Monday, November 30, 2015

Patreon Project Kit for Artists

EDIT 2: As of 10/25/2017, Patreon has added Apps to help automate certain tasks, such as Patron-only posts for Wordpress and adding Patrons to your mailing list with Mailchimp. Check the apps out here! I'll post my thoughts on them after I've had a chance to experiment with them.

EDIT: Patreon has started a referral program! So if you'd like to give it a try, feel free to use my referral link -

I'm a firm believer that crowd-funding is the wave of the future and the core building block of a growing breed of artist-entrepreneurs.  As soon as Patreon launched back in 2013, I knew they'd be something special for the creative community!  Through this format, people have been able to share more directly than ever before.

I thought I'd join in that spirit of giving by sharing the structure, templates, and other resources that keep my Patreon ticking!  I hope it helps other artists out there considering promoting their projects via this site.  Let's make a Patreon!

Release Schedule

When you set up your account, it's important to have an idea of how and when your releases will occur and also other notices you'd like to send to your Patrons so you can be aware of how much you might be spamming them at once so they don't get fatigued by your posts. Mine go something like this:

Last Day of the Month.  Patreon begins charging your Patrons on the 1st of the month, so let's start there!  The monthly image is uploaded before or on the last day of the month. I only release one painting per month to keep things simple, but you may want to release more frequently! If I ever do more than one painting a month, I stagger out my releases so that there's always one being posted per month.  However, I do not charge monthly because I am a slow worker and I'd rather my Patrons only get paid when I release a painting, rather than taking a chance that they might not receive anything if I'm not productive enough.

Within the First Week of the Month.  Rewards for all levels are posted in individual posts (one for each tier) and a PM is sent out regarding my Keyword Inspiration sketch (an event I hold monthly for $5+ Patrons where they turn in prompts and I draw the most inspiring prompt).

The 15th of Every Month.  A mid-month reminder post reminding people to attend my monthly Studio Hangout (with a link to the Event on Google+), sharing a WiP of that month's art, and any other important reminders that might be relevant. The 15th is also my internal deadline to have the physical Rewards mailed out.

- Last Wednesday of Every Month.  A link to the recording of my live Studio Hangout is posted to Patreon.  The recording is auto-generated by Hangouts and posted to YouTube for me, which makes things easy.

Digital File Rewards

Digital Rewards are the cornerstone of any Patreon since they're easy to fulfill and require less of an expense on the artist's part. Here are a few ideas for distributing digital items.

- Patreon File Attachments. Now that Patreon supports post tags, Rewards are easy to find and autotagged by the cost of the Rewards level without you needing to lift a finger.  You could also create tags with custom Rewards names, if you've personalized your tier titles.  Be aware that a single post can support unlimited attachments as long as each attachment is not larger than 200MB.

- Gumroad.  Gumroad is a free online shop service that allows a user to create shop listings and host digital files of up to 16GB per attachment.  They allow users to create private listings, which is perfect for sharing Patreon exclusive files.  You can also share files that would usually cost money by creating a special offer code and sharing links where the code is auto-applied to your listing only with your Patreon Patrons.  Best of all, Gumroad takes care of the file hosting and link management for your Patrons!  You can find out more about using Gumroad the way that I am suggesting here and here (the 2nd method discussed on the help entry about creating an offer to make a product free is the one I'm referring to).

- DeviantART's DA's allows for private viewing of file links for anonymous viewers who have the url. You can store any kind of file (image, video, etc.) and also 'stack' them if you have multiple releases you'd like to show at a single url. The current default limit for free users of DA is 2GB while Premium members get 10GB. Another random perk is that you can also hotlink to files if you are embedding images into html on other sites.

- YouTube. YouTube allows you to upload videos at private links (called 'unlisted videos') that are only accessible to those who have the link.  It's a good alternative if you want to offer a streaming option for videos instead of requiring a complete download of the entire file.

Private Journal Entries

Sharing exclusive posts can really make Patrons feel special! However, Patreon's current journal function is very limited and doesn't allow images and text to be formatted easily. For this reason, here are some suggestions for ways to share private journals:

WP Hide Post. If you run a site built with Wordpress, the WP Hide Post plugin allows you to completely hide a post from search engines, your website's categorization, etc. so that you can essentially host a private post on your server that you can link people to.  Only those with the direct link can see it or find it.

- DeviantART's While also useful for storing files, you can also use Writer to create more robust journal entries than Patreon currently does that can be linked to directly, but not accessed publicly. These private journals also allow DeviantART users to comment on them.

- EDIT: 5/17/2023 Patreon's Wordpress Plugin.  This plugin for Wordpress will let you lock posts behind a paywall organized by your Patreon's tiers on your Wordpress site so that you can encourage promotion natively from your own website.  You can see this in action on my website here.

Physical Rewards

- Postcard and Greeting Card Mailings. I use for a fast, secure, and easy solution for mailing out postcards (ie. Christmas cards, Thank You cards, etc.) to my Patrons. You can personalize your cards online, though they will not be handwritten.

- Prints. I usually print off my own prints via an Epson Artisan 1430 which boasts lightfast inks and wide format printing (up to 13x19 inches), but when I need bigger and/or fancier prints (ie. giclee, canvas, mounted prints, etc.), I turn to (tell them Angela Sasser sent you and we both get Thank You dollars when you make your first order!).

- EDIT: 5/17/2023 Patreon Merch.  I've recently joined the Merch program to test it out and I'm very excited!  I know the quality will be good, as they have integrated with Printful, which I already use in my shop for drop-shipping.  This program promises to save me time by managing all my merch packaging, delivery, and loyalty tracking needs.  Once I have tried this program for awhile, I'll be sure to share a full review here.

Reader Suggestions

Before I get to the Templates, I'd love to hear your reader suggestions in comments!
If you have any tips or resources you'd like to add that I find particularly helpful,
I'll add your tip to this journal entry with a link to your Patreon page.
Let's make this entry a great resource for the community!


Patreon has an official set of logos, wordmarks, and swatches you can find here!  They have specific rules of how they prefer their logos to be used, so it's definitely worth checking out this page.

Friday, November 20, 2015

REFERENCE SET - Origami Butterflies PACK

This is a stock reference photo resource available for FREE personal use or for commercial use for a minimal fee. Purchase high res and commercial use images at the links!

I hand folded all 48 butterflies for a painting of mine. Hopefully my efforts prove useful to someone else out there!

The image pack:

The single images:

See my full gallery of reference photos here:

Alternatively, you can purchase my stock photo packs at my Gumroad shop where you can use Paypal instead of deviantART’s point system.