Have you heard about Patreon? Ko-fi? Neither had I - well actually, I had of the first, but not for the second. Put simply, these platforms offer spaces for creatives to ask their readers for support by way of depositing coffers in the bank.
It’s a brilliant idea. Put simply, Patronage means supporting artists and creatives financially in order that they may live whilst making their work. We know most about patronage during Medieval and Renaissance times but now that the internet is shining light and giving space to brilliant ideas, it’s becoming mainstream again.
I first came across Patreon about 3 years ago. This is the main platform I believe for supporting artists, makers and creatives on a regular monthly basis.
Naturally I was interested and researched it for my own work, but quickly left it again - thinking how awkward I would feel asking my clients and readers for contributions - I thought I’d feel beyond embarrassed.
Looking again today and seeing all the wonderful things people are enabled to do because they are supported by those that love their work, I’m heartened.
The success statistics of these sites are speaking for themselves.
During my own career it’s been a series of phases which include: plot, beg & borrow in order to make my new work, take it to market and wait….is it successful? Has it flopped? It’s an exhausting way to work. Until recently it was only way I knew and this was my pattern for nearly 20 years.
But now change. Things are going well. With the introduction of ipaintdogs, I enjoy regular commissions - an exchange - if I pay you this, will you paint me that? As well as making sales via galleries and my websites.
Confidently meeting my financial monthly commitments has boosted my morale and made me feel a gazillions times more worthwhile in what I do.
So looking at the patronage system with fresh eyes, I’m still not sure it’s for me but it makes me so happy to see others doing it and it working for them.
Perhaps I will revisit it, I have books I’d like to write and new ideas for projects which are currently tiny fires in my tummy and others currently in development.
Have you ever been a patron or had a patronage? I’d love to know.
You can find Patroen here which gives funds to artists and creatives to get sustainable income and Ko-fi which is a platform over which you deposit a few quid to someone you would like to buy a cyber coffee for - with cake if you are feeling rich.!