Well, at the last minute, I decided to get an old art campaign up and running again – this time as a Kickstarter campaign so that I could have a trial run and learn more about the process. Here is what I uploaded this morning. Since you can’t run two campaigns at once, I only had a limited amount of time, so the video was just taken from our old YouTube one, with slight modifications. I know it doesn’t explain the project that well, but hopefully the text does. Anyway, it reminds me that we have to make a great video for the book! Here is what I posted:
What makes this project fun and unique?
21 Paintings Around The World is unique because we need 21 people around the world to receive one of our paintings each, then send us a photo or short video of it, so that we can RE-CREATE the artwork in digital form for the public to see once again. So you can all become artists in our project! Very cool! And fun? Well, just look who’s running the show!!!
Elijah and Crumpet – World Famous YouTubers and Instagrammers
Elijah and Crumpet started their YouTube career just over a year ago. They have since grown their YouTube channel to over 1,000 subscribers and have over 4,000 followers on Instagram. There is Dad’s Blog on WordPress too. You may recognise them from TV (if you are in Australia) as they were on Channel Nine’s The Today Show recently!
Elijah loves making the shows and he often asks if we can do some filming. It’s been great for his development as we have been motivated to try new things out for the show. He has been using advanced memory techniques to learn foreign languages and his it has accelerated his reading ability. Through film-making, Elijah learns to stay on task, learn a script, play a role and act, all of which develop his mind and help provide the skills to allow him to live an independent and rewarding life. You can read more about the Elijah and Crumpet channel and see some of our 180 shows here (including this one when we met Hugh Jackman, thanks to The Today Show):
The Early Years
When Elijah was born, I (it’s me, Dad/Rob) knew very little about Down syndrome. There was a natural fear that our child would not be able to do things. Elijah has shown us that by working hard at things he can exceed expectations. It may take him longer to do what most people easily achieve, but he does this with a great sense of humour and positive spirit … well, sometimes he needs chocolate (don’t we all!)
Early on we attended a course on Social Role Valorisation (SRV). Briefly, from what I remember still, the main concept behind SRV is that we have to show our children in a positive light in society. We do this through roles. Society values certain roles, so if you have a job, you are valued as an employee or worker; if you can speak a foreign language, you are considered a clever linguist; or if you can play an instrument, you are a musician. Through his art, Elijah is seen as an emerging artist, so he has yet another valued role. He is able to learn the techniques required to paint with acrylic and through social media we can celebrate this with the world. The world therefore learns to see people living with disability in a more positive way.
21 Paintings Around The World – How the #NoSmallArtist idea came about
We love doing CRAZY things on our show. We think outside the box and aim to do things which have not been done before. It’s all about being memorable and giving viewers a ‘WOW!’ moment which stays with them.
We started with the #NoSmallArtist hashtag because we wanted to inspire and motivate both kids and adults to get painting! We were already part of the #NoSmallCreator YouTube group for creators just starting out. The ability to create art is in all of us and, fortunately, there are many styles and techniques which cater for all levels. Abstract art is the most obvious one which allows absolute beginners to produce something meaningful. Art is as much the thought process as the physical painting, which lends itself to beginners. We just have to get started, which is a barrier to many. Hopefully seeing Elijah and Crumpet getting stuck into the creative process encourages others to do the same.
The idea for this 21 Paintings project came up because we wanted to link up with families connected to Down syndrome around the world. (21 is significant because the medical name for Down syndrome is Trisomy 21, since there is a third copy of the 21st chromosome.) The only problem was that back then our channel was quite small, so while there was interest, there was not enough for all 21 paintings, so we postponed the project. (The video above was actually adapted from one of our original videos!)
Below is ‘4 Corners of the World’, which is a smaller version of the 21 Paintings project. This was also put on hold until we had more viewers. It shows the concept well, though. We position the canvases together and then Elijah paints on them, as one complete painting. We then split up the artwork into the 4 pieces and send these to participants around the world.
When they receive the painting, they take photos or make a short video (on their phone or camera) about the painting’s new home. They can add something about themselves as well, if they like, or about the town they live in. This gets sent back to us and we splice all 4 videos back together to make a digital piece of art. Art which will never physically be together ever again (most probably!), but which exists as a public piece of art forever. The owners feel a bond with the other 3 owners, so it’s a pretty cool concept.
When we started work on our Elijah and Crumpet Children’s Book (which is itself a Kickstarter campaign starting on 28th October – please make sure you visit then!), we considered self-publishing and crowdfunding. After learning about Kickstarter, we started setting up the campaign for the book.
Then just last night (3rd October), I remembered the unfinished 21 Paintings project. From being a novice creator on YouTube I knew that just getting stuck in and starting something, you learn the fastest. So I thought it would be a good idea to run this campaign first, for just 21 days during World Down Syndrome Awareness Month, so that I could promote it and also gather attention for the book project. “Create a mailing list”, as all the podcasts seem to advise! So although I am not giving myself 3 months to prepare, it will be fun and it will be something of a talking point if I can get the campaign prepared in just over a day! Here goes!
The cost of sending the paintings around the world, plus the materials, is about $100 Australian, so we are asking backers for that amount if they want to receive the painting. Otherwise, smaller contributions will go towards painting equipment and materials for this and future projects.
When we first asked our viewers who was interested in the project, we learned that a few people could not afford to pay for the postage (such as one lady in India who said that they needed their spare cash to afford medical expenses for their child). So to include them, we had the idea of having sponsorships … hence the ART SPONSOR rewards which will allow us to donate paintings to 4 backers. These backers will be chosen from people who respond and ask to be put on the mailing list for the project. Dad’s choice is final and it will depend on factors such as the country, how many other people we have in that same country, plus the story of the participant. If we do not get enough, we will offer it to those people who have contributed as MATERIAL(s) SUPPORTERS, choosing someone at random.
Thank you for supporting us. Let’s do this!
With best wishes from Elijah, Crumpet … and DAD 🙂
Risks and challenges
All the materials have been purchased. The only risk is that we get sick and can’t do the work. Otherwise we have a track record of getting things done, as you can see from our YouTube channel growth. If for some reason we don’t get the funding, we will relaunch at a later date.
You can visit the Kickstarter Page here:
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