Why hello, there. Fancy meeting you here!
If you don't know me, my name is Ais, which I say like Ace (accidentally appropriate, since I'm also ace myself), but apparently lots of people pronounce it like Ice. I mostly like to write but I'm the slowest loris in the writing zoo. I like art as well -- this isn't to say I'm good at it (in fact, I call it Ais' Terrible Art), but I do find it to be really fun and oftentimes immensely relaxing.
The themes of my work (writing in particular) tend to be LGBTQIA+ in some form, and typically also other things thrown in to try to rework the expected into something with a twist. I get bored writing cliched/stereotype things, although of course sometimes we all fall into that realm. Most of what I write is usually dorkily layered, because I like creating stories where you can always find something new on the second, third, or fourth rereading-- or at least has some element of research involved in the background, if layered doesn't work.
You can find examples of my writing at my writing masterlist on my site and examples of my art at Ais' Terrible Art tagged on my site, tumblr, and here at Patreon. I mostly started out doing Paint comics (hence the Terrible Art name) and other digital art, but I lately I've been more into hand-colored/drawn art.
Short version of how this works: there are no tiers here. The minimum pledge for Patreon ($1) gets you everything from me. If you want to pledge higher than that, that's extremely kind of you and I greatly appreciate it, but you don't have to. It's entirely up to you.
The longer explanation:
If you've swung by my Patreon before, previously I had the longest intro ever here but I've since decided that was a bit too extra even for me, so I'm scaling it back. (You may be saying to yourself, THIS is scaled back? Oh yes, my friend. I am quite the wordy person...)
When I started Patreon, I originally thought I could promise certain things every month but I overestimated my energy and underestimated my free time. Actually, it may be better to say that I was optimistic about being able to challenge myself to output a lot every month as a way of inspiring myself, but I didn't know that the months immediately following the start of my Patreon would be filled with depression and a lot of unexpected things happening in my personal life that kind of staggered one after another in a way that have continued to surprise me just as I am getting back on stable ground. Some of the things that happened you can find out about if you search around online and see what's been going on in my sphere, and some of the things I haven't talked about publicly for privacy reasons.
That meant I had to spend several months saying I was sorry, I couldn't do all the things I'd promised in this intro section--and in some months, I couldn't produce anything at all. I feel awful about that because I already had a hard time setting up Patreon in the first place (because it's difficult for me to assign value for things I create, therefore I feel guity even giving anyone the option), and I hate to disappoint anyone.
So I'm changing this to give a more realistic view of what to expect -- and know that at any given point, I may do way more than I list here. Especially as things calm down for me personally.
Every month I will post:
- Something creative - this may be art, short writing, a poem, or something else entirely. It may also be many posts like this, or one or two.
- Updates or messages or just random comments on what's going on lately
- When possible and appropriate, I will also give previews of things or let you know my status on different things I'm working on
- Fun little background things for stories I'm working on (for example, I wrote an article for a newspaper in Incarnations)
- Short stories - I'm seriously trying to work on doing smaller stories (5000 words or less) that are disconnected from anything else and/or can be read completely on their own. I really want to challenge myself to doing this but don't know currently how consistently I will be able to post/write anything.
- Polls or other questions asking for interaction, ideas, etc
- A chapter (or more) of Incarnations every month - this is a high priority for me, but I have it on the "I want to" and not "I will" list primarily because I'm still trying to decide if it's better to post unedited chapters on Patreon or edited chapters, and whether posting on Patreon will disallow me from getting it officially published (which is the final goal) - so this is a "I want to" until I can figure out those details
- Fun interactive things like some livestreams and/or recording myself drawing things
- I also think it would be fun to hand draw/color some little postcards or something
Since writing takes up a lot of my mental and emotional energy (but also is something I love doing when I'm balanced), sometimes I can go quite some time where writing just doesn't happen for me. It makes me feel guilty, and sometimes frustrated and impatient with myself, but it's the truth. And to suggest otherwise would be a delusion at best and an outright lie at worst.
Anyway that's the tl;dr on why I want to be able to promise writing every month but to be entirely fair to you I can't promise that, just in case, but I can at least promise I will definitely be thinking about how to try to get something useful out there, and I'll be guilty the rest of the time in between. Is that a good thing? Probably not ^^;
Like Jim Sterling, I'm doing this because I don't want you feeling like you have to spend money to access something. If you pledge, I want you to pledge because you support me, as a person or creator. I don't want you forced into paying for a service; I want you to feel able to willingly support me to make more content without you being tied into a specific amount to access what you'd like to see, and without you feeling forced into maintaining some sort of contract on a long term basis even when it isn't fiscally responsible for you to continue. I want you to have the chance to have the community interaction you want even if you just pop in here now and then when you can afford it. And I want you to know your voice will be heard regardless of your pledge amount or frequency, and I will definitely value any feedback you have for ideas going forward on what you'd like to see next.
If you've known me for years you know how important it is to me to try to keep things as free and open as possible. So you may wonder why I'm doing Patreon at all. I am for all the reasons I already said, but also it comes down to this: if Patreon can help me be more prolific and creative, then even if you don't support me on Patreon, you will still reap some of the benefits. You will have so much more from me and more consistently post-Patreon than you had pre-Patreon. And for everyone who does support me, they get to decide what works best for them in the level of support of that pledge, but they also get to know they are invaluable for me being able to work harder and do more to share.
If you pledge money to me, I will SO, SO much appreciate it! Thank you SO MUCH to anyone who does! But I also want you to know who you're pledging to before you do. I want it to be a fair "purchase" for you. If you do pledge any money to me at all out of the extreme kindness of your heart, you should know I tend to ramble, I am shy and awkward about accepting money, I'm honest to a fault, I constantly feel like I need to apologize for not providing good enough content, and I will always doubt that I'm doing the best job I can. At the same time, I love to write, I love to draw, I love to interact with others on things they love and I love, and more than anything, I love communities.
If you do pledge to me, I can't guarantee you will always love everything I do because that's so subjective, but I can guarantee I will genuinely appreciate you for everything you're doing to support me. And I can promise I would love for this to be a community of any sort, so I will definitely look for chances to interact and include your feedback.
I will listen to you, I will value you, I will respect you, and I hope you'll do the same for me :) I mean, I do that to people for free too, but if you become a Patron you get that plus the chance to support me making more content, and be engaged in helping me decide sometimes on what I should focus on first, or even ideas for what to do for grab bag stories or art.
Regardless of whether you become a patron now, in the future, or never, I want to thank you for reading this far and showing this much interest in me and what I do. Thank you for your kindness, and all that you do.
I'm wishing you all the very best, and hope you never stop believing in yourself.