What I Learned from Kickstarter

Mia Darling
2 min readApr 19, 2018

In the span of two weeks, we were assigned to launch a Kickstarter campaign and have it successfully funded by minimum $1,000 and 50 backers. I accomplished this goal thanks to the support of amazing people, advisors, and mentors.

This was a wild rollercoaster of anxiety throughout the entire process, but very rewarding and taught me lots about how to make noise about our passions and drive an idea into the world.

My Kickstarter campaign was the creation of a box design called “ART NOW” which includes art activities and materials for kids to feel empowered, find creativity, and practice self-expression and playfulness. I self-shot a funny explanatory video in my living room, and particularly enjoyed the art of publishing updates on social media and other platforms to raise excitement and engagement.

This project taught me how to build a community. Before this, I honestly didn’t really quite grasp the concept of what a community in this context is. I love how one of our professors, Gary Chou asserted during one class that it’s an opportunity to “get with your people.” It was really energizing to connect with others who share the same passions, and find unique pathways to start inspired conversations.

The most challenging part was understanding or identifying what community to target. Most people who backed my project were clients that I have designed websites for and expressed shared passion for the idea. So it was an interaction of giving back to the work I have done for them, and then continuing longterm relationships.

Over the course of this journey, I believe I did well at just embracing the vulnerability, going all out with marketing, talking to the moon and back and my neighbor’s dog about the project, and just having fun in the thick of it all. The most successful outreach strategy was to build upon a surveyed look into my community of interest and map it out based on various types of research. What didn’t work was defining the relationships between the people in the community, and connecting them together.

The most important pivot during this campaign challenge was who I identified as the user of the “ART NOW” design. I kept my foundation of empathizing for victims of bullying as the foundation of the idea and art therapy as a solution, but pivoted to reach a broader audience of kids who need an outlet for creativity and self-expression. This change built upon the foundation and spoke to more people.

A sincere thank you to my amazing professors, Gary Chou and Christina Xu who led this transformational challenge. Thank you, thank you!

Mia Darling

MFA Interaction Design at SVA | multimodality artist with an ecstatic love for designing user-centered, digital experiences | miarisso.com