I recently accepted the invite to join in as one of several artist to design a set of Christmas/Holiday inspired buttons and magnets. Brian John Mitchell who's a frequent guest here on The Indy Hunter and The ZineSmiths is....."The Button Maker!" Seriously he's the one that's making all of this possible and we need your help! So still unconvinced? Well why not take a gander below and after checking out the video read my interview with Brian John Mitchell as he talks about the process and appeal to Independent designed buttons and magnets!
Friggin' Magnets! How do they work Yo?!
Brian, thanks for taking time to talk to us about your latest DiY adventure and Kickstarter.
No problem. Always good to talk to people about the things I’m excited enough to invest my time & energy in.
Let's get right into it. Tell us what the Kickstarter's about?
I love those one inch buttons. I used to have a jacket covered with them when I was in middle school. Anyway, earlier this year (over 25 years after the jacket!) I bought a button making machine to make my own buttons & do some for friends. Christmas is coming up & I always like to do some kind of special project for Silber, in the past it’s usually been music compilations (check them out here for free downloads - http://silbermedia.com/christmas/ ), but this year I have the button maker available. So I asked some of my friends to do Christmas themed button designs. I think they’ll make great stocking stuffers & the designs are pretty fun. I went with Kickstarter for selling them just so I have the ability to make & ship them all at once & judge the demand before making them all.
How long have you been making the buttons and was their any learning curve to it when you first started doing it?
Well, I started designing buttons that other people made for me back in 1998 or so, but not making my own until recently. There is a bit of a learning curve as far as what will look good at that small of a size & what will just completely disappear. It’s probably also worth noting that I had a really crap button maker I bought in 2000 or so & it was super frustrating to use, the ones worth using cost a bit more.
For those that maybe skeptical or are wondering, "Why buttons?!?" describe to us the appeal of buttons, artists, and shows? What's the history?
Well, from the artist perspective (be you a musician or fine artist or whatever) buttons are inexpensive & a great way to get your brand out to friends of fans. From a button fan perspective they are inexpensive enough to be a disposable fashion. I also am offering them as magnets or zipper pulls for those who don’t where buttons. They’re basically just fun objects & I think they make good little gifts to just let people know you are thinking of them.
This time you've brought in a group of artists to design the buttons, what was that experience like?
Well, I did a button project a few months ago where I went to particular people to get buttons made, but this time out I did more of an open call approach & that aspect was pretty interesting. I got a lot of people promising to do buttons who didn’t turn them in, I got some people sending in artwork that I needed to do a bit of work to so that it would work as buttons; but it was fun to get to work with some people I didn’t know as well & hopefully working with new folks will get more people excited about the project & at least get more people to see some of my friends art even if they don’t buy it.
What can people expect if they pledge to the Kickstarter? What are some of the rewards?
There are buttons, magnets, & zipper pulls. Basically the amount you pay sets the amount of buttons you get. 35 designs to choose from, 7 artists doing 5 designs each, so there is some variety.
Last what's next after this Kickstarter effort? Do you have anything else scheduled?
New music coming soon on Silber, more comics from Silber, new issues of my webzine QRD, I’m going to be trying to do some ebook stuff. I’ve got a few Christmas concerts I’m doing & an art fair appearance before the end of the year. I’m not sure what else. It feels like it might be enough for the moment without getting so specific I bore people.
Feel free to head on over and check out our fantastically awesome holiday button inspired kickstarter here!
Remember folks, support your local/online Indy, til' then I am
-Indy Hunter/J.M. Hunter!