push push and little ele

The recipes are all done. The Artist’s Survival cookbook is at the layout stage. Hang on, a dear Dede-follower might think, wasn’t the book at the layout stage a month ago? How can it take so long? Yeah, well, I’ve got my tax bill! It is not much, but it depends on the reference point. If you have nothing, not much is too much. Pretty sure plenty of readers can empathise with me here :) It is the equivalent to going to jail in Monopoly: don’t pass GO on your way. Well, not quite. Looking back on last year I have moved substantially, but I am not where I want to be. I moved a little sideways. I have a part-time teaching job that takes up more time than it is supposed to. I am teaching young creatives, and I thoroughly enjoy the contact with the students and their development. Sadly, a clash in teaching philosophies with a colleague results in a lot of friction and ultimately the job takes up more head space than it should. The Dedes suffer.

The tax bill made me do a reality check! No more fluffing around. I have to finish the book and get it out. It will happen, but to speed up the process I will I need a little cash. This will go towards roping in some professionals that can do jobs I can’t do. I would also like to have a small print run of hard cover books.

Therefore I have finally decided to go ahead with a crowd funding campaign. This is not much more than pre-selling the books and it gives me an indication whether people are prepared to buy it. Of course, like any artist I have my doubts at times. And of course I know some of you really enjoy the puppets and the idea. A particularly big THANK YOU goes to Tony and Jürgen for their invaluable support throughout the entire process.

Yesterday I started to make a new flash drama film to support the upcoming campaign. As part of the campaign I will also offer four real Dedes as an incentive for a donation. As you may know, the Dedes are usually not for sale. Sometimes the lil’ Dedes are available. The real Dedes are bigger (between 12 and 15cm) and have a label on their neck to identify them as Dedes. They are the ones that go on exhibitions and star in stop motion films. The lil’Dedes are just puppets that try to be Dedes. They are smaller. You can see the difference in the photo. And while they are still handcrafted I don’t record where they go. The little elephant will go on sale at the Art in Action event at the Michael Park School (Steiner School) in Auckland on the 13 June, where I hold a puppet making and film making workshop.

So far I have sold four of the Dedes (my heart ached each time). I really don’t want to let them go. Two of the buyers allowed their puppets to stay with me. Push Push the elephant is one of them, Harvey the rabbit is the other. Ultimately the puppets become more valuable the more often they show up in films.  One, Lap Dog has gone to a collector I don’t know personally and Punch too aka Han de Vere has gone to a person I didn’t know, but know now. (Message for HanTop Dog is still waiting to join you! He is still muzzled, sitting in the corner.)

Still, the campaign might not work, as I am not very well connected. I work with puppets and reflect, I am not out there selling myself.  Another (not uncommon) trait a lot of people can empathise with :). However, the book will go ahead, one way or another. It is just a question of how and when. I have finally set a deadline. I will have it done and dusted in July! (this year).  And as I always say to my students. A deadline is a deadline, no expemptions!

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