One year ago I took a big step as an artist. I got some work together, drafted a plan, and embarked on the journey of creating a Patreon account. In short, the journey of joining a platform where artists ask for monetary support in order to continue their creative work. To support my art! And the art of so many others during a time when resources and opportunities for artists are challenged – podcasters, writers, filmmakers, painters, and so many other types of creative people.
As the majority of my art at the time was heavily rooted in a sort of feminist awareness and visibility, I decided that the core of my Patreon work would be rooted in social activism. Beyond that, tiers of “rewards” that would be tied to my devotion to always making accessible (and affordable) small works. These, in theory, will support the larger works and levels of engagement in other “reward” tiers and, ultimately, in all of my real life work.
Since I began one year ago, a lot of work has been made (many, including myself, would argue some work was much better than other work,) a lot of posts have been written, and a lot of stamps have been stuck. While I’m proud of the work I’ve done in connection to Patreon, there is one aspect of this platform that I’ve been most proud of. . .
Each month this year, I have selected a cause, issue or current event that moves me, angers me, stuns me, or makes me proud. I decide on the topic, make a hand-drawn postcard, and address and stamp one for each patron. Collectively, we have written more than 100 postcards this year and have written about: gun violence, immigration, women’s reproductive healthcare, police brutality, and the opioid epidemic. We have also sent words of thanks and appreciation to women in Congress, Dr. Christine Blasey Ford, and first responders of 2018 mass shootings.
Some messages we send may never be received, hopefully, others will, but the continued show of support for this project has been more substantial than I could have imagined. The show of support for me and for my art has been so valuable and so important to me during this year of new surroundings, new work, and art. Most of all, I am proud of what my patrons and I have done through the Patreon platform.
Asking for support is hard, and putting yourself and your work out there is hard. Consistency has probably proved to be the most challenging during this past year. I’m not always in the mood or headspace to want to share everything I’m doing. Artists are sensitive creatures!! But in all honesty, I’m not always making work I love every day. I have off days and I have off weeks. I haven’t been able to communicate that yet, so that’s definitely part of my end of year debrief with myself, and I’m working it into the next year ahead.
Below are some pieces, both postcards and small works, that were sent out to my patrons in 2018. The documentation of work got better and more consistent with each month, though of course, there are months that are exceptions to that improvement.
I hope you will consider becoming a patron of mine in 2019 and supporting further improvement and activist outreach.