• Jme Foronda

Project: Pananamit

I want to write a blog post about how I got started on Pananamit, and where I ended up. But I'm at a loss right now, so I'll be copy/pasting bits and pieces of the Preface I have on the book:

This project started out with the simplest of reasons: spite. A 2015 poster of mine depicting attires of indigenous groups was reshared on social media in 2020. (See poster at the Behind-the-Scenes portion of the book). I used some inapposite words in the poster, and together with certain cultural inaccuracies I missed at that time, these caused a barrage of criticism of my work.

HERE is the post I have of the said poster. I was shielded from a lot of criticisms on it, due to me not knowing it had been reshared, so by the time I saw all the negative comments, the fire had already died down, so to speak.

And because I am apparently motivated by pett (as in “pettiness”), I decided to come back stronger and do more, better.
In seeking vindication and ensuring authenticity, I researched so much that I ended up with a lot more data and reference photos than I expected. I realized it was possible to collate all of these into an honest-to-goodness book. I also decided I didn’t have enough to do so I plunged forward into the process of making it so.

So yeah. There wasn't any deep, heartfelt reason for me doing this book, frankly speaking. I just zeroe'd in on a project that felt like it was fun and stuck with it. That, and they said "write the book you want to read".

Also, back when I was living in the Philippines, I applied to a group of children's book illustrators *coughAngINKcough* and I was salty that I didn't get accepted. Whatever. I guess part of me making this book was a "yeah, I'll show you guys!" to them.

In short, spite is a great motivator. But hey, whatever works.

The plans I had of making a simple reworked poster, slowly became a set of postcards, then into simple booklet.... then finally transitioned into an honest-to-goodness book.


Funding it was another milestone. I knew about crowdfunding sites and have been backing Kickstarter campaigns for a while now. I decided to look into Kickstarter and see how far I'd get with that. It was another leg of the project, wherein I signed up as a creator in Kickstarter, did Excel spreadsheets for costing, and started making campaign material (banners, reward tiers, etc).

At the same time, I was also looking into printers. Alibaba was the obvious choice, since they were way cheaper than anywhere I could find in the US. I talked to a few printers, got sample books done, and decided on the printer I'd go with based on the sample book. But I guess I was so efficient, I was able to find a printer WAY ahead of schedule and the printer had to wait for a month for the Kickstarter to finish (so I'd be able to calculate how many books I'd need for an initial print run).

The first few days of the Kickstarter were NERVE-RACKING. I was bouncing between "this is not gonna get funded o no" and "this is gonna get funded i am the best" almost constantly and I was checking and checking the backer count. BUT, happily, I got funded less than a week into the Kickstarter HURRAAAAAY!!!

I also got this spiffy badge!

As of this writing, the books and other rewards from China have been shipped out and I'm giving the KS Backers updates every other week or so. It's a tiring process, but I learned a LOT and it was anxiety inducing, but next time I want to do this, I'll be prepared a bit more.

Whew. If there was any takeaway I have for this, it's just to go ahead and DO THINGS. Because you never know how things are going to work out. I did a shit load of research and readings, and dove right in.

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