Tomorrow, the last 20 rewards of the Elves of Inneath campaign will finally depart. 18 months after the end of the Kickstarter campaign, I can consider this project officially ended, mission accomplished!
I confess that I'm still processing the moment because, after having spent so many months completely focused on and absorbed by this journey, I'm feeling a vast range of emotions that will require a couple of days to be properly handled.
I'm thankful, happy, and proud. The campaign funded far more than my expectations, the community has grown nicely and it has been so heartwarming to see so many new faces gathering around my creations and so many old friends supporting again my projects. We shared pieces of our stories, we spent some time chatting as real friends, and we even shared gifts (a special thanks to the mighty Rowena, who delighted me with a ton of German sweets!).
When I was wandering in a Kiabi store, looking for a little gift for a backer who welcomed his newborn son soon 6 months ago, I realized once more how all of this is not just selling and buying resin kits of fantasy figures, but it's way more than that!
On the other hand, I'm also tired, sad and disappointed. The delay has been consistent and unexpected, I failed to properly communicate my needs with my commercial partners and that brought confusion and inefficiency to the whole project, wasting time and money.
At a certain point, moreover, I realized I had basically stopped all my life, waiting for the end of this project that seemed just...endless. I felt guilt for the delay, and I didn't want to promote my other projects because it seemed just wrong, to me. I even lost any kind of enthusiasm for painting. I was stuck in a limbo where my daily life was just being worried about my daughter and being worried about the delay and setbacks of this project.
It has been stressful and demoralizing, but luckily the whole community has supported me far beyond what is legit to expect from normal customers and, believe me, this really helped me not to step into a darker and more dangerous path.
The Elves of Inneath, just like all my other campaigns, has been a tough yet extremely rewarding mountain to climb.
In hindsight, probably I would have changed a couple of details, but designing this range I learned many crucial lessons that made me grow a lot as a creator. It's like making practice with the high jump: each time you put the bar a bit higher and try to overcome it.
Maybe, before mastering the new height, you need to try many times, but when you finally overcome it, it's a highly rewarding moment.
What did this range leave to me? Well, despite what you might imagine, looking at the KS campaign final result, NOT a lot of money.
I invested almost everything in polishing as much as possible this project, I've gathered a fair amount of Elves stocks to sell in the online store (check this website, the next week!), I've bought a new desk and a couple of closets to better store the big inventory of products and I bought maybe too many dresses and stuff for my daughter.
But this is not about money (even if I have now to get serious about the incoming projects, or I'll have to eat onions&bread for a while...).
This experience left me with the consciousness that I can now produce bigger and more complex characters, and this makes a huge difference (you will see it soon, not only because I designed a whole range of big-scale figures, but also because I'm almost ready to unveil one of the main characters of the saga of Inneath...).
Moreover, the average quality of the kits made with this campaign is extremely high, better than our previous products. That's because the big boss of GRX Creations, the service that handles our products, has returned and grants a higher quality.
Finally, as it always happens when I complete a huge and challenging task, after a couple of days spent processing the stress, I will get back to business with more enthusiasm and crazy ideas than ever before!
And, indeed, this is probably the best part of this whole thing.
But this, my friends, is another story.
For the moment, I would like to thank you once more for having supported me, cared about me, understood my situation and trusted me.
All the people in this world are special, but let me say that you, for sure, are at least 14% more special than anybody else.
PS: I'm searching for suggestions for my Iron Titan boxart. I don't know how to set the base environment...any idea?! :D