Good morning lovelies!
Now, if you follow me on the social media networks where I am very active (unlike this poor neglected blog), you may have noticed that I frequently bring up Patreon along with Work-In-Progress shots of Skal.
What the heck IS Patreon? Well, here's the official video which explains it in just one minute:
So yes! Patreon is a new funding platform that is there to support content creators online. It is NOT like Kickstarter/indiegogo! It does not involve one huge sum of money for one big project, but instead focuses on long term support for a creator with little 'tips' each time they upload content (in my case, a new Skal page). This is the main difference that I can't emphasise enough, and why I have been SO excited about it.
Let me tell you where I come from on this, so that you understand that my excitement isn't just a caffeine hyped squeal that'll pass in a few hours, but actual proper CHANGE for me as an artist. ... After about 5 years of trying to do this art-thing as a career.
Right now, my main income is roughly a 50/50 split between commissioned work (paintings, costume designs, character designs, you name it) and comic book artwork. I've been able to scrape by on my own for over 4 months, JUST on my art income alone. Something which I am extremely proud over! People who know me are aware that I am constantly on the line however, and at some point I may have to go back to a 'normal' part-time job again.
Before I was introduced to Patreon, I didn't touch my main personal project Skal for over a year, simply because I couldn't afford to spend my precious time on a project that wasn't paying me in any way. Also, the fact that I stuck with the standard webcomic tradition of keeping the story free to read online, didn't exactly help me financially. Skal languished on the backburner while my paid work had to take priority.
I would have people frequently prodding me both online and at conventions about Skal, asking when the heck I was going to continue the story, and I could never give a definite answer. I hated coming off as some kind of flake, and being constantly reminded of the one comic that I desperately wanted to do, but never had time to, was frustrating to say the least.
ENTER PATREON. www.patreon.com/Skal
Joining Patreon finally gave me the push I needed to get crackin' with my fantasy story! It's still early days. I've only been active for a bit over 2 weeks, but the interest and the patrons I've received have inspired me to the point where I'll now spend most of my day thinking about Skal and being overjoyed that I can paint it!
Patreon also acts as a good test platform for my own project, simply by the way it's designed with the power being with the patrons. A patron chooses how much he or she wants to support me, and they can adjust the amount they want to pledge at any time, even simply removing their support if they don't like where the content is going. So it's like a real-time test of the public's reaction to my story. It's not like a Kickstarter where you would pledge a bunch of money, and then have to trust that something will be delivered in the future.
With Patreon, I get nothing if I don't produce artwork. So it's instant reward for both the artist and the patron. Pledges start at $1, which is about 59p.
And I haven't even rambled on about the 'Milestone Goals' and the 'Patron-Only' rewards! I'll keep it brief! .... Well, I'll try!
You can check out the Goals themselves on my page here: www.patreon.com/Skal. They are pretty self-explanatory. The concept of having goals to reach and showing what the creator will be able to do if they get there, is very clever!
The fun bit is the 'Patron-Only' rewards! Even though Skal itself is, and always will be, free to read online, as a show of gratitude for the support I get, I offer doodles and other little things in the Patron Only section of the site. It's a brilliant concept where you can personally interact with your patrons and have a little private 'forum' going on. Due to the content of Skal, I made one of my patron rewards focus around some nudity! So for pretty much every page that goes up publicly, there is a private NSFW doodle being posted for my patrons. (Censored example below)
Depending on what happens in the future, I have other things planned for this section of the site. But I'll keep that under wraps for now! I don't want to get ahead of myself.
I am currently aiming to finish between 1-2 pages a month, with the number maybe increasing depending on how much interest there is in my story. The more people like it and support it, the more I am able to produce. There's no middleman other than a small fee to Patreon itself that is deducted from my earnings every month (around 8%), so supporters know that all the pledges go straight to me. It is a simple, but very effective system!
Gosh, I'd best get back to painting the next page! We're about to introduce another character >:D
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