This week I’m excited to start a new project over at Patreon.com.
If you haven’t heard of Patreon, it’s an amazing site that lets you support artists on a subscription basis and get rewards every month. (It’s a little like Kickstarter and Indiegogo, but SO much better.)
I love connecting with people—other artists, fans of my work—you name it. Once upon a time, I went to craft shows like Kentuck and the Chattanooga Zine Fest and had a blast meeting people. I sold some prints, and that was cool, too. I made a little extra cash and it helped me buy nicer woodcut tools, or take a class at Penland. But it takes a lot of time and money to travel and go to shows like that. Sometimes I had to take days off from work, and lose that pay. Sometimes I had to stay in motels, or pay a booth fee, and sometimes I just broke even. Sometimes I didn’t even make the booth fee back. There was no predicting how much work I’d sell, and pricing my work is like my least favorite thing in the world.
That’s where Patron becomes a lifesaver.
It creates a direct line between me and my fans—and it goes both ways. Fans can contact me anytime (and please do, because I love to hear from you. Want me to draw your brother-in-law as a woodpecker? Email me.) Patreon lets me show you all what I’m working on, share my process, get feedback from fans, and share the finished work. And it gives fans a bigger window into my creative processes. I can share tips about how I carve blocks, or rig up my little tabletop printing press to make my new block print—or I can share tutorials that might help someone else, too.
And all of that can be happening each day—it’s not just a flurry of activity that happens over a day or two at a big art show. (Sometimes that’s overwhelming, and I forget 80% of what happened, and what I talked about with people.) This way, there’s some constant contact between me and my Patrons, and that means they get to see more from me, and I get more inspiration from them.
I love this idea. It makes me feel like making is interwoven into my day, and not just something I do in fits and starts to meet a deadline for a show.
(Because that’s sometimes how it feels when the creative part of me is fighting against my day job for my time and energy and attention.) I like this idea of Patrons letting me make more cool stuff more often, so it becomes more of a daily process again for me.
If you like that idea, too, check out my Patreon page. I’m sharing all kinds of stuff, from digital downloads, to exclusive blog posts, to letterpress prints and books. There’s something for everyone, and subscriptions start at just $1 a month to get some digital wallpapers (like the swallows pictured at the top of this post) and special blog posts. You can cancel anytime, and you can share with your friends. I made this Patreon page because making art brightens my day, and I like sharing things to brighten your day, too. So check it out—I’d love to see you on my team and send you cool stuff, too.