Patreon: What’s going on?
You might’ve seen on the comic blurbs that I have a Patreon page. Patreon can be kind of confusing because last time I checked they don’t really have good introductory things, and I’ve updated some of the pledges since I last posted here, so I figured I’d do a proper post about it. 🙂
Patreon is a bit like Kickstarter in that it enables crowdfunding, but instead of a one-off large fundraising mission, people pledge a smaller amount per month or per thing, kind of like a subscription. It facilitates a consistent ongoing income for artists. This is pretty revolutionary, and gives artists a real chance to dedicate proper time to projects, supported financially by fans who might only be contributing a dollar or two each – but it really adds up.
On Patreon every creation has a payment method that’s one of these two:
- Per Month – you pledge an amount, say $3, and every month you pay $3 to the creator of something you love. This is great for people who create consistently, like Jeph Jacques making Questionable Content – they’re most definitely a Patreon success story.
- Per Thing – this is the one I have on my Patreon page, because my creating is fairly inconsistent! You pledge Per Thing, in my case per comic, let’s say $1. And if I make three comics, at the end of the month you pay $3. The nice thing about this one is, you can set a monthly cap – so you can be like “I’ll pay $1 per comic, up to $4 per month.”
And like on Kickstarter, creators on Patreon offer rewards for pledging at various levels. People who pledge get access to exclusive content, sneak previews, access to livestreams of art-in-progress, it varies from creator to creator.
So here’s where I tell you what you can get if you would like to support Poly in Pictures. This is all stuff you just won’t see unless you pledge, which is very evil and capitalist, but *very* motivating for me.
$0 per comic – you can just follow me for no money, and you get notified of new comics, plus any random arty things I post to Tumblr, etc. It’s nice because you can comment on things, chat with other fans, provide feedback, stuff like that.
$1 per comic – a photo of Rosa taken at the time of the comic upload, no matter how stupid she looks. She’s an incredibly photogenic cat who is also ridiculous and death-defying.
$2 per comic – many things!
- At least 30 minutes’ warning when I’m going to make a comic and stream it to my Twitch channel. (It’s usually more like 1 or 2 hours, but sometimes more.)
- Lazy comics on Snapchat.
- Behind the scenes photos of the comic-making process – notes, sketches, random blurb about what I was watching while I drew or where I took a photo or where I got the idea.
- Everything from the lower tier rewards (so, Rosa-photos).
$4 per comic – the Clip Studio Paint/CSP/Manga Studio file of the comic, with all the layers intact, so you can rummage around and see how I put it all together. Plus everything from the lower tiers – Rosa, and the behind the scenes stuff.
$5 per comic – a special thanks in the blurb of each comic, with your name linked to the website of your choice (within reason). Plus everything above, so the behind the scenes stuff, Rosa’s fluffy wuffy face, and the comic file.
And what all this adds up to for me is, currently, about $33 USD per comic (tops) from 20 patrons. That’s about £20 GBP, and that’s often enough to motivate me to comic when I might otherwise not get off my ass and Make Something. I’ve been using Patreon for over a year now and I’m pretty sure I made like twice as many comics as I would’ve done without it. Don’t get me wrong, the money is incredibly helpful – it covers hosting, and that’s why we’re ad-free here. But it also allows me to set aside money for a proper screen-tablet thingy like a Cintiq or something, which is my dreeeeam.
Patreon has changed everything. I always had Flattr and PayPal donation buttons, but Flattr is quite limited and people so rarely made one-off donations. With Patreon I can log in and see how much I’m going to get for making a comic right there, which is a heck of an incentive, but it also shows me in real concrete terms that there are people who want my comics to keep happening. They love PiP enough to put hard-earned cash on the line to make sure more comics get made, and that is incredible – especially since I know times are hard these days for a lot of folks. (Patrons, you are all wonderful and I love you.)
So there we are. Patreon keeps things going, and if you want to join in you get exclusive content, and now you understand how it works and that’s always a plus.
Thank you for your time. 🙂