...and for every 250 prints you sponsor for your favorite libraries, I'll donate $1000 to the library in my own town.
About the Campaign
So if you've watched my campaign video (and if not, why not?) you know already that I am rich in pixels, but not in much else, and that if I hope to send this pair of archival prints off to about ten of my very favorite libraries then I must convince you to do the same thing for that one library that means the most to you.
If we reach the funding goal for the campaign then I'll be able to send my prints off to those libraries I've loved. I hope we will!
But in fact, that's just where things start.
Because what I really hope is that a whole lot more of you will pile on to do this nice, impractical thing for your libraries and the librarians who work in them; and if I'm right, then we'll raise enough money that I can contribute actual, real cash dollars to the public library in my own small town.
I'd love to send money to everybody's favorite libraries - but by the time we spread those dollars out across the whole lot of them, we'd probably just be buying each library a nice hot latte. That's not to be snorted at, mind you: but I hate to think of all those librarians fighting over that one hot cup of joe. So in this case I figure we're all better off if I act locally, the way the bumper stickers tell us to do.
About the Prints
There's a right panel, and a left panel, in this set of two prints. Each one measures 20" by 30" (including that blue margin we see all around them) and I've rendered them at 300 pixels to the inch.
As this campaign begins I have rendered out all of the layers and masks I need to complete them, but I haven't yet started my post work in Photoshop. I'd be surprised if that amounted to more than about ten days of uninterrupted work - although it's true that I do get surprised sometimes. But there shouldn't be any difficulty in finishing the images before the end of this campaign.
There are a couple of areas where now that I've seen the images in their full resolution I may want to go back, rework some details, and re-render those small areas. That's business as usual when I work on this scale.
They'll be printed using an archival photographic process on heavy weight, glossy paper. This is exactly what I do with the other archival prints that I sell through my Retropolis web site. They're really, really nice.
When you sponsor a gift of these prints to your favorite library I'll include a letter to the library that tells them that it was you who sponsored the gift. I'll probably mention what a nice person you are.
What Could Possibly Go Wrong?
You've seen that the pictures are in their final stage, and I've told you about how long it should take me to complete them. You may not know me; but I can point you at a few of my web sites (Retropolis, The Celtic Art Works, and Thrilling Tales of the Downright Unusual) as proof that I'm not new to this kind of work and that I probably know what I'm talking about.
There is a possibility that a client will be bringing me a web site redesign project during the months of November or December, and that could disrupt my schedule. That's the reason why I've launched this campaign before the pictures are done.
Here's another thing, though: these libraries haven't asked for the prints. In most cases they will not know that they're coming. There's no way of knowing what they will choose to do with them. Some may get framed and hung publicly; some may get stuck up in a library's administrative offices, possibly with thumb tacks; some lucky and fast-moving librarians may end up taking them home. We don't know, and in my opinion it doesn't matter. They're gifts! People can do whatever they like with them.
I've posted very conservative shipping dates for the prints (January 20). In fact I hope to ship them sooner but I've found that packing and shipping rewards can take a lot longer than I expect - and anyway I've never placed such a large order with my printer, and I have no idea how long they'll need to produce (I hope!) hundreds of these. So for those reasons, not to mention what shipping is like near the holidays, I'm promising to ship these early next year even though I think they may go out sooner.
Questions that might have been asked frequently if I weren't writing this in advance
1. Wouldn't it be a lot better if we all just gave cash to our own local libraries?
Yep, they need money a lot more than they need prints. If your question is practical (that is, if you've got your checkbook out and you're ready to hand your money over) then by all means, go away and give them money right now. But if your question is theoretical (that is, you're a nitpicker by nature) then you'll just need to sort it out for yourself.
2. Are these contributions tax deductible?
Nope. I'm not a nonprofit, and it's me that's receiving the funds. Even I can't write off the cost of the prints that we send out because there's no way for me to document that the receiving libraries are nonprofits; I think it's often their community organizations that have nonprofit status. The one part of this that is a write-off for me is the cash contribution to my own local library. I need that deduction since otherwise the money that passes through my bank account looks like income.
3. Am I making money from this?
Up to the campaign goal, all of the funding goes toward the prints you sponsor and the prints I send to my ten or so favorite libraries. If we exceed the goal I do stand to make a little money because we're not funding my own prints any more; that's why the excess starts to go to my local library (and my own tax liability). If we sell a godawful lot of prints, I do stand to make some money. I don't mind. But if that bothers you, go back to #1 and get out your checkbook.
4. Is this campaign in any way endorsed by, sponsored by, encouraged by, or does it involve any public library, including my own local library?
Nope. It's just me. Although I'm fond of my local library it has no affiliation with me and if anything goes wrong here, they didn't do it, didn't know about it, and would have been horrified if they even suspected that I might take all your money and run off to Fiji. Which I'm not going to do. I'm just saying that this campaign is entirely the responsibility of me, and no other person or entity.