Why NOT Higby?

I see your point; although I think a more fitting term would simply be “gate keeping”.

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My input: It is not exactly pretty, but it has this creative aspect. A lot of famous artists make realistic art, but realistic art is not the only thing that exists, and I actually prefer cartoonish styles of art. If I want to see hyper realistic art I can just look at a photograph. (I am definitely not saying that hyper realistic artists aren´t talented, they are).

Also that tree display that @edhaponik posted is epic.


John Higby has a lot of clout in the yoyo community. I personally like his art. Not necessarily all of it but damn near all of it. To one of the OP’s comments about people being salty over the Kickstarter. John had started a Kickstarter for a children’s book called Eveybody Loves Yoyos. There was a goal of $2,000 needed to fund the book. Not surprisingly he raised like $12,000! To give you an ideal of just how loved and appreciated this man is.

Unfortunately, the book never came to pass. And that $12,000 turned into, well, basically a charitable donation. The most civil way to put it. And after a few updates stating he was trying to get things perfect with some of the people involved, with distribution perhaps, he simply stopped updating Kickstarter. So understandably some people were left feeling upset. I think especially with not bothering to reach out to the Kickstarter/ yoyo community that funded this project with any final update.


Didn’t know about this. Disappointing……


Kickstarter campaign for reference:



Nor did I. Beyond disappointing. :frowning:


I also had ‘no’ idea about this.

Valid explanations go much further for credibility than the ‘ghosting’ option.

Not saying anything in the form of an update(in a timely manner) is not a good look.



Well said! The whole ghosting aspect is what makes it feel shady. I’ve found the community forgiving and patient to a fault! So i have no doubt people would have been much less upset if he would of done the right thing and communicate what happened. I think a testament to the forgiving nature of the community is the fact so few people even know what he did. That’s how little it’s spoken of, that’s how much he’s respected. That something like this could happen and it’s barely mentioned.

Oh well, just my two cents. I still think he’s a great artist.


I don’t even think Heath got that much loot


Oh man… what a 180 this thread has done :joy::joy::joy:


Wow. Is this true?

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Wow squared. Kind of puts a damper on that “stalwart of the yo-yo community” thing…


This is the first I’ve heard of the Kickstarter thing and that sounds terrible.

Regardless I don’t feel I was thought-policing, gatekeeping, or bullying to observe that a dude w 25+ years in the community has some cred built up. Or that art is subjective and a lot of people do dig his style.

But I won’t deny that news of the book is troubling and I really hope he can make it right.


I’m glad you said it first. Cause That’s what I thought as well.


Someone asked about this a few months ago on Facebook (when I first learned about the issue) and John replied this in the comments:

“My sons severe autism has gutted my life paired with my best friends suicide I’m slowly trying to rebuild my life after losing my 25 year career. I have been working at a dispensary but I’m losing the battle for my house. l still will fulfill my promise but I’ve been fighting for my life and I need a little more time. I’m so sorry everyone.”

This obviously doesn’t erase the problems here but it gave me a little perspective.


If true then that’s completely understandable, but then why doesn’t he just post exactly this as update #9 on his Kickstarter campaign rather than on Facebook?

He’s gone 19 months without a status update. I’ve lent large sums of money to people I know who’ve never paid me back; I’m seeing similar patterns of behavior here.


What I am going to share with you is neither evidence for the defense or ammo for the prosecution. It is just something to factor in to this book release/Kickstarter equation.

John Higby started his (self employed show) approximately 26+ years ago. Basically a higher level of ‘busking’. Like the guy at the shopping center that puts down a hat and does things impressive enough to earn him some cash.

He has travelled the World, endearing himself(and later in his career, his wife) to amazed audiences full of happy faces. He has always loved to paint and build things. Often, between performances, he stays busy painting just about anything. The guy can’t sit still and usually has little projects lined up…

John, over time, fine tuned his scheduling to make the money he needs ‘to live’ without killing himself. His plan has worked for well over 20 years.

We all try to make financial plans that factor in ‘that unknown expense’. It can be school books, new shoes, tires for the car, an unplanned trip, whatever. And if everything is pretty much flowing along, we just keep using the same formula to make enough money to move on down the road.

About 19 months ago, SUDDENLY, Johns’ formula hit a giant hole in the road! Covid 19= no more shows, no more crowds, no engagements………Zero cash flow.

25 years of bill paying income and the self employed Showman is unemployed with a quickness.

He has a Wife, a house, a few children, and the bills don’t stop. I am not sure of this, but I ‘think’ both of Johns’ boys are Autistic. One, very much so. Needing constant care at no guess of the expen$e.

He has the Book plan in motion and gets totally knocked off course, financially. He’s trying to keep his head on straight and his best friend commits suicide. So now the guy is screwed up financially and mentally.

Then, factor in not being able to make your house payments and the Loan people don’t care who lost their income or killed themselves. They just want ‘the payment’.

I can see how his immediate priorities might change. We don’t have to fully understand his challenge. But I am sure we can all at least agree Higby is much more aware of how screwed up his personal situation is than we are.

I am certainly no mind reader. So I can’t say why he doesn’t post up his plight in at least a few places. We can only take turns guessing.

…Like I said, I’m not defending him or trying to bury him…

But, under these trying circumstances, I certainly would not want to be in his shoes.


Can you share a link to this facebook post please

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I do not want to sound like Piers Morgan. But there are any number of Federal programs to mitigate these kinds of stories…