We’ve all seen the Kickstarter campaigns that start with high hopes, dreams, and aspirations but then finish with hopelessness, hardly any commitment from the community, and pledges that will never see the project to completion.
It’s sad when a campaign fails.
But the Nomad Art Satchel is not that campaign. In less than one week, Nomad Creator Darren Yeow was able to amass more than double the $30,000 goal he set. Today, the campaign stands at just over $77,000 with more than 450 backers, and it still has more than half a month to go.
“Yeah it’s been pretty nuts,” said Yeow. “But I don’t think I can boil it down to a single thing,”
The Nomad is a weatherproof, cushioned, tripod-integrated satchel for the artist on the go. Yeow said that he wanted to design a satchel specifically for an artist’s needs, because inspiration can happen anywhere.
“I quite often have sparks of inspiration in the middle of walking to the bus stop, but I can’t find a place to draw comfortably and you forget the idea by the time you get home,” said Yeow. “If you think about it for a second, and multiply that by how many creative people there are in the world, it could potentially be millions of amazing ideas being lost every single day.
“I ask myself, how much more amazing would the world be if we didn’t have to lose any of them.”
Based out of Melbourne, Australia, Yeow is a concept artist turned entrepreneur, and he said his motivation for the Nomad started with a problem many artists face.
“Originally, I wanted to make my own sketching experience more comfortable when I left the house,” said Yeow. “I worked up the courage to show off a very early idea, thinking that maybe a couple of people would find it interesting…”
But the Nomad had an enormous response. Some backers of the project include the design chief of Toyota Australia, a car designer at Volkswagen Germany as well several other professionals in the art community.
Yeow said the project has gone through multiple iterations; he has refined the original idea a number of times to keep up with all the information he has had to learn about starting a business.
“There were many times I wanted to just give up as it was getting expensive and time consuming,” he said “But I kept going because it felt like I had an obligation to those people who were looking forward to the final product; I had to do this in large part for them.”
Although the Nomad is aimed at artists and fits most tablets, Yeow said this version is not compatible with the Wacom Cintiq Companion. That’s because of time constraints and some Companion details that were not readily available when the Nomad design was finalized.
He said he wants to design a Nomad variant made ideally for the Companion, one that takes into account some of the shortcomings that the Companion has and reduce them. He said he knows how important a keyboard is to some artists.
“There are so many short cuts in programs—like Photoshop, Painter, Z-brush— that without a keyboard it is difficult to be as efficient,” said Yeow. “This is not something that was taken into consideration for the original Nomad.”
Other things he’d like to change in the Companion version of the Nomad is redesigning the “slinging method” so it takes into account the Companion’s weight and reducing sun glare for artists who like to work outside.
“I’ll need to look into perhaps incorporating a hood to block out ambient light,” he said.
Yeow said that in the end he just wants to help creatives out because when he started out as an artist, resources were limited.
“Helping others has been a huge part of my life since, and it really gives my work a great deal of meaning,” he said. “I think this has inadvertently built up a lot of goodwill and many people want to see me succeed in this endeavor.
“The artist community is really incredible when it pulls together for a common goal.”