We are creating an illustrated tale about love, food, and the ocean. The book is for children of all ages... including the big ones.
The world's oceans are under siege. Menaces like overfishing, habitat destruction, and dumping at sea continue unabated. As growing human activity increases the pressure on our oceans, they lose resilience and become less able to provide the ecoystem services that all creatures -- including us -- require to survive on this planet. We are gambling away our futures by abusing our oceans and the creatures that live inside them.
Both of us are passionate about creating solutions to this massive problem. We strongly believe that if environmentally minded people of today can find a way to reach the next generation and influence their thinking, they will grow up to be the leaders that we so desperately need.
This project was born when Casson had a discussion with a friend of his about the importance of discussing environmental issues with children. He spent two years writing the book before approaching Caia with the project. She is painting each page as a full-size, gallery-ready piece, and we estimate that it will take between twelve and sixteen months to complete this task.
This book isn't just for young children -- it's for all of us. The story is designed to resonate with audiences of all ages, and we feel that the use of such advanced artwork will help the book's message gain an even wider reach.
We need to raise a total of around $40,000 to complete this project. We understand that the proceeds of this Patreon may not cover that entire amount, so we will be approaching other potential sponsors as well. We will also be running a Kickstarter in about a year to manage printing and production costs. All that said, every dollar raised here will be of tremendous help to us.
We plan to be finished by Summer 2018 and to have books in hand later that same year. To do this, we need your support!
A little bit of background on us:
- Caia Koopman is a renowned pop surrealist painter with a devoted following. She grew up in California and spent much of her youth enmeshed in surf, skate and tattoo culture. Caia is a staunch environmentalist who is acutely aware that humanity is dangling this planet over a dangerous flame of pollution and misuse. She combines her urban, west-coast influences with her love of nature to result in a visually striking style, full of eccentric illustrative touches. Birds, flowers, plants, butterflies, animals and mythical creatures are interlaced with iconic symbols of love, mystery, soul-searching and timeless values to create a haunting, beautiful counterpoint to Casson's verse. You can see more of Caia's work at www.caiakoopman.com.
- Casson Trenor is a career marine conservation activist. He grew up on the beach in Washington State, and at some point the ocean managed to infiltrate his soul. Casson has defended whales in Antarctica with Sea Shepherd, run campaigns to reform major seafood corporations with Greenpeace, and established a number of sustainable sushi restaurants designed around the principles of ocean awareness and mindful dining. His work has been featured in books, documentaries, and periodicals around the world. Casson strongly believes that art is one of the most important vehicles we have when it comes to teaching people to care for our Earth. This will be Casson's second book. (Oh, and Caia is his favorite artist in the whole world, which makes this project all kinds of amazing for him.)
A little bit about our reward system:
As Patreon backers, you are part of this project. You are its anchor and its sail. Your support and generosity give us the encouragement we need to see this project through. Still, we want to be clear that supporting us through Patreon is not the most economical way for you to acquire some specific materials related to the book. For those primarily interested in purchasing original paintings or copies of the book itself, our upcoming pre-sale (Spring 2018) will probably be a more appropriate place to participate. This Patreon is meant for those of you who believe in this project and who want to be along for the ride!
Admittedly, we are doing things a little bit differently than most Patreon users. The platform was primarily designed for creators that produce content in installments or set intervals (podcasts, comic strips, serial writers, etc.) Since we are really just producing one major creation -- our book -- we've needed to play around with the reward mechanism a bit.
Here's how it works:
- Rewards pay out in installments. Most tiers have instant rewards, six-month mark rewards, and one-year-mark rewards. A few have rewards at the three-month or nine-month marks as well.
- Instant rewards are accrued as soon as you sign up to be a supporter! We will get these out to you as quickly as we can. It may take a moment if it requires additional production on our end, but we will do our utmost to make it happen right away!
- The six month mark is the next major reward tier. To qualify for these rewards, you need to have supported the project at a given tier for six months. As soon as that happens, we send your rewards out to you!
- The one year mark is the third major reward tier. To qualify for these rewards, you must have supported the project at a given tier for one year. We recognize that this is a major ask and we have done our best to load the one-year rewards up with some truly beautiful and valuable pieces.
- The eighteen month mark is the final major reward tier. This tier focuses on personal rewards that underscore our deep appreciation for these longterm backers.
- If you have already backed the project but want to change tiers, please email us right away and we will help you through the process. We have a system in place to ensure your support will still be fully recognized and rewarded.
- For those that would prefer to make a single donation rather than a monthly commitment, we are happy to work with you and offer the equivalent rewards. Please contact us at [email protected].
