With all the recent kerfuffle about Patreon-exclusive works showing up on a pirated site, there are the usual discussions about piracy going around the fandom, and I thought it might be a good time to review the concept of Patreon.
Patreon is a way for people who want to support an artist to do so. The artist gives back to those people in the form of exclusive peeks, access to WIP, first chance to buy things, etc. This would seem to be pretty non-controversial, right?
Patreon has made a huge difference in the lives of many artists I know. People who wanted to work on a comic but couldn’t afford to take the time to do it now have a way to be supported while they work on it. People who wanted to spend time trying out new things now have a fanbase willing to support that exploration. People who were pinching pennies to meet expenses and worrying about money instead of focusing on art now can feel freer to create what they (and their fans) love. This is literally a mechanism for fans to get better art from the artists they love.
I personally am really excited about the people who are interested in this book I’m writing. Having it be on Patreon means I don’t have to worry about the length of the story fitting into a regular novel length (spoiler: it is getting longer and more complicated, and I have the freedom to do that because I’m being supported while I’m doing it; my income goes up in years when I release books, and this year I’m only releasing one, but I don’t have to worry about that thanks to my Patreon supporters). I’m getting to commission more art than I normally would be able to for it, and some of the support I’m getting allows me to go to conventions and meet the fans who want to say hi and see me.
And hey, if you don’t think what any artist, including me, is offering for the money isn’t worth it, don’t pay it. It really is just that simple. If you don’t want to support us, that’s fine. 100% of the population of the world (rounding up) agrees with you. But then you don’t get the things we are doing for the people who do want to support us.
That work for you guys?