I’ll be blunt, last year was not kind to me. Just at the start of an exciting move into licensing, and companies enthusiastic about my art, many exciting projects both for licensing and commission, I was floored with a mysterious health issue, still seeking a diagnosis, that seriously debilitated my ability to work. While it continues to have an impact on my life and my ability to work to the same level that I had before all this began, I’m not letting it get the better of me.
I embark upon a new approach to my art this month with the launch of my Patreon page – but more on that later. Firstly, let me talk a little about the art.
The Book of Flower Dragons
I’ve not finalised names yet, but I’m quite excited about this project. I wanted to get back to my roots. Since I don’t know how much worse my health might get and how much it may further impact my work, I wanted to focus my attention on projects that I’m passionate about. I love painting dragons, as my moniker might suggest, so I wanted to take a fresh look on them.
Growing up, I loved Cicely M. Barker’s Flower Fairy books and I loved the idea of giving dragons a similar treatment. I envision the dragons as guardian spirits for the flowers, embodying the myths and folkloristic symbolism associated with them. I struck upon the idea of doing a collection of paintings to explore this.
I love fantasy worlds and was inspired by the idea of having each picture accompanied with some text from a world in which these dragon flower guardians were real and how this might be written from the point of view of a passionate naturalist of a magical version of our world. Perhaps as extracts from a book of flower dragons.
The Dragon of the Rose
My first painting, Rose Guardian, is an important one to me as it marks the beginning of my journey and a return to some of my favourite art. I love painting dragons and I love painting roses, so it was the logical beginning to my collection.
This should give you an idea of the quality and direction of this new collection. Of course, each dragon will retain its own flavour and draw from the symbolism connected to their flower.
I’ll be showing more about this design, including sketches and some of the process leading towards its completion as well as previews of future designs, on my patrons-only feed on Patreon.
Speaking of which…
I’m not just painting this collection for love alone, but to make available for licensing, but I’m aware that not all the companies I license with may be able to take the whole collection or be in a position to take them on right away. However, I don’t want this to stop me creating the paintings, but of course this alone isn’t necessarily going to sustain me and my family.
Patreon is a fantastic take on crowd-funding and patronage. Artists and creatives can use it as a platform to gain funding (whether monthly or per creation) to keep doing what they love doing.
I have just launched my own page and would love you to get involved in helping see my flower dragons blossom! 😉
If you’re in doubt as to whether you can afford it, you can support for as little as $1. That’s nothing, really. Since I have opted for “per creation” it means I only collect funding once per design as opposed to every month regardless. Here’s a breakdown of how effective Patreon can be.
- Currently, I have over 11,800 people following my Facebook page. Without spending any money to promote posts and depending on how many shares a post gets, I can reach between 1,500 – 11,000 people.
- If only 500 out of the 11k+ people who like my Facebook page pledged $1, that would mean I get paid $500 each time I create a design, which I’m aiming for about once (and no more than twice) a month barring health or life commitments delaying me.
- For just $1, you get notifications of my public posts and can follow my progress.
- If half of those 500 upgraded to $3 per creation, I would get $1,000 per creation, and each person supporting me for $3 would get access to my patron-only posts, which include sneak previews of future work, insights into the design process, and maybe even some short tutorials.
- If half of those 250 $3 patrons upgraded to $5, my patrons would support me with $1,250 per design and those 125 $5 patrons would also get digital wallpapers of the final design and 10% discounted prints.
- If only 60 people from those 125 patrons upgrade to $10, each design would be worth $1,550. Those $10 patrons would get the same as the $5 patrons but with 20% discounted prints instead.
- If half of those $10 patrons upgraded to $25, each design would be worth $2,000 and those 30 patrons supporting me for $25 would get prints at half price.
- The $50 and $120 tiers are limited, so if the maximum 8 patrons upgraded from $25 to $50, they would also get an original hand-drawn mini dragon-head sketch and each design would be worth $2,200.
- And finally, if two of the remaining $25 patrons upgraded to $120, they would also get a canvas print and make each design worth $2,390!
In that final calculation, 490 of 500 patrons are paying no more than a pizza, of which over 350 are only buying the equivalent of a cup of coffee or two.
And that’s not to mention goals. At different thresholds, various goals are unlocked that include providing you with extra perks. With just 100 patrons at $,1 both of my first goals would be reached:
- At $50, I’ll add extra content into my patrons-only posts to include sketches, previews of detailed work and more insight into the design process.
- At $100, I’ll send out postcard prints with a flower dragon & the text on the other side of the design to everyone who supports me at $10 or more.
Please consider chipping in even $1 – $3 on Patreon and encouraging your friends to do the same. The more folks back me at even small amounts, the more great stuff everyone gets! 🙂