This is a subject I feel very strongly about, Covid has had a massive impact on the ability of many creative people to earn and continue with their art, it’s essential to help them or we will all be the poorer for it.
The pandemic has been a hard time for everyone, but if you’ve been lucky enough to have kept your full-time job throughout, then now is the time to spend some money on the arts. Many artists have been out of work or unable to work, furloughed or struck by covid. If ever there was a time to buy your local band’s album, or purchase a book from an independent shop, support a video creator, sculptor, theatre group or painter, it’s now!
I’m talking about artists of every description, anyone with a talent to provide joy for people through their creativity and skill.
Artists have been particularly affected because their ability to reach their potential audience has been severely curtailed. If you have fewer opportunities to display or play your creative output, your ability to earn from it is badly affected.
Throughout history, artists and creative people have been reliant on the support of rich patrons to fund the projects that enabled them to bequeath their rich artistic legacy to be enjoyed for all time. Without such patronage they would never have been able to flourish, and the World would be considerably poorer culturally as a result.
Patronage of the arts needed a new way to operate in the digital age, an arena where artists and potential patrons and fans of their work can meet, talk, commission and create.
Do you know about Patreon?
Patreon is a life saver for anyone in the arts struggling to make ends meet because it addresses a vital need, that of a regular income. For all the reputation of artistic people going hungry and living in garrets, paying for food, accommodation and some of life’s little luxuries is essential to enable the art to be created.
What is Patreon? It’s a membership platform which makes it simple for artists and creatives to get paid for the work that they create, through creating a subscription service whereby fans and patrons make regular monthly payments to their favoured artists.
For the artist, the stability provided by a regular income. For the fan, added value in the form of an additional product only available to subscribers. A true win-win situation for everyone. The artist provides added value for their patrons and fans, safe in the knowledge that they are part of a truly supportive community that values both them and their work.
From the equivalent of $10 per month up to whatever you can spare, your subscription provides the stability of a monthly income and can be the difference between enabling the artist to operate full time at their craft or merely as a side-hustle, it makes that much of a difference!
Many artists struggle on conventional platforms with the issue of trolling, a throwaway snide comment can have a significant impact on self-belief, mood and confidence, so many are reluctant to promote themselves for fear of rejection.
Patreon removes this fear because the audience is by invitation only, people who subscribe are going to appreciate the artist and their work, precisely because they are literally putting their money where their mouth is!
Does it really matter, aren’t their greater priorities?
Any artist stands a far better chance of thriving given regular financial support, but I’m particularly talking about local artists in this instance. Think for a moment how local artists genuinely benefit their local communities. The band you see down the pub on a Friday, maybe. The artist that designed the mural to cover the boarded-up shop. So much colour and character provided for local communities to enjoy and feel pride in.
We have become complacent and maybe take our local artists and creatives for granted as a result. But we do so at our peril, if artists are forced away from following their muse to simply put food on the table, we all lose out. You’ll go down the pub and see an empty stage. You’ll see the flies and post piled up in the abandoned shop. If nothing else, the local atmosphere will suffer if there aren’t artists operating to provide inspiration and colour to it.
Can a community really be inclusive and vibrant without a thriving local arts scene? I really don’t believe it can be.
Providing support and payment for local artists via Patreon provides rewards that go far beyond financial considerations. If you’re a fan of a local band, here’s the opportunity to hear additional material or receive special offers not available elsewhere. It enables patron and artist to develop a truly personal relationship, all based around regular subscriptions for added value.
I really shouldn’t finish discussing Patreon without urging any artist or creative who is unfamiliar with it to go and see for yourself how it could be such a valuable asset to your work. It really can be the difference between supporting yourself through doing what you love or being forced to bite the bullet and work at something you don’t like doing because we all have to make ends meet!
Putting my money where my mouth is.
I couldn’t urge other people to subscribe if I wasn’t doing so myself, so ‘ll let you know what I do to help. I’m a fan of the ‘Hardcore History’ series by Dan Carlin and pay a monthly subscription to ensure these programmes that fascinate me continue to be made. It’s vital that we support smaller players in film because if we don’t so many excellent videos which cater for minority interests will just not be made, and we’ll all suffer through the lack of content diversity.
It’s not, of course, just a plug for Patreon, excellent as they are. Supporting artists takes many forms, from as little as liking and commenting on social media to subscribing to a favourite artist’s YouTube, whatever you can do to help will make a major difference to the future of artistic creation.
If you can afford it, I urge you to support your local artists and artistic community. If you don’t, life will be infinitely less colourful and cultured as a result, and we’ll all be the poorer for it.
–Simon Watson, Operations Manager, GLProUK
GLProUK is a digital marketing agency based in London and Surrey, helping market-leading brands fulfil their content requirements. We bring a passion for innovation to our podcasts, graphic design, professional video and photography, tailoring our expertise and enthusiasm to the unique aspects of your project.
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