January 31, 2008

Print On Demand

Ok guys, I was just checking with Lulu and Blurb about some Print-on-Demand stuff and here's what I've found.

Books will be $35 bucks if I don't raise the price in order to get anything to go to the charity. That's just the cost to get them done.

That's about $10-15 more than I wanted to offer it but when you get above 20 pages it just costs more. I'm looking at alternatives like a presentation perfect bound book, for some reason that's less, but I'm also considering doing two prints a page in landscape format to reduce page count.

I haven't checked Ka-Blam but I don't think this is something they'd do.

Amazon's Booksurge seems to have a lot of negative remarks about it, and also I don't think it's right for this. I don't want to have to order 1500 copies of anything myself (at something like $12,000) just to be able to get a good bulk rate so that I can then sell them on my own (on a site that has no e-commerce solution yet.)

So...just a word to all the folks here wanting to support the cause by buying a copy of the book, it looks like it'll end up being about $40. If I find a better way to do it, great, if not I hope you'll understand. Having not done this before I'm confident I'm not finding a loophole in the vanity print-on-demand world.

That's all for now.

January 29, 2008

Art Scanned

David Ottati was awesome enough to get the art scanned for me. So all the art is in pdf and I'm now shopping for a nice portfolio case to put them in.

Here's my current dilemma. Cheap ones aren't expandable. Expandable ones aren't cheap. Since the art is all different sizes, binding was out of the question long ago but I wanted to keep them in a nice portfolio case. Most of us know of the Itoya portfolio binders for 11x17 boards, that's what their in now, but those only allow 96 spots over 2 cases. An expandable screwpost of the same size can be as much as $300. Of course I won't be getting that, but that's what's out there.

I might try something different and get a nice leather scrapbook display binder that's expandable. I saw a really nice one for $60 and the needed additional pages were about $12 a pack and I'd need 3 more packs.

I'm still shopping, I'm sure I can find a better deal. However, if you're new to the project and weren't able to get in for the first volume and would like to help, this would be a good time. There's a Paypal Donate button on the left side, you can use that to contribute any amount you'd like. And that's the last I'll say about it on this post.

But now that the art's back, if I get a display case soon, the auction should go up in days. I've decided to go with the full thing as one auction rather than break it up. It's the weight of the project, not the individual art that should be the impetus to bid.

That's all for now, carry on.

January 24, 2008

Auction Feedback

Hey folks, gimme some feedback here. What would you think of me listing one piece of art to start, then using the proceeds from that to fund the listing fees for the remaining 99 pieces individually?

January 17, 2008

Site Redesign

Hey all, I believe I've secured some scanning so that will begin soon. I'll also be planning out the next run of the project so people can continue to contribute if they'd like.

A list of projects will probably look like this.

  • 100 Artists Single - 100 pieces supporting the CBLDF and Hero Initiative.
  • 100 Artists Big - One sketchbook sent to 100 people, supporting Hero and CBLDF.
  • 100 Artists Youth - 25 piece auction and book sales supporting the International Child Art Foundation. Must be 18 or under to qualify for this.
  • 100 Artists Digital - 50 piece digital art only books supporting maybe the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Educaiton.
  • 100 Artists Moleskine - One small moleskine book supporting the Center for Cartoon Studies Scholarship Fund.

Those are the ideas I have, not set in stone. However, what this will require of me other than more organizational chutzpah is a bit of a site revamp. So I'm going to ask again for help if anyone is good with site building. I have a few people I know who are good with this, but I've taxed them beyond the level a friend should when it comes to site design and creation, so I'm looking for new blood. I COULD do it myself, but it'd be messy and probably very poorly designed.

I'm using this blog more and more to disseminate news and updates and such. I'd like to integrate it into the site proper via an RSS script. That's easy. But I'd also like to develop ways for people to pick the project they'd like to do. I suppose a drop down with the lists would be the easiest way. I'd also like a way to track each project better, from current contributions to how much money has been raised when they go for auction/sale.

So if you have any expertise in that area please let me know and we can work something out.

I've also been asking around for sponsorships but I think I'm going to be out of luck until I file to become a 503 (c) non-profit and begin keeping budget records and have some kind of financial plan, which frankly would be a giant headache; I'm no good with my own finances. So I guess if you have any expertise in that kind of thing, I'd love some help there too.

