As one of the very first mixed media artists to join the Patreon family, I had to come up with everything on my own. There was nothing available to use as an example and no one to pattern myself after. Because of that, I have definitely been winging it while at the same time trying to settle in to a routine that is not only doable but also allows me to make enough money to pay rent and have a bit extra to buy food and pay bills. I’ve always lived very simply and my own needs are small. When I first started this, I had visions of making, at the very least, $1000 a month from single-dollar pledges, with the higher pledge categories affording me at least a couple more thousand so that I could live comfortably (i.e. have some food in my pantry) while doing and sharing what I love with like-minded people. When I started out as a mixed media artist on YouTube more than a decade ago, my goal was to help women heal and empower themselves through art - something I had gotten quite good at myself. That has always been the main focus of everything I’ve done since that time.
Unfortunately, The Gypsy Boho A-go-go Show, my platform for providing social commentary every month while introducing some of my art, never brought in more than 100 dollars a month, and usually around $75. I poured my heart and soul into it because of my passion for helping others, and I believed strongly that so many people who have been through similar experiences as my own could benefit from me sharing what I’d been through. Despite that, it didn’t come close to the $500 a month in $1 pledges that I needed to be able to continue to make it. It literally took me several days’ worth of 14-hour days from concept to edited video each month. Since it obviously wasn’t paying for itself, I experimented with broadening the appeal by doing weekly planner videos. Sadly, that, too didn’t garner enough interest, even though I was now producing four non-art videos per month instead of just the one, all for just $1.
Rather than raise the price of the lowest pledge group, I decided that it was time to cut my losses and do away with the $1 category completely. I had been spending an incredible amount of time and energy that was taking me away from my art videos (my bread and butter, so to speak) and burning the candle at both ends for very little return. My health was starting to suffer from lack of sleep as well.
I am extremely grateful to all of my $1 patrons, especially those of you who have been with me from the beginning, and really wish that there had been enough interest to allow me to keep that level going long into the future. I do plan to continue to work in my planner, but when I share what I do, it will be on my personal blog and/or Facebook page and not on Patreon. I’ll use the extra time gained from no longer filming and editing non-art videos, to putting more time and energy into my monthly Patreon art workshops.
From March 1, 2016 onward, the $1-pledge category will no longer be available. The monthly categories will consist of $10-pledge patrons (Lovely Dreamers), $20-pledge patrons (Creative Wildflowers), $25-pledge patrons (Gypsy Warriors) and $250-pledge patrons (Fairy Godparents). In addition, if you missed a particular month’s workshop but would still like to take it, the older workshops will eventually all be available through my Etsy shop, although the cost will be somewhat higher than if the course was purchased while available on Patreon.