PART 1 – Exhibition

The purpose of this assignment was to learn about what it takes to get a project out into the world.

Key words from the brief:

  • Organise an appropriate exhibition and/or publication
  • Show the work you’ve produced to a wider audience
  • ‘Exhibition’ is used in its broadest sense
  • Whatever gets your work out into the world


My final project was a 52-page full colour graphic novel that was print-ready as part of Assignment 4 – Project realisation & presentation. The challenge was how to get it published and out into the world.

I’d learned through my self publishing research, that there were a number of options open to a first time publisher that ranged from traditional publishing through to self-publishing and digital distribution.

My research had highlighted four important keys to success:

  1. Good content
  2. Good distribution
  3. Good marketing
  4. Finding a niche

I believed that ‘Broken’ had good content and the subject and theme of the book had a focused niche audience.

What I didn’t have was an obvious way to distribute and market the book.

That is, until I was advised to look at Kickstarter.

Why Kickstarter?

Kickstarter is an American crowd funding platform. Their website has the following mission statement: To help bring creative projects to life. (Kickstarter, 2023)

Everything about running a Kickstarter campaign seemed to fit with what I was looking for.

It would allow me to:

  • Raise the funds needed to pay for printing and distribution and save me the risk of spending my own money
  • Generate a pre-order list of backers
  • Prove the market with customers prepared to back the project without seeing a physical copy of the product
  • Build a list of contacts to build on with future projects
  • Give me a tried and tested framework to follow

The big risk was that if the campaign failed to meet it’s funding goal, all pledges would be returned to backers and the project would fail.

To me, that would still be a valuable outcome; I would learn a huge amount through creating and managing a campaign that would allow me improve on my next project.


After reading Kickstarter UK Handbook (Tresca, 2014), I created a backlog of work to be done:

Fig 1 – Backlog of work items (2023)

This was prioritised and planned.


What happened

I worked through the backlog items in order of priority.

Creating the campaign assets

The design and production of campaign assets including the Kickstarter pages, portfolio website, social media posts and banners and marketing emails are described in PART 2 – Project marketing and self promotion.

Campaign plan

The campaign plan was derived from best practice discovered during research and requirements in my marketing plan.


Key activities:

  • Create contact lists for each stakeholder group (see Target audiences)
  • Create email templates
  • Create social media posts
  • Make final updates to Kickstarter campaign page and personal websites

Running the campaign

Campaign launch

The campaign launched on 22/05/23, and was set for a period of 21-days. This simply involved clicking a button to make the page public.

The campaign Kickstarter home page is here:

The aim of the launch activity was to create as much activity and interest on the page in the first two days in the hope that it got noticed and promoted by the Kickstarter algorithm.

I did this by:

  • Sending out personalised emails to family, friends and other close contacts
  • A bulk email to my contact list
  • A bulk email to fellow OCA Illustration students
  • Posting information and links to the campaign on Instagram and LinkedIn.
Fig 2 – Kickstarter screenshot from day 3 of the campaign (2023)

By the end of day 2, the campaign was fully funded.

It is currently Day 6 of the campaign and activity has died down considerably.

Fig 3 – Screenshot from Kickstarter project dashboard showing campaign status (2023)

Next steps include:

  • Maintaining interest and momentum
  • Thanking backers for their support
  • Nudging potential backers via email and social media
  • Introduce a stretch goal
  • Send press release type email to bloggers/journalists
  • Contact the printers to schedule printing

Post campaign

At time of writing the campaign has a further two-weeks to run and the exact plan for what happens post campaign will depend on how many backers there are, and what rewards they’ve backed. For example, if the numbers are high enough, there could be a requirement to run off a second edition of silkscreen prints.

Current planned post campaign activities include:

  • Maintain and develop the relationship with backers
  • Continue to identify ways to market the book and identify new opportunities
  • Consider whether to approach indie publishers

What I learned (to date)

  • The highest tier reward which included commissioning me to do a portrait of their choice, sold out in the first day (there were three on offer). This raised the bulk of the funding towards the initial goal. I conclude from this that portrait commissions are a viable product for me to offer.
  • Building a social media platform is really important.
  • There is a lot of activity around the launch and I had to push contacting bloggers back. I could have been more organised with my blogger research.

What I’ll do next

  • Continue to follow the campaign plan and create as many backers as possible before the campaign closes
  • Plan for post campaign fulfilment



Kickstarter (2023) Mission statement [Webpage] At:,bring%20creative%20projects%20to%20life (Accessed: 29/05/23)

Tresca, S (2014) Kickstarter UK Handbook UK: Seahorse Press

List of illustrations

Figure 1 – Hadfield, H (2023) Backlog of work items [Miro screenshot] In possession of: The author

Figure 2 – Kickstarter (2023) Broken campaign page [Web page] At: (Accessed: 29/05/23)

Figure 3 – Kickstarter (2023) Screenshot from Kickstarter project dashboard showing campaign status [Web page] At: (Access requires login)

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