Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

What I want from artists / Ce que je veux des artistes

2017 . 03 . 20 - Comments / Commentaires (13)

My motivation for supporting artists is more complicated than I expected.

Ma motivation pour soutenir un artiste est plus compliquée que je ne le croyais.


I figured out my need to be noticed by hashing all this stuff out with two artist friends who are also on Patreon, Sarah Greenman and Sarah Atlee. Whatever your reason for supporting artists—financially or emotionally—I hope you do a lot of it, because we all need art in order to live, even those who argue that art is a luxury. Also, it’s okay to need to be noticed.


J’ai compris mon besoin d’être reconnue en parlant de tout cela avec deux amis artiste qui sont également sur Patreon, Sarah Greenman et Sarah Atlee. Quelle que soit votre raison de soutenir les artistes—financièrement ou émotionnellement—j’espère que vous le faites beaucoup, parce que nous avons tous besoin de l’art pour vivre, même ceux qui prétendent que l’art est un luxe. Aussi, il est normal d’avoir besoin d’être reconnu.



Patreon

screenshot of my Patreon profile / capture d’écran de ma page sur Patreon

I’ve been on Patreon since the beginning of 2015, and my understanding of the platform has evolved a lot in that time, both as a creator and a donor. There are some things you can only learn by doing.

Je suis sur Patreon depuis le début de 2015, et ma compréhension de la plate-forme a beaucoup évolué, à la fois en tant que créateur et donateur. Il y a certaines choses que vous devez apprendre en faisant.



Patreon

one of my Patreon gifts / un de mes cadeaux sur Patreon

This is my newest gift through Patreon! After one payment, we can set up one half-hour video call where you can ask for advice about your art career. And you may adjust your pledge after one month and I’ll still be grateful for your contribution!

Voici mon nouveau cadeau sur Patreon! Après un versement, on prend rendez-vous pour une visite d’une demi-heure—sur Internet et par vidéo—pour parler de votre carrière d’artiste. Et vous pouvez changer votre engagement apr├Ęs un mois, et je vous en serai toujours reconnaissante!


RELATED ARTICLES:
- An art guide / Un guide pour artiste
- The magic of regular microdonations to artists
- How to love your art (and yourself)


UN PEU SUR LE MÊME SUJET:
- Compliments / Les compliments
- Not everybody loves you. / Ce n’est pas tout le monde qui va vous apprécier.
- How to love artists / Comment adorer les artistes


CATEGORIES: - English - Français - TOP POSTS - Business of art - Featuring artists - Video -



(13) Comments / Commentaires: What I want from artists / Ce que je veux des artistes

-- libby fife -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

Gwenn,

Good for you! Another spot on post.

I think we all want to feel like we are in this together; like our mutual lives are level playing fields. I stop commenting on people’s blogs when over time, they simply don’t acknowledge my comments. Not sound reasoning I guess since I don’t know why they don’t comment back. But, blogging, for me anyway, is about making connections. So, I agree totally with what you said.

It’s harder when you attach money to it, like on Patreon. That is a hard dollar value being put on the interaction. Very interesting from a psychological viewpoint!

Another thinker! Thank you!
Libby

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

@Libby: I’d love to hear more about how money makes it different for you.

For me, in this case, the income I receive through Patreon feels very different from the money I earn elsewhere, because the Patreon money is a gift. So when that other artist didn’t seem to be treating that money with the same specialness I would have, it hurt my feelings.

In other situations where money is involved, it’s something else again. I know I need to put up good boundaries around what money is buying for a client—and I emphasize buying because it’s different than when money is given as a gift. Or at least I think it is…thank you for making me dig deeper into this! smile

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-- Linda Ursin -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

I also want to do a good job noticing those who support me. As you do for those who support you smile

Right now, nobody is supporting me on Patreon, so I’m publishing most of the content as public, as a way for people to get a feel for what I do.

