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 (a time-&-life-consuming daughter, as you may imagine), I stopped to make tutorials, at least, 'till now.
In the last months, in fact, I decided to make some simple step-by-step tutorials: my idea, obviously, was to create some valid content for you, not only to improve the chances to sell my miniatures, but also to...ok I won't lie: I love when people think I'm useful and I get compliments!
However, even if I was really pleased to see that these first step-by-step tutorials were warmly welcome by you, I was even more happy because I felt like I rediscovered a side of this hobby that I'm really attached to.
I love to make tutorials: I can share with you all the lessons that I've learned in these 18 years of hobby and, in my small way, I can share a subtle flame of passion in the hearts of in-nuce-hobbyists.
And here it comes again my old acquaintance, Patreon.
Creating valid contents its a job by itself: it's not only a matter of time (a lot) or skills (I can't make you a tutorial about how to hunt a bear using only a didgeridoo), but, sadly, also money.
I want to create more and more contents, not only related to my own products, but also about my personal projects: for years I promised myself to take part to the various Golden Demon editions, but I've always struggled to find some time to dedicate to proper entries (and money to pay the fly... thanks GW for having destroyed the Italian edition T__T).
Luckily, nowadays Durgin Paint Forge is not anymore a baby daughter: let's say that she (-yeah, in my opinion is a female subject-) is 7-8 years old girl. She still requires a lot of dedication, but at least she knows to properly use the toilet by herself and she's starting to explore the world with her legs.
Briefly, this means that now I might find some proper time to dedicate to external projects, but being a full-time dad, I need to pay bills, also.
For this reason, more than before, I think that Patreon might be, in the next future, an interesting deal for me and you: I would be able to create more and more contents and, with a bit of luck and your support, I might be able also to earn some extra, blessed, money to fully invest in my beloved Durgin Paint Forge, and so be able to produce more Dwarv-ehm, more miniatures, speeding up the Great Plan (creating a miniatures game).
When shall this Patreon thing begin? I honestly don't have an idea. At the moment, I'm only focused on the Second Government project, but as soon as this project will be properly nailed, I think I will try this side-quest. As always, I don't want to fight without making at first a proper and detailed plan (I'm an Imperial Fist, after all!), and in the meantime this platform is saturated by hyper-talented artists that could use my paintings as fancy coasters, so I think that I will have to fight hard to make something worthy of your attention. but I'm not scared by bloody, dirty, apparently hopeless battles.
I'm an Imperial Fist, after all!
So, what do you think about these (infinite) lines? Do you think that it might be an interesting project, or do you think that I'm not sexy enough to compete with all the provocative cosplayers that haunt that place?