Thursday, March 01, 2018

Lightfast Testing Fundraising Proposal

For years, you've asked me to do across the board lightfast tests on frequently fugitive art supplies.  For years, I've said I'd like to, but demurred- it's a huge amount of time, space, and resources that I can't afford to spend pro bono.  For a year, I've had a little known goal on my Patreon- Lightfast Tests, at the $500 a month community goal.

This year, I've tested out so many art supplies- particularly watercolor supplies, spanning the gamut from Obviously for Kids to Claims to be Professional but Is It? to Actually Professional and Nice.   Throughout the year, I've had some serious doubts regarding the archivability and lightfastness of many of the supplies I've tested,

My Plan:

I plan to do massive lightfast tests (spanning at least a year) across several popular traditional media resources.  I intend to set up a light box, and scan the swatches before and after, and share these resources to either a Patron only resource, or a public resource (depending on what my Patrons vote for)

"A giant color-fastness test on all the marker brands currently available- watercolor, waterbased, alcohol, and any weird thing I might encounter.  Will be updated as new materials come out.  I will even get super fancy and make a downloadable infographic for you guys that includes what the brand promises and the actual experienced lightfastness. I will share the results to a public Tumblr account for the purpose, as well as on Nattosoup Art and Process Blog." 

But to do this, I'm going to need your help.


What I Want to Test:

Stage 1: Alcohol markers from the most popular brands- Copic, Prismacolor, Shin Han, Blick, Chartpak- skintones, fluorescents, and primaries
Stage 2: Watercolor swatches from popular professional brands- Mijello Mission Gold, Daniel Smith, Stage 3: Winsor and Newton, Holbein, and the DS Primatek Colors
Watercolor Swatches from Student and Hobbyist Brands- Lukas, Cotman, Van Gogh, Kuretake Gansai Tambi, Prima Marketing Watercolor Confections, Jane Davenport Petite Palettes
Stage 4: Winsor and Newton Pigment Markers, Winsor and Newton Watercolor Markers (Pigment Based)
Stage 5: Dye based watercolor markers such as Ecoline, Spectrum Aqua, Mermaid Markers
Stage 6: Liquid watercolors such as Blick Liquid watercolors, PH Martin's Radient Watercolors, Hydrus (pigment based)
Stage 7: Children's art supplies (for posterity) such as Crayola washable markers, Crayola Crayons, Crayola watercolors, and Crayola color pencils
Stage 8: Watercolor Pencils such as Derwent Inktense, Supracolor II
Stage 9: Color Pencils such as Prismacolor, Caran D'Ache Pablo, Faber Castel Polychromos, Crayola Signature, Crayola, Derwent Coloursoft
Stage 10: Sharpies, Bic Mark Its, Sharpie Pens, highlighters and other office supplies
Stage 11: Fountain Pen Inks

What I Have:

Epson Large format professional grade scanner
Canoscan Slide Scanner (great for scanning watercolor)
Bristol board
Cardstock
Sketchbook paper
Tracing Paper
Photo Paper
Cellulose watercolor paper
Cotton Rag watercolor paper
All of the art supply products mentioned above
Natural daylight lamps

What I Want to Buy: 

Large weatherproof clear plastic box(es)
Dehumidifier
Humidity gauge

What I want to do:

Set up a lightfast testing box (or multiple, depending on demand) outside, and allow the sun to do it's thing.  Should conditions get too humid, or the paper show signs of deterioration, I will conduct the tests inside, using daylight lamps.

I plan on checking the boxes monthly for changes in color quality, and if there's a significant change, scanning and updating the information.  If there is no significant change, updates will be posted every six months.

Pros of Sunlight:
Actual sunlight
I have space on my porch for multiple boxes

Pros of Natural Light Lamps:
Consistent lighting regardless of weather

What does this mean?

If my total (all Patrons combined) raised at the end of the month is $500, I will begin working on this project.  Once I begin, I will create tests for all materials within a stage, and every month we're at the $500 goal, I will start a new stage.  Six months in, I'll check the progress of the light test, and update my Patrons and the Tumblr with new swatches.  One year in, I will check again, do the same, and we can go from there.

So as long as we're at $500, I will continue to add new tests to the roster, and keep the information updated.  Once we're under $500, I will make sure everything is up to date, and halt new tests.

Why does this cost so much?

An ongoing lightfast test of this scale takes a massive amount of time, dedication, space, resources, and art supplies.  I plan on scanning before the light test, allowing the products to sit in the box for up to a year, and then scan again to compare the swatches.  This is valuable information, and such tests would provide first hand, user experience proof of product claims.

Right now, we're at $161 a month- not bad at all!  That $161 goes towards this blog AND the Youtube channel- purchasing materials to review, the supplies needed (such as paper), and paying for guest posts.    You can check out this post to see all the great things the Artnerds helped me do in 2017!

What I Need From You:

Your support on Patreon!  It can be just as little as $2 a month- every little bit helps!  My Artnerds receive all sorts of great goodies, from early access art tutorial videos to free mini comics and art resources, and this would be one more amazing goodie to enjoy!  I'm going to share behind the scenes setup and prep videos for these swatches, so if you want an insider sneak peek, you're going to have to join the club!

All that said, maybe Patreon doesn't work for you!  That's why, as I gear up, I have this handy poll to see if perhaps Kickstarter would be a better fit.