Insurgent Creative: Gaining Ground

Insurgent CreativeThe new year chugs along, bringing with it new developments. It seems as thought the Insurgent Creative life — truly making a living without going through the traditional creative-industry gatekeepers — is gaining more and more ground. It hasn’t quite broken mainstream yet — it still features largely as a “well have you EVER” human-interest story when it’s covered in mainstream media — but the anecdotal data continues to mount.

Today’s post in Techdirt has some nice analysis: The Rise of the ‘Professional Amateur’ and the Fall of Gated, Exclusionary ‘Clubs.’ The article quotes extensively from an article at GamesBrief, specifically talking about why it is so hard for creatives working with the traditional gatekeepers to fully embrace the new methods. Well worth a read.

In other news, despite constant hipster-dismissal of the “bubble” bursting, “jumping the shark”, etc., Kickstarter continues to grow and grow. Back in August, I was absolutely thrilled (and more than a little bit stunned) to make nearly 50K on our Far West project, 10 times the figure we had asked for. A lot of people considered this a fairly impressive achievement.

Well, stand back, because Order of the Stick, a gaming-centric webcomic, is currently putting that achievement to absolute shame. They asked for approximately $58K to fund reprints of the collected editions of the strip, and they’ve currently earned over HALF A MILLION DOLLARS… and they still have nearly two weeks remaining!

Holy shit.

Anybody at this point who denies that Kickstarter has completely revolutionized the entire funding-and-consumer-relationship model for creatives is completely and utterly mistaken. Kickstarter has funded so many graphic novel/comics alone that back in July, some pointed out that it qualified as the #3 graphic novel publisher in the US.

I don’t see a bubble popping any time soon — according to the 2011 stats, the number of visitors to the site went from 8.3 million in 2010 to over 30 million in 2011 — but in October, the site reached the milestone of its one millionth backer. So there is a ton of room for expansion of backers, even just from the visitor pool… and that’s not even considering increased visitors in 2012.

As more and more of this kind of data comes in, and more tools are released to enable the Insurgent Creative life, we’re finding ourselves in need for more varied language, because “game-changer” and “revolutionary” are quickly becoming too common. The list of excuses for not making the leap yourself is shrinking, too… so why not try?

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