On July 7th I finally launched my Patreon page. I only say “finally” because I am impatient and expected myself to hammer it out and launched in a day. No. Not this time. This time was different.
Patreon was a window into getting funding for the creation of original art. That was my angle. This page was meant to show people that if you can’t afford a commission, and can’t afford to purchase artwork in my shop, there was still a way to support Studio Dodge. The patronage amounts of $1, $3, and $5 are so important! I know so many people that dismiss that. Even I do from time to time. But those small numbers add up. We see it in our bank accounts, we see it in our budgets. But I wanted an avenue for those small donations to make an impact on my ability to get art supplies for new projects. For less than a Frappuccino, for less than a set of socks, for less than a movie ticket…
This Patreon page was a bundle of nerves for me before it launched. Would I make it worthwhile, would I receive support. I did my research, I evaluated what was possible for me to follow through on, what things would be possible, and sustainable. Seeing pages receiving less than twenty a month, some getting a few hundred, and others getting thousands can be very daunting. No pressure, right? I had no idea what to expect either.
I didn’t expect Patreon to be my big break, but I didn’t need it to be extremely lucrative either. Just a boost to help make some projects possible. Investment money in creating merchandise like stickers, pins, or dropping money on a four foot canvas.
This page was NOT intended to pay my bills. That’s why my focus was intended on creating original art. Not even expanding into business expenses. It may grow to that but right now its just for art. My bills are paid through commissions, sales, and my two side jobs. I teach at an art studio and also fill in for classes if an instructor is away. This studio is separate from my own, but it’s a great way to keep that creative flow. My other side job is walking a dog and cooking for a family a couple times a week. Its not super challenging but I get to try new recipes that way, and its kind of mindlessly relaxing.
There are still things I hope can happen with this Patreon page, but my current struggle is with the internet. What a statement. I have this battle that I’m fighting to find balance with. Creating real art in a physical space. Finding physical spaces to hang it in, and also with this online world of marketing, audience, and reaching outward past my own circle of influence. That last part has been hard lately.
These worries don’t need to be the meat of the post however. I’m so glad I created this Patreon page. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of support I have received in the first month. The launch date is important. I launched at the beginning of July to allow time to grow the page and tell people about it before payment processes at the beginning of August. This was something I wanted to be convenient for timing, but I also needed to test myself. Could I actually deliver on making original art? It was so hard for me to find time for it the last few months since I was pushing to find commissions.
Shortly after the launch of the Patreon page I started streaming art-time on twitch.tv. that was crazy and also daunting. That one is a slow growth thing because my schedule isn’t consistent. However, it almost kept me sitting at my desk for a few hours at a time actually working on things. It can be distracting working from home.
The experiment was a success. I was able to create an absurd amount of original artwork during July using up the art supplies I had gathering dust that I didn’t particularly want to use for anything. It also allowed me to let go of inhibitions and create things on impulse. Something I don’t do often.
In closing, you could say I’m optimistic about what the future holds with this Patreon page, and that so many things are being made possible by it. I’m opening myself up to things I didn’t know were options.
Its mid August and not only has there been a slew of new items to put up in my shop, but I have ordered my first batch of stickers. Inexpensive merchandise is something I don’t have much of but its also a new adventure I’m excited about.
All for now but thank you a million times over.