Interview with artist and publisher

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Jiska de Vries is an independent artist and publisher. She tried crowdfunding on Voordekunst and Ten Pages, but was declined to do so. She was, at the moment of this interview, crowdfunding on Lukida.

Jiska graduated in 2013 from the Art Academy in Breda and had high marks for her work. She wanted to publish her work, an art book/magazine, so that others could enjoy it as well. Searching for the right opportunities she tried crowdfunding with different platforms. Here is her story.

What resources do you usually approach to get financing for your projects? Do you use specific financing resources for certain projects?

Being a recent graduate, I did not have any financial resources, so I tried grants. There are too few of them left nowadays, so my next best chance would be crowdfunding in the arts field. This can be done with the Dutch platform Voordekunst.

What made you decide to crowdfund and why did you choose these platforms?

The talks with the platform Voordekunst did not go very well; they did not think my work would attract a lot of people. Later on I tried with the platform Ten Pages. Since I did not spend enough time on promoting the campaign, it failed. I am currently crowdfunding on Lukida where I try to raise money from investors.

How did the process of crowdfunding go? 

I do have a social network to start a campaign but it is probably not big enough. Besides this problem is doing all the marketing and keeping everyone continuously updated. I am too much of a shy person to boast about my work.

How did crowdfunding change your perception about getting financed? Did it bring an added value?

For me, the idea of getting financed has changed towards a more personal form of grant. I was hoping crowdfunding would work but it seems I am more in need for an art beneficiary who trusts my work and helps me with a starting budget. Maybe people like cultural entrepreneurs Erik de Vlieger or Harry de Winter can help me. They seem to be interested in art and look for opportunities. Erik even started his own crowdfunding site Lukida.

How would you describe the experience with the crowd? Did engagement with it made you change anything to your project (production, concept, or your expectations of it)?

I am at the moment crowdfunding on Lukida so it’s too early to tell. I do feel like I would need help with the communication management in relation to the crowd.

I was not allowed to reach the audiences of Voordekunst or Ten Pages. These platforms did however give some of my fellow students a chance to do crowdfunding because they had better marketing opportunities.

What were the difficulties encountered? Did any aspects of crowdfunding made you feel uncomfortable? Why?

The crowd is too vague for me to be able to rely on. I need personal help on marketing to see that I am appreciated. I thought this could also be done through crowdfunding, but maybe in a different way than what most platforms offer you at the moment.

How do you feel about the platform: did the possibilities (for sharing, for uploading, for engagement with the public) fit your needs?

Seems they are mainly in it for the money so I have no other ideas on sharing and engagement with the public.

How many people you know are also crowdfunding?

I know some fellow students who have done this successfully.

How good of a finance solution is crowdfunding for you? Where there things about crowdfunding you wish you were aware about before starting it?

I hope that in the future there will be financial solutions for me with crowdfunding.

I would need someone who can help me with marketing consultancy and start to help exploiting and building my network, that would be very helpful. If a platform would offer such help that might work.

Currently, I am relying on subsidies and various art contests to show my work.

I recently started my campaign on the crowdfunding platform Lukida, which seem to offer me better opportunities for finding the right persons that believe in me.

Would you crowdfund again? 

I am still working on my project with Lukida and hopefully it will bring me in touch with enough people that believe in my work.