What is "crowd-funding"?

Crowd funding is a way that artists (and others) raise money for projects by inviting their community to participate financially. Major crowd-funding platforms include Patreon, Kickstarter, Indiegogo, Pledge Music and GoFundMe.

How Is Patreon Unique?

Most crowd-funding websites help you raise money for a project ("My band is recording an album!) but Patreon allows people who believe in what you do to support you ongoingly - it's a subscription to your work

 

The down side to "per project" crowdfunding is that it takes an INCREDIBLE amount of time and energy for the artist to run the crowd fund...and then when it's over, you have to start all over again the next time around.

 

With Patreon, an artist can keep on making quality work and sharing it with the people who enjoy it - their fans become "patrons", like the monarchs of olden days who supported the likes of Mozart and Shakespeare.

 

(This is where you make a joke about how I just compared myself to Shakespeare.) 

 

Here's a short video explaining Patreon.

Why does it matter to support local arts?

Conditions for artists are getting tighter and tighter each year. The internet makes it possible to share most art forms for free, which is terrific for an artist's exposure but makes it hard to be a working artist.

 

As a fan and consumer of art (which I also am), I have made a decision to build a small network of artists whose work I intentionally support ongoingly. This includes:

  • Buying things from them (t shirts, prints, albums, paintings)
  • Participating in their crowdfunds
  • Becoming a patron on Patreon
  • Going out of my way to spread the word about them
  • Paying money to see them perform live

 

Here are some of the artists I made an effort to support this year.

What's rewarding about being a patron of the arts?

From my experience of being a patron on Patreon, it's tremendously satisfying to feel like I helped make the art I care about to be born into the world.

 

In this moment in history where state and national funding of the arts is at an all time low, it feels more important to me than ever to put my money where my mouth is (and often to put my mouth where my mouth is.) As a patron of mine, you will also get to:

  • Be part of the community and conversations about my work
  • See, hear and read more private things that I don't share on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram
  • Get access to my work before everybody esle
  • Have a say in what I do and how I do it (I'm always asking patrons their options about my next steps and artistic choices)
  • Have a unique relationship with me, as an artist and his supporter (I'm also interested in what you are doing and creating)

There's no pressure, I'm happy for you to enjoy my work (which I give away for free, as a rule) without spending any money or touting my praises.

 

If you'd like to become a patron or make a one time donation, that's great too.

 

Thanks so much,

 

Muhammad Seven