Whew. Apologies for the radio silence! It’s been a hectic couple of weeks and that’s an understatement!
The organisation and fundraising for this trip has taken over my life somewhat, much to the detriment of the rest of my life around me. However, the work has at least paid off because my Kickstarter reached 100% with 2 weeks left to run, and at the time of writing it is 172% funded! This is fantastic, and I owe everyone that has contributed, shared and tweeted the project for its success. Without your help I may still have been floundering in the doldrums scratching my head in despair! It won’t be forgotten.
I still have two days to run on my Kickstarter project, and it’s now in the final push stage. I have done the maths and after Kickstarter fees (and a small percentage of people who usually withdraw their pledges) I’m currently looking at having raised around £9000. After book production costs to fulfil rewards (circa 1600 at the current reward level), plus the 400 postcards I’ll be writing, prints I’ll be producing , plus postage. I’m currently looking at around £5000 towards the actual project costs. It’s amazing at how quickly the funds ebb away!
If I can get this number up in the next few days I’ll be able to make a larger book run edition and bring the costs down, which will mean a higher quality and more bespoke object as I’ll have more creative control. If I can do that I won’t use a print on demand service, and will instead go straight into litho printing which means that the book will be able to extend beyond my Kickstarter backers. This would be fantastic, as my original plan was to use a print on demand service initially and then raise further funding at a later date to make a bigger book run happen, but it may be possible to do this in one hit which will benefit everyone.
So do please continue to spread the word, share it, back it, etc, etc. I’ve said this to a few people already, but one of the most rewarding things about crowdfunding is this idea of creating a community around your project. It seems particularly apt for this endeavour, which is, after all, about a community. Though many people deride the idea of crowdfunding, I have to say that being on the other side of it is a fantastic experience. So many people have written to me after seeing a post about it somewhere and have given me kind words of encouragement, or a gentle push in a new direction. It makes this feel more collaborative than solitary.
Photography can often be a very solitary pursuit, and though that is one of the main reasons that I am drawn to it, it’s nice to have some company along the way. It gives the project a greater sense of purpose and for that I am very thankful, so do please keep emailing me. It’s great hearing from you – if I haven’t replied just yet, I will. I’ve just been in the throes of chaos packing and repacking, but I’ll be having a lot of time on my hands while in transit.
In fact, due to the trip being secure, I have already tentatively begun my voyage. As I write I’m sitting on a Greyhound bus somewhere in Delaware outside of a Royal Farms (believe me when I say this place has never met anything Royal or anything resembling a farm) eating an e-number riddled all American snack! When in Rome…
It’s freezing outside with iced puddles and piled grey snow everywhere. I’m enjoying the cold while I can! My luggage didn’t allow for much in the way of clothing, so I’m thankful for Uniqlo’s heat tech, sometimes it’s the small things that make the biggest difference!
Why am I on a Greyhound bus when I’m going to Pitcairn you might wonder? Well, I’m en route to collect film and camera gear, and then I’ll be heading back to New York on Thursday where I’ll do my final bit of kit purchasing before heading across the states to LA, where I’ll be overnight before heading into the Pacific for Tahiti.
Yesterday I flew on Kuwait Airlines (an experience!) to JFK – I left London for the next 4 months with the sun shining over the sea of airport tears to head to a snowy New York City. I got in rather delayed after having sat in the most uncomfortable seat in history, having been subjected to multiple bag searches.
For some unknown reason the US has the idea that terrorist would favour Kuwait airlines, over, say, British Airways, Virgin, American Airlines, United, etc, and as a result your bag is hand searched and unpacked on entering the gate. Not what I wanted when I was trying to make my 17 kilo bag look like 7 kilos! There is also no in flight entertainment (despite the rather hopeful supplying of headsets!), and the food was mostly mystery food. Still all part of the experience. I did meet a very nice guy who sat next to me though, called Danny (Hi Danny!) on his way to NY for work who had been moved seats as his was broken too.. and that made the latter part of my flight more enjoyable!
I got there in the end though, after lines and lines of people at the returning visitors area that took an hour, plus another 30 minutes to exit through customs, and eventually crashed at a friends place in Manhattan before having to get up to catch the 8:30 bus to Virginia. My brain is scrambled with the traveling already, and I’ve still got a few things to organise. Where I’m staying in LA for one!
In other news – through the grapevine of this project (hi Dave from Alaska!) I’ve had my first Pitcairn delivery request:
1: In flight magazines from every plane I catch.
2: Captain Crunch Berries cereal (not the peanut version).
I think there might be a project in this in itself. I quite fancy myself as a “cereal fixer” ! Though I find American cereal isles one the most overwhelmingly unfamiliar locations on the planet (probably even more so than Pitcairn!) I take on the challenge!
I’ll write again before I head back to NYC, but till then do please keep sharing my Kickstarter, every bit helps! I’m on Twitter as @blackbirdsfly and Instagram as @analgue_forever
Pitcairn was in the paper this week with this rather daft and slightly factually incorrect article… My friend Emma French, aka Phileas French also published a guest blog about my journey which you can read here.