What does the Fox say?
Kickstarter debuted its "Make 100" Creative Initiative in January, contacting Portland artist Hilary Pfeifer ahead of time to enlist her participation.
The sculptor of adorable animal critters is a veteran of Kickstarter, having launched eight prior campaigns to fund various art and book projects. Artists were early adopters of Kickstarter for obvious reasons. It broadens their audience, exposes them to new collectors, and it creates community.
"I love it," says Pfeifer, "it just works for me. People receive an original work of art and can follow along with a project as it comes together. It's a way to bring people along and into the studio with me."
The crowdfunding platform provided few guidelines for its "Make 100" participants other than to "bring something good into the world," and do it 100 times. The emphasis is less on raising dollars than on small, creative art projects. In her case, Pfeifer decided to make 100 little wooden foxes from reclaimed wood. Other artists made things like custom enamel selfie pins or brushed metal spinning tops.
Pfeifer plans to carve 100 unique wooden foxes in her Northeast Portland woodworking studio. As she began whittling away on her task she had an idea to use the foxes in a music video inspired by the Malvina Reynolds folk song "Little Boxes." Pfeifer is also making another set of 100 "classic" red and white foxes which, like the originals, are available as rewards to supporters at different levels. Backers may also receive a patterned Little Foxes bandana or dish towel. All of Pfeifer's foxes are hand-carved using found wood or scraps she found rummaging at places like The Rebuilding Center.
On top of all this, Pfeifer has added a push goal: if she raises $5,000 she will create a book based on the carved little foxes and the stop-animation video. Every verse in the book and song will be about different kinds of recycling.
"They fit in the palm of your hand," she says. "Some are upright; some are on all fours. I'm still researching the recycling story, and the fox story, and figuring out those little small details," she says.
Last year, Pfeifer participated in METRO's Glean Project where four artists were invited to the Waste Transfer Center (commonly known as the dump) to pull materials to create works of art. She made 50 abstract wooden mobiles inspired by the lures that falconers there use to control the seagulls and the hawks circling the trash. Pfeifer sold most, and the rest are available through Velvet de Vinci, the San Francisco gallery that carries her work. Commuters on TriMet's Orange Line may have spied her animal totem poles on the old Trolley Trail located south of downtown Milwaukie.
Don't forget to check back in with Social Sources in March to see which projects live, which projects die.
Little Foxes, Kickstarter
Deadline: Feb. 28, 2017
So Far: $3,046
Stretch goal: $5,000
Campaigns to Watch
A "Very Portland" Mobile Photography Studio Bus
Deadline: Feb. 22
So Far: $3,408
It's like a Charles Bukowski novel. Professional portraitist April Sanders is a former U.S. Postal letter carrier who quit her job to be a roaming artist. She's raising funds to convert a school bus to a mobile studio for her fine art and film photography so she can bring her studio straight to you. Convenient, plus rents are too high for her to launch a studio anywhere else. And the oath she took still applies to this mobile shutterbug: neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays this courier from the swift completion of her appointed rounds.
Shakespeare Illustrated Dictionary
Deadline: March 15
So Far: $345
Everyday scholars would find reading and picturing Shakespeare easier if an illustrated book of the common words and phrases encountered there existed. There are Shakespeare dictionaries aplenty, but none with hand-done drawings that illustrate just what the arras (or kind of curtain) Polonious hid behind in Hamlet actually looked like. So Portland illustrator Rachel Aanstad made a book with more than 800 entries with individual line drawings: to show what these arcane-to-us words meant in Shakespeare's day, and to bring these objects to life with drawings. Backers receive copies of the book, and a better vocabulary.
MINIM, All Weather All Activity Athletic Pants
Deadline: March 13
So Far: $7,143
At SS HQ we prefer to stay in sport pants all day. Track pants, yoga pants, whatever. We like how they enable us to sit for hours comfortably at our desk, and the illusion they give that we care about fitness. So this project caught our eye. A duo of apparel entrepreneurs released a synthetic athletic pant in two colors — black and dark tan — on Kickstarter. Selling points? They have a slim, stylish fit and they're completely waterproof. They have a soft fleece interior and zipper front pockets.