Artist Entrepreneur: Faculty Member Brings Kickstarter Success to Philadelphia Museum
On November 5, local Philadelphia publication Newsworks featured the NeoLucida, a drawing tool designed by SAIC assistant professor Pablo Garcia (Painting and Drawing) and launched via an overwhelmingly successful Kickstarter campaign last spring. Garcia presented the device on November 6 in a lecture at the American Philosophical Society Museum alongside an exhibition of optical instruments by inventor Cornelius Valley. The tool is modeled after the 18th-century device the camera lucida, first employed by the old masters to trace and transfer images. "Within 72 hours, we had 11,000 backers and, like, $425,000," says Garcia of NeoLucida’s viral success. "It was an incredible outpouring of support and desire for this tool." Expecting to produce just 500, Garcia and business partner Gavin Levin are still in the process of filling the 8,000+ orders they received. "It's from another time and mostly forgotten. But it has a certain appeal," he says. "It doesn't make you a better artist, it just kind of helps you with the hard part, which is translating the world around you into a 2-D image."