Thanks all, carry on.

January 12, 2008


It came in the mail yesterday, the 100th piece of art.

For those who haven't read back, the 100 Artists Project started as a small idea about a message board collaborative art project. It's since blossomed into a major endeavor and after only 10 months, 100 different people have sent artwork in to support the project. Some have sent more than one, some have sent something twice.

In that time, a single sketchbook has traveled the country 16 times. Before it's done it will have traveled to most US states as well as a dozen countries.

But for now the first part is done.

I have some reading to do now about which online printer could do this for me, but the next step is to get good scans of all the work and then put it up for auction. I was never able to secure a decent scanner so I'll be going to FedEx/Kinkos to scan them all if they've got something that big. Once that's done, I'll post all 100 pieces on eBay. There will be a link back to this blog and the main site. Then I'll spring for the ad on Fark and maybe a few other places. Then I'll update every message board I can find with the link to the auction.

I'm going to wait a while before putting the art print book up for sale, probably have it go online as soon as the auction is over. I don't want to discourage folks from trying for the original art first. I'm going to list the auction at $500 to start. It sounds like a lot, but that's $5 a piece and I think that's REALLY low.

I'm also going to close the form mailing page for a while as well. I need to retool the project and offer people a choice of which project they'd like to join. I want to reword a lot of the site so it's less confusing and people actually only sign up if they're going to participate rather than signing up to sign up. I also need to research a few other charities. I have some ideas for matching projects so we'll see if it all works.

But the good news is, the first part is officially over. We made it. We're done! I'm very excited. Thanks everyone.

January 11, 2008

Done? Maybe?

Member of Penciljack has sent his piece off. Once that gets here that will make 100 pieces and the first part of this project is done. Finito. In the can. Which means I'll be spending the next week or so assembling all the art, making sure it's scanned. Printing out some kind of credits page, what have you.

I've also got one person saying they've mailed theirs off as well, they live in Sweden (I think) so they'll be number 101 or #1 for volume 2.

I've also put an ad spot on the right for Project Wonderful. I'll be sure to recoup 10s of cents from the endeavor. Full disclosure, ad revenue will go toward site and project maintenance, not the funds. But I don't expect it to be much of anything.

That's all for now, more news about project wrap up soon.

Again, if you want to be interviewed, let me know. If you'd like to interview me about the project let me know. Word of mouth is our biggest ally right now.


January 08, 2008

Still Holding

Eight days into 2008 and we're still holding at 99 pieces. The Big Mailer has stalled and I'm no longer getting any hits on the site (which means this won't be read by anyone) and no one is using the form mailer to "sign up."

I've had dozens of people over the past month tell me something is "in the mail" or "sitting on my desk" or "going to be done this weekend." I can appreciate life getting in the way of things, but I'm starting to get a bit down on the project, with only one piece to go no less.

What this doesn't also bode well for is a second run of this project. It took (is taking) 8 months to get the first one half done. The first lady took a month to draw the picture and send it to the next guy who sat on it for three weeks. The current artist was sick (which apparently limits your drawing ability) and the sketchbook hasn't moved in a month. Meanwhile it's been months since I've heard from people who've said they'd send in something, and they haven't.

I've sent out numerous emails asking for interviews and very few have been returned. Those that have been have already been put up. I think folks have just forgotten this is here.

I don't like making a stink about this, but this stinks.

I don't know what else I can do to keep this thing going other than tireless and annoying bumping of forum threads. I don't have the money to advertise and I'd hate to stick AdSense on the site as it wouldn't do any good, what with the 5 hits a day the site gets. (And that's five a day for both the main site AND this blog.)

There's been two donations to support the project, no merchandise sales. I can't get the dang thing listed on Fark or Boing Boing or any major listing sight. And other than the help getting the site designed, all offered help seems to have disappeared.

So consider the project done when and IF the 100th piece ever comes in. I'll still finish it all with the auction and make copies of the books for people to get, but that's probably all I'll do. It's obvious I was one of the few that thought this was a good idea. As for the Big Mailer sketchbook floating around out there, I might just post everyone's emails somewhere and just say, "You guys work it out. When it's done, send it to my grandkids."

I'm bummed on the whole thing, but it's a project of mine and those tend to come up to about 99% and then die.

Carry on.