In medieval times only royalty or nobility could afford to sponsor an Artist. Even last century only wealthier Americans could afford to be a Patron; supporting local or national Cultural non-profits such as Opera or Ballet companies. Or becoming one of a handful of Producers of a film or live theatre production. Artists without a patron or commercial success (or substantial inheritance) have always had to rely on other work to support their creative efforts. In this ‘new economy‘ which devalues experience (with fears of medical expenses, supposed inability to adapt) and encourages ‘independent contractors‘ (no benefits like insurance coverage, sick, holiday or vacation pay) finding a new career to replace one lost after the age of 50 is a challenge. I am up to the challenge, but have also learned that asking for help is sometimes necessary.
Going forward, I see three careers serving as ‘income streams’ while doing ‘important work’:
# The Digital Gryphon llc– My publishing, design and Personal Historian service;
# RubberChickenMinistries.org– My queer spiritual humanist fellowship and End of Life Doula service;
# and adding photography beyond my Fine Art photography– there’s nothing wrong with pretty pictures, but I need to do meaningful work that supports my fellow queers.
Today, through crowd-funding web-sites such as Kickstarter, GoFundMe or IndieGoGo, anyone with an Internet connection can become a patron. Such web-sites publicize projects and bring donors together with creative types. They do so for a fee. But the growth in such sites and the explosion of projects means artists can’t rely on their chosen site to attract enough sponsors by itself. Each artist has to pay for additional marketing. This brings the total cost of fundraising to over a third of funds raised for most projects on those sites.
You can be a Direct Patron of Brian, the Digital Gryphon, with regular contributions through Paypal which charges less than 6% to process payments. Each Direct Patron who contributes at least US$10 per month will also receive a Premium (‘thank you gift‘) every 6 months. Premiums vary with the level of support; all will be individually selected by me. Each will feature my photography, poetry or graphic design and many will be exclusive editions available only to patrons.
- You may cancel your PayPal subscription at any time;
- For each six sequential subscription payments Brian will hand-pick a Thank You gift;
- Thank You gifts will be sent at no charge to a US-based shipping address;
- Thank You gifts may not be returned or exchanged for cash or other item;
- No employer/employee relationship is created by this programme;
- Neither DigitalGryphon LLC nor RubberChickenMinistries.org (our queer spiritual humanist ministry) is registered with the IRS as a charitable organization;
- This programme may be cancelled at any time.
Other Forms of Support:
If recurring Patron support doesn’t work, you can also send me something from my Amazon Wish List. Also, we earn a small fee for purchases from Amazon and other Affiliate Marketing ads on this site. Of course, purchases from any of my CafePress shops and Amazon Fashion do provide some earnings.
How You Can Become a Digital Gryphon Pusher*
Advertising is expensive; most independent artists can’t compete with large corporations or political organizations buying advertising or bidding for online ad spots. Fortunately ‘word of mouth’ (or ‘word of mouse’ online) is not only less-expensive; it tends to be more effective. Personal recommendations still carry weight.
When you share a post from our Facebook business page, link to our website or online shops, or share our youTube videos you introduce our work to new fans. At the same time you give a boost to the algorithms sites use when deciding which pages or posts to share, and how high on the list.
If you have a website and/or blog that attracts visitors you can also sign up as an Affiliate Marketer for CafePress or Amazon and receive a portion of any sales from traffic you send to our shops. Each programme has its own terms and conditions so research which one(s) would be right for you.