With the winter months setting in, Nick thinks back on where he’s been and where he’s headed in the coming months.
You can listen to the episode here (or wherever you listen to podcasts) or read the transcript below:
Nick’s Reflections on 2023
Chain Assembly: Hello everyone, just going a little off the cuff on this episode. I don't have a scheduled interview and just wanted to kind of go over how this year has been for me, kind of what I have planning going on and where I am with my business at this point. I know usually December is kind of the time to look back and see how things have done, but I guess for me, it's always felt more like a January thing because that's when I'm actually doing my taxes and looking at all the numbers of where my different income sources have been.
Um, recently, I guess the, the biggest issue was that women's wheel project that you all heard a lot of the ads for, uh, I was extremely proud, not still am. I'm extremely proud of all the work that Melissa and I put together on that project. But the crowdfunding campaign did not go that well. And I think it really comes down to two things. First off is we decided to use backerkit’s crowdfunding campaign platform instead of Kickstarter, which is what I'm used to and what I've always used in the past. One of the reasons we went with BackerKit was because of the conversation I had with Seven on episode six of this podcast. Seven had great success using BackerKit's crowdfunding campaign platform, crowdfunding platform, I should say. And Seven also spoke very highly of the marketing team at BackerKit.
So when we met with the marketing team, described the project, they thought it was a great fit. And they said that if we used their crowdfunding platform, there would be a discount. So we started using the platform, it was easy to set up, had way more options and a much easier interface than Kickstarter was, so that was all feeling pretty good. But then when we started running the advertising campaign, that is when we noticed there was an issue. And generally what it comes down to is, project itself, it's similar to Satisfy, a board game that I designed a couple years ago. When you have the chance to explain to someone how it works, why you made it, and how it's helpful to them, they're on board and they're ready to buy it. Women's Wheel is not a traditional tarot deck or traditional oracle deck. It is a bit more complex than that and that makes it hard to share through marketing. So like one way that it is different from an oracle deck is the point of it isn't to draw a card and get your fortune. It is instead a tool that helps women identify their, the archetype that they are embodying at that moment as a result of the seasonal changes that women go through on a monthly basis. And through the process of the wheel, you can also identify where you might be headed, what you can prepare for. It also helps you understand what roles the women around you are in and how you can best communicate with your sisters, mothers, daughters.
Now, I know it sounds crazy that I'm talking about this, but this was not my philosophy. This project and all the philosophy and design behind it was developed by Melissa and I used my Product design graphic design illustration skill set to make it into a realized project But like I said that crowdfunding campaign on backer kit work well As a result of that We didn't get as many backers as we would have liked so what we decided to do because again, we are so proud of the product and we've put so much work into it, we're definitely gonna get it printed. We went back to the drawing board and Melissa and I decided, all right, let's try and get a funding goal at $2,000. That makes sense. So we removed the items that were not super important to the core set, things that were nice to have, but not needs to have. We got new price quotes to match the lower quantities we're aiming for, 250 in the initial print run. And we got numbers that it's gonna really come to about $3,000 in the production costs. But with that in mind, we are going to still put the funding goal at 2000. We're gonna run this on Kickstarter and we're both ready to throw in some of our own money if needed. But it's been fun going back to Kickstarter actually because they have updated their project design interface quite a bit, so it's a little bit easier to mess with. And that's what I've been doing this week is translating the graphics, updating the numbers, kind of getting that page up to a place where we can be proud of it. Around as Christmas present to myself, I bought some new camera equipment, so I'm looking forward to shooting a new video with Melissa soon, probably sometime in the next week or two. And kind of tough with the holidays happening now. But we are aiming for a launch date of the crowdfunding campaign early February and ending by the end of the month. So kind of looking for it to be a nice heart-famed Valentine's self-love crowdfunding campaign project.
Um, aside from that, I also have a new tarot deck that I've been working on. Um, the title right now is Tarrochi Gialli. It is a tarot deck inspired by giallo film movie posters. That's Italian Gothic horror films from the 60s and 70s. They have a very specific aesthetic style for their movie posters, and that's what I'm trying to replicate with this tarot deck. I'm making each card look like a movie poster. The main text on it is Italian, but I'm also using the descriptors of that card to help explain what the card does and make it look more like a tarot make it look more like a movie poster. So that's been a fun project. I've been utilizing a bunch of old photographs I took. Plus I've also been digitizing tons of my parents old photos from Italy in the 70s when they had their honeymoon. And utilizing those old photos has really helped allow me to get that kind of nice aging photography effect on some of these cards. And I'm really excited about the way that's looking.
