musicians in jackson

The Meh of Failure

Toledo Art Museum

My Musicians In Jackson Kickstarter didn’t make it.

It was stuck at 33% for weeks, then it creeped up to a high of 48%, and never got over that half-way hump.

I knew, going into it, that it was a long shot. My first rumblings of failure came when I had to explain to people, again and again, that they weren’t making a donation. No money was being exchanged up front. It was a pledge. People didn’t get Kickstarter.

The second rumbling came when a lot of the people I thought would support the project didn’t. After being stuck at 33% for so long, I knew my chances of reaching a fully-funded Kickstarter campaign were slim.

So it goes. As I mentioned in my last project update, the work will continue, albeit a little slower.

The truth is, my heart wasn’t totally into the idea of the Kickstarter. It was more of an experiment, to see if I could do it; to see if something like this could be possible in my small Midwestern city. Jackson wasn’t ready for Kickstarter. Plus the idea of constantly sending out updates and pleas for pledges is not me – I’m the anti marketing guy. It’s hard enough to get people to support your project, but to ask them to make pledges to support your project? Blah.

But it’s all okay. I’m fine, and I let Sunday’s project deadline go by with a whimper.

A lot of things are slowing down for me. Call it a phase, but I’m barely getting this musicians project started. I’m barely blogging. I’m barely making photos. It’s one of those seasons in life right now.

It’s all okay.


Musicians In Jackson: An Update

Musicians In Jackson: Jaime

My Kickstarter for Musicians In Jackson has reached the 30% mark, mid-way through the campaign.

I knew it would be an uphill battle, and a constant stream of “make a pledge” messages and outreach. It’s not my style, but it needs to happen for the project to be successful.

Logistically, I have portrait sessions lined up next week that I’m pretty excited about. Things are moving along slowly, but they’re moving along. The studio is getting used. That’s the important part.

Next week I’m on vacation (spending time with my wife, above, and the kiddos during the holiday break), so not much happening around here. But please consider backing the project on Kickstarter and help me get over that 50% goal hump.


In Conversation

Steve Berkemeier

This is what I miss about portrait projects.

The conversation, the sharing of experience, the laughing and joking around. Remembering local history. Swapping stories. Sharing a complete and consuming love of music.

Last time, it was about art and creativity, about the Jackson market and the struggles of being a small-city artist.

This time, it’s a lot of same, except you swap paint brushes and cameras for guitars and microphones.

It’s good to be back.

[Help the Musicians In Jackson project on Kickstarter!]


Let’s Do This: Musicians In Jackson on Kickstarter

Away we go.

I’m launching my new community portrait project, Musicians In Jackson, on Kickstarter today.

A week ago, I kicked off the project at my studio open house. But this project has been in the works for almost a year now. I’ve thought and thought about it for so long, and now it’s a real thing in the world that I’m working on.

It involves capturing local Jackson, Michigan musicians on black and white medium format film through the summer. I’ll capture our conversations, make portraits, and share the creative love in my hometown.

Why Kickstarter? There are film costs, and the studio space to rent, and photographic prints to produce. It’s also a way to preorder prints or the book when it’s released this holiday season. Really, it’s a way to support creative endeavors like these community portrait projects.

I’d appreciate it if you could help me spread the word, and make a pledge before July 16 on Kickstarter. I also hope you’ll join me for the ride.


Studio Open House

Tomorrow night I’m hosting a studio open house in downtown Jackson.

It’s partly to kick off my next portrait project, partly to test out the new space, and partly as a big “thank you” to folks around town who have supported my projects. Plus I have a few people whose portrait I’ve wanted to make for a while now. So, bonus.

Details at my Musicians In Jackson page. Hope to see you there.