And, most importantly, it is my first ever book that is completely my own, so I am obviously quite anxious to know what people think.
If you’d like to follow the project, be sure to visit the Kickstarter Page where you can back the project or just simply watch it. I’m speechless by the amount of support it has already got from so many people and I only hope it does well enough that I can show everyone what I have been working on and introduce them to my morbid little band of characters.
Cirque Du Mort is an illustrated book of 10 horror stories revolving around a haunted circus. The book will be printed in colour with 24 pages, saddle stitching. Please check out the project page for more details. You can also follow the Cirque Du Mort Facebook Page here.