(This is long, but please read, as its important to me as an artist and as your friend.)
It has always been my dream to build a community with my work. A channel, if you will, where I could generate work--be it photography, writing, videos or anything else my demented brain could think up--and deliver it directly to the audience.
Social media sites like Facebook (and MySpace before it) seemed liked the perfect way to do such a thing and as you all know, I've been delivering such content directly to you for years via these methods.
The problem, as of late, has become two-fold.
First, we all know how much content FB doesn't actually deliver to your friend list. On any given post, only .2% of my friends, family and fans are getting a chance to view my content on any given post. As an artist, it makes it nearly impossible to grow my community in the way that I want to.
Twitter and Instagram are wonderful tools, but they don't always have the flexibility I need to deliver the work I want.
The second, and possibly biggest, issue is finding a way to monetize said work so that I can continue to produce it. It costs a pretty penny to make these crazy weird beautiful images, and my ideas are often way more expensive than I can afford on my own, and so continue to go unrealized.
Which brings us to Patreon.com.
About a year or two ago, my beautiful and amazing friend Katie West introduced me to the site where, for a nominal monthly fee, people were able to become patrons of working artists, much in the way that patrons supported artists in the Old World days.
Shortly after, several artist friends began to use and build their own communities on Patron with some incredible success. Even Amanda Palmer, queen of the crowdsourcing world, took to Patron and become once again a shining example of an artist finding a new way of doing art business and making it work for her in spades.
It took me awhile to get around to it, but I've finally joined the Patreon ranks It's a great site that serves both my needs--I get the chance to finally have a method of delivery for my work. A method that guarantees that anything I make and send out will be viewed by ALL of my community, not just .2%.
There's a ton more info on my Patreon profile, but it breaks down like this:
For a nominal monthly donation (less than your morning coffee), you get daily access to all my new photography the minute its completed plus behind the scenes photos as well as stories and anecdotes about the shoots themselves. It's kinda like having all those Special Features options on a BluRay. You get a chance to see behind the curtain and see just how some of these crazy images are made.
From there, higher tier subscriptions open up other options to you: monthly Patron-only short films, discounts on all my books, one-on-one mentorships and more.
Creating a Patreon account is finally my chance to take control of my work and my community and earn a living doing what I love so much.
To learn more, and see what Patreon is all about, click the link below. I hope to see you there!www.patreon.com/chadmichaelwar…