I’ve been on Patreon since February of last year (I had to go check) so I haven’t been there as long. I hope to meet more wonderful artists through it smile

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

@Linda: Thank you! Yes, Patreon can be a hard nut to crack for creatives, because it’s not yet seen as “normal” to support artists on a monthly basis. I also think there’s a lot of push back from the Kickstarter culture—as in, people have negative associations with Kickstarter being for losers or for people who don’t complete projects, and that rubs off on Patreon. When I talk about Patreon with people (in person), I always try to promote the idea of the platform itself. I usually end up talking about Frida Kahlo, who survived because of monthly checks sent by friends at some point in her career. smile

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-- libby fife -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

Gwenn,

I guess when money becomes involved it creates a kind of obligation between the two people. Rightly or wrongly, the money adds another dynamic.

But, like you said the money that you receive on Patreon is a gift. And gifts carry no special obligations right? Other than to say thank you of course. For you and I, it helped me enormously that you were willing to trade emails and respond to my comments. That made it a no-brainer to support you on Patreon even if it is only a little bit. I might still support someone there without knowing them if I believed strongly in what they were doing. For me though, it’s better to have some kind of a connection first.

I always learn something from your posts. Thank you!
Libby

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-- Linda Ursin -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

@Gwenn Yes on all of those. Having patrons who contributed on a regular basis was more common way back when. I think the industrial age made it fall out of fashion, or something else.

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-- Sarah A. -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

This is such an interesting and insightful point, and I’m glad you brought it up. It’s making me think about why I support other artists and what I get out of that.

Interestingly, on the flip side, I’ve learned that some of my patrons just want to be left alone smile and sometimes I do too! Funny how we have these contradictions within ourselves.

Thanks for the shout-out! I hope we have more conversations in the future.

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

@Sarah: O ya! Right?! The unfortunate thing about the patrons who want to be left alone (I can think of one among mine) is that it’s impossible to ask them why. smile So I want to ask you! Do you know why you want to be left alone at times and not others? I don’t think I’ve ever wanted to be left alone by someone I was trying to engage with…

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-- Sarah A. -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

@Gwenn that’s a good question. I think I want to be left alone sometimes because I have total trust in the creative person I’m supporting - I don’t feel I need to keep an eye on them. Also because I’m busy, and some days I just don’t have time to read emails.

Other times, I crave some social contact. I go back and forth on this.

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 03 . 20 --

@Sarah: O wow! The busy thing, I get, but trusting the creative is something else. I hadn’t thought of it that way. Now I want to think on it more! Thank you!

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-- Cathy Hasty -- 2017 . 03 . 22 --

AS usual you bring up interesting provocative thoughts.  I support a handful of artists because I believe in their work. One has never acknowledged my support in any way.  I have considered pulling my support. I do not think I need a lot of acknowledgement, just some recognition that there was an exchange would be nice, just an email?  I am terrible about written thank you notes so there is some double standard here. I tend to acknowledge gifts verbally though - particularly ones that seem to have a great deal of thought in them.  I wonder about our duty and responsibility to artists and creators when we consume their work, such as through podcasts or viewing them online.  This is the main reason I have contributed to artists.  Like NPR, I have a sense that I am being fair when I enjoy something and then contribute back my own time in the form of financial contribution.  There is this internal ledger that I believe is universal. I feel better about myself when the ledger is clean.  There is a family therapist from long ago that discussed the justice ledgers we carry in relationships.

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-- Gwenn -- 2017 . 03 . 23 --

@Cathy: The internal ledger is a fascinating question! Have you ever read Adam Grant’s Give and Take? It’s a lot about that ledger and how it’s different for each individual.

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-- Cathy Hasty -- 2017 . 03 . 23 --

I looked up the Grant Book and want to read it.  The clinician I was referencing ALSO wrote a book: “Between Give and Take…  it will be interesting to compare them. I have continued to think about your reflections and the sense of responsibility I have for the artists I enjoy.  We pay to hear a musician and to watch a dancer yet we expect to take home the product of a visual artist.  Your reflections are a form of performance art that deserves compensation?  Thanks for the engagement.

https://www.amazon.com/Between-Give-Take-Clinical-Contextual/dp/0876304188

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