Originally I planned on this being an a component of a role-playing game similarly inspired by that same thing. But now I'm thinking it might make sense to extricate it and have the tarot deck as its own crowdfunding campaign and then follow that up with the role-playing game later on in the year. Because I'll always be able to use that crowdfunding campaign as an opportunity to sell additional decks. So in that regard, it makes sense. If I do it all as one campaign, that means I am required to wait on a whole lot more things for me to design and build before I can actually start the project. I much prefer the idea of working on the role playing game and doing the crowd funding, sorry, doing the play testing, working on the core rule book and all that stuff while I'm waiting for this tarot deck to finish production. Thematically, that just makes sense in my mind. Another project that I am going to be revisiting soon is a board game that I was working on with my wife called Propagation Station. It's all about propagating houseplants and then buying and selling them. So that game, I feel like I was probably about 80% done, art-wise, to get to a place where I can start playtesting, because I always like to have most of the art done before I playtest. And then life got in the way. But I am excited about revisiting that and getting it to a place where we can playtest it and hopefully have that crowdfunding campaign happening. If I'm lucky, Q3 of next year. So in my mind, I'm picturing February will be the launch of my Italian tarot role playing, Italian tarot deck on Kickstarter. It'll also be the launch of the women's wheel, which I'm doing with Melissa under Melissa's Kickstarter account. So therefore I can run both projects simultaneously. Then...Maybe May or June would be the role playing game component that is also inspired by Italian Gothic horror. And then August, September maybe be the propagation station board game.
And this is all just floating in my head right now, but I spent so much time working on Women's I'm antsy to get back on the crowdfunding train. So, excited about that. Last week I also was part of the Dali Dozen, which you probably heard in my interview with Pamela Joy Trow. She's the one who sponsored me for that event. It was really fun. It was really nice to be able to, I guess, be in an art museum again. It's been a while since I had my stuff. And you know, since I'm on this podcast a lot talking to artists, I'm always talking about that push and pull between the official recognition of being a traditional fine artist versus what actually makes money for me. So that was a really nice networking opportunity. Met a lot of people who will hopefully buy Teradex from my website. Um, and that's kind of what I've been looking at for the rest of the year. I have one more event, uh, coming up before the year's over. It is going to be Winter in the Wood. This is an event that I organized last year with some other artists in my neighborhood. And this year, my wife's on the committee, so that happens next weekend. But otherwise, it's been a wild adventure working on this podcast. I know it sounds kind of like it's not like we're actually hitting a milestone or anything like that. But again, if I'm looking back at what happened throughout this year, this has been one of my biggest accomplishments. It's something that has absolutely not translated into money. It has translated into way more time spent than I expected. I'm also thinking in the next year, I'm going to increase the amount of money I pay for this platform to record this Riverside. Right now I'm at the $15 a month level. If I go up to, I think $24 a month, it adds a bunch of AI tools that will help streamline my process. I'll hopefully be able to spend maybe an hour less each week working on this as far as like cleaning up transcriptions and putting together show notes and scheduling those all that stuff. It's all very tedious. It's way more work than I expected, but it has been really fun doing. And for any of you who listen to it, thank you all so much for continuing to listen. The more listeners I get, the more likely I'll be able to attract an advertiser and make it financially worth it. When that does happen, I'll make sure to let you all know because that's what the whole point of this podcast is. As far as what's happening in the future, I've reached out to two nationally known, one is a standup comic, one is a musician, people I really admire and I'm currently working on scheduling them to be on the show. So that is helping elevate my conversations, help elevate the podcast itself.
When I first started, I thought it was just going to be like fine artists, but no, I'm learning a lot from people in tons of different industries that are arts related. So that's been really great to have on. Uh, and definitely follow me and, uh, we'll follow the new women's wheel project. It is going to be, um, at women's wheel.co again, same website from all the old advertising you heard women's wheel.co. That will take you to the new launch page where you'll see the new details and you'll be able to be notified when the Kickstarter page begins. So thank you all so much again for always listening to my podcast and always being there to hear what I have to say. I also wanna point out, I don't think I've ever mentioned this in any podcast, but any one of these episodes on the Spotify page, so if you look up an episode on Spotify of this Art for Profit's Sake podcast, there's a space to submit questions. So any questions you have, any comments you have, let me know and I will be very happy to answer those. It'll give me some nice content for future episodes. So thank you again so much for being a part of it and I hope you all have a wonderful holiday season.
Chain Assembly: Art for profit sake is recorded through Riverside FM, distributed through Spotify for podcasters, and edited on Adobe Audition. The music is provided by Leslie Haas. If you learned anything useful or found this podcast helpful, please rate and review us five stars. If you want to learn more about me or my art, head over to ChainAssembly.com.