Patreon is a big thing, it is clear.
The idea of being able to actually take on personal projects, establishing a direct relationship with the community that materially finances them, it's powerful and, let's not lie to ourselves, incredibly tasty.
However, I confess that even if I wanted to get on the Patreon wagon long-time ago, I've always been puzzled about it, for several reasons that I would like to discuss with you, here (uh, have you seen that I've created a super cool "Blessed by Flonzi" badge, for our most active members of this newborn site?!).
I've discovered Patreon about 7 years ago, when it was still unknown to the big crowd (you know, I'm a hipster...): one of my friend, at that time, was a big name in Italian Youtube community and, being youtubers probably the most cunning web-entrepreneurs of this modern age, he talked to me about this wonderful platform where followers directly patronize their favorite artists.
At that time, as you can see below, I had a lot of fun creating incredibly raw video tutorials. I'm not joking, they were real hardcore stuff, look at this video, for example:
It's pure Dadaism. A random guy, in a living room, explains how to paint a Space Marine Razorback with a futuristic sponge-technique. Voice recorded in real time and Amon Amarth in the background.
No cuts, no editing, raw and nasty as eating a raw chicken breast with bare hands (good morning, salmonella!).
That painting technique was good, however, and I recommend you to give it a try.
You're seeing not only probably the very beginning of Durgin Paint Forge, but also my inner hobby-mojo, that I'm trying to preserve as much as possible, as a chubby panda cub, in these cold, cynical world of business.
But let's return to the main point: Patreon.
At that time, I initially thought that Patreon would have been a great opportunity to finally discover a way to join fun and money: one of the three major secrets of life.
I was focused and pumped, but then my personal conscience popped out like an annoying (even if wise) ads on a football streaming website.
"You can't ask money to someone, if you can't do great things."
Of course, you should read this line with Brainy Smurf voice in your head.
Probably it was just a kind of stage fright, or probably my insecurity (after all, it's one thing to just have fun making videos and another one to be paid for something...), however my conscience won, and I think it was a wise decision because I wasn't nor ready nor mature enough to manage a professional Patreon project.
So I abandoned my dreams of gold and fame, and I kept on making funny videos, just to give something to the community, like this one:
(Yeah, dubbing Action-Man as a motivating-guru for painters was probably my last, perfect, swan song)
I improved the quality and I still think that the idea of mixing video-tutorial with a kind of funny rpg experience was great. However, as you may sense listening at my voice (even if you don't speak Italian), I lost something.
The Patreon-renunciation, in a certain way, pushed me to become more professional, but I probably became too obsessed by it: my videos get too staged and serious, more elaborated and complex to edit and shoot, and suddenly I felt like I was working...without being paid!
It's a funny paradox, in hindsight, another proof that to master the major secrets of life is not easy at all: I wanted to have fun and make money, and I ended up working hard, without making a single €.
After all, "men make plans and Gods laugh at them".
For this reason, and above all the unexpected birth of Durgin Paint Forge