Where The Weird Things Are – 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell

Eight years ago, Lewis Campbell told Bleeding Cool what he was up to. It's about time we got a recap. He writes;

Although technically an illustrator, animator, and painter, I have always taken inspiration from the comic art form. My love of its visual storytelling and the diversity of the medium, not to mention the freedom of imagination it attracts. The comic book has informed so much of my body of work over the years.

Having attended UK comic cons for around the last 6-7 years – occasionally putting out small press comics – mostly displaying illustrations and paintings, I came to hear of the Kickstarter phenomenon. I wondered, could it be possible for me to create a project that would interest people enough to invest in?

Where The Weird Things Are - 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell
Where The Weird Things Are – 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell

Eventually, I landed upon the idea of a sketchbook collection. Then that turned into an art book, and then that became a Kickstarter campaign to produce a hardback book of art- covering the last 15 years of my career with over 95 pages of sketches, finished paintings, and illustrations.

Demonstrating what I hoped people would be deemed as an impressive versatility of styles and techniques.

This ambitious goal involved revisiting old sketchbooks, digital files, and portfolios. It was a strange experience, like looking through an old diary, finding gems I'd completely forgotten about or scrawls I would have preferred not to have remembered.

Where The Weird Things Are - 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell
Where The Weird Things Are – 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell

My Kickstarter Art Book project became this thing that I would keep revisiting when I had the time. It kept growing and changing shape. The more time I put into it, the more attention it required.

Compiling and editing so much work and creating a page layout with descriptive notes was only half the challenge. I would need to build the Kickstarter page from scratch.

This meant filming and editing an introduction, building reward tiers, stretch goals, working out a budget – oh, and I had to design a front cover. Before I knew it, two years had gone by, and still, I hadn't finished putting the book campaign together. If I wasn't careful, this would be one of those projects that only exist in the future and never in the present.

Eventually, though, I did arrive at a point where the book design was ready, and the Kickstarter page itself was coherent and looked almost ready to launch. As an animator, I couldn't resist creating little animated gifs to make the page a little more unique. But this also took some time, and so I carried on. The Kickstarter page itself had become almost like a separately curated project, and I enjoyed it. Finally, after a few feverish weeks trying to wrap everything up, I was ready to launch.

Where The Weird Things Are - 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell
Where The Weird Things Are – 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell

But, I was afraid of launching. All this effort and time and talk. What if it didn't work? What if nobody cared? Still, there was no choice – I had to press the activate button. Just over two weeks later and the campaign is funded 110%. I guess it was all worth it!

I count myself very lucky to have received a great deal of support from friends and family- fans of my work and people I haven't spoken to for years that have backed this project. I'm not sure I could have achieved this goal without them. Because I still (at the time of writing this) have 11 days to go, I have everything left to play for – with stretch goals that include a foiled cover, limited edition print, and a postcard set. I have had a significant amount of newcomers backing the campaign, and I'm hoping to reach more before the time is up. This being my first Kickstarter project, I've no idea what the remaining days will bring, but I'm excited to find out.

Where The Weird Things Are - 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell
Where The Weird Things Are – 15 Years Of Process by Lewis Campbell

 

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About Rich Johnston

Founder of Bleeding Cool. The longest-serving digital news reporter in the world, since 1992. Author of The Flying Friar, Holed Up, The Avengefuls, Doctor Who: Room With A Deja Vu, The Many Murders Of Miss Cranbourne, Chase Variant. Lives in South-West London, works from Blacks on Dean Street, shops at Piranha Comics. Father of two. Political cartoonist.
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