Heeeeeeeeeeeello, I'm back! The title of this blog is "Help: patrons wanted..." because recently, a few of my patrons went rogue and stole much of my work... naaa, of course, I'm kidding. My patrons kick ass in every sense, much respect and gratitude to them. I decided to post a blog entry about my patrons, because even though I've been on Patreon for a while, many of my fans don't know how it works... or even what it is.
OK, so let's start from the beginning: what is Patreon? Patreon is a platform created with the purpose of connecting artists with their patrons, a patron being the person who financially supports art. Many persons out there take a special pleasure and pride on supporting this way the work of one or several artists. Patreon acts like a middle man between the person who wants to contribute (or patrons) and the artists whose work is the recipient of those contributions. The patron sends the amount of money that she/he decides, Patreon takes a commission from it, and gives the rest to the artist in question.
So, you might ask: wouldn't be better to contribute or donate money directly to the artist? If patrons gave their contributions directly, without middle men, it would be great and hassle free... but just in theory. See, Patreon's role is not only to take a commission from the artist, but to provide a platform that will make the connection between the patron and the artist easier and also more fun. And they're doing a fine job! I can post my work at Patreon, and they take care of the technical part, like taking the payment from the patrons. Sure, as I mentioned, if I did everything myself, I would get more money, because I wouldn't have to pay a commission, right? Well, it's not that simple, because, well, you pretty much have to pay commission for every service you use. Even if I was doing all the money handling myself, I still would have to pay a commission to the credit card company servicing my website or platform. I guess if I focused on doing everything myself and try to avoid fees or commissions, I could find a way, like accepting checks for example. But most likely I would be sucked into managing the work around, and that would be more time spent away from my drawing desk... which would result in less art (and who wants that???).
But Patreon's ability to take payments isn't its only asset as a platform. They also provide reputation, an image. By providing a clean and professional platform, complete with the presence of many different artists, Patreon is more likely to have the trust of the potential patrons. Patrons that otherwise would be a bit wary about giving money to an artist's website... especially if they're not even sure if this website truly belong to the artist in question.
On top of what I mentioned above, Patron also provides me with many cool options to post my work, like goals, pledge levels, rewards and more. This options make the relationship artist/patron much more fun and customized. I can decide how many pledge levels to include on my profile, along with the corresponding prizes for each pledge level. That allows me to decide how to get the attention from my patrons and what kind of rewards I'll be providing in exchange for their patronage.
Now, by now you might be a bit confused on what to do to become a patron. If that's the case, or in case you're scared or timid, let me tell you how it works:
1) You sign up for a profile on Patreon at www.patreon.com (you know the drill, your name, your username, password, etc.)
2) In order to become an active patron, you need to register your PayPal account, or if you don't have one, you can register your credit card. In case you are a bit reluctant of giving your information to Patreon, you can rest assured that this is a serious website. But don't take my word for it, do your research about it, and you'll find many many great reviews of their system.
3) Once you're signed up and registered, you can become an official patron of mine by visiting my profile, patreon.com/popeyewongart and choosing your pledge. When it comes to my profile, you can pledge either $1, $2 or $5, with rewards depending on the amount of your pledge. By the way, I've said this many times in the past, but I'll keep repeating it: there isn't such a things as a "too small a pledge". All contributions are sooooo welcome!
4) Pledges are taken on a monthly basis. However, any pledge can be cancelled at anytime, there's no obligation, or "minimum number of pledges". I really want to stress this part, because many potential patrons at first are scared that they will get into a commitment of a certain number of pledges. Not at all, everybody is welcome to join and leave whenever they feel like it... but please don't leave :)
5) Of course, once you sign up, you can leave comments on the artwork or on my profile. I personally love to receive comments, it makes my work easier by knowing what my fans think of my images.
6) On the first day of the month, your PayPal account or credit card will be charged for the amount of the pledge that you chose. Unless you cancel before that day, of course.
As you can see, becoming a patron is not hard at all, and the benefits definitely make it worth. So please consider becoming one, the contributions from my patrons are one of the reasons why I can stay working as an independent artist. At this moment I'm about to reach the $100 mark per month. I'm at $94 to be precise, so as you can imagine, every single help is greatly appreciated.
So, let's make it happen this month! I ask you to visit my profile and check if you would be interested. Also, I ask you to share this information on your social media. The more people I reach, the more chances I have to expand. Thank you again for supporting my work, help comes in many many ways, not just financially. See you next time, when I come back to keep posting about my life as a pin-up artist. :)
Pin-up artist by day… and also by night. Well, mostly by night, because night time is my favorite time to paint.