Can you successfully crowdfund art?

02 Oct 2014
| Last update: 06 Oct 2015

crowdfund art

I think the story of Aladdin rubbing the genie’s lamp is suitable for all the artsy people out there. They all need those 3 wishes to see their art come to life:

  1. Master their art
  2. Spread it
  3. Live through it

I think the blue genie from Disney would sneer at this idealistic scenario and make a down-to-earth proposal: Why not successfully crowdfund art?

Do you remember those stories of writers or painters who died of famine and poverty? Think of Vincent van Gogh, Edgar Allan Poe or Oscar Wilde.

It’s time for artists to turn the page of history. They can now see their creative side backed by money, engage with their audience and build up their fan community, by funding on their own their projects.

Crowdfund art and be a successful artist

I’ve already explained to you what crowdfunding is, its different types and how you can successfully crowdfund your startup/idea/campaign/project in this article on funding your startup business. The only difference is you’re an artist. I want to show you why you should shake the genie’s hand and strike the deal. What’s more, I want to tell you what to do.

First, to convince you it’s best to crowdfund art, let me give you some examples of successful stories. In Crowdfunding for the Arts Sam M. opens up on one of the greatest Kickstarter music project successes. This is the story of Amanda Palmer, a musician and co-founder of The Dresden Dolls, who managed to raise over $1 mill., and used the funds to record her music, create an art book, and go on tour with the Grand Theft Orchestra. Her funding goal of $100.000 was reached in just one day. Has her success convinced you already? If not so, let me give you some some more details: Amanda appealed to her fans’ support and she offered them rewards for their loyalty. For just $1 she provided her fans with a digital download of her album and exclusive content. She had 2 pledges of $10.000 a total of 24.883 backers at the end of her campaign.

Second, I want to show you how you too can successfully crowdfund art:

  • Start a campaign. At this moment you need to carefully select a crowdfunding platform. You can choose to go with a more mainstream one, such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo ( I’ve written a post on the differences between these 2), or artistShare, or opt for one designed more for a niche or a specific domain: PledgeMusic, SellABand, or ArtFund. Before choosing a platform, make sure that it suits your needs and future plans.
  • Activate your community. You need to be realistic: just starting a campaign and not telling anyone about it, won’t get your art known and your project backed. You need to make the news travel. So, you need to appeal to your fans, engage them, keep them intrigued and make them loyal to your art. You can post videos talking about you and your art, post photos and images of your work, offer insights and don’t forget to reward your special fans. Also, engage on social media, attract people’s attention and bring them to your project. What’s more, try and keep it simple, natural and sincere. What people appreciate most is honesty!
  • Be a successful artist. Meet the deadline of your campaign and see the seeds of your success. You can now be a true, successful artist.

To crowdfund art means to offer artists wider possibilities. They can now create and enjoy living through the art they so much love. If you think about it, it’s not only about money, but about the connections and the community of fans they are building with such campaigns. It also means that artists and their fans keep the art alive.

I guess the genie would smile with satisfaction now, wouldn’t he? As a throwback to our childhood, here’s the excerpt from the movie, if you wanna watch it again, when you have 3 minutes, just for fun. But first:

What do you think about the future of art?

What platform would you use to crowdfund art?

Ligia Mangra
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Ligia Mangra

Content Writer at Squirrly
A passionate writer. I love seeing a full moon and I like to rock 'n roll in life. Can't wait till my first novel gets published. Thumbs up, it'll be a fantasy horror!
Ligia Mangra
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