An Interview with Dawn Griffin

Posted by Robin Childs on August 20, 2015 News | Services | Tags: , , , | No comments

Dawn Griffin and her charactersDawn Griffin is a seasoned creator with over 20 years of experience making adorable and hilarious comic strips. However, crowd-funding was new to her and she wasn’t sure how to approach it, what to charge, or if her idea to make plush toys of her characters would even work. As a team, we changed how she viewed her project and made sure the amount she was raising covered everything she’d need to succeed. Her campaign exceeded the funding goal by 143 percent by the time it closed!

Once her Kickstarter was concluded, she agreed to sit down with me and talk about her experience.


How would you describe the project you wanted to do?

A Kickstarter campaign to fund the creation of plushies based on my comic characters, working with a fellow indie creator seamstress.

How long have you been creating?

Nine years on Zorphbert & Fred, but I’ve been drawing comics since 1994.

What are your current goals as a creator?

Lofty goal: make a living off my comics and freelance art/design. Realistic goal: earn a decent supplementary income on my work, have some work published by a reputable company with an all-ages/kids comics focus, get some actual books stores & comic shops nationwide.

Dawn Griffin and her characters


What challenges led you to look for help?

This was my first ever Kickstarter campaign. My biggest concern was getting the numbers to flush out and come away from this campaign fully funded AND in the black.

What were you most concerned about?

THE MATH. I’m not horrible at math, but I was concerned I would forget some fees, taxes, or other expenses and under-charge for reward levels. If I sat down with the numbers myself, I may have been able to work them out decently enough, but I no doubt had more confidence in your process than my own.

Why did you decide to contact me specifically?

Our ties to the Webcomic Alliance. I already knew you excelled at this in particular.


What was working with me like?

Easy. You took the reins where needed, and let go when you knew we had control. You knew the hole we brought you aboard to fill, and had the knowledge and confidence to do just that.

Did my work meet your expectations?

Definitely! I have no complaints.

Is there a particular aspect of the service I provided that you liked most?

I appreciate a no-BS attitude and confidence in abilities. Know what you excel in, be able to admit where you are lacking. I had no doubts you knew what you were doing in breaking down the reward level prices, keeping all the fees, taxes and expenses in mind. Not having to worry if I am relying on the right person to handle this aspect of our campaign was a HUGE benefit.



How has the consultation helped you achieve your goals?

I would have under-charged. I’m pretty sure of that. I would have wound up paying out of pocket expenses due to that mistake. Thanks to you, I should have plenty of extra cash leftover to achieve my goal of having extra plushies to sell at shows!

What made my service stand out?

The extra advice given outside of the numbers. There was one line of advice in particular that charged how I look at kickstarter campaigns: People are paying the extra money to be PART of the process, like VIPs. I was hurting myself by being under the impression that backers would see this as a way to simply purchase a plushie, and would scoff at the price listed. “$35 for a single plushie?? No way!” You changed how I see this whole process, and I was able to shed that insecurity. I see better now the worth in being a part of a Kickstarter process, and in my own work. Thank you for that!


Congratulations on running a successful campaign! Your fans have been loving this story for nine wonderful years, and I’m so glad they had a chance to celebrate your comic and get a cute and fluffy Zorphbert and Fred of their own.

Dawn may have finished Zorphbert and Fred after 800 excellent strips, but I know she’s got more exciting projects to come in the future. Keep in touch with her on Twitter @dgriffstudios!

If you’re planning your own crow-funding campaign and need a little help, contact me!

Learn more about my Creative Consulting here!