The creator of the Nomad on spotting a gap in the market
Why did you make the Nomad?
Put simply, I wanted to sketch away from the drawing table more easily. Sketching in most places without a table is awkward and ended up being an experience that was more trouble than it’s worth, despite the surge of inspiration. After a particularly unpleasant experience, I looked online for a product that would help me to sketch on-the-go more easily, and found nothing that matched my requirements.
What was the Kickstarter process like?
I was totally unaware of what was required to manufacture a quality product, sell the idea to people, and deliver that product to each customer. I was a self-taught concept artist in video games and advertising – what on earth did I know about manufacturing and retailing products? One thing that was obvious to me before I started putting money into the prototype phase was that I wouldn’t be able to bankroll the whole process myself. I think it had taken about six prototypes and probably eight months or more before I got to the model that I finally filmed for the Kickstarter campaign.
Did you face any challenges?
Time was dwindling quickly, people were becoming impatient and money was beginning to run very low. I had to dig into my tax money to keep food on the table and the prototype development churning. I finally understood the phrase “failure is not an option” – it really wasn’t anymore. This Kickstarter had to work, otherwise I wouldn’t have enough money to pay my tax bill or anything else, and my wife and my child would suffer for my overzealousness. Despite all the insane challenges, this has been the most positively transformative period in my life, both professionally and personally.
Darren is a concept artist and illustrator who also teaches his craft at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia.