Mefites on Patreon December 13, 2018 9:01 PM   Subscribe

This AskMefi question about supporting people on Patreon made me wonder: do you have a Patreon? Where is it and what kind of work do you do? Let's support each other!
posted by divabat to MetaFilter-Related at 9:01 PM (18 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

A couple of months ago restless_nomad showed me how the double-secret MeFi Social Explorer could be used to find MeFites with Patreon accounts, and I patronized all the creators.
posted by Johnny Wallflower at 6:53 AM on December 14, 2018 [8 favorites]

Huh. I wasn't expecting that list to skew so male.
posted by aniola at 8:44 AM on December 14, 2018

Thanks for this, divabat and Johnny Wallflower! Not on that Social Explorer list is kalessin, whose work advocating for trans rights, antiracist literacy, etc, has been invaluable to me online and IRL. (I looked at Eir comment history on trans rights thinking I'd pick one out to highlight, but really, just search "trans" in Eir activity to see how much time and heart E has put into this at MeFi.)

(Also, Eir preferred pronouns suggestion -- check Eir profile blurb for details -- to "use whatever is most disruptive and difficult for you" cracked me and my cishet white male spouse up, cuz putting it into practice showed us how deeeeeply cis our subconscious assumptions are, eg, Spouse's initial reaction was, "I hope kalessin knows how much I admire him... Em... wait.... Her!" We have found this exercise good for our brain flexibility. To write this comment, I didn't have to look up the Spivak pronouns! I've used them long enough now that they were in my head! That probably means I should prioritize feminine pronouns to refer to kalessin for a bit, until it feels less unnatural.)

Also, E has become an IRL friend, funny, smart, wise, and full of tasty recipes and tastebud-delighting recommendations for everything delicious. A+++ would friend and Patreon again.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:02 AM on December 14, 2018 [9 favorites]

Whoops. kalessin's Patreon is here.
posted by cybercoitus interruptus at 11:04 AM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

I have a Patreon account from the Damore thing, but have not really used it since because I'm not sure I contribute enough value to folks to justify hitting the "yes good" button. (It is set up to only charge based on content, not based on time passing.) I keep meaning to write more interesting biology content, but I'm also not quite sure what on earth people would want to hear out of me. So in practice, I just don't hit "charge" and let it sit.

posted by sciatrix at 3:50 PM on December 14, 2018

I've been wanting to set one up for my news curation work. Any advice or links to a n00b who wants read up all about it beforehand, including its reputation, would be appreciated. Or is this an Ask?
posted by infini at 4:05 PM on December 14, 2018

I do find it interesting that not all of the folks on that list are on Patreon as creators (rather than as patrons). So far, the breakdown is:

3 male creators (the account is set up to receive money)
4 non-male creators (includes both me and divabat)

8 male patrons (the account is set up only to give money; of these has previously accepted money but no longer does)
1 non-male patrons

3 users whose Patreon accounts appear to no longer exist
posted by sciatrix at 4:12 PM on December 14, 2018

I have a Patreon but my output is very sporadic. I'm working on a really big thing at the moment but it's for my nephew and it's culturally sensitive so I've only been posting snippets of it. Whether I can post a video of the whole thing when it's done will be up to him. I do other little things in the meantime but my muse is fickle and if I try to force her then she tells me to bugger off and makes everything look bad, so I'm at her mercy.
posted by h00py at 5:47 PM on December 14, 2018 [2 favorites]

I'm a writer who was on Patreon for a couple of years, but this year I left Patreon and happily moved both of my main projects over to Substack for a long list of reasons. I now publish two digital subscription newsletters on Substack:

The Anticareerist - toward a world beyond earning a living: unjobbing, decolonizing time, and cultivating a culture of leisure in an overworked world
Endarkenment - contemplative writing on dark ambient music

I know you asked about Patreon, divabat, but hopefully this counts...?

I publish The Anticareerist sporadically, and Endarkenment more regularly. Both newsletters have a free tier and a paid tier, so every subscriber gets something to read.

I love this work so much. More than I ever imagined, even.

For the Endarkenment newsletter I managed to snag a rare deep-dive interview opportunity with the reclusive and highly respected composer Ulf Söderberg (aka Sephiroth), whose work I've loved for 20 years. It was among the most fulfilling creative collaborations of my life, and a major accomplishment for me as a music writer.

I've got a long list of artists who have already agreed to be interviewed for the Endarkenment newsletter, and a much longer list of artists I'm hoping to interview in the coming years. I also direct half of net subscription income to the artists I interview, which means a lot in a niche underground music community.

I'll gladly check out other MeFites' Patreon pages too, so please post more of them in this thread!
posted by velvet winter at 5:55 PM on December 14, 2018 [7 favorites]

I have a Patreon but my output is very sporadic.

h00py, I am so glad you posted about your Patreon in this thread. I found the link from your profile and went to check it out. I think your creepy drawing art is amazing. Like it-should-be-on-album-covers level of amazing. And this is coming from a music writer with persnickety tastes who writes about creepy music. Maybe it's already been on album covers...?

In any case, I'm going to share your Patreon with some folks I know who might appreciate it. You're doing lovely work, and it deserves more support.

