Patreon: I Will Fail To Start With, That’s Fine (also, I Did The Show!)
So I HAVE DONE MY ONE WOMAN SHOW OH MY GOD.
Deep breath, now.
It’s awesome. The turnout was good (I feel incredibly privileged there, recently saw an Edinburgh preview that was EMPTY….) and the feedback better. There are messages on my phone from people who really wanted to come and couldn’t – whether politeness or genuine desire, I’ll find out next time I do the show!
There WILL be a next time. Meanwhile, I used the fact that I was already doing something scary and attached another scary thing to it: a Patreon account.
You might not know about Patreon. It is basically an online patronage system when you regularly support an artist – not like a one-off Kickstarter, more like… a coffee per month.
So, I launched my Patreon. And… nothing happened.
The thing with Patreon is that it is extremely deliberate. It requires a vision of yourself as an artist, a business, a service-provider – but also a person in a relationship with other peple. It humanises the business – you are in touch with nice people who want to personally support you – but it also makes your art something worthy of payment and attention. If you have hang-ups anywhere in this process, whether subconsciously fearing attention or struggling with the business model, the Patreon might not work.
For me the problem is being consistent (I switch media all the time, which doesn’t offer an overarching artistic narrative!) as well as business-related. But at the same time, it is so fun to figure out all the ways to be genuinely nice to people who want to support you, your art and message! And so I’m really, really okay with failing to begin with. Patreon gives me a medium, through which I can sort out my relationship with both art and audience. And eventually, it will give me a way of creating independent art, without fighting for commissions. It’s worth failing, worth putting the work in. I’m looking forward to that… .