Photograph by R.O.L. "Follow Your Dreams". 2012

I interviewed Adele Watts back in February when she was just starting a project called Disposable, working with people affected by homelessness.

Now she has run one exhibition and–hot off the press, has just been successfully funded through Kickstarter for a second exhibition and a limited edition book.

We grabbed her during a busy time preparing for the exhibition to get an update and to find out how as a mini-hub member that helped in putting the project together.

Richard: Tell us about your project for those that may not know as yet.

Adele: Disposable is a year long participatory photography project with people who are living on the streets in London. Working with GLO, a homeless drop-in in the London Borough of Westminster, Disposable has been led throughout by myself and project supporters.

Through regular workshops the project aims are to empower each photographer with a voice to tell their story and share their perspective on life, facilitating access to creative participation. These workshops provide times to learn new skills, make friends, take photos and eventually develop an exciting body of creative work.

Richard: How did mini-hubs help you in setting up your exhibition/project?

Adele: Mini-hubs helped through providing individual feedback and helped me to focus on particular areas. The group has specifically helped me in focusing on the Kickstarter campaign.

Richard: How did this help?

Adele: I told members my plans and made myself accountable to the group by pledging to update them and put posts up on the forum [Editors note: Each mini-hub has a private forum to share information and encourage each-other]. I had a very tight schedule. For me it is good to know that there is support. So I carried on with putting the campaign together and regularly emailed them my thoughts and concerns.

Richard: What specifically did your fellow mini-hub members do for you?

Adele: I asked for their help with [Kickstarter] rewards feedback. For example, would the rewards inspire them to make a pledge? I received feedback and further suggestions to rewards and prices. This helped me to reconsider things or confirm my choices. I was given general feedback about the overall pitch as well: such as was it good? did it work? This support helped to give me confidence in launching this campaign.

I also received generous practical help in putting this campaign together from Dave Nevard at YWAM Leeds. His support was very much appreciated along with his contribution to the launch.

Richard: How will this help you get stuff done in the future?

Adele: I think it is a reminder to ask for support. There will always struggles I think with this type of thing – creative procrastination, fear, lack of confidence –stepping out into new things. Creative projects will naturally ebb and flow. But [it] has given [me] confidence at this stage and keeping involved with mini-hubs means I can continue to benefit from this support.

Richard: Finally, only 44% of projects on Kickstarter meet their funding goals (though that’s actually pretty good!). How does that make you feel?

Adele: Wow do only 44% get funded? This feels quite a low number now due to great support and backing I’ve received.

It makes me feel – supported – empowered – that things like this are worth the effort and courage
that you can achieve anything – with hard work – communication and people who get behind your project.
It makes me feel honoured and grateful for such support.
It also make me feel – accountable – needing to achieve the things I’ve promised.

Richard: Why was it important that you get this project funded?

Adele: It was important to me to get this funded as

  1. I have been doing this voluntarily and do not have the funds myself to produce this
  2. This has been a ‘grassroots’ project from day one with people being the emphasis of the project. People have donated and given things in-kind all along the way. Following the success of the 1st exhibition and the support and encouragement we received then, I thought it fitting to invite those supporters plus more to be involved in this next exhibition by backing it and enabling it to happen. It will be and has become a ‘group effort’.

One of the main aims of the project has been to empower the photographers and help them to connect with individuals and wider communities, through their photography and ‘voice’. This is one further way that I thought this could be achieved –for them to see and experience the care and support, kindness, connectedness and community. This means a lot to them (& me).

Richard: I certainly think it a really worthwhile project and have been excited to follow its progress through our monthly mini-hub meet-ups. I encourage you reading this to get behind it if you can. You can find out more by the links below and whilst there’s a few days left (–as this is published) you can still financially contribute.

Thanks Adele.

Useful Links

Over to you

Have you had a project funded on Kickstarter–or other crowd-funding platform? How did it go?

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Richard Lalchan

Richard Lalchan is founder of Creatives Hub whose mission is to help as many creatives as possible get rid of the shackles of procrastination, break out of fear, grow in confidence and get stuff done. He also works with individuals and businesses to build their web presence, runs a podcast network and is currently writing his first sci-fi novella.

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