Please tell us something about you.
My name is Marcus, I’m an artist, right now my favorite color to draw with is pink, and I’m really into preparing curry for dinner. More about myself – I’ve lived in Berlin for 12 years now, I came here originally because of an ex-boyfriend of mine, he invited me over for a summer and a year later I had an artist visa and no desire to return to NYC where I had been based before. I was actually born in Germany and spent the greater part of my childhood living here and found myself struck by how familiar and ‘home’ like it felt when I first arrived back in Germany 12 years ago. Having said that I don’t identify as a German (people often ask me), but while living in the U.S. I never really felt at home there and often had difficulty feeling a connection with people from there – this lead me to understand that I’m most comfortable as a foreigner in the country of me birth, and identity as an American. I’ve always had a strong interest in understanding ‘identity’ how much of it comes of us and how much of it is pushed onto us by the contexts around us. This interest in identity plays a major role in my graphic novel ‘Mac’ which will not only explore a general idea of what or how it is to be gay, but also my own personal experience sorting out what it is to be me.
What makes your graphic novel „Mac“ so special for you?
‘Mac’ is important to me on so many levels. The story digs into a lot of very personal experiences from my own life as well as larger topics that I believe have been important and have had major impacts in the lives of others. Having spent so many years now in Berlin I often find myself wondering ‘what am I still doing here, what has this all been for, how did I come to be in the current situation I am in right now’, I’m interested in identity, development, and the way history impacts this for each of us. I think everyone has to face a series of situations, cultural histories, and personal struggles as they develop an understanding of their own identity and it’s relation to others around them as well as events from the past – I want to explore this in ‘Mac’. Additionally ‘Mac’ will be perhaps the largest project I’ve done, I find this very exciting and important for my personal and artistic growth. The content is relevant, it’s personal and in many ways universal, I believe it’s time for me to explore these topics and make something out of my experience getting to the here and now.
Why did you choose crowdfunding as the method of financing?
To be honest it was suggested to me by a friend of mine who was able to put me in direct contact with VisionBakery. After having a meeting with them I came away with the feeling that not only was my project possible but that a crowdfunding campaign was a viable way to raise the funding I needed for it. I’d seen crowdfunding campaigns before but for some reason never thought it might work for me. I’ve come to understand now though that if you really believe in your project then others will as well and are happy to donate what they can to help make someone else’s vision possible. Before trying crowdfunding I had also applied for grants – another good option, but found that if you’re applying for the first time that your chances of success are lower, with crowdfunding it feels like there’s a more direct path between setting your goal and reaching it, a more ‘do it yourself’ feeling which is something I tend to lean towards more often then not.
How did you prepare for the campaign?
In regards to the project page for the campaign I just followed the guidelines of VisionBakery, I assembled a series of visual assets to help illustrate my project, as well as the rewards that I have on offer. A good deal of time was spent developing a solid project description, something that would make sense, draw people in, but remain accessible and easy to take in. I guess the hardest part was making the video – it’s so weird watching yourself speak on camera. All in all though the process was easy, if you already have a full understanding of your project then it’s really just a matter of putting down that which you already know.
If your project is successfully funded, could we expect you in the future?
Yes most definitely, having never done a crowdfunding campaign before I have to admit I came into the situation a little nervous about what kind of support I would end recieving and I’m happy to say that nervousness was misplaced. VisionBakery has been extremely helpful and supportive, they provided skilled and professional service as well as experience that helped me create effective campaigning strategies. They really want to support you and will do all they can, though in the end most of the hard work you have to do yourself but it’s good to know that they’re there when you need them and able to give guidance and support when you need it. It’s a great way to raise funding for your projects and I have found this process has lead to a greater understanding of my project, in best case scenario you gain the funding you need, but even if you don’t you will definitely walk away with more motivation and drive to see your project through to the end one way or another.