Kiwi Kickstarter launches: creative and slightly crazy schemes come out of the woodwork

The launch of Kickstarter in New Zealand has attracted a range of creative projects, from a rockstar wristwatch and designer notebooks to a horror web series. Then there’s the kooky idea of piecing a cooked onion back together to see how much it shrank.

Galen King, from Nelson’s Lucid Design, seized on the local launch to get the company’s designer notebook idea — Workbooks  — off the ground.

“We’re a design agency of six to eight creatives. Over the years we’ve done internal projects to stimulate the team and stationery was something we started playing with.”

The notebooks would also be a good gift for clients because it could easily be mailed offshore, says King. It had “quietly launched” the idea before but never got much traction, says King, so Kickstarter was a golden opportunity.

“I always liked the concept of crowdfunding. We have PledgeMe in New Zealand and something like PledgeMe is awesome as well, but for the industry we’re in we really need the worldwide audience Kickstarter brings.”

But he has a warning for Kickstarter users who think they can sit back and watch the money roll in.

“One of the most interesting lessons for me is there’s probably an assumption Kickstarter with its large worldwide comunity automatically gives you the numbers. That’s not the case. You still have to work really hard and chat about your project on social media and get it blogged about.”

King set a short funding window so the notebooks could be printed and distributed by Christmas in New Zealand. The current notebook covers were done by Lucid Design staff or commissioned for other jobs, but it hopes to commission other creatives to design new covers.

In Auckland, Nick Von Klarwill has created a project for his rock n’ roll inspired watches, while ex Adhub managing director Josh Borthwick is on the hunt for funds for the independent series Tina. Nick Barrett is also one of the first seeking a Kickstart with his app Imagistory.

Fellow Aucklander Lewis Roscoe wants funds for his CG horror web series The Arksville Homicides.

And in one of the more interesting launches, Colenso BBDO’s Ben Polkinghorne is volunteering to recreate an onion after cooking it, if his project gets $500 backing.

“We’ve all done it: underestimated how much onion to cook,” the project page says. “Onions just seem to lose so much darn volume during the cooking process. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out, once and for all, how much they shrink?”

At the time of writing six backers were behind Polkinghorne’s experiment, to the tune of $35.

Another attention-grabbing project was ‘LaQuisha’s Odyssey, a Game so Gay it’s Beyond the Rainbow’.

LaQuisha Redfern claims to be “a bearded lady drag queen who lives in a space station that crash-landed in New Zealand, and now: it’s time to go global”, and is developing a retro styled role playing game where she searches for her alien-abducted mother.

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