There is an expectation that the beautiful things we enjoy will find success, but that’s not always true. Anyone who has had their favorite TV show get canceled in its prime knows how this goes. Some of our most beloved things don’t have a mechanism to be sustained. That’s part of why I’m such a staunch advocate for Patreon.
I’ve seen Patreon provide support where no other system could, the most recent example is my favorite cosplayer, Christine Sprankle.
Don’t worry, I’m not going to force you to read this whole article to pay out the click bait title. Here it is, a new mantra to build your wealth and happiness as an artist:
Make your art available for sale before you promote it online.
This is so obvious, you may not consider it worthy of a written article and yet, ask yourself if you’ve actually followed this rule. I’m committing this to writing because it has become the most common piece of advice I’ve been offering to my compatriots. Too often, I see people do a wonderful job sharing their work, only to have the party clear out before they set up the merch table. Bands make sure their shirts and CDs are for sale while they are still on stage and so should you.
Most artists seek out other artists and creative types. No one really “gets you” like another artist. It’s how we find colleagues, mentors, and friends. The time I spend with other artists is some of the most special time I have. The desire and advantages of participating in art communities in person and online are both huge and easy to understand.
Thanks to the internet, it’s easier than ever to find other artists. It’s so easy, in fact, that you can create a world for yourself that’s almost exclusively art friends, and before you know it, you find yourself in an art bubble. Your social media will be filled with amazing pictures that both inspire you and occasionally make you want to quit. You will begin to think everyone is in the process of making their own intellectual property, and that everyone’s doing a Kickstarter.