Crowdfunding and the local arts. Photographer Kris Micallef talks about his crowdfunded project REGNVM.

By | January 28, 2014

If you fancy yourself as a supporter of local artists make sure you keep an eye out for any crowdfunded projects out there. The amazingly talented, local photographer, Kris Micallef has decided to launch his project, REGNVM on Indiegogo with the aim to publish a limited edition book and host a solo photographic exhibition.

Crowdfunding is a fascinating resource and so many people around the world are making use of websites such as Kickstarter and Indiegogo to gather support and raise funds for their projects. According to Gartner Research Crowdfunding has grown by 300% since 2009 when it generated $1.6 billion to an estimated $6.2billion in the last year. It is the opportunity local artists have been looking for so Melahart.com caught up with Kris Micallef to see what made him choose the crowdfunding route and his thoughts on the process.

REGNVM | Teaser from kris micallef on Vimeo.

1) What made you go down the crowdfunding  route?

I knew from the start that the project is going to cost a lot and that getting sponsors from local companies was not going to be so easy. I had already heard about the idea of crowdfunding and had personally helped out a couple of artists raise their target by contributing to their campaign by buying their books and prints. I thought the idea was amazing and it would really be great if it could work for me too, knowing that it would help me realize my first exhibition in Malta and also my first publication.

Kris Micallef REGNVM2) You reached your crowdfunding goal, did you expect it was going to happen with a week still left to the deadline?

Yes and no. The type of crowdfunding scheme I chose had certain terms – if I reach my goal within the allowed period I receive 96% of what I raised and if not I receive 91% of what I raise. Therefore, I set a target of EUR5,000 which I think is quite a big amount but not too difficult to reach. I was very pleased to see so many contributing to this project – ordering copies of the book, fine art prints, postcards or even simply contributing without selecting any of the goodies! What is even more surprising is that not only did I reach my target in less than 60 days (the allowed period for a crowdfunding campaign), but I have also raised another EUR1,000+ with 5 more days to go! This is great as it will help me pay for other costs such as the exhibition prints, framing, venue fee, invitation printing, model fees and so on.

Kris Micallef regnvm 23) Crowdfunding is not as easy as simply posting your project online.  Tell us what the hardest part was.

The hardest part was preparing the campaign. Together with the help of my creative director, a total of around four weeks was spent working on the crowdfunding campaign. This mostly involves the preparation of the necessary information and ‘perks’ for the contributors while, at the same time, making sure that the campaign is affordable to individuals and feasible for us too.

The second hardest part was pushing it publicly. Out of hundreds of people I spoke to regarding crowd funding very few knew it existed and how it worked. This is because it is a relatively new concept. However, once people understood the mechanics, many contributed in helping me reach my target. The campaign was shared several times on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr and has reached various countries. Not only Malta but also Canada, Brazil, Germany, Spain, UK, Czech Republic, South Africa, Belgium, Netherlands and Italy.

4) And finally, do you think crowdfunding is the way to go for local artists looking to take their work on to the next level?

Definitely! It’s a great tool for artists to help them realize their projects. A successful crowdfunding campaign depends on various factors which need to be properly thought through – a good project is of course one of them but also an achievable target and a good marketing plan.

If you want to support Kris and his REGNVM project you can click here. Only 5 days are left and it would be crazy to pass this opportunity up as some awesome goodies are up for grabs.