Published: Jan 27, 2012
Entrepreneurship runs deep with many students. In some ways, it's an essential part of who they are as artists. Taking chances at something that's never been done and seeing what comes of it is what drives many artists and designers. It's no surprise then that so many SCAD students are using the crowd-funded project site Kickstarter, and have for some time.
While still in its first year, forward-thinking students and staff pitched their projects on Kickstarter to see if they could turn their ideas into finished products. Many were successful. Forest McMullin, an Atlanta photography professor, started the SCAD-curated page
on Kickstarter in 2010. The page features the projects of SCAD students, professors, alumni and staff.
To encourage students to use this resource, academic departments are integrating Kickstarter in the classroom and soon will begin workshops on starting Kickstarter projects.
"My project was created as an offshoot from an industrial design elective called Industrial Design Innovation taught by Jesus Rojas," said B.F.A. industrial design
student David Markus. "The class was designed around the idea of creating a project especially for Kickstarter."
Markus' project, Ferrite, is an interactive cylindrical sculpture made of machined aluminum and glass, which holds ferrofluid, a unique material made of ferromagnetic properties. Markus' project has until Feb. 3 to reach its goal, but he won't have to wait that long. He's already surpassed the $30,000 he asked for some time ago and has $41,785 as of this writing.
"Blogs and social media were paramount in spreading awareness and ultimately raising funds. Once the project was posted on major tech blogs like Gizmodo, TechCrunch, DVICE and Geekologie, funding for the project literally doubled overnight," said Markus. After Charles Adler, co-founder of Kickstarter, spoke at SCAD last year, John Lowe, dean of the School of Communication Arts
and Josh Lind, creative director of the Collaborative Learning Center
, traveled to meet him in New York. Together they worked on a workshop idea for SCAD students. Later this quarter a workshop will be held to explain the best ways to start a Kickstarter project. Adler or another member of the Kickstarter staff will attend the workshop.
"I think nearly every major can benefit from crowd funding, and successful projects are great learning experiences and résumé builders. There are some key tricks to starting a successful project, so I think workshops would be extremely helpful," said Markus.
Kickstarter's broad appeal to many majors is one of the points Lowe stressed, as well was those majors working together to make the project happen. The graphic novel project "Dust Bunny" by SCAD alumnus Brett Brooks has a video made with the help of film and television
students because he made connections with other departments while in school. The types of projects that are successfully funded run the gamut from industrial design and graphic novels to fashion collections and documentaries about California state parks. Visit kickstarter.com/scad
to see other SCAD community projects and attend a Kickstarter workshop or class to get help starting your own.