Patreon - Funding the Unfundable
There is an expectation that our favorite things 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 projects 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.
My first encounter with Christine was while she was dressed up as the version of Nissa Revane that I had designed for M16. This was at Gencon a few years back and it’s still one of my favorite memories for my many years at that show. She’s been a staple of large MtG events, gaming conventions, sometimes even being sponsored by Wizards of the Coast themselves. It makes me happy every time I see her in person and love seeing her constantly trying to outdo herself in the quality of her costume builds. She is easily one of my favorite people to follow on social media. Despite all this, I somehow managed to avoid ever making a pledge to her Patreon campaign. Part of me expected that her means of support were strong enough that as she continued to invest in her passion, the world would somehow reward her for that investment. But sadly, that's not how the world really works.
Recently, Christine posted a video explaining that life circumstances had left her broke and in a deeply desperate situation. Considering that cosplay has no direct means of income, there weren’t any traditional lines of support. If people valued what she did, they needed to pledge to her Patreon campaign now or this was the end. Needless to say, I ponied up. For my monthly pledge, I feel like I’m getting my money’s worth just by seeing Christine’s work thrive. It’s very existence is the reward I’m hoping to get in exchange for my expense.
If there is a musician, dancer, journalist, cosplayer, filmmaker, illustrator or game designer you want to see succeed, you need to spend money on them. If a creator has made a Patreon campaign to sustain their project, consider what it’s worth to you to see that project continue to exist. Your support always matters.