MeFites reading this thread: check out h00py's Patreon and support her art if you can! muse is fickle and if I try to force her then she tells me to bugger off

Mine too. Mine beats a hasty retreat at even the faintest whiff of coercion. I have to work from a place of non-contrivance if I want the finished result to be worthy of publication. I always found people on Patreon to be very understanding about this sort of thing, as long as I posted some kind of update once in awhile so people knew I was still writing.
posted by velvet winter at 10:58 PM on December 14, 2018 [3 favorites]

I'm so happy to read that the muse is fickle and not just me being precious. Thank you for sharing your links.
posted by infini at 12:42 AM on December 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

I've been wanting to set one up for my news curation work. Any advice or links to a n00b who wants read up all about it beforehand, including its reputation, would be appreciated.

I have some short unpublished journal writings (including links) about my experiences with Patreon that I could copy and paste in this thread if it's appropriate, or send via MeMail. In the piece I linked above I mostly wrote about why I left and moved to Substack, but there's plenty more to say about Patreon too. I'd love to hear other MeFites share their experiences with the benefits and drawbacks of this platform.

For whatever it's worth, though, I think Substack is an ideal platform for news curation work. If you'd like to read more about it you can read some interviews with the founders, or read their blog for more on how it works. (Nobody is paying me to say this, BTW, in case that isn't clear. It's an honest recommendation based on my experience.)

I'm so happy to read that the muse is fickle and not just me being precious.

If you're interested in the muse model and options for working with your own creative muse most effectively, I highly recommend Matt Cardin's amazing book A Course in Demonic Creativity: A Writer's Guide to the Inner Genius. That book marked a major turning point in my life as a non-fiction writer. I've probably read it twenty times now, yet somehow I still get something new out of it every time. It's available in full as an ebook for free.
posted by velvet winter at 2:37 AM on December 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Velvet winter, I'd favourite again quite hard, if I could. Thank you. I've just begun my first book, nonfiction, for a Kenyan publisher, and I can already foresee the need for buckle down discipline over the next year.

I will check out substack. Thank you.
posted by infini at 3:20 AM on December 15, 2018 [2 favorites]

velvet winter: that totally counts! And The Anticareerist jives in well with a Twitter thread I made today and my general feelings about productivity, so I'll go check it out.

This is my Patreon! It's going slower despite me having a relatively significant online reach because a lot of that online reach aren't inclined to contribute for some reason, even- especially - if they're the sort of sell-out tech folks the Ask poster is like. (They're plenty happy to RT me or ask me for free labor on Marginalised Issues TM but God forbid I try to pay my rent.) So that Ask struck a nerve.
posted by divabat at 8:43 PM on December 15, 2018 [4 favorites]

Thanks divabat! I looked at the Twitter thread you mentioned, and it sounds like you're on the same page I am about the constant push for "productivity." In my Scrivener files for The Anticareerist newsletter under "decolonizing time" I have a section entitled "unpacking and unlearning productivism." It's a life-long challenge to do this, especially in the context of a toxic American job culture that valorizes overwork. But fortunately these days there are more people speaking out against productivism as a measure of human worth.

After looking at your Patreon I also noted that you've started a subscription service through a platform called Pozible, which I hadn't heard of until now. I find it fascinating (and encouraging) that subscription models for crowdfunding are becoming more and more common. The widespread move toward digital subscriptions on many different platforms gives me some hope - however tenuous, for now - that at least some marginalized artists might eventually be able to sustain full-time creative ventures through crowdfunding over the long run, as this model becomes more normalized.

Subscription models still face many hurdles, though, and I think that AskMe question is a good example. The OP wrote: "I don't feel weird at all throwing in for a kickstarter, but somehow this seems different."

It IS different. Fundamentally so. And that's a good thing, whether or not the OP understands why.

Kickstarter campaigns support a specific project. Patreon is a subscription model that supports an ongoing creative practice. We don't have much precedent for supporting artists before they create art, in part because artistic labor is still largely invisible and unfairly devalued in comparison with "real" conventional jobs. That narrative will need to shift in order for subscription models to catch on enough to support a critical mass of artists over the long term.

Patreon, Substack, Bandcamp, and other similar subscription services are helping to normalize the idea of directly supporting artists. They're helping to shift the dominant narrative about art labor and funding. I'm grateful for that. I'll keep doing what I can to nudge things along in the direction of supporting artists.
posted by velvet winter at 1:49 PM on December 17, 2018 [1 favorite]

Pozible is Australian! They started off as purely crowdfunding, the subscription model is a very new thing (I was their first successful project so we have a close bond and I got to be an early adopter). No one's really joined me there though.

There may be more ways for marginalised artists to get paid, but it doesn't mean anything if no one is willing to chip in.
posted by divabat at 2:11 PM on December 17, 2018

I did note that Pozible is Australian - sorry for not making that clearer! My only intention with the use of the word "American" was to point to the extreme toxicity of the culture of overwork in the U.S.

In any case, divabat, I agree that new platforms won't mean much if people with traditional jobs don't pledge to support artists because it seems "weird" to them. That's why I'm hoping the increased visibility of subscription models will help shift the cultural narrative for people like the AskMe poster (and anyone who feels similarly who happened to read that AskMe post). Artists need more people with conventional jobs to invest in us now, or we'll be stuck passing the hat back and forth amongst ourselves indefinitely.

As you noted above, unfortunately increased online reach doesn't translate into increased funding. In many cases it does nothing other than stoke false hopes while adding additional work to our already heavy burden of unpaid labor.
posted by velvet winter at 3:26 PM on December 17, 2018

I also keep meaning to set up a Patreon for my blog, possibly tied to genealogical research - I get a lot of readers that are descendants of my research subjects and want more information about their ancestors. But I have to get through my comprehensive exams and dissertation first, so that is a goal that has been put off for a while.
posted by chainsofreedom at 11:10 AM on December 18, 2018

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