Amanda's Million


Our own Yancey Strickler reflects on what Amanda Palmer’s million dollar project means and how she did it. A must read.

Hey Kickstarter, a question. So Amanda Palmer getting to a million on Kickstarter is great. Fantastic for her. She’s such a hard worker and has been really cultivating a wonderful community. And there’s this:

Whether it’s Amanda Palmer, Tim Schafer, Bret Easton Ellis, Radiohead, Louis CK, or Joss Whedon, fans have repeatedly rewarded artists who step out from behind their industries’ protective walls. No one is happy with the current creative economy, and fans will support people who dare to challenge it. They know it’s a risk and they appreciate it.

But here’s my question. What about the artists who don’t have the comfort/audience that comes from paying their dues in the (failing) industries yet? What would you say are the word-of-mouth Kickstarter projects from unknowns, and how did they reach their goals? Because when artists like Amanda Palmer, Louis CK, or Joss Whedon go indie, they have the built-in infrastructure of an ardent fanbase that they can make some noise. And that’s awesome, but I wonder how sustainable a model it is to the kids out there who want to build careers in the arts - who don’t even get the chance to pay their dues in the current structures because they’re crumbling - and not starve.