Kickstarter Commissions invites collaboration between artists and their supporters

26 October 2017

Starting in November, Kickstarter is inviting projects by artists, designers, and other creators that allow the people who love your work to get involved in your creative process.

Collaboration has always been at the core of Kickstarter, both as a company and within the individual campaigns. Titled Commissions, Kickstarter’s latest initiative is an open call for new projects that invite backers – supporters who pledge money to help get new ideas off the ground – to creatively participate, enabling supporters to commission work whatever the discipline. Commissions is an intuitive way to take a project that extra mile. By involving more people, it opens alternative routes for ideas; “surprising things happen when creators and their supporters make things together,” Kickstarter says. 

To display how collaboration between backers and project creators could work through Commissions, Kickstarter has highlighted past projects that used this approach to create new work. For instance, back in January artist John Kilduff painted personalised portraits of his backers’ cats, before creating larger works of submissions which grouped the feline friends together by fur colour and pattern. Another campaign is Jamie Tanner’s Illustrated Tweets where the comic artist encouraged backers to send in their favourite tweets for him to illustrate, creating “surreal interpretations of their 140-character stories”. Both these examples display creatives taking a hobby, activity or a budding idea to the next level, connecting with a global community who get to firstly discover and then invest in their practice.

“Kickstarter is a place where artists, designers, and all types of creators can connect with new supporters who’ll appreciate (and pay for) their work,” explains Kickstarter’s director of curation and content, Willa Koerner. “With Commissions we’re hoping to give artists a chance to put themselves out there, and be discovered by people all over the world who will be excited to commission custom artworks, poems, jewellery, performance pieces — really anything creative.” 

To take part in Kickstarter Commissions, creators need to launch a project that emphasises personal collaboration between 1–30 November, inviting backers to collaborate or customise their reward creatively. Once you build a project intended for Commissions, send it to Kickstarter (details here) and all projects involved will be promoted using a special tag. Your one-of-a-kind work could also be selected to be placed in other Kickstarter channels (such as the homepage, newsletters, and social media) for even more exposure.

“We can’t wait to see all the wildly inventive projects that will come from creators using this prompt as a way to push their creative practice, build on their creative side-hustle,” says Willa, “or even set in a motion a professional career as an artist.” 

Click here to start your own Commissions project.


Jamie Tanner: Illustrated Tweets


John Kilduff: Cat portraits

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