I joined a website called Patreon this last summer, for those of you who don’t know what it is; it’s basically a long term crowd funding option for creators to be supported by their followers. Where the creator puts out monthly content and then followers pledge a specific dollar amount to support that artist in the creation of that content.
I had high hopes for this website, now that I’m out of school and left to my own devices I thought it would act as a catalyst for my work. Having people backing my projects, I thought, would encourage me to produce more work faster.
My experience was mostly positive, I had a few backers and I was making lots of process work and breakdowns that were fun to make and share. I was doing an event called a live draw, where my Patrons could join a Google hangout and watch me work, ask me questions and get to contribute ideas for what they’d like to see me work on.
I quickly found though that my productivity as an artist did not change. I am already driven and do as much work as I can in the time I have. And in fact I was losing time towards my portfolio work in the time I was taking to create content for my Patreon page. Coming up with small illustrations to do for the live-draws, making the process breakdowns, posting and updating. It was hours and hours of work being taken away from making the art I need to be producing to move forward in my career.
I feel Patreon is a website made for already established artists, people who are already making work every day and have a large following behind them. There are many benefits to the website and I would recommend it to anyone who wants to try it. But for me, my life is too unpredictable at the moment and I have too precious little time to be working on my portfolio as it is.
So the page has been taken down and I will keep it in mind for the future. I like sharing my process and engaging with people, I have a lot of knowledge that I would love to share someday. But for now I just need to focus on me.