I just sent this to my Patrons and I think it explains it all. In a nutshell, one person can only do so much and I just don't feel like Patreon is where I need to be spending my time at this point in my life. I'd rather just be here with you guys:):)
I’m writing each of my Patrons today to personally thank you for sticking around and helping me attempt to make this Patreon thing work. It has really meant so much more to me than words can tell, however after much soul searching and back-and-forth thinking, I feel like it’s time to put this particular project on hold for the foreseeable future. Shocking, I’m sure ;)
Honestly, I had my apprehensions from the beginning regarding Patreon. Not because of the platform itself, because I think it’s marvelous that so many people want to reach out and support creators who make their content free for all to enjoy. But because I felt like a successfully run page needed to begin after the creator’s audience had become of a substantial size. I should have followed that hunch…
This all began when I had someone from Patreon’s staff reach out to me late last year and tell me that I was a great candidate for starting my own page. Now I am usually very weary of businesses contacting me, but we emailed back and forth a bit and she answered some questions for me and made it sound like beginning a Patreon account was actually a good way to help grow a community of supporters. As in, it sounded like they helped to promote creators to a wider audience.
Nope. False. At that time Patreon would only promote their very biggest accounts, then I think later on enough people complained (and rightly so!) that they decided to promote no one. A real win-win.
While I was still debating signing up I had been taking some business direction from someone who had given me excellent advice before and since, and at that time she also convinced me (against my gut) that ‘if you build it, they will come.’ Nope. Wrong again.
Not only have I not really had new subscribers, the one thing I did start noticing was that having this Patreon account made me feel like I needed to keep certain things about my life as an artist ‘exclusive’ - as if I’m some big deal that people should pay money to in order to hear about personal experiences of a human making art. If anything, I feel like I need to be more open on my blog, YouTube and Instagram so that people can get to know me as well as my art up front. I think in the long and the short run, being more open all around will be better for growing my audience as a working artist.
I spend a fair amount of time tending to this page, and I do promote it a bit, but I’m just not a super sales-y type person. I’m just not comfortable trying to convince people to buy ‘me’ or my artwork. I would rather just have myself as a human and my artwork as my passion available for people to get to know on their own terms.
Anyhoo, at the end of the day, sometimes things don’t go as planned and it’s better to draw the anchor and sail for smoother waters. Oh well, c’est la vie…..
That being said, I very well may open this page back up in a couple of years if I feel that I have touched enough lives to warrant a community, so to speak. But for now, I feel like my energy is best focused on openly connecting with as many other artists and art lovers as possible, and trusting that the universe will help me find ways to support myself financially through my art along the way.
Again, I want to really thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for boosting my confidence and signing up as soon as I opened this page. You all understand what a big deal a lil jumpstart can mean when putting oneself out there. I deeply love all five of you Tim, Laine, Steph, Brandon, and Jake. Thank you one million and one times for all the love and support you have given to me.
originally published August 11, 2017