A little bit about the rewards themselves:
We have put a lot of thought into designing a catalog of pieces that we feel will honor your generous support of this project, will help build community, and will provide a desirable return on investment. We hope you are pleased with the artwork and other items that we have selected.
- Supporter's pins are custom enamel art pieces, inspired by the book and designed by Caia specifically for those who join us in making this book a reality. These pins express the themes of the book: love, balance, and respect for the ocean, each imbued with the unique spark that makes Caia's work so special.
- Access to the livestream is something of which we hope you all will take advantage, as we are looking forward to discussing this project with you! The livestream is a monthly, hour-long event for our backers to get status updates, ask questions, and make suggestions. Instructions on how and when to join the livestream will be sent out via email each month. To be honest, this probably more of a reward for us than it is for you, as we are really looking forward to speaking with you all about this book!
- Signed prints are full-size, limited-edition giclée prints, signed and numbered on heavy paper. These prints are unique to our Patreon reward tiers and will never be reproduced, even for other funding purposes. Caia's signed and numbered prints generally sell for between $90 and $200, but given the rarity and limited run of these specific prints, they are likely to command a higher value. Note: Backers that receive multiple prints will not receive duplicates -- only new, original pieces from the book.
- Hand-embellished prints are a step beyond. These are unique, limited-edition giclée prints, signed and numbered on heavy paper, that have been additionally hand-embellished by Caia. Only a handful of these will be available, and each one will be a little bit different. These are some of the most attractive and valuable items available in our reward tiers.
- Suites of five prints are only available to our top-tier backers. Those that earn this reward may select their prints from the book's entire catalog of art (excepting those prints that are unique to other Patreon rewards). These prints will be of matching number and series, and may include hand-embellished options if the backer so desires.
- Okatako's sketchbook is a bound piece sporting original art from the book on the cover. It is a simple yet attractive place to express your creativity, as well as to record your thoughts, feelings, and ideas -- especially those about how to make this world a better place.
- Okatako's cedar-bound journal is a work of art in itself. Emblazoned with a stunning etching of one of the most charismatic characters in our book, this journal is made from 100% sustainably raised cedar here in the United States. We are working with an expert woodcrafter to create these pieces specifically for our high-level backers.
- Okatako's seashore towel is a gorgeous, high-quality beach accessory that will let you bring Caia's artwork back to the ocean. Extra-soft polyester on one side for lounging, terrycloth on the reverse for drying off. It's a functional yet attractive statement piece that will remind you of the connection between humanity and the ocean every time you use it.
- A personalized drawing by Caia is a rare and special gift. In honor of your tremendous generosity and indispensable support, Caia will create a drawing, by hand, specifically for you. This is a unique and precious piece of artwork. Any prints or reproductions made of this drawing in the future are likely to substantially increase the value of your original piece. Note: These drawings take time to complete. They will probably arrive slightly later than any other rewards you have earned.
- A signed copy of the book is a first edition hardcover, made out to whomever you choose, along with a short inscription and mention of your invaluable support in this process. Note: The books will likely not be ready for shipping until the second half of 2018.
- Umijoo's paintbrush is an actual paintbrush that Caia used in the creation of this project. This is a rare, personal token meant to honor your connection to this project and to acknowledge our gratitude for your unflagging support. These paintbrushes are unique to long-term backers.
- Umijoo's blanket is a gorgeous, cozy way to enjoy Umijoo artwork, anywhere from the fireside snuggle on the couch to a brisk sunset on the beach. These blankets are emblazoned with one of the emblematic undersea scenes from Umijoo, and are available only to project supporters.
- Magic in the Water: an Umijoo boxed set is the ultimate token of our gratitude. This hand-crafted boxed set will include a signed copy of the book, personalized notes from its creators, a paintbrush used by Caia during the creation of the book, and additional surprises. These boxed sets are unique to our high-level long-term backers. Note: Boxed sets will likely not be ready for shipping until late 2018.
In addition to the rewards listed on each support tier, our Patreon backers will receive monthly updates on the status of the project. There will be opportunities to participate as well, including helping to brainstorm marketing ideas, helping to host book events, and identifying ways to spread the story to those who can't afford the book -- especially children.
This book will be our primary focus for the foreseeable future. Other projects have been sidelined, sacrifices have been made, and many risks have been (and will be) taken. This planet is in danger, and this is the best way that the two of us can think of to do our part in response to those threats. With all of the problems facing our oceans today, teaching our children about marine conservation has become more important than ever before.
Please help us bring